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To tart up the Plenum bolts


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Where the plenum bolts are and the cavities they sit in, I have been spending a bit of time getting all the muck out of there, they were caked nearly flat full of crap, so now its time to refurbish the bolts as the surface of them look slightly corroded but restorable.

My idea was to take each one out, clean up with some solvent and a brush and perhaps spray coat them to look like new again. I know I am not meant to take all bolts out at once but how many can I take out at a time? I take it these bolts arent torqued down either or should they be torqued when done up again.

Cheers :cheers:

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Hi Kylie,

You can do the same thing using a small model brush and some silver paint.

I've done the same thing to mine.

If you are careful with the brush you can do them in situ.

Cheers

Alan Croft

2000 V8 GT

87 Turbo Esprit HC

2000 Elise Sport 160

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I don't know why you couldn't remove them all at once as I don't think the plenum will just pop off, but if you're worried then remove every other one and finish them and then do the other half.

Torque is 20nm or 15 lb. ft.

I've found the best way to clean corroded bolt heads is with a wire wheel in a bench or hand grinder. You can also polish them if you wish.

Cheers,

1995 S4s

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Tried this before on my engine bay - they rust again / go grotty VERY quickly esp if you polish them as they are nicely exposed to a fresh oxidising attack. Unless you coat it you're fighting a losing battle, these bolts are probably zinc plated to start with, if you polish them you'll remove what ever plating they had on them and it'll be even more exposed.

Your better bet is to plate them if in doubt - polish them back to bare metal and then have them brilliant nickel plated (just the heads !) - that'll look as good as stainless, brighter infact and it should be hard wearing.

As these are only light duty what you could do to be ultra sneaky is to get some stainless dome nuts and some studding and make your own bolts - stud lock / super glue in the dome nut, then wind the dome nut on the end and cut the studding to length - then you have your bolt, dome nuts look really nice.

Doesn't matter if the dome comes off if you undo it (although it shouldn't if you stud lock it).

Seriously don't waste your time polishing, sorry for the push and pull, but I've seen it happen so many times when people have spent hrs on producing a gleaming engine bay only for it to return to square 1 in a few months. Stainless / plating is the only way to go - could always have them gold plated B)

IMO gold is a perfect contrast to the blue plenum cover !

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Hi Kylie,

Iam interested to find out what you'll do to restore your bolts. Iam selling a 02my V8 for a friend of mine and this is one of the things that let the engine bay area down. The simplest way is to touch each one with a chrome paint which you can buy. Silver is next best thing.

Proper way would be to remove all the bolts, don't disturb the plenum and have the replated.

You can even buy plating kits DIY if no one locally can do this for you.

I have a guy coming to look at this Esprit today, so it would be nice to point him in this direction should he buy the car. This is really the only thing to me that lets it down. I told the owner not to touch up with silver paint because in my opinion, it would look bodged as if he were hiding something.

Regards,

Dave Walters

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Thanks Jonathan advice is all good. All the tips has made me think about how do them right in the first place.

Dave, I was meant to do these yesterday, but a mate of mine turned up in his Exige and of course we took the 350 out for a blat. I then ran out of day but will hopefully get some progress over the next few days after work. Least its one of the easier jobs on the car. We have some nice engine paint systems at home in chrome and silver and might see if I can spray this paint on them. Might not be able to thin it for the gun though. This would be better than brushing them. I will try a few and see what they look like.

Next is learning to replace the drive shaft seals, its pissing out oil in the garage, so I am nervous now that the box has stuff all oil in there. Not good. I figured that the car has been in this state for a while.

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Hi Kylie,

If you like, just replace all the bolts and hat-nuts (here we call these nuts "hat-nuts") with stainless steel ones. They are normal metric hardware.

You got a car from the UK right ?

Whenever I see a UK-Esprit I wonder why these cars are a true corrosion-heaven ... What are they doing there ? Are they using acid for washing their cars or is it just acid rain ... ???

Honestly, UK-Esprits seem to corrode and rust everywhere, even the wiper-mechanism rusts.

Moreso if you lock underneath you will only see red-brown ...

Can somebody enlighten me why this is like that ?

Cheers

Marcus

Edited by Bibs

Marcus

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You're never too far from the sea!

Erm, well that's why my first Esprit suffered, the PO lived in a coastal town!

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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My GT3 was TERRIBLE - I mean absolutly horrendous, I had to restore it all - the rust I took off was unbelievable.

My SE is almost untouched and it's double the age, probably kept well - also seen an NA which was kept in an underground car park which was pristine.

Damp, salt on the roads, wet weather etc all take it's toll, the galvanised parts are good but the rest of it forget - when I take stuff off the car I reach for the dremmel 1st over the screwdrivers / spanners.

Not totally sure of the quality of the plating on the fasteners either, I use stainless pretty much everywhere but where the strength is needed (Brakes / chassis) I use zinc plated bolts any they dont seem to rust at all - dunno if the plating process is better now but they are very restistive.

Having done plating myself it is a bit of a dark art (current density and all that) - I know you can get bad plating where the current is not sufficient to allow the chemical bond to be as strong between the metals, it's the only answer I can come up with - esp. after seeing the rust on metal parts INSIDE the car !!

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I got in there with cleaners and cotton buds and came up really well. This exposed the condition of the some of the bolts though. Some of them have pited holes, which I think might look a bit manky if I try touching them up with paint. I will just replace with SS ones and polish them shiny to match the shiny Lotus emblem on the plenum. It will be so much easier and the finish will be A1.

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PlenumenginepicstakenatPNM.jpg

OK before you say anything this first pic above was taken of the car a week before it left for NZ and how it arrived here. If your motor looks like this go and slap yourself now you dont deserve it!! :) No honestly that cant be normal to have your prized toy looking like that.

So on the huge list of things to do , have made a decent start already. Pulled the plenum bolts a few at a time as to not disrupt the seals. Some of them were in really bad shape and quite pitted. Gave the bolts a acid soln bath to remove some of the rust, washed, sanded flat to reshape them, used thinners to prep and enamel paint to coat them. I put the anti seize on the thread and plopped back in with new SS washers. They came up really good. I was going to get them stripped and re zinc coated back to how they were but as mentioned some of the bolts needed a face lift!

Newplenumbolts.jpg

Cleanedenginebaywithnewbolts.jpg

Cleanedheadertank.jpg

Just have to pull the boot now to acess the motor and top of tranny to clean.

New drive shaft seals lined up to do in next few weeks is next on the list.

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Kylie, you are Great !

This is the right attitude. You are doing it right. Everything has to be proper, clean and correct. No shabby compromises*, no bungling, no neglection. Thumbs up ! :)

Welcome to the club.

Keep up your good work.

BTW, the rubber-cap on your rear-hatch-light-switch is missing !

Just another tip. When everything is thorougly cleaned in the engine bay, you might put silicone spray on all the parts. This will protect and make them shining like new. Especially all the rubber and plastic parts will benefit from that. Future cleaning will also be much easier, because all the dust will not stick to it.

Marcus

PS: *G

Edited by Paula&Marcus

Marcus

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Kylie, you are Great !

This is the right attitude. You are doing it right. Everything has to be proper, clean and correct. No shabby compromises*, no bungling, no neglection. Thumbs up ! :)

Welcome to the club.

Keep up your good work.

BTW, the rubber-cap on your rear-hatch-light-switch is missing !

Just another tip. When everything is thorougly cleaned in the engine bay, you might put silicone spray on all the parts. This will protect and make them shining like new. Especially all the rubber and plastic parts will benefit from that. Future cleaning will also be much easier, because all the dust will not stick to it.

Marcus

PS: *G

*********************************************************************

to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

*********************************************************************

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Kylie, you are Great !

This is the right attitude. You are doing it right. Everything has to be proper, clean and correct. No shabby compromises*, no bungling, no neglection. Thumbs up ! :)

Welcome to the club.

Keep up your good work.

BTW, the rubber-cap on your rear-hatch-light-switch is missing !

Just another tip. When everything is thorougly cleaned in the engine bay, you might put silicone spray on all the parts. This will protect and make them shining like new. Especially all the rubber and plastic parts will benefit from that. Future cleaning will also be much easier, because all the dust will not stick to it.

Marcus

PS: *G

350.gifNo.23
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OK OK :) i understand what my fiends from :) and :lol: want to say. It's all not a problem for me as long as you understand the way I'm living: *May every one be happy with its own style* (free from an comment of the old Prussian King..)

@Marcus:

By the way, the engine preheater system is now out of the car. It was not longer necessary ,as it is not longer allowed to drive a car with summer/race tires in the wintertime in the region. So i think you're now more happy , as it goes back to factory status a bit...

*********************************************************************

to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

*********************************************************************

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