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simon a-b

jack stands, sump plugs and a nice drive

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i finally got some time today to do the oil change. went for a great drive to warm everything up, i really do love this little car and when i'm finished with it i'll love it even more.

so i got back home and started jacking it up. where do you guys place axle stands? i tried for the places on lew (demonstrated on a stevens though). i tried the lower control arms, and the car tended to slide along them in a fairly terrifying way. i tried jacking on the crossmember at the front (which holds the lower control arms, not the flimsy looking one supporting bits of the radiator assembly!) and it started to deform, so i stopped that. i ended up jacking on the official jacking points at the front and putting the stands under the lower control arms as close to the wheels as i could, but i wasn't that happy about it, with the lower control arms being on an angle to the top of the stand. the back was pretty easy, jacked on the gearbox end of the cradle and stands right next to the wheels.

while lying around under there i started to worry about the support. i've laid around under cars for years and never felt claustrophobic at all, but if this car slipped off and i was under it i reckon i'd be finished! most cars you might get hurt but not splatted, but as i laid under the back of the lotus i felt really uncomfortable, probably because i was already not that happy about how i'd supported the car.

anyway, after all that, the sump drain (copper nut?) was already round! i couldn't undo it. so again the oil change waits, i think i'll have to put it on a hoist somewhere to get enough access to get it undone.

Well i've got a few of the things on my list sorted; the indicators work, the brake warning works, the shitty old radio is out, and i've started asking for retrimming quotes.

I found a part number for the clutch friction plate (borg and beck hb9723?) but not pressure plate (rover 3500/sdi???) or throwout bearing (although i have the lotus part numbers from searching the forum, and i'll ask a lotus dealer tomorrow for prices)

the other odd thing is that the fans blow hot air out forward! i'm sure this can't be right? and i've only got two, and a short radiator with only room for two. are the s3 radiators shorter with just two fans? blow direction won't be hard to change, which i'll do today, and then maybe just go for another drive!

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Try these guys for a new (magnetic) sump plug: http://www.ramspott-brandt.de/

Or you could still get a standard one from the sale, I think?

For doing the oil change, I think it is not necessary to raise the front, just the rear.

Raise the rear, undo the plug, lower the car and let it drain...is this possible? Is the filter accessible from the top?

Edited by jimmybondi

Ciao,

JB

'88 Excel SE - monaco white

'99 Elise 111 - azure blue �

'87 TurboEsprit - calypso red

'02 BMW 325ci convertible - diamond black

wwwlotusexceldebannernew300eu5.jpg

http://excelregister.lotusexcel.de

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get some ramps far safer for doing the oil etc.... I only use axle stands etc when doing the wheels. I hate working under cars, apart from the Land Rover :)

My sump nut was the same as yours I took it to a garage in the end, due to the fact that if they rounded it off it was there problem.


Amateurs built the Ark

Professionals built the Titanic

"I haven't ridden in cars pulled by cows before" "Bullocks, Mr.Belcher" "No, I haven't, honestly"

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how the hell do you get this car onto ramps? you must back onto them? looking at the sump design if the car's not flat (or ideally just tipped up at the front) you wouldn't get a full drain? i think i'll have to go to a garage; if i take my oil and filter they couldn't charge much, surely!

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You can reverse on to ramps, but not go up forward.. I change the oil without jacking up the car, it can be done, folks!! Rounded drain plugs need a large mole wrench or stilson pipe wrench and lots of effort. Jacking the car up on the end of your chosen tool works well. Get a new sump plug..! The fans should suck through the rad, not blow, so you'll need to reverse the polarity. I jack on the vertical chassis member at the front and the chassis at the rear of the gearbox at the back..I always leave the jack in place as well as lowering down slightly on to stands. I once - only once, I was in a hurry - got under the thing at the back with just the trolley jack to support. Once I'd finished, I found the jack had gone down slightly..but enough so that my ribcage couldn't get out through the remaining gap!! So I had to benchpress the car.....not clever. I always worry when under a jacked up vehicle, even with stands, so I'm now meticulous about ensuring good support. A chap should always have a good support, I thionk...


Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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Hello,

Just a warning but don't put axle stands anywhere near your rear lower links, not only do they move but someone thoughtfully used mine as axle stand supports and bent them. New ones are cheap, but getting them off is difficult plus you end up with the usual spiral of work when you touch anything.

Mine has been on stands positioned just behind the front engine mounts for a couple of months and is rock steady, there is also a pile of wood under each the rear jack point on the sill with a few mm of clearance so if anything slips it will fall on that.

Ambrose

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I always worry when under a jacked up vehicle, even with stands, so I'm now meticulous about ensuring good support. A chap should always have a good support, I thionk...

I was restoring an e-type a few years ago before I got into the Esprit. I was a regular on one of the Jag lists and there were at least 2 guys on that list that were killed under cars which weren't supported correctly. One was under the car with only a jack supporting it which then promptly collapsed :) There's a moral in there somewhere...

Paul.

P.S. I'm impressed you could bench press a car. I've seen somebody bench press 1,000lb on the t'internet!!

Edited by Paul Coleman

Lotus Esprit [meaning] a 1:1 scale Airfix kit with a propensity to catch fire

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Extra support when on axle stands has been covered in the past. Jonathan does what sounded to me like a good idea: phone books strapped together placed under the normal jacking points as paper is not compressible.

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Glad to hear others have has similar concerns, and i wasn't just getting scared in my old age!

i tried a stilson on the nut the other day, with no result, but i didn't have much room under there. i'll try again, with something under the jack points for added security. i like the idea of supports near the engine mounts too, this should give me more room under there.

any advantage to warming it all up a little? would that free things more?

i've not worked on an engine with a cast sump before (they've all been pressed mild steel); do i have to be extra careful of banging on stuff? i thought i could try to use a screwdriver and hammer to try to turn the nut...

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I have (carefully) hammered an old socket on the rounded nut and it turned off with a little bit of persuation...this was on the Excel, though.


Ciao,

JB

'88 Excel SE - monaco white

'99 Elise 111 - azure blue �

'87 TurboEsprit - calypso red

'02 BMW 325ci convertible - diamond black

wwwlotusexceldebannernew300eu5.jpg

http://excelregister.lotusexcel.de

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Normally find that a quality set of mole grips gets a good hold or most things...

Few other strategies in this thread

Did also read that the thread is a standard BSP available from B+Q plumbing section but not sure where, perhaps someone will remember

Yes, incompressible vehicle supports are the way forward.

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thanks ambrose, interesting other info in that thread. i spoke to the guy at the specialist in hammersmith (had a long day, can't remember any names!) and he said to 'shock' it with a smart hit from a hammer. i'll try that, vise grips and if don't get anywhere with that i'll try removing the washer.

i'm also going to sort out some sort of uncompressable blocks to put under the jacking points in future!

cheers

simon

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