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gtookey

Drip Tray For Dellortos

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I've heard about an aluminuim tray that goes under the carbs and catches any drops of fuel, thus reducing the fire risk. Was wondering if this was an owner mod or if it was ever a factory thing on later cars. If anyone has one would you mind posting a piccie as I think I would like to make one.

Thanks, Gavin.

.


Cheers, Gavin

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Guest WausauLotus

Are the drops of fuel inevitable or is there some sort of "repair/rebuild" (hoses, connections, gaskets, etc) that will prevent?

It seems reading all the threads that this is a significant/fire issue!!!!!!

Dave

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I have also been thinking about this recently. Its the sudden diaphragm failure at the accelerator pump that bothers me - could dump a huge amount of fuel into nasty places. Also, unless you feel under the carbs regularly (and before and drips evaporate) you may not pick up a leak until its too late. A 'drip tray' would get dirty and therefore show drips and runs as little clean bits!

This must be an owner mod but I have never seen it having actually been done.

Rather than stiff, vibrating aluminium, etc, what about some flexible heat shield type material? Not sure where you'd attach it though.


"Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them." Albert Einstein

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I spoke to my cousin a few years ago about a drip tray, He is an experinced Mechanic, He said do you really want a tray full of fuel in the engine bay?


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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But if you had a tray full, that would mean you were losing more than could evaporate and thats alot. I'd rather that be chanelled away from the electricals that could ignite it.

I agree that prevention is always better than cure, but how about a little insurance?


"Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them." Albert Einstein

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When I mentioned about the positioning of the distributor at the Xmas party in kent, the boss said that Lotus in designing the Esprit had looked at the possibility of positioning some sort of shield beneath the carbs in order to prevent fuel dripping onto the distributor and starting a fire. The idea however was abandoned.

A pity really as a number of cars might still have been around has something been adopted at the development stage

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Your better off checking the carbs and fitting an extingusher system, a tray is going to get hot.


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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I know I have seen an Esprit fitted with a tray, hence my asking. Personally I check my carbs at the first start of each new day as Dellortos are known to sometimes have seepage at the base. Just like they are known to spit a little. It's a good habit to check for seepage as often as you check the oil. I can see posing the question as being considered a good idea but I also agree with the arguments not to have a tray. I always would of considered the tray as an added safety thing rather than allowing someone to drive around with leaky carbs. Which would be just dumb.

Edited by GavinS1

Cheers, Gavin

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I often said I would to meet PO's mechanic, the condition of the carburators when I bought the car was so bad it was scary. And yes the back one leaked, neatly over the starter solonoid.

He had attempted to glue it all with hermitite, rather than replace the obviously faulty diaphram and gaskets.

It was an insendiary device just waiting to go off.

I think a drip tray is a good idea, if anyone does it please post pictures.


Life is like a sewer, what you get out of it, depends on what you put into it. (Tom Leahrer)

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If you make more of a chute that runs any fuel away and on to the drivers seat you would always know if you had a problem...or if you peed your self?

Buddsy


 

"Belief is the enemy of knowing" - Crrow777

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Drip tary and drain tube? At least then you would be taking it out of the engine bay.

I know where you are coming from Buddsy but I am not sure I would want pertol on my drivers seat!

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Yea but I wouldn't want petrol not in my carbs... at least then you would know and fix it!

Buddsy


 

"Belief is the enemy of knowing" - Crrow777

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Petrol driven boats have even more of a problem with the explodings than we do. Hence they usually use downdraught carburetters! However, I have seen side draught carburetters used....with a drip tray...which was covered in fine mesh gauze. This gauze was a requirement of the Thames Conservancy...the navigational authority of the Thames in days of yore. Don't know what it was for, but would hazard a guess that it had something to do with Humphrey Davy and the principle of his Safety Lamp!


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

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In over 20 years and 120,000miles of Lotus ownership I've never noticed any signs of Dellorto leakage, and I've only rebuilt the carbs once.

I can see value in fitting a tray, but isn't it still avoiding the issue of carb maintenance - rare as it is?

And if you've bought a car with an unknown carb history why not rebuild them rather than fabricate a shield?

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I have re-visited this thread as today I went to Sportomotive in Salisbury to check on the progress of my S2 Esprit which is down with them for a C service and anything else following its 3 years off the road.

Was rather concerned when they told me the carbs were leaking fuel! I trailered the car down to them mainly because the cambelt change was overdue, but it appears that was now a very good call!

The carbs were OK when the car came off the road, in fact they had just been checked over and had new diaphragms fitted - so it was a shock to hear they were as bad as they were.

They are being rebuilt so will be fine when I get the car back. Forgive me for being ignorant, but how has a period of time off the road affected the carbs so badly? Will there be seals which will have dried out and perished?

Also, how long would people recommend between refurbishment? It was something I had on my to do list for when I got the car back, I was really surprised the need to do this now would be so great.

Someone above also mentioned about moving the distributor itself out of harms way - anyone done this? Is it such a stupid idea?

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How would you move the dissy? It needs a drive from the engine and that drive needs to be fairly precise (perhaps up to 1 degree of crank rotational movement would be OK).

You could swap to a toothed wheel on the cams and full ECU type ignition and that would remove the dissy.

Regarding carbs now leaking, I am surprised. Perhaps the float pins got sticky having dried out and so not closing off the supply.

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Thanks Andy.

The carbs really surprised me too, I didn't even consider that might be an issue.

Edited by Nelly9000

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I found this thread by doing a google search, as I had (so I thought) a brain wave of realising that some sort of drip shield would have prevented many of the infamous engine fires!

No matter how much checking and maintenance can ever guarantee 100% that your Dellorto carbs won't one day spill fuel and because they sit above the starter motor and distributor, the risk of a fire is then very high.

The fact that many carbs have a large sealed air box attached means that any fuel running out of the trumpets may not be obvious until it becomes much more than a dribble that will evaporate.

Sticking float needle valves are a common problem, they have been known to simply stick but become highly likely if a previous owner has tried to change the float without knowing how to do it without breaking the hinge casting.

There are other causes too, but for me the most unforgivable is the cheap clear plastic tube used as original fitment on many (certainly was on my S2) to supply fuel from one carb to the other. The really crazy thing is, my S1 has a far better y fuel line arrangement. The clear plastic tube on my S2 was already brittle when I bought the car and soon split - fortunately I had not liked this arrangement from day one and replaced it with a braided line before it became terminal.

So, regardless of anyone else's opinion, I for one would fit a shield (not a tray) that will divert any leaking fuel away from the engine. I just need to find someone who can / has fabricated such an item!

I will be fitting a plumbed in fire extinguisher too.

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When I bought mine and got it home one of the DPOs had installed a custom drip tray on top of the dizzy with kitchen foil....

What a dick.

There had already been a fire as the HT leads were burnt but instead of fix the leak they stored it in a foil tray. Nice! :)


Chunky Lover

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I've googled drip trays for carbs and it does appear that some engines have them, but surely the placement on the esprit would result in them being hot, and when the fuel drips on it would it not ignite?


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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I doubt the fuel would ignite due to the drip tray being hot. It certainly would evaporate into vapour...and that could well ignite from all the sparks coming from the distributor and rotor arm.


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

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Right read up some more and it would seem that if it has a brass gauze over the top this can stop ignition from flame, but it really needs a feed back to the inlet manifold to get rid of any fuel that may build up.

Think this may be a good solution to the carb issues with the cars.

Would seem to be a regulation on boat engines, and I also came across a drip tray fora fiat weber carb.

Edited by red vtec

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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I refer to my post #15.....! There aren't that many petrol boats these days, but they either have downdraught carburetters or else a drip tray covered in metal gauze. Personally, I think carburetter maintenance is a better alternative.


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

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