free hit
counters
water pump fun - Engine/Ancilliaries - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
simon a-b

water pump fun

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

 

I have been wondering how 'fragile' the S3 would be.  I've had it back on the road now for around 7-800 miles, playing with tyre pressures, finishing the list of niggles and generally enjoying myself.  I've used it for a few weeks as a 'daily drive' too, ultimately where I'd like to be with the car.

 

Today I drove it for a bit, and though I'd put in on the ramps for a bit of a check over, and another play with the linkage adjustment, still not perfect but getting close. 

 

Well I noticed that the reservoir was very low... so I added some and checked the coolant system thoroughly.  Disaster... I found coolant escaping from the little hole in the bottom of the water pump.  The motor had sat for a long time while I was working on the car (5 years) so I do have to expect this sort of thing!

 

Having read up on the situation it appears that there's no choice or chance of misunderstanding... the pump has to be removed/replaced. 

 

Here's my first question.  Is it likely to be just the gasket, i.e. the pump itself may be OK, and able to be refitted with a new gasket

 

or

 

(and from reading other posts this seems likely) is the pump itself knackered and needs replacing with a recon unit?

 

I'll be trying the 'remove from below' option, and attempting the 'don't remove the cambelt' variation...

 

Cheers,

Simon

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.

Only the early cars has gaskets, and I've not encountered a water pump gasket leaking on these. I assume you have two elbows per arm in which case access should be OK.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The pump will be knacked, believe me I have had it several times over the last couple of years with cars that have been left standing.You will have to change it and you will struggle with the top bolt behind the cam sprocket, what I normaly do is once you do get it off is to replace it with a cap screw so when it ever has to be done again it's far easier next time round. When ordering a repalcement remember to let the supplier know what is fitted to the car as it makes a difference on the spacing for the pulley, does it have power steering pump, does it have aircon etc, power steering wont apply in your case but the aircon will.

Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks all.  You're right I did know the answer already!  Grasping at straws etc. 

Is there anything else (Ha Ha) that's as likely to be going to give up the ghost just from sitting all this time?  I'd guess any rubber seals are questionable...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Front and rear oil seals, if you are going to take the lump out, do them at the same time and obviously the belts, belt tensioner and obviously the clutch kit, thats for starters but will keep you good for a while.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

great suggestion Freemason, I've contacted them

cheers,

simon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cool, let me know how you go, I'm thinking of also sending mine. BTW they do a nice steering rack overhaul kit too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yes I saw that on their site, and stored it away for the future!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty good response so far, a call back on the day I called them and some good advice on the phone.  Looks like the costs fall between $150 if the pump's otherwise in good shape, and around $200 if more work is needed.  Plus postage to Melbourne of course, but all together better than SJ, just the exchange pump is over $160 and the postage is expensive. 

What he does is machine out some space and inserts a ceramic washer, so the seal is only ever up against ceramic and won't wear on the rough metallic surface, so a good improvement to the system. 

I'll let you know how it goes, will attempt the removal next weekend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've purchased from Lotusmarques and I can say their customer service is phenomenal, with their owner emailing several times to check up on orders, talk about shipping, and following up on delivery. Also, the cost of shipping a water pump to AUS and then back to the US seems fair, considering this high level of personalized attention they give.

 

Cheers,

Scott

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FYI

?..

What he does is machine out some space and inserts a ceramic washer, so the seal is only ever up against ceramic and won't wear on the rough metallic surface, so a good improvement to the system.

For anyone needing a new water pump in the UK or Europe, Gary Kemp at Kemp High Performance does a similar mod as standard for all 910/912 series engines, replacing the carbon seal with a new compression ceramic version. He still advises not to rotate the pump before the cooling system is full though.

I collected one last week, but it will be at least a year before I get to try it out to give feedback.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So the pump is out.  I can confirm that it will come out from below... a more fiendish executive toy is yet to be designed.  I got it out by using the little bit of extra space above the engine cradle to move it along to the passenger side (RHD car), rotate it to get it past the cambelt, then down that side, then back up to the middle of the engine, then straight down. 

It will be interesting getting it back in!

 

Starting with the car up on ramps at the back, and stands at the front to give as much space as possible:

 

IMAG0373.jpg

 

And with the airbox off and the coolant drained, it took about 4 hours to get out.  The last two hours were with it off the engine, all hoses disconnected, trying to get it away from the car! 

 

Apart from the 3d geometry test, the usual bolt (under the cam aux pulley) was the biggest issue.  I ended up butchering a spare 10 mm spanner to get it undone. 

 

IMAG0375.jpg

 

Cut short, and then

 

IMAG0376.jpg

 

ground down to make it skinnier.  Early on (and getting it started) you can access enough space with the spanner full thickness, but when the bolt head starts to get close to the pulley using the modified skinny head you can turn the bolt, then push it onto the thread/shaft to go back to start position, lift it onto the bolt head and turn again.  This was tedious but effective.  I will of course be replacing this bolt with a socket head cap screw. 

 

This bolt (the bastard bolt) also didn't seem to have a washer.  I will be searching very carefully to see that I haven't dropped it somewhere, and will replace it when I reassemble.

 

As seems normal with this engine the torque on these bolts was very low.  I'll look in the book for replacement torque and will have to get some straight Allen keys to torque the bastard bolt up (torque wrench-socket-straight allen key-screw). 

 

For refitting, is any gasket goo recommended?  I think based on the fun of removing the part, if it's applied to the pump then fitted I'll end up with it liberally coating all the engine cradle tubes/the front of the block/the cambelt etc.

 

I've sent it away today to Lotus Marques.  I've nothing to compare it to but the inside looked quite clean

 

IMAG0378.jpg

 

I'll update with refitting fun!

Cheers,

Simon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah the joys of Lotus waterpump, I think we have all been there done that and have drawn blood on the knuckles, well done.

Nice car and cracking colour by the way.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pump is cleaned (beadblasted), fixed and returned to me within a week! Total cost minus freight of about $180 AU. That was fixed pump, two gaskets and a replacement top hose. Mine had been nicked by the cambelt, very happy to have found that!

I will refit (so easy to say!) this weekend, then back on the road.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Top hoses are very vulnerable to that sort of damage. When you put it back together, make sure that you have good clearance between hose and belt...I have found that a cable tie to secure the hose to a clip on the bulkhead helps. It has to be enough to hold the hose away from the cambelt but not so much that it pulls too hard....one MOT I was underneath having a look round whilst she was up on the lift, I was chatting to the mech....we saw that the hose had been marked by the cambelt despite my cable tie. So we had a look round and found a really tough f**k-off cable tie...and put that on, and tightened it, and there was bags of clearance...problem solved!! Or at least it was....... until I was driving down the Kingston bypass and my rear vision disappeared in a cloud of steam and hot water....the hose had come off!!!  Took the next off ramp, by the old "Ace of Spades" and proceeded to park on the pavement and refit the thing with minimal tool kit....and scrounging water from the nice lady in the house where I had stopped the car....So overdoing it isn't a good idea, either!! Oh yes....I have had the hose cut through by the cambelt and water everywhere, too. That was back in the early days, the start of the learning process.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good luck!

Like John, I love the colour, what name/code is it?... and were the wheel webs factory painted do you know?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It had a respray before I bought it sometime... I've always thought it was Glacier Blue, but I've seen others with this colour and they look a bit more grey.  I have a big file of history, I'll see what I can find. 

I love the colour too, shouldn't fade like any of the reds with the strong UV we have.  The missus refers to it as 'Lavendar'!


On the subject of hoses, I'd been regularly checking the top hose by feel and hadn't found the damage, so I clearly wasn't feeling around far enough.  Hadn't seen it from below either...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It isn't easy to see...or feel...but once you have seen where the damage occurs, it's easier. Pretty obvious when it's up on a ramp!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So...

 

50 minutes to get the pump back on and torqued up.  Pretty happy with that, the tai chi/origami exercise to get it back in place went quite easily. 

 

I replaced three fixings with allen bolts and ended up cutting up an allen key to make my torque wrench adapt/fit. 

 

IMAG0392.jpg

 

IMAG0393.jpg

 

I couldn't get the torque wrench onto the longer top bolt but having done all the others up I just did it by feel. 

 

Lotus Marques service was great, including their advice to put the gasket on the pump the day before with locktite grey max.  This cured overnight and traveled fine with the pump on its journey back to the block.  I was even able to get a thin smear onto the other side of the gasket before mounting it. 

 

Almost three hours later the job was finished!  Took a while but really just a fairly simple process.  I had enough access via ramps at the back and axle stands on the front, would have been very nasty with less room.  Part of the job was done unsighted, both forearms up through the hole at the front of the motor working by feel.  I really want a hoist!

 

I used my home proctology kit to try to find the missing washer.  No sign of it, no guarantee that it was there at all, one of the others was a skinny star washer not a normal washer so since it's a special case (bastard bolt) I guess it never had one.  Definitely nothing stuck jammed in to the cambelt, my main fear. 

 

I'm reasonalbly happy with tolerance between new hose and cambelt/sprocket.  I cut about 25mm off the hose as supplied by Lotus Marques which made it fit a little better. 

 

It really is a stupid place to have a rubber hose!  Since there is an aluminium pipe arrangement in play, why the heck didn't they just do a short straight rubber then curve a piece of alloy pipe away past danger!  If it's vibration isolation that's the concern, do another piece of hose between that and the current pipe...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×