free hit
counters
Quick Engine question on my New Excel - Engine & Ancilliaries/Gearbox - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
Kimbers

Quick Engine question on my New Excel

Recommended Posts

Just got off the phone to the current owner of the Excel I have just bought (1989 in Pacific Blue).

 

He tells me it needs "Tuning", carbs cleaning and timing done......

 

He also tells me it had it's Cam Belt done a few thousand miles ago......2 questions:

 

1. If its a proper Cam Belt Service shouldn't it have had the tuning done..possibly even the carbs if they thought they were a bit carbed up?

2. Even if it wasn't done properly, shouldn't the person fitting the Cam belt have done the timing as part of fitting it?

 

Sorry if these seem stupid questions. I am not up to speed on technical issues!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.

A few thousand miles could be 5 years so you'll want a new belt unless it was in the last 2 years.

 

Tuning the carbs is very different to setting the timing, which would have been done with the belt. The carbs and cambelt are very different parts of the engine.

 

If you struggled to change the battery on your Esprit which was 2 bolts, I'd be giving this car to an expert and asking them for an appraisal of what needs doing in the first instance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If its been standing or even ages since it was last done a carb strip and rebuild might be worthwhile. the amount of gunge  in my carbs was amazing. I bought a ultrasonic cleaner and used that as well to ensure a full clean. The holes in the various jets are quite small so having that muck floating about isn't great.

post-1261-0-18283200-1430239990.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Add some carb cleaner to the petrol - if the carbs are gunged up then you should notice a difference after a few miles.

 

I regularly use a little 2 stroke oil in the petrol (100ml per 20 litres) which has both a lubricating and detergent effect and should keep the system clean.

 

Good luck

 

Richard

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I bought mine I am fairly sure that the cam belt was last changed 3000 before at the last "C" service stamped in the book. This was in 2001 - with no indication that one had been done since. I had the car trailered to GST in Newmarket with the instructions to get everything right.

 

It is now a fantastic drive, and it was definitely worth spending the money up front so all concerned know where we are at with the mechanicals of the car.

 

I really look forward to seeing it - with or without the garish interior additions.

 

I'm thinking of having the cloth in mine retrimmed - even though it was only done fairly recently, I've come across a few niggles. I'm looking at David Reid - clicky here. He's up in your neck of the woods as well - Great Moulton.

 

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The cam belt deals with the static timing, ensuring all the valves open and close at the correct time in relation to the pistons. If this is out by a tooth, the car will run bad, any more and you risk damage to pistons and valves.

 

You will also have (dynamic) timing by virtue of the distributor which varies when the spark is applied to the cylinder. If this is out, the car will run bad.

 

Then you have carburettor balancing which ensures you have the correct air/fuel mixture entering the cylinder at the right time. If this is out the car will run bad.

 

So, if the car is running bad, it could be one or more of the above.

 

:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kimbers, get the belt done then you have piece of mind and at the same time look for any tell tale weeps at the water pump also check the belt tensioner. Belt, tensioner and water pump all three for under £200 plus labour from PNM or SJ. Then have the static timing done when he belts changed and last but not least get the carbs looked at.

You are now well on to having a cracking car with few problems to worry about for a good while.

Drive and Enjoy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cam belt change - don't even think about not doing so.

I have all my motors changed ahead of intervals and have yet ( touch wood (my head)) never had one fail.

It only takes some numpty in the past to have sprayed wd40 or the like anywhere near that belt and issues will be a looming......

It'll be a fantastic car - but the basics must be done first. Move onto the carbs once that belts new - a quick strip and clean might make all the difference - new fuel will also if it's not been used a while

Most importantly - enjoy!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cam Belt was done recently and Invoices etc are supplied.

 

My question was mainly regarding the fact that surely timing is done when you set the belt in the correct position?

 

And Bibs. I have one of the best Engineers in the Motor trade offering to help me :) He hasn't got his hands dirty in a few years though!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please - just take it to your chap. Don't do anything mechanical to this car, don't even think about the oily bits. Dismantle nothing, investigate nothing, repair nothing. Leave it to the professionals. Just give it a wash and a hoover.

 

One Stimpy is enough.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Carbs need tuning" appears to be ebay seller-speak for "they are full of frogspawn". Mine had globs of pink residue which was hard to shift, and a layer of varnish which was impossible. Cleaning in a sonic bath and a rebuild kit from Dellorto is the way to go.

 

Depends how long it's been standing, the fuel lines get clogged too with crap from the fuel tank. A decent filter like a Filterking is worthwhile.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Not necessarily.

2. Not necessarily.

 

I agree with the suggestion of some carb cleaner and just see if you can fix it by running it in.  So many cars just sit around and seize up.  And that's something you can do even if you don't feel  comfortable with a spanner in hand.

 

These cars are basically very simple, but not designed to be serviced efficiently.  Hence it gets expensive for a pro to do, but it's not necessarily hard to do yourself if you find these things fun.  It's really not so much harder than an Austin A-Series.  If you've worked on anything else, this is do-able. If your' never worked on anything, it's probably not the place to start! Call a friend.

 

As per LooseCannon, tuning in this context generally means cleaning and fitting a new gasket kit, esp. new diaphragm pump.  I did mine without knowing anything about dellortos and I didn't make it any worse.  It's not hard, just be careful not to force anything - like the float pivots, because you can break the mounting points on the castings.  Spares are hens' teeth.  

 

Splits in the diaphragm pumps on the carbs is a common cause of 'pickup' problems.  You can check/swap these without removing the carbs, If I remember correctly.  

 

Basic tuning is just a couple screws for idling etc. REAL tuning involves changing various tubes inside the carbs - expert territory and shouldn't be necessary.  

 

Re cambelt - get a workshop manual (excellent investment), which shows you how the marks on the timing sprockets all line up.  It's really simple to check.  Personally I always take the bonnet off before any job (not as bad as it sounds), then you'll need to take the cam belt covers off, if fitted,  turn the engine over to the TOC marks, and check the sockets.  Usually there is a lot more noise (inlet/exhaust) if the cam-timing is off.  So is it rather noisy?

 

Finally, check the wear on the inside of  distributor cap (I presuming the Excel still has one ;-) ), particularly the centre contact.  These seem to wear quite badly, and are easy to overlook.  They can cause a range of odd running problems.    A new (quality) one is never a bad idea. No spanners required either, only skin off your knuckles.

Edited by Herc

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


×