free hit
counters
HGF...shall I repair it myself ??? - Engine & Ancillaries/Gearbox - The Lotus Forums #ForTheOwners Jump to content


HGF...shall I repair it myself ???


Recommended Posts

Hi Gents

I have a 2004 K series Elise with the dreaded Head Gasket Failure, it seems to run just fine but I have found a load of oily cream in the header tank, so we all know what that is.

I have it in line to be repaired at a Lotus specialist, but the weeks are ticking by and the more I wait the more I think should I do it myself.

I have a strong Aerospace engineering background with a good workshop, loads of tools and would actually love to say I have done it.

I guess the issue is confidence, when I was 20 I would have just jumped head first, now 50 (yesterday ha ha) and have not worked on cars that much recently, so it is a bit of a jump.

The more I read these forums I see you guys doing all sorts and it kind of fires you up to get going.

I have two particular questions (as well as should I have a go)

Should I take the rear clam shell off to do the job, is it easy, it does not look that tricky and then access seems excellent.

Second question is how do I get all of the gunk out of the coolant system, I would want it spotless throughout otherwise you would see a bit of gook in the tank and be concerned that the gasket has failed again.

Thoughts please gents

Cheers

Darren

Link to post
Share on other sites

Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.
  • Replies 30
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Blood hell I've done it now ha ha, next stop get the head off

As far as I am concerned, get a manual, follow it religiously and ask questions on here. You would get ample help. With your background, I don't think you would have a problem. ps. I ca

Darren,  same as Ramjet above i have no idea on the clamshell, but the head gasket itself is pretty easy to change if you take your time and do it methodically. It is by far one of the most simple mod

Posted Images

As far as I am concerned, get a manual, follow it religiously and ask questions on here.

You would get ample help.

With your background, I don't think you would have a problem.

ps. I can't help with the clam question. (I know. I'm no use whatsoever. :) )

  • Like 1

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Darren,  same as Ramjet above i have no idea on the clamshell, but the head gasket itself is pretty easy to change if you take your time and do it methodically.:) It is by far one of the most simple modern 16v engines to work on IMO and by doing this yourself at your own leisure you will also prove to yourself that you will be able to do pretty much all future work on the car yourself, giving you more hassle yes :P but in the long run saving you money and gaining valuble experiance about your motor :)

I would say go for it, as said plenty of folks on here to help if you run into trouble with anything :thumbup:

  • Like 1

A

Link to post
Share on other sites

Although not the same job, I would have a look at the episode of Wheeler Dealers (assuming you can view it from Oz) where Ed takes the head off a K series to do some work.  I am not saying use it as a guide but it may be helpful in terms of insight and access.  He did all the work with the engine and clam in situ, and draining the coolant is shown.

I would look at You tube "Wheeler Dealers Elise S2" as a search.  Its an ice blue coloured car.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the encouragement gents, I have done lots of research and decided to go for it, the start of a grand adventure ha ha

I will keep you posted and no doubt have a few questions along the way.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Great news Darren, look forward to your updates, i guarantee you will look back after finishing the gasket and think to yourself why do people think these jobs are so hard ! :respect:

A

Link to post
Share on other sites

Got a bit more done today, the rear clam is now loose but I think to be safe I need a hand to actually lift it off.

All going well so far and starting to think more about the next stage to remove the head. I am struggling at the moment to see how you get to the exhaust, it all seems a bit hidden at the back

Link to post
Share on other sites

No option to set up some sort of pulley system and hoik it up out of the way?

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hope it all goes well. Some of the other guys on here more familiar with your car model may know the weight of the clam.

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes definitely have some help lifting the clam and somewhere safe to store it once its off. Some tape to protect vulnerable edges is also a good idea.

The exhaust manifold is pretty simple to unbolt, especially once the clam is off and should move far enough towards the bulkhead to give clearance for the head to come up.

You will need to lock the engine and cams before removing the cambelt, do not attempt to turn the crank once the head has been removed or the liners can move in the bores. I like to mark the cambelt with a paint pen with corresponding marks on the cams and crank pulley, transfer these marks to the new cambelt to ensure the timing is correct on re-assembly. The crank pulley bolt is pretty tight and needs to be torqued correctly!

You can put the old header tank in the dishwasher to clean it, and give the whole coolant system a flush by undoing the hoses at the back that run coolant to the rad and flushing with a hose pipe.

Condition of the head and the correct protrusion of the liners is the secret to prevent re-occurrence although a MLS gasket can help with this if not too bad, Also fit a remote PRRT instead of the thermostat whilst the clam is off to help further. 

All the best and keep us updated :thumbsup:

 

Kent monthly meet is the first Tuesday of the month at the Nevill Bull, Birling

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the on going advice gents, it is much appreciated.  I have just about negotiated with the wife to put the bodywork in the house (when cleaned) so that should keep it safe, might cost me  a bunch of flowers to keep the good lady sweet  ha ha.

Now about this PRRT, I am new to this lot so first dumb question, what is it.  I did go to Elise parts for a cooling upgrade kit, I  think it had a remote thermoset but they saw some photos of my engine (2004) and they said it had a factory bypass so best not fit their kit.  Any thoughts?

 

Cheers

 

Darren

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, to have that much accessibility working on the engine.

Sigh...............

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎20‎/‎04‎/‎2016 at 01:27, Enfield said:

Now about this PRRT, I am new to this lot so first dumb question, what is it.  I did go to Elise parts for a cooling upgrade kit, I  think it had a remote thermoset but they saw some photos of my engine (2004) and they said it had a factory bypass so best not fit their kit.  Any thoughts?

Eliseparts know far more than I do so go with there suggestions. I have fitted the Eliseparts PRRT kit details here- https://www.eliseparts.com/products/show/84/207/pressure-relief-remote-thermostat-kit/ but not suitable if you have an electric circulation pump.

Kent monthly meet is the first Tuesday of the month at the Nevill Bull, Birling

Link to post
Share on other sites

gt111

yes that is the kit they said I best not get.

Anyway a great day today, have been working hard but slow and just about ready to lift the head, I even made up a different variation on the cam pulley spanner and machined up the liner locks from nylon.

This job is quite a challenge having not worked on cars for over 20 years but heaps of fun nun the less, but man is this thing compact, it took me hours to get the alternator off to get to the exhaust manifold.  

 

 

IMG_6713(1).JPG

IMG_6714(1).JPG

IMG_6715(1).JPG

IMG_6716(1).JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good work! Thanks for posting all the photo's, we are following with interest :thumbsup:

Kent monthly meet is the first Tuesday of the month at the Nevill Bull, Birling

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great effort so far John,  Great tool that you made for removing the cam sprockets also :respect:  Your garage/workshop looks stunning i would love to have that amount of space and fitted out well also with tools.  Future note, keep a bit of the old cambelt as when you go to refit the cambelt when the heads back on all you do is fold a little bit of it  so both sides have the teeth on the outside and push between the two sprockets in the middle, still mark with paint but they wont move while you bolt things up and install the new belt. :)  Good luck and look forward to seeing it all come back together 

A

Link to post
Share on other sites

The cam lock tool is cheaper than chips to keep the pulleys aligned whilst fitting the belt.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Laser-2626-Camshaft-Locking-Rover/dp/B0039UHB46?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Kent monthly meet is the first Tuesday of the month at the Nevill Bull, Birling

Link to post
Share on other sites

That is nearly £5 plus postage :P  as the sprockets had to come off to do the headgasket the tool is useless,  cut up old belt is the way ahead, i had a bit of belt that helped me fit hundreds of these rover 16v cambelts. :) 

A

Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, gt111 said:

The cam lock tool is cheaper than chips to keep the pulleys aligned whilst fitting the belt.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Laser-2626-Camshaft-Locking-Rover/dp/B0039UHB46?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0

I have one of them ordered (before I knew about the belt idea) and it will be her on Tuesday, bear in mind things cost double by the time theye get here to NZ

Cheers

Darren 

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, silverfrost said:

That is nearly £5 plus postage :P  as the sprockets had to come off to do the headgasket the tool is useless,  cut up old belt is the way ahead, i had a bit of belt that helped me fit hundreds of these rover 16v cambelts. :) 

Nearly £5 including postage :) well with Amazon prime anyway.

Can I ask why the cam pulleys are removed? I thought you would just undo the rear cam cover fixings and take the lot off together.

Kent monthly meet is the first Tuesday of the month at the Nevill Bull, Birling

Link to post
Share on other sites

A crazy design that the backing plate for the cam belt cover is fixed behind the pullys so they have to be removed  especially when getting the head skimmed it cant be left in situ :)

  • Like 1

A

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok Gents, time for a big update, well I got the head off without any problems, see the photos.

The first thing I see is the rust, funny it did not look that bad in the header tank, anyway seems the previous owner (I have not had it long) ran the coolant way too weak so we have rusty water throughout, not sure what's the best way to clean this up, I guess it will flush out in time, any thoughts on this ?.  The car actually ran ok and did not get hot so I guess it will be ok when I have cleaned it up the best I can.

So onto the head, to be honest I am not really sure what I am looking at here, I  can see very shallow rings in the fire ring areas and  few tiny pits but it looks all very minor to me ?.  I intend getting the head hardness and flatness tested, then I guess we look at peening and skimming if required.

Any thoughts from those experienced guys o her would be appreciate

Thank

Darren

 

 

 

 

IMG_6721(1).JPG

IMG_6724(1).JPG

IMG_6735(1).JPG

IMG_6738(1).JPG

IMG_6739(1).JPG

IMG_6740(1).JPG

IMG_6741(1).JPG

IMG_6743(1).JPG

IMG_6744(1).JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.


×
×
  • Create New...