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Thanks Guy,( I`m always looking out for Lotus 2.2 engine experts.....)

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So I tried K seal and it worked then went for amdrive yearerday and was greeted by massive water loss and high temps all round so I'm in for head off fora look.

Thanks for  the advice and useful comments, I think I will try getting it off in the car.

I will keep posting as things progress.

Peter

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Good luck with trying to remove the head in the car. I tried and it was such a pain in the bum i took the engine out. Not to bad a job.

 

Clive

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I found putting front wheels on ramps get it to a less backbreaking height and lets you get underneath when required. Inlet manifold & carbs off then support sump on a block of wood on a trolley jack and remove engine mounting and you can move engine to offside to make getting exhaust manifold off a bit easier - that's the worst bit of the job, apart from getting it back on!

On my Eclat Riviera it was easier to remove 2.2 engine and Getrag gearbox together as some bell housing bolts seemed inaccessible -  but I was working on my back underneath, up on a hoist may be different..

 

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I tried k seal and it helped a bit but still considerable water loss. I then took the car out and temp soared and steam from rad overflow so I think the leak controlled by k seal had broken leading to disaster.

I was quite near home so made it back and let things cool then started up again and engine was quiet so I as there was no mayonnaise is the oil I was pretty sure the bottom end was worth leaving alone.

i spoke to Lotusbits who said strip the engine completely and then inspect and rebuild as needed. Paul Matty said to do the head in the car, the problem is slipping liners, but I think it is worth the risk by using retaining straps, I will report back when I have had a look inside.

Peter

 

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I am getting organised to do the gasket change, looking at the workshop manual I see the they recommend using magnets to hold the cam followers and shims in position, have you tried this and with modern rare earth magnets does it work, if so what size did you use,

thanks

peter

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I have used them (rare earth magnets) but magnets of any sort are not essential. I used smallish barrel ones, c10mm long, c6mm diameter. 

When you remove the cam towers, the shims will generally stick to the inside of the followers due to the oil and and absence of air between the two surfaces. When reassembling you just place the shims on the valve stems anyway. Don't push your luck with adhesion of shims, so rotate the cam tower as soon as you remove it, so that the shims are then held by gravity.

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I've never bothered with magnets - just when you lift the cam off the head look to see if the shim is still on the valve, if it's not it will be clinging to the underside of the follower by surface tension of oil, as Andy said, so may drop off - so as soon as the cam housing is clear of the studs flip it over so you don't lose any, or where they came from. You also need a system to note what shim came from which valve to avoid a headache in trying to get valve clearances correct on reassembly.

I keep an Excel Spreadsheet (should be Eclat really...  ha ha ) with a record of shims fitted to each valve.  Each shim is engraved with it's thickness in 'thou' and optimum cold clearance is 6 thou inlet, 11 thou exhaust. My spreadsheet allows me to enter the gap I measure and it tells me what the ideal shim is based on what is already there... then I have to look at spare shims I've got, about 80, and what's fitted to see what the best changes to make are... handy when doing a service too.

If clearance has got a bit big the valve stem may have 'hammered' a depression in the shim so it's true thickness won't be as the engraving unless you flip it over and put that side against the follower. A micrometer is essential for measuring actual thickness.

Some people,me included, flatten them on an oilstone but I bought a secondhand full head with cams & covers and somebody had obviously been grinding the shims on a wheel, I presume to remove the depression, but the faces were far from parallel so I keep those separate from the 'good un's' and will only use them if I need one of a particular size and can make it by 'truing up'  one of those ..

If you only need a light grind in of the valves it's unlikely clearance will change much but if the valves seats are pitted the clearances will reduce as the valve sits further into the head. You can save yourself a lot of bother by putting the ends of the head on blocks of wood so the valves can open on the bench, and torque up one cam housing 'dry' and do the measuring and any shim swapping at a comfortable height. Then remove the cam housing and do the other one.  I've always measured again when the engine is back together with Loctite 504 sealing under the cam housings but never found any change. Don't know why I still check it but it helps me sleep at night... - on the bench the cams are only pushed up by the springs of the open valves but on the engine the cambelt is pulling down on the front of the cam so worn cam bearing might make more difference than anything else...

can't think of anything else at the moment ...  other than fit a new cambelt and tension it properly with a Burroughs Gauge ...   

 

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I have got the head off with the engine in the car, I bought some small rare earth magnets to hold the shims into the cam buckets which seemed to work ok.

with the head off I could not find any evidence of gasket failure in my view so I took it and the gasket to two experienced guys and one said gasket failure and the other could find no fault with it or the head. 

There were oily deposits on no3 pot and that plug was black when I took it out.

i have checked the height of the liners against the block and theybseem to be about .05mm but will do a better measurement later, the bores look good with no signs of a crack, I will check dimensions.

so where is the leak allowing the gasses  to get into the waterways? Perhaps there is a crack in the head, I have booked to go to see Mike Taylor at Lotusbits who wants to sell me a full rebuild, but the bottom end is good with plenty of oil pressure and no nasty noises, If I get no further with him, I can get the head pressure tested which might find something.

Any thoughts please.

peter 

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A pressure test now would be very sensible and doesn't have to be done by lotus bits

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On 7/1/2017 at 00:41, Drawfiler said:

I have got the head off with the engine in the car, I bought some small rare earth magnets to hold the shims into the cam buckets which seemed to work ok.

with the head off I could not find any evidence of gasket failure in my view so I took it and the gasket to two experienced guys and one said gasket failure and the other could find no fault with it or the head. 

There were oily deposits on no3 pot and that plug was black when I took it out.

i have checked the height of the liners against the block and theybseem to be about .05mm but will do a better measurement later, the bores look good with no signs of a crack, I will check dimensions.

so where is the leak allowing the gasses  to get into the waterways? Perhaps there is a crack in the head, I have booked to go to see Mike Taylor at Lotusbits who wants to sell me a full rebuild, but the bottom end is good with plenty of oil pressure and no nasty noises, If I get no further with him, I can get the head pressure tested which might find something.

Any thoughts please.

peter 

In your opening post you wrote " there is steam coming from somewhere below the lower rocker box. I have to conclude that I have a gasket problem. .., the oil is clear so no leaks into the sump."

That sounded to me like a gasket failure to the outside in the area of the exhaust manifold. Why are you now talking about 'allowing the gasses to get into the waterways', checking liners and cracked heads ? 

The water system is pressured by the rad cap to elevate the boiling point of coolant so the system is under pressure when hot and can leak externally while the seal to the cylinders and everything else is perfect.

Did you do a compression test before you began?  Oily deposits in No 3 is much more likely to be valve guides or piston rings letting oil in...  and a crack in the head will over-pressurize the coolant and blow water everywhere so very unlikely.

What you should be looking for is a sign of coolant getting from a waterway to the outside edge of the gasket. If you can't find it I suggest you go back to the guy who identified gasket failure and ask him to show you where ...  or post some photos.

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Phil

Firstly, thanks to you and all others who have given advice

I agree that I am looking for a gasket, liner or possibly head fault. When I took the gasket out I could see no point where the ring from the liner or the head was not continuous or any sign of the original leak in the waterway to air on the exhaust side around 3 to 4 cylinders.

As I said, I will let Mike Taylor have a look at the the gasket and head along with photos of the bores, I wonder if any one has had the seal at the bottom of the cylinder liners fail, while I don't think that is the problem I am interested in all troubles.

When I took things apart I put the car up on axle stands at the jacking points, took the wheels off and attacked the exhaust  manifold nuts through the space on the inner face of the near side wing, I got the sump on a trolley jack took off both engine brackets and pulled the engine over to get at the last nuts on the manifold.

Peter

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Peter, sorry - this may be either a dumb question or annoying in the extreme if the answer is 'no' but did you start with a compression test before you ventured into further work?

That would have probably been my first port of call but the wording of your original post seemed to suggest that you were beyond that stage....

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Yes I did a comp test results were without oil and with oil

 No 1, 11.1 & 11.1, No 2 10.0 & 10.9, No 3 11.2 & 11.9, No 4, 10.5 & 11.0 all in bar, these seem to be within tolerance,

I have had a feel inside the bores using a telescopic gauge and can't find any difference top to bottom of the bores or to left and right, they also look good with no scores or ridge at the top. 

Do you have any other comments, please keep the help coming.

Thanks

Peter

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Possibly piston rings then on the suspect bore? Bores wouldn't necessarily show any failure if the issue is not long standing....

If MT has the head then he hopefully will be able to determine if the valve guides are failing..

Not sure if I dreamt it but I'm sure I've read somewhere about cylinders going oval - but your post seems to discount that Good luck

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I took the head and gasket to Lotusbits this afternoon and Mike was able to diagnose the problem as a faulty head gasket combined with slightly low liners which allowed a tiny leak to develop into a torrent.

The valve  guides are worn so I am in for those as well

He spent some time going through all the options and I am carefully weighing up the alternatives, meanwhile I will get the engine out and have a look at the bearings before making any decision.

Thanks again for the advice from you all, I will keep posting as things develop.

Peter

 

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Peter,

You've got me confused ...  where was that 'torrent' going ?  You said "the oil is clear so no leaks into the sump."    If it was leaking into the bores in a torrent it would have emulsified the oil and you'd have had steam out of the exhaust, surely ??????

Valve Guides:

Problem I had was burnt out exhaust valve on the return from the south of France in '87 when I filled the tank with 'duff' petrol so wasn't related to head gasket failure. Engine started 'pinking' and temp gauge went up a notch as soon we got going but before I'd used enough to add some good stuff it was 'running on three'. I lifted the head when we got home and found a mix of 2.2 & 2.0 valves (Original owner had it 'maintained' by a 'cowboy' F4 racer- most problems I had related to that idiot!). There was a chunk burnt out of a 2.2 exhaust valve and another was burnt so I decided on complete refurb' with 16 new 2.2 valves and guides -  engine was around 70k miles and exhaust puffed oil smoke on overrun so oil consumption was high. The engine is unusual in that there are no valve stem oil seals to control oil going down the guides. Reduces guide wear but increases oil consumption.

Dismantled head and cleaned it up to inspect it but couldn't resist doing a bit of work on the ports to improve things round the bends and get a better match to the manifolds. Could see a problem that head needs heating to 100-150°C (212-300°F) to get old guides out and new in and then reaming but our new fan oven only went to 190°F !   Then the "Great Storm of 1987" struck East England and as an Electrical Power Engineer with Eastern Electricity I worked every hour available for several weeks to restore supplies and rebuild the network so no spare time whatsoever but 'big money' coming so was able to consider contracting it out.

Wrote a "Job Spec' " and copied appropriate pages from Lotus Manual. (Tech Data Page 8, Engine Page 29) so I could look for somebody to do the job. Still got my 'Job Spec' in a file with receipts....

Job Spec':

  • All parts will be supplied by me.
  • Heat head to remove 'standard' valve guides as per Lotus Manual. (If any appear a slack fit please phone and I will obtain .001" oversize, or more, as required.)
  • Fit new circlips to new guides and install with Loctite.
  • Ream the guides after fitting.
  • Recut valve seats to minimum depth required.
  • Lap in 16 new valves
  • Clean head and Valves.
  • Return head with valves in individual locations and ready for assembly.

 

16 Valves (@ £7.83 +VAT), guides & circlips cost just under £200 through a Lotus dealer (Pat Thomas @ Kelvedon Motors gave me the best price) but still quite a lot then, but I was prepared to pay a bit to have it done properly.

First people I tried was Holbay Engineering, builders  of the "Holbay Screamer" F3 engine, who were local. They put £3.75 per valve into a calculator and quoted £60 + £9 Vat (15% then) - so I didn't look any further, they got the job!

Engine out:

My refurbished head was great and car seemed a bit quicker till it got to about 100k miles and the clutch started to slip. Speedo drive gear in gearbox was also playing up - I was using rev-counter and gear to work out speed, and it appeared easier to remove both together and then split them when out of the car.  Getrag gearbox went to MJ Transmissions in Ipswich while I stripped and rebuilt the engine, but at least I didn't have anything to do on the head.  

I replaced rings, main & big end shells, oil pump, cambelt, clutch & pressure plate and oil pressure was great and consumption much better ...  then the clutch cable broke ... again !!! 

None of the Lotus bits are ever cheap... but the value of the car was much more than today's values so it seemed worthwhile.

At today's values cost of new parts is proportionately more so makes some decisions a bit more difficult and working used parts can look more attractive... hope that info' is of some use when 'weighing up alternatives"..  Good Luck.

 

 

 

Edited by phil flash

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Phil,

My fault, you are right, the water was mostly from the header tank as steam and some from the exhaust as steam and water, sorry to confuse you.

I hope to get the engine out this week and have a look at the bottom end, I will have to make my mind up what to do. II will certainly need new liners and rings, if I find that the crank is scored, I am wondering about going for an uplift in capacity, as this is a two litre engine.

Peter

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Ah, ...  steam from exhaust - that is a head gasket failure and water in the oil just a matter of time....

'uplift in capacity' : - Is yours auto or manual? - and what's an "Eclat Series 1/2" ???     The  2.2 is a better engine but a manual gearbox from a 2.0 might not last long with it. I seem to think there are different distributors and carb' jets for each too...

The 2.0 manual has the Lotus produced gearbox with Austin Maxi 5 speed gears. Oliver Winterbottom, the designer of the Elite & Eclat says in his book that Tony Rudd came up with the idea to use Maxi gears and "it first saw the light of day in the Elan +2 but despite vigorous testing, was subject to criticism in the M50. The problem appeared to be the consistency of the Austin components - which weren't. "  They already had a bad reputation in '87 when I was looking so I only considered 2.2. models.

The 2.2  engine still has 160 bhp, same as the 2.0, but the power band is much wider and it had a lot more torque ...  everywhere. Max torque is 160 lb ft @ 6000 rpm compared to 140 lb ft for the 2.0 but the 2.2 develops 140 lb ft @ 2,400 rpm so Lotus gave up on the 'Maxi gears' box and fitted a Getrag 5 speed manual - which I was told is very under-stressed. Asked MJ Transmission to sort the speedo drive, strip it and replace anything needed and they reported no wear, nothing needs changing, just time & gaskets to be paid for. When I said it had done 100,000 miles in a 2.2 litre Lotus the MJ guy told me the same gearbox is used in 3.5 BMW and 5.0 Mercedes models which are more powerful and much heavier so he wasn't surprised there was so little wear.

Think that gearbox might have been expensive as Lotus quickly got things sorted with Toyota to use their suspension, gearbox etc on the 'Eclat Excel' ...

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Phil, the car was retained unregistered by Lotus for some reason and then allocated to an employee for a year. It was then sold to a Lotus engineer who kept it until I bought it from him.

The developments that Lotus made to the Eclat were incorporated into my car so it has a Riviera roof, Mk 2 seats etc, included in all this was a ZF manual gearbox. I asked about the box and the previous owner told me that he swapped it because he was fed up with the Maxi one breaking down.

The 1/2 description is his not mine but I assume that the upgrades made him feel it was almost a Mk 2, I just don't know.

Peter

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ZF is an unusual gearbox, reckon you're probably the only one.  That explains the 1/2...

No concerns on gearbox then so you'll love the difference the 2.2 makes.Excel SE version is best if you can get hold of one... either way I go for the later camwheels that uses round teeth on the belt, square teeth can crack at the root and come off !

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So I have saved up and bitten the bullet, I have bought a 2.2'lit engine from LB and stripped it so I can get a set of cams, valve springs, crank, pistons large sump etc. The  rest of the 2 lit bits will be swapped over along with new exhaust valves, liners, reground crank, new shells belt tensioner, later cam belt and new pulleys etc.

I must say that the advice I got from LB and Mike in particular is a great help, they are prepared to spend time going over the alternatives so you get the engine you want at a price you can (just) afford.

So I now gave to set to and make one engine out of two before the winter comes ( if it ever went away)

Peter

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A bit of an update, I have stripped both my engine and the used 2.2 from Lotusbits, had the 2l head skimmed, fitted new exhaust valves, exchanged the cams and valve springs, had 2.2 crank ground, fitted new rings to 2.2 pistons and started to get it all together.

For those about to do this, there is a lot of help available from Lotusbits and this forum, I have a couple of additional tips that may be of help.

I was. 'starting again' with valve shimming, and with two heads worth of shims, I got some egg boxes, numbered all the depressions in them and carefully measured my shims with a micrometer, I put them in order of increasing size and made a list of their thicknesses.

i set up one cam with the thinnest shims working from one end and measured the gaps. I was then able to pick the best fit from my collection of shims to get the gaps right reasonably easily. I ended up with some gaps that I couldn't get to with my shims and bought some too thick ones and ground one side to fit on a surface grinder.

i appreciate that you may not have access to a grinder but should be able to find someone with one, it speeded things up and saved me buying lots of extra shims.

i bought one of those little magnets on a stick to pick off the washers and nuts each time I took the carrier off, they also went into an egg box so I was certain that I hadn't left any behind!

imwould also advise that you stick the studs into the head with some adhesive as they can work their way out with repeated dismantling.

i found one valve that wouldn't come right and discovered that the depression in the top of the spring retainer was deeper than the shim was thick. Rather than take the head off to replace the retainer, I put some grease round it and gently filed it down in situ, wiped the grease off and so collected the filings.

i found that the oil pump on my 2.2 engine was slightly different from the 2 one and I had to swap them over to be able to fit the alternator as the pulley was out of line.

The power steering brackets are different on the two engines and I am off to Lotusbits to find one that fits properly as the 2.2 one is only attached by a single bolt!

so I am getting things done at long last and will list progress if there is any!

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I have finally got the engine back in the car and getting ready to get it started, I have got a spark and the starter motor turns things over ok.

I am a bit twitched about oil pressure as it was ok before I put the engine in when I ran the pump with an electric drill, it was pumping oil from the pressure gauge outlet but having left it for a week or so there is no oil flow at the outlet. I have to sort out the electrical problems and then have another go.

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I got it all together but it would not fire up, I tried everything and finally a compression test showed no compression on two cylinders. I took the cam covers off and checked the clearances and found that  despite taking great care on assembly, the gaps on three valves had vanished! I plan to take both cams off and do another comp test to be sure that there is nothing nasty going on and go through the shimming all over again!

it is interesting that the gaps on other valves are as I set them, I assume that I must have had a bit of dirt under the head on these three valves. Having turned the engine over lots while tryin to get it running, I must have dislodged whatever it was

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