free hit
counters
This Cannot be Happening! Opinions, please! - Engine/Ancilliaries - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
Robert Weber

This Cannot be Happening! Opinions, please!

Recommended Posts

I have just finished an extensive major service on my '94 S4. Engine/tranaxle was pulled, and I attended to virtually every issue that might arise with a 25,000 mile car (timing belt, water pump, tensioner bearing, front and rear main seals, chargecooler pump rebuild, valve lash check, cam cover reseal, oil sump reseal, engine mounts replacement, silicone coolant hoses, fuel filter, etc).  

Just fired the engine and aside from a fuel dribble at the pressure regulator (now addressed) and a drip from the turbo coolant return fitting, all was well.....until I climbed under the car to pinpoint the coolant drip. 

I found a tooth jettisoned from the crankshaft timing belt drive pulley!  It fractured at the bolt hole for the puller. I did remove the pulley when addressing the front main seal, cleaning and examining the piece, and then replaced it. I'm devastated to have found this on my shop floor as I've spent dozens of hours on the refresh project.

Observations:

1) The answer is to replace the pulley, but from the limited space available with the engine in-situ, there's no room to use a puller (and with the fractured bolt hole, it would not work no matter...). So, pulling the engine again (oh, no!) is my only option for pulley replacement as I can see it. Thoughts??

2) The integrity of the pulley seemingly is intact aside from the tooth fracturing-off the periphery.  Would I be wrong to just leave it alone as the number of engaging teeth on the belt seems sufficient to provide the necessary purchase to drive the belt. My absolute fear is that with the missing tooth, are the adjacent teeth next to fracture-off? 

I'm devastated....

Bob

DSCN0798.jpg

DSCN0799.jpg

DSCN0800.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.

you should be able to remove the crank pulley with engine in place, especially now that you don't need to worry about damaging it.

Use some penetrating oil like PB Blaster and tap it with a rocking motion to get it loose.

The actual puller tool is small and doesn't take up much room.  Here's the one I made.

4N_GFzRy5RRf0WLBmeDZQMBGkgZi5ggDZ58s5G3q

This has happened a few times, some were recently posted on facebook, it looks like the design/machining left very little material near that hole, and then some corrosion got in and expanded the metal, cracking it.

You might be able to break the pulley off, clean up the corrosion, and install the new pulley without removing the motor.


Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

My Lotus Photo and Projects Album

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Travis.  It's just so disheartening after all this work.... Wish I had seen the FB postings as I would have replaced the pulley without question. 

I pulled the engine in the first place because doing a timing belt, water pump tensioner bearing (and then properly tensioning the belt) service seemed daunting in such tight quarters... ugh.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the timing belts is not bad with engine in place. In your case, carefully turn the engine to TDC and then zip-tie the belt to the cam sprockets before removing it from the crank pulley, I like to mark the belt the crank pulley and the engine in a line with water based acrylic paint so I can get the belt back on the same tooth quickly.

l3xKtJxiKTjCTMaZ9QNuz5P5Pg1yvgFNX62y81lO

Phfa9jEmHRyITCKkKjoYt4Wj08nVwT8WfWiyc76c

  • Like 1

Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

My Lotus Photo and Projects Album

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Bob, looking at your close up of the pulley it just looks like the flange washer is a bit out of shape. I'm just wondering as I recently worked on an engine (though earlier trapezoid type) where the crank pulley hadn't centered on the washer properly when being assembled. It had been torqued up tight but it wasn't properly seated - the washer ending up a bit skewed. Maybe this sort of scenario may load the toothed pulley unevenly and lead to failure. Just an idea. Thank heavens you saw this before further catastrophe!

- Jeremy 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You'd probable get away with running the engine with the missing tooth, but I'd worry about wear on the (new) timing belt because of possible rough edges where it broke. Doing the timing belt with the engine in the car isn't too hard. And because you just had the pulley off, it shouldn't require much force to come off again.

Best of luck!

Filip


I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don’t start that engine with that damaged - just don’t - it’s simply not worth the risk


Only here once

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its a few hours work and then piece of mind. Barry is right once that belt has been run on that sprocket its scrap as its integrity cant be trusted... Like the board says you have recently removed all the hardware so should come away without issue. Good luck.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, JerryS said:

Hi Bob, looking at your close up of the pulley it just looks like the flange washer is a bit out of shape. I'm just wondering as I recently worked on an engine (though earlier trapezoid type) where the crank pulley hadn't centered on the washer properly when being assembled. It had been torqued up tight but it wasn't properly seated - the washer ending up a bit skewed. Maybe this sort of scenario may load the toothed pulley unevenly and lead to failure. Just an idea. Thank heavens you saw this before further catastrophe!

- Jeremy 

Thanks, Jeremy.  The flat washer has some ripples in it from pulling on it to remove the puller when I did the front main seal.  The puller got the pulley out just enough to get a gear puller's fingers behind the washer where I could exert some force and remove the pulley. That pulley had no intention of being removed without some owner stress.  However, I believe that the flat washer is simply a guide to ensure that the belt does not walk back towards the engine.  

I am hearing that cracked crankshaft pulleys are beginning to surface on S4 cars in the States, and I would suggest that anyone doing a timing belt replacement might consider the pulley replacement as a matter of course. I flat-out got lucky as it could have come to tears with a torn Gates blue belt or (worse yet) valves clashing with pistons. 

I am NOT relishing trying to work in the confined space between the bulkhead and engine, but Travis assures me that it looks and sounds worse than it is.  I pulled the engine in the first place because I did not think that I could effect the full major service in that confined space. 

 

Here's a photo of the engine in place after the service and one of the PNM dual outlet exhaust that I installed during the process.

 

finished side view.jpg

DSCN0779.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And the exhaust manifold...... go for broke next time and have an alunox 


Only here once

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I debated doing that, Barry, but I'd read enough on this forum about fitment issues that I wasn't willing to take the risk.  Besides, I already was going for broke, as pointed-out by the wife!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They fit super simple. Done two now - don’t believe half of the stuff on here - just slip them apart and build them up on the engine


Only here once

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I thought that too, but mine were really bad made. I have Photos of that. It wouldn't fit at all. Tubes had to be bent to fit.

Once finally fitted, I can testify that it Works super well with regards to more power and lesser lag. The power rise mostly  comes into play once you do other Things to the engine. I have dyno runs to proof that. The dyno I use is the same every time and he's a reliable trustworthy guy that does not have an interest in putting his 25 years experience on the line.

I tried to get help from Alunox, having also bought other of their Lotus Esprit products, but to no avail. Before I contacted them with questions regarding fitment quality and workmanship, I had 3 independent professionals to look at the products and hear their opinion.

Despite the extra Work I had to do to make it fit propperly, I'd still say it's the best on the market.

Another problem I have is the uprated support bracket that does not fit.

A third problem is that the slip joint and springs to be installed does not fit on mine. Still left without both on the car. Again no support from alunox despite me asking them.

When I bought their complete cooling package - coolant radiator, 2 oil coolers, charge cooler rad and air con rad, it was different made than the pics advertised on here, and quality was horrible to say the least. Alunox themselves deemed them unrepairable, took it all back, fully refunded me and repaired them and sold them on.

I know of a few others with reagards to exhaust manifold that had to be forced into place. Not to mention the cooling set. At that Price it cost, I would expect better fitment and better quality. The Price from Alunox for their products are not cheap and all the fuss about them restoring racing cars etc. should be a fine example of their quality. Unfortunately in my case, as well as in some of the other buyers cases, it wasn't so. But I should also mention, that this varies greatly in how big the problems were. Some could force Things a bit, I couldn't as it was wrong on other levels/planes.

I have plenty of Photo documentation to proof. An untrue story it's certainly not. I stand behind my Words, as they are true and not at all exaggerated. Normally, I would not have written this, would it not be for the remark of not believing half of what's been said. Well, I don't know all that's been said, but I can tell about my own experiences and I therefore wrote a review of the Alunox manifold posted on this site, which I think is fair.

I am well aware that one should be carefull about dishing a product or a supplier on the web, because of the Words being left there for a long time. It would only be fair to mention, that I've heard that the quality is improved now adays.

I never haggeled about the Price. I paid what Alunox wanted and the Price level they Work with would suggest better fitment and better support around their products. I think my Money is worth as much as anyone elses to be honest.

I am not trying to put Aunox down. I will let their work speak for itself. Anyone can make of that what they want, but at least one should be able to make an informed descision. That is fair I think. Again I will stress that I still think they have the best tubular exhaust manifold currently on market as of July 2018.

Regarding beltchange with engine in situ, it's certainly doable. Chris and Gary for example, changed several with engines in situ at the Copenhagen Belt Fest a couple of years ago. Wish I had listened better of how to ;)

Kind regards,

Jacques

  • Like 1

Nobody does it better - than Lotus ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Robert Weber said:

Thanks, Jeremy. The flat washer has some ripples in it from pulling on it to remove the puller when I did the front main seal. The puller got the pulley out just enough to get a gear puller's fingers behind the washer where I could exert some force and remove the pulley. That pulley had no intention of being removed without some owner stress.  However, I believe that the flat washer is simply a guide to ensure that the belt does not walk back towards the engine.

Ah I see, on the earlier trapezoidal type the washer sits snugly on a lip on the pulley. It had kind of got jammed half on, must be simpler on the later ones. Beautiful car by the way!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, JerryS said:

Ah I see, on the earlier trapezoidal type the washer sits snugly on a lip on the pulley. It had kind of got jammed half on, must be simpler on the later ones. Beautiful car by the way!

Thank you, Jeremy!  A few more shots....

almost.jpg

DSCN0257.jpg

1 hour ago, Jacques said:

Well, I thought that too, but mine were really bad made. I have Photos of that. It wouldn't fit at all. Tubes had to be bent to fit.

Once finally fitted, I can testify that it Works super well with regards to more power and lesser lag. The power rise mostly  comes into play once you do other Things to the engine. I have dyno runs to proof that. The dyno I use is the same every time and he's a reliable trustworthy guy that does not have an interest in putting his 25 years experience on the line.

I tried to get help from Alunox, having also bought other of their Lotus Esprit products, but to no avail. Before I contacted them with questions regarding fitment quality and workmanship, I had 3 independent professionals to look at the products and hear their opinion.

Despite the extra Work I had to do to make it fit propperly, I'd still say it's the best on the market.

Another problem I have is the uprated support bracket that does not fit.

A third problem is that the slip joint and springs to be installed does not fit on mine. Still left without both on the car. Again no support from alunox despite me asking them.

When I bought their complete cooling package - coolant radiator, 2 oil coolers, charge cooler rad and air con rad, it was different made than the pics advertised on here, and quality was horrible to say the least. Alunox themselves deemed them unrepairable, took it all back, fully refunded me and repaired them and sold them on.

I know of a few others with reagards to exhaust manifold that had to be forced into place. Not to mention the cooling set. At that Price it cost, I would expect better fitment and better quality. The Price from Alunox for their products are not cheap and all the fuss about them restoring racing cars etc. should be a fine example of their quality. Unfortunately in my case, as well as in some of the other buyers cases, it wasn't so. But I should also mention, that this varies greatly in how big the problems were. Some could force Things a bit, I couldn't as it was wrong on other levels/planes.

I have plenty of Photo documentation to proof. An untrue story it's certainly not. I stand behind my Words, as they are true and not at all exaggerated. Normally, I would not have written this, would it not be for the remark of not believing half of what's been said. Well, I don't know all that's been said, but I can tell about my own experiences and I therefore wrote a review of the Alunox manifold posted on this site, which I think is fair.

I am well aware that one should be carefull about dishing a product or a supplier on the web, because of the Words being left there for a long time. It would only be fair to mention, that I've heard that the quality is improved now adays.

I never haggeled about the Price. I paid what Alunox wanted and the Price level they Work with would suggest better fitment and better support around their products. I think my Money is worth as much as anyone elses to be honest.

I am not trying to put Aunox down. I will let their work speak for itself. Anyone can make of that what they want, but at least one should be able to make an informed descision. That is fair I think. Again I will stress that I still think they have the best tubular exhaust manifold currently on market as of July 2018.

Regarding beltchange with engine in situ, it's certainly doable. Chris and Gary for example, changed several with engines in situ at the Copenhagen Belt Fest a couple of years ago. Wish I had listened better of how to ;)

Kind regards,

Jacques

19

All of which is why I hesitated when it came to the Alunox....

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While referencing PNM, I also upgraded my braking system with their 4-pot caliper and slotted rotor kit.  Spax shocks were installed at the same time.

IMG_0041.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Jacques some of that I’ve maybe been very lucky with. However I was filled with stories of needing to fit it in one piece, and the risk of cold welding together! I’ve never found any knives or folks stuck together in my cutlery drawer. I am acutely aware of manifolds returned from the USA as the recipient couldn’t fit them....... I’d question the mechanical ability of the guy

And don’t get me started on the bracket which is still sat on the side in the shed - something which online keyboard engineers deemed essential. I shall continue to check the garage floor for it falling off 🤪

I Dis-assembled the four pipes slipped on the studs easy - the collector slid on those with some gentle rubber mallet application. The slip joints retainers took some effort to fit.

i know where I’d rather spend the dosh - and it’s on something that will outlast many cast manifolds and provide an improvement in driver experience. Sadly there can be some serious criticism of minor issues which can really discourage any parts development of alternatives for these vehicles. Don’t even mention delco braking......

anyway - sorry for the thread hijack @Robert Weber - but thought I needed to contextualise my short comment above.

 


Only here once

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mine fouled the bellhousing (fixed with a grinder)  The wastegate fouled the bracket the holds the collector to the manifold (fixed with a grinder)   And the support bracket supplied was incompatible with the location of the support boss, so I fabricated my own (as no solution forthcoming from supplier).   There was no way to get the silencer level with the amount of adjustment (not) provided so I have introduced another telescopic SS flex joint in place of a fixed section.   On the plus side it is now possible to remove & refit the manifold in situ (I've done this).   On the downside there is an increase in NVH, but I've largely fixed this with design mods...   There were also issues with the location of the wastegate pressure pipe, which would required a silicone tube to run MMs away from the manifold.   Its all fine now I've addressed most of these issues, but my experience was a long way from fit and forget.  

In summary. the quality of the materials and welds are good, but it was let down by alignment issues. The supplier was also good talking about issues on the phone, less good at following up.... 

Also apologies for thread hijack, but that was my experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good to hear a detailed explanation from both of you. Hence my Little more elaborated description too.

Honestly, I am not an mechanic or an engineer. So, working on something like an Esprit is fun and relaxing for me. It's a hobby which is not related to my job. But that doesn't mean that my arms are reversed. I've been doing my own cars and motorcycles since 18 y.o. And then some. Never had a failure. I did not have to bent a tube to fit it, I wrote that wrongly, but that was somehow what came out of it. I had the wrong angled flange corrected. I wil not present myself as  super engineer or developer not as a professional formula one mechanic. And I don't think that it is needed to be so, to work on the Esprit. I do expect to have to work around a few things to make it happen. Fine by me.

For the price Alunox wants, I expect educated people making competent solutions and precision fabrication within their working field. I would not say that their products are back street made, but in my case of the rad set, I had to spend time and money on having 3 independent people working within the field to evaluate if it was possible to obtain a propper fit and function within a resonable amount of man hours. Hours that I had to be taking free from my job to drive around and try to get solutions. For example a flange that certainly does not fit the cylinderhead, no matter the way of instalation, because it's welded on at the wrong angle. I just think that the large order they received at the time, all because of this great site and the common interest from Esprit owners to get a propper exhaust manifold which does not crack, made them haste it a bit through and not jig up ecerything propperly in every case. I think that is a realistic take on what heppened. In the case of the radiator set, I don't want to install inferrior products or something that looks like a person with no knowledge on these matters made them blindfolded, on a fine car like the Esprit. There were crushed cooling fins that were certainly done so at the fabrication as it was very well packed and no harm what so ever in transition. There were frames that could not fit, there were studs that did not fit. There were weldings that did not hold tight in a rad. And more. Nor do I want to cut here and there on the Esprit, to fit someone elses product that is supposed to fit. It was never a case of cheap made far East crap products remade to fit loosely. It was stated a fine products made in the UK with knowledge, experience and pride. I would not think, based on my own experiences with that company, any warranty issues would be met with acceptance. So I don't need it. I needed their products to fit for purpose.

I am all for good initiatives making good aftermarket solutions for parts and nla parts for the Esprit. And I happily support that. I just paid a few thousand pounds for a carbon tailgate for the Esprit. Why? because I cannot make it myself. I don't think every Esprit owner around the globe are mechanical Experts or precision engineers or such. That tailgate also had to go to a specialist, well in fact right now he should be working on it, to make it work and fit propperly. Around a full weeks work - 37 hours, to make it fit and function propperly. All of which I have to pay. So I think it shows that I am not intollerant, or a cheapskate, but looking for solutions. So my point is, I clearly wrote that Alunox does make some good stuff, just not allways, and their support is somewhat lacking to say it mildly. I was just naive enough to think that educated people with experience, would do it better than was in my case. Or do a better backup or aftersales or whatever you call it. That is also being professional.

Luckily, I could modify the tubular exhaust manifold to fit propperly, apart from the slip joint springs and the support brackets. It Works well without them. Some on here have expressed ideas about not being needed for the full function of the manifold. I don't want to have an exhaust manifold that risk pulling on some of the cylinderhead studs. I want it to fit. On and off the car without being a struggle. So does the Lotus cast iron one, and so does my own original Lotus brand new one. and so does my Alunox. Now.  ;) I can take it off in around one hour. And reinstall it in around an hour. No huss and fuss.

I also specifically stated in, I think a very clear manner, that I think that Alunox's tubular exhaust manifold is the best product for performance and longevity because of how it's done and materials chosen. Mine Works very well. I could see a clear rise in power and torque. It's super light and haven't cracked so far. I am not against Alunox. I just think they should be a Little more inviting to service and make sure their products are precision made every time. Which I think they are by now. Noone is too big to listen and learn. I think they did too. So I still recommend them.

In summarization of all this, I just say to others: make up your own mind based on real life experiences and take an informed descision. I am certainly not a keyboard engineer and I don't pretend to be one.

But what I DID get, is great help and support from you good people on this great site. It makes it all the more joyfull to have an Esprit! ;)

Nuff' said. I am not going into a debate other than that. I keep it strictly at what it was. My comment based on my own experiences with that specific Company and their specific products. As I clearly stated, things were presented a bit differently from the start, and was not what I received. I will still recommend Alunox's tubular exhaust manifold for the Stevens Esprit, as it's the best out there still. Just my two pence on the matter.

Kind regards,

Jacques

 

 


Nobody does it better - than Lotus ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Robert WeberHey man, don't feel too bad - no harm's been done and you can easily replace that thing with the engine in situ. Contrary to popular belief, compared to a modern car, the Esprit gives you loads of room to work with when it comes to the timing belts and crank pulley. Just put it on axle stands at a comfortable height, and take it at a slow pace from underneath the car, hopping into the trunk when need be to loosen things up there! I think you got off lucky!

Stunning car and engine bay by the way! 

  • Like 2

Vanya Stanisavljevic '91 Esprit SE | '91 Elan SE | '97 XK8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow. That crack is worrying.

Glad I read this thread. 

Are new crank pulleys still available? I may get one for next time I replace my belt in case of future supply issues. 

Share this post


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.


×
×
  • Create New...