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post #61 of 132 (permalink) Old 01-22-2014, 07:54 PM
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Just pull the engine and remove the tanks.

While the engine is out there are many things that can easily and correctly be done which are difficult (or very difficult) to do with the engine in place. I can get an engine out of an Esprit in 3 or 4 hours as I think anyone who has gone through it more than once can do... Do you think detaching and lifting the body away from the car is easier and quicker than that? Even going through an engine removal the first time - which will be slower of course - it is less than a days work. And if you have a helper to assist you with the disconnections and labeling of things it will go even quicker,

With the engine out many things can be easily removed, rebuilt, and re-installed (e.g. the water pump, the alternator, etc.). Try removing and re-installing a water pump with the engine in the car!

You can really clean up the engine when it is out, and parts are easy to clean and repaint or powder coat, Changing the timing belt and tensioner is simple and it's much easier to adjust the tension correctly. It's easier to work on the cam towers - when you do your shims you will be taking the cam towers off several times to get everything adjust correctly. That is much easier to do with the engine on a stand and the chances of striping out a cam tower bolt is much less likely. With the motor out you can really do a nice clean up of the engine bay.

A lot of this sounds like mission creep (and I guess it is in a way) but much of this does not add any expense to the repairs - it just requires more time and labor. And I think most Esprit guys are sweat equity types.

I am not advocating pulling the engine just for the hell of it - I agree that if you are only changing a timing belt that's not necessary. But if you have two or more things then you will be glad when all is said and done that you took the motor out.


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post #62 of 132 (permalink) Old 01-22-2014, 09:41 PM
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I am going to pull the tanks.

As for the guy that lifted the rear of the body I don't think undoing a few bolts and jacking up just the rear of body so just the tanks clear is that difficult or take a lot more time than engine removal. he didn't disconnect anything or lift the body away he just tilted up the back of the body with jacks so he could pull the tank. I don't think he wanted to remove a perfectly good running engine.

As for me I'm not doing a complete rebuild on a worn out or totaled engine. I'm just changing out cam followers and the valves the PO bent and then putting the head back on. The head is at the machine shop. The rest of the engine and other items are fine. For example the water pump has 5K on it. I'm not changing it out or anything else. I can adjust valves with the head on my bench with container of various shims the club shares. I can pull the engine when I'm ready to do the whole engine and tranny rebuild years down the road. When I'm ready to do the rebuild it will be a well planned and coordinated effort with minimal down time with adherence to a realistic schedule. There is a balance between doing the required repair and replacing partly worn items just because you happen to have access to the general area and that is always an individual owners choice. Even you have your limits. After all using that logic while you have the engine out why not disassemble the body and frame and give it a quality paint job and refresh all the interior bits. That is what a fanatical restorer would think. If you think the paint and interior are acceptable you won't do it. But that is an opinion. So my point is there are times to pull the engine and other times not too. You and I may not know all of the circumstances that drives a person to make the call contrary to what you or I think. I have a reason for what I do as do you.

Cal H

Last edited by maxvelocity; 01-22-2014 at 09:53 PM.
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post #63 of 132 (permalink) Old 01-22-2014, 10:27 PM
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[snip]Then he mentioned a fellow with not much Lotus experience thinking outside of the box who told him an usual way he removed his tanks. Apparently there are only 12 fasteners that hold the body on to the frame. He removed or loosened some or all of the fasteners. I am not sure how many but enough of them to lift the rear of the body up that he was able to pull tanks out. Has anyone heard of such a thing? [snip]
My mechanic did exactly that on an 89 Esprit (non-SE) - I may have pictures of it. At first, I didn't realize he was doing this, but stopped by with my 88 Esprit and noticed the 89 (BTW, it is identical color red/gray as my 88) interior was disassembled.

When I looked more closely, the body was several inches displaced.

So, yes, this procedure does work; didn't realize it was an 'outside the box' solution.

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post #64 of 132 (permalink) Old 01-22-2014, 11:24 PM
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So, yes, this procedure does work; didn't realize it was an 'outside the box' solution.
If you ask people how to remove tanks, most will respond with remove engine, or lower engine, or remove this or that make room to pull the tank. Anything else except lift the body up a little bit. There are people like Mieczkow that think it is so labor intensive but the way it was explained to me it was a pretty fast thing to do. That is why I asked if anyone heard of this and if it was possible. I really have not heard of anyone mention lifting the body before to create access.
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post #65 of 132 (permalink) Old 01-23-2014, 02:30 AM Thread Starter
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If you ask people how to remove tanks, most will respond with remove engine, or lower engine, or remove this or that make room to pull the tank. Anything else except lift the body up a little bit. There are people like Mieczkow that think it is so labor intensive but the way it was explained to me it was a pretty fast thing to do. That is why I asked if anyone heard of this and if it was possible. I really have not heard of anyone mention lifting the body before to create access.
Now we are getting lost in the forest!

If you have your head off anyway then there is no reason to jack the body or pull the motor as the tank will come out of the drivers side just fine. The passenger side has never been an issue withthemotor in.

I don't think it is mentioned in this thread, but the method of detaching some of the body fasteners and raising part of the body off the chassis has been mentioned by me and others in the past. If you only need to do tanks it may be a reasonable way to pull the tank, and not a crazy amount of work.

We are seeing that there are different approaches and different opinions on how to proceed. I would agree that project creep can be an issue.
If you truly need nothing but a tank, I would agree that pulling the motor for the average novice would be overkill.

However if you are pulling your head and doing valve work and need tanks, I KNOW you are not saving any TIME by leaving the motor in. However, I also understand that not everyone has a 4 poster lift, chain hoists, compressors, and engine stands in their shop like Tom and I do to make this all go smoother.

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post #66 of 132 (permalink) Old 01-23-2014, 09:27 AM
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Randy,
I don't need to raise the body as my the head and exhaust manifold is off.
I have been gone from the list since 08 when I sold my car. So maybe I missed you and others mentioning lifting the rear of the body to gain access. but you say maybe reasonable way to pull the tanks. Do you know for sure how long does it take and have you seen it done? Which or how many of the fastener are removed? That's the question. From the way Tom answered he seems to think it takes longer than the 3-4 hours it takes for him to pull an engine. Is that true? Reason I'm asking is if someone comes to me with an otherwise fine running car with a tank leak. I'm like let's get it done in timely manner and get the car back on the road ASAP. I'm not going to do it if its a waste of time. Hence my question.

As for access to a facility. In the past I have been granted access to use the Toybox. A building that one of the club members owns, he must have 20 or so cars in there. It is a fully stock facility with gantry cranes, multiple lifts, alignment rack, air tools and fully stocked. I would say it is better than many professional service facilities. Since the use of the facility is free to club members, we must use the shop time in a responsible fashion. The rules are simple, a project must not just sit and be completed as quickly as possible. Any supplies, spare parts, and materials consumed or used must be replaced of like exact material. Sure there are times of unexpected wait times for a part or two but it must be kept to a absolute minimum so the space is kept clear for the use of others with active projects. So my car sits in my garage with the head at the machine shop awaiting the new valves and the cam carrier repair that resulted from the follower that cracked and got stuck in #1 that led to the t belt shredding. The head is being worked on as a non priority item as I don't need it back right away as there other things I must check on before final assembly of the engine. The head was removed by the PO to inspect the damage before my purchase. He just had so many projects with boats and cars all over the place. So that is why my car sits with top of the engine off.

Last edited by maxvelocity; 01-23-2014 at 09:33 AM.
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post #67 of 132 (permalink) Old 01-23-2014, 10:46 AM
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Let me clarify:

I didn't realize you had the head etc. already removed. Getting the tanks out under those condition is straightforward and I didn't mean for you to take out what is left of the engine.

If an owner faces a situation were the only things they are addressing is a leaky tank or tanks, then I would not advocate pulling the engine. I agree with the philosophy of at least two major tasks would (most of the time) make pulling the engine a sensible approach. So, if you need to do the tanks, and the belt, and say maybe the water pump or cam tower seals, or rear main seal, etc. then I would recommend taking out the lump.

I have never tried lifting the body to get to the tanks, and I did not mean to sound against it but my general feeling is it is a bit of a chore to get to those fasteners, they may not come off so easy (given my general Lotus experiences) and stressing the body is not risk-free so I would be cautious.

While I don't think I am a "fanatic" restoration type, I will admit that I am quite prone to mission creeping.



I can't help it. It's just the way I am....



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post #68 of 132 (permalink) Old 01-23-2014, 11:30 AM
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Its all good. This thread has made me pull the trigger on the tank removal. I was sitting on the fence thinking do I pull or not pull the tank as I caught a faint wiff of gas on the drivers side when I 1st got the car and I did not smell it again. This thread was so compelling especially about the previously undetectable or difficult to detect leaks. Based upon credible information you provided I decided I owe it to the car to pull the tank to inspect it. If it is found that the tanks are not leaking I shall regard it as preventative work to stop a future occurrence.

Cal H
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post #69 of 132 (permalink) Old 02-05-2014, 07:50 AM
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I wish I had a picture to post.
My RH tank was leaking when I first got my car home. When I pulled off the plywood tank cover I found that a PO had stuffed an entire box of scented dryer sheets in the well around the tank.
Later I found more around the LH tank and under the seats.
Must have been the same guy that put the fake peel-n-stick intake grates on the rocker panels.
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post #70 of 132 (permalink) Old 02-05-2014, 08:13 AM
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The question is did the scented dryer sheets help contain the gas smell? LOL
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post #71 of 132 (permalink) Old 02-08-2014, 07:02 PM
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I looked into type 3 anodizing to protect from E15; a couple of places could do it but advised the coating on the inside would only be .0002" (the outside would be .001")
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post #72 of 132 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 03:28 AM Thread Starter
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Its all good. This thread has made me pull the trigger on the tank removal. I was sitting on the fence thinking do I pull or not pull the tank as I caught a faint wiff of gas on the drivers side when I 1st got the car and I did not smell it again. This thread was so compelling especially about the previously undetectable or difficult to detect leaks. Based upon credible information you provided I decided I owe it to the car to pull the tank to inspect it. If it is found that the tanks are not leaking I shall regard it as preventative work to stop a future occurrence.

Cal H
Cal, I went on vacation in the middle of this thread so never answered your question about raising the body.

We haven't done it, but a year or two ago another owner discussed it ( perhaps on the Yahoo Forum) and it worked for him. The manual shows the body attachment points. There actually are not that many, but access is tight on some. I believe he loosened the rear near the shock tower and at least the bulkhead attachment, not sure how many more were needed, perhaps the tunnel. He clearly flexed the body off the chassis, and that could be hazardous to the gelcoat at stress points if overdone. Others have also trimmed the fiberglass lips in the tank area to create clearance.

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post #73 of 132 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 07:09 AM
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And one of the gel coat stress points is near the fuel filler locations. I have noticed that cars that have either been tracked a lot or driven in high load situations seem to develop cracks right below the filler flap locations in the same place
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post #74 of 132 (permalink) Old 03-22-2014, 11:18 AM
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For the price of new aluminum tanks from Boyd, I wouldn't even think about re-coating the old steel POS tanks.
All what you'll get is a well sealed rust which, sooner or later, will eat trough the remaining metal and KABOOM!

Tanks made to order

Lotus Esprit Direct Replacement Aluminum Tank

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post #75 of 132 (permalink) Old 03-22-2014, 03:04 PM
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X180 X-180 FUEL TANKS

86-88 Bosch injected cars have a bespoke tanks with round bottom sump and a vertical baffle in the plane parallel to the bulkhead (5 rivet line).
Confirmed.

Are there any other additional partitioning horizontal “shelves”?
When I stick a rod in the tank, I hits the “bottom” (shelf ?), which appears to be 3” above the real bottom.

Has anyone cut them open? Ever?
Attached Images
 

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post #76 of 132 (permalink) Old 03-22-2014, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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Can't speak to the '88 and earlier tanks, but we did cut the drivers tank out of one of our cars, and yes there is a vertical and a horizontal baffle.

The aluminum tanks we built only had the vertical baffle.

If the tanks are not too rusty, and any holes are repaired by welding in a new piece and then coated in and out you should have a pretty reliable tank.

The problem when coating is to properly coat all the interior surfaces. I built a special tumbling device that allows the tank to be spun in all planes when hung from the ceiling. Doing it by hand is very difficult.

But, I agree that aluminum tanks are the better idea, and the cost difference is only a few hundred dollars.

Randy
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post #77 of 132 (permalink) Old 03-24-2014, 09:11 AM
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WARNING: Stock fuel sender may not fit Boyd tanks.

Just a heads up to everyone...

I installed the Boyd tanks in my 89 Turbo last month and found that the original stock fuel sender from my old tank would not fit the bolt pattern on the new tank. I had to elongate the holes considerably to make it work. I went back and read through some old posts and I think the original set they did was made for an aftermarket sender.

Just something to keep in mind if you are thinking of tackling this project!
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post #78 of 132 (permalink) Old 03-24-2014, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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Just a heads up to everyone...

I installed the Boyd tanks in my 89 Turbo last month and found that the original stock fuel sender from my old tank would not fit the bolt pattern on the new tank. I had to elongate the holes considerably to make it work. I went back and read through some old posts and I think the original set they did was made for an aftermarket sender.

Just something to keep in mind if you are thinking of tackling this project!
Actually this may or may not be true. The Esprit sender uses a standard bolt pattern, however it is directional. The later Esprits used a tube type sender with the same bolt pattern. If you don't pay attention then it seems like the bolts won't quite fit, however that means the sender needs to be rotated till all the bolt holes match.

Now with the earlier cars including the SE, a swing arm with a float was used, this sender can only fit in one direction or the float will hit the side of the tank.

So Boyd would need to know which orientation the sender needs to have, to install the bolt pattern properly. For the tube type senders used in the V8 it should not matter.

Randy
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post #79 of 132 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 04:52 PM
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I pulled my tanks now and luckily there is only one spot that's in rough shape. My skills are more around mechanical rather than painting, sealing, stripping, but I'm always trying to become more competent so let me ask some detailed questions since I'm not sure I understand the tactics you guys talk about.

I don't know much about POR except what little I just researched. I thought it was a paint-over-rust product, but it seems like you have to go through a process to clean any rust off first? Also some people say it doesn't bond well unless it is/was a rusty surface. Is that true? I expect I'd have to strip the paint off the tank and then POR the outside, as long as it works well with clean bare metal. What's the best way to strip the paint?

How would you POR the inside? With the vertical separater it would seem difficult, but I assume you dump in some amount of the product (for the 3 stages) and slosh it around? You won't be able to spray off the degreaser/etcher steps though? Is sloshing around water good enough for those steps?

Someone mentioned powder coating tanks to me, but I didn't see any comments here to do that so is that flawed in some way?

I'm sure it's probably best to get somebody else to do this, but if I did that I wouldn't be able to do any of the stuff I do currently. And I'd probably have no money left either. So I'm looking to give it a shot. How bad could it be.

Thanks
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post #80 of 132 (permalink) Old 03-25-2014, 05:31 PM
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Just in case you haven't seen the POR-15 home page:

Stop Rust with POR-15® - We Know What Permanent Means!

The Starter Kits have everything you need to start. Get it in black.

It would work well on surface rust. If your tank is perforated (usually the bottom), you need to replace the tank or weld a new piece in.

Many folks caution about trying to treat the inside of the tanks. They say the coating eventually flakes apart and clogs the fuel pickups. Others have found it to work well.

IMO, painting with POR would work as well as powder coating, the POR is a really STRONG coating. In fact a body shop guy mentioned how difficult it is to remove once applied.

Atwell Haines
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