Source: Lotus West
Title: 1973 LOTUS CLINIC ANNUAL
I’ve found that getting a good seal around the timing chest cover to be a problem. But I think I’ve found a way to cure it. By using a little RTV all around both surfaces, block and timing chest. Mount the chest to the bloc k so that the two surfaces are just touching, let the RTV cure (about 2 hours), then tighten down the timing chest bolts. What you end up with is a rubber gasket around the timing chest, and I’ve found it to work very well.
Above was mentioned the use of RTV as a gasket substitute sealer. However indiscriminate use of RTV can prove to be very disastrous. RTV (Room Temperature Vulcanizing) is a rubber base sealant that cures upon contact with the air. The problem is that it does not break down in the engine environment and that its normal application leaves excess. The proper procedure is to first clean both surfaces with a good organic solvent. Apply RTV to one surface. If no gasket is being used, one surface should be coated with Vaseline. If a gasket is used, one side of the gasket should be affixed with RTV. Cover surface with enough RTV for a 1/16" coating. Loosely tighten parts together, only tight enough to extrude material all around edge. Let set at least twelve hours, preferably for twenty-four hours. Separate parts and carefully trim excess. Reassemble and torque down.
Lotus Central in Michigan wants $25 for a throttle cable. I found it very simple to make one. Any good motorcycle shop has rolls of cable that can be cut to any desired length. Get 7 or 8 feet of both inner and outer cable and an end fitting for the accelerator pedal, cost - $3.00. It helps to look at the old cable and connections before purchasing the new.
Issues #13 - 24 of the "New Cars in Profile" series have been announced. Of note to collectors of lotus articles is #20, on the Lotus 72. Available through Classic Motorbooks, 3106 W. Lake St, Minneapolis, Minn. 55416.
Local members seeking metric hardware might try Cal Western Supply, 126 Graham Place, Burbank, Ca. 91502, phone (213) 849-6711.
Anyone contemplating adjusting the valves on their twin-cam, may want to take advantage of the Club's tappet shims. They are available on an exchange basis only. There are three fairly complete sets held by club members serving three different areas. Those in Orange County should contact Ralph George, in the West San Fernando Valley, Tom Dill, and in the East San Fernando Valley and Central Los Angeles area, Lynn Garrison.
All lotus owners are strongly advised to carry with them a fire extinguisher. It seems that if a small fire is left unattended, the ignition temperature of the fiberglass body can be reached and the entire car burns violently like a torch. Then all one can do is sit on the curb and cry.
Waterproof car covers are a disaster for paint and upholstery unless the car is in a heated area...the cover does not breathe and moisture will condense.
Some club members have found pleasure in collecting small metal models of lotus cars (about 1/40 to 1/50 scale). They are small, use little shelf space and are made in limited numbers so soon become collector’s items after a production run of a year or two. Current suggestions to start your collection are:
Matchbox Lotus super seven No. 60
Matchbox Lotus Europa No.5
Corgi Lotus Climas F/1 No.158
Corgi Lotus Elan S2 (Coupe)
Corgi John Player Special Lotus No.154
John Day Lotus 72 No.113
John Day Lotus 49 No.112
John Day John Player Special
Even model collectors may not know of the John Day models. They are actually kits and must be painted and assembled. They are a chore to build and are over priced at $9.50/each. But earnest collectors may want to obtain them. They can be bought from Jacques Grelley, 100 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60610.
Two additional small Lotus Europa models to add to your collection are Dinky no. 218 and Corgi Junior no. 32.
Wesco Track & Tire has the new 70 series Pirelli radials. The 185 x 13 are about 23" tall and almost 6" wide at the tread. They look very good! Several club members have purchased tires at Wesco and are quite pleased with their prices and service.
Driving lights and/or QI headlight conversions with a removable bulb--a sachet of calcium chloride or silica gel placed in the lamp protects the reflector--calcium chloride has a greater absorption factor but cannot easily be reused--silica gel “Tel-Tale” grade 42 is blue when dry and turns pink when exhausted--this can be warmed to 175°c for several hours and reused. "Indicating Drierite" is much the same as silica gel except its moisture factor is 1/4 of silica gel--therefore must be regenerated that much more often.
If you have a Girling power brake unit on your Lotus, you may not know when this unit begins to fail. These devices have seals very similar to a master cylinder, and like master cylinders, the seals last about 60,000 to 90,000 miles depending on type of use. However, unlike the master cylinder, leakage is not normally visually detected. The leaking fluid passes into the vacuum pot and since this area is sealed, there are no visible signs of leaks. When this happens you may notice that you continually add fluid to the master cylinder but there are no signs of leakage in the system. Also, it may be impossible to properly bleed the system, with air bubbles mysteriously appearing in the braking system. Dismantling of these worn units has sometimes revealed as much as a pint of brake fluid, which has leaked into the vacuum chamber. Rebuilt kits are available for about $12.00 with the procedure involved not unlike that for a master cylinder. This is a considerable savings over the new unit price of about $100.00. Although some club members have expressed doubts about the reliability of a rebuilt unit, I have one, which has worked faithfully for 30,000 miles since it was rebuilt.
For those members needing Dy-Pen or Magna-Flux inspection of crankshafts, engine rods, etc. You might try Certified Aircraft Processing Lab, Inc, 1013 w. Hillcrest Blvd, Inglewood, Ca 90301 phone (213) 776-5689. They do a good job and are very reasonable (crankshaft $5.00/each, cam shaft $2.00/each, rod 35˘/each, piston 45˘/each, and etc).
Twin-cam point contact sets--although several types of point sets will work well in the Twin-cam's Lucas 23d distributor such as the Lucas CS1 (part no. 54419946) and the Niehoff WA-5, the recommended set is the Lucas no. 54413568. This item has a stronger spring, which will move the onset of points bounce to a higher rpm.
One of the joys in the operation of any vehicle is positive acting controls. Modification, maintenance, and adjustment can assure that your Lotus responds to your command. The rubber pads on brake and clutch pedals can cause your foot to slip off if your rubber-soled shoes are wet. Replace them with adhesive-backed carborundum-faced non-skid tape. This is made by companies such as 3M, and is sold in most hardware stores. Smooth throttle cable operation can be assured if the grease lubricant is replaced by “Dri Slide” lubricant. This is a molybdenum disulfide compound in which the liquid carrier evaporated, leaving a dry film on the cable.
Elite owners who are looking for the large rubber body plug, which fits just back of the headlights, can replace it with an identical part that fits in the front luggage compartment of the Europa. Thanks to Ray Bisordi, we have more information about that Elite body grommet. Besides fitting a Europa and Elite, this "useful" item also is found on Elans. On Elans it is called a "front u-joint access grommet" (found on the side of the tunnel, under the carpeting) and on Europas it goes under the alias "Hand brake fixing access grommet". The Lotus part number is 026B03711.