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Lotus Europa Forums => Garage => Topic started by: skippopotamus on Thursday,August 17, 2017, 04:55:25 PM

Title: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
Post by: skippopotamus on Thursday,August 17, 2017, 04:55:25 PM
I'm rebuilding my 821 and it has been a roller coaster!  I've rebuilt lots of Japanese motorcycle engines but this is my first experience with the Renault.  My 1969 Europa S2 hasn't been on the road since about 1985.  I was pretty happy when it started up and ran well enough that I decided to put some water in it and try to tune it.  The crankcase filled with water.  A lot of it.  Initially I thought I needed a head gasket so in I went. 

Something had bounced around in two cylinders and just beat the hell out of them.  When I took the pan off it looked there was chocolate milk and glitter in there.  Things were not looking good.
Title: Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
Post by: BDA on Thursday,August 17, 2017, 05:29:36 PM
Then it's good you're rebuilding it!  :)


Seriously, it stinks to have the problem and have to wait so long before you can drive your baby, but on the other hand, it gives you the opportunity to make some good upgrades if you have a mind. In any case, when you're done, you can be a lot more confident in your motor.


Good luck and keep us up to date!
Title: Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
Post by: jbcollier on Thursday,August 17, 2017, 06:42:41 PM
Never start a Renault wedge-head or cross-flow engine without the coolant already installed and bled (as best as possible).  For five seconds or less, no problem.

I'm not sure if we are looking at "pre" or "post" rebuild shots of the piston.  That doesn't look like recent damage.
Title: Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
Post by: skippopotamus on Thursday,August 17, 2017, 07:38:44 PM
The further I went the more damage I found. My car had been a competitive autocross car in the 70s based on some pictures it came with that showed it with trophies all over the hood. The engine had had a very good rebuild with Arias pistons and reground cam. It had also been rode hard and put away wet when it's owner moved up to a Formula Ford.
Long story short I needed all the expensive Lotus parts. Cam, pistons and liners, and valves.  The bearings were easy to get. The search was on!
I'll post more pics when I get home from Monterrey on Saturday.
Title: Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
Post by: skippopotamus on Monday,August 21, 2017, 08:27:54 AM
Here's the picture of my car in happier times.  I think this is some time in the 70's.

Title: Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
Post by: skippopotamus on Monday,August 21, 2017, 08:46:38 AM
I want to thank the vendors who helped me get the parts I needed or fix what I had.
Steve Veris had gaskets, valves, and advice.  Thanks Steve!
Richard from Banks had pistons and liners.  Prior to calling Richard it wasn't looking good for finding liners.  Regular machine shops have trouble clamping the liners down to do any work on them but motorcycle shops may be able to hone them.  My liners didn't look like they would seal well where the paper gasket goes between the block and the liner so I bought the new set with pistons from Richard.
Ray at RDent had connecting rod bearings and gaskets among other things like cooling pipes.
Ken at Dave Bean was able to get me a nice set of valve guides, thrust washers, and gaskets.
Finally Megacycle in San Rafael CA was able to regrind and fix my damaged cam.  I thought the cam would be one of the easier pieces but most people wouldn't touch it.  Jim took pity on me and my sob story and reground it for me.
Title: Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
Post by: BDA on Monday,August 21, 2017, 09:14:26 AM
That sounds like the beginning of a happy ending!
Title: Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
Post by: skippopotamus on Monday,August 21, 2017, 09:26:12 AM
We're getting there BDA!
As a person who has only dealt with Japanese machinery, where the parts arrive almost before you hang up from ordering them, this has been humbling. 
Title: Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
Post by: BDA on Monday,August 21, 2017, 09:46:09 AM
You need to think of part scrounging as a challenge! It just adds to the stories you can tell!
Title: Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
Post by: dakazman on Tuesday,August 22, 2017, 06:19:46 PM
Hey skippy, It's been a pleasure reading about your journey many of us are on.
It seems twin cams have more support sites. Keep us posted on your progress.
I have noticed that one manual called for paper seals and another for red or blue seal for liners.

You mentioned Steve veris ,  that's one vendor I would like to hear more info on.
Dakazman
Title: Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
Post by: BDA on Tuesday,August 22, 2017, 07:00:08 PM
I don't have contact information for Steve with me but he's a regular poster on the lotuseuropa yahoo group.
Title: Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
Post by: jbcollier on Tuesday,August 22, 2017, 09:08:28 PM
For Steve's contact info and wares, go here:

http://www.lotus-europa.com/forsale.html

and scroll down.
Title: Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
Post by: Serge on Tuesday,August 22, 2017, 10:30:43 PM
Do you have any more info on the pistons from Richard? Are these flat top, low compression, pistons? Or has Richard have a new batch of high compression pistons made? (recognisable by the protrusion on top of the pistons, to raise the compression ratio).


Serge
Title: Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
Post by: skippopotamus on Wednesday,August 23, 2017, 06:59:06 AM
Hey Serge, first thank you for making all the great videos.  I refer to them all the time.
The pistons are high compression and come with prefit rings.  The liners are just liners but they have a nice sharp edge where they seal.
Title: Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
Post by: skippopotamus on Wednesday,August 23, 2017, 07:02:38 AM
Dakazman, the liners are sealed with paper seals and the different colors on the seals refer to how thick they are which decides how much they protrude out of the top of the block.  They need to protrude a little so the head will clamp them down.
Title: Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
Post by: Gmg31 on Wednesday,August 23, 2017, 07:35:43 AM
Looks like that car has a Weber and 4 branch tubular exhaust. They really get in the way of the coolant pipe exiting the swirl pot.  I've had loads of problems with mine because of that, it backs up and overflows and its a struggle to bleed.  I think it might also add heat to your carb which risks warming up the fuel.  I recommend re routing that pipe below the carb.  Its not easy but I noticed an immediate difference when I moved mine.   
Title: Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
Post by: dakazman on Wednesday,August 23, 2017, 04:03:24 PM
Skippy did you get all the liner seals with the complete gasket set?
I noticed you said gaskets several times with different vendors
I am on the same path enemy with the guides and other prombems with helicoils
Coming out of an a 844 hemi head.
Thanks JB an skippy
Dakazman
Title: Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
Post by: jbcollier on Wednesday,August 23, 2017, 04:56:19 PM
Usually liner seals are not included in an engine gasket set.  Someone is sealing them old ebay out of Australia and Meca Parts carries them as well.
Title: Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
Post by: dakazman on Thursday,August 24, 2017, 04:45:35 AM
 Your the answer man JB
Thanks again
Dakazman
Title: Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
Post by: skippopotamus on Thursday,August 24, 2017, 08:33:23 AM
Dakazman, the pistons and liners did come with a set of liner seals.  When I bought lower gasket set it also came with liner seals.
This is what they look like...
https://www.renault16shop.com/7700508016,7700508017,7700509556
Title: Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
Post by: skippopotamus on Saturday,August 26, 2017, 08:05:43 AM
I ran into sort of a strange problem.  The grooves for the keepers on my new vales are not in the same place as the groove on my old valves.  So my keepers won't work with my new valves.
My old head was too banged up to reuse so I found another one and I'm hoping it has the right keepers.  If not the search will be back on!  This time for keepers.

Title: Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
Post by: skippopotamus on Saturday,August 26, 2017, 08:32:41 AM
Might as well post some more carnage.  Happy Saturday ever-body!
My car has around 16,000 miles on it and I think 14,000 of them were at 6,500 rpm.
Title: Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
Post by: dakazman on Saturday,August 26, 2017, 03:59:25 PM
Thanks for the info , I'll be reading your progress on the engine for sure.
Placed an order for some engine / body odds and ends so trying to stay on my wife's budget...
Keep the updates coming.
Dakazman
Title: Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
Post by: skippopotamus on Wednesday,December 06, 2017, 05:44:31 PM
I'm still out here plugging away on my Lotus.  The main bearings I got were not all STD size so that held me up a bit.  My crank was VERY tight.
Now I'm working on pressing my wrist pins back into my connecting rods and my current snag is there's no number on the big end of the connecting rod.  The shop manual has you put the connecting rod on the piston with arrow pointing down and the number on the operator's right if he or she is facing the piston. (pg.29)
My connecting rods don't have a number on them anymore.  They are marked so I'll have to use that and hope the marks are on the side where the number was.

 
Title: Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
Post by: skippopotamus on Tuesday,December 19, 2017, 07:29:09 PM
Two steps forward and one step back.
I got the crank and pistons installed but I think I'll be pulling the pistons and liners back out because of a leak.  I put water in the block and let it sit over night and sure enough there was a droplet on the bearing cap where rear main seal is.  Just a droplet but that's without any pressure.  I wiped it all down and watched it today but I didn't get another drop.  I tightened my liner holder downers a little and I'm letting it sit over night again but I'm not optimistic.  I carefully cleaned the block where the paper liners sit and I used a little RTV so this is a real bummer.  I'm trying to look on the bright side and telling myself at least I'm finding the leak now instead of after the engine is back in the car.

Title: Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
Post by: BDA on Tuesday,December 19, 2017, 07:36:09 PM
Quote
I'm trying to look on the bright side and telling myself at least I'm finding the leak now instead of after the engine is back in the car.

That's the only way to look at it! Good luck!
Title: Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
Post by: jbcollier on Tuesday,December 19, 2017, 09:50:51 PM
Very unlikely that the way you are holding the liners down will result in a proper seal.

First, meticulously clean the liner seat in the block: absolutely spic and span, bare metal.

Next trial fit the liners and measure the liner protrusion.  It needs to be relatively even from side to side and from cylinder to cylinder.  In addition to shimming gaskets, you may have to swap cylinders around to get things right.  Specs are in the manual.

Now coat the liner seats and bottom liner gasket face with a non-hardening sealant like hylomar.  Do not use a silicone sealer.  Assemble and you are ready to fit the head.

Do not rotate the engine until you do assemble the head or you may tear a liner gasket/shim'seal.
Title: Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
Post by: skippopotamus on Tuesday,December 19, 2017, 10:36:10 PM
Thanks JB.  I'll get some hylomar and try it again. 
Title: Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
Post by: skippopotamus on Monday,January 01, 2018, 01:02:22 PM
I ended up ordering Hylomar from Amazon and it'll be here by the end of the week.  I live in the SF Bay Area but couldn't find it locally.  Another lesson.   8)
I'm practicing setting my cam timing but I'm looking at possibly two marks.  I think it is mark #1 on my picture and mark #2 is a nick or scratch.
I'll use a brand spankin' new cam chain.  I'm just practicing with my old, grimy one.

Title: Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
Post by: skippopotamus on Monday,January 01, 2018, 06:13:46 PM
I'm thinking now that #2 is the timing mark.  Even though it looks like a scratch everything lines up better when I use it. 
Title: Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
Post by: GavinT on Monday,January 01, 2018, 09:21:42 PM
Yes, I'd also think #2 is correct.
Your mark isn't very distinct but it's in the right place.

Compare this one:

Title: Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
Post by: skippopotamus on Monday,January 01, 2018, 09:51:57 PM
Thanks Gavin!  Your picture helps a lot.  The notch is in the same place as mine relative to the keyway in the cam shaft.
Mark #2 it is.