Author Topic: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL  (Read 807 times)

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Offline skippopotamus

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Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
« 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.

Offline BDA

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Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
« Reply #1 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!

Offline jbcollier

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Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
« Reply #2 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.

Offline skippopotamus

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Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
« Reply #3 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.

Offline skippopotamus

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Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
« Reply #4 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.


Offline skippopotamus

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Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
« Reply #5 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.
« Last Edit: Monday,August 21, 2017, 08:55:09 AM by skippopotamus »

Offline BDA

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Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
« Reply #6 on: Monday,August 21, 2017, 09:14:26 AM »
That sounds like the beginning of a happy ending!

Offline skippopotamus

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Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
« Reply #7 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. 

Offline BDA

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Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
« Reply #8 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!

Offline dakazman

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Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
« Reply #9 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

Offline BDA

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Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
« Reply #10 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.

Offline jbcollier

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Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
« Reply #11 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.

Offline Serge

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Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
« Reply #12 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

Offline skippopotamus

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Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
« Reply #13 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.

Offline skippopotamus

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Re: Rebuilding an 821 is EMOTIONAL
« Reply #14 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.