• Dana

Gas woes in the lotus

I decided to take the lotus out for a ride this weekend. Nice sunny day, warm, the grass is still green and the reservoirs are all full. But, it was not to be. He wouldn't start.

Engines are really just a simple math equation...

Fuel + Compression + Spark = Bang

No 'Bang', No 'Go'. The easiest thing to check is the spark. Pull the spark plug wire and hold it close to the engine and turn it over. If you get a big blue spark you've got 'Spark' and I did.

Next it's 'Fuel'. My lotus has a glass top fuel pump. So you can see right into it with a good flash light. It was dry as a bone. I had filled the tank the last time I was out so I was pretty sure I had gas, and it wasn't that long ago so I was pretty sure the fuel line's not clogged.

So I decided to pull the pump out and test it. Getting the fuel pump out of a lotus is a challenge. It's right under the carburetors and you really have to twist and stretch to get it out. Once out it's an easy thing to test. Push up and down on the lever and if it makes a swooshing sound it's working. No swooshing sound.

I tore the whole thing apart, cleaned it up and stretched out the rubber gasket. I'm pretty sure it was just dirty. Twisted and stretched even more to get the pump back in with a gasket and two bolts lined up correctly, which is harder then it sounds.

Hooked up the battery, turned it over and she started right up!

And, one of carburetors leaked like a sieve. Gas pouring out of the float bowl. So much for a drive this weekend.

I took the carbs off and took the float bowls off the carbs. Inside the float bowl is an o-ring that must be 10 years old now and as hard a rock. I'm pretty sure that was the cause of my leak. Since the carbs are off anyway, I've decided to do a quick rebuild and put new rubber parts and gaskets in.

Looks like it will be awhile before I'm out driving the lotus.

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