1. Release the oil filter
The oil filter should be removable by hand. Invariably, it is not and some sort of tool is necessary to assist in its removal - this is easy with a K&N filter as it has a hex key on the bottom however many are unbelievably smooth and provide no purchase. On lesser cars, this is usually not a problem and there are a wide variety of tools to assist in addition to the trust screwdriver hammered in to act as a lever. The oil filter on the Elan is cunningly concealed between the engine and the bulkhead, just below the plenum and above a variety of pipes etc.
There have been a multitude of suggestions for the best tool to assist in removing the Elan oil filter, but I (Geoff) rejected all for a Boa Constrictor. Although there are strap wrench type oil filter removal tools, there are two advantages to the Boa: Firstly, it is all plastic and secondly, I found one in the kitchen cupboard so apart from a clean in the dishwasher afterwards, it didn't cost me anything.
There have been many suggestions as the the best way in to the filter. I have tried from the top, the bottom and stopped short of taking off the wheel as I was convinced there was a better way. I recommend the best way in is from the side:
- Make sure the engine is cold/cool. Where your arm is going, there is no benefit in having a hot engine unless you've got shares in elastoplast.
- Set the wrench to the same size as the new filter and double back the strap to make sure it doesn't slip; I taped around the handle as well to make sure the strap didn't come out, but this is probably not necessary.
- Stand by the LH wing and rest your left arm on the cam cover.
- Feed your right arm in above the coolant tank and below the plenum until your elbow is at the coolant tank; you should be able to feel the filter to the left.
- Remove your arm, feed the wrench in and fit on top of the oil filter.
- With the wrench on the top of the filter and at a slight upward angle, there is just enough room to apply sufficient force to free even the most stubborn filter.
- Remove wrench and pop in dishwasher.
- Gently release then gently tighten up the filter by hand.
- Take the car for a spin to warm the oil.
2. The dirty bit
- Place the new oil filter upright and fill with new oil. Keep topping it up until it is saturated.
- Release the sump plug (M14 x 1.5mm with 22mm hex head) until you can turn it by hand.
- Place your oil collection tool on a newspaper under the sump. Depending on the type of receptical you use, you may have to jack the car up, but the gallon tin with a slightly concave side and 1" square hole that I've been using for years fits without needing a jack.
- Release the sump plug by hand, ensuring the oil flows where it should.
- Get a couple of plastic carrier bags one inside the other and place below the oil filter; release the oil filter into the bags and carefully withdraw. It is possible to do it without spilling any oil down the engine, onto the chassis members etc.
- Dispose of the oil filter in a responsible manner and allow the oil to drain.
- Replace the sump plug washer (A100E6159S or any 14mm x 20mm x 1.5mm copper washer - I got one for "Volvo 240/Saab" from the local accessory shop but many Fords, Hondas, Vauxhalls etc. have M14 plugs) and replace the sump plug. Torque to 20lbf.ft.or 27Nm.
- Tip the surplus oil out of the new oil filter into the engine and smear some oil around the seal.
- Clean the mating surfaces and fit the oil filter hand tight. There is a seal on the filter so don't overtighten it, as you will make it difficult to remove next oil change.
- Fill with oil: Lotus quote 3.5 litres / 6.2 imp. pints and the difference between maximum and minimum marks on the dipstick as 1.1 litres / 1.9 imp. pints.
- Run the engine and check for leaks around the oil filter and sump plug.
- Check the level and top up if necessary.
- Dispose of the used engine oil responsibly.
- Admire the lack of mess !