oil leak from the cooler/radiator

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oil leak from the cooler/radiator

Postby Tuga2112 » Sat 09.06.2018, 21:32

this came to my attention while doing some other work in the car. and took priority.

long story short.
saw oil on floor under the oil cooler/radiator
had a look at it.
top of the unit was bone dry (including both screws) and after the 2dn row theres oil all the way down.
took the unit out of the car.
empty it clean a bit, then tried to block one entry and blow in the other to find any holes....

aparently the unit is air tight....

now. i understand oil pressure is a lot higher than air pressure. so. i am guessing the leak is only under higher levels of pressure than my lungs can emulate.
the price of a replacement is... unappealing to say the least. (something slightly over 250 quid)

neighbor suggested if the leak isnt big, use some stopleak (aparently this is a radweld equivalent for oil systems) any comments on that ?
i have seen this post with same/similar issue sugesting to contact thinkautomotive.
also seen one topic where Pinky claims to put 4 hours work into saving a small fortune. (there will be some questions directed to him)

rant alert
im getting VERY FRUSTRATED with the car now, and every week that goes by i feel like i should have put my efforts into putting the MR2 on the road this summer instead of the Elan.
I love the elan, but with the costs and effort is taking to put it back on the road after a 9 month hibernation im going tot he point of rage which soon is folowed by loss of interest.

ANYWAY
need some help here in order to save up some cash. the past month this car has cost me probably over 600 quid already

One thing to note (maybe) is that my pipes are (at least were when i removed the core) bone dry, so i am working under the assumption i dont need to replace those.
1991 elan se
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Re: oil leak from the cooler/radiator

Postby muley » Sun 10.06.2018, 07:04

I think there is an Elan on eBay that is being broken for spares. Ask if the oil cooler is available, and

put a part wanted post on here.

I thought you had 2 Elans. Can you borrow the oil cooler from the other one?

Jim
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Re: oil leak from the cooler/radiator

Postby Tuga2112 » Sun 10.06.2018, 08:33

muley wrote:I thought you had 2 Elans. Can you borrow the oil cooler from the other one

I have 2 Elan's, but I'm very reluctant to canibalize one to put the outer on the road.
My goal is to fix them both, that would not put me in a better position than I started with.
Also, The blue one is at the glass shop getting a new windshield fitted.

In this particular scenario, I'm looking into either reconditioning the current cooler or replacing with a new one. Getting another used is likely to come back with same issue, and I'm planning to get the car to the state of being a daily driver. So I'm willing to pay the premium for a more robust solution

I'm going to look in detail into the approach point describe. Depending on the price of the cooler, it's likely to be the right balance for me.
1991 elan se
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Re: oil leak from the cooler/radiator

Postby lotusflasherman » Sun 10.06.2018, 10:33

Tuga2112 wrote:I have 2 Elan's, but I'm very reluctant to canibalize one to put the outer on the road.


I'd be reluctant too. I'm a great believer in "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" and taking it off another may shorten it's life and after all that work has only transferred the problem to the other car anyway, even if it works.

Demon Tweeks are pretty good for a choice of oil coolers and pipes, fittings etc...demon-tweeks.co.uk oil-coolers-accessories
Phil

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Re: oil leak from the cooler/radiator

Postby Tuga2112 » Sun 10.06.2018, 10:34

note from previous messages.
theres plenty of words going wrong because i was writting in the phone, and the autocorrect is a pain..

I have looked in further detail under the assumption of following the pinky approach and found this.

https://www.serckmotorsport.co.uk/setrab-oil-cooler-series-1-h-194mm-w-210mm-25-row

after vat and postage is a little over £117 so, a good starting point.
from my reading of the other post, this should be the correct oil cooler, although i am going to give Dave a call this afternoon if i dont hear anything from him before, in order to confirm being the right one.

I am not sure if this is the right time to replace the pipes as well ? i assume these can be replaced with some standard pipes out there?
1991 elan se
1991 elan se project
91 MR2 Turbo (import) project
94 Celica GT4 (Import)
94 4Runner
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Re: oil leak from the cooler/radiator

Postby Tuga2112 » Sun 10.06.2018, 10:45

lotusflasherman wrote:Demon Tweeks are pretty good for a choice of oil coolers and pipes, fittings etc...demon-tweeks.co.uk oil-coolers-accessories


Thanks Phil,

i did came across them in my search.
in fact for the sake of record keeping. heres all the ones i was comparing before posting the previous message.

merlin motors at 123 + vat
rivel motorsport at 134 inc vat (i think free postage)
serckmotorsport (previously mentioned), at 117 inc vat and postage
trackformula at 124 (inc) probably add postage
atPower 108 + vat and postage
racinglines @ 134 inc vat

btw, demon tweeks is not on the list because by the time i found them i already had plenty others with cheaper prices in other internet tabs

i believe they are all the same part. meaning i only need to weld the brackets to hold in the car.... i am not sure if i need adaptors, but im sure i can figure my way around that when i have the 2 parts in my hands.
1991 elan se
1991 elan se project
91 MR2 Turbo (import) project
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Re: oil leak from the cooler/radiator

Postby Saltire » Sun 10.06.2018, 13:18

Joao
Mine failed in a similar way. Rather than the unknown quantity of a recon unit, I went with a CoolExperts replacement. I had new pipes made up by a local specialist, using the old pipes as a pattern.
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Re: oil leak from the cooler/radiator

Postby Steve A » Sun 10.06.2018, 17:09

I got mine from SJ's at the time but would go for coolexperts now as their price/quality ratio is very good.
You would be mad not to change your pipes whilst doing this job :bonk: a local firm did mine using my old pipes as a pattern.
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Re: oil leak from the cooler/radiator

Postby Tuga2112 » Sun 10.06.2018, 18:22

i cant find anything on the coolexperts website about oil to air coolers for the m100, i found a page refering the 70s elans.
what kind of prices are we talking about from them ?
1991 elan se
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Re: oil leak from the cooler/radiator

Postby Fredjohn » Sun 10.06.2018, 18:35

Plenty of mentions on this site re their oil cooler. Eg Jonathan (saltire) got his from them
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Re: oil leak from the cooler/radiator

Postby dapinky » Sun 10.06.2018, 19:20

Best bet is to give Steve a ring (and mention LEC when you do).

I have to say, that although I did mine myself with easily available parts, it was a lot of faffing around. It was worth it at the time as a genuine part was very expensive, but if I were to need one now I'd just get a Coolex one - simple swap for OE, and at a reasonable cost.
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Re: oil leak from the cooler/radiator

Postby Tuga2112 » Sun 10.06.2018, 19:29

i just cant find references of the price tag. I understand prices can change overtime, thing is, when possible i always have an idea of what an item is worth (or in this case was) before contacting someone to ask for prices.
when prices are not pubicly visible, i always wonder if theres something fishy going on, and even tho others have had positive experiences with a particular company in the past. i tend to only make judgement from own experience.
1991 elan se
1991 elan se project
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Re: oil leak from the cooler/radiator

Postby Rusty Wishbone » Sun 10.06.2018, 22:59

I replaced mine recently with one supplied by SJ Sportscars. It was a bit fiddly because the new cooler had a couple of extra little tangs which prevented the holes from lining up. I probably should have ground them off at the beginning.
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Re: oil leak from the cooler/radiator

Postby Saltire » Sun 10.06.2018, 23:05

Tuga2112 wrote:i just cant find references of the price tag. I understand prices can change overtime, thing is, when possible i always have an idea of what an item is worth (or in this case was) before contacting someone to ask for prices.
when prices are not pubicly visible, i always wonder if theres something fishy going on, and even tho others have had positive experiences with a particular company in the past. i tend to only make judgement from own experience.


Joao
Of course you must make your own call. However, when I ordered mine and spoke to Steve, I recall him telling me that they only publish prices for stock items (like the M100 water radiator). Special order items for which they have the drawings - like the M100 oil cooler - or one-offs for which they have to do the initial design, are quoted separately, because the materials prices may vary widely between one build and the next. I guess those firms which do quote a price probably sell more and so are carrying stock. Mine took about three days to come,even though it wasn’t stock.
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Re: oil leak from the cooler/radiator

Postby ElanBRG » Mon 11.06.2018, 03:28

+1 to fix it right.

How much you have or haven't spent on a car recently shouldn't be the deciding factor on fixing it right, unless you are going to sell the car right after. Even then, it's bad karma to leave a mess for the new owner.

These are very old cars now, and there are known items that need to be replaced. The oil cooler and lines are included in those well known problem areas that need replacing.

If your budget can't take the the regular repairs and maintenance, you should get out of the car.
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Re: oil leak from the cooler/radiator

Postby HJ2 » Mon 11.06.2018, 11:11

ElanBRG wrote:
If your budget can't take the the regular repairs and maintenance, you should get out of the car.


I think that is something that everyone decides for themselves. Plenty of reasons thinkable why this 'advise' is wrong on many fronts :?
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Re: oil leak from the cooler/radiator

Postby Tuga2112 » Mon 11.06.2018, 19:43

HJ2 wrote:I think that is something that everyone decides for themselves. Plenty of reasons thinkable why this 'advise' is wrong on many fronts :?


Henk-Jan,
thanks for the support.

I had a very long reply written down, but realised I have no need to justify my actions. Im happy to have the support from the community in order to keep the car on the road. even if sometimes the repairs i do are of the
dapinky wrote:cheapskate/bodge artist (or ingeneous engineer, depending on you point of view)
nature. (weather strip replacements and radiator wiring come to mind, although i have recently fixed the wiring properly)

the definition of fixing the car "right" is very subjective, I have to grant that.

As previosuly mentioned, i needed to vent a bit my frustration, as this year's plan was to attend CC and things have not gone anywhere near according to plan (Jamies sills are still in fife... and the new handbrake gaiters didnt fit... and.. other things... ), possibly that lead to a missunderstanding of my position.

I have seen the standard that Phill, John, Dave, Jonhathan, Martin, Geoff and many others keep their cars, I intend to eventually bring my car's condition to some level close to theirs in due time, until then, i will value the opinions of other LEC'ers and welcome all constructive feedback.

BUT back on topic
so far i have decided the original lotus part is not a feasible option.
i would rather use the SJ's alternative as i trust the company/Steve to provide an item of at least equal quality to OEM (and in my opinion most likely "better" due to ageing of OEM in the past 25-30 years)
i have emailed Steve at coolexperts to get a quote on the modified setrab cooler which i am still awayting response.
i keep in mind the serk motors unit as i am expecting coolexperts oil Cooler will be sourced similarly to Pinky's DIY solution but using industrial tools and a decent workplace.
Bottom line is that i have a estimated number in my head for the fabricated at home option, depending on coolexperts price i may save miself the hassle of the fabrication.

really at this moment my only doubth is regarding the hoses. from other peoples experience theirs tend to brake/damage when messed with, but mine at least visually seemed OK and not dry. but if it costs me an extra 10-30 quid to replace them its a no brainer situation. I have not looked into sourcing hoses yet, in fact i still need to check lenghts and diameters for them before starting the search
1991 elan se
1991 elan se project
91 MR2 Turbo (import) project
94 Celica GT4 (Import)
94 4Runner
98 Celica SR

too many projects. not enough sunny days :(
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Re: oil leak from the cooler/radiator

Postby ElanBRG » Mon 11.06.2018, 22:01

HJ2 wrote:
ElanBRG wrote:
If your budget can't take the the regular repairs and maintenance, you should get out of the car.


I think that is something that everyone decides for themselves. Plenty of reasons thinkable why this 'advise' is wrong on many fronts :?


That's why I said "should." People all over the world every day do things they shouldn't do, but they want to.
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Re: oil leak from the cooler/radiator

Postby Fredjohn » Mon 11.06.2018, 22:43

Jao, oil pipes and fittings can be made up by any decent hydraulic hose supplier. Pirtek for example. Just Google for hydraulic hose /fitting supplies Walsall to find one. Give them your originals and they should be able to quote. Be it Pirtek or anyone else.
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Re: oil leak from the cooler/radiator

Postby Saltire » Tue 12.06.2018, 07:16

I seem to remember mine were done by a firm whose day job is hydraulics for earthmoving equipment. They had a bit of trouble finding a small enough bore . . . Had to use my original end fittings, but that’s not a big deal.
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