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Oil leak - behind offside front wheelarch and mud flap


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My Evora S has developed a reasonably significant oil leak that drips and also runs down the back of the offside mudflap. It's a 2013 car so has the single oil cooler in front of the wheel.  Looking at the service notes the oil hoses behind the wheel appear to be solid metal lines not rubber so a split hose seems unlikely.  Is that correct?  If so then possibly the union is loose but that also seems unlikely.

I'll whip the liner out at the weekend and have a look but hoping it's not an issue with the lines that run down the sills..

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Deep breath... I've taken the arch liner out and it doesn't look good.

One of the fixed oil pipes that runs through the sill his holed because of corrosion where it passes through the foam rubber clamp.

Presumably this is because the foam holds water so the pipes are permanently damp.  I wonder if this is or will become a common issue and will affect all the pipes eventually.  Photo below.

Anyone know how I fix this?  The service notes don't mention replacing the pipes in the sill so perhaps it isn't possible??   If not, then I'll need to cut, flare and extend the pipe (or have someone do that for me I think. Or something else?

Not a good morning.

20210309_123633.jpg

Edited by Spanky3
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Have you considered sleeving it with some motorsport piping leaving the existing pipe there? You could get a length or braided aeroquip or similar and feed it from one end to the other then reconnect or alternately as you say, have it cut and a length installed. Would be worth using braided for this too so the foam doesn't run against it still and cause more issues down the line.

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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It does seem like a problem waiting to happen.  The pipes are galvanised steel held in foam blocks through the sill and at each end and can't be removed without cutting the sills off. these are right hand front arch but being an IPS it will have a second cooler and set of pipes in the left hand side as well.

Sleeving won't work as the 30mm nut is captive on the sill pipe.  Best I can come up with is to cut the sill pipe below the corrosion then use a hydraulic coupler to join a new short section of pipe then another coupler on the end so I leave a thread for the top section to connect to.

Sounds easy, except:

- There's no movement in the sill pipe to get a rotary cutter on.  Maybe a multitool then flush the pipe? (have to disconnect the other end too)

- I don't know what size the pipe is.  17mm or 18mm? Seems to be between the two and I don't know how to find out.

- I don't know anything about hydraulic fittings.  Male thread at top is about 21mm so maybe 1/2" BSP?  And can I use a compression fitting on steel pipe in the same way you could join copper?  I don't really know what I could use to join it al back together.

I've added some extra pics, one to show where this is better and one with the coupling nut undone (30mm across flats with little clearance)

20210309_172049.jpg

20210309_121900.jpg

Edited by Spanky3
changed 3/4" BSP to 1/2" BSP as I was miles out.
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45 minutes ago, Spanky3 said:

Sleeving won't work as the 30mm nut is captive on the sill pipe.

A dealer in the Midlands have done it successfully. They have a solid Motorsport background and used this expertise from what I understand. 

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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Hi Bibs, I think I misunderstood what you meant. By sleeving you mean pushing a smaller diameter pipe down the middle of the corroded one?  That would work though it'd need to be quite a skinny pipe to fit, maybe 13mm od tops. Not sure if that would be ok with flow rates and oil pressure and could be fun to get round the two 90 degree bends!  

I'm thinking maybe I need to bite the bullet, chop off the rusted section, then I can take it to a hydraulic hose place and ask them what I need to join it all back together.  Slightly nuclear option with no way back.. but then the pipe is scrap anyway. 

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22 hours ago, Spanky3 said:

It does seem like a problem waiting to happen.  The pipes are galvanised steel held in foam blocks through the sill and at each end and can't be removed without cutting the sills off. these are right hand front arch but being an IPS it will have a second cooler and set of pipes in the left hand side as well.

Sleeving won't work as the 30mm nut is captive on the sill pipe.  Best I can come up with is to cut the sill pipe below the corrosion then use a hydraulic coupler to join a new short section of pipe then another coupler on the end so I leave a thread for the top section to connect to.

Sounds easy, except:

- There's no movement in the sill pipe to get a rotary cutter on.  Maybe a multitool then flush the pipe? (have to disconnect the other end too)

- I don't know what size the pipe is.  17mm or 18mm? Seems to be between the two and I don't know how to find out.

- I don't know anything about hydraulic fittings.  Male thread at top is about 21mm so maybe 1/2" BSP?  And can I use a compression fitting on steel pipe in the same way you could join copper?  I don't really know what I could use to join it al back together.

I've added some extra pics, one to show where this is better and one with the coupling nut undone (30mm across flats with little clearance)

20210309_172049.jpg

20210309_121900.jpg

Just looking at your photograph and while your digging around in there I know your not going to want to hear this but the top left rusty brown nut is the high pressure on your A/C and that looks like it's rotting away the slightly larger line that's got black foam lagging on it is the low pressure suction side and the two black plastic caps on the pipes at an angle are the service ports 

Disappointing I must say not a great design 

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7 hours ago, EGTE said:

I wonder if it might be better to take that foam out and secure all the other pipes some other way, too.

They'll all be permanently damp as well......

I thought about that, but the same foam holds the pipes along the sill as well.  Only the oil cooler pipes are steel though, the rest are alloy so hopefully won't suffer the same way.

1 hour ago, philcool said:

the top left rusty brown nut is the high pressure on your A/C and that looks like it's rotting away

I spotted that too 😞 I'll investigate how deep the corrosion is then either treat it or more likely have to get the pipe replaced.   There is a piece of rubber edging trim that's come away from the bendy plastic scuttle tray thing so I'm wondering if that's come off and allowed more water than normal to get behind the arch liner and is behind all this. I've not looked closely to see what it does when correctly attached yet.  

 

I mailed Lotus customer service today with some tech questions about the size of the pipe and exact connector on the end of it.  I'm hopeful they'll reply but don't know if they normally do! 

Once I know what I'm replacing I've found some high pressure hydraulic straight couplers so I think the plan is to slice the top off the pipe then either fit a new section with a coupler, or ask a specialist to make something similar up.

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There was a post on Facebook from a Peter Ha with an Exige V6 had the same issue, but then on the engine side.

 

Fixed by his garage by cutting the rotten piece off and use high pressure couplers.  Again, not at the same spot.  No foam issue there... but a apparently road salt issue.  Pretty poor design IMHO.

(it's on the Exige owners group, so maybe not visible without membership: https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=957908428078939&set=gm.1670360346499187)

 

 

He is on here if I am not mistaken, so pinging @ArthouseCompany

 

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10 hours ago, Kristof Thys said:

There was a post on Facebook from a Peter Ha with an Exige V6 had the same issue, but then on the engine side.

Thanks Kristof. Interesting that it isn't just me. My plan is the same as you've described.. an expensive twin ferule hydraulic coupler.  It's reassuring to hear the same approach has been used before.

It's a real shame they choose steel for a pipe that can't be replaced! @ArthouseCompany Appreciate if you have any pictures of the fix or you know the spec of the fittings or pipe.

I've not heard back from Lotus so will be cutting  the pipe tomorrow so I can work out what I need.

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On 10/03/2021 at 19:02, Spanky3 said:

the rest are alloy so hopefully won't suffer the same way.

Hopefully you have a lot more time, but the alloy coolant pipes on an Esprit do corrode from the outside and leak, in places where they can retain moisture or debris.

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BOEING had this issue on all the aluminium hydraulic return lines under rubber covered retaining clamps. This was caused by moisture but the real culprit is the black dye in the rubber is corrosive. 
The solution was to paint the area under the rubber and in the Evora’s case cleaning and painting under the foam retainer will go along way to help preventing the issue, a water dispelling corrosion compound would also help.

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28 minutes ago, au-yt said:

This was caused by moisture but the real culprit is the black dye in the rubber is corrosive. 

That's interesting as that's exactly where the Esprit's leak over time - Where the rubber hoses overlap the pipe.  I'd previously assumed it was wholly due to moisture retention.

Edited by 910Esprit
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9 hours ago, au-yt said:

This was caused by moisture but the real culprit is the black dye in the rubber is corrosive. 
The solution was to paint the area under the rubber and in the Evora’s case cleaning and painting under the foam retainer will go along way to help preventing the issue

Interesting. I was thinking about painting the pipe but might paint all of them. Assuming that's true it doesn't bode well for all that foam in the sill.

Update so far - Lotus did reply but not with anything useful.  I asked if they had a repair solution and if not what the fitting type was.   I got a short reply that pretty much said get someone else to fix it and don't email us back 😞.

I've left the cut-off pipe with a local hydraulic fitting place who are ordering some bits in for me, I'll call them in the morning.  For info the pipe is 18mm and the fitting thread is 5/8" BSPP, not sure what the conical mating surfaces are called though.  I'll post a picture of the fixed pipe once it's done.

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10 hours ago, 910Esprit said:

That's interesting as that's exactly where the Esprit's leak over time - Where the rubber hoses overlap the pipe.  I'd previously assumed it was wholly due to moisture retention.

Boeing eventually mandated painting all the ally pipes. There are very thin and with 600 psi return pressure, even pin holes were obvious.. and messy.

You don't have the same issue with Silicone.

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  • 3 months later...

Hi all,

Bit of a nightmare scenario - last week I returned from a trip to the shop and when I'd parked up I noticed a decent fluid leak originating from behind the drivers side front wheel. The car had had its slightly leaky radiator replaced at the last service and I suspected, maybe hoped, that it was just a loose hose related to that, unfortunately under closer inspection it was clearly engine oil :(

I've had the car recovered to Oakmere and the initial diagnosis is that one of the steel oil cooler pipes that runs through the sill has corroded through at the point where there is a retaining bracket, it looks like bracket has some packing material in it that has retained moisture and allowed this to happen, probably in part due to relative lack of use during the pandemic.

Obviously since this pipe runs through the sill, replacement is going to be challenging, Paul at Oakmere has some ideas and I'll update when I have a resolution.

My Google-fu couldn't find anyone else having had this issue, so I may be 'special' ;), but if you've got a reason to have the arch liners off, it maybe be worth a look down the sill cavity just in case. I was fortunate it happened on a short trip and there was still oil on the dipstick when I pulled up, so no engine damage.

Cheers,

Jon

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Hah, looks like my Google-fu failed..

Not sure if my leak is in the same place as Spanky, or actually in the sill, but I will pass on the knowledge.

And, I guess this shows it's not a unique issue :(

Edited by Gothmog
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On 10/07/2021 at 18:29, Gothmog said:

And, I guess this shows it's not a unique issue :(

It does looks that way 😞.  I suspect grit gets into the foam block and scratches the coating off the pipe allowing rust to set in.  The pipes are clamped in foam throughout the sill as well as in the arch so there's a good chance this could become a very difficult repair.  

Hopefully yours has gone in the arch like mine,  see if you can get a photo from Oakmere.  I'll look out for details of their solution.

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