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Engine Coolant small loss


MD355

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Hi to all,

It's been a while since my last update and things have been going pretty well with the car..

I rebuilt the V8 engine with CP Carrillo Pistons, original Lotus head gaskets, APR head bolts, installed Scotch key on the belt pulley for safety, and also rebuilt the turbos..

Everything has been going well, until last Monday when I drove the car and when stuck in traffic, it started to overheat at 110-115 Celsius..

When I pulled over and let the car cool down, it was missing 2 liters coolant, which I added.

I drove the car for a week at night and pushed on the turbos, and when I checked yesterday it was missing 700ml coolant..

I am under the impression that the car loses coolant when I drive it hard and push the turbos beyond 4500 rpm...

Could the head gaskets after 4000 miles since the rebuild be leaking? Could coolant be leaking from the turbos ?

Thanks 

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Those are not what I would call ´small coolant losses`.  If there are no apparent external signed of coolant loss, then it does sound as though you may a leak somewhere within the engine.   You can confirm HG failure with the simple test via the header tank already highlighted by John.

If it is not the HG, that you may have a failure in your liners.  Check your dipstick for any emusified oil that would indicate that you have coolant escaping to the sump.  You might also want to consider dropping the sump to check for signs of residual coolant or leaks.

I would also be concerned about the overheating event.  Assuming that was not the source of your issue, overheating like that can typical create additional issues with alloy cylinder heads.

When you were stuck in traffic, were your radiator fans running?   Just trying to understand if you had a fan failure that caused the overheating in the first place. 

It is not likely that the coolant is escaping from your turbo bearing housings.

Please keep us posted on your findings.

 

1996 Esprit V8, 1998 Esprit V8 GT, 1999 Esprit S350 #002 (Esprit GT1 replica project), 1996 Esprit V8 GT1 (chassis 114-001), 1992 Lotus Omega (927E), 1999 Esprit V8SE, 1999 Esprit S350 #032, 1995 Esprit S4s, 1999 Esprit V8 GT (ex-5th Gear project), 1999 Esprit V8SE ('02 rear)

1999 S350 #002 Esprit GT1 replica

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I will definitely check to see where the coolant is going..

In the meantime, how do you explain the fact that I can go for 3 weeks without any coolant leak (checking the tank each week) under normal driving conditions...

And if I push the car and drive it hard it could lose coolant..

Is the coolant loss related to fast driving (when the engine is under load or the turbos are forcing pressure) so that coolant is lost when the car had been driven fast ?

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It`s all theoretical because the cause is not known, but your cylinder pressures will be higher under boost and that may be resulting in loss of the coolant.

I would try not to drive the car until you fully understand the issue.  If something is wrong then it can get worst. If you do have any coolant leaking into the cylinders, in a bad case you could experience hydrolock, which could damage a whole lot more damage to the engine internals.

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1996 Esprit V8, 1998 Esprit V8 GT, 1999 Esprit S350 #002 (Esprit GT1 replica project), 1996 Esprit V8 GT1 (chassis 114-001), 1992 Lotus Omega (927E), 1999 Esprit V8SE, 1999 Esprit S350 #032, 1995 Esprit S4s, 1999 Esprit V8 GT (ex-5th Gear project), 1999 Esprit V8SE ('02 rear)

1999 S350 #002 Esprit GT1 replica

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I checked the oil and it looks ok...

I will go one of these days to my mechanic to check the coolant circuit.. 

I think he builds pressure to the system with the engine off to see any leak..

John's system looks cool and I also plan to use it to determine what is going on..

I will keep you posted..

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Any further infos on your coolant issue?

1996 Esprit V8, 1998 Esprit V8 GT, 1999 Esprit S350 #002 (Esprit GT1 replica project), 1996 Esprit V8 GT1 (chassis 114-001), 1992 Lotus Omega (927E), 1999 Esprit V8SE, 1999 Esprit S350 #032, 1995 Esprit S4s, 1999 Esprit V8 GT (ex-5th Gear project), 1999 Esprit V8SE ('02 rear)

1999 S350 #002 Esprit GT1 replica

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Sorry, I have been super busy with work...

I plan to take the car to my mechanic as soon as I get some time off work and he is available..

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Update :

So today I drove my Esprit V8 around 30 km of combined traffic, highway driving and spirited driving, and guess what, the car performed perfectly and not a single drop of coolant was missing...

I am starting to understand what is going on.. When I am driving with a group of more modern sportcars like Porsche 997/991 and want to keep up, or I have a passenger I want to show the capabilities of the Esprit V8, I tend to drive more aggressively pushing the turbos and the engine limits and this sometimes might lead to a little cooling fluid loss... Not sure where it is going.. It could be a) head gaskets b) turbos or c) from the custom header tank which I fabricated and I foolishly installed the stock coolant indicator (My mechanic wanted to make the coolant tank simple with one screw type cap, but I insisted that we also make room for the stock plastic indicator)...

So for the time being I will just avoid pushing the car to its limits, and drive it as I always do and enjoy it without any problems..

 

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I agree with Mike and recommend you carry out as many tests as possible to locate the leak. I don't want to be all negative and gloomy but if it is the liner(s), some amounts of water will vaporise and not show up in the oil but it will have the effect of steam cleaning your crank bearings, they will be fine until all of a sudden they are not. 

cheers

-Chris

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Untitled.jpg.d77ab8ac8de012c77269e22d1ec56033.jpg

I drove my car again for another 30 km of spirited driving with lots of turbo boost and there was no coolant missing..

I am starting to believe that the problem lies in the header tank..

Attached is a photo. When we fabricated a metallic coolant tank , my mechanic asked me if we wanted to retain the sensor and I insisted we do..

If you look closely, there appears to be red coolant on the plastic indicator, so maybe I should do away with this and just plug this opening too..

Edited by MD355
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The coolant level sensor should seal without any issues.  I would not remove that, as this tell-tale is an extreme safegaurd especially important in the case where you have experienced coolant loss.

Maybe check the sealing rubber on the underside of the cap.

256601189_214305674172019_1278386408629349881_n.jpg.379c6c51ff8ece2a1284fa436ddc598e.jpg

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1996 Esprit V8, 1998 Esprit V8 GT, 1999 Esprit S350 #002 (Esprit GT1 replica project), 1996 Esprit V8 GT1 (chassis 114-001), 1992 Lotus Omega (927E), 1999 Esprit V8SE, 1999 Esprit S350 #032, 1995 Esprit S4s, 1999 Esprit V8 GT (ex-5th Gear project), 1999 Esprit V8SE ('02 rear)

1999 S350 #002 Esprit GT1 replica

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If you had lost a few litres through that cap you would know about it. 

Sounds to me like the water is escaping into the cylinders when under high boost. 

I would definitely get that checked. Do the tests that have been recommended by others above, or a simple dye test by your mechanic. 

Is it possible that its overheating for another reason?? then the coolant is maybe venting out via the wheel well tank.

Don't keep driving it, you will just damage the engine

 

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