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Hi

I have just had my engine rebuilt completely with new seals and gaskets everywhere.

I still have a bloody oil leak.

Do I make peace with it and enjoy the car?

Do I keep chasing it until it drives me insane?

It would help to see how many owners can actually park in a friends driveway without leaving their mark there forever.

Duncan

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Oil leaks drive me bonkers.

Once you find the seal that leaks, you might try polishing the bare shaft seal region with steel wool/1000 grit wet sandpaper). I find that will help as some of the time a film of old seal is baked onto the shaft and will not allow the new grease seal to come in complete contact.

Look very carefully for nicks or wear rings in the seal area of the shaft. If possible, mount the seal inward or outward a bit (~1 mm) so that it avoids these worn areas. BUT ensure that no internal drain holes are blocked. If these worn areas are really obvious then attempt a speed-sleeve type of repair. Never will there be a factory-ready speed-sleeve because Lotus would rather sell you a new camshaft . . . you might need to machine your own and use an oversized inner-diameter grease seal.

Use very high quality silicone sealant in regions that Lotus does not use. Example: waterpump area, sump, oil pump, cam box end plates, etc. Also consider cutting you own gaskets out of thicker/higher-quality gasket material compared to what Lotus supply. In my car, examples include the oil pump gasket.

If you have a porous casting (e.g. a sump), remove it and get it lightly sand blasted. Then consider getting it welded (if stress cracked) or externally powder coated aluminum grey (if porous). This has worked wonders in large thin castings from other projects.

In some extreme cases you may have to "re-engineer the Lotus engineering" to solve the leak problem.

AP

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Hi

I have just had my engine rebuilt completely with new seals and gaskets everywhere.

I still have a bloody oil leak.

Do I make peace with it and enjoy the car?

Do I keep chasing it until it drives me insane?

It would help to see how many owners can actually park in a friends driveway without leaving their mark there forever.

Duncan

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Depends. Where's it leaking from?

Michael

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Mine doesnt leak much.

Until I get to take the engine out my initial prognosis is......

Cam cover gaskets

Cam shaft oil seals

Crank shaft oil seal (Front)

Drive shafts (Both)

Ummm... and several other places!!!! :(

Oh yeah and the rear carb is leaking fuel onto the dizzy!!! :(

Appart from that my engines as fluid tight as you can get!!! :)

Chunky Lover

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The sump on my car is porus :(

Common for British aluminium castings of that period(and before) :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The only oil leak my car has is the 1/8" tapered plug on the exhaust side of the head. None of the other allen plugs leak at all. I've tried, teflon tape, various sealers, a flange head plug with a dowty seal behind the allen plug all to no avail.

Anyone else have this problem? Anything that can be done about it?

I have a question about the allen plug itself. I thought it was 1/8" NPT (27 threads/in), but believe I saw in the parts manual 1/8" BSP (28 threads/in).

Does BSP stand for British Standard Pipe or British Straight Pipe? I didn't even know tapered plugs were available in BSP. Are they?

M---

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My whole shop is full of oil leaking British vehicles, from a Triumph Bonneville bike(700 original miles) to a Lola T142 Formula 5000 :(

Trying to get British stuff of this era and before oil tight is a futile persuit. :(

Good luck to you all :(:)

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To answer the question of the leaky pipe thread fitting . . . here's my best guess:

The BPT (British pipe thread) original Lotus fitting was "lost" and has been substituted with a locally-supplied NPT fitting. If so, she's a poor substitute!

The alloy threads in the head might be worse for the wear because the pitch is close but not close enough.

Maybe drill and tap with a slightly larger pipe-thread size that you can buy a plug for?

AP

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Feeling much better now! :)

I will only see where the leak is from once I get it on a lift next week.

Coming from the front of the engine. Probably front crank seal. At least I can do that one with the motor in place.

Worried how much more it is going to leak once I start using synthetic oil.

At least I am not alone fighting the invisible enemy.

Duncan

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Oil leaks are common. I spoke to Lakeside Engineering about this and (Surrey Lotus Specialist) and they said it was common for the 910 engine to weep a bit and was nothing to worry about.

When I bought mine, I had a leak from the drive shaft seals. I had the seals replaced and it stop the leak from there. But I was really annoyed to find it was weeping from somewhere else.

It still weeps slightly but not much. The oil level is still high on the dipstick and it hasn't been topped up since last April :) .

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You should have that fixed immediately; this has been a source of engine fires.

-Dave

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Your very right! :(

Thats why its been parked up until I get the time to take the engine out and sort the whole lot & change the cam belt as I don't know when it was last changed!

p.s. the oil leaks have contaninated the rear disks so I aint got no rear brakes!! Hill starts are a right bugger when you've got no handbrake and theres someone sucking on your rear bumper!! :)

Chunky Lover

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No alloy engine is going to stay tight as it ages. Unless of course you go for that expensive stripdown. We just have to stop the leaks as they come and keep her topped up, which i think is a good thing for an old car as your allways puting fresh lube in.

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with an older car, it's less important to have fresh lube.  all the particulates have already been taken away with previous oil.  exception is diesel fuel engines because of soot.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

But you don't want your oil oxidizing as it does with age and heat and acid by-products of combustion. Nor do you want the viscosity extenders chopped up. Regular oil changes are good.

S4 Elan, Elan +2S, Federal-spec, World Championship Edition S2 Esprit #42, S1 Elise, Excel SE

 

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THE REAR OF THE GEARBOX END PLATE LEAKS OIL ON MINE BUT I WILL GET IT DONE SOON,AND I KNOW THAT IF I TAKE THE EXHAUST MOUNTING PLATE OF I WILL HAVE TO REPLACE IT! THE LEANING CAM COVER GASKET IS LEAKING SLIGHTY ASWELL I HAVE FITTED LOADS OF GASKETS TO THIS BUT IT STILL KEEPS ON LEAKING EVEN WHEN USING SEALANT ASWELL! I WISH I HAD CHANGED THE CAM HOUSINGS FOR THE LATER ONES REALLY WHEN I REBUILT THE TOP END! BUT HEY I STILL STUCK WITH THE OLD SADDLE TYPE! THERES ALWAYS NEXT TIME! AT LEAST MY CAMBELT AND NEW WATERPUMP SHOULD BE ARIVING THIS WEEK AND THE BELT TENSIONER! :lol:

REGARDS DAN! :P:huh::):(

A

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THE REAR OF THE GEARBOX END PLATE LEAKS OIL ON MINE BUT I WILL GET IT DONE SOON,AND I KNOW THAT IF I TAKE THE EXHAUST MOUNTING PLATE OF I WILL HAVE TO REPLACE IT!  THE LEANING CAM COVER GASKET IS LEAKING SLIGHTY ASWELL I HAVE FITTED LOADS OF GASKETS TO THIS BUT IT STILL KEEPS ON LEAKING EVEN WHEN USING SEALANT ASWELL!  I WISH I HAD CHANGED THE CAM HOUSINGS FOR THE LATER ONES REALLY WHEN I REBUILT THE TOP END! BUT HEY I STILL STUCK WITH THE OLD SADDLE TYPE! THERES ALWAYS NEXT TIME! AT LEAST MY CAMBELT AND NEW WATERPUMP SHOULD BE ARIVING THIS WEEK AND THE BELT TENSIONER! :rolleyes: 

                                  REGARDS DAN! :lol:  :P  :(  :blink:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Did you change the sealing washers under the heads of the cam cover bolts? Oil was pouring our of the old ones on my exhauft cam cover. With new washers it's nice and dry and they are only 18 cents each from JAE.

S4 Elan, Elan +2S, Federal-spec, World Championship Edition S2 Esprit #42, S1 Elise, Excel SE

 

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84 S3 50,000 miles - engine pretty good, bit of a drip from the gearbox selector shaft. Not a problem really, at least it tells you there is some left in. Not as bad as old triumphs etc with leaky diffs - EP80 on a hot exhaust smells truly evil.

merry Christmas :)

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  • 2 months later...

I also have very small trace of oil weeping from the exhaust side of the cylinder head gasket on my 1984 turbo. Whilst the engine runs perfectly (other than one or two oil drops burning off the exhaust manifold when first started) the coolant has no water/oil contamination, and a recent oil change showed absolutely no water present.I'm obviosly a bit nervous of the possible consequences,the engine was fully rebuilt 4500 miles ago so the head gasket is relatively new, have I a cause for concern here? or am I over reacting? has anyone else had this problem?

Iain.

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