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Oil Cooler Replacement - Hints and Tips Please

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Appropos my previous post - it wasn't a leaking damper, a large puddle of engine oil on my garage floor and no oil on the dipstick the next day confirmed it was a cracked oil cooler. New one on order. Access is OK but my first attempt at loosening the lower union snapped off the stub pipe, between the two large nuts. Can anyone advise the correct modus operandi for removing and retightening these things when I fit the new cooler i.e. which one to clamp, which one to tighten. I don't want to knacker the fixings on either the cooler or the pipe.

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I did both of mine, albeit on an S4 and suffered the same snapping effect. The ally remnants of the cooler remained in the steel joint at the end of the pipe!

So beyond going steady Im not sure there is a sure fire removal technique.

For refitting, everyone I spoke to including Lotus dealers and Setrab rep (they make the coolers for the S4) suggested that liberally applying lithium grease to the threads (not to use other antiseize compounds but not sure why) before reassembly was essential and that hand tight with a wrench on the unions will more than do - as indeed has proved adequate!

Good luck!

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I had to change one of mine about a year ago - hence i knew the symptons :lol: She'd dumped about 4 litres of oil down the side of the car in an 8 miles journey :lol:

The first thing I would say is that the fittings on the newer coolers are much better than the originals, as the ally wasn't very thick where the union screws in on the original.

Secondly they come with the fittings already fitted so there is no need to screw these in or worry about damaging the threads when they are fitted,

Thirdly, as TinyWillyUk says hold the union with a wrench so as not put undue strain on the fit into the cooler then tightening firmly by hand and just pinching it at the end with a wrench.


Hey, can anyone smell fuel?????

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Appropos my previous post - it wasn't a leaking damper, a large puddle of engine oil on my garage floor and no oil on the dipstick the next day confirmed it was a cracked oil cooler. New one on order. Access is OK but my first attempt at loosening the lower union snapped off the stub pipe, between the two large nuts. Can anyone advise the correct modus operandi for removing and retightening these things when I fit the new cooler i.e. which one to clamp, which one to tighten. I don't want to knacker the fixings on either the cooler or the pipe.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I dont know if your cooler arrangement is the same as mine without seeing it but mine had a union transfer piece incorporated into the attatchment from the cooler to the feed pipe from the engine I was lucky as it was the pipe rather than the cooler that was leaking I held the union piece cooler side and turned the pipe section and it came off no problem. good job cos at 500 quid + vat each from lotus i was not eager to replace it.

Might i make a suggestion though seeing as though you are in there now before you put it back together you might want to consider a couple of additioanal points

first. follow your cooler feed pipes back they connect to the front lower section of the engine if they are wet with oil you might want to replace them but its a pig of a job as the pipes run through the box section of the car and are held half way up with a p-clip of sorts which to get acsess to requires the removal of the center consol to gain acsess through a small hole they are

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Thanks Bobbak. Thats to much work for me to contemplate just now as I work away from home and would rather be out driving at weekends not flat on my back in the garage! Besides I checked the pipes all the way back to the engine - no problems. The other oil cooler seems to be in good condition so I'll be leaving that alone.

I agree on the pipe design though. I've got the replacement cooler from SJ and in my e-mail dialogue with Steve suggested that a short pipe, perhaps no longer than a foot or two, from the cooler to an inline connector would be ideal. Replacing this, if either the union leaked or it broke when the cooler is replaced, would make life a lot easier (and cheaper). I might do this mod if the other cooler eventually goes, or the radiator, at some point in the future (as it no doubt will)

Like many things Lotus, you sometimes wonder "which idiot designed this"....

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