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Oil Cooler Cross Over Pipe Burst!


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Had the unfortuntate experince of my oil cooler cross over pipe burst the other day. This is the pipe that links the two oil coolers that passes behind the bumper in front of the air con radiator!

It's an absolute t**t to get to. I started to get oil dripping at tthe front and thought it was the dreaded oil coolers failing. I quickly established that these were both dry and the leak was coming from behind the lower bumper on the passenger side. On saturday I had to strip the lip, undertrays, fog lights and then the cowling for the radiator intake. Found the leak to be coming from the pipe about 60mm bulkhead on the radiator side and it passes through the GRP. This area was protected with plastic trunking and there was no holes in this anywhere near the split in the oil cooler pipe. Pete helped me out and soon turned up a joiner/ union made from stainless tubing. He machined lipped ends so the pipe wouldn't work loose in the future. We then cut out the damaged section which I have kept to send to Lotus. There isn't any damage to the outer surface but the inner rubber is split. We had to cut back until the spilt dissappeared.

Connecting was a pain too and there was still no space to hold one piece of pipe and connect the other. Got actual pipe repaired on Saturday but then had to come home as the missus was giving me grief!

So today I finished the job off outside my house, drove the car up some shallow ramps which were high enough to work underneath. Had N/S oil cooler ducting to put in and secure, fog lights, two side undertrays and lip spoilers to fix. Car all running fine now.

Iam going to send damaged pipe off to Lotus for them to have a look at. Not sure what cause it to break. It could have been sub-standard pipe, fatigue or old age, although my car is on a V plate and hasn't really any rust on it so I don't think it's that. Fatigue is a little unlikely as it had a protective sleeve along it's length which wasn't damaged. Also it was tie clipped to prevent it from moving about. Damage wasn't near any bulkhead, tie clip and brackets so Iam puzzled?

Iam a bit worried thaif in the future I have to replace this pie along with other oil pipes that this will mean new oil coolers as they seize at this end.

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This is very scary. Be sure to keep us posted on what you find out.

Thanks,

Rod

Rod

98 Esprit V8

Dynamic Racing Turbos

Water Injection

Factory Red ECU

3 bar MAP piggyback

Straight-through exhaust

TurboXS BOVs

Blitz I-color boost control + Wide-band AFR

Porsche/Getrag G50/52 Transmission (...coming soon someday)

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I was thinking the same thing. The first signs on a post 98 V8 would be the engine to seize!!! Unless you saw a trail of oil in your rear view mirror but I would suspect that this would be too late. I was lucky as it was a small puddle on my driveway so the split must have been a pin hole to start with. The early V8 has a oil pressure gauge but Iam not sure if this would help you if you lost oil when driving.

Very disturbing, I will draft a letter to Lotus and send it next week along with the samples I've taken off my car.

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