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What is this that is leaking?

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My 2001 Esprit has developed a slow oil leak of some sort. I just put the car up on my car lift and took these pictures. I am a novice so don't make fun of me, but I do not know what is leaking. The first picture is where the oil seems to be coming from. The other picture is of course the bottum side of the engine.

Any help would be great!!

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The pictures aren't very clear but: if that is the inner end of the driveshaft entering the gearbox, it looks like the oil seal. Check your box breather to make sure it's not blocked. Pressure in the box will force oil past the seals. It is probably just a leaking seal. You need to make sure there is no play in the driveshaft where it enters the gearbox in case that's what has caused the seal to fail.


"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough."

- Mario Andretti

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My 2001 Esprit has developed a slow oil leak of some sort. I just put the car up on my car lift and took these pictures. I am a novice so don't make fun of me, but I do not know what is leaking. The first picture is where the oil seems to be coming from. The other picture is of course the bottum side of the engine.

Any help would be great!!

Can't really see any oil leaks in the piccies. But assuming the centre area is where you think the oil leaks are from, then its a drive shaft seal. So its a gearbox oil leak and quiet a common problem.

Not a big job to fix. If you get a Renault 21 Turbo gearbox oil seal and do it yourself. Dead cheap, there are threads on how to do it on LEW.

Or go to a Lotus dealer and let them charge you rip off price for the part with the same manufacturer number as you get from Renault. Any rumours about the seal being a special Lotus seal are rubbish. I've just had my box rebuilt and the Renault ones in the rebuilt box have the same manufacturer number cast in the rubber as the ones I got from Lotus... the only difference is a massive price discrepancy...

Don't we all love Lotus...

Jeff

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I don't have much experience of the gearbox but what happens if the roll pin is not sealed and is leaking Jeff? Do you get the same symptoms or is the leak somewhere else?

Alan Croft had a leak which looked very similar to that. PNM fixed it in minutes as the roll pin that was fitted was a 4 cylinder which was slightly longer and wasn't right. PNM put a new one in and sealed it with silicone. Never leaked since.

Dave

Edited by superdavelotus

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You've got 2 seals around the sun gear / output splines on the differential, one is an O-Ring around the shaft itself (moving) and the other is the the stationry oil/dirt seal. The O-ring should be fine, it's common the oil seal goes though after a while - if it is this I would recomend it done at a propper garage as part of the suspension has to come out as doe the drive shaft and the seal needs a propper tool to insert it correctly.

Cost wise, what were renault asking then ? Don't be so quick to shout Lotus down.

The main difference is Renault probably sold / ordered these by the 1,000 - Lotus order them by the 100 which means their prices go up becuase they are not ordering on bulk, they're hardly going to sell them at a loss !

As for the roll pins, interesting - someone suggested that contributed to my oil loss from the gearbox on the SE but these holes in the output shaft on the SE are totally sealed, theres no way they can leak oil :angry:

I wonder if for some reason in the later boxes, renault hollowed out the shaft so that oil now flows up them...why I dont know.


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Ok guys lots of great information thanks!!! We do not have Renualt here in the US and my closest Lotus dealer is 3 1/2 hours away. Should I take it to a local mechanic and see what he says?

No oil leaked over night, I guess it is only happening when I drive it, would this narrow the possibilites?

Thanks again!!!!

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You've got 2 seals around the sun gear / output splines on the differential, one is an O-Ring around the shaft itself (moving) and the other is the the stationry oil/dirt seal. The O-ring should be fine, it's common the oil seal goes though after a while - if it is this I would recomend it done at a propper garage as part of the suspension has to come out as doe the drive shaft and the seal needs a propper tool to insert it correctly.

Cost wise, what were renault asking then ? Don't be so quick to shout Lotus down.

The main difference is Renault probably sold / ordered these by the 1,000 - Lotus order them by the 100 which means their prices go up becuase they are not ordering on bulk, they're hardly going to sell them at a loss !

As for the roll pins, interesting - someone suggested that contributed to my oil loss from the gearbox on the SE but these holes in the output shaft on the SE are totally sealed, theres no way they can leak oil :blink:

I wonder if for some reason in the later boxes, renault hollowed out the shaft so that oil now flows up them...why I dont know.

???? How could the roll Pins possible contribute to oil loss???? The role pins are on the OUTSIDE of the gear box part way down the driveshaft train??? This is all far away and outside of any gear box oi/sealsl???

The UN-1 gearbox in the Renault 21 Turbo have SINGLE roll pins. In the Esprit V8 they are twin roll pins one sleeved inside the other, although the original outside diameter stays the same as the Renault box. I guess somehow the Lotus Twin pin system takes more power/or is stronget that the original Renault single pin system...

Jeff

I've pulled a UN-1 out of a Renault 21 Turbo recently (horribly oily job)..... AND also pulled a knackered Esprit V8 gearbox, for a Quaife (DB1 style upgrade) full rebuild +Quaife LSD upgrade, in the past few weeks.....)...

Jeff

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???? How could the roll Pins possible contribute to oil loss???? The role pins are on the OUTSIDE of the gear box part way down the driveshaft train??? This is all far away and outside of any gear box oi/sealsl???

Indeed, I can't see how it leaks but I've heard it spoken about though.

EDIT:

I had the opportunity to look at this tonight, curious so I thought I'd try and have go at explaining.

There are 2 seals for the driveshaft as mentioned.

1) Rotating O-Ring - seals the very end of the drive shaft to stop oil going up the small gaps in the splines (ie seals the inside)

2) Static lip seal - Seats the outside of the driveshaft spline coupling to keep oil coming out from outside the shaft.

If any of the seals are damaged they'll leak no question - the leaking roll pins comes from the fact the oil seeps past the O-ring and up the spline coupling. By using 2 roll pins and their orientation that cuts down the possibility of leaking as it's a harder for the oil to get out - sealant over the end will stop the inevitable tiny leakage (all hydraulics leak) and also protect the pins from the elements.

driveshaft_seal.jpg


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Ok guys lots of great information thanks!!! We do not have Renualt here in the US and my closest Lotus dealer is 3 1/2 hours away. Should I take it to a local mechanic and see what he says?

No oil leaked over night, I guess it is only happening when I drive it, would this narrow the possibilites?

Thanks again!!!!

I wouldn't take it just anywhere. After I had my second gear replaced by the local Lotus tech, it took 3 tries before the roll pins stopped leaking. They are tricky to get right and require a special tool that I doubt Joe's Auto repair would have..

Edited by gmendoza

'03.5 Final Edition Esprit ~ 5.7lbs/hp

mildly modded - 430rwhp, 353rwtq

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I wouldn't take it just anywhere. After I had my second gear replaced by the local Lotus tech, it took 3 tries before the roll pins stopped leaking. They are tricky to get right and require a special tool that I doubt Joe's Auto repair would have..

OK I took the car to a local shop that has a great reputation. He replaced the seal but now the other side seems to be leaking? Just picked the car up yesterday and I noticed that the rear end is really "bouncy" now? :) Any idea of what he could have done wrong? I am going to call him tomorrow!

Thanks!

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OK I took the car to a local shop that has a great reputation. He replaced the seal but now the other side seems to be leaking? Just picked the car up yesterday and I noticed that the rear end is really "bouncy" now? :) Any idea of what he could have done wrong? I am going to call him tomorrow!

Thanks!

'You sure the seals needed to be replaced and not the roll pins needing to be resealed with silicone?

Also are you referring to the ride as bouncy?


'03.5 Final Edition Esprit ~ 5.7lbs/hp

mildly modded - 430rwhp, 353rwtq

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'You sure the seals needed to be replaced and not the roll pins needing to be resealed with silicone?

Also are you referring to the ride as bouncy?

The mechanic did replace the seals. He thinks one of them might have been defective.

Yes the ride is very bouncy, it was fine until the car went in to have the seals replaced?

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The mechanic did replace the seals. He thinks one of them might have been defective.

Yes the ride is very bouncy, it was fine until the car went in to have the seals replaced?

Perhaps they checked your tire pressure and added air as most 18" wheels with low profile tires get about 38PSI of air vs 29psi, this will make the ride very bouncy. Also, check that a spring on the shock didn't get hung up on something when they lowered the car back down from the lift.

Artie

Edited by Artie

89 White Esprit SE

...a few little upgrades....

93 RX7.....Silverstone

....slightly modded...Muahaha...

New Addition:

1990 300ZX TT......Hmmm

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Perhaps they checked your tire pressure and added air as most 18" wheels with low profile tires get about 38PSI of air vs 29psi, this will make the ride very bouncy. Also, check that a spring on the shock didn't get hung up on something when they lowered the car back down from the lift.

Artie

To get the drive shafts of your mechanic would have taken the rear wheels off to release the suspension top link that attaches to the top of the hub carrier. In my case I also slackened the lower link to get a little more movement although it doesn't say to do this in the manual.

With the top link detached the hub can then be pulled out at the top and this draws the drive shaft with it just enough to free it from the gearbox output spline.

When refitted the manual says that the car should be at normal ride height (which I took to mean wheels on and the car standing on its tyres) when the bolts are re-torqued.

If the bolts are re-torqued with the suspension hanging limp I wonder if the suspension bushes may become wound up and twisted enough once the car is back on its tyres to create this 'bouncy' feel?

I seem to remember I measured my ride height at 27 1/2 inches - that is floor to the centre of the underside face of the wheel arch trim, just before I torqued the bolts up.

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If the bolts are re-torqued with the suspension hanging limp I wonder if the suspension bushes may become wound up and twisted enough once the car is back on its tyres to create this 'bouncy' feel?

I second that motion :P

Quick fix, lift up - slacken the bolts, drop, tighten - all to 70nm.


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Buggered if I know why it leaks but once pete at PNM redid my roll pins I haven't had a drip on the garage floor (touch wood).

Cheers


Alan Croft

2000 V8 GT

87 Turbo Esprit HC

2000 Elise Sport 160

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