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Replacing pipes through the chassis on a V8... without removing the engine?


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  • Gold FFM

Hi All,

I have been spending some time over the past couple of weeks bringing my V8 out of an unplanned 6 year hibernation. So far I have made good progress and the engine is running after refitting the injectors, plenum etc and replacing the primary fuel pump.

However that good news has triggered the first of the expected raft of issues. There is a water leak from the coolant system, in itself not too bad and leaves a small puddle underneath over night. The real issue is the location on the leak. It seems to be coming from a connection in front of the engine where a hose meets the rigid pipes in the chassis but getting eyes on it is tough heavens knows how difficult it will be to get hands and tools onto it.

So this has me thinking (and kicking myself ) I really should have replaced all of the pipes that run through the chassis when the engine was out 6 years ago.  

So is it possible to replace the rubber hoses between the chassis pipes and the engine with the engine in place?

Is it possible to replace the pipes in the chassis from the front and without removing the engine? I would drop and replace the radiators at the same time.

If the engine has to come out again I don't think I could face doing it again myself so who would people recommend to take on the task of whipping the engine out, changing the belts (again) and replacing the coolant pipes  in the chassis? I do not want to trust my car to anyone who doesn't share a passion for the Esprit nor do I want to pay main dealer prices for the anticipated number of man hours. I have the suspension to attack next so need to keep an eye on the pennies. :-)

I live in Dorking, Surrey but prepared to travel to find the right person if it does come to handing over to a professional.

cheers

-Chris

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You make a good point Steve, I will put on my big boy pants and get the old bus rolling.  

While out and about, you met Richard Hammond, who then made an offer you could not refuse to provide much needed spares package for his S350

That's the closest to deserving a beer.       It only went a passed an MOT !!! 🙃 I took it in to get a todo list without checking anything myself beyond the obvious and they g

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  • Gold FFM

It could just be a bad seal on a hose?  It's possible to get torch/mirror in there so that should be your first job.  Jubilee  clip replacement is possible.  It could be the ends of the pipes corroded - quite common. Or it could be corroded inside the chassis.

It's possible to replace the pipes by making up metal/rubber/metal replacements and inserting them through the gear change aperture.  So, depends on your desire for originality!

British Fart to Florida, Nude to New York, Dunce to Denmark, Numpty to Newfoundland.  And Shitfaced Silly Sod to Sweden.

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  • Gold FFM

Hi Gary,

I have been under it and it would appear to be a joint at the rear of the pipe but I haven't been able to see the exact cause of the leak so far. Is it best to climb on top and look down or can it only be viewed/accessed from below ?

It's not really clear to me that the pipes need replacing and after 12 or 13 years I didn't think so but perhaps now after sitting for another 6 years things have changed. I think with the value of Sport 350s climbing I should pursue originality where possible, but it's good to know there is an option. 

I have observed many comments applauding your work on Esprits, do you make house calls? :sofa:

cheers

-Chris

Maybe the metal/rubber/metal is a temporary option until the engine is out again in the future?? :whistle:

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  • Gold FFM

You'll only see it from underneath, unfortunately.  Sitting for 6 years will do the pipes no good, but you need to pray you have just a bad joint.  The Heath Robinson option, although infinitely preferable to engine removal, is still a fair bit of work. I do make house calls, but it depends where and when! PM me if you wish.  Advice is always free, and I'm more than happy to talk through stuff by phone.

British Fart to Florida, Nude to New York, Dunce to Denmark, Numpty to Newfoundland.  And Shitfaced Silly Sod to Sweden.

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  • Gold FFM

Thanks Alan. I have ordered one of these to help figure out what is the cause while trying to keep my back in working order... :-)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B077ZLCNMK/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

368369686_Rotekinspectioncamera.thumb.jpg.d69e94ed7271af6f1c19adca7213a882.jpg

Crazy how cheap tech is today and delivery for next day too. 

cheers

-Chris

 

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Hi Chris, if you have the same set up as my 96 V8, you'll have 4 coolant pipes in there, 2 large bore flow and return to the radiator which are easy to get to and mounted high in the backbone, the awkward ones are the two small bore heater return and recirculation pipes, these are located along the floor of the backbone and a bugger to get at as the hoses are so close to the rear bracing plate and the servo vacuum hose sits tight between them. 

The lower small bore chassis pipes are replaced from the front by dropping the cooling duct I think, they won't clear the engine cradle at the rear, l'm on holiday until Saturday but can post up some photos of that area so you can clearly see what you're dealing with.

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  • Gold FFM

That is encouraging info, the leak would appear to be from the smaller pipes but I won't really know until closer inspection. Hopefully I can survey the area in comfort tomorrow. 😁

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  • Gold FFM

Take the lump out yourself - I still reel in pain at the hassle I had with my v8 and engine removal at a garage

Failing that - message @mike_sekinger he’s the v8 wizard

Only here once

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  • Gold FFM

Hi Barry,

I took the engine out 6 years ago and look where that got me. 🤪 I am trying to get it back on the road while I have renewed enthusiasm and drive it for a bit to really fall back in love with it. I also may have promised my daughter that I would pick her up from school in it before she changes schools at the end of this term, so the clock is ticking. Once I've had a few drives I can think about replacing the radiators, suspension, pipes and anything steel. 😃

I have been reading your thread with great interest and you can take some of the blame for my current spurt of enthusiasm.

cheers

-Chris

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  • Gold FFM

Go again chap. 

I took the S4 out late October - and was certain I wouldn’t want to do it again. December 22nd I was driving home a van with another Esprit on the trailer and the engine in the back of the van.

once you’ve done it once on an Esprit - you can do it again

Only here once

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  • Gold FFM

:cry:, I don't think I can bring myself to do that just yet. If it needs to come back out now I would like to find someone willing to do it for me. 

And that brings me back to the question, which is open to everyone...

Which professional would  you trust or have trusted to work on your Esprit?

cheers

-Chris

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  • Gold FFM
16 minutes ago, cweeden said:

:cry:, I don't think I can bring myself to do that just yet. If it needs to come back out now I would like to find someone willing to do it for me. 

And that brings me back to the question, which is open to everyone...

Which professional would  you trust or have trusted to work on your Esprit?

cheers

-Chris

Mike as referenced above does the most amazing job on V8 esprits. Probably one of the worlds greatest V8 specialists 

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Only here once

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It's about time @Sparky enjoyed some fun time on a V8. Apart from the rwo exhausts and slightly more limited access it's pretty much the same removal procedure. Mechanically the V8 is less complex, no cam towers or associated problems to deal with, just an extra cambelt.

As Barry said Mike Sec is the go to V8 guy, but unfortunately him being in deepest Germany creates a bit of a problem, I've kept an eye on Sparky's work over the last few years and been impressed. So come on Watford Exotics, there's a Lotus guy here in need of assistance, step up to the plate and offer those fantastic services. 

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42 minutes ago, Barrykearley said:

Mike as referenced above does the most amazing job on V8 esprits.

And shame on you Farmyard Exotics, we all know you would hate to see your sister company start working on a V8, but it's time to move on now Barry.......let it go.....let it go......think of your happy place.....that's good.

OMM, OMM, OMM

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  • Gold FFM
12 minutes ago, Steve V8 said:

It's about time @Sparky enjoyed some fun time on a V8.

. So come on Watford Exotics, there's a Lotus guy here in need of assistance, step up to the plate and offer those fantastic services. 

Truth be told - I reckon he’s too scared of a V8. 

Bstard thing nearly broke me

Only here once

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  • Gold FFM

I have worked on a few V8s; I just hate the engines!  I'm sure engine removal wouldn't be an issue, and beyond the engine they're much of a muchness.  I get the feeling that this might be a simple fix anyhow...

British Fart to Florida, Nude to New York, Dunce to Denmark, Numpty to Newfoundland.  And Shitfaced Silly Sod to Sweden.

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  • Gold FFM

Gearboxes are easier to remove - no faffing with starter or Slave 

Only here once

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6 minutes ago, Sparky said:

I get the feeling that this might be a simple fix anyhow...

Then I think you and @cweeden Chris should get a chatting, he just wants it recommissioned ASAP, getting these issues ironed out is your thing. 

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  • Gold FFM

Depends where he lives...

British Fart to Florida, Nude to New York, Dunce to Denmark, Numpty to Newfoundland.  And Shitfaced Silly Sod to Sweden.

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  • Gold FFM

I didn't mean to get you lot squabbling. Mike is of course very inconsiderate basing himself in Germany, hopefully he will see sense and take a UK sabbatical. :-)

This picture is helpful from Ian's thread. It shows what I assume are the larger water pipes at the top of the chassis, and four smaller pipes at the bottom of the chassis when I was only expecting two. Can someone explain what each one is for please?

434468396_Enginebaywithoutengine.jpg.20b509194327e3927310694a939ba362.jpg

cheers

-Chris

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  • Gold FFM

I'm in Dorking, not far from jctns 8 or 9 on the M25. :-)

Hopefully my inspection camera will turn up tomorrow and I'll be able to isolate the source of the leak and get an idea of how to reach it. 

Thanks for all the help. 

cheers

-Chris

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