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


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  • Gold FFM

OK, so a quick update. I popped 8 litres of water into system and the drip drip drip is still there. I loosened the jubilee clip again, moved the hose a little to try and re-seat it, then tightened the clip again but it is still dripping.  I will take Mike's advice and run a temporary pipe underneath the chassis to get it up and running. I don't want to make any additional holes in the chassis so I will try and utilise the clip mountings that are already there to handle three pipes instead of two. I won't get to this until Thursday at the earliest so hopefully will have some good news by the weekend. :-)

cheers

-Chris

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I had another look underneath my car a couple of days ago. There is no leeway to change those alloy heater pipes from the front at least on the S4s chassis, and presumably therefore, the V8. There simply isn't enough give in the pipe to get it past the chassis crossmember, they have to come out from the engine bay, and even then, they don't go in straight, they have to be carefully flexed to ease them in. I know this, because I've done the job.

Another view:- I've been giving this some thought. Even the late Esprit's are now a bit long in the tooth, so I suspect pipe corrosion is going to force more owners to change them in the future. My car suffered the same slow drip, and having now replaced all the coolant pipes, I wonder whether the alloy tubes could be replaced with rubber coolant hose. Not the large engine coolant pipes as they'd sag, but certainly the smaller diameter heater pipes and the charge-cooler pipes (where fitted), because they lay very close to the bottom of the chassis. I think they sit on rubber insertion, and they're secured by an ingenious Lotus system called "Several bits of 16mm coolant hose cut to length wedged in-between".

Obviously, they would have to have connectors either end, and would have to be protected where they penetrated the chassis front and rear, but I would give that some serious thought. You'd have to remove the master gearchange, but that's an easy job. The big plus point, is that you wouldn't have to remove the engine, although you would need to cut the alloy pipes to get them out. Some basic gynecology skills would be an advantage, however I reckon it's do-able.

Margate Exotics.

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pipe corrosion is going to force more owners to change them in the future.

Agreed.

It's my belief that many of these aluminum pipes corrode because of interaction with the coolant...ESPECIALLY when it doesn't flow. 😵

 

Those owners who NEVER turn on the heater matrix (or, those SE owners whose chargecooler pumps have failed, unbeknownst to the owner) are apt to corrode. Pipe junctions that seep coolant due to loose jubilee clips can cause issues too (which is why most corrosion occurs at the ends).

I won't even mention those owners who let their cars sit idle for years. 😣

 

I keep the heat knob 'cracked' (at the 5 o'clock position) all year 'round, to promote a little bit of movement without warming the cabin.  I also believe that modern OAT or HOAT coolants will help reduce the possibility of reaction,. (Note that to change coolant types, you need to do a thorough flush.)  Of course, I'm always inspecting for drips.

 

(Would applying a smear of non-hardening Hylomar AF to any hose/aluminum connection prevent leakage, especially when hoses are replaced?)

Atwell Haines

'88 Esprit

Succasunna, NJ USA

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  • Gold FFM
16 minutes ago, CarBuff said:

I won't even mention those owners who let their cars sit idle for years.

Thanks for not mentioning it, I would be really ashamed if you had. 😳

 

Once I have a workaround in place I may try removing the existing tube from the rear with the engine in place. If that can be done it give hope to replacing it with the engine in place too.However I suspect I may need to take a brave pill in the not too distant future and pull the motor again to tackle a bunch of things that have suffered over the past few years (but not until it is on the road again for a short while at least!).

cheers

-Chris

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Very late to this but it does all sound familiar....

Would it be possible to remove deck, drives shafts and fuel cross over pipe and jack the engine up enough to allow the pipes to pass underneath....

You would still have to remove the gear stick etc to guide the new pipes through and possibly to remove the zip ties, as stated above, that the fitters at lotus put in the backbone...

At least you don't have to remove the engine completely...

Like yourself I found a leak in one of the Rad pipes AFTER I had re-built the whole back end... I guess disturbing the pipes was enough to make them leak...!!!

But I had to take the engine out again to fix it..!!

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  • Gold FFM
6 hours ago, Garibaldi2112 said:

Would it be possible to remove deck, drives shafts and fuel cross over pipe and jack the engine up enough to allow the pipes to pass underneath....

Nice thought but it won't work.

To clear the chassis cross tube behind the pipes they need to be angled upwards to get them in. 

I still think drilling a couple of 20mm holes in the front subframe and dropping the radiator is the  way to go, but my opinion seems to be a frowned upon option by those with far greater knowledge than me.

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  • Gold FFM

Hi All,

I have made some progress at last. A temporary pipe has been run underneath the chassis bypassing the existing tubing. I made up some brackets so that I could use the existing mounts for the air con lines without drilling any new holes (sorry Steve, I'm not a fan of making new holes in the chassis :)). I was able to re-use the hose at the rear that comes off the top of the re-circulation pump without putting any undue stress on it (that was a happy moment) and up front I've used the existing 90degree bend from the diverter valve a small (5cm or so) length of pipe and some hose to connect that to the new tube running under the car. I've put 4 litres of water in and so far it looks much better but I will let it sit overnight and check again in the morning.  The joint where the return hose from the heater matrix meets it's through the chassis pipe seems to be weeping a bit too, I've pinched the  jubilee clip up a little bit and hopefully that will take care of that one (fingers crossed). Sorry for the poor pictures and thanks for all the help and advice so far. 

cheers

-Chris

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IMG_2844.thumb.JPG.e03a889d000b490a6fe30a10df30f63b.JPG

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  • Gold FFM
36 minutes ago, cweeden said:

made up some brackets so that I could use the existing mounts for the air con lines without drilling any new holes

Them's the power steering pipes, nice work with the clamps Chris. I'm running a new braided clutch pipe front to rear, and may copy those clamps, so please don't send off your patent just yet.

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  • Gold FFM

So the good news is the water system seems to be leak free (for now at least), I have had the engine running up to temperature and gone through a couple of fan cycles and all seems good so far. All the fans kick in and the temperature came down nicely.

However, it has kicked up a couple of new issues. It doesn't want to restart when warm, it just churns with no hint of firing, leave it for a minute or so and it did restart. Then the same problem. I am pretty sure I have seen threads talking about warm or hot start issues so I will have to get searching.

Another issue I noticed is with the speedo, the odometer has gone nuts and is doing a funky dance. Has anyone had seen this before and got any ideas for a quick fix? Otherwise I will start by talking to these guys that I found after a quick bit of surfing, http://www.clusterrepairsuk.co.uk/

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My speedo did exactly the same but was due to high humidity in the cabin, when the inside dried out (window left open and it rained - doh!) it sorted itself out and has been fine ever since. Having said that these VDO units are known for this problem so may need to be sent off for repair.

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  • Gold FFM

Thanks Marc, I don't think the cabin has high humidity, the car has been garaged for all of its time off the road but perhaps the recent water leaks under the car has had an impact. There is no condensation or damp feel but I have my fingers crossed. I have emailed the repair company and am awaiting their response.

I found this thread to help with the hot start problem and I will be improving the engine to negative connection first as a quick test.

cheers

-Chris

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  • Gold FFM

So I hadn't tightened the battery terminals properly when I installed the new battery at the start of this recommissioning work. With that tightened it does start when hot so that is a nice easy one ticked off.

I did however manage to trip the ABS light, doh! The rear is on axle stands and while running the engine to bleed the water etc the handbrake was off and so the rear wheels began turning slowly. Since the fronts were not moving I suspect this is the trigger for the ABS error. I thought I would be able to turn it off via the OBDII software but it obviously isn't controlled by the ECU, it also hasn't cleared after a number of restarts, I am hoping it will clear once all 4 wheels start moving together again. If not I have another new problem to add to the list. 

While running up to temp today to test the hot start I captured some data from the V8 OBDII software and monitored a few metrics. Does anyone with a known healthy V8 have a log of their car idling that they could share with me to compare figures that would be very helpful.

Also has anyone written anything in excel (or something else) to graph their runs and pick out various parameters more easily? I am just being lazy here, I hope you don't mind. 🙂

cheers

-Chris

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In general (not Lotus specific) an ABS system will reset its self once all the wheels are moving again. :) 

It's getting there......

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  • Gold FFM

Pfft...metrics, parameters, graphing...No, cobwebs and beans mate. Get her out the garage blow out the cobwebs and then give her some beans, you'll soon find out if somethings not right. You can then use the metrics to measure the parameters of your 😁 

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It broke down while being served the beans?...

1996 Esprit V8, 1998 Esprit V8 GT, 1999 Esprit S350 #002 (Esprit GT1 replica project), 1996 Esprit V8 GT1 (chassis 114-001), 1992 Lotus Omega (927E), 1999 Esprit V8SE, 1999 Esprit S350 #032, 1995 Esprit S4s, 1999 Esprit V8 GT (ex-5th Gear project), 1999 Esprit V8SE ('02 rear)

1999 S350 #002 Esprit GT1 replica

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  • Gold FFM

Absolutely nothing. She ran like a dream until you ran out of petrol and that was just after being clocked by a speed camera.

 

🍻

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  • Gold FFM

I was going to tell you what really happened but I don't want to bring the imaginative  responses just yet. No one is close so far so keep guessing for a short while longer at least.

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