Cooling Ticking Timebomb, how is your Cooling U-tube? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community

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post #1 of 115 (permalink) Old 10-22-2007, 06:29 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Cooling Ticking Timebomb, how is your Cooling U-tube?

So Iíve been pretty quite as of late and donít think Iíve seen this cooling issue addressed before. This last Friday I discovered a small cooling leak originating from the front side of the engine of my Cartoon Car. So I took the undertray off and slid under to take a look at what might be the problem. What I saw made me realize that yes, this is a Lotus alright. The coolant leak is coming from the A120E0017F Connector, which shorts a vestigial cooling run to the oil filter heat exchanger we donít have since we have front mounted oil cooler/s. So basically these cooling lines are dangling down with a U-shaped Al tube in front of the engine. Well, the hose length on my car is just right so that the Al tube (P/N A12E0017F) rest and rubs on one of the oil line fittings. Hence, it rubbed long enough to create a pin hole leak. Itís a 0.080Ē relatively thick wall tube with ~0.58 OD, so it took itís time to rub thru.

I think all the Fed Elise/Exiges have one or two front mounted oil coolers, so you might want to check to see if your U-tube is rubbing. If it is, itís a ticking time bomb in your coolant system. Take a look at the pic from the Service Parts List (Item 20). If you are under the car, looking up, that hose assy and U-tube are basically right above the oil filter assy.

The other thing that sucks is Iíve got take the car to the dealer for them to cover the part under warranty. While I understand they need to dot all their ďIísĒ and cross all their ďTísĒ, so they can look at it and determine the same conclusion. Flat-bedding my car to the dealer ship at my expense sure seems like Iím getting shafted for a obvious poor hose routing and support from the factory. I mentioned I can bring you the failed part and pix of what everything looks like, but they need the car regardless. I know another local Elise owner I hold in high regard has noted the same rubbing issue, itís bound to be a problem on other cars out there. Anybody know if there is a service bulletin floating around for this?

Iíve got the local parts department checking on the cost of the U-tube part, it wasnít in their system, since itís never been ordered. If it relatively cheap, I can replace it myself. Iíve repositioned the hose assy higher, so it won't rub like the original position. Now you can access the U-tube from the topside of the engine bay, still tight confines thou.

Well, as these cars continue to age, these kinds of interesting failures and oversights will continue to reveal themselves. If I get a chance tonight, I will post up a few pix of the area of interest and the removed U-Tube.

Hope this helps my fellow ETerís.

-Frankie-
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post #2 of 115 (permalink) Old 10-22-2007, 06:37 AM
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D@MN! Holes in hardlines? That does suck. Can you band-aid it and drive it to the dealer yourself, or is distance to dealer considerable?

Thanks && Please keep us posted.

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post #3 of 115 (permalink) Old 10-22-2007, 07:44 AM
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I assume it's aluminum - don't remember. Another option would be to pull the part and take it to a shop with a TIG welder. Won't be pretty, but it'd be pretty functional - probably cost $5.

Bleeding the cooling system won't be much fun though!

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post #4 of 115 (permalink) Old 10-22-2007, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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I've already supplemented a brass 90º barb-barb fitting that should get me to the dealer if need be. If the part is relatively cheap (which in a sense makes this even more asinine), it's just not worth my time and effort to go all the way to the dealer BS paper mill. I bet if I took it to the dealer, they'll bleed the cooling system as well as they did when they replaced my rear brake caliper...

Yep, that U-tube is Al, and I might take it to work and get a buddy in the Aero lab to weld it up (hopefully it's 6061). Heck maybe I'll find a scrap piece of comparable Al tubing and fab one up. Once I hear back from the parts dept, I figure out what I feel like doing. There a few other things I want the dealer to resolve, this might just be the time to do it.

Here are a few pics of the culprit. I was fortunate that I found this in my garage. If anything, next time you change your oil, take a look at this hose assy.
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post #5 of 115 (permalink) Old 10-22-2007, 05:22 PM
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This is why I come to elisetalk. Thanks Yaudi.

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post #6 of 115 (permalink) Old 10-22-2007, 05:46 PM
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For preventive measures, take some heater hose, split length wise and then wrap it around the pipe, securing it with tie straps. Instant protective coating for cheap
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post #7 of 115 (permalink) Old 10-22-2007, 05:55 PM
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Nice catch on this one--and I just had my car on the lift yesterday for an oil change when I could have inspected the line. Oh well, I guess it is just another excuse to put the car back up on the lift and do some more inspecting. I swear this car is like owning an airplane--you have to do annual inspections to keep it roadworthy and safe!
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post #8 of 115 (permalink) Old 10-22-2007, 08:26 PM
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If that's a pin hole, I'd hate to see what you'd consider a big leak!


Looks like the end isn't in very good shape either.

torque (tŰrk) n. - an excuse for the lack of momentum.
- let's bring back CanAm & Group B!
- have you hugged your Exige today?
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Last edited by codymac; 10-22-2007 at 08:34 PM.
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post #9 of 115 (permalink) Old 10-23-2007, 06:02 AM
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And while we're on the topic of preventative maintenance for hoses, check all the stainless braided flex hoses you can access and make SURE there is NO contact between the braided covering and anything else. Since the braided cover is made up of fine S/S wire, it is easier than you think to abrade through the covering by just rubbing a little on a nearby surface. I've seen an oil cooler hose on a bike rub through to the inner hose in less than three months due to one flex hose rubbing on one beside it. If there is any contact with the braided flex hose, it's a good idea to isolate the contact area by overwrapping it with some of the poly spiral tubing (Pep Boys, etc.), or whatever works for you.
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post #10 of 115 (permalink) Old 10-23-2007, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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If that's a pin hole, I'd hate to see what you'd consider a big leak!


Looks like the end isn't in very good shape either.
Something like this


Yeah, the psuedo beads on the ends of that tube are definitely weak sauce.

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post #11 of 115 (permalink) Old 10-23-2007, 10:00 AM
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Nice catch on this one--and I just had my car on the lift yesterday for an oil change when I could have inspected the line. Oh well, I guess it is just another excuse to put the car back up on the lift and do some more inspecting. I swear this car is like owning an airplane--you have to do annual inspections to keep it roadworthy and safe!
thank god Lotus doesn't make planes . carl
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post #12 of 115 (permalink) Old 10-23-2007, 01:36 PM
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I'll take a look at this. Thank you for the post.

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post #13 of 115 (permalink) Old 10-23-2007, 01:48 PM
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I saw that the day I did my first oil change. I figured there's something that's goind to rub thru one day. I think I shoved it up and out of the way a bit. If I recall, I also put some electrical black flexy conduit around it with a tie wrap.
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post #14 of 115 (permalink) Old 10-23-2007, 01:51 PM
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Nice find.

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post #15 of 115 (permalink) Old 10-23-2007, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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I saw that the day I did my first oil change. I figured there's something that's goind to rub thru one day. I think I shoved it up and out of the way a bit. If I recall, I also put some electrical black flexy conduit around it with a tie wrap.
Yeah, just wonder how many Fed Elise/Exiges are rubbing away as we type.

Funny thing, with all the track time I've logged on my Cartoon Car, I thought it was just normal to that the valve train was sounding louder. After I replumbed the cooling line and started her up, she oddly quiet. If you hear some slight mechanical noise in your engine bay, it just might be your U-tube saying "Wassup..."

I've got a tech in my Aero lab material ID'ing the tube so I can be certain it a weld will hold. Will post up what we find....
Michael here likes this.

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post #16 of 115 (permalink) Old 10-23-2007, 04:33 PM
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I'm changing my rear tires right now, so I went ahead and checked this - however I couldn't find it. I have an early 05 with twin oil coolers - so it may not be an issue for us. There was no tube running near there besides an electrical wire which had shielding with no scarring on it.

I went ahead and checked my toe-link bolt, and they were both tight (16,000 miles with autocross day before)
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post #17 of 115 (permalink) Old 10-24-2007, 04:11 AM Thread Starter
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My Cartoon Car (VIN 31386) is a dual front oil cooler car and I'd suspect any Fed Elise/Exige with front oil cooler(s) could potentially have rubbing issues with this hose assy.

Like Nathan said, you should be able to see this area by taking the RHS rear wheel off and looking towards the forward side of the engine. If your tube isn't in that spot, I'd be curious to see where the routing is, if its a different hose assy, just to make sure it's not rubbing on something else.

I've attached a pix from the Service Parts List where I've highlighted the hose assy run, for a NON-front oil cooler(s) car. Imagine the U-tube shorting the run instead of tying to the oil filter heat L-to-L exchange shown in pic. This is what my car looks like.
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post #18 of 115 (permalink) Old 10-24-2007, 06:49 AM
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Quote:
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I've got a tech in my Aero lab material ID'ing the tube so I can be certain it a weld will hold. Will post up what we find....

Engineers!

torque (tŰrk) n. - an excuse for the lack of momentum.
- let's bring back CanAm & Group B!
- have you hugged your Exige today?
I'm currently working on my performance driving merit badge.
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post #19 of 115 (permalink) Old 10-24-2007, 07:00 AM
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Ill get pics today after work...
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post #20 of 115 (permalink) Old 10-24-2007, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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So the local dealer part guy told me a fresh part from England would be ~$23, taking about 9-12 days.

The material ID showed the tube to be a 6061 alloy, so I got the lab to put a filler weld on it.

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