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Old 07-26-2010, 03:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Step by Step Oil Cooler Line Full Repair

My LH (driver side) oil cooler line tore open with a little hole and the recently changed oil was dumped all over the road and the driver side of my Lotus. No oil light came on and I feel confident I turned it off before any damage occurred. It happened during the day so I was able to see the oil trail in my side view mirror. I am adding an oil pressure gauge as soon as possible. I highly recommend it if you are out of warranty and do not wish to replace an engine. Needless to say it had to be towed home. I finally used my Sector 111 front tow hook.

Let the repair begin.

- I started off by washing the Lotus of all the oil before it caused any paint damage.

- I raised up the Lotus and removed both driver side wheels and wheel arches.

- The oil cooler line was easily accessible and exposed. I inspected the hose and found a small hole close to the crimped fitting. I considered just cutting the hose and re-crimping it as others have done, but as I closely inspected the hose, I found another area of concern that had been rubbing and slightly worn down.
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Old 07-26-2010, 03:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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- Using a 1 1/8 open end wrench, I removed the oil cooler line from the oil cooler. It was on very tight and I had to use counter pressure so that the oil cooler would not sustain damage. Again, it was on very tight.

- The retaining clips were opened up and the hose was loose. I removed the rubber grommet off the hose that goes on the wheel well body panel.
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Old 07-26-2010, 03:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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- After reading another LotusTalk post, I realized the rocker panel had to be removed in order to cut a hole to release a hose clip inside. Poor Lotus design.

- Removing the rocker panel was easy. Two bolts under the Lotus. One inside the bottom of the door frame and two under the wheel well area.

- This gave me a good opportunity to clean even further.
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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After looking into the tiny holes where the front mud flap goes, I was able to guesstimate where the hose clip was located.

- Using a 1 inch spade drill bit, I drilled into the outer sill plate. The hole will be covered by the rocker panel. I might also place a decal or heavy duty orange racing tape over the hole just for extra coverage. However, it is not needed since the hole will be covered by the rocker panel.

- I reached in and loosened the hose clip very easy.

- Now the hose is loose in the front except for some packing foam that is inside that makes the hose slightly difficult to move around.

*NOTE: Please read further down into my other postings. I was able to remove the interior plastic sill. I was also able to reach inside and grab the oil cooler hose and move around the foam. Maybe it is also possibe to un-do the hose clip without having to bring the hole. If I had to do it again, I would try the interior sill first.
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Old 07-30-2010, 06:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I had to cut the oil cooler line in order to shop around for a higher quality replacement hose and fittings. I am trying to get the fitting size.
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Old 07-30-2010, 06:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Looks like a female BSP to barb fitting. I dealt a lot with oil cooler/fittings in my other track car. I have used Setrab,Mocal,Aeroquip,Earls,XRP and Russell fittings/hoses. My favorite hose is Pro-lite by Earls. It is black nylon braided and just as strong as the SS braided ones. Lighter too.

Fittings wise, I prefer Mocal and Earls.

Do you intend to go with AN fittings? If you need a BSP to AN adapter, try BAT Inc (British American Transfer). Ask for Eric. They carry a lot of odd, unusual fittings/adapters that sort.

Update:

I just read your other post about the size. With 16mm printed on the hose, I am guessing it's closer to 5/8" ID here in the US. It's a AN-11 hose and the only one I can think of is Earls AutoFlex, 300011ERL. This is SS braided however.
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Old 07-31-2010, 08:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The fitting sizes and type of hose to use is still in the works but I believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel. All your advice is greatly appreciated.

I went ahead and removed the sill cover.
- Remove the side screw.
- Remove the two screws under the headlight/ start button area and remove
the button panel. (It put it back for picture purposes)
- There are also two more screws under the rubber mat in the change tray.
- Slowly and carefully lift the sill cover. The cover is plastic and very easily
broken. I did not break it, but can see where others might.
- Clean up the area due to the build up dirt and dust over time.

You will be able to move the foam around and grab the oil cooler hose. I was also able to reach in and feel the hose clip. This will eliminate the need to cut a hole in the side of the rocker area. This also makes it easier to grab and pull the hose through.


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Old 08-17-2010, 07:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I finally ordered the 13 ft hose and BSP ⅝ fittings from Pegasus Auto Racing.

2 3613-1.75 - Lined Hose Clamp, 1 to 1.75 inch dia. $4.38
13 3290-10 - 5/8 ID Blue Textile Reinforced Hose, $5.84 per ft / $75.92
1 3294-10-90 - 5/8 ID Hose End, 5/8 BSP 90' Angle $36.99
2 3615-500 - Rubber Hose Clamp Jacket for 1/2 inch Wide Clamps $0.58
1 3294-10-45 - 5/8 ID Hose End, 5/8 BSP 45' Angle $36.99

I tested the fittings and ⅝ was the exact bsp fitting. I went with the push fittings because those were the only bsp fittings I could find. Trust me I did my homework. I could've gone to a -10 an but then I would've run into other headaches. I have been told that push fittings could hold the oil cooler pressures. I am adding lined hose clamps just as an added safety. We will see.
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Old 08-17-2010, 11:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Are you saying the hose cost $850 ??
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Old 08-18-2010, 11:41 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Good assumption. Ha Ha. $75.92 was the total for the 13 feet. It is actually $5.84 per feet.
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Old 08-18-2010, 12:06 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Good writeup. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:44 AM   #12 (permalink)
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To run the line through the sills, I made a hole in both hoses and ran a wire through both. I used tape to smooth it out and allow for an easy pull through. I pulled the old OEM hose from the rear and my wife fed it through the front wheel-well area to avoid it getting kinked.

It fed through like butter once it got passed the extra OEM padding. The new hose is the blue hose. You can see the padding torn to bits on the floor of the last picture.
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:56 AM   #13 (permalink)
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It took advantage of the issue and went ahead and removed the oil sandwich plate to address the "U-Tube" concern I have seen people talk about. Taking off the sandwich plate is so easy. All you need is a 1" socket. Once it was off you can see how dirty it was on the top (opposite of where the oil filter is attached). I am a clean freak so I cleaned it up like new even though no one sees this area.

The "U-Tube" had some rubbing marks but no dents or heavy wear. I went ahead and wrapped it in rubber from an old bicycle tube.
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:04 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I connect the new hose to the 5/8 BSP push fittings. I added a hose clamp even though it is not required just for the added insurance. I tightened down the hose at the oil sandwich plate area first. Zipped tied everything down and gave it a close inspection.

Since I am adding the oil pressure and oil temp gauges, I had to add the oil filter adapter. I ordered everything from Elise Shop, Performance parts for your Lotus Elise.
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:10 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Next, I poured Motul 8100 oil into the oil cooler and new oil hose at the front wheel-well area. I attempted to bleed the oil as suggested by the Lotus Service Manual but no oil ever came out of the bleed nipple. Once everything was fastened down, I began to work on installing the gauges.

As you can see, I cleaned up the area to a new factory condition.
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:31 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I followed the installation instruction that I found on http://lotus.xplore4you.com/tutos/In...nos_oil_en.pdf

I followed every step exactly as described. The install looks professional, clean, and reliable.

I finally poured Motul oil into the engine and started her up. She purred like a kitten. I brought her up to operation temp at idle. All the gauges worked perfectly and no leaks so far. I kept constantly checking the oil level till the oil thermostat opened up and the oil flowed throught the new oil hose.

Now for the test drive. I will keep you posted.
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Old 09-01-2010, 03:47 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Good write up. Remember there is also a hose that connects the oil cooler across the nose of the car to the passenger side where some cars had dual oil coolers. It has the same fittings and I've seen both sides fail. All of the crimp fittings from Lotus are poor and are subject to failure. To make this repair complete the cross over hose and the hose that runs down the passenger side will need to be done as well. I'm in the process of doing this to mine.
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Old 10-19-2010, 06:38 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Yesterday when heading home, my oil light, then engine light came on. I stopped the car as soon as I could only to find oil everywhere under the car. Unfortunately could not see any issues. Once I trailered it home and took off the cover under the engine, I found the oil cooler line had come disconnected from the fitting at the filter. From reading your post I am assuming you would recommend I not go get a new line from the Lotus dealer, but rather get one from a hydraulic shop. Would anyone recommend just getting a new clamp crimped onto the existing hose?

Thanks,

At least the car was coming off the road for the winter on Thursday anyways. Looks like a good winter project fixing and cleaning up.
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Old 10-26-2010, 06:44 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Added to my "to do" list. Thanks for the great write up.
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Old 10-26-2010, 09:49 AM   #20 (permalink)
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This appears to be a common failure mode for these cars and I would argue that it is a safety issue. When mine blew (at the rear) the entire rear tire was drenched in oil. And it probably is a fire danger as well. I think everyone who has experienced this should register the incident with the NHTSA data base at Home | Safercar -- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It just takes a minute and may force Lotus to recognize this known manufacturing defect.
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