COOLANT IN THE PLENUM? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-06-2019, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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COOLANT IN THE PLENUM?

Just when I thought I had it all solved, I find a spray pattern of coolant in the engine bay and my chargecooler coolant tank is down about 3".

I removed the plenum cover for better access to the chargecooler pump and hose connections (the pump was rebuilt with new impeller and seals), only to find coolant inside the plenum. Certainly not a flood of coolant but enough to warrant concern. I removed the fill plug atop the chargecooler only to find it filled with coolant. If it were to be the hoses, how on earth does coolant get into the plenum??...or is it an issue with the chargecooler?

I removed the connector hose between the chargecooler and intake and it's moist inside all pieces without any accumulations. I'm going to go through the system to see if I can uncover the issue but thought it worthwhile to post here and see if anyone else has encountered this? I'm guessing that it's particularly and issue when under boost as I never noticed an issue while idling in place.

Thanks in advance for any insights or advice.

Bob
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 03:17 AM
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Might want to try pressure testing the chargecooler system like you would the coolant system.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 08:48 AM
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Is it possible the charge cooler is damaged internally and allowing coolant to "leak" into the intake?

Trying to figure out how else coolant gets in there.....

OK so you now you MUST now buy one of the large aftermarket Alunox or similar charge coolers to eliminate this possibility....there I justified it for you :-)

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 12:24 PM
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chargecooler leak, most likely not repairable, unless you can see the leak.

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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chargecooler leak, most likely not repairable, unless you can see the leak.
Cannot imagine that it is repairable. UGh.

I removed the chargecooler hose, kept the plenum cover off and ran the car in normal aspiration mode in the garage for 20 minutes. No leakage anywhere; dry as a bone. (much head scratching.....). Chargecooler was functioning perfectly as it was cool to the touch. Upon removing the hose, the inner part of the CC seemed dry.

Would the engine running under boost create the internal leak in the chargecooler? Could I get it to boost in the garage while sitting and monitor whether coolant flows out from the CC with the connecting hose removed?

Thanks!
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik L View Post
Is it possible the charge cooler is damaged internally and allowing coolant to "leak" into the intake?

Trying to figure out how else coolant gets in there.....

OK so you now you MUST now buy one of the large aftermarket Alunox or similar charge coolers to eliminate this possibility....there I justified it for you :-)

Now go get Credit card!
Erik:

I saw on another post your proposal to sell your ChargeCooler for $600 so you could buy the ATS unit.....pending my results, I might take you up on it.

Bob
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-07-2019, 11:48 PM
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Cannot imagine that it is repairable. UGh.

I removed the chargecooler hose, kept the plenum cover off and ran the car in normal aspiration mode in the garage for 20 minutes. No leakage anywhere; dry as a bone. (much head scratching.....). Chargecooler was functioning perfectly as it was cool to the touch. Upon removing the hose, the inner part of the CC seemed dry.

Would the engine running under boost create the internal leak in the chargecooler? Could I get it to boost in the garage while sitting and monitor whether coolant flows out from the CC with the connecting hose removed?

Thanks!
If you have a leak in your CAC element, air will most likely leak/blown into the CAC cooling water system under boost. You can pressurize the element water side and place it under water and observe for air bubbles.
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Last edited by Naasaa; 06-07-2019 at 11:50 PM. Reason: Missing word
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-08-2019, 06:43 AM
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Quote:
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Erik:

I saw on another post your proposal to sell your ChargeCooler for $600 so you could buy the ATS unit.....pending my results, I might take you up on it.

Bob
How big is the ATS unit? Link ?
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-08-2019, 07:55 AM
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Erik:

I saw on another post your proposal to sell your ChargeCooler for $600 so you could buy the ATS unit.....pending my results, I might take you up on it.

Bob
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-09-2019, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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How big is the ATS unit? Link ?
Large, John....
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-09-2019, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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Drove it today, and subjected it to modest boost and sure enough, there's coolant down on the block. Arrgh!

Going to pull the Chargecooler and do the bubble test. I'll first open-up the plenum to see if there's coolant in there again.

Stand by, Erik!
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-10-2019, 03:01 AM
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If the coolant is also external ....how does that support the theory of an internally leaking charge cooler?. Further if it only leaks under boost and the boost pressure is pushed into the CAC cooling system....is the coolant from the CAC being blown out the cap or overflow on the overflow tank?
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-22-2019, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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If the coolant is also external ....how does that support the theory of an internally leaking charge cooler?. Further if it only leaks under boost and the boost pressure is pushed into the CAC cooling system....is the coolant from the CAC being blown out the cap or overflow on the overflow tank?
Been traveling over the past week...it was a needed respite from the Esprit as I was beginning to get frustrated with it.

Opened-up the plenum again to find coolant inside. There were wisps of coolant in the connector hose between the CC and intake. There's a spray of coolant on the RH side of the engine and ancillaries, including the CC coolant cannister.

Removed the CC and checked for leakage between the air and coolant elements, and with the limited pressure that I could apply, there appears not to be leakage between.

However....upon checking the hose routing for the CC circuit, it appears that I have the hoses from the pump reversed. From the attached schematic, the hose in the center of the pump outlet should go to the CC, and the return to the CC radiator attaches to the peripheral port on the pump. If this is correct, I'll address and reverse the hoses, but what still troubles me is the coolant inside the plenum; I'm struggling to understand how it's there. Hopefully the reversed hoses will correct the issue, but wondering if anyone has any insight?

Thanks,
Bob
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 05:30 PM
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I would say just pull it off and pressurize the water side with air (bicycle pump?) as it's submerged in a tub of water. You should be able to isolate any leaks pretty quickly.

It's definitely coolant, and not rain water getting into the intake through the airbox?
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Definitely coolant.

I only put a couple of PSI to the coolant circuit, so I'll try to up the pressure.
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 03:44 AM Thread Starter
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Well, I have a bad Chargecooler. Go figure...

I loaded the air side of the CC with water, sealed-off the coolant side and pressurized it. Sure enough, bubbles emerging in the water. I do not want to go aftermarket with the CC, so I'm in need of a Chargecooler. Any suggestions? Anybody have one laying around??

Thanks,
Bob
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 04:32 AM
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Bob If you dont find one I will sell mine and move to aftermarket.

If you find an aftermarket let me know and we can just swap straight across.

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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 05:47 AM
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WATER INJECTION! Super cool charge temps!

sorry could not resist :-)

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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 09:56 AM
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Anyone ever cut the ends off one of these and welded in a new core? They seem to be getting scarce.

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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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Anyone ever cut the ends off one of these and welded in a new core? They seem to be getting scarce.
Just spoke to Jason at Lotus by Claudius as Joe at JAE thought that they repair chargecoolers as per Joe "our supply of chargecoolers is long gone..." Actually, per Jason, they will build you a chargecooler using the same core as OEM and fabricate the housing to replicate the size/configuration/fitment of the OEM unit. I'm awaiting a cost to do this and will post once I get it.

I suspect that where the leak in the core is located will determine whether cutting the ends off of it will yield access for a repair. BTW, Jason is the 2nd person who has told me that they have never heard of a failed chargecooler. File under: go figure....

Bob
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