Radiator Replacement: After 10 years of service, mine finally gave up - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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Radiator Replacement: After 10 years of service, mine finally gave up

On the way down to service my car for an upcoming road trip to the Amelia Concours, I saw some little droplets of liquid on the windshield. Being the eternal optimist, I hoped that I hit a beautifully tight formation of small bugs with orange guts. Nope! It looks like the o-ring inside of the driver side end tank is finally failing, so it's weeping a little bit.

I ordered the single pass proRAD-FP, and am going to attempt taking the clam off and replacing the radiator with the very generous help of another LTer.

Here's the information I've been able to compile so far, any additions or tips would be incredibly welcome

Lotus Elise Maintenance, How to Remove the Front Clam

Remove S2 front clamshell - TechWiki

Replace the radiator & cooling fans - TechWiki
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File Type: pdf Replace radiator step by step.pdf (465.7 KB, 157 views)

2005 Nightfall Blue Elise: Sport, Touring, Quantum Zeros, Pro Alloy, BWR De-Cat, Stage II, BOE Torque200 tune
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 09:54 AM
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Its not a fast job.

Its not a difficult job, just not a fast job.

You will find that all the advances made in manufacturing (tabs into slots with minimal bolts clamping it all together) was a lesson that Lotus missed.

Tons of bolts, most different in size, length, etc.

I got a box of baggies and would label the bag with the matching step on the Sands Museum page (even used a sharpy on many sub-assemblies to match the Sands Museum page)

When it was time to put it all together, I didnt have any spare parts!

Enjoy the ride and take lots of picts.

Apexes are a lot like relationships. So tough to get right, so easy to see where they went wrong.

The secret to a long life is ------- not dying.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-04-2015, 11:54 AM
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Doug is spot on.
It is not a difficult job, but it will take some time. I highly recommend two people to lift the clam off the car and when you install it back on.
I just did the radiator in October 2014. I was in no rush and did a little at a time over the course of one week plus a full Saturday. For me, the pain was getting the leaks in one of the AC fittings sorted out. I recommend changing all the little green O rings for all the fittings you remove. I followed the thread Lotus Elise Maintenance, How to Remove the Front Clam to remove the clam.


In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is. - Yogi Berra -

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-05-2015, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dephcon5 View Post
Doug is spot on.
It is not a difficult job, but it will take some time. I highly recommend two people to lift the clam off the car and when you install it back on.
I just did the radiator in October 2014. I was in no rush and did a little at a time over the course of one week plus a full Saturday. For me, the pain was getting the leaks in one of the AC fittings sorted out. I recommend changing all the little green O rings for all the fittings you remove. I followed the thread Lotus Elise Maintenance, How to Remove the Front Clam to remove the clam.

We're going to try to get it done in a day. Apparently the radiator can come out without the AC system, so that should save a little time. Fingers crossed!

2005 Nightfall Blue Elise: Sport, Touring, Quantum Zeros, Pro Alloy, BWR De-Cat, Stage II, BOE Torque200 tune
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-05-2015, 10:51 AM
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Everyone else is spot on, this job is very time consuming and a lot of moments will occur.

I didn't remove any AC components when I changed my radiator. You just have to take your time and make sure you have all of the right tools. The one that most people are missing is a 30 degree angled, ratcheting box wrench set (I think I only used the 8mm and the 10mm). Also make sure you have metric flat ratcheting wrenches as that makes removing the bolts near the door for the clam a lot easier.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-05-2015, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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Everyone else is spot on, this job is very time consuming and a lot of moments will occur.

I didn't remove any AC components when I changed my radiator. You just have to take your time and make sure you have all of the right tools. The one that most people are missing is a 30 degree angled, ratcheting box wrench set (I think I only used the 8mm and the 10mm). Also make sure you have metric flat ratcheting wrenches as that makes removing the bolts near the door for the clam a lot easier.
I only picked up a 30 degree offset 10mm ratchet. Should i grab an 8mm as well?

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-05-2015, 12:04 PM
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when I replaced my radiator, I also removed one of my oil coolers & replaced all the line fittings, & removed my AC unit along with a fabbed up L-bracket to remount the stock fans (I used the write-up from sandmuseum for the front clam removal)

this was all on the first day I took delivery of the car so just the radiator can be done in a day easily (even if its your first time removing the clam)

bleeding the coolant wasn't nearly as bad as others have made it seem either... I kept the rear of my Elise jacked up (from when I replaced my oil line fittings at the filter sandwich plate) & let the car run until the T-Stat opened & it burped out the remaining air without 0 problems... took maybe 15-20 minutes of idle time & was all finished

here are some additional pics I took that may help... & an extra set of hands will help when taking off & realigning the front clam back up














'05 ST Elise: DHP exhaust, Quantum Zero's, Forge MS radiator, s111 v3 eliminator, s111 DSbrace, ce28n, ic7 dash...
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-05-2015, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TachItUp View Post
We're going to try to get it done in a day. Apparently the radiator can come out without the AC system, so that should save a little time. Fingers crossed!
Can definitely be done in a day on your first time removing the clam.
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