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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I am new to this Forum, and a relatively new Elise owner (1 year).
My car is having an oil leak from the timing cover gasket. Is replacing the gasket an "engine out" job?

More details:
1- the leak is enough to see oil droplets on garage floor
2- Car has 18k miles on it.
3- Engine has 500 miles on it, I bought a refurbished Engine from MWR with brand new pistons, valves, valve spring etc, and had a local shop put the engine in. The story of why I needed an engine can be a separate topic, and possibly a very educational and informative one for most new owners. I will write it up at some point.
3- I have oil leak from the oil pan, and probably from the rear main seal, too :( but that might be off topic here.

Thanks
 

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2005 Lotus Elise
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Honestly id take it back to the shop that installed it and see if they can fix it under warranty. Or if the people that made the motor could help out. That stuffs not supposed to fail that early.
 
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07 Exige S
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It can be done engine in, but clam off... You will deserve a tshirt from the Lotus God's once it is back together.
 

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First check the o ring and the dipstick tube. If there is a leak there gravity will bring the oil to the rear passenger side of the motor. Sometimes simple is what presents as major. Tommy
 

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2017 Evora 400
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You mention 3 different potential oil leak points. I think you need to REALLY find out where the actual leak is. Two ways: 1. Clean everything REALLY well. Start motor. Look for oil. 2. Clean everything REALLY well, add UV dye to oil. Start motor, watch for oil with a UV light. You probably have 1 oil leak and just need to find it. Oil can travel around from the air flow and be a biatch to track down.
 

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Has the oil line recall been completed? Check the fittings of the two hoses connected the oil filter sandwich plate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Honestly id take it back to the shop that installed it and see if they can fix it under warranty. Or if the people that made the motor could help out. That stuffs not supposed to fail that early.
I see your point. But I am not sure holding the previous shops accountable by forcing them to work on my car again is necessarily the best solution. If this is indeed their fault, they can easily mess it up again, this just shows they are not qualified to work on my car. But I certainly see your point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
First check the o ring and the dipstick tube. If there is a leak there gravity will bring the oil to the rear passenger side of the motor. Sometimes simple is what presents as major. Tommy
This is a great point, thank you. I have read about this in other conversations, too. I will check that. From under the car, looking at the oil pan, where the dipstick tube is located roughly speaking? BTW, the previous owner has installed the Moroso oil pan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You mention 3 different potential oil leak points. I think you need to REALLY find out where the actual leak is. Two ways: 1. Clean everything REALLY well. Start motor. Look for oil. 2. Clean everything REALLY well, add UV dye to oil. Start motor, watch for oil with a UV light. You probably have 1 oil leak and just need to find it. Oil can travel around from the air flow and be a biatch to track down.
Completely agree, having multiple oil leak is certainly not helping. I tried your advice twice, although not that meticulously, and found that there is oil leak originating from the breather line, oil pan and above the lower passenger side of the oil pan (apparently from the timing chain cover). I took the car to a reputable indy shop to put the BOE blocking plates for the breather line, and drop the oil pan and put new gasket. It helped, but did not solved everything. The shop mechanic also confirmed that there appear to be oil leak from timing chain cover, though they don't seem to know a lot about Elise in general.

I need to go under the car again, and follow your suggestion at least one more time. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Has the oil line recall been completed? Check the fittings of the two hoses connected the oil filter sandwich plate.
The previous owner has relocated the oil cooler to the back of the car on the passenger side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Completely agree, having multiple oil leak is certainly not helping. I tried your advice twice, although not that meticulously, and found that there is oil leak originating from the breather line, oil pan and above the lower passenger side of the oil pan (apparently from the timing chain cover). I took the car to a reputable indy shop to put the BOE blocking plates for the breather line, and drop the oil pan and put new gasket. It helped, but did not solved everything. The shop mechanic also confirmed that there appear to be oil leak from timing chain cover, though they don't seem to know a lot about Elise in general.

I need to go under the car again, and follow your suggestion at least one more time. Thank you.
1270238
1270239

Here I am pointing to some of the oil leaks I see even after refreshing the oil pan gasket and blocking the breather line by BOE plates. I will take pictures of the timing chain cover side later.
 

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Here's some links to dipstick tube and location and problems sealing where it enters block. Get you camera out after cleaning your engine really well and check that location as you run it. It will migrate everywhere. It's hard to get the tube in correctly and that could be a major source.

 

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Helpful hint: The car idles just fine on ramps. When I put my liquid cooled oil cooler on, I ran the engine until things got hot while looking for leaks from underneath. Wipe/brakleen the oily spots on the engine then start the thing and see where it oozes. Because you're not driving down the road, you should have nothing but gravity moving the leaked oil around.
 

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Some of us use talcum powder or Desenex, sprayed on first to make tracking easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Here's some links to dipstick tube and location and problems sealing where it enters block. Get you camera out after cleaning your engine really well and check that location as you run it. It will migrate everywhere. It's hard to get the tube in correctly and that could be a major source.

Got it, very helpful. Thank you
 
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