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Tire abuser
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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry if this is a common topic... my thread searching skills are still being honed.

I have a very small leak on my oil cooler. It is a one-cooler '06 car. I plan to replace the cooler and the available units, like from Sector 111, seem the same as stock units. Since mine is already leaking, it seems like an improved/upgraded unit would be good. Are these not common or unnecessary?

I plan to replace the stock oil lines and the cooler at the same time.

Thanks
 

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jefrac,

My advice:

STOP. Don't drive the car!

Lines tend to fail catastrophicaly with little warning. I smelled a "little" oil smell only with the windows open. I'm sure I was lucky and pulled things apart until I saw just a bit of oil on the upper line on the cooler. It's quite possible that I'm the first one to say that without following the statement with "the lines then failed and so did my engine".

Knowing the consequences of the line potentially going, I removed the pancake adapter plate, installed the $13 Toyota block piece and screwed the filter back on, sans any cooler. I then used one of the threaded pieces on the adapter to tie the 2 oil lines together back in the engine compartment area.

You'll note my name all over the topics here as I was searching for the info to do all this. The 2ZZ works fine on the street without an oil cooler.......and it does NOT work well with a cooler and a line that pulls from the coupling.


Ok.....that being said.....are you sure the cooler itself has a leak? Lines are well known to leak, then fail. Coolers.....not so much. You will have to remove the clam to replace the cooler. Not to replace the lines.

You may instead want to go with a rear mounted oil cooler and new lines. There are a few that used a Setrab at either the driver or pass side rear inlet. That would save you 20 feet of line and the oil that goes into it....plus increase oil pressure that actually is applied to the bearings.


Helpful threads:
Cooler adapter removal with the toyota part number:
http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f312/2zz-oil-cooler-sandwich-plate-delete-99319/

pulling the oil lines:
http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f312/how-pulling-out-oil-lines-116715/
 

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Tire abuser
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Discussion Starter #3
Jack,

Thanks for the reply! Great advice. I have parked the car for now, but it can't stay that way long. I am itching to drive. So far, I have not decided which route to take. After all the reading, the consensus seems to be that some form or oil cooling is good for track use. I like the idea of shorter oil lines for increased oil pressure and more effective oil changes. Here is Dallas we do get some heat, so keeping that oil cool when it is 100+ ambient is also a consideration.

Thanks for documenting your problem and efforts so well. It really helps the rest of us.

-Jeff
 

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are you 100% sure the cooler is leaking & its not one of the 2 fittings?

i would find that out first before purchasing anything...
 

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Tire abuser
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Discussion Starter #5
Driftwood,

Good question. I removed the driver's side front wheel and wheel well liner. It is pretty clear that the problem is not at the hose connection at the top/back of the cooler. The oil cooler was a little moist with oil at the bottom only. It looked much more difficult to inspect the front cooler connection, but I suppose it is possible, maybe even likely that the leak is there. Is that area very accessible with the bottom panel removed? If I can confirm it, just a good set of replacement lines may be the best option. Either way, it should be a fun little project.
 

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Tire abuser
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Discussion Starter #6
UPDATE:

I opened things up for a look... It was very helpful to have a flashlight with an articulating head and a good extendable "dentists mirror". The oily grime was concentrated around the lower front of the cooler. It really looked like the issue could be there. So, I cleaned everything up with some degreaser and got on the fitting with some wrenches (1" for backup on the cooler and 1 1/8" for the fitting). Interesting that the closest metric wrenches to these sizes would not work. I easily got 1/8 of a turn in the tight direction. It looks like that could be it, at least for now. I still don't really like the oil cooler arrangement and am interested in more robust setup. I just don't know what is right for me yet.

Others on the board have performed this same "fix" and it is very easy, if that is all your car needs.

Awesome help on this forum. Thank You!
 

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BOE has a setup that puts the cooler at the back of the car where it really should be. It's about $425 and involves a bit of fab work (brackets).

I don't trust the stock lines or cooler. Some people leave the lines in place and use for a water/air intercooler though.
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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i don't think anyone should trust the stock lines/coolers. Atleast on the 2005's &2006's.
 

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i don't think anyone should trust the stock lines/coolers. Atleast on the 2005's &2006's.
honestly, the stock coolers are fine as far as quality & reliability (pretty solid units imo)... its the factory fittings/crimps that are really scary

with that said its not impossible for those coolers to take a rock through one fo the side inlets or even develope a pinhole leak, but its certainly not very common

Driftwood,

Good question...
yeah the reason I ask is because the fittings are a known problem to leak & eventually blow the hose off the crimp completely, causing a huge mess & a potential catastrophe if your engine is running while this type of failure happens

on the front of the oil cooler (facing the headlight assembly), the fitting is at the bottom (& is very hard to get at without the clam off)…

& on the rear of the cooler (facing the wheel well) the fitting is on the top of the cooler…

Are you saying that your cooler fins seem to be saturated with oil? If that’s the case than the top fitting may be failing, but you would see oil residue built up on the fittings themselves… if both fittings are bone dry & clean then you certainly may have a pinhole leak in the cooler itself


but i would absolutey make sure your fittings/crimps look spotless of oil since they widely are know to fail at this point
 

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but i would absolutey make sure your fittings/crimps look spotless of oil since they widely are know to fail at this point
I would absolutely be sure. Finding an 1/8 turn would certainly tell you why oil was leaking and is good news. I found my fittings to be really, really tight. There was no tightening possible. My top hose and fitting had the tinyest amount of oil on it. Nothing dripped anywhere. I found nothing and looked really well. Having read a ton of threads about "sudden-oil-line-explosion-syndrome", I wanted nothing to do with them. Oh....my car is an 07. Do I trust that because it's not an 05-06 that the crimps will be ok? Not on your life.
 

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Oh....my car is an 07. Do I trust that because it's not an 05-06 that the crimps will be ok? Not on your life.
yeah, i dont think the oil line issue is only an 05-06 issue (even though the recall may only invole those ranges)

id be willing to bet that 07+ cars are under the same warnings as the rest of us...

as far as i know they used the same design/crimps/fittings throughout the whole range of exige/elise... so unless they started crimping the ends differently i wouldnt take any chances

now with that said, most fittings are 'probably' going to be fine long term... but 'probably' doesnt sit well enough with me, & with the amount of documented failures happening i would address them anyways (I did the 1st day I took deliver of my Elise this spring just for safe measure)
 

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Bet it's leaking at the fitting, mine was and I got them both replaced. I'd get a second one if you're going to track the car.
 

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As per Phil, a 2nd oil cooler is not necessary for most track work. He says our oil temps are too low (iirc).

Best way for anyone to find a leak of any fluid.

Clean area completely and dry everything really well.

Sprinkle talcum powder or ~ Desenex around suspect area.

Start engine and you'll see the exact spot of leak in mere seconds.
 

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Tire abuser
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Discussion Starter #14
It's the cooler

OK Guys,

Another update.... After cleaning everything and getting it "bone dry". I have run the car a little more. It takes over an hour of driving to get some oil on the bottom of the cooler. It starts at the bottom of the front and spreads down the front. Both inlet and outlet connections are dry. Bottom line, the cooler itself is leaking.

By the way, this cooler has plastic end tanks like the radiator??? A magnet will not stick to them and they sure don't seem like aluminum. It looks like black plastic to me! I can not live like this.

I have a new cooler and lines on order from Sector 111. Fortunately, this is not a daily car, except that I love it so much that I think of an excuse to go somewhere in it daily. "Honey, need anything from the drug store or an adjoining state?"

I chose to keep the cooler up front after reading and weighing all the cooler relocation threads and the oil/water threads. This is a very hot climate, there is a lot of stuff and heat in a small engine bay, I plan to get some track time, etc... There are other good options out there but this seems to fit my situation best if the aftermarket parts are solid. Sounds like they are.

While clam is off I am changing to a ProRad radiator too. I would have preferred to do this at a cooler time of the year. Oh well, it is just sweat.
 

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By the way, this cooler has plastic end tanks like the radiator??? A magnet will not stick to them and they sure don't seem like aluminum. It looks like black plastic to me! I can not live like this.
huh?

my 05 had 2 coolers (but i removed 1 & converted to a single setup)

neither of them had any plastic... maybe someone can chime in on the 06's?
:shrug:
 

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I think the cooler is just inset in some kind of foam. Maybe glued to it and it's very stuck on the aluminum. I didn't see anything on the cooler in my 07 that wasn't aluminum.
 

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Tire abuser
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Discussion Starter #17
OK, yes, I got back in there and scraped the black paint. It IS all aluminum. Sorry for the confusion. It is just an thick, even coat of paint that made it seem like plastic. Anyway, that one will be gone soon.

This does get back to my original question.... Am I really "upgrading" with the sector 111 oil cooler? I sure hope so since that is where my particular leak is occuring.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yes, absolutely doing the lines and the cooler at the same time. Also, radiator too while I am at it.
 

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This does get back to my original question.... Am I really "upgrading" with the sector 111 oil cooler? I sure hope so since that is where my particular leak is occuring.
no, the sector111 cooler is a direct replacement for the stock cooler so i assume its the same cooler

Oil Cooler Radiator

its a convenience since it'll mount like stock but the price is very high (a third of that cost covers the cooler itself, the other 2/3 covers mounting convenience) so it really depends on how much convenience is worth to you

but you can get other top quality coolers that you would have to figure out how to mount for half the price (zip ties would be more than strong enough)

& as GLB said, there is no need for 2 coolers, so save yourself the time/$ & stick with a single cooler setup

also maybe before you pull the trigger on a cooler from s111 i would recommend seeing if anyone else is parting with a factory used 2nd cooler from the early model Elise (that’s how I sold my 2nd cooler to a member on the forums)
 
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