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Help...!

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Help...!

Post  Ian on Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:45 pm

Just come back from drive out in the sun, left the car idling for a few minutes in the garage, and there was a whoosh and loads of steam from the front, followed by the coolant on the floor...! - the nearside radiator end tank has split!!!. This is only 2 years old as NWSC replaced it under warranty just after I brought it.

So a new rad! this time an aluminium tank one.

BUT...? Has anyone any experience of changing the rad. I had a look previously and you can get to the top and bottom hose couplings and the top mounting fixings but the fixings at the front appear to be under the 'radiator housing' which itself is under the clam - added complication is that it has Air-con and the pipes to this seem to be routed through the rad housing. I'm not sure if the rad can be swapped without taking the clam off even.

Any helpful comments gratefully recieved. Thanks

[BTW, its a Elise S2 K series]
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Re: Help...!

Post  HRT on Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:38 pm

Hi Ian, i think it is a clam off job.

This link shows how hidden the radiator is;

http://wiki.seloc.org/a/Remove_S2_front_clamshell

Harvey
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Re: Help...!

Post  A7ESK on Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:03 pm

Ian wrote:Just come back from drive out in the sun, left the car idling for a few minutes in the garage, and there was a whoosh and loads of steam from the front, followed by the coolant on the floor...! - the nearside radiator end tank has split!!!. This is only 2 years old as NWSC replaced it under warranty just after I brought it.

So a new rad! this time an aluminium tank one.

BUT...? Has anyone any experience of changing the rad. I had a look previously and you can get to the top and bottom hose couplings and the top mounting fixings but the fixings at the front appear to be under the 'radiator housing' which itself is under the clam - added complication is that it has Air-con and the pipes to this seem to be routed through the rad housing. I'm not sure if the rad can be swapped without taking the clam off even.

Any helpful comments gratefully recieved. Thanks

[BTW, its a Elise S2 K series]

The Best person is Martin Edwards: martin@lotuspower.co.uk

He as a lot of experience working on S1 Exiges and S2.

I have taken my S2 front clam of its a two man job .

Eddie .
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Re: Help...!

Post  TimS on Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:19 am

Ian,
I visited Radtec Radiators at AutoSport recently. I know about them because I've had dealings with them in the past with aluminium radiators for race cars. They now do radiators for the Elise & Exige and were showing them on their stand. It would be worth a call top see what they can do for your replacement:
Radtec Radiators, Hawkes Green, Cannock, Staffs.WS11 7LH. Tel 01543 502525 www.radtec.co.uk contact Darren Jeynes - MD.
(might be worth saying you will do an article for Chicane if you buy from them...a bit of advertising for some discount?)
Cheers,
Tim.
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Re: Help...!

Post  A7ESK on Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:02 pm

This is the info i used when taking the front of .

http://www.sandsmuseum.com/cars/elise/experience/maintenance/frontclam/clamremoval.html

Eddie King. Cool
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Re: Help...!

Post  Ian on Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:41 pm

Bit of an update....

First though, thanks for all the replies, those SELOC and particularly Mike Sands (...how does he keep that car so clean! it looks like new!!) websites are really useful, I trawled those when I was looking to buy.

So, got home a little early at 5.00 and thought may as well make a start and 3 hours later, clam's off rad's out and ready for the new (all Ali) one to go in, once I bought it!

Here's a photo of the problem area.



Doesn't look good, those walls are B***** thin!
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Re: Help...!

Post  CAM on Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:24 am

Hi Ian,
The split is all along the fold where the metal has stretched during forming. Either the Ali is too thin or more likely the Ali is too hard and has stressed( Work Hardened) during that operation. Sometimes the material requires stress relieving before final operations??. I believe it to be a manufacturing fault just waiting to blow. Clearly due to the age of the car you will get no joy from Lotus. However, with such a great photo try the manufacturer themselves.
Good Luck
Chris Mayhew
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Re: Help...!

Post  Ian on Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:42 am

Hi Chris, thanks for the info. except the end tanks shown are plastic, which is why I'm opting for a Ali replacement. Another reason, it's not yet two years old, replaced when I bought it under warranty. I am going to contact the manufacturer - not expecting much though.
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Re: Help...!

Post  GrumpyBodger on Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:38 am

I can't offer any constructive help but the Photo of that split Tank makes me wonder what Forces were at work to cause something as drastic as that to happen.
I would suggest that the cooling system system needs a careful looking at.
The maximum rating for a Filler cap that I know of is 2 Bar & I would have thought that more pressure would be needed to burst a Tank with the accepted industrial safety margin of at least 100%.
I know that the Rover K series engines had a very bad reputation for blowing Head Gaskets & I suppose if one did let go around the Combustion Chamber there would be a massive volume of Gasses that would blast into the Cooling System.
It is also worrying to read that a new Radiator had been fitted. There remains the Question, why?

(My worries are backed up by a few years professional experience in developing Car Engine Cooling Systems)

Cheers
John
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Re: Help...!

Post  Ian on Tue Feb 02, 2010 1:53 pm

Thanks John, my thoughts as well, so I'm going to do a compression check before going too far. I think that should indicate if that's a problem, would you agree? I've had a good look and there's no perceivable evidence of water in the oil or vice versa if that means anything.
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Re: Help...!

Post  A7ESK on Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:30 pm

Ian wrote:Thanks John, my thoughts as well, so I'm going to do a compression check before going too far. I think that should indicate if that's a problem, would you agree? I've had a good look and there's no perceivable evidence of water in the oil or vice versa if that means anything.

Have a look at these.
http://www.eliseparts.com/products/show/84/223/radiator-standard/

Eddie.
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Re: Help...!

Post  Ian on Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:24 am

Bit of an update....

Firstly though, thanks again to all for the advice. I checked the compression and all cylinders were equal 15bar, so that and no water/oil mixtures anywhere I concluded the head gasket was still intact.

Now all fixed and back together, better than before!


In the end I shopped around and got a complete new Ali one from Liecester Radiators, who are part of PMA group, who are OEM suppliers to Lotus. Note! tip; the best price phoning direct was ₤30 more than buying it on eBay from them! Also, close enough to collect the same day.

While the clam was off I took the chance to replace all the ferrous fixings with stainless and strip and re-paint the rusty bits! Also, removed all the old foam rubber suround from inside the rad housing and fitted new, so I know it should now seal all the air-flow through, rather than round, the radiator. Refitting the clam was a doddle -30mins. plus a bit longer as I thought I would shim/align the panels better than they were, and even more new SS fixings!

After the coolant refill I ran the engine at 2k up to the fans cutting in and out three times, then let it cool, then repeated this twice more to check there was no over-pressure or coolant loss, which there wasn't. Today took it out on a run and now the temp stays at a near constant 87C while moving, whereas before it used to cycle between 85 and 95, maybe indicating the old rad had a restriction which caused the build-up of pressure that blew the plastic end tank...? Also, less rattles now...!!!

See you Thursday!

Ian
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Re: Help...!

Post  A7ESK on Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:44 pm

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Re: Help...!

Post  Ian on Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:12 pm

Yes it is. For the Elise S2, with or without A/C, (which is only more holes) the actual rad part number is 71752.
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Re: Help...!

Post  GrumpyBodger on Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:33 pm

Ian wrote:Bit of an update....

Firstly though, thanks again to all for the advice. I checked the compression and all cylinders were equal 15bar, so that and no water/oil mixtures anywhere I concluded the head gasket was still intact.

Now all fixed and back together, better than before!


In the end I shopped around and got a complete new Ali one from Liecester Radiators, who are part of PMA group, who are OEM suppliers to Lotus. Note! tip; the best price phoning direct was ₤30 more than buying it on eBay from them! Also, close enough to collect the same day.

While the clam was off I took the chance to replace all the ferrous fixings with stainless and strip and re-paint the rusty bits! Also, removed all the old foam rubber suround from inside the rad housing and fitted new, so I know it should now seal all the air-flow through, rather than round, the radiator. Refitting the clam was a doddle -30mins. plus a bit longer as I thought I would shim/align the panels better than they were, and even more new SS fixings!

After the coolant refill I ran the engine at 2k up to the fans cutting in and out three times, then let it cool, then repeated this twice more to check there was no over-pressure or coolant loss, which there wasn't. Today took it out on a run and now the temp stays at a near constant 87C while moving, whereas before it used to cycle between 85 and 95, maybe indicating the old rad had a restriction which caused the build-up of pressure that blew the plastic end tank...? Also, less rattles now...!!!

See you Thursday!

Ian

Hi Ian,

from your description it sounds like there has been some serious previous overheating, maybe you should check out the Car's History.
Massive overheating can result in the Coolant solidifying into a Jelly type residue in the Radiator.
Very hot Glycol (Anti-Freeze) will also attack PA-6 (Nylon) which is what the majority of Radiator Tanks are made of, this contributes to the formation of the "Jelly" & also weakens the Tanks by removing the PA-6 component & leaving the weaker Glassfibre filler material.
If you still have the old Radiator it may be worth while taking off one of the end caps & checking the flow of Water through it. The lower rows of Pipes are always the ones to be affected.

Please to hear you now have a Fix, but the PO may have a dark secret.
Cheers
John
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Re: Help...!

Post  Ian on Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:09 am

Hi John,

Not trying to worry me are you...? I was happy until now ;o(

I understand what you're saying and there probably was some doubt as to what happened!

The coolant isn't (and wasn't) Ethylene Glycol based, I've got the OAT type which wouldn't exhibit the polymerisation effect you mention.

But I've had it over two years now and never any sign of overheating, only the slightly varying temp indication mentioned previously, also it was supposedly new two years ago by the dealer as the original had a leak(!). Although, I was never 100% happy with that as there was the occasional smell of coolant not that I could ever find any leak or steam. However... looking at the rad there's an area near the outlet spigot which is discoloured and at the end of the split, (you can see this in photo) maybe this was weeping all along and it propagated the split along the edge of the tank...?

Anyway we'll see how it goes! Maybe see you at Malvern?
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Re: Help...!

Post  GrumpyBodger on Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:09 pm

Hi Ian,

You've now got a new Radiator so no need to worry.
Gunged up Radiators occur when some other component in the cooling system lets go.
Quite often the culprit component is replaced but nearly always the Radiator is not checked for possible internal blockages as a result of the primary problem.
Don't take too much notice of me; I'm a died in the Wool pessimist, suffering from scepticism, which I occasionally attempt to camouflage by posting something really silly here.
I'm hoping to be at Malvern on Saturday.
I'll be the Bald ol' git with a Camera+Flash slung over the shoulder roaming around aimlessly except for regular dashes to the exit for a Ciggy

Cheers
John
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Re: Help...!

Post  CAM on Thu Mar 04, 2010 11:26 pm

GrumpyBodger wrote:Hi Ian,

You've now got a new Radiator so no need to worry.
Gunged up Radiators occur when some other component in the cooling system lets go.
Quite often the culprit component is replaced but nearly always the Radiator is not checked for possible internal blockages as a result of the primary problem.
Don't take too much notice of me; I'm a died in the Wool pessimist, suffering from scepticism, which I occasionally attempt to camouflage by posting something really silly here.
I'm hoping to be at Malvern on Saturday.
I'll be the Bald ol' git with a Camera+Flash slung over the shoulder roaming around aimlessly except for regular dashes to the exit for a Ciggy

Cheers
John

John,
You are just like the rest of us Grumpy Bald ol gits....so will you identify yourself more positively please.

I might not be there as I might be lucky enough to be racing at Silverstone.
Regards
Very old and grumpy CAM....ps I enjoy being grumpy, how is it for U.
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Re: Help...!

Post  GrumpyBodger on Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:46 pm

CAM wrote:
GrumpyBodger wrote:Hi Ian,

You've now got a new Radiator so no need to worry.
Gunged up Radiators occur when some other component in the cooling system lets go.
Quite often the culprit component is replaced but nearly always the Radiator is not checked for possible internal blockages as a result of the primary problem.
Don't take too much notice of me; I'm a died in the Wool pessimist, suffering from scepticism, which I occasionally attempt to camouflage by posting something really silly here.
I'm hoping to be at Malvern on Saturday.
I'll be the Bald ol' git with a Camera+Flash slung over the shoulder roaming around aimlessly except for regular dashes to the exit for a Ciggy

Cheers
John

John,
You are just like the rest of us Grumpy Bald ol gits....so will you identify yourself more positively please.

I might not be there as I might be lucky enough to be racing at Silverstone.
Regards
Very old and grumpy CAM....ps I enjoy being grumpy, how is it for U.

CAM,
my first visit will be to the LDC Stand.
I have a bundle of Lotus VHS Videos that I need to lose.
No doubt I'll be spending a fair bit of time at the LotusElan.net meeting point close to the Club Lotus Stand.
Something that Alan has said he will sort out for us.
Apart from that Tim, Arthur & Mike all sort of know me by sight.
Being grumpy with the World comes quite easily but I become irreconcilable when I get grumpy with myself
I know where I'd prefer to be given the choice, hope you have a successful day.

Cheers
John
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Re: Help...!

Post  Ian on Mon Mar 08, 2010 6:55 pm

The epilogue....

With nothing to lose I emailled PMA radiators in Leicester and got a reply from Andy Westwood, he suggested sending the old rad back to for them to evlauate. So, sent it off Friday, not expecting too much.

However! They inspected it today and agree it was faulty!! A new one will be sent by return!

If anyone has a need for a new radiator, will fit any Elise, I'm open to offers...

See you all tonight.
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Re: Help...!

Post  GrumpyBodger on Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:49 pm

A result, I suppose, did they throw any light on the "fault"?
An expensive exercise for you though, wouldn't they consider paying you the price (to them) of their new replacement radiator?
I'd certainly ask the question under the circumstances.
Should have been born a Yorkshire Man me

Cheers
John

P.S. PMA = ?
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