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kayj_prod

Coolant Leak

15 posts in this topic

I taxed Elsie at the start of May so have enjoyed a couple of evenings out enjoying the weather and quiet roads. Very pleased she started without any problems despite not running since the end of October. Unfortunately, when I got home last night I noticed some fluid on the garage floor.

 

A quick investigation and it is coolant- just a small drip - I've dropped about 18mm from the minimum marker on the reservoir. The drip is manifesting aft of the near side front wheel. I've tried to trace the pipe away from the radiator (Front under tray off) but it's bone dry everywhere I can touch it, including where the pipe disappears into the chassis. Just behind this is a 20mm hole and inside this section is dry too.

 

So I need to do some more investigating, but I'm pretty stuffed for time now. Is it possible to remove the middle section of undertray (I've never done that bit before)? Maybe I'll be able to see more with that section off.

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I am afraid on the s2 it goes through the sill and I think it is the same on the s1. The s1 had an issue where a hole would wear into the sill pipe and then leak when under pressure. Think it might have been early car and they re positioned a rivet for later cars.

 

I would start by discounting everything else first. Get the car hot and then squeeze the rubber pipes and check around the clips.

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Yes, the feed and return for the radiator go through the sills on the S1 too. I was wondering if it might be something to do with the heater matrix, but I don't think it can be as everything is dry around those pipes too.

 

It must be a small hole as there is no more fluid on the garage floor this evening and there wasn't when I took it out on Friday evening, therefore I can only assume that you're right, Jimbo. It's leaking under pressure.

 

I figure I'll top the coolant up again, run it on idle tomorrow and see if I can spot any immediate signs.

 

I've started looking up parts from Deroure. (I figure I'll change the radiator at the same time as it's still on the original one!) Seeing as I'm tight on time though for a while, what do you think about using Radweld Plus (says it'll seal even large leaks in hoses)? It's not expensive, so if I give it a go and it doesn't work, fine... or could I give myself a bigger problem?

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I personally would only use radweld or similar to get me home and then flush out straight away. I wouldn't want the crud going round the engine for too long.

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Well, that's my worry. I've never used the stuff before.

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I would worry it would block something you do not want blocking.

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Hmmmm... And I have a lovely clean header tank too so I can imagine seeing a head of gunk forming!

 

OK, so the bank account is going to take a hammering then! Deroure sell the parts but to do both sides... I guess that makes sense.

 

Radiator wise, EP have an aluminium one for £200, but then other versions for more £. It seems the other ones are only an advantage on track. Do you guys reckon that basic on is going to be OK? Is it worth a better one in case I do any engine upgrades in the future?

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Keith, stick with the ordinary ally one.

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Thanks guys. The chassis water rail is about £120 so I'm just debating whether to do both sides or not. I'm going to replace the radiator hose on the near side with a new silicone one because I think I remember reading that the bleed hole can be a problem eventually (it's fine right now). I suppose the same could be said for the off side water rail... If one side is leaking now, maybe the other isn't far off.

 

Right, off outside to remove the front clam... Bye bye dining room!

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Hi Keith,

The last time there was a show at Donington I picked up a leaflet from these guys who had a stand there:-

http://www.coolexperts.co.uk/

 

They had an Elise alloy rad on display and are fairly local to us, based in Nottingham. I've not got round to fitting an alloy rad myself yet so can't comment on the product but it might be worth giving them a call to see what sort of price they are charging?

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They are round the corner from my work and I have used them a couple of times for repairs. Good guys but I am afraid other suppliers are cheaper. I would only fix one side as you will need to open the sill and it then gets expensive.

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Well, good news! I ran the car on the level expecting to see some obvious signs of fluid somewhere, but still just a vague drip and nothing wet anywhere I could get my hand to, but then I caught rather too much of a reflection when looking through the front service compartment. I removed the water bottle and battery and... bingo. Coolant central!

The 'floor' is very wet yet all pipework is dry. The only area of wetness is the bottom of the heater matrix so I think it safe to conclude I need a new heater matrix. Definitely cheaper and less hassle to fix. I'm sort of disappointed I won't need a nice shiny new radiator now!

 

I figure the repair will be a little easier on my back with the clam off though I can see I can do it without taking it off. Unless you guys think there's anything else I might have missed, I'm going to get ordering.


Thanks for that link Martin. Funnily enough, another linking that thread lead to someone else with a similar issue as me only to find the fault with the heater matrix after changing the sill water rails.

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It's been a while since I started this job because I've been away a lot so I've only been able to use a few evenings to strip everything out... it would have been a quick job except for pretty much all of the nuts around the radiator being well rusted and pretty awkward to get a Dremel to or a hack-saw blade.

post-3273-0-05841900-1401179514_thumb.jpg

 

Anyway, in about five hours yesterday I managed to remove the heater matrix and blower -so glad I took the clam off because it is very awkward to get out- clean everything up and then re-fit the heater assembly, rad and battery. Nice new C-clips and bolts on everything. Worst job is definitely the heater assembly.

post-3273-0-63303600-1401179524_thumb.jpg

 

I had to stop short of reattaching the wiring loom as I don't think my neighbours would have appreciated the inevitable alarm sounding at 10 pm. I may get time to do that tomorrow, then re-fill and bleed the coolant, clam on, done!

 

 

 

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