Lotus Elan

Original oil pressure line?

PostPost by: gjz30075 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:42 am

Pictured is a hard plastic black line, with both ends straight. The slightly kinked end you see goes to
the block. My Sprint has a clear (now cloudy) plastic line with a nice copper 90 degree bend at the
block end to clear the heater hose. My S3 has this black line.

I've been reading up on this line and it seems there's a mix of black and clear (now cloudy) lines
on our cars. So, is this black line oem to an S3?
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:12 am

My late S3 #4579 had a clear plastic line. I replaced it with -3 braided stainless about 35 years ago.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:09 am

My early S4 has a black plastic line my 73 Plus 2 had a clear line. Lotus probably used both over the years depending on which was cheapest or which was most easily available when they placed an order.

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PostPost by: Mazzini » Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:48 am

I've seen the effect of an oil pipe fail on an Elite, it covered the engine bay and drained the sump before the owner realised what was happening.
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:52 am

Thanks guys. I'll probably go with the stainless braided line RD sells. It has the necessary 90 deg for
the block end and the right fittings.
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PostPost by: Foxie » Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:39 pm

Mazzini wrote:I've seen the effect of an oil pipe fail on an Elite, it covered the engine bay and drained the sump before the owner realised what was happening.


I was charging down the motorway last year coming home from a hill-climb week-end when I suddenly noticed a large trail of smoke behind the car. At the same time my oil light came on and I saw the oil pressure was almost zero. Fearing my newly built twin-cam was toast, I was fortunately close to the next exit and a garage. There was nothing obvious when I opened the bonnet First thing I did was check the oil level, which was a bit low but still present.

On starting the engine to check, I observed a jet of oil spraying from a leak in the (also new) ss braided oil pressure line directly on to the hot exhaust manifold.

By cutting the line at the leak and tying it in a loop with a cable tie I was able to get the 110 miles home safely.

I fitted a new line and was very happy to see the oil pressure was perfect. Obviously the pinhole restrictor in the block oil pressure union had done its job and saved the engine. Whew ! :).
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PostPost by: mbell » Tue Feb 27, 2018 7:51 pm

gjz30075 wrote:Thanks guys. I'll probably go with the stainless braided line RD sells. It has the necessary 90 deg for the block end and the right fittings.


I'd advise you to check the size of the outlet on your block first. There are two sizes 1/4" and 3/8" (?) and RD will need to supply the right size convertor to the AN for the hose.

I order one from DB and got sent the wrong one, I was able to get a suitable convert from lowes as standard US fittings but that has put the 90 elbow in contact with my heater hose. DB was meant to send me a new one when they got one in stock but that hasn't happened and I haven't chased.

You'll also need to use PTFE tape or similar at the gauge end to get it oil tight.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:12 pm

Thanks Mark. I'll check it.
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:46 pm

Yes, there are some places I fear plastic doesn't belong. Many years ago added aftermarket gauge set to Audi 100LS. Worked fine, loaned car to girlfriend to go to job interview. High normal oil pressure caused brass ferrule to cut through line at block connection, failsafe squirting on exhaust manifold caused smokescreen, panic and fears of blown engine. Received very unhappy call to come and fetch.

Bought new ferrule, fixed problem, happened all over again.

Could've been worse, though. Imagine the same failure at the gauge end in the passenger compartment, hot oil spraying everywhere... :shock:
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:51 pm

At the gauge end, there is a small hard fiber gasket/ washer that goes inside the tube's end and seals off the oil leak at the back side of the gauge. The coupe parts book shows the washer in the illustration but does not give a separate part number for it. Might be available from Nissonger in North America and who knows on the right side of the pond. I remember replacing gauges on customer cars back in the 70s and that little washer came with the new gauge and if was a must install with the gauge or the client would have oil spots on his/ her clothing.

I've acquired a suitable replacement washer from the Bimba air cylinder people for use w/ their 10-32 air fittings. They do the job well. Problem is they may only be available from Bimba in a bag of 100 pieces. But I'll bet still a reasonable price.

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PostPost by: mbell » Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:21 pm

Elan45 wrote:At the gauge end, there is a small hard fiber gasket/ washer that goes inside the tube's end and seals off the oil leak at the back side of the gauge.


The braided lines come with a BSP to AN convertor for the gauge end. I was careful to make sure the fiber washer stayed but it didn't seal. I also tried a suitable sized O-ring which again failed to seal. Some PTFE tape on the thread sorted it.

I suspect the BSP/AN convertor didn't have the correct internal structure to allow fully sealing against the gauge connection using the washer/o ring.
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PostPost by: saildrive2001 » Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:09 am

When I did my restoration about 5 years ago I bought a new black plastic line & fittings. Everything was fine for a year & then one day my right leg got quite warm, guess what, the plastic line had come off the fitting in the oil pressure gauge. Thankfully I was near home & managed to temporarily fix it. I replaced it with a braided line before driving it again. The original plastic line had worked with no problems for years.
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PostPost by: seniorchristo » Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:06 pm

Can someone help me with BSP size on the gauge end? I assume it's a male end so the hose will need a female. Thanks
Chris :)
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:46 pm

Chris,

I have just measured the thread on my oil gauge (1968 S4) and it appears to be 1/8"BSP. The difficulty is that 1/8BSP and 1/8NP are very close in size and pitch, with BSP being 28 threads per inch, and NP being 27 threads per inch. Please be careful, and don't force anything.

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PostPost by: seniorchristo » Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:59 pm

Thanks Richard
I might make up my own -3AN hose but I still need to purchase the adapters. 3AN to 1/4" NPT for the block and 3AN to 1/8" BSP (I think) for the gauge. :)
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