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Thread: Fluids: Oil, gasoline, bourbon

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    111

    Default Fluids: Oil, gasoline, bourbon

    Good news/bad news.

    The good: I've spent the winter slowly trying to fix engine oil leaks. New sump gaskets and goop, better sealing of oil tank fittings, etc. Started it up today, and it appears that I have fixed most of the oil leaks. There's one area that might still be leaking, but I'm not sure yet. And time may change things. But first experience is it's drier than it used to be. Yay.

    The bad: I now have a gas leak. WTF?! I have a braided stainless line that runs from the fuel pump in the rear all the way to the carbs. It's dry at both ends, so somehow it is leaking along its length, in the vicinity of the shifter - the only place where I can't see the line, of course. Seems very odd to me that a braided line like this has sprung a leak, but it is leaking. Didn't leak with the fuel pump running before I started the engine; only leaked when I ran the engine.

    So, I need to replace the fuel line. Seems as if I'll have to remove the driveshaft to get access? I assume I have to remove the differential to do that? I don't have to pull the engine, do I? Or is there access from the cockpit?

    Car is a 97 Caterham, standard size, T-9 transmission, BDA engine with Dellorto carbs, Facet fuel pump.

    Please share any words of wisdom re how to go about fixing this. What a PIA.

    Now on to the bourbon.
    1997 Caterham, BDA
    1991 Miata, supercharged
    2017 VW GTI

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    NYC
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    4,890

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    Pour a glass for me please!

    The reason the braided line is likely leaking is that the inner rubber is not fuel safe. So over time it decays and eventually starts weeping through the rubber then through the braiding.

    So when you spec a replacement make sure you get a fuel safe line.

    As for replacing, Its probably easier with the tail shaft out unless you have small fingers.

    But I would contemplate the problem with another glass of bourbon first.
    Mike
    2010 Caterham CSR with Cosworth 2.3 Duratec
    2018 Caterham 420R with 2L Duratec 210hp at Donington UK
    1975 BMW CSL Group 4 (restoration - engine and dry sump install time)
    1977 Holden Torana "A9X" (awaiting restoration)
    1985 Holden Commodore SS Group A
    1985 Holden Commodore Group A
    1982 Ferrari 400i
    1965 Ford Mustang Fastback "Holman Moody"
    1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth WRC (fettling after long period of storage)
    1990 Range Rover 2 door Classic
    and another project car coming....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    N. California
    Posts
    87

    Default

    If the line is failing sometimes they will "shed". You may want to check your float bowls and toss in a new fuel filter.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    111

    Default

    Can I take the driveshaft out without removing the differential?

    Can I access the center tunnel from above, if I remove the center armrest?
    1997 Caterham, BDA
    1991 Miata, supercharged
    2017 VW GTI

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Roswell GA
    Posts
    974

    Default

    There may be an access panel around the shifter under the carpet. Check the rear u-joint, you may be able to disconnect it from the drive shaft or diff without removing major parts. With the drive shaft disconnected at the rear, the yoke should slide out (and allow oil to drain out). Drain the tranny first.
    Life happens while you're making other plans
    1995 Caterham Crossflow RHD
    1990 Miata
    2007 GMC Sierra WT
    2013 Mini (Her's)
    2014 Outback
    JOHN DEERE D130

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    111

    Default

    Thanks. But isn't the driveshaft fully surrounded by frame members, so that even if I disconnected at the u-joint, I wouldn't be able to get it out of the tunnel?

    Also, maybe kind of a newbie question, but where's the tranny oil fill location, and how do I access it?

    Quote Originally Posted by coffee break View Post
    There may be an access panel around the shifter under the carpet. Check the rear u-joint, you may be able to disconnect it from the drive shaft or diff without removing major parts. With the drive shaft disconnected at the rear, the yoke should slide out (and allow oil to drain out). Drain the tranny first.
    1997 Caterham, BDA
    1991 Miata, supercharged
    2017 VW GTI

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    455

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    Yes, you should be able to access the tunnel by removing the center arm rest. I removed mine to repair the covering, which had come unglued. As I remember it just pulled off (I don’t have carpet on my tunnel walls), and I only had to remove the gearshift knob.

  8. #8
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    Sep 2005
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    St. Louis, MO
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    Removed duplicate entry to post above.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Roswell GA
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    I was able to remove the driveshaft by sliding it to the rear past the straight axle. I had the car on a lift.
    The oil FILL plug is on the side of the tranny, I wish I had an oil DRAIN plug. That's the box in my car, thou it is self draining a little at a time...
    Last edited by coffee break; 04-09-2020 at 10:42 AM.
    Life happens while you're making other plans
    1995 Caterham Crossflow RHD
    1990 Miata
    2007 GMC Sierra WT
    2013 Mini (Her's)
    2014 Outback
    JOHN DEERE D130

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Higganum, CT
    Posts
    1,694

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueBDA View Post
    Thanks. But isn't the driveshaft fully surrounded by frame members, so that even if I disconnected at the u-joint, I wouldn't be able to get it out of the tunnel?

    Also, maybe kind of a newbie question, but where's the tranny oil fill location, and how do I access it?
    To add to what others have said. If your car is a deDion (I think it is IIRC) then I'm pretty sure you have to remove the diff to get the driveshaft out of the tunnel. The tunnel top should just pull up with the gearknob removed and the handbrake pulled all the way up. Although there could be a couple screws holding it to the tunnel towards the rear. In my old Birkin I fabricated some 3/8" stainless steel hard lines through the tunnel and had flexible lines to hook to the fuel pump/filter in the back and the fuel rail in the front. I didn't like the idea of using all flexible lines from front to rear but others have done it succesfully without issue.

    The tranny fill plug is on the left side of the case and hopefully there's an access plug in the driver's footwell if you can't access it from below. Should be a 10mm allen IIRC.Name:  041-855pic1_19.jpg
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    Bruce

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