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Bellhousing Dry Sump


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Hey guys. I found someone local to diagnose and work on my recently bought car since I don't really have the space to do so at the moment. He seems to have narrowed the oil leak down to between the bellhousing and the block, but doesn't know exactly where in there it's coming from. He hasn't worked on sevens before so he is unfamiliar with the different drivetrains. He is asking if I have a diagram or schematic or anything that he can look at or a parts list. I am unfamiliar with the car as well so I don't really have that information or know enough about it. I have all the service records and original build manual but it doesn't go in depth on the dry sump and the bell housing holding the engine oil. I assume it's a gasket somewhere in there but he can't see one.

 

Any information you guys can provide or a direction to point me in so I can tell him is appreciated.

 

Car information:

1994 Caterham Super 7 HPC

Vauxhall C20XE w/ Swindon internals

Ford Type 9 gearbox

Dry sump in the bell housing

 

Thanks

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I am going to assume it is engine oil and not transmission fluid?

 

Second, do you know it is dry sump tank leaking or maybe a rear main seal on the Vauxhall engine?  Rear main seal is more common than a dry sump tank leaking.  The bellhousing dry sump tanks will usually leak straight away at first use or just be leak free for eternity.  

 

Third, which type of bellhousing dry sump?  There were two.  The later Titan produced kind as used for 1995 to 2015 area is shown in photos below.  There was a version used in the Rover K series and adapted to the later Duratec.  Is this your type?  I dont think so but want to confirm to be sure.

 

CIMG1199_edited-1.JPG.effd01092b0c36618bebfe7314ed120d.JPGIMG_5798.thumb.jpg.13c71b6a22e30f769226579d6ba1e876.jpgIMG_5799.thumb.jpg.6c9f1acb8579b8dc99ce76639b143cbf.jpg

 

 

I have only seen the earlier type of vauxhall dry sump within bellhousing once before - yours is the only one I have heard of its type in the USA.  No photos sorry.  It had a different swirl tower.  No idea on the internals.  

 

Sadly, the solution for either type of leak is to pull the engine.  

 

For diagrams - have you checked the downloads section of this site for the available technical literature?  Link here

Downloads - USA7s

 

 

 

 

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Hey Croc. Thanks for the reply. My original thought and the thought of the previous owner is that it's the rear main seal that is leaking. It is indeed engine oil that is leaking. There is gear oil leaking too but those have been identified and fixed. The engine oil is the main one we are trying to figure out.

 

Sadly, I really don't know anything about the drivetrain in this car. All I know is what I can see in the paperwork he has given me. And there's not much information in there. And this is my first Caterham. I'm still learning all of what is going on and I've had trouble finding information online about the HPC cars. I know someone else who has one but ours are fairly different. So honestly I don't have a clue what dry sump is in the car. I'll forward the information you've given me to my friend that is working on the car.

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If you are looking for useful technical information on the Vauxhall engine, then SBD has a very good section here:

Vauxhall Instruction Sheets | SBD Motorsport

 

 

For parts your main options are in the UK - QED, Redline and SBD Motorsports.  

 

A relevant post on L7C that feels somewhat close to your symptoms is here:

Crank oil seal change - which parts and where to buy? | Caterham and Lotus Seven Club (caterhamlotus7.club)

 

 

I know an experienced long-term owner with a VX engine so can reach out to him once you have pulled the engine and worked out where the source of the leak(s) are.

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

@SourceI have a very similar car to yours.  The original owner actually ordered the kit from Caterham to install the bell housing dry sump, but never installed it.  I have it, new in a box.  Someone was kind enough to email me an installation document and this may help you with your system.  Here you go...

Vauxhall Dry Sump System_master.doc

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40 minutes ago, Lotusfan said:

@SourceI have a very similar car to yours.  The original owner actually ordered the kit from Caterham to install the bell housing dry sump, but never installed it.  I have it, new in a box.  Someone was kind enough to email me an installation document and this may help you with your system.  Here you go...

Vauxhall Dry Sump System_master.doc 3.23 MB · 2 downloads

Wow, thanks for this. It's been hard finding information about this car on the internet. I'm glad to know another person that has a similar car. That way we can compare some notes here and there.

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  • 1 month later...

Update on this car:

 

The engine came out last night. We found that indeed the rear main seal and that smaller bearing cover is where the oil leak originated from. We are going forward with re-sealing pretty much everything on the engine while it is out of the car. Since it's an older vehicle and I don't know the entire history, seems like the logical step.

 

One thing we are now stumped on is the clutch slave cylinder. My friend who is mainly doing the engine pull is concerned that it needs to be rebuilt or replaced, but can't find any parts anywhere for it. He is unsure if there's a GM equivalent part or what we can do to replace it. He also thinks it may just be one of those things that doesn't need replaced, he's just not sure.

 

Attached pictures.

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273241922_339476134760613_1724100384272792183_n.jpg

273516263_654355515880351_8483339426844539972_n.jpg

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While you are in there you should always replace the clutch and related seals.  If you dont then they always fail within 1000 miles of putting the car back together - they do for me anyway.

 

The answer to your slave cylinder seals may come from @Lotusfan since he has a similar car but may also come from calling a Redline or SBD in the UK and sharing these photos.  The GM part could be off something never sold here like a Vauxhall mid-size or it could be bodged off a Ford Capri (Mercury Capri as sold in the US) or off an XR4i.  Trial and error sadly.   

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Sorry, I can’t help with the slave cylinder information.  As I said, the original owner had the dry sump kit but never installed it.  My car is still running the wet sump and a cable clutch since it is really street use now, so I haven’t felt compelled to install the dry sump yet.  The parts I have with the dry sump stuff are plain boxed so I can’t help with their source.  

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