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  • Name
    Stuart Gilmour
  • Car
    '69 Lotus Plus 2
  • Location
    Calgary Alberta

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  1. There are two screws located on the bottom lip at the front of part 5. They may thread in to two captive speed nuts attached to part 14; memory a bit vague. I am not remembering if they are an Allen hex type head or a Phillips, so take a close look prior to trying to unfasten them. My bet is a hex socket of about six mm? Once the two screws are out he piece easily removes by pulling forward. HTH Stu
  2. Bringing this old topic forward. I have exactly the same question for my 2000. Can the lift switch be pried out from the from the front? Stu
  3. Thanks Mike. Excellent to have the info in one place. Stu
  4. Excellent guys. Thanks. A few years ago I provided an electronic copy of the service manual to the shop, so hopefully all good. The torque settings and procedures Mike and Derek provided are as per my Service Manual, page ED-36. Reason I asked for confirmation is at one point my tech mentioned a revised torque spec. I may have missunderstood; he may have meant the torque spec used for another highly modified Esprit V8 that was using ARP studs. At any rate, as we are using stock gaskets and screws, I would want the Lotus recommended torque spec to be used. Will check with the shop to see what they are using. Another quick thought. Our local independent did major service work on about four V8's last winter (when my aftermarket gaskets were installed). I think at least two jobs involved using the aftermarket head gaskets. The other cars don't accumulate much for miles, and don't see track use. Unfortunately I seem to be the local trial baloon to see if we have isolated the cause of this issue. Any experience from others helpful. Cheers! Stu
  5. Here is a picture of one of my failed gaskets.Coating is badly damaged, but not sure if this was subsequent over heating or a root cause of failure. Witness marks seem to show failure in the coolant galeries close to the liners. Failure mode of the cooling system was sudden loss of coolant, apparently from presurization of cooling system from combustion chamber. Did several combustion gas checks that were negative, final test done by my very experienced independent shop was positive. Only seemed to occur under load at reasonable rpm (say 4000 or more with some boost). No obvious cross over of oil and coolant noted, but on disassembly some mayonaise seen in the cooling system tubes from the turbo's, which confirmed crossover did occur. Very frustrating problem, as we have essentially refurbished the cooling system completely and have not solved the issues. This recent head gasket failure is the second while I have owned the car. First failure was a small external leak located at front right, just above the alternator. May have caused two alternator failures due to dripping coolant; no coolant seen below car as it would presumably only leak intermitently and slow enugh to evaporate off. I did not see the head gaskets removed on the first job, but the tech swears they were not OEM, and not even of the laminated steel type. This seems real strange to me, and might not be accurate. As I say, never saw the gaskets, just saw the evidence of the external leak and noted very rapid coolant loss/consumption (about 1/2 litre per day if steady running). Anyone seen V8 head gaskets that are other than the laminated steel type? Replacement gaskets are installed, and just waiting for turbo's to come back from service/rebuild before recommisioning the car (2000 V8). Very strange, as I have an impeller failure on one of the turbo's, even after rebuild last winter with the first head gasket job. Whether this failure is related to the head hasket failure, sudden coolant loss on track, brief overheating, oil/water crossover, etc. I am not sure. Don't think we have an overboost issue happening. Seems to be normal boost pressures according to my gauge I installed last winter after the head gasket replacement. We have used OEM head gaskets this time based on recommendations from other folks and on-line research. Sourced the OEM gaskets from Steve at SJ. He indicated to me he was not aware of failures with the aftermarket gaskets. He did mention he supplies and sells the same aftermarket gaskets as JAE; I assume these are the 'Steve's Pick' gaskets on his site for about half the cost of OEM, but perhaps others who have bought them can confirm. Although he could supply me with OEM gaskets (about two months ago), he mentioned they may be the last set he has available right now. I did not interpret this to mean OEM gaskets are not available any more, just not in stock with him right now and perhaps not in stock with Lotus or through his supply chain. Trying to be very clear here, as I did not understand @Bibs mention of someone being banned for saying (among other thinks apparently, I can't really follow the posts and back and forth too well) Lotus does not have any more V8 gaskets available in this other thread. Not taking issue with anything, just saying I do not know what the exact gasket supply situation is, but understand the OEM ones are hard to get... I do not know right now what caused my second gasket failure. Hoping the OEM gaskets solve the problem, but no experience to report yet. Unfortunately it is going to be a very short fall driving season here in Alberta after the new gaskets are installed. I do have a Track Day scheduled for October 1st that hopefully will use the Esprit. The track is about three hours (one way) from home, so it should be an excellent road test if trhe car is ready in time and the snow is not too deep . It is actually snowing in Banff today, so fingers are crossed. I have not contacted JAE yet about my most recent failure, as (1) I did not purchase the gaskets, the shop did, (2) I do not know specifically what caused the failure, and (3) I don't know yet if the coolant loss issue will be solved with the new OEM gaskets. If the OEM gaskets solve the problem I am prepared to report results to Jay and Steve. As Steve mentioned to me in an email, the only way the suppliers know if there is an issue is if we let them know. I am pretty confident in the shop doing the work, but things can happen on assembly, etc. We did send the heads out for cleanup, the block deck was checked, etc. The shop has done extensive work on a number of Esprit V8's, including heads, liners, etc. Can someone confirm the head torque spec we should be using? I believe we are using stock head bolts, but I will check on that important detail. 'Guest' asked about the gasket replacement job being done with the engine in or out of the car. My gaskets were done with the engine in the car. My understanding is if you are using ARP replacement studs the engine has to be pulled to provide enough clearance to get the head off over the studs, but I am absolutely open to correction on this detail. There is a post above in this thread that 'Guest' says is from the archive; not quite sure what is meant there. I think it is actually taken from this thread on Lotus Talk, but not sure. Although it says 'Stu' at the top of the post, it is not based on my experience. Rather it was another fellow on Lotus Talk that reported solving his coolant loss issue with OEM gaskets, and he posted publically after I enquired if he had solved his specific issue. This was when we were planning my head gasket replacement job. The thread contains a bit of history on my first gasket failure... I did hear off list from one other person regarding this issue, and he also reported OEM gaskets solved his problem of sudden coolant loss. We will see if he also posts in this thread. Looking at the HowardRoark thread regarding sudden coolant loss, I am wondering if it is another occurance of the same issue? I thouight I simply had an air bubble in the cooloing system, but definitely gasket failure. Hope this helps. Any experiences, good or bad, are probably helpful. Stay Calm and Carry On I guess. Wish me luck. Stu
  6. Stu,

    i just ordered a OE set from SJ Motorsport . At first they told me only aftermarket gaskets were available , then I got an email from Steve a couple days later saying Lotus still had a few left. Part # A918E0029F, they were 600.00 GB. About $900.US. I placed the order, haven't received them yet. 

    1. stugilmour


      Thanks very much. Will phone Steve next week; too late today.  Monday is a holiday in both Canada and the U.K.  

      Was the ~ $900 US for both gaskets? I assume Steve can put a kit together pretty easily with all the other gaskets included; but I expect that would be more than $900?


    2. Mjmech



      my email is 

      $900+\- for the two. I think aftermarket HG's are only $200. Haven't had a problem with the other aftermarket gaskets. 

      Good luck, also make sure the two mating surfaces are as clean and smooth as possible. From what I read, that's very important when using MLS gaskets.

  7. Mitch, just got contacted privately by another forum member who mentioned he had an issue with the JAE supplied head gaskets as well. We assume now we got aftermarket ones from JAE last winter as we are having identical issues to the other car. He also solved the issues with OEM gaskets.

    I cannot source the OEM gaskets locally as our dealer does not stock or source any parts for the older cars. If you get a lead on a gasket set for sure let me know. 

    I actually recovered two pieces about 1/4" diameter of what looks like head gasket material from the coolant header bottle. 

    Real pain. May have to re do the head gaskets. 


  8. Stuart,

    did you use OE or aftermarket head gaskets. 

    1. stugilmour


      I believe they were stock from JAE in CA, but I will definitely check. The shop sourced all the parts directly on the last service job. 

    2. Mjmech


      I don't like to talk on the forums. I rebuilt my V8, with aftermarket head gaskets. They failed after defore 100 miles. Changed to OE head gasket and it's been 1,500 miles now. I think the aftermarket head gaskets are junk.  The OE gaskets have a much thicker citron coating. But I'm not sure that there are any more available. According to Ralph at RS motor sports, I got the last set any where. I actually have a spare motor I would like to rebuild , but I'm waiting for this gasket situation to be figured out.

      also do the combustion check on the coolant system with the engine at temp and the Rpms over 2,500. That's the only time I would see the combustion gases . 


      Spell check changed a bunch of words. Gaskets are MLS with a Vitron coating.

    3. stugilmour


      Thanks and will do on combustion check. We have had rain here for like two week; hoping to get back to the car this week. 

  9. Thanks for that Mike. Those readings (except for boost) are what I am seeing. A bit concerned with the potential over boost; believe the previous owner mentioned something was changed in the regard but not sure of details. This was before change to Hi-Torque flash; assume the car had the stock MY 2000 NA flash when I bought the car. I have the North American spec Hi-Torque reflash performed by Lotus USA about two years ago. I also have a spare ECU (in for service right now). Have not settled on the flash it will get, but believe the tech is using a North American version of the Red Race flash. The ECU was equipped with a chip holder and after market chip when I bought it. It is presently not behaving correctly, and unfortunately never worked reliably in my car before being sent for service and repair. Original motivation for looking at the cooling systems was repeated overheat warnings during track sessions. This was indicated by flashing a coolant light with moderate coolant system temps on the dash gauge, which has been checked against an icing thermometer and the ECU readings. I also got a similar high oil temp warning on a trip up Pikes Peak at our Lotus Meet last August; the warning only occurred at the very peak at a staggering 14,000 ft elevation! Track Day was cut short at Pikes Peak International at a more moderate ~6,000 ft elevation and I think 5-40 oil; same issue with oil temp. I then added the gauges, PUK oil thermostat, 10-60 oil. We also fixed a very small but persistent external head gasket leak (right front, was dripping on the alternator and evaporating off; believed to have caused two alternator bearing failures). Turbo's were removed and serviced during the head gasket replacements. Oil cooling appears to be working fine, no leaks Coolant system still not working correctly. Pretty much at my wits end. Repeated air bleeding and testing, and I appear to be pressurizing somehow and blowing coolant out. New radiator pack, fans, overflow bottle, thermostat, pressure caps and gaskets, hose clips, etc. As soon as weather improves here I am dong yet another system pressure test, this time with shift gator removed to see if any leakage in the tunnel tubes; friend of mine on the other forum just found this issue on his car so going to check mine. Also going to do another check for combustion gas in coolant; previous tests came back OK with no combustion gas, but we will see this time. I have no indication of oil / coolant crossover, but have not sent oil for analysis. With the car cold I can rev the engine with a plastic bag over the rad cap, and the bag will collapse when revved and slightly pressure up when the engine is brought back to idle. I put this down to the slight change in coolant level as the engine is revved. My biggest fear is I have an issue with the liners, or another head gasket issue. I am not sure if liner failure would present as rapid cooling system pressurization? Any suggestions welcome. Sorry for length. It has been a journey. Love the car but need to resolve this issue. Stu
  10. Although I have not removed the panel myself, I understand it is simply held in place by double sided tape and needs to be carefully pried off. I also understand it is sufficient to remove the facia panel to replace the switches, and the whole plastic bit does not need to come out. You will need to remove the head unit and sleave though. This post will help a ton.... I have posted a bunch of other V8 heater info and pictures here in this other post that might also help. Let us know how you make out as taking this part of the car apart is quite a puzzle. HTH Stu
  11. You may be right Mike. At any rate we got it installed. Does assist with warm up time particularly with heavy weight oil, which is what I was hoping for. I live at about 4300 feet next to the Canadian Rockys. Overnight temperatures are very cool, even in August. Wanted to run heavy multi grade oil for track use, but was concerned with lack of lubrication during warm up, particularly on a cool morning. What would you consider typical oil temp and pressure for the V8? I installed an oil temperature, pressure, and boost gauges for this season. Don't have a feel for what would be typical readings I see max boost of about 15 psi, oil pressure of about 20 psi when warm at idle, and oil temps of 70 degrees but going up to 90 or 100 degrees when jumping on the power Stu
  12. Barry and Wayne If you still have issues with the Cobra, Sir Lotus on the Lotus Talk forum is an excellent resource. I bought new remotes and custom remote cases from him. Very helpful. He has links to the cobra manuals in a sticky thread, and has additional information in the electrical section. As mentioned above, if you don't have the touch key the unit has to be sent to him (or someone else with the specialized knowledge and equipment) for programming. Problem; No available Touch KeySolution; Alarm ECU needs to be sent to me for programming the inclusion of Touch Key which is supplied. HTH Stu
  13. Jon, I would also recommend checking out getting your stock rad pack re-cored, depending on what you find for issues after removal. I think they typically re-core to four row rather than the stock three row. I tried with two different alloy aftermarket rads and had issues with cracking. If you do opt for an aluminium unit, pay particular attention to how you mount it. My understanding is they must be mounted in some sort of flexible rubber mounts to prevent body flex causing them to crack. YMMV. Just my experience. Both of mine were from North American suppliers; no direct experience with Radtec. Recognize others have definitely used aluminium units with success, and my second aluminium unit did provide more cooling than my presently installed re-cored unit. The issue was that cracking at the welds is pretty much impossible to repair; we took a shot but could not get a reliable seal. It may have worked OK with a better mounting system, but after two kicks at the can I went back to conventional stock material. I am still using the larger aftermarket fan package though, so that might be something you want to consider. I had my local shop do the work. My understanding it is pretty difficult without a lift, but the thread Barry linked to is encouraging for sure. Have you thoroughly checked all of the hoses and stuff first, particularly around the diverter valve and heater hoses? I had an overheating issue at idle caused by one of the three fan fuses going out, so definitely check all three fans are working. Stu
  14. Has anyone installed a PUK oil thermostat in a V8? The unit I bought is the second one down on this page. It is different than the sandwich plate type used on the four cylinder. supplied hoses look overly long to comfortably fit and attach to the hoses running to the front of the car. Pulling the long hoses forward might work but looks very awkward. Thinking of getting shorter hoses made up, but still looks like a strange fit. Wondering if anyone else has installed one of these? Are we missing something? Stu
  15. Interesting point regarding the J bolt. That should work fine. I must have missed that idea when I was looking at the issue, so I cut the carabiner. Or i had trouble finding the required threaded rod and coupling nut. Good luck with the fix. Spain and Malta sounds pretty good with snow still hanging around here. Stu
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