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Posts posted by gmendoza

  1. The fact you replaced the head gaskets on the new engine is a huge red flag. See my thread about head gaskets.

    Check for combustion gases in the coolant through the header tank connector for the hose to the overflow tank when the overflow tank is bubbling, If you do, then head gaskets are the issue. 

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  2. Who built the car? Any idea what's been installed?

    Even if your car was running perfect, shifting hard enough to make the tires break loose at 140mph is just begging for trans issues.

    2nd, MLS headgaskets need a perfect surface to seal correctly. The surface needs to be like glass basically. If you can see machining marks, like a vinyl record, it'll leak.

    3rd, rumor has it that the Esprit has a tendency to lift heads at very high boost with stock head bolts. Were ARP studs installed?

    4th, how do you know its a head gasket issue? Overheating after WOT run? Water mixing with oil?

    Like others have said, I'd check your boost first and get that under control.


  3. I second what John said about best pictures since Mike S.

    Real quality engineering Gonzalo - Oh for half your ability!!

    I do not know the full background to your car at all and make no mistake I love my V8, but thinking aloud, I was wondering what made you pick on the Lotus V8 to get loads of power out of as is it not fair to say that it could be considered a little fragile for much development?

    I know the failure was caused by an external component of course but would love to know if you think it would have happened to a different motor. (say Audi V8 or perhaps Nissan Skyline engine).

    That may miss the point of it all i guess and I dont wish to be hung out to dry for these comments - just wondering!!


    Sorry I didn't see this earlier. You are right Mark. There are much better cars to get huge power. A 996tt, Supra, even a Corvette come to mind. I never picked the Lotus because I wanted to make huge power, it just happened. I decided I wanted an Esprit because I wanted something turbocharged and unique.

    My car was already slightly modded by the previous owner as project for Modified Luxury & Exotics magazine. I thought it was perfect. Being a guy that can't leave well enough alone, I started playng with the car in a attempt to make it slightly better.

    Well one thing led to another and slightly better became more than the car could handle. And that's what led to this thread, and the Holloway thread.

    As for my failure on another car, I think it would have still resulted in some engine damage. Maybe not as bad, but some damage would have still been possible.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Gunter for your post creating page 2 of the thread. As much as I enjoyed the Gonzalo V8 "family album" pics, each time I returned to page 1 the download time was causing the house lights to dim, and threatened a global shutdown of the internet.

    Just kidding, Gonz...keep 'em coming :lol:

    :hrhr: Sorry about that. lol. It was alot of pics.

  4. Thanks guys. Actually it was almost 4 months from the time it blew to the time I fired it up again. It was alot if time waiting for parts, machining, checking etc. As for the assembly itself, that did take about a week on my spare time.

    Gunter, the block was actually used purchased from JAE. The belts, studs, rods and misc parts were also JAE. Liners and pistons were actually one of sets purchased directly from the manufacturer. If some one was interested in either the pistons and liners, I get you the info needed.

  5. Thanks guys. Yeah, I know it was going to happen one day. I just never thought it was going to be this bad. :huh:

    Hi Gonzalo,

    What type of boost controller were you using, and what was the nature/cause of the failure?

    Rebuild is looking good!

    I'm using a Blitz SBC-id. It appears the solenoid got stuck on. I've seen two fail this way before. Now this alone wont cause your motor to fail. The Blitz has an auto and a manual setting. If you are in manual and the soleniod fails, then it will fail at whatever setting you had with no additional boost, you'll just hear the buzzing from the soleniod. I had it on auto. While convinient, it can put you in a bad spot if the solenoid gets stuck because the controller is constantly varying the setting to give you the boost you want. So if it fails, you can get less or more (like me) boost depending on what the controller was doing at the time of failure.

    Will you run this one in , or is that a silly question

    There are two schools of thought on run in. Run it like it's meant to be driven from mile one or baby it for thousands of miles. I'm in the middle. No very heavy load for 500 mi or so but plenty of varying PRM and some load to help the rings.

    On to the pics:

    more rod caps:


    lube'ing & installing oil pump





    intermediate shaft bearings installed and lubed:




    replacing chain tensioner blocks


    Chain & gears installed


    Tensioners installed before adjustment:


    Lotus alignment tool installed:


    All done:


    Sealant for front cover:


    Front cover on with intermediate seal installed:


    Sealing for oil pan:


    Oil pan on:


    crank seal on (notice key way for intermediate shaft pulleys, see other thread for details)


    Crank pulley on


    top cover sealed & installed:


    oil filter mount installed:


    rear cover sealed & installed



    Flywheel on (sorry no pcs of rear main seal)


    Sensors installed:


    Head ready for cams:


    Followers in:


    cam caps layed out in order ready to be installed:


    Cams in & locked with setting pins:


    cam seals in, pulleys ready to be bolted


    Sealant on cam bolts:



    cam pulleys loosely bolted ready for belts:


    belts in:



    dab sealant on front cam caps ready for cam cover


    Cam cover ready to be installed:


    cam cover, injector housings, thermostat housing, exhaust manifold & dip stick installed:


    Starter and coil packs in


    Bosch Gen 3 injectors in


    Wiring loom in:


    Plennum ready for install:


    Then the camera card got full and we forgot about more pics, sorry. :(

    The car is back on the road and it feels great. I havent done any WOT high boost runs but part throttle feels good. It's very responsive off boost, not laggy at all. It actually feels natrually aspirated. I don't know it that's due to the lighter rotating assembly, rods are about .25lbs (~115gm) lighter than stock, better atomazation of the injectors, port work on the heads around the valve seat area or a combination of everything. Whatever it is, I am very happy.

    Now to put some miles on it and turn the boost up again. :)

    Holy smoke Gonzalo, when Alan said the failure was spectacular he wasn't kidding! Nice job and let's catch up soon


    lol, Thanks, sounds like a good idea

  6. As some of you know, my car has been pushed to the limit since basically day one. A few months ago, I was at the track when my aftermarket boost controller failed, I got who knows how much boost and my motor let go. There wanst much warning, it blew at the same time I realized th car was making more power than it should.

    Here's the carnage:

    Hole in the block & damaged liners:





    pieces of piston in oil pan


    Snapped timing chain


    Worn chain tensioners




    Many bent valves, broken valve guides and 1 damaged combustion chamber



    2 damaged rods




    piston pieces that entered the plennum and back down into other cylinders


    Oil pick-up bolts snapped


    More head damaged




    Damaged lobes in 1 cam


    Custom Mahle forged pistons vs stock cast pistons that will be installed.



    Now for the rebuild:

    Custom Darton liners:


    Measuring liner stand in



    Double checking bearing clearances with Plastigauge (appox 0.0018")


    Checking ring gaps (old ring used for illustration only)


    Rings installed and gapped per Mahle's recommendation


    Underside Mahle piston with JAE Saanz H-Beam rods




    New block cleaned ready for assembly:


    Oil squirters installed:


    Upper main bearings installed and lubed:


    Upper thrust bearing installed & lubed:


    Crank in:


    #4 Main cap with bearing & lower thrust installed:


    Main caps installed:


    JAE ARP head studs installed (right hand liners, pistons & head already installed):


    Adding Hylomar to liner with piston & rod installed



    #8 psiton/liner installed


    Installing #7


    #7 installed:


    #5-8 installed:


    Head gasket installed:


    Head cleaned ready for install:


    Both heads on:


    Ready to install rod caps:



  7. An update... The thrust washers that came out and the new ones both had the same measurements. But he replaced all of the main crank caps (that hold the crank in place) and he reports that it is much much tighter now.

    So either there was some difference in the main caps or just the process of taking it all apart and putting it back together had some effect.

    Either way, things are tighter now so hopefully it will get reassembled today and we can see if there are any noises still present. I am hopeful that the end is in sight and I can start driving this car!

    WTF!!!!1 Either you misunderstood or this guy has NO f'n clue what he's doing. The main caps are matched to the block and only go in one slot. If a cap is replaced, then all caps must be line bored due to a chance the journals will be out of round and the axis will be off. Then oversized bearings will most likely be installed . No, that block cannot be linebored in the car. Here's how you do it:

    Also, 1/2 the thrust bearing rides on the block, 1/2 rides on the cap. Just replacing the cap will create a mismatch on the surface where the thrust bearing rides

    When an Esprit engine grenades for whatever reason, the metal bits would tend to circulate throughout the oil system which includes the oil lines running to the front coolers. It's almost impossible to clean all the metal bits out of the lines and coolers which usually necessitates replacement. Unless they were replaced, or at the very least flushed with a high pressure flushing system, I'd suspect residual shrapnel from the original breakdown.

    Did your mechanic take any steps to make sure the oil passages were clear when he had the block stripped?

    Just thinking out loud here. It apprears oil flows from the pan, through the pump, to the coolers, to the filter, then the oil galleys. So if there is debris in the oil coolers, wouldn't they be caught by the oil filter?

  8. Most V8 timing belt failures I've heard about are from the bolt on the intermediate shaft (IMS) backing out causing the pulley to slip resulting in crunched valves. Very few failures from the belt actually snapping or even skipping teeth. Also, most failures I've heard about/seen are on 97-99 V8's. While reading the service notes, in the section on torqing the IMS bolt, it mentions to make sure you have the newer style bolt. It also makes no mention of applying locktite to the IMS bolt while it does mention applying locktite to the cam bolts.

    Now this sparked a few questions. When did Lotus start using the new IMS bolt? If having the IMS bolt backing out is a common failure, why no locktite? Lastly, in the section that addresses adjustment and also the section on replacement, it makes no mention of re-torquing either the IMS nor the cam bolts. Is it good practice to do it anyway?

    Thanks in advance

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