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HowardRoark

Esprit V8 coolant question

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Hi all,

1999 Esprit V8 in the US, California.   I am going to top up my engine coolant, and I wanted to see what product the V8 owners are using.  I would ask the tech who last serviced my car but he does not work at the shop anymore where I last took the car.

My coolant in the car looks to be orange in color, I took a bit out of the header tank.  I am guessing this is Zerex, either DexCool or the G05 in the gold container?

cheers

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Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.

Dexcool was the original fill. 😣


Atwell Haines

'88 Esprit

Succasunna, NJ USA

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Since we are at the topic of cooling, how does you Esprit V8 perform in warm California weather? Does it overheat? (Do you have original radiator or upgraded?)

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1 hour ago, CarBuff said:

Dexcool was the original fill. 😣

Thanks Atwell.  I’ve heard that Lotus USA has recommended DexCool,   Do you know if that is correct?  

And how do you like the DexCool product, if you are familiar with it?

Any other recommendations on coolants for the V8?

Makis - yes I had an upgraded Aluminum Radiator installed when I had the entire engine rebuilt a couple of years ago.  I live in San Diego and my car performs very well in the warm weather.  While driving, it stays right at the 88* mark or a bit under on cooler days.

Pics of engine rebuild and the old radiator.  I’m happy with the upgraded one.

cheers

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I had bad vibes with the original DexCool (on Lotus & 'Vettes) when it first came out in the 1990s. I heard they changed the formulation, but the big issue is, if you (or past owners) mixed any other type of coolant, it would tend to clog up in the system.

 

Perhaps someone else wants to comment. I DO believe that DexCool was installed until the end of the Esprit run.


Atwell Haines

'88 Esprit

Succasunna, NJ USA

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I am not sure that Dex-Cool was used on the Esprit from the factory. Service notes Section TDK says the antifreeze is 50% mono-ethylene glycol and GM literature states that mixing an ethylene glycol based coolant with Dex-Cool 'will degrade the service interval from the 5 years/150,000 miles to 2 years/30,000 miles'.

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The last sentence in TSB 2006/18 (which is about coolant additive types) states:

Note that the Esprit was never factory filled with OAT coolant, and unless complete flushing can be assured, the original ('conventional') coolant should be retained.

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On 31/07/2019 at 12:50, sailorbob said:

The last sentence in TSB 2006/18 (which is about coolant additive types) states:

Note that the Esprit was never factory filled with OAT coolant, and unless complete flushing can be assured, the original ('conventional') coolant should be retained.

After my so after my complete rebuild. I have it ready for coolant. 

But now I’m debating on using glycol at all 

 

my plan is to run distilled water and water wetter initially. Drive it around and monitor temps. 

Then drain it all out and run either I’ve Water or Evans coolant. 

 

Thought on the glycol subject? Has to do with Hylomar

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9 hours ago, v8GTmac1 said:

After my so after my complete rebuild. I have it ready for coolant. 

But now I’m debating on using glycol at all 

 

my plan is to run distilled water and water wetter initially. Drive it around and monitor temps. 

Then drain it all out and run either I’ve Water or Evans coolant. 

 

Thought on the glycol subject? Has to do with Hylomar

I meant to say either ICE water or Evans coolant

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15 hours ago, v8GTmac1 said:

After my so after my complete rebuild. I have it ready for coolant. 

But now I’m debating on using glycol at all 

 

my plan is to run distilled water and water wetter initially. Drive it around and monitor temps. 

Then drain it all out and run either I’ve Water or Evans coolant. 

 

Thought on the glycol subject? Has to do with Hylomar

It is a good ideal to use distilled water.

One thing to bear in mind, I believe that the glycol also works as a lubricant for the water impeller I think... maybe..

Furthermore, it would be interesting to know how the Hylomar sealant works with just water / mix of coolant and water.

P.S. Irrelevant question How many miles / years do you think a good Lotus Esprit V8 rebuild should last ?

 

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9 hours ago, MD355 said:

It is a good ideal to use distilled water.

One thing to bear in mind, I believe that the glycol also works as a lubricant for the water impeller I think... maybe..

Furthermore, it would be interesting to know how the Hylomar sealant works with just water / mix of coolant and water.

P.S. Irrelevant question How many miles / years do you think a good Lotus Esprit V8 rebuild should last ?

 

good call on the lubrication needed for the water pump, i'll make sure to take that into consideration choosing the correct coolant. 

And the real question for must v8 owners including myself is jus tthat, how long? I've done much searching and have collected a handful of reasons for failure. from metal to coolant failure. 

Both of which were existing failures in my 918. For example broken oil pickup bolts, liner sealant failure and faulty coolant pressure cap. 

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5 hours ago, v8GTmac1 said:

good call on the lubrication needed for the water pump, i'll make sure to take that into consideration choosing the correct coolant. 

And the real question for must v8 owners including myself is jus tthat, how long? I've done much searching and have collected a handful of reasons for failure. from metal to coolant failure. 

Both of which were existing failures in my 918. For example broken oil pickup bolts, liner sealant failure and faulty coolant pressure cap. 

So even after a good rebuild, the 918 engine is destined to break again (normal driving, no tuning) ?

Somebody told me that these engines were not designed well and everything is "weak and insufficient" (including oil pump and cooling system)

Anyone with good reliability record here ? Any tips ?

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1 hour ago, MD355 said:

So even after a good rebuild, the 918 engine is destined to break again (normal driving, no tuning) ?

Somebody told me that these engines were not designed well and everything is "weak and insufficient" (including oil pump and cooling system)

Anyone with good reliability record here ? Any tips ?

Yes approx 112,000 miles before rebuild..... Reason for rebuild - worn main Bearings

 

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2 hours ago, steve930 said:

Yes approx 112,000 miles before rebuild..... Reason for rebuild - worn main Bearings

 

That's amazing !!

So if you don't mind me asking, can you tell us the story...

You bought the car new ? You did annual fluid change and belts every couple years ? Any upgrades or serious problems over the years ? When did you realize you needed bearings ? Thanks !!

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I did the rebuild just prior to steve930 becoming the new owner.  As I recall, mains and big-end bearings had the crank journals 7 and 8.  This is not uncommon.  However, it was the bearings not the journals that had slightly worn, but sufficient to create a bottom end rumble, so the crank needed only a polish.  Then came the while-I'm-at-it.  There had been coolant leak, only slight but a leak nevertheless.  The engine had several leak tests but liner failure was not identified.  I strippped the block, removed the liners and resealed with Hylomar.  The liners had no detectable wear.  Prior to that, Simon Armstrong at Ultimate Performance CNC machined the ports and in particular, throats of the cylinder heads.  Work of art.  I wasn't sure whether to mount the heads in my living room as sculpture installations, or put them back in the engine . . .  Valves, seats and guides were surprisingly and remarkably good.  I used new valve springs.  Pistons were good and needed only new rings.  Getting the rear crank oil seal to hold oil was problematic but eventually, it did its job.  Fitting to do so is exacting.  Removal, rebuilding and refitting are big jobs.  Very big.  Especially for two state pensioners.

Throughout the rebuild, Mike Sekinger gave me invaluable help.  He was superb in his expertise, generosity and willingness to provide technical support.

Head 008.jpg

Out01 (3).jpg

Out01.jpg

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31 minutes ago, Winter said:

I did the rebuild just prior to steve930 becoming the new owner.  As I recall, mains and big-end bearings had the crank journals 7 and 8.  This is not uncommon.  However, it was the bearings not the journals that had slightly worn, but sufficient to create a bottom end rumble, so the crank needed only a polish.  Then came the while-I'm-at-it.  There had been coolant leak, only slight but a leak nevertheless.  The engine had several leak tests but liner failure was not identified.  I strippped the block, removed the liners and resealed with Hylomar.  The liners had no detectable wear.  Prior to that, Simon Armstrong at Ultimate Performance CNC machined the ports and in particular, throats of the cylinder heads.  Work of art.  I wasn't sure whether to mount the heads in my living room as sculpture installations, or put them back in the engine . . .  Valves, seats and guides were surprisingly and remarkably good.  I used new valve springs.  Pistons were good and needed only new rings.  Getting the rear crank oil seal to hold oil was problematic but eventually, it did its job.  Fitting to do so is exacting.  Removal, rebuilding and refitting are big jobs.  Very big.  Especially for two state pensioners.

Throughout the rebuild, Mike Sekinger gave me invaluable help.  He was superb in his expertise, generosity and willingness to provide technical support.

Head 008.jpg

Out01 (3).jpg

Out01.jpg

Amazing work !! Congrats !! And great to hear that your car went to another member here that is enjoying it, steve930 !!

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1 hour ago, Winter said:

I did the rebuild just prior to steve930 becoming the new owner.  As I recall, mains and big-end bearings had the crank journals 7 and 8.  This is not uncommon.  However, it was the bearings not the journals that had slightly worn, but sufficient to create a bottom end rumble, so the crank needed only a polish.  Then came the while-I'm-at-it.  There had been coolant leak, only slight but a leak nevertheless.  The engine had several leak tests but liner failure was not identified.  I strippped the block, removed the liners and resealed with Hylomar.  The liners had no detectable wear.  Prior to that, Simon Armstrong at Ultimate Performance CNC machined the ports and in particular, throats of the cylinder heads.  Work of art.  I wasn't sure whether to mount the heads in my living room as sculpture installations, or put them back in the engine . . .  Valves, seats and guides were surprisingly and remarkably good.  I used new valve springs.  Pistons were good and needed only new rings.  Getting the rear crank oil seal to hold oil was problematic but eventually, it did its job.  Fitting to do so is exacting.  Removal, rebuilding and refitting are big jobs.  Very big.  Especially for two state pensioners.

Throughout the rebuild, Mike Sekinger gave me invaluable help.  He was superb in his expertise, generosity and willingness to provide technical support.

Head 008.jpg

Out01 (3).jpg

Out01.jpg

Hi Edward... Hope you're keeping well 👋🙂

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15 hours ago, MD355 said:

So even after a good rebuild, the 918 engine is destined to break again (normal driving, no tuning) ?

Somebody told me that these engines were not designed well and everything is "weak and insufficient" (including oil pump and cooling system)

Anyone with good reliability record here ? Any tips ?

well i dont intend to put such bad thoughts into any Lotus owner. I just know that i cant expect 100k miles without another inspection. I'm expecting things to happen like sticking oil pressure relief, failing water pump, sticking t.tstat,. that's why I preemptively installed a VDO Mechanical oil pressure gauge that should never fail or give wrong readings. THe oem low pressure light just wont do. 

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8 hours ago, v8GTmac1 said:

well i dont intend to put such bad thoughts into any Lotus owner. I just know that i cant expect 100k miles without another inspection. I'm expecting things to happen like sticking oil pressure relief, failing water pump, sticking t.tstat,. that's why I preemptively installed a VDO Mechanical oil pressure gauge that should never fail or give wrong readings. THe oem low pressure light just wont do. 

I agree 100% ... coming from an owner of an Esprit V8 that had a sticking oil pressure relief valve and the oil pressure gauge came on too late...

I am now rebuilding the engine with +0.25mm bearings and new CP Carrillo Pistons...

Plus I am rebuilding the oil pump with new parts...

I also found coolant leaking from the piston sleeves, so I am using Hylomar 3400 to fix this...

But lets face it, even with a VDO oil pressure gauge, if the car is unreliable there is little likelihood you will have time to stop the engine and avoid expensive damage !!!

Lets hope after the rebuilt (by now everything is new in the engine) I get to enjoy the car

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