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Failed Thrust Washer


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I dropped my oil sump today and found a bent up thrust washer. I need to investigated the crank and the block for damage. The manual talks about removing the aux / oil pump housing to undo the  nut for the oil draw tube. Before doing this I assume I set TDC, lock the cams, remove the timing belt and rotate the crank back 90 degrees before removing the bearing housing / carrier.  A bottom end rebuild is most likely but I would like to avoid damaging the valves. Thanks in advance


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Gavin, sorry for your misfortune. I had about the same luck in purchasing the powertrain out of a wrecked very early Turbo, sad to find how damaged the thrust face on the crank turned out to be. So my hopes of a reasonable 912 upgrade for my S2 took a hit, likely I'll be laying out serious $ for a steel crank. As you state it will be necessary to examine the thrust registers in the block, these were damaged somewhat on my lump. Good luck.

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Hi Steve, I finished the lower end inspection yesterday - crank out etc...It wasn’t a pretty sight. I need to strip the block and clean everything up and see where it’s at but it’s not looking good. 

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Hi Gavin,

That is bonkers.

I'm sure others have but, I've rebuilt many engines (not Lotus) and never seen thrust washers even close to dropping out.

How many miles had the engine covered?

Regards, Andy.

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Hi Andy, the engine has 56k on it. I think this issue is a result of the circlip failing on the Citroën gearbox and the input shaft applying load to the crank which then milled into the rear thrust washer. The previous own spent a bunch on the gearbox following what was described as a grinding noise.  Here are some horror pictures...







I’m not sure if the block can be saved. It’s a right old mess.

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1 hour ago, gtookey said:

I think this issue is a result of the circlip failing on the Citroën gearbox

I reckon you're right. Definitely secondary damage rather than unfortunate wear and tear.

Hope some of the Lotus experts chip in with some life saving advice although you don't appear shy of experience yourself.

Good luck.


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he does good work.  i rebuilt my engine (and just about the entire car) at his shop with his help.  with the engine fully assembled and hanging on the chain about to be lowered into the car, i found a single leftover part.  i showed him and immediately he knew where it was supposed to go, lol.  Are you planning to disassemble your engine and assess all the damage?  Welch advised that i would be surprised at the amount of wear and he was right.  new exhaust valves, 16 new seats, new liners and optional new pistons.  new turbo and exhaust manifold, new flywheel, clutch.  anyway ended up $16k in parts but happy with the results.  certainly more than the $5k i budgeted.  Don't know what he is asking but that is my somewhat extreme cost perspective.  hope you get it resolved!  there are 4 race engine machine shops within stone's throw of my house that could repair it;  i'm sure you can find something similar local to you.  just aint cheap.  cheers




just because I don't CARE doesn't mean I don't UNDERDSTAND

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Hi Chris, yes I’m disassembling my engine to see what’s what. Three options are available...1) repair 2) have LotusBits send me a block to my spec or 3) buy Tom’s. 

The failure has come at probably the worst time with everybody effected by ‘19’.

appreciate the positive comments about Tom. Helps to sway a decision.

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