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V8 Engine ECM Upgrade


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  • Gold FFM

Yes - that’s my understanding. Lotus had issues with the driveshafts twisting and spiralling. Along with primary shafts turning into expensive jigsaw puzzles

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The difference is that the 360 Stradale and Challenge Cup cars were designed to be able to cope with the additional power. You are flirting with the idea of challenging your stock transmission to

@andyblackman777 I am doing S350 as my gearbox is stock and I don’t want to be breaking down again.. I realized one important thing.. This is not Gran Turismo in Playstation where you choose that

I think that would be a wise decision.  You will feel the difference.

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Besides the Lotus Esprit V8, I also own a Ferrari 360 Modena..

And the closest comparison I can make between Lotus Standard vs 350 Sport vs RED Racing is :

Ferrari 360 Modena standard ECU vs 360 Challenge Stradale ECU vs 360 Challenge Race Car ECU

Clearly the 360 Challenge Stradale is a nice upgrade , while the 360 Challenge Race car ECU might be too extreme for street use.. Track only

Still doubts about which one to get.. 

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We are fully circle....  the start point was a lack of funding and wanting to create a fire spitting, wheel spinning mini-Ferrari F40 with minimal outlay.

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1996 Esprit V8, 1998 Esprit V8 GT, 1999 Esprit S350 #002 (Esprit GT1 replica project), 1996 Esprit V8 GT1 (chassis 114-001), 1992 Lotus Omega (927E), 1999 Esprit V8SE, 1999 Esprit S350 #032, 1995 Esprit S4s, 1999 Esprit V8 GT (ex-5th Gear project), 1999 Esprit V8SE ('02 rear)

1999 S350 #002 Esprit GT1 replica

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@mike_sekinger

I have to admit, that before buying the Esprit V8 and I had no idea what I was getting into.. All of my previous cars, Porsche 993, Ferrari 360, Mercedes SL 55... had been trouble-free mostly..

The Lotus I found as a bargain, and I thought I was getting a gorgeous looking, James Bond supercar, mini-F40, with pop-up lights, rear wing, and turbo performance (I never owned a turbo before)... I bought it from the UK sight un-seen... I just looked at the photos on the website and wired the money... I figured, I am best friends with my mechanic and we will sort everything out..

It has been a journey and I sincerely want to thank all of you here at Lotus Forums for your help... I am a fighter and I never give up... And I am very close to getting my car where I want.. Very soon I will make up my mind about the right chip for me..

In the meantime, enjoy a nice video of the 350 Sport I found... At 2:42 minute he is drifting the car pretty nicely... I bet this is what Lotus does not want you to do for the longevity of the gearbox... 😄

 

 

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  • Gold FFM

Go for it - full red race.

I’ve got some spare CWP teeth knocking about can have if  smash any of yours off and lose them 👍

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 I went for a drive last night with my Esprit and to be honest, I realized that there is not much point in having more power/torque in first gear...

Each time I would step off the traffic lights I would smoothly accelerate till 4000 rpm and shift to second gear.. If I had more power in first, maybe something bad might happen to the transmission.. Starting to warm up to the 350 Sport mapping..

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So @MD355 is it safe to assume you don’t want these spare CWP teeth then? Last chance before they go on eBay.

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@cweeden

As I was looking around for information on the S350 vs RED chip, I came across one of your posts from 2018...

You mentioned that you have a Red ECU from Marcus but you felt that it is often a bit rich (it used to get though cats - including metal ones - fairly regularly).

What about the driving experience / power delivery / reliability issues with transmission ?

Did you have the S350 chip before the RED, or did you go straight to RED ?

Did you keep the RED ?

Thanks for you reply..

Makis

 

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  • Gold FFM

Hi Makis,

Ah, you've spotted my guilty secret. Yes I do have both the Sport 350 and Race Red codes to play with. The Race Red is more lively no doubt but I don't think it is ideally mapped, I'm not sure why. I suspect that in race trim the breathing and exhaust might flow differently or something.

The other point to note is that I also have the upgraded gearbox internals from GTO Engineering. This has a stronger shaft that protects against 5th gear shearing off under high torque loads and also has higher ratio (or lower ratio, I often get those confused) straight cut first gear which helps prevent ripping through 1st in no time. It still does pull through 1st very quickly and ideally I think the whole package would benefit from a change in output ratio to raise the speed in all gears.

Annoyingly I turned down an option on the 6 speed dog box internals because I thought it would be too harsh for the road, however now I wish I had that installed, it really needs 6 speeds in my view.

I also have the Quaife ATB (Limited slip diff) which does help the traction but makes it much more interesting if it does eventually break traction on both wheels at once. For road use I think the standard diff could be more fun.

I am tempted by something like the Megasquirt installation carried out @v8GTmac1 providing full control over the mapping. I expect this is an expensive option if getting it mapped professionally but opens up options for coil on plug ignition perhaps and even more control of fueling, timing and boost etc.

cheers

-Chris

 

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@cweeden

I find everything.. no matter how old or wel hidden.. 😄 

So with your upgraded gearbox, do you prefer the S350 or RED mapping ?

(with regards to breathing I have K&N and straight pipes with deleted cats, so running rich does not create problems to me)

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  • Gold FFM

Well I've been running with the Red code ever since buying it so it's hard for me to draw a comparison, but maybe that says something all by itself. I can't remember if I got the red code or the gearbox upgrade first to comment on using the red code with the standard gearing. 

I do remember helping a friend with his V8 before I owned one and it didn't feel like a 350hp car to the point I made him complain to B&C about a lack of boost. In standard trim the lack of boost and torque is obvious and too heavily supressed in my view.

The Sport 350 when I bought it felt lively out of the box and much more as I expected a V8 to feel like (I'd gone from an 87 Turbo HC, to a V8 GT then the Sport 350). The red code is a jump up again ripping through 1st despite the better ratio and it pulls like a train that really does feel like a super car should when it's cool enough to sustain the boost. That's another issue, the variance in boosting as temperatures rise, I am working towards a charge cooler kit that will ensure sustainable, predictable boost at safe temperatures, I expect this would work very well with the Sport 350 code (and the Red code too) to lift any V8 experience. Having the boost you expect, when you want it, is as useful if not more so than having more peak boost when the circumstances allow it.

I am not comfortable recommending the red code without the gearbox modifications, I suspect it will kill a gearbox eventually and that may be on day one or many days, months or years later. My recommendation is still to try the Sport 350 code and see what you think. I would then add charge cooling and see what you think. Then upgrade the gearbox and if you are not happy then go for the red code as the last stop on the journey, or keep going with a fully programmable ECU and remap until your heart's content (and your wallet is as empty as mine). 🙂 

cheers

-Chris

 

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@cweeden

Your explanation and comparison was enlightning and I thank you..

Do you remember the source of the 1st and 5th gear upgrade and what about the cost ?

I think you are right, if I go with the RED, I should also upgrade the gearbox..

Any suggestions for upgrading the gearbox are welcome.. My goal is to keep the standard 5-speed, but strengthen its weaknesses (which appear to be 1st and 5th gear)..

What I particularly liked about your explanation was the part about making the Esprit feel like a genuine supercar... 😉 

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  • Gold FFM

Be wary of the 6 speed conversions. The gear surface areas is reduced massively to accommodate an extra gear - remember this is the same gearbox case so same area inside the box. Less surface area = less strength. Simple physics that.

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I think that the 6-gear UN1 conversion is straight-cut dog engagement.

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1996 Esprit V8, 1998 Esprit V8 GT, 1999 Esprit S350 #002 (Esprit GT1 replica project), 1996 Esprit V8 GT1 (chassis 114-001), 1992 Lotus Omega (927E), 1999 Esprit V8SE, 1999 Esprit S350 #032, 1995 Esprit S4s, 1999 Esprit V8 GT (ex-5th Gear project), 1999 Esprit V8SE ('02 rear)

1999 S350 #002 Esprit GT1 replica

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With the available torque of the Esprit, I think the 5-speed gearbox suits it better.. So I am interested in strengthening the standard gearbox.. Any idea where I can find the upgrade parts and cost ? Thanks

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So I finally decided what is best for my Lotus Esprit V8..

It was a tough decision because I had my friend (who tune Audis and Porsche Turbos) telling me to go for full power RED, I had my mechanic saying to leave it stock because he doesn’t want to rebuild the engine again, and my good Lotus forums friends @mike_sekinger , @Barrykearley and @cweeden advising me to take the S350 and forget about the RED as it will ruin my gearbox..

I also spoke to two friends of mine Lotus Esprit V8 owners.. One had installed RED and broke a driveshaft powershifting 1-2nd gear.. And the other after having spent over EUR 100k in upgrades, he said not to modify or at least put just the S350 Ecu because I will run into expensive problems (he had built a monster Lotus with custom gearbox and spent 100k in upgrades)

So my decision is Sport 350 ECU upgrade !!

All I need now is to get some help from my friend to remove the ECU from the car in my garage, and find someone who is willing to flash it 😉 

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22 minutes ago, MD355 said:

.. And the other after having spent over EUR 100k in upgrades

How on gods green earth does someone spend over 100K € in upgrades on an Esprit V8?

What did he have done to amass that kind of expenditure?

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1996 Esprit V8, 1998 Esprit V8 GT, 1999 Esprit S350 #002 (Esprit GT1 replica project), 1996 Esprit V8 GT1 (chassis 114-001), 1992 Lotus Omega (927E), 1999 Esprit V8SE, 1999 Esprit S350 #032, 1995 Esprit S4s, 1999 Esprit V8 GT (ex-5th Gear project), 1999 Esprit V8SE ('02 rear)

1999 S350 #002 Esprit GT1 replica

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