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new owner needs a little help please

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Hi all.

Well I have finally done it, put my money where my mouth is and bought a 2000 V8.

did all my homework as best i could.

I have been looking for ages (months even years lol) and various reasons stopped me from buying my dream. Well I hit 36 this year and thought if I dont do it now i never will. So I am over the moon with my new toy but have a couple of questions. As a couple of problems have raised their ugly head.

Firstly. When driving at night the indicator switch seems to stick the high beam on at any time.

So roughly whats the damage for a new one, and is this off a vauxhall gm car. so can i go to my local gm dealer and get one?

Secondly a tad more worring. It overheated. The cars just been serviced and was in some slow moving traffic 20mph bit more bit less etc on the M1. At 70mph the guage seem to stay at 80/90 degrees but as soon as i stopped it wasnt long before it was up to 100 120 and the flashing red radiator light came on. Turned off asap. And went in search of water. It took a two ltr bottle of water and i carried on home for another 20 miles or so. by the time i got home it was getting near the 100 plus mark and climbing .the fans were working well and I had the heater going to help matters.

So what i would like to know is, where should the guage stay generally?

I have been unable to test the car again or to check the levels but there ar no leaks.

A mate was following me and i asked him if there was steam coming out of the exhaust but thats not the case. (well i hope so god i hope so)

And I just have to ask this. Is this typical shot piston liner seal syndrome??

Any help is apprieciated.

Thanks Neil

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I have no idea about the switch, so I'll leave that question.

Re the water / liners, you can answer than one for yourself quite simply. Has the oil levl gone very high? No? then you've not lost 2 litres into the sump. Seriously, look for signs if oil & water emulsion (aka Mayonaise) inside oil fill cap and on dip stick. If they're OK then they can probably rule out the liner seals.

That still leaves other options, but you may have a big air bubble, that will cause cooling issues, which will in turn cause mild over-heating, but I doubt that's it due to the extreme over heating you had.

Look for any signs of leaking hoses, pools of water on the floor etc. If you're reasonably confident it's not going out through the exhaust, get somebody to do a pressure test of the coolant system.

It may be as simple as a weak pressure cap or loose hose clip.


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Thanks guys for your help.

I have just inspected the oil and despite having to use a torch the oil is very clean and golden in colour, and the oil cap is also very clean no emulsion sort of stuff any where. And the oil level is sitting on the max. So i think I can remove the liners from my list.

I will check all other options asap.

Many thanks for your help.


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If you have just had your car serviced and the coolant replaced, I would check for air locks in your system. The correct way to get all the air out is to jack the rear end up and start from radiator end. There's also a bleed at the top of the engine too, near to the bulkhead.

Alan Croft who owns a V8 did this a while back after he was experiencing similar problems. It turned out to be trapped air.

If you have no trapped air then look at the radiator.

I had to change my radiator as the temperature just kept creaping up. It would go down if I turned the cabin heating up and also the air con. By switchin the cabin heating to hot, the water would take a longer path around the system so my temperature gauge would go down a bit.

Check your header tank for water loss first though. If you have water loss then don't just think it's the liners or head gasket gone just yet. I've got two Esprit friends who's front cover were leaking. This resulted in overheating. the job itself means engine out.

Check your header tank pressure cap too.

I've also heard blocked water pipes to turbo can cause overheating. Old rusty and firred up pipes restrict the water flow.

There's so many checks to make, without actually seeing the car, it's difficult to diagnose.


Dave Walters

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Hi Neil,

I am not sure you will like what I have to say but the other advice conflicts with my experience. The way the liners fail will give you the symptoms you describe. You will lose a lot of water quite quickly, you will NOT see any change in the oil. The water vapourises at the point of the leak, the sealant is at the bottom of the liner and water shouldn't get into the combustion chamber (the head gasket takes care of this end). The V8 crank case breaths very well and the water is expelled in this manner whilst steam cleaning certain components along the way.

All that said doesn't necessarily mean you have this problem (and this is just my experience, I am not a trained mechanic so it could all be complete nonsense! :thumbsup: ).

Make sure you fill the system and bleed it properly. Get all the air out of the bleed screws as described before. Then with the engine cool (so you don't get hit with burning steam) fill the header tank and leave the cap off. Open the heater to hot and then run the engine and keep an eye on the header tank. The thermostat will open and eventually you will probably see a few large bubbles followed by a fizz of bubbles into the header tank. Keep the engine running and keep topping up until the fizzing stops, don't worry if it overflows at times it will settle down and you can top it up and replace the cap. This may be regarded by some as an unusual technique but it has proved the best for me so far.

Keep an eye on the temperature during this process and stop if it gets too high (over 110c is probably too high) and you might want to make sure the radiator is free from debris before you start this. I replace my radiator with a re-cored one and the usual running temp has dropped from around 95-100 do under 90! :)

Once it is free from air an cooled down top up again if necessary. Then drive it carefully for a while always monitoring the temperature, keep spare water with you and don't venture too far from home. If you see a continuous water loss then I suspect the liner leak.

Lotus (or any good garage) can drop the sump and pressurise the water over night to check for a leak however I am not convinced that the results are always conclusive.

Good luck.



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I bought my V8 last year and when I went to the Le Mans classic I had overheating problems.

If I kept above 35mph there was no trouble but below this speed it got hot and eventually the ECU wouldn't let it restart until cool.

I solved the problem. It was the radiator fans. Only one was working and that's not enough. I took the the 2 fans off my Excel and replaced the faulty ones on the V8 and the overheating was cured. However the rad itself was not first class so that has also been replaced. My v8 has only covered some 48,000 miles although its not been maintained properly. Hope this helps.

If you want a chat about any thing give me a ring as I have just completed a major suspension and engine rebuild so have a fair bit of info on some problems, as well as some photos of the engine in bits

Dave Excell

Tel 01278 733836 Evenings

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Thanks very much guys for all your help.

I will be trying all suggestons at weekend and in daylight.

Thanks very much Dave Excell for the phone number. I will no doubt be on the phone, lol

The car has only covered 12000 miles but I suppose that doesnt mean anything as far as the liners go.

I will do the necessary checks and let you know the outcome.

I do have one question left to ask and this is out of intrest.

If I am faced with shot liners and this has to be sorted what sort of cost would i be looking at ???

Many thanks for all your help


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I had the same symptoms exactly.

The rad was shot and there were various pipes leaking.

After I had two bursts, fan blow up and the rad go pop, I changed the whole cooling system outright. I change every pipe and the rad. Got a 25% bigger rad from southwest lotus centre. Cost nearly

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There is also a train of thought that says Lotus had a stock of engines and sometimes an early motor would make it into a later car, but this could also just be an urban myth. So the engine number is the only real way of knowing. Unfortunately I can't remember the relevant engine numbers that were supposed to be good.



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This is from Lotus Esprit World web site:

According to this site the Liner Sealer update was introduced on Service Bulletin 2000/3 in June 2000 the Production Build changed early in 2000 at Engine No. 30600.

So look at your engine serial number.

The last 5 digits of the engine serial number should be the engine number. If it is higher that 30600 then the new Hylomar 3400 sealant was used for the liners when the engin was built.


2001 V8

Edited by joeyoesprit


2001 V8 - Silver

2007 Ducati 1098

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