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SE engine cover inside tailgate

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Hello there!

I have received my amazing 1990 SE two days ago. I will post pics and comments later. Thanks to Alireza and his father for an excellent car.

Quick question: I have the glass-screened tailgate. Inside the tailgate there is the hard-plastic engine cover with louvres covering the engine. Can I drive around without this cover to reduce the build-up of heat inside the engine bay? Does it serve any other purpose than some sound-deading? I do understand there will be more heat spillage into the boot, so is that ok? Or is it a genuine safety cover to protect from heat radiation inside that space?

Thanks guys for any advice!

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It wont overheat due to the engine cover, infact the engine covers duct air to things like the turbo (at least the later cars do)

Main purpose as I understand it is to provide a barrier between the engine and the rear luggage compartment, yes you get some sound deadening and air flow directino (as above).

I know people who run without covers and some who run with, personally mine always stays on but those who run without seem to have no serious issues to report (as far as I know).


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I dont believe with the SE's cover plays a big role apart from sound insullation and good looks.

However on the later models like the S4 the cover is much better designed as it used for sound barrier as per normal but also providing a better water escape path on the raining days when water comes in from the top vents. You dont want cold tripping water on your hot manifold or turbocharger as it may crack.

Apart from that I dont see any reason why the cover should be there?

Edited by greekmixS4

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On a glass back car I can't see much reason bar the fact that if it wasn't there, there would be a big hole in the tailgate! The slats in the engine cover neaten things up somewhat.

On the NA it served to divert water around the edges of the slats with a plate fitted underneath. Without it, number 3 & 4 spark plug wells flood with water and require a turkey baster to keep empty!


88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

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OK if I get caught in heavy traffic, with the air con on it can get pretty hot, but otherwise even in our heat, no problem, I run a standard cooling configuration., I cant see cooling a problem for you, so long as the system is maintained.

If you want to take the cover OK, after you have dumped a gallon of water on the engine opening the hatch, after rain you'l probably put it back on.

Roger :)


Life is like a sewer, what you get out of it, depends on what you put into it. (Tom Leahrer)

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I think there's a chance Lotus would have engineered the cover and tailgate to cope with any heat the engine might produce.

Yes heat will build up in that area, but it's an engine - that's what they do.

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I think there's a chance Lotus would have engineered the cover and tailgate to cope with any heat the engine might produce.

Yes heat will build up in that area, but it's an engine - that's what they do.

You may have highlighted my personal obsession here with cool engines. (I have issues, dude!)

I guess I am used to my 911 which always felt very cool in the engine bay (intake manifolds cold after a run!). And I suffer from mechanical sympathy for engines. But you are right... :)

GKP, could you do me a favour and post your profile pic here in larger format - I have a friend who is a mountain-bike enthusiast - I want to show him your picture! :)

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Under heating is just as bad as over heating - the Esprit's cooling regulator is about 82 degrees C which is going to be around the engines optimum operating temperature.

The only reason why you need extra cooling is on an endurance race to combat heat soak but these engines are running at an average of 85% power all of the time for upto 24hrs.

Here you're talking about heat soak where the engine is producing more heat than the cooling system can cope with OR some other componetns have been subjected to normal engine temperatures for too long and started to fail.

Remember Lotus would have tested all of this over and over - plus the engine is very much tried and tested. I personally am quite happy the car will run much mcuh longer on the road than I will be able to concerntrate for without needing a break which is about 4 hrs.

I know people who have taken Esprits on very long journeys and had zero issues, one even did the gumball rally and a few doing the britball run - granted if you were driving the car at wide open throttle for the entire journey I can see an issue but for general road use you're barely loading the car much past an average of 50%, the engine is hardly bothered.

Infact I went on a 30min fast drive with freescan from my house, up and down the motorway and only recorded an average of 25.6% loading.

It's natural to be a bit timid with new wheels but don't worry, go out and enjoy your great new car !!


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Thanks Jonathan,

The car is running exactly as per specs, I'm just a ninny as it feels hot under there. And there is this lovely ticking sound as it cools after a run. Can a man be in love with a machine? :blushing:

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