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Has your manifold busted?  

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This is probably going to cause a stir, but I don't think that the mileage is that relevant. Its the number of heat cycles from cold to hot and back to cold again that creates problems with them. the variation of temp range from cold to hot is enormous due to the nearness of that big red hot snail.

Put it this way, take two theoretically identical cars together and run one 20,000 motorway miles and the other 20,000 town miles I'd take a good guess that the motorway miles car will have a far better manifold than the town car, due to far less heat cycles, and more chance of preventing moisture collecting.




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I have a bill from when Dave McKenna owned my car, he had a new manifold fitted in October 2004, I purchased the car in May 2007, the exhaust was replaced because it was rotted through by water before I purchased it, making the manifold less than four years old, I also have the manifold that was taken off. The car had only done 25k since this manifold was fitted and me purchasing it, I reckon you can get good made ones and bad made ones, all depends on the grade of casting on the day.

As for mine, can't say how long it will last, and the fixes have been down to poor build quality and a stupid support bracket, but not design. Made by a professional company I would say it would last ages.


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This is one benefit we have in the states of driving on the right side of the road -- our puddle splashing on the edge of the road is all on the right side of the car -- manifold is usually on the "high and dry" side of the road. I don't think cracked manifolds are anywhere near the problem in the USA that they are in the UK. I think a lot of Esprit manifolds get cracked when the brake disc (Citroen trans) throw water on the manifold.

- T

Tony K. :)


Esprit S1s #355H & 454H

Esprit S2.2  #324J

1991 Esprit SE

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The survey is basically asking do you still have the original manifold on your car, i have split it into 5 year span groups for simplicity. If you replaced , the survey is asking when did you (or previous owners) replace it / fix it.

Its so we can get a feel for when they go, ie is it a random event or a time bomb as some suggest.

So far its roughly 50:50 on original vs replaced fixed.

We need everyone to respond though.

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Mine may well be original from '92 but I only have decent history documentation from '99 onwards. Hence have plumped for 11-15 years...

Now also touching wood!



Calypso red '92 Esprit SE Hi-wing

Calypso red '87 Excel SE

Blue '07 BMW X3 2.0TD SE

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I don't want to jinx mine either...

my manifold has 74,000miles original from 1989 on my 89SE.

very little surface rust (I have pics but my website is down).

PS, I drive in all kinds of weather, including rain, and occasional snow... Try not to do the snow if possible though.

And have driven through flooded sections of highway up to 8" deep.


Vulcan Grey 89SE

My Lotus Photo and Projects Album

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had mine replaced mine last year, not cracked , just blowing at one of the flanges , had worn to under half original thickness

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.

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I think it's an issue.


Maybe a more telling question would be:

So we all know you have had to change the manifold on your esprit at some time.

Have you had to all change the manifold on every other car you have owned, or is it just the esprit?

20 + years driving many cars/vans and i've only ever bought Lotus manifolds, for what it's worth.


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Mine's at 21,000 kms. Original and looks fine to me. Does not get driven hard every outing and maybe we have an advantage over here that we do not have extremes of ambient temperature like you guys do in the UK or USA.


All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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It's 20 years old, it's got a turbo bolted to it, I think I'm in front even if it does drop off tomorrow.

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 i fall into the 21-25 years of originality camp. Im not aware of any changes through my service record. It looks like something tony Robinson dug up in a field but seems to be doing the trick... I Think. It may be blowing a little infact i do get the odd high pitched farting noise on rare occasions but im no expert on this.

It may be something i need to draw my attention (and wallet) to. What actual impact does running with a cracked or slightly blowing manifold actualy have? I have to say im not really a pro with all this. All in all the car looks bloody beautiful and is fantastic to drive!

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At 68k on the clock the original manifold was cracked in three places. Installed a later S4 model header and had it coated. It held up to 92k with no cracks, just a need to be re-coated. It now serves as a back-up should the custom heade let go, which at 101,+k is doing just fine thank you.

To those here who have ordered one, please be patient I am hoping to hear something in the next few days, so I am told.

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So so far we have:

49% of manifolds are original with 20% >15yrs old

23.5% of manifolds were replaced / fixed at less than 10yrs old

15.6% failed after 11+ years

So a million dollar question when you buy a car would you expect to have a better than a 1 in 4 chance of having your manifold fail within 10 years?

Keep filling in the survey please.



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Mattys identified a crack in mine in 07, but as yet it's holding together at 45,000miles. Could do with it lasting another year at least as I've just spent

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well my s4 does mainly motory miles so i think the heat cycles from hot to cold may not be too accurate, but may be weather dependant as mine is out in all weather, manifold has done approx 20,000 (about 4 years) and cracked,

It's Oogies turn to boogie

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Mine was replace in 2004 @ 45k, so far all is OK. i hope :)

1982 DeLorean DMC 12 #16327, 1999 Lotus Elise, 1998 Lotus Esprit GT3 #2272, 2011 Lotus Evora S, 2013 Lotus Exige S,2016 Lotus Evora 400

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