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V8 Custom Intercoolers, under tray and Holloway Trans Build - Esprit 'Project & Restoration' Room - The Lotus Forums Jump to content

V8 Custom Intercoolers, under tray and Holloway Trans Build

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Below is a photo story of my custom intercooler installation. I had two constraints I tried to work within in doing my installation. I wanted my trunk space to be unaffected and I wanted installation to appear OEM and clean up the engine bay.

I decided the best option was to remove the air filter housings and mount the intercoolers in the area left behind from their removal. This would allow an almost direct input to the intercoolers and also fit under the engine cover.

While the installation was in process I also:

Coated the Exhaust Manifolds and Turbo housings with ceramic coatings to reduce heat

Ported and gasket matched the exhaust and turbine housings

Replaced all seals on the front of the engine

Heli coiled all of the valve cover bolt threads on the cam housings

Blocked off the EGR valve assembly

Blocked off the Air Injection

Upgraded to a Bosch 120amp alternator

Re-timed the cams to 100% on spec and added new belts.

Added permanent timing pointer and degree wheel

Replaced the ECU with a UK Sport 350 ECU

Replaced the IAT sensors with a fast response MSD one

Rebuilt transaxle with Holloway 1pc shaft and the case drilled and tapped for future oil pump use.

Re-lined the clutch discs to 7.5mm each

Replaced a leaking slave cylinder

Replaced all coolant hoses with silicone

Re-enforced the exhaust manifold shields with 1.5 mm stainless steel plate

Replaced all OEM clamps with wider aviation worm clamps

Re-routed OEM houses and switched to hard AL tubing for some in high heat areas

Re-lined the engine bay in Gold heat reflective film including the firewall

Replaced the boost sensor line with stainless steel.

Replaced the OEM radiator with Aluminum large core one

Sanded and coated the fuel tanks as a precaution

Replaced the lower fuel hoses with 250psi hose

Refurbished turbo coolant lines – covered with heat reflective tape in exhaust areas

During disassembly I noted several issues I was unaware of:

EGR pipe was blown out

Clutch was worn out

Coolant leak at front pipes

AC compressor bolts had worked loose

Coolant T fitting from Turbos to tank was corroded

Slave cylinder had a nick in it

LH Exhaust manifold shield was cracked

Alternator bearing was on its way out.








Edited by Rgardner01

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Really beautiful and professionally build.

Did you install bleeding nipples to get the air-locks out of the charge coolers and the front cooler? If not, this could ruin the efficiency of the coolers.

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Great work, very neat.

What did you use to coat the gearbox with?


Amateurs built the Ark

Professionals built the Titanic

"I haven't ridden in cars pulled by cows before" "Bullocks, Mr.Belcher" "No, I haven't, honestly"

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Ray - there is a hell of a lot of work gone into that !

Genuinely impressed and I hope that you get a lot of pleasure from driving it.

What boost are you planning to run and do you have any performance figures from the engine?

Top job !

Mike S

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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Great work :)

Some fantastic design and craftsmanship gone into this set up, The gearbox modifaction looks fab aswell,really nice choice of materials and colour finishes aswell, As mike says enjoy the car you have earned it after all that hard graft.

Regards danny


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Really beautiful finish and clean looks. And that applies to intercoolers, undertray and trans.

Also interested in what you used to "paint" on the outside of the trans.


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Hello Ray,

Outstanding craftsmanship! I have been considering intercoolering my V8 this year and your idea has given me a fresh way at looking it. Plus, you live fairly close to me.



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Thanks Guys for the comments


Yes there is actually airbleeds on the front intercooler radiator. I lifted the rear to fill it so I will see how that works first otherwise I have to drop my under tray which is not a big but I am tired of laying under it. :cheers:


Thanks for the comments means alot coming from you. As you know its always a surprise what happens next when you start to unbolt one of these things.

Chris, Geir,

The trans was cleaned up with a light sand blasting on the outside then coated with VHT SP402 Burnt Copper spray paint. The kicker is to then "cook" the trans housing and any other parts in the oven to cure the paint. Just dont let your wife see you doing it...send her to the mall. Onced cured its rather durable and does not chip easy. I think 3 cans in was to do it. Fasteners for the trans and most of the car are now stainless.

The Glyptal can be had from Eastwoods. Old vintage cars use to use this to seal oil pans in porous old Ferraris and such.

McMaster-Carr is whre most of the rubber trim, stainless fasteners, tubing, piping stuff came from. is where the carbon fiber , resin and supplies came from

Pump , fittings, tanks , AN push lock hose, heat covering, sensors where from

One more thing I should add is the Turbos had to be clocked to the point the orignal waste gates mounts do not line so new waste gate brackets had to be fabricated and then mounted to the compressors. It was easy to do but cutting off the orignal mounts was definitely a no point of return event.

Edited by Rgardner01

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Love your work ! :cheers:

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

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A very clean and professional fabrication job. Unless you have tried this yourself, you just can't appreciate all the hard work it requires. Great job!


The Older I get the Faster I was

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Excellent work, a really neat and innovative installation. Loving the gold too, very F1! :cheers:

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

Evora NA

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the goldish looks *space age* and the symetrical lines are nice too.. .

But, as Mike mentions -do you have exact calculations /comparisions in m ind for the general heat in the engine-bay , even with coated manifolds. So the intercoolers staying next to the 'heat escape way' in the hot engine bay could mean some unwanted heat transfered and reducing cooling efficiency on the intercoolers ?!

Appart from that point -Like it !! :cheers:


to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..


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No power figures yet with actual data yet. After I get some miles and usage on it (after all I had this apart for 8 months ) putting car on a local dyno might possible. I have not done anything to crazy to it.

The engine only has blocked EGR, blocked Air Injection, No Cats, No muffler, direct air intake with K&Ns, RC upgraded injectors, ported exhaust and turbines, Intercooling, MSD Air Temp sensor , coated exhaust and turbines, upgraded wires, iridium plugs and a UK Sport 350 nothing to crazy yet. After I get some data and miles on it boost increase might be possible but I would prefer just upgrading the turbos.

As far as the heat yes I am sure some heat soak occurs but only half the intercoolers are directly exposed to the heat and all coolant lines leading in are covered with heat reflective covering to insure the water temperature reaching them is the coolest possible.

I have looked into temp probes as possible option to fool with over the summer. I could always stick one before and after the intercooler to log the difference of temperature. Only then with data will we ever know how much if any heat soak occurs.

At the moment it runs better then it has since I purchased it with less then 2000 miles some 6 years ago. I almost wish I would have torn it apart sooner.

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I have to say that I really like it! It's great to see so many approaches to the intercooling idea now. I think mine was the second one, but it was like a universal thought process to start fabbing up intercooler systems. There are now 5 designs on the forum I think, including the one from LPBC. WELL DONE!

Modifying esprit's.. now that's fun..

PS... I AM NOT A CERTIFIED MECHANIC.. I Have chosen to help those in need, in the past and must not be construed as being a certified technician.

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Is your air filter system sealed from the quarterlight intakes to the filters?

May: DON'T hit it with a hammer!

Clarkson: Why?

May: Cause it's the tool of a pikey.

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