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Cam Cover Baffle Plates

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Hi All,

Recent removal of ,my V8 engine and a partial strip down to rectify various problems ( loose/broken/missing exhaust manifold studs etc etc ) on removing cam covers, and inspection of the baffle plates, the rivets are present on one side but on the other, one rivet holding the plate in place !

Concern is what has happened to the other rivets, where they ever fitted and since they are non standard type rivets how do you re-fasten the baffle plate without the possibility of the rivets/fastners working loose....... bearing in mind if they do work loose where they will end up !!

Dont know if anyone else has had similar experience ?

Very much doubt whether the cam covers have ever been removed since build at the Lotus Factory so a bit worrying



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That is a strange and worrying discovery.

I´ve seen a lot of engines in recent years and only ever had one set of cam covers with non-standard baffle fixtures.

Someone had replaced the rivets with cap screws on one set and all other cover sets I´ve seen were complete with a full compliment of factory rivets.

Odd one.... :)


Mike S

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Perhaps a better design would have been to secure the baffle plates to the cam retaining caps. This would allow for better cleaning and also a decent means of affixing the baffles. Rivets on engine internal surfaces !! not good engineering practice I am thinking and as you say where have they gone ? ............could have fallen into the path of a cam lobe and lifter, dropped into the sump or perhaps still sitting in a plastic parts bin somewhere @ Hethel !!

As a sidenote Mike ...........clutch removed and friction material almost at the rivet stage. Flywheel appears to have got very hot at some time as there is blueng visable which coincided with the numerous High Spots. AP Racing reckon thats normal, so see if the flywheel can be salavged with a light 0.010" skim.

Just checked out the price of a replacement dip stick tube and yes I will make one instead .........£97 odd quid ............blimey ! Gaskets and seals not much better as you are fully aware. This explains why Ed Winters rebuild cost him £6000 and as he said that was without pistons or liners etc etc

The sooner the parts cross refernce list is completed the better !!

Time for som emore V8 engine investigations ............costly no doubt


Sorry Mike

Just read your response again .............these are standard baffle plates and not some other type.



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I'm now living on bread and water!

Yes, parts are indeed expensive although all the O rings and oil seals in the head and bottom end sets for instance, are available from local bearing suppliers. They could be sourced separately; as this was my first 918 rebuild and time was of the essence, I didn't have time to do so.

Clutch? A head scratcher. I had two assemblies (the one that was on and another that I retained after a previous replacement). The friction plates on both were 6.9 - 7.1 mm i.e. acceptable. The driven plates and flywheel had blue spots but testing revealed no high spots. Rubbing with 80 grit emery and a slip gauge cleaned all the metallic surfaces and I degreased the friction plates.

I bought new pins, and built a "new" clutch from the best parts, needle-filed the splines on the the friction-plates and input shaft and . . . still a little bit of clutch judder.

Now I have a slight oil weep that I think is coming from somewhere behind the flywheel. After finishing the running in (1,000 miles at no more than 3,000 rpm) if the weep is still present I might have to investigate. I think it's possible to pull the gearbox back rather than remove it completely to get at the flywheel and, if necessary, remove that as well.

Incidentally, at Mike's suggestion, I removed all of the liners and resealed them. I had the Lotus special tool and what I thought would be a swine of a job was actually remarkably easy. Also remarkable was the state of the liners: after 85,000 miles there was no detectable lip in any and similarly, honing marks were still visible in even the swept parts of all. I glaze-busted the surfaces by hand (80-grit emery again) and could have re-used several of the rings but bought a complete new "set" - although they are supplied individually. The pistons had no scuff marks on the skirts and part numbers and orientation marks were visible on the crowns before I cleaned them.

Two big end bearings were down to the copper but the crank was nigh on perfect so all that needed was a polish - and new bearings all round.

I had two spare heads ported and throated by Ultimate Performance. I was delighted by the finish and most impressed both by proprietor Simon Armstrong and his associate Riccardo. I have ported and polished some 311 Lotus twin-cam heads so have at least a little appreciation of what is involved. Simon used CAD and CNC and it is a superb combination. Google them for a demonstration of the throat treatment that they have on their website.

There is not a huge amount to be gained from porting because of the forced induction and, according to Simon, the good design of the ports. Even so, for what they charged, it was easy for me make the decision and go ahead.

Valves had undetectable wear both on the stems and seat contact surfaces. They polished up easily in a drill. Even the guides were reusable. Simon simply pushed them out of the way for the porting and then repositioned them. I decided to retain the full length rather than machine them back to their housing.

The biggest effort was removing and reinstalling the engine. Best-pal Geoff was his usual brilliant self but he's 60 and I'm only a couple of weeks away from that landmark. Crawling under cars at our age is neither as exciting nor easy as it was 35 years ago.

I value special tools and while Gunter is right, you can make or make do with alternatives, I prefer Lotus-supplied components. Having said that, for the cam setting and tolerance pins plus the cam clamps, you can buy one of each and then have duplicates made. It doen't work out much cheaper . . . Similarly, the flywheel locking plates were a godsend as were the front cover alignment plate and dolly.

Mike Sekinger's advice and support was simply superb.

So, if two 60-year-olds can do it, you must be in with a good chance yourself.

Best wishes.

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*So, if two 60-year-olds can do it, you must be in with a good chance yourself.* wise words :thumbsup:

..think we should save that for the headline on the 918-rebuild questionare -as so many fear it to have a rebuild and ask about it

[bibs, where are you? this special point needs an collecttion of general description on all importand points to keep in mind, as even the long time anounced 910 rebuild guide in LEW was comming out finally slightly insuficcient from my mind..]

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Hi All, Mike, Gunter, and Edward

As usual many thanks for your comments and advise

Progress is very slow with the engine dismantling/checking for various reasons, mostly due to waiting for parts and equipment.

Clutch was removed and has been sent off for reconditioning and the transaxle needs second gear and synchros etc Not much change out of £1500 and I havent really started or dug any deeper as yet ! My car has the cast steel clutch/bellhousing which although stronger than the alloy item I thought was supposed to be repalced when the twin plate clutch update was carried out ...........anyone know about this ?

Still waiting for a replacement cylinder leakage tester ( I lent mine to someone who has broken it and handed in back without telling me ) and at last my 8mm helicoil set which I ordered 10 days ago arrived so exhaust manifold to cylinder head studs are all in place. One job done so another few more to do.

In the process of cleaning up the ex manifolds decided to attempt drilling out the near side manifold to egr fitting bolts that had snaped off...........result = cobalt tiped drill now partialy inbedded in the manifold ( unprintable comment) so looks like spark erroder to remove. Tried the trusty welding nut in place procedure but after numerous attemtps, much cursing go.

Replacement Gates cambelts arrived and although 24mm wide x 106 teeth and the pitch is identical the length of the belt appears about 20mm short @ 1010mm Shame because they were only £17.00 each + VAT so back to the drawing board and search for other cost effective replacements. ( Im with you Gunter on sourcing alternative parts and make do tools )

Honda Civic 1990 MY therefore wont fit but they are close but not close enough ........anyone out there reading this no of a part that will fit other than Lotus OE ??

Engine mountings needed as those on the car are U/S. Lotus items are ( suprisingly) expensive so may see if I can source through one of the vibration mount specialists.

Areoquip lines and fitting ordered for the turbo oil and water cooling ordered so these should arrive early next week. I havent made these up before so another challenge and another plot on the learning curve !!

So the garage is now a complete mess and space is at a premium ( Mike I dont think you know how much I envy you having such a nice spacious, well equiped and Clean workshop !! )

Edward I fully appriciate what you say about engine removal ........... I am about 10 years south of you but having removed that engine I think I aged a few years worrying about this or that breaking when lifting the engine/gearbox assembly out.

Working on your back on a sloping driveway ( slabs with shingle between) and a engine crane which hit the garage door ( this did stop the rear wheels of the crane lifting off the floor) to gain clearance for the engine unit over the rear transom. This was an experience which I wouldnt care to repeat. Least not until the engines gets installed at some point .

But looking back, I am pleased the engine is out and this has enabled me to sort some of the jobs that need doing that would have been impossible with the engine in situ.

Edward ................ and for that matter anyone else out there who has removed and installed one of these engines............. a big well done and a pat on the back because in spite of what some might say its not an easy task.

This is my fifth Lotus (previously Elite 501, Eclat 521, Esprit HC Turbo, Excel SE) and arguably the best looking but the most complicated and expensive to sort out. Its difficult to know where to stop with this one as other items will also need seeing to.

Rear dampers (not leaking) plating wearing off the damper rod, top link bushes, possibly fuel tanks, front tyres, front brake discs etc etc. Already replaced front wheel bearings, top ball joints and welded in 200 cel cats and have hardly driven the car.

Well enough of this to Snet to see some racing


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As far as I know it - *R&B* is offering refabricated engine mounts too ...made with nearly the same 'polyethylene' stuff as offered for the wishbones. But I'm not sure about that this offer fits in the prefered 'cheap and valuable' way of problem sorting. As several offers from R&B not reflect the market price for equally usable parts [and most of them are ordinary market parts, or 'own' creations without a Lotus-badge...] .

Sidenote: have bought an full (front/rear) R&B-poly bush set some years ago. Have fitted so far at least the rear parts [without to replace the toe in/out trailing arm bushes] and it still works as it was meant to do. Can't comment on reliability of those bushes, as the originals were much older and made from softer rubber. So not directly comparable.

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