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There's a marked increase in manifold failures on Stevens Esprits lately - not surprising really given their age. I've taken two off in the last week, and it looks like 3 more are in the pipeline.

Last week Alan (temple) came to me with a tapping noise. A quick check with a piece of hose isolated the source, and with a torch and a mirror I could just see the culprit. The car came back this week and I set to. A few pics:

Boot was fixed with rivets and a cubic metre of silicon sealant:

DSC_8405.jpg

And the undertray was riveted too! With floor out I found this on both sides:

DSC_8409.jpg

Looks like this is preventative rather than cure, as I can't see any evidence of damage/repair around the mounts. ALso explains why the car seems to sit high on stock suspension, and why so much silicon was needed to seal the boot floor.

Well chuffed as I managed to remove the manifold without dismounting the engine - that's 2 this week! Bet the next one isn't as nice.

DSC_8414.jpg

You can just see the hole on number 3. The orange in the first pic is something on the ground underneath to highlight it:

DSC_8419.jpg

DSC_8420.jpg

Just waiting for the new bits now.

I predict seeing a lot of these from now on...

Edited by sparky

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Hi Sparky,

What are they being replaced with? The SJ one or the Lotus or are people fitting SS?

Only asking as I feel I may well be going down this route

Chris

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I think Chris means stainless steel. I wouldn't consider stainless steel yet - too much of an unknown and nothing widely available. Lotus are out of stock of the stock one right now, so I've gone for the SWLC one. I shall report back as soon as it's fitted...

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Chris said SJ when he meant SW. SJ don't do anything but stock manifolds, SW do!

How long did Alan's manifold take to come off? Mine is with an engineering company being arc eroded in an oil bath currently! :thumbdown:

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Yep I did mean Stainless Steel, I know there has been a lot of talk (Pages and pages) about manifolds and sorry thought it was SJ Sportscars not South West my Mistake.

Bibs are you having yours repaired?

The manifold is something I'm dreading.

Chris

Edited by red vtec

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Alan's job from start to fully dismantled was about 7 hours. Rivets everywhere, loads of silicon and the manifold nut tabs were all locked over properly. It had been off about 2.5 years ago though, so I expected it to be fairly easy. Same as yours - didn't even have to dismount the engine - what a result!

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MInes Lunched as well so will be looking to replace it over the winter period!!

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Bibs are you having yours repaired?

It just needed the turbo studs removed, they were kinda melted into the manifold! Job done now, new studs in place and it's ready to be refitted to the car :thumbdown:

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the stainless one on mine looks to be holding up well and can be removed without taking off the engine mount, which saves quite a bit of time, also i had teh turbo end so it was bolted not studs so the manifold can come away and leave the turbo in place, makes teh removal and refitting easier. not impressed wirh the s/w lotus one i replaced the cast was very very thin in places.

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It was hard for Sparkmeister to find the centres to drill out, they had been 'plasma cut' by the gases and not much was left.

post-1-011550700 1278692007.jpg

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Hi Sparky. In your first post you mentioned what looked like preventative work where the body bolts onto the chassis. Did you remove those metal plates. I hate to be a scare mongerer but when I first got my car the fibreglass was split right where those metal plates are siting in your photo. I had to fabricate metal plates to the correct height and then bolt these onto the bodywork. It took about 3 days in total but seems to have done the trick, stopped the bodywork bumping on the chassis at every pothole and corrected the lopsided ride. I think you should take a look under those metal plates - I think you will find it was bodged like that for a reason.

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Did you remove those metal plates?

Why? If it ain't f*cked, don't fix it. This one's fixed, so don't f*ck with it!

Preventative or perfective, it doesn't really matter... but well done on catching and rectifying yours to a satisfactory result.

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What Chris said. It's a common fault on the Esprit, and it looks like this one was modded to prevent splitting.

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Hi guys

Cracked manifold are an inherant part of the design, similar designs will have the same genitics and eventually fail. Because of this I have decided to make some 'change's' I have obtained a very nice designed and fitting s/s tubular sports exhaust from the USA. It took nearly eight months to obtain this as early attempts failed under test. I have been assured that this particular manifold should do the job!!! However the proof will be in the testing. I have fitted it to my modified SE which has a tuned engine, I fully intend to use it to its full capability. If it stands up to my tests then we may, i say may, have a solution, only time will tell and i'am not going to hold my breath. ......... If we don't try we will never know.

The SE is near completion and should starting tests soon , i will keep you informed on progress.

Dave

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Sounds hopeful, we need to test these alternatives to enhance the reliabilty of our Esprits, we are only doing what lotus would have done if production of the 4 cylinder had continued. technology moves on and we should keep an eye on developments which could help us. We must also remember that certain parts specifically manufactured for these cars had to meet budget requirements for production, like the manifold which did the job it was required to do for an acceptable length of time if the car was used strictly within design perameters. The problems start when replacement parts become expensive or unavailable, By sharing information on this forum we can all be aware of alternatives and the reliabilty factors. This will allow us to make informed decisions based on the experience of others,

Have you any photo's of your manifold you could post,

Dave

Edited by CHANGES

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as requested, note this has been running a few months and has about 1k on it so far will also be looking at tubular stainless engine mounts soon i also did away with the studs much easier to remove and just leave the turbo where it is

post-3952-014157000 1280689110.jpg

Edited by mr.oogieboogie

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Hi Peter,

That looks really neat, The genral concensus is that our tubular manifolds will fail faster than the cast. !!! Well we will see, both of our manifold are a lot less complicated than previous designs on the tubular's which were more in keeping with an L.C.B. Their downfall was balanced primaries which created the recognised multi twisted design, It was all the twist and bends that created hot spots within the system that lead to failure. This type of design was preferable in the motorsport faternity as it generated more power BUT! it did not have to do many miles and could be changed at regular intervals to provide race reliabity. It was this type of manifold which was first tried as an alternative which subsequently failed after a few thousand road miles. The outcome was " Oh tubular manifold are crap they crack even quicker" and people gave up on the idea :horse: The tubular manifold was not crap but the design format for road use was..... SO..... : :D Redesign and go again, learn from the failures and keep trying. and that is where we are now. Let me know how things progress good and bad, Stay in touch i am very interested in development. Also is there anyone else out there with similar designs, share your experiences with us maybe together we can CRACK this problem, {excuse the pun} :)

Dave

p.s ...Like the bolts to the turbo mod. very good and simple...well done! Thanks for sharing this idea. :fish:

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No worries, this manifold can also be removed without disturbing the engine mount, the same guys are making one for an s4s which will be closer to the STD design as they are making a jig from my old manifold the bolts to the turbo is much easier as you can access the top nut with a spanner and the bolt with a rachet and the manifold can be taken off in a couple of hrs

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Guys nice job there....

What sort of price are we talking here for these manfolds? I understand the more made the cheaper it'll be. I just curious as I'm in need of a new manifold, the one thats on the car from South West has failed with a pin hole appearing.

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mine was a southwest uprated one with 20k on it when it went. and the cast was very thin in several place. after getting it repaired (which it failed) and the ones being made in the states not fitting i bit the bullet and got one made local these guys make a lot of ferrari lambo a lot of delorean s which is a nice system, lagondas and when i was there the other day a ronin i paid £850 cash as a one off with the s/s cat (£270 if i remember correctly) and the rear being made (£220) total £1320 complete system all flanges lazer cut stainless as the sjs supersports rear box on mine the flange is not stainless and it rusts a lot v vrfvfv fv df vf vdf cds but will be gone on the 13th. even if these eventually fail the fitting time and them being able to be repaired i feel is worth the effort.

some may not agree but lets face it the cast ones are pap

sorry for the vf vff ds crap the dog walked over the keyboard

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