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cam cover gaskets

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Hi John,

The exhaust cam cover is fiddly, but you don't need to undo anything else. Just have plenty of rags over the exhaust manifold to soak up the oil the will pour out (I speak from experience) it surprised me how much was still in there and it took ages to burn off! The neighbours were ready to phone the fire brigade LOL.

When you come to replace them, use the proper Lotus ones and put a smear of normal silicone sealant on both sides of the gasket mine have never leaked since (I used black silicone as it looked better). I was looking at the rubber type and also this "Wellseal" stuff but a Lotus mechanic of many many years told me that proper gaskets and normal silicone was the way to do them correctly.

Hope this helps,


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I had a lot of oil smoking off the exhaust, so I ordered papers gaskets. While they we being delivered, decided to get the rubber ones from the Jensen Healey people in the States. So I had both side by side in the end, and put the rubber ones on. They seem OK, and quite a bit easier to put on than the paper ones, to my mind, since you don't need to get the surfaces oil free first.

I had a long lecture from the chap at SJs about how to do the paper ones. He recommends that you super-glue the gasket to the cover in the middle, and that you only use pure silcone and not an instance gasket compound. The SJ guy was highly contemptuous of the idea of rubber ones, but had never actually tried them, or had any negative feedback.

It seems to me that if you are trying to save money, and not worried about hassle, then the papers ones are best. It seems that if you install them correctly, they won't leak. If you do them poorly, then they will. If money is not an issue, you want a simpler install, or expect to have to take the covers off again in the near future, then the rubber ones have considerable merit.

If your vehicle is like mine, then I would also recommend changing the rubber O rings that seal the camshaft end plates. These are really cheap from SJs, and mine were leaking as much as the gaskets.


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