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Expected life of a V8

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Having had a brief conversation with one of the 'specialist' who advertise on the forum as I had a reported problem of a bit of smoke on the overun by someone following me the other day. (I have since found the problem and am addressing it soon) I was told that 62000 is a lot for the V8, if this was tounge in cheek it was completely missed by me but I think not, as I got the impression it was a serious comment. As I wish to keep the car a year or two more I wonder what the general opinion of owners is. I know it depends on how the car has been used and have to say that the previous owner of my car was a complete tool and should only ever be the owner of a pedal car not an Esprit but I think I've addressed all the short comings and the car is on its way to being top notch.

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If it's serviced regularly with quality oils I don't see a problem with it lasting 100k or more. Worst case is a new engine at circa £5k which given the level of car is pretty good value.

Trevor.

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Maybe business is a bit quiet and he was looking for a boost in turnover, either way I thought it was a bit over the top.

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There is nothing special good or bad about the 918 engine. It is just an engine lump. Don't abuse it and maintain it correctly and it will last a time consistent with other engine designs of it's period. The shortcommings in the engine have to do with the relative short production quantities and the compromises made in the design to reduce production costs. Missing cast in alignment indexes, missing indexes for cam timing, missing indexes for rod ends, cast pistons, etc.

Edited by WEllison

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an new engine fior 5k GBP ?! -Trevor, do you mean for replacement parts ..or the engine in full as a spae is again available for that price ???

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I thought the engine was available as an exchange from Lotus at around that price, at least it was when I visited Hethel at the start of the year. Yes there is fitting on top of that if you decide not to do it yourself. I also thought Mike Sekinger rebuilt at around that cost although he may not be doing this any longer. Engines are available from specialists in the uk secondhand around £3500 too.

Trevor.

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Interesting. What was the smoke problem?

It would be interesting to do a cylinder leakdown test on a fairley high miler such as yours. Mine has only done 29000, the last 2000 in the time I have owned it since last November. More than it has done in 8 years!

Anyway, perhaps the above and a dyno test to see if it is still up to scratch? Plus a look down the bores with a borescope?

I have both bits of equipment if interested!

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The smoke problem turns out to be a badly inserted stud which is occasionaly dripping oil and is collecting on the manifold and burns off every now and then. Unfortunately the 'specialist' who did the work for me did not notice that one of the studs was not correctly fitted despite it going in to have the studs done, this was not helped by there being just over a litre too much oil put back in the car as well. So I have got the guys who used to prepare my RX7 to take over looking after it and we are trying a 'snake oil' fix this week as it appears to only drip occasionally if this does not solve the problem its an engine out job yet again. I think performance wise the car has lost nothing as my friends with V8 Esprits have commented on how fast it seems to go compared to theirs

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David, where is there a 'stud' that can drip oil into the manifold ..so it means you have a leaking bore/hole on one of the cylinderheads -where the injector ellbows are fitted ..?

@Trevor: thought there are no V8 anymore available, so who is this 'group of specialists' with 918 engines for this sort of money ..?

for 3500 GBP I would mention to by one for spare, and a gearbox *upgrade/Ford-spline Mod* kit for nearly the same too -as we will never now how it turns out with the factory sales in future :D

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Gunter, it would appear that the stud is dripping oil on to the manifold I am not sure its in an oil passageway as it does not drip all of the time. We tried removing the stud which was probably overtightened when the engine was put back in by the 'specialist' as it never had a problem on the side where it appears to be before. We did wrap it with a tape but this has not worked so we are trying something else this week (I have returned to using the guys who used to prepare my RX7 although they are not Lotus specialist they are good at what they do) if this fix does not work it's an engine out job (again) to get sorted properly this time.

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so you mean *exhaus manifold* ..?!

with a picture or if you mark it on a parts drawing I could compare what/where it is and what is behind the hole..

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Yes the exhaust manifold stud drips ocasionally, it seems to collect in a place on the exhaust and every now and then when the car gets hot or up to temperature it just burns off as smoke on the right hand side of the car. For some reason since I removed the 1 litre plus of oil that the car was overfilled by (not overfilled by me) it seems to be smoking a lot less frequently. You can see the manifold bolt/stud that is dripping occasionally when the car is on the ramps. Like I've said we are going to try a very high temperature sealing compound spread on the removed stud then carefully screw it back into position and wait, if this does not work I'm going to pull the engine out and go about increasing its performance very much like the guy at Donington with his 350 so that should be fun.

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from factory, I think the holes are not so deep, and my manifold studs are not really glued to seal them. So maybe you have an head with a fabrication fault, but why does it drip now and not regularly from the first time on .. so was there work caried out to replace faulty/rusted manifold studs (as those rot away over years, on many engine -mine too, even as the workshop book notesthem to be *stainless steel* ..the thread rotts -strange thing after all, maybe for the material combination of stainless steel and the manifold nuts .?) .. if there was one fitted that is to long and someone put it in to thight/ to deep he could have destroid a thin wall in the casting. If you clean the hole prior to the *glue in process* it should work ..use brake cleaner/acetone stuff to degrease it ..and compressed air with a small pipe to blow anything out and dry it .. and use this high-temp. exhaust compound cement ..this should be oil resistand too

Edited by Günter

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Exactly what I/we plan to do. The exhaust studs were replaced on one side a while ago and the left hand bank a year ago. I can only assume that the overtightening occurred when the last lot of work was done. The fact it only drips is strange

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if you look onto the head layout it is in some ways very 'light' ..a good racing engine with a lot of hollowed areas I think.. so maybe the drilled hole is near to a hollowed area where just oil is on the return to the sump, as for example around the valve guide top area ..??

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David,

 

Did you ever solve the issue of your oil leak? I have something similar and wondered if there was good news at the end of your story!

 

Cheers,

 

Steve.



On mine, you can see where the flaw detector has found the crack, right on the corner of part of the casting. I'm pretty sure this must be a casting defect that has fatigued over time.

 

Steve.



See the little smiley shaped black line above the manifold stud hole.

post-12673-0-21578900-1361035207.jpg

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it's the LH head, just above the turbo if I see it right

 

..so to keep the turbo away from burning oily mist there that drobs out over time, I simply would use a turbine-grinder (air powered tool)  ..to cut out the imperfection there in the surface -just some *mm* deep into the cast, and weld it with TIG as a repair.

 

It does not look like a serious structural problem so far from this point.

 

How does it look inside if you clean the area under the cam there ??

Edited by Günter

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Hi Gunter,

 

You are correct, LH head. I couldn't get access behind the crack as that's where the cam followers sit. I have carried out a repair which I hope will cure the problem but will let you know in due course!

 

Cheers,

 

Steve.

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the cam followers sit in a very 'slim cast' anyway ..that's what I mean with *race like* engine with light wheight heads, it is a good and a bad think, depends on the personal situation ..think you know what I mean.

 

Good luck with the repair, and in case of more work -just undo the cams there, after all it is easier than repair the whole engine of you ignore it to long and the crack-line expands maybee futher up there and causes a misalighnment on the follower bore ..with notable effect on the valve drive/timing..

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If 62000 is a lot for a V8 then the 130000 on my 4 cyl must make it a complete dinosaur! And a large proportion of that mileage is thrashing the lump to within an inch of its life. Track days, racing, general hooliganism, I do take care to warm the fluids first though.

Key to longevity is regular oil changes with Mobil 1 and other top quality oils. No compromise, any doubt, change the stuff, it's cheap insurance.

The Lotus lump will last as long as any other car engine if its running on clean and new oil, it's usually oil starvation of one sort or another that breaks them and they are often rebuildable.

I'd consider changing the big ends/mains at about 100,000 if it is driven hard, mine were and weren't too bad considering, although the head is all original and unchanged. Otherwise leave it till it complains.

My 2p

Edited by qwerty123

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I think it's tough on engines like the ones in the Esprit because many owners don't drive them regularly (at least in the states).  Many are put up for winter for 4 or 5 months without driving, and many are driven once a month or less.  With the engine completely dry so often, it's got to put a lot of wear on the parts when starting.

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The secret has to be get them out and use them for what they are designed for, they are a super car meant to be driven and not toyed with. like any car sitting about for months they will have problems and as already mentioned keep changing those fluids, my Old Excel in on 169,000 miles and still running strong but it was used as a daily driver for most of her life by the same owner who regularly blasted her up and down the motorway but always kept her well serviced.

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Good point John,

 

But it can be difficult for us who live in countries with adverse weather conditions half the year. I'm also worried about my SE as it sits on axle stands 6-7 months of the year. Dunno what best practise is really before cranking the engine first time - this year I just started it as usual no issues but maybe that wasn't such a great idea...

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Always difficult but after that length of time I would take the safe option, pull the lead from the coil and turn her over a few times prior to starting that way the engine has a chance to get some fluids round it before firing up. The engine I have just fitted to the S3 had been sitting since 2009 without being turned over, obviously I changed all the fluids, belts, tensioner etc and had the engine spinning over by hand before fitting it to the car then again after fitting I had it spinning over on the starter with the coil lead disconnected. I was maybe a bit paranoid but this is the third engine I have had to fit as the first two I purchased were not good. The engine is now running sweet as a nut.

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