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Head Gasket Failure/Issue Survey

Tony K

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11 hours ago, EXCEL V8 said:

The Goetze gasket is no longer being made.  I've recently found it impossible to find one on this side of the pond.  There is a replacement available from Lotus but not much feedback about it yet.  Gary Kemp stocks a steel MLS style that is slightly thinner so has implications for compression ratio - if that is a factor.  I'm about to build my engine using one of the new Lotus gaskets so we'll see!


Based on the crap supplied by some of these suppliers - both uk and usa - I’d proceed with lots of caution. They have form in supplying anything they can - and form is clear all over the Internet of failures of these gaskets which are all similar in failure mode.

Goetze gaskets we’re available when I did mine over the first covid lockdown - a new batch had not long been made.

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Very much appreciated chaps. So Barry, to whom did you turn for the Goetze?

Seems the uprated studs are regarded as the way to go? Must admit I'm challenged to understand how it is the steel fasteners ( fixed in aluminium ) which are the fail point, though I will defer always to the wisdom of those who've gone before.


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The original Lotus head studs are a high-quality item, with rolled threads. When I rebuilt my engine I reused them, with a Kemp-supplied head gasket. 5,000 miles on, and no problems thus far.

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Margate Exotics.

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I've read that there were two styles of studs, later engines had supposedly better items with a dimpled end.

With regard to my above postings, actual measured CR was 8.39:1 with thin (blown) gaskets, 8.11:1 with the thicker one (still working) when I calculate with actual head volume and compressed gasket thickness. This with JE aftermarket pistons in an LC block.

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Right. The dimpled studs are regarded as upgrade over early type, noted perhaps in the Lotus Service Bulletin recently circulated somewhere hereabouts. Thomas, the difference in CR's you report surely cannot be a matter for concern in and of itself. What I have learned in regard to forced aspiration engines is above all to mind in cylinder conditions under load. Timing never over advanced, mixture always comfortably fat, intake air temps as low as feasible, plugs on the cold side, all cylinders in balance and octane as high as is practical. That well sorted and one is good for the sort of boost levels you're running. Moving further on to truly great increases in power output raises the stakes in terms of gasket integrity and whatever structural limitations are native to the engine.


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