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X180 910 turbo engine rebuild recommedations - Engine/Ancilliaries - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
Jamie Garroch

X180 910 turbo engine rebuild recommedations

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Long story cut short. Total coolant loss. Replaced defective hose. Now uses a litre of coolant every 10 miles and oil is mayo & above normal level. Suspect engine got cooked as I had a faulty (permanently on) telltale coolant lamp after refitting binnacle.

It's done 70k miles since new in 1988 so I reckon it's time to rebuild but I won't be doing it myself as don't have time/space.

Anyone got recent experience of time/cost/recommended specialist in the South East (UK)?

Also, thoughts on rebuild or exchange for a rebuilt 910 or swap for non-Lotus?

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Wow - never heard of him before, which after a Google search appears to be a Lotus owner's worst crime!  Seems he's an email/phone kinda person [in Hull] so will check that recommendation out. Thanks Simon :-)

 

Anyone spent out on an engine rebuild/exchange recently and know how much to budget for?

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It's a bit of a how long is a piece of string question but getting it done properly by somebody who knows what they're doing I'd budget £6-£8k.

No doubt it can be done for cheaper but....  

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Anyone spent out on an engine rebuild/exchange recently and know how much to budget for?

 

It all depends what you want, and what you have left of your old one... I have found that on all

the customers 910 turbo's i have built no two are the same.. They all have surprises and some

quite costly..  Until it is stripped and carefully examined then you can not cost it out.  From what

you have described it has overheated which can cause various issues. The water loss you describe

points to gasket failure.. It may be no more than that. However on the mileage I would recommend a

full rebuild replacing all gasket / bearings belts etc while in this situation... You will then have peace

of mind for the future.. Have a look at some of my threads in the engine build sections, They will give

you a better understanding on the internals and possible pit falls...

If you have any one on one questions you wish to cover, give me a ring and i will go though them for

you. I may be able to help you out..

 

Dave (changes)  07889 647406

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If its any help when I rebuilt my engine all the genuine Lotus gaskets and seals cost me about £800.00

 

Buddsy

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Just in case anyone else is interested in my experience, I now have a first quote from a very reputable Lotus centre in the South of the UK.  This is to recover my car from where it's resting, supply and fit a fully rebuilt engine (I've yet to phone and ask what this includes) and fit all ancillaries (gaskets, oil, coolant,etc.).

 

Total is £3750 for the engine, £175 for ancillaries, £375 for recovery, all plus VAT which brings it to £6.5k.

 

Of course, it doesn't include anything else that may be advisable to do while the engine is out such as clutch, water pump, engine mounts etc.

 

Your estimate was pretty close Barrie!

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Out of interest what dealer in the South are you talking about. There are a few that claim to work on Esprits but are bodgers.

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Total is £3750 for the engine, £175 for ancillaries, £375 for recovery, all plus VAT which brings it to £6.5k.

 

What rate of VAT are they charging ? I make that £5160 ;-)

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Give Gerald Turner at GST Performance in Newmarket a call on 01638 661144.

 

This.

 

I think he's going on a very well earned holiday soon so I'd give him a call sooner rather than later.

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What rate of VAT are they charging ? I make that £5160 ;-)

 

Whoops. I forgot the labour to fit at £1105!  I'll update my post.

Correction to cost highlighted : 

 

Just in case anyone else is interested in my experience, I now have a first quote from a very reputable Lotus centre in the South of the UK.  This is to recover my car from where it's resting, supply and fit a fully rebuilt engine (I've yet to phone and ask what this includes) and fit all ancillaries (gaskets, oil, coolant,etc.).

 

Total is £1105 for the labour, £3750 for the engine, £175 for ancillaries, £375 for recovery, all plus VAT which brings it to £6.5k.

 

Of course, it doesn't include anything else that may be advisable to do while the engine is out such as clutch, water pump, engine mounts etc.

 

Your estimate was pretty close Barrie!

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I rebuilt sue's TE engine for £2500 that included new valve guides, seats, liners, rings and original gasket sets. I was lucky to find a donor engine minus ancillaries for £500.

I did all of the work myself saving on the labour except the machining of the head which included a light skim and was £900 out of the overall budget. I was lucky that the donor engine had good pistons and head which were ruined in the old one.

If you choose to rebuild, the biggest issue for you will be whether the head is warped or reusable.

As has been said, the other issue was that having removed the engine there were so many things to do which seemed sensible, new clutch, engine mounts, gearbox mounts, heat shields, brake discs etc etc etc which added probably another £1000 of parts. Once you get started it can be a bottomless pit.....

I know you said you don't have time but if you have the skills and inclination there is no better feeling than to know you've done it properly

If you want to do it for yourself, you are welcome to use my gantry to remove the old lump (probably a days work for the two of us, I'd be happy to help and, no, I don't charge, I'd do it because its fun!) Then you could either rebuild your's or source an engine 'ready to go' and we could slot it back in. Again refitting would be a weekend's work.

John

Edited by Mr_John111

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Jeepers that's a lot of labour for a direct engine swap, especially with the mark up on the rebuilt engine and taking yours in as an exchange....

Called sparky? He could go on several around the world holidays off the back of that!

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I'm currently rebuilding my S4s engine after spinning a big end bearing.

I've done all the work myself except for the head rebuild and porting.

To date I've easly spent £9.5k, with my recent purchase been the stainless Alunox manifold.

 

Parts to date:

 

Reground crank balanced with conrods, pistons, flywheel and clutch housing.

New piston's and liners

new main, big end and small end bearings

Full gasket set

Oil feed to head reducer up grade

Piston rings

rebuilt and ported head with new guides and valve stem seals

High lift intake camshaft

Reshimmed cams

QED adjustable vernier cam pulleys

New waterpump

New oil pump

Rebuilt alternator

Oil stat take off oil plate

T3 / T4 turbo upgrade

Alloy uprated waste gate

RC injectors

Alunox Stainless manifold

Custom carbon air intake

2 new oil coolers

2 new stainless braided oil cooler pipes

New stainless braided fuel lines

Adjustable fuel regulator

Ported intake plenium

Full silicone coolant hose replacement kit

Uprated clutch kit

Magnecore 8.5mm spark plug leads

Uprated MSD coil packs

Electric  charge cooler pump

New 3 core rad.

New chargecooler rad connected inline to new AC rad similar to the S300 setup

New mechanical vacuum pump mounted where AC pump used to be supplying vacuum to custom brake setup.

 

 

Parts to come,

 

Alloy fuel tanks

Uprated fuel pump

Custom centre exit exhaust

Uprated larger chargecooler

 

 

So the thing is...how far do you want to go!

 

Cheers

Dave

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I would say dont get your head skimmed. Over the last few years I thought about this many times and although I skimmed my own I would advise anybody against doing it. If its warped up to about 0.25mm I wouldnt worry about it.

 

Buddsy

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When I took my head into the engineering shop for a skim, they phoned to say they were hesitant to do it as it was difficult to get a know flat surface against which to skim the head, they checked it seemed flat but wanted to get my ok as they couldnt guarantee it and of course skimming could pose problems with gasket thickness etc. I checked on this forum and got loads of helpful advice all saying dont do it unless the head was badly warped. 

 

I took that advice and was pleased I did as I have since read about all sorts of problems with head skims

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I would also advise not to machine the head unless absolutely positively necessary!!!!

 

The first machine shops screwed up my head when they machined it to a taper in 2 directions!

 

The timing belt kept trying to run off the front of the engine so I took the head back off and took it to a 2nd head specialist and explained the problem.  Told him to measure it and not cut it until we figure out if it was slanted.  So he ignored all that and indicated off the slanted face and re-machined it... still tapered.

 

I checked it on the milling machine at work, with a dial indicator which showed a taper downwards towards the timing belt, confirming the taper in 2 directions.

 

I finally had to design my own head surfacing fixture that held the cams parallel to the table, and then allowed the head to be machined parallel to the cams.  I also found a machine shop that let me use their machine to surface my head for free!

 

Later my head gasket blew at the racetrack, I lost a gallon of coolant, and the engine got fairly hot, but I shut it down quick.

 

I took the head off again and verified that it was flat and not warped on a granite block at work.  No warpage, and still totally flat.

Head gasket went due to a lean burn in cylinder #4 from a faulty fuel pump, and a loss of coolant system pressure due to a bad pressure cap.  The engine was fine.

 

 

The truth is that the 910 head doesn't have enough of a flat surface for a machinist to correctly fixture it in a surfacing machine, so they  will most likely screw it up!

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I sympathize with all your experiences with skimming heads, but as i have said

before this should not be an problem.... It really is down to who you use to do the

work... My machinist dose tons of specialist work and have worked many 900 series

heads over the years without issue...  They are not the cheapest or the closest to

get to, but they do the work correct.

I would much rather have a pro. reworked engine than some unknown quantity, at

least the guess work is taken out...

And as for how much to skim off... Its more to do with cam timing than anything else

which can be overcome by adjustment...  The problem is people don't seem to understand

what is possible with a little engineering and experience... too many quick fixers create

the rumours of what can and can't be done.. and they generally are the cheapest...

With regards to Jamie's problem I could collect ,strip, rebuild, and deliver a fully balanced

unit for less than £6.5k along with photographic evidence of work carried out. 

No guess work just good honest engineering.. At least you know what you are getting for your £'s

So £6.5k for what is offered seems a bit pricey to me... 

Edited by CHANGES

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Dave Freeman (London group) managed to get a crated (new?) engine for his SE for around the £4k mark a year or so ago. I would send him a pm to check where he got it etc before committing to an overhaul like that.

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