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Cam Belt Change


kmcmouse

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Well I have had my Esprit six weeks now and brought it in for the cam belt service. The service department had a bit of a problem and the belt jumped (so they say) or came off, do not know for sure which. Its been in the shop for several days now and it is still not running. No comments on whether or not there are problems as a result of their "mistake". They want to get everything back in time before starting it and checking compression. What are the chances the valves did not make love to the pistons during the initial start up??? The car is an 02 with 4000 miles on it and I really do not want a rebuilt motor at this stage of the game. I bought the car with low miles so I could avoid problems associated with abuse from previous owners and I could drive it my way (hard and fast) knowing I controlled the maintainence on the car and could keep it in top shape. Any thoughts on what I might face in terms of destruction and what I might do to insure the future of the motor.

Thanks.............

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OH MY!

The engine is an "interference motor", meaning the valves will hit the piston when it comes up, if the cams are not synchronized correctly. This is close to April 1st are you kidding me! If they did this ,you probably have some bent valves.

Wayne

Well I have had my Esprit six weeks now and brought it in for the cam belt service. The service department had a bit of a problem and the belt jumped (so they say) or came off, do not know for sure which. Its been in the shop for several days now and it is still not running. No comments on whether or not there are problems as a result of their "mistake". They want to get everything back in time before starting it and checking compression. What are the chances the valves did not make love to the pistons during the initial start up??? The car is an 02 with 4000 miles on it and I really do not want a rebuilt motor at this stage of the game. I bought the car with low miles so I could avoid problems associated with abuse from previous owners and I could drive it my way (hard and fast) knowing I controlled the maintainence on the car and could keep it in top shape. Any thoughts on what I might face in terms of destruction and what I might do to insure the future of the motor.

Thanks.............

The Older I get the Faster I was

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Well I have had my Esprit six weeks now and brought it in for the cam belt service. The service department had a bit of a problem and the belt jumped (so they say) or came off, do not know for sure which. Its been in the shop for several days now and it is still not running. No comments on whether or not there are problems as a result of their "mistake". They want to get everything back in time before starting it and checking compression. What are the chances the valves did not make love to the pistons during the initial start up??? The car is an 02 with 4000 miles on it and I really do not want a rebuilt motor at this stage of the game. I bought the car with low miles so I could avoid problems associated with abuse from previous owners and I could drive it my way (hard and fast) knowing I controlled the maintainence on the car and could keep it in top shape. Any thoughts on what I might face in terms of destruction and what I might do to insure the future of the motor.

Thanks.............

Put it this way. If you took your car to the dealer and said one of your cam belts flew off or skipped while driving I guarantee they would say your engine is severely damaged. If this happened to my car I would have them rebuild the motor. I wouldn't take a chance. Nothing wrong with a rebuilt engine provided its done correctly. What Lotus dealer screwed up that bad?

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Put it this way. If you took your car to the dealer and said one of your cam belts flew off or skipped while driving I guarantee they would say your engine is severely damaged. If this happened to my car I would have them rebuild the motor. I wouldn't take a chance. Nothing wrong with a rebuilt engine provided its done correctly. What Lotus dealer screwed up that bad?

I won't comment on the dealer but they did screw up badly! They have had their man on it for a week and he still has not got the motor in time. They say they are waiting to get it in time to check compression to determine if there is any valve damage. To that I say "crap" the damage is impossible to avoid. I am going to insist on the motor being replacesd by Lotus USA as I believe they had a hand in the problem. The issue with a rebuild is the same individual that screwed it up is the likley candidiate to rebuilt it!!!!

I canot believe a "Lotus" certified dealer could screw up a simple belt change. I will certainly be looking for a "Qualified shop" for all my future service and modifications.

To his credit the "Tech" told me he said it did not want to do the belts having never done them before. I believe Lotus USA told him "they would walk him through it". It seems my car became a learning tool and I the guinea pig!

I will contact my lawyer on Monday. I hate lawyers and have one only to protect me as I manufacture and sometimes things can go wrong (this an obvious case) although I have never had to call in his service in over 25 years!

I just want my car back in the condition it went into the shop!!!

Thanks for the reponse, I could not believe there was a chance the valves were not damaged. I also am concerned about the pistons and the impact to the top. I would hate to get the car back only to blow a hole in a pistion top with a bit of aggressive driving!

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Tell Lotus USA, you are willing to lose time and can afford to lose the original engine

associated with the car. You want a new crate engine replacement.

"I will contact my lawyer on Monday"

Do you think you can avoid lawyer for now and not engage in confrontation?

Maybe your last resort is legal but see if you can pull a miracle.

That's too bad, I hope everything ok.

Edited by HASUsan
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Tell Lotus USA, you are willing to lose time and can afford to lose the original engine

associated with the car. You want a new crate engine replacement.

"I will contact my lawyer on Monday"

Do you think you can avoid lawyer for now and not engage in confrontation?

Maybe your last resort is legal but see if you can pull a miracle.

That's too bad, I hope everything ok.

I really do not care much for the legal system or laywers in general so that is not my first choice. I contacted Lotus Cars USA and they through the dealer under the bus! The dealer has already thrown Lotus Cars USa under so it seems we have a bit of a piss up! I have given the two today to resolve their differences and provide a direction to resolve the problem. After that I have no choice but to move forward with a legal solution. Damn shame really , all I want is my car! One would think the authorized dealer would have the staff to do the belt service or say they could not. Why play around with someones car??? Lessons will be learned on all sides, of this I am certain!!!

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Paul,

I am sorry to hear about you situation. I had an issue with my car with some service done also by a Lotus tech. Anyways my letter made it all the way up to the CEO of Lotus in the UK. Nevertheless, the result was... sorry... you need to talk to Lotus USA or the dealership. Lotus USA did not really help either; they also told me to talk to the dealership.

The dealership and I ended up compromising on the issue and the car was fixed... but it was not free either. I do have a feeling that Lotus USA did pick up some of the cost but I cannot confirm this. But my issue was minor compared to yours.

I have a 2001 (purchased new in 2003) and have almost 24000 miles. Lotus will inspect the cam belts every 12000 miles or once a year free (but I think this is because I am the original owner of the car). They also stated that they will replace the cam belts once, mine is due next March 2008.

It appears they were trying to adjust the belts and screwed up on your car. If they were adjusting the belts all they need to do was to insert the cam pins and camshaft lock to lock the camshafts/crankshaft and loosen the cam sprocket bolts and then tighten the belt adjustor then retighten the cam sprockets. If you have the right tools, it is not too complicated to do just a pain in the A$$.

No, I have never done the procedure myself but saw someone do it before and he did it as per the manual and had no issues. I wonder if they did not have the proper special tools (cam pins, crankshaft pin, and adjustor tool). Without the special tools, I do not think they can perform this adjustment.

I wish you the best. Please let me know if you want any person address at Lotus USA or Lotus UK I have some of them.

PS - I'm also a lawyer... and Lotus USA or dealership did not care about a suit against them. Their response was we have lawyers to fight you too. In my personal opinion Lotus USA or Lotus UK really dosen't care about us!!!

JoeyO

2001 V8

Edited by joeyoesprit

JoeyO

2001 V8 - Silver

2007 Ducati 1098

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Paul,

I am sorry to hear about you situation. I had an issue with my car with some service done also by a Lotus tech. Anyways my letter made it all the way up to the CEO of Lotus in the UK. Nevertheless, the result was... sorry... you need to talk to Lotus USA or the dealership. Lotus USA did not really help either; they also told me to talk to the dealership.

The dealership and I ended up compromising on the issue and the car was fixed... but it was not free either. I do have a feeling that Lotus USA did pick up some of the cost but I cannot confirm this. But my issue was minor compared to yours.

I have a 2001 (purchased new in 2003) and have almost 24000 miles. Lotus will inspect the cam belts every 12000 miles or once a year free (but I think this is because I am the original owner of the car). They also stated that they will replace the cam belts once, mine is due next March 2008.

It appears they were trying to adjust the belts and screwed up on your car. If they were adjusting the belts all they need to do was to insert the cam pins and camshaft lock to lock the camshafts/crankshaft and loosen the cam sprocket bolts and then tighten the belt adjustor then retighten the cam sprockets. If you have the right tools, it is not too complicated to do just a pain in the A$$.

No, I have never done the procedure myself but saw someone do it before and he did it as per the manual and had no issues. I wonder if they did not have the proper special tools (cam pins, crankshaft pin, and adjustor tool). Without the special tools, I do not think they can perform this adjustment.

I wish you the best. Please let me know if you want any person address at Lotus USA or Lotus UK I have some of them.

PS - I'm also a lawyer... and Lotus USA or dealership did not care about a suit against them. Their response was we have lawyers to fight you too. In my personal opinion Lotus USA or Lotus UK really dosen't care about us!!!

JoeyO

2001 V8

So far it seems Lotus USA is trying to get things resolved. There is no question as to what has happened just a matter of what is done to solve the problem. While I have council, I would rather resolve the issue as gentlemen if at all possible. The dealership knows they screwed up and they really do not have a leg to stand on. Their "tech" just did not follow procedure in changing the belts. The shame of it is the belts were being replaced as a precaution (4 1/2 years old) not as a neccesity, at my request. Lotus USA acted in good faith and offered to cover it under waranty as I'm told is their standard procedure with these cars.

I have not threatened them or become antaganistic, just stated my position and cc'd everything to my lawyer. I am hoping for am amicable resolution to an unfortunate situation. While I am pissed beyond words, I hope my approch will net the results I require. Thanks for your input, Paul

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Sorry to hear this. Every carowners nightmare. Hope you get it worked out.

I just have a question about changing the cambelt. How often should it be changed. The service manual says every 60 000 km on non-usa cars, but I think I read somewhere that it should be more often. My cambelt was last changed in 2002 and 29000 km. My car has now driven 55000 km. Any opinions on this???

NO PAIN, NO GAIN! THE ESPRIT IS LIKE YOUR HONEY, SHE`LL SPEND YOUR MONEY!!!

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Sorry to hear this. Every carowners nightmare. Hope you get it worked out.

I just have a question about changing the cambelt. How often should it be changed. The service manual says every 60 000 km on non-usa cars, but I think I read somewhere that it should be more often. My cambelt was last changed in 2002 and 29000 km. My car has now driven 55000 km. Any opinions on this???

Lotus Cars USA told me it should be checked and tightened if required every 12000 miles. They also said it should be replaced at 4 1/2 year intervals as it seems most owners do not cover the 30,000 miles before the time period expires. Mine was at 4 1/2 years but only 4000 miles.........I wish I had left it alone!!! I am hoping everyone does the right thing here. It pretty simple really, I drove my car in for service and I cannot drive it out! Paul, 2002 V8

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Lotus Cars USA told me it should be checked and tightened if required every 12000 miles. They also said it should be replaced at 4 1/2 year intervals as it seems most owners do not cover the 30,000 miles before the time period expires. Mine was at 4 1/2 years but only 4000 miles.........I wish I had left it alone!!! I am hoping everyone does the right thing here. It pretty simple really, I drove my car in for service and I cannot drive it out! Paul, 2002 V8

So, what is the latest news?

Is your car sitting? Did the dealer discuss the valves are done or ok?

Keep the pressure!

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So, what is the latest news?

Is your car sitting? Did the dealer discuss the valves are done or ok?

Keep the pressure!

It seems everyone agrees the engine is done.....Now they are trying to determine who is going to pay for the repair and what action is going to be taken. I am pressing for a "crate" motor which seems to me to be the fastest way to get me back my car in the closest condition to that in which it arrived at the dealer. I hope to have a direction by days end. If not I may have to proceed with a legal action but I really do not want to do that as it will only slow down the process of getting me back my car! I really do not have much faith in a rebuild as I cannot control what is replaced and I believe the valves, guides, pistons at least would need to be replaced to ensure any long term reliablility for the motor. As with any situation like this is a sit and wait game as the players in control of the game duke it out! I am just a pawn now, damaged as I might be, with little control over Lotus Cars, USA or the dealer involved..............

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It seems everyone agrees the engine is done.....Now they are trying to determine who is going to pay for the repair and what action is going to be taken. I am pressing for a "crate" motor which seems to me to be the fastest way to get me back my car in the closest condition to that in which it arrived at the dealer. I hope to have a direction by days end. If not I may have to proceed with a legal action but I really do not want to do that as it will only slow down the process of getting me back my car! I really do not have much faith in a rebuild as I cannot control what is replaced and I believe the valves, guides, pistons at least would need to be replaced to ensure any long term reliablility for the motor. As with any situation like this is a sit and wait game as the players in control of the game duke it out! I am just a pawn now, damaged as I might be, with little control over Lotus Cars, USA or the dealer involved..............

Definetly not to accept to rebuild your engine!!!!!

As I said, CRATE is the only solution.

In case they will give you a crate, make sure to discuss the warranty -- extention???

Also, beware of a used crate (rebuild crate), not all crate are new.

Let us know, good luck.

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Definetly not to accept to rebuild your engine!!!!!

As I said, CRATE is the only solution.

In case they will give you a crate, make sure to discuss the warranty -- extention???

Also, beware of a used crate (rebuild crate), not all crate are new.

Let us know, good luck.

It now appears that the plan is to remove the head from the left side of the motor (the side which gave them the trouble and check the valves. A crate motor has been meet with little enthusiasum from both Lotus and Dealer. Both feel that the damage was minimal and if in fact a valve or two are bent they can be replaced with new guides and a warranty against trouble with the motor for a period of time to be determined (12 months unlimited milage seems to be the plan). I am just waiting for some direction from them to determine my course. I will say both the Dealer and Lotus have been up front and gentlemen even if we differ on the direction to solve the problem. No one still knows for sure what is going on inside the motor. Pulling the head will answer many questions and it does appear that the time was correct on the one side. So..........I wait somemore. Good news is all parties are working on it and a solution cannot be far off.

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It now appears that the plan is to remove the head from the left side of the motor (the side which gave them the trouble and check the valves. A crate motor has been meet with little enthusiasum from both Lotus and Dealer. Both feel that the damage was minimal and if in fact a valve or two are bent they can be replaced with new guides and a warranty against trouble with the motor for a period of time to be determined (12 months unlimited milage seems to be the plan). I am just waiting for some direction from them to determine my course. I will say both the Dealer and Lotus have been up front and gentlemen even if we differ on the direction to solve the problem. No one still knows for sure what is going on inside the motor. Pulling the head will answer many questions and it does appear that the time was correct on the one side. So..........I wait somemore. Good news is all parties are working on it and a solution cannot be far off.

Very smart not bringing up a lawsuit. The minute you mention that the chances of anyone working with you will diminish significanlty. Everyone will "clam" up. Requesting a crate motor is a good place to start but I don't know why everyone is insisting it be this way. I highly dought any damage was done to the block. So if you replace all the bits and get headwork done it should be just fine. Don't have "monkey nuts" rebuild it though. Insist on having your choice of mechanic.

Good luck

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Very smart not bringing up a lawsuit. The minute you mention that the chances of anyone working with you will diminish significanlty. Everyone will "clam" up. Requesting a crate motor is a good place to start but I don't know why everyone is insisting it be this way. I highly dought any damage was done to the block. So if you replace all the bits and get headwork done it should be just fine. Don't have "monkey nuts" rebuild it though. Insist on having your choice of mechanic.

Good luck

I have cc'd my emails to my lawyer so they are aware that I have council on this but I have maintained from the start that I wanted this worked out as gemtlemen not in the courts. Not really much to gain that route as far as I can see but its good to have someone on your side with info and up to speed should the need arise.

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The car is now in pieces, engine out heads off ect, ect. The left side is fine, the right side shows contact of all the valves with the pistons. The contact did not bend the valves as far as you can tell from a visual and hand rotation of the valve on the seat. The contact shows as a very light mark in the carbon on the piston top and valve. Not much there but enough to show the contact. Parts are coming, which ones I am not yet certain of and the "Lotus" tech from corporate is coming down to supervise the reassembly. Very disheartening to see the car this way!

Hope to have it back next week, its been three now........They claim it will be better than new, right..........

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The car is now in pieces, engine out heads off ect, ect. The left side is fine, the right side shows contact of all the valves with the pistons. The contact did not bend the valves as far as you can tell from a visual and hand rotation of the valve on the seat. The contact shows as a very light mark in the carbon on the piston top and valve. Not much there but enough to show the contact. Parts are coming, which ones I am not yet certain of and the "Lotus" tech from corporate is coming down to supervise the reassembly. Very disheartening to see the car this way!

Hope to have it back next week, its been three now........They claim it will be better than new, right..........

Paul,

Sorry about your experience, be sure when they clean the contacted pistons that they polish any sharp cuts in the piston domes as you don't want any hot spots inside the cylinders when back together. Are they positive there have been no cracks developed in the pistons from the contact? The pistons are cast and this could pose a significant problem down the road should a crack become more pronounced from boost. Something worth looking into.

Artie

89 White Esprit SE

...a few little upgrades....

93 RX7.....Silverstone

....slightly modded...Muahaha...

New Addition:

1990 300ZX TT......Hmmm

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Paul,

Sorry about your experience, be sure when they clean the contacted pistons that they polish any sharp cuts in the piston domes as you don't want any hot spots inside the cylinders when back together. Are they positive there have been no cracks developed in the pistons from the contact? The pistons are cast and this could pose a significant problem down the road should a crack become more pronounced from boost. Something worth looking into.

Artie

As far as I could tell there was no direct damage to the piston head. Although you could see a mark wherre the valve contacted the piston there was no detent in the piston. It seems the car was started cold and shut off right away as the "tech" did not like the sound on start up. I think it would have been a bigger issue had the car been hot or the car run for a bit in the mis-timed condition.

The "Lotus" corporate tech is due in town today so I expect to have a final determination of the course of action to get my car back together by days end. I have asked for a complete detial of the plan of action as well as a list of replacement parts to be used. If I do not get it back next week it will have been in the shop longer than in my garage since I purchased it! "Stuff" happens I suppose, this time it just happend to me...........

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Paul,

I am sorry to hear about you situation. I had an issue with my car with some service done also by a Lotus tech. Anyways my letter made it all the way up to the CEO of Lotus in the UK. Nevertheless, the result was... sorry... you need to talk to Lotus USA or the dealership. Lotus USA did not really help either; they also told me to talk to the dealership.

The dealership and I ended up compromising on the issue and the car was fixed... but it was not free either. I do have a feeling that Lotus USA did pick up some of the cost but I cannot confirm this. But my issue was minor compared to yours.

I have a 2001 (purchased new in 2003) and have almost 24000 miles. Lotus will inspect the cam belts every 12000 miles or once a year free (but I think this is because I am the original owner of the car). They also stated that they will replace the cam belts once, mine is due next March 2008.

It appears they were trying to adjust the belts and screwed up on your car. If they were adjusting the belts all they need to do was to insert the cam pins and camshaft lock to lock the camshafts/crankshaft and loosen the cam sprocket bolts and then tighten the belt adjustor then retighten the cam sprockets. If you have the right tools, it is not too complicated to do just a pain in the A$$.

No, I have never done the procedure myself but saw someone do it before and he did it as per the manual and had no issues. I wonder if they did not have the proper special tools (cam pins, crankshaft pin, and adjustor tool). Without the special tools, I do not think they can perform this adjustment.

I wish you the best. Please let me know if you want any person address at Lotus USA or Lotus UK I have some of them.

PS - I'm also a lawyer... and Lotus USA or dealership did not care about a suit against them. Their response was we have lawyers to fight you too. In my personal opinion Lotus USA or Lotus UK really dosen't care about us!!!

JoeyO

2001 V8

its possible to use the proper Tools...I have them all..ready for my Engine job...But adjust the cam tensioners the wrong way..they can be done clock wise or anti clock wise, against belt tension.....the wrong way can result in the belt coming loose..hence jump the teeth of the cam sprocket...bending the valves...chow Rob

[email protected] or 07976 609881

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Well Lotus sent their main Tech man down today and after a few hours on the car has told the valves are fine and the engine is going back together!?! He inspected the pistons and flooded the heads with all the valves seated and had no leak down through the valves in either head. I was told the motor should be back together and in the car as early as tomorrow afternoon. Prior to installing the motor a proper compression check and leak down will be done. I trust they are doing whats best for the car and myself in the long haul and hope the car will come back to me in the condition it went in mechanically as well as cosmetically.........An awful lot of hassel and work for a belt change don't you think!

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Paul ,

I like your attitude. You have kept your calm and treated everybody with respect although somebody messed up. respect !

About your car. The way I see it you won't have any issues once everything is back together. No damage was done and your engine will be like it was before.

I feel for you as I too have a 02 with few km's (12000km) and it still has the original cam belt. My dealer told me to not change it yet. He said to change it at around 7 years if the car is kept in a dry and clean garage.

So that is what I am going to do. Am thinking of having the tension checked but I suspect it to be still ok.

I wish you many miles of first class motoring and enjoy your car as much as possible.

Denis

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Yesterday I was feeling pretty good....The "Lotus" tech that flew down to inspect the car told me the valves were OK and they were going to start putting things back together and hoped to have the motor in the car by this afternoon. Today I receive a call from the Dealer, it seems they have now sent the head in question out to a shop (why it took them two weeks to get to this is beyond me) and the shop had indicated that (8) exhaust valves and (3) intakes have a problem and should be replaced along with the guides!

I have been more than patient with the entire situation. I understand it was an accident and "stuff" happens but every day I seem to get a "new" story and its getting really really old. My level of trust is at a low and just do not know what the truth is anymore. Is such a shame, how can the Lotus tech get it so wrong??? Why would he indicate everything is OK only to send the head out the next day?? Its become a motoring soap opera and my car is the star! I am afraid of what I am getting back and have started to consider selling the car........What began as a fulfilment of a life long dream has turned into a nightmare...and the saga continues! Now the dealer suggested that while the motor is out I put in a clutch as it would save quite a bit of money down the road, no labor cost as the motor is already out but the "clutch package" is $2600!!!!!! Makes me all kinds of special being treated so well don't you think!

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$2600.00 for a clutch replacment doesn't seem too bad. I have priced the parts and a new flywheel, new pressure plate, new clutch disks and throwout bearing will run you around $2200.00 + tax (at least that is what my research says). If someone can find it cheaper please let me know!

The labor for replcing the clutch is also expensive. I think it is about 8 hours to remove the tranny and 8 hours to install it. So you might be looking at maybe 16 hrs of labor @ $100 = $1600 for labor. Some dealers say they can replace it in one day; but I think you can save atleast a $1000 on labor if you do the clutch change now. My local dealer said it usually cost somewhere in the $5000 range for a new clutch/flywheel/throwout bearing change.

Also since this is the dealership that screwed up the cam belts; can you trust them with the clutch?

I have almost 23,000 miles on my Esprit with the factory clutch... still not slipping. IMO if you baby these clutches you can get atleast 25,000 miles on them - it all depends on how your drive the car.

Good luck and I hope everything turns out okay

JoeyO

2001 V8

JoeyO

2001 V8 - Silver

2007 Ducati 1098

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