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Ash Emile

Lotus 907 Engine repair / rebuild

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It was a good start to my Sunday, with the first club run of the year, for Club Lotus Australia (Adelaide). We all set off on our journey to Birdwood. Unfortunately I didn't make it.
Cruising along on the open road in the Adelaide Hills, my Éclat suddenly lost power then cut out, followed by a rattle noise. I immediately put the car in neutral, and rolled it off to the side of the road. I attempted to start it. No luck!
There were several teeth missing from the under side of the timing belt, and scattered around the engine bay. I'm afraid it looks like a valves hitting pistons scenario.
 
Luckily one of the club members stopped and offered me a lift home, to pick up my daily drive.
After a tow truck ride home the car is back in bed, and probably will be, for a while.
Do you know of, or recommend a repairer somewhere here in Adelaide for these old school Lotus's? 
Where would you suggest I turn? Preferably someone who knows the Lotus 907 Engine.
I am also very nervous of the repair cost here in Australia, as unfortunately Éclat value is not particularly high.
 
I'm afraid it could be the end for my lovely little car.

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Hi Ash 

Sorry to hear about your drama,  first of all yes it does not sound good,  depending on engine rpm/speed  at the time will have a great deal to do with how bad the damage is sadly.  However before writing off your lovely little eclat, 

i would advise you to pull the cylinder head off yourself,  this keeps costs down and is not such a bad job,  every bit of spannering you do yourself will knock plenty of cash of your final bill for this little episode.  

You may find the damage is not as bad as you think,  yes it will be costly but removing the head will give you an idea of the damage.  disconnect the battery, drain the coolant, inlet manifold off complete with carbs attached, drop the exhaust downpipe, and pull the exhaust manifold off.  pull the rmaining coolant pipes off,  undo the cylinder head bolts,  in order of sequence,   and pull the head,  

Then you can see the damage,  it could be just bent valves,  however the pistons could be damaged,or the head cold be damaged also dependant on impact caused.   Replace what needs doing on the head you could be lucky and it just be some valves.   Replace these and then to air on the side of caution i wold also drop the sump and pull the con rod caps to check impact damage on the shells just to be on the safe side.  

always remember to clamp down the cylinder liners once the cylinder head is removed to prevent liner movement which can damage the sealant seal. 

Keep your chin up, get the spanners out and save yourself a good few quid,  at any stage you feel its becoming a bit of a nightmare then look at getting a workshop to look at it,  hopefully the damage will not be that bad,  fingers crossed for you. 

plenty of help on this forum and plenty of folks who know thre 907 lump inside out :)

 

Take the challenge, glass half full and all that, look at is as a way of getting to know your car better :)

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Glass half full, that's the spirit! So sorry to hear what happened, after following your experience with Aussie authorities to get the car road legal... :ermm:

A good friend of mine lives in Sydney, ok it's not Adelaide, but she has a huge network (although she's not a petrolhead). Also I'll check for you in some UK communities to check if anyone has some contacts in Australia. 

Don't give up :)

 

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or... ask your fellow friends at the australian Lotus Club? Sure they know some workshops that could help? Good luck! 

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Hi Ashley.Sorry to read about your troubles .Hope you can get it sorted .As suggested try other members lotus wise .Or even Jensen Healey members clubs etc ....I have a 907 in my garage was running on a stand .out of my Jensen Healey .thats needs welding etc .Good luck .Mike

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Thank you for your input. Some good advice there. I will continue to filter through my options. I agree, I need to assess the damage before jumping to conclusions. (glass half full)

At the time I was coasting along in 5th gear, doing 85 -90km/hr, when the car suddenly lost power. RPM speed quite low. I immediately pulled the car out of gear, and rolled it to the side of the road. The engine had cut out.  I then tried to turn it over. That's when it was evident, that there was something seriously wrong.

I was also looking forward to entering my car at this years 'All British Day' here in February.

I have spoken to a few club members, and they have been very helpful, and provided some valuable leads.

I will report back, hopefully with some positive news, soon.

 

 

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Good luck Ash,   Keep us posted !

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Ash,

Sorry to hear of your top end issue.

But its really not that hard to fix. There is a lot of "myths" about the Lotus 907 and how they need specialist care - mostly utter ball-cock's from the 1970's when engines weren't alloy and had one cam. It's 40 year old engine. Twin cams and sixteen valves aren't exotic creatures anymore.

Remove the head and carriers and have a look - (but don't turn the crank with he head off or you can dislodge liners).

You do know it is pretty much the same as that old Holden 4 cylinder slant 4, but with a fancy 16v head? The Jensen Healey Preservation Society were even sourcing bearings from Oz from that Holden engine for rebuilding Lotus 907's for a while.

If you don't fancy tackling it yourself, there will be plenty of guys in Oz who can - its not witchcraft. You don't need Lotus dealership training and a Lotus roundel on the back of your overalls to fix a 907.

Scrap your eclat - good god man!

Get it fixed! - What else on the road is Oz makes people turn their head and say "Dad - whats that supercar?"

 

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Ash,

Sorry to hear of your top end issue.

But its really not that hard to fix. There is a lot of "myths" about the Lotus 907 and how they need specialist care - mostly utter ball-cock's from the 1970's when engines weren't alloy and had one cam. It's 40 year old engine. Twin cams and sixteen valves aren't exotic creatures anymore.

Remove the head and carriers and have a look - (but don't turn the crank with he head off or you can dislodge liners).

It is pretty much the same as that old Holden 4 cylinder slant 4, but with a fancy 16v head? The Jensen Healey Preservation Society were even sourcing bearings from Oz from that Holden engine for rebuilding Lotus 907's for a while.

If you don't fancy tackling it yourself, there will be plenty of guys in Oz who can - its not witchcraft. You don't need Lotus dealership training and a Lotus roundel on the back of your overalls to fix a 907.

Scrap your eclat - good god man!

Get it fixed! - What else on the road is Oz makes people turn their head and say "Dad - whats that supercar?"

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yes, I think so too, Lotus or Jensen clubs could help or any workshop that is familiar with 70s engines, it's not rocket science at all. Could not find any other helpful contacts, sorry. Good luck! 

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It's interesting to hear different people's perspective.

I was told by someone that a 907 engine rebuild would cost me $10,000 AU, on a car that has a current market value of approx $15,000

That's enough to scare the hell out of me! I have a very reputable mechanic here in Adelaide, who has agreed to take it on, and have a look to assess the damage, and quote up repair. 

I spent my morning today removing the series 2 front spoiler, to prevent damage pulling it onto a tow truck. Even that is a tedious job. Headlight pods require removal to access the fixings for the spoiler.

The Èclat is a lovely car, and it certainly turns heads. I know of a few scattered around here, in various states of disrepair. Mine is the only one I have ever seen on the road.

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I'd have thought that 10k would be a rebuild based on every possible component being replaced (pistons, valves, rods, bearings etc), whereas you are most likely to need just a few components.

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Think so too - if you're lucky, it's not that expensive. 'Rebuilt' usually means the engine is better than new. Fixing if possible might still be a couple of grands, but 10000? Fingers crossed for you!

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Don't panic Ashley,

I have seen this sort of thing a few times..  Did the exact same cam belt stripped teeth about 2 years ago on a forum members Esprit..  Its usually a couple of bent valves , in most cases on the inlet side only.   If not able yourself get someone to pull the head off , it will all become obvious.  You may have a a couple of small marks on the pistons , but these will not be a concern , they will however tell you which valves touched.  Unlike most modern engines the valve guides don't always go south , so just replace bent valves and lap in , refit head with new belt . job done ..  a long weekend should see you back on the road..    

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Lovely looking car, great photo - more please :thumbsup:

Got my Excel back yesterday after a similar time being repaired after the Nikasil liner on one piston decided to give way. No sun here though for a photo opportunity.

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I am not in Adelaide (actually near Canberra) but I have some experience with 900 series engines.

Neil

Neil Trama Engineering

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