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Old 01-15-2013, 04:40 AM   #61 (permalink)
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The baffles actually "bolt in". most of the hardware stripped, so I will drill them out, re tap or helicoil the threads and re-affix them properly.
So those fasteners actually have threads? On mine they looked more like rivets with no discernible head to them (see photo).

If you do go with screws/bolts of some kind, you might want to hit them with a little weld so that all the vibration doesn't drop a screw into your valves at some point in the future.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:12 PM   #62 (permalink)
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Sorry to hear about the damage Eric. At least you found the source.



Thanks Phil. I'm happy to report that as of today, my car has 1.018 miles to be exact and there is no coolant loss, no oil consumption, no metal in the pan, no overheating and the motor runs great; knock on wood.

Unfortunately you are right, I know of 4 local V8s that have been rebuilt other than mine and none have ran correctly. One destroyed the crank within 20 min, two had "blown head gaskets" and one still has a mysteriousloss of coolant. Then there's Eric's. Now all of these motors were built by "professionals" .
Wow...this is rather alarming...and here I just pulled mine to fix/find a source of poping and exhaust sucking air ( think burnt valve ). I hope I dont end up on that list.
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:59 PM   #63 (permalink)
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Artie.. thanks for the vote of confidence. I know the funds wont "dry up", but it will be harder to justify the type of spending I have come accustomed to. haha

espree... mine have allen heads. ill dig them out and take a pic for you.

lotus241... have faith.. seek help from those that have been though it... clean your cam covers
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:39 AM   #64 (permalink)
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espree... mine have allen heads. ill dig them out and take a pic for you.
Interesting! I wonder if someone was in there once already in the past, or if the painter attempted to clean it out. I don't think allen screws are stock.

But I might go with something similar (if I don't replace them completely). Someone mentioned "Loctite Red" if you don't weld them. Holds up to 500 degrees: Loctite Threadlocker Red 271 from Loctite Adhesives
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:30 AM   #65 (permalink)
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The Esprit 910 sump has a sheet metal baffle that is held in with 2 self tapping screws (similar to sheet metal screws). The shop manual states to use red loctite. Seems to have worked fine for over 20 years.
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:08 AM   #66 (permalink)
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The Esprit 910 sump has a sheet metal baffle that is held in with 2 self tapping screws (similar to sheet metal screws). The shop manual states to use red loctite. Seems to have worked fine for over 20 years.
Good to know! I don't know if it would make a difference, but do the screws orient "up-side down" as they do in the cam covers?
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:19 AM   #67 (permalink)
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No, they sit right side up, but that shouldn't matter. Though if the screws fell out in the sump they wouldn't be able to do damage like a screw in the cams...
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:48 PM   #68 (permalink)
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Here are those screws in the baffles... and the corresponding threads. I wonder if it were a change during production?




And the oil baffle bolts are ALOT larger

heres another interesting thing. The front coolant holes on each head are filled with sand?

What do you guys think?


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Old 01-20-2013, 06:52 PM   #69 (permalink)
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Oh man! I'm thinking more sand/media blasting media. That's some weird and unusual deposition. I wouldn't think it would pack into the head and head gasket like that! Jeesh! What a mess. Did the passages on the block that mate up to those sand filled holes have sand in them also? Is the sand easily removed or is it hardened in place? Interesting find!
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:03 PM   #70 (permalink)
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Maybe they changed the spec - I don't know. Mine is a 1999 and they are definitely rivets. If someone did have it open in the past, it might have created more of a gap for sand to get in.

That sand in the head doesn't look good!

Are the pistons and liners ok?

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Old 01-20-2013, 07:44 PM   #71 (permalink)
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The sand is very easily removed. its only built up on the front 2 holes... where there is no hole in the headgasket.

Between all other cyls there are small holes int he gasket to transfer coolant from the block (around the sleeves) into the head, so its move of an opening than just a small passage.

this motor has a 97 build date... ill take the cam covers off my orig motor (98) soon and see if its rivits or screws.

I dont think that there was more of a gap... it was sealed pretty good.

The tops of the pistons look good, and what i can see of the liners look fine too. Ill probably pull the pistons and rods out next weekend to inspect them closer.

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Old 01-21-2013, 07:39 AM   #72 (permalink)
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The sand is very easily removed. its only built up on the front 2 holes... where there is no hole in the headgasket.

Between all other cyls there are small holes int he gasket to transfer coolant from the block (around the sleeves) into the head, so its move of an opening than just a small passage.
If you are looking at the cooling passages (where actual coolant would flow, not oil), then it could be just that your radiator and cooling system is gunked up. Mine was when I first got it, and there was a lot of crusty debris in everything. But it wasn't sand per se.

Keep us posted and good luck! I'll be looking into mine more this week (hopefully) and will post too.
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:37 PM   #73 (permalink)
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It may be silca in the water passages, which is in coolant. The sand particles appear darker in color.
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:44 PM   #74 (permalink)
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Exclamation CONFIRMED: Sand under baffles!

Took off my baffle covers today and we indeed found sandblasting sand under them. Problem found!

In some areas they looked pretty clean, but in others there is obviously oily sand debris that was very gritty. You can even see where the oil had made little "rivers" in the sand (see pic).

At least now I know why this engine has been chewing through bearings like crazy and spent the last year in the shop with 2 additional rebuilds. I even had to order a new block after the last main bearing spun and warped the old one.

Fortunately it appears that the painter recognizes the mistake and his insurance will likely be covering the damages.

Thanks, FSReric, for posting this info - without it we would still be chasing our tail with this. At least now it's on the road to recovery.

Keep us posted with yours.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:44 PM   #75 (permalink)
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ESPREE... Im glad I could point you in the right direction.

How bad has the damage been to your engine internals? I finished disassembling the shortblock and am fearing the worst. The crank journals have good gouges in them, the rod bearings are trash, and it looks like there is significant scoring on the pistons and liners.

I will post pictures soon.

I have removed the block from the engine stand and replaced it with the original motor. I will start disassembly of this one, and see what parts of which motor are salvageable.

On a side note, should the stamped numbers on the block match the VIN?
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:13 AM   #76 (permalink)
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ESPREE...
How bad has the damage been to your engine internals? I finished disassembling the shortblock and am fearing the worst. The crank journals have good gouges in them, the rod bearings are trash, and it looks like there is significant scoring on the pistons and liners. ....

On a side note, should the stamped numbers on the block match the VIN?
The internals took a beating in a few areas... crankshaft was brand new but needed to get machined for oversized bearings (lots of scoring and gouging), went through like 5 sets of rod and main bearings and thrust washers (again lots of scoring and gouging with a couple of spun bearings), turbo bearings got worn down so that the fins were loose, camshafts and cam caps scored, and the actual block and main cap got warped from the last spun main bearing.

On the good side, the pistons and liners look ok (though the machine shop is checking them now), but I think we will do the piston rings just in case. Got turbos rebuilt, camshafts and caps machined ok, and the new block is on the way. Another set of oil coolers, oil pump, and such too.

All that and over a year's worth of time and frustration! But as I said, at least we finally found the problem and it's on the way to being more new than its been since it left the factory. It's crazy that so much damage occurs from such a seemingly simple mistake.

As for the Engine block #, it will be different from the VIN. I got a letter of provenance from Lotus and you can see that there is the VIN, the Engine number, and the transmission number. They are all different.

Any plans for your old block? Mine will now become my Lotus coffee table...
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:05 PM   #77 (permalink)
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I've seen this with other engines as well. Those oil baffles in the valve cover tend to trap particles very easily. I can pretty much guarantee that there were never any kind of screws holding them in, I've only ever seen rivets as screws could easily come loose and go through the engine. It usually only trashes the bearings and crank, which can be turned .010 under as long as the fillets are cut properly.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:46 PM   #78 (permalink)
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Building a motor is all about the little things. It DOES take just one mistake (little or big, it doesn't matter) and all the work and parts are wasted. That's why you go to a builder with a reputation. He has the skills and experience to hopefully not make ANY mistakes. Forgetting to torque a bolt, leaving out a cotter pin, installing a bearing shell wrong or with a tiny piece of dirt under it, ANYTHING can quickly destroy a new motor. Who blasted the valve covers? That person is at fault and the builder if he put those covers on and didn't check them. After the first rebuild there should have been more questions asked and answered so the same failure didn't repeat. Like where did the debris come from? Good thing the customer has deep pockets! If it was me I would be livid (unless I was the one who blasted the covers).
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:59 PM   #79 (permalink)
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Here in Texas, when these builders make these mistakes, we make sure they don't happen again by getting a rope.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:17 PM   #80 (permalink)
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Here in Texas, when these builders make these mistakes, we make sure they don't happen again by getting a rope.
So True.

It sure looks like sand blasting these valve covers with riveted baffles is not compatible. Unless the baffles can be made removeble, I wouldn't sand blast them. Unless you can take apart, clean and inspect, there is no way to know if you have blasting media in there.
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