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Old 12-31-2011, 04:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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V8 oil. 0W40 vs 5W50

I'm starting to get ready for my 2001's first oil change. I see Lotus recommends Mobil1 0W40 and 5W50 (and 5W30 but that 30 feels pretty low). I saw on the Lotus Esprit World site that they say a 0 weight is too low. Seems strange since Lotus recommends it, but if I can get the 5W50 than I'd prefer that. My Walmart has 15W50, but I only see 5W50 online in a couple of places. This one seems like a really good deal:

Mobil 1 5w50 Case of 6 quarts

Does anyone have any opinions? (without starting any wars)

Thanks. I'm still in the paranoid phase of my ownership.
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Old 12-31-2011, 05:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Depends on your climate somewhat. I've found
That's too thin. Have Mobil 1 full synthetic 15W50, which is what Lotus
Of Atl put in. Think it's still on the reccomended list
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Old 12-31-2011, 08:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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BTW, you need about 8 quarts, so 6 wouldn't be enough...

5W50 should be OK, Lotus recommends lower than 15 & higher than 40...so it should be good.

I use Redline 15W50.
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
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When I did my first oil change I disconnected and drained the 2 oil coolers. I figured if I didn't I would not get a lot of oil out from the coolers and the 2 LONG hoses by draining the crankcase. I did get a lot more oil out that way. Many do NOT recommend doing that but if you crank the motor and get oil pressure up before starting it after the oil change, I doubt if you do any damage. If you are up to your first oil change you are probably due for flushing and bleeding your brakes and clutch. That should be done annually, it is not mileage dependent. Other things to check:
Tires replaced if over 7 years
Battery if over 5 years or fails a load test
Coolant tested every year and replaced at 5-6 years
I am also using the 15W-50 and it seems fine. You should check the oil in the transmission while you are under the car. If you do not know what is in there or the last time it was changed you should change it too. Redline MT-90 is a good substitute for the "magic" Castrol goop you can only get through the Lotus venders. Less expensive too. And seems to work just as well.
One thing I have noticed on the V-8, when you first start it up after sitting a while the lifters will be noisy for a while. Probably why Lotus recommended a lighter oil. I just drive easy till the lifters quiet down. Scared me when I first heard it though!
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I also use Mobil 1 15W-50 and no issues.... 84K miles. I also changed to a canton synthetic oil filter long ago. A billet spin-on with a replaceable 8-micron element. The 25-262 model fits perfectly... and also fits the Elise and my 1993 Benz... what a coincidence ;-)

I also prefer to flush the oil coolers and lines. I use a large syringe with a hose that holds a quart of of oil and have adapted it to fit the oil cooler hose. I can pump fresh oil thru the coolers/lines without draining. It take 4 quarts to get clean oil coming out the other line.

Gearbox.... good idea to check/replace fluid and also check the axle shaft seals as they will eventually leak. I switched to Mobil 1 75W-90 synthetic lube long ago. Bought a 5-gallon drum as I also use it in the Elise (noticed an improvement in cold and hot shifting).

Last I would check the rear lower lateral links. The outer bushing which attaches to the rear wheel hub is prone to high wear and tends to get chewed up over time. You can get stock rubber, non-OEM 3-piece poly bushes and a newer poly bush with a LOTAC p/n.
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Old 01-01-2012, 04:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks guys, good tips. I might run the Esprit on 50 degree days (like today, yeah!) but not much lower temps. 15W should be OK for that? I was surprised that I saw Elf 15W50 but not Mobil1 15W50 on the recommended list.

I was curious if there was some strange oil changing steps due to the coolers, but was surprised that it's just like any other car. I would be scared to drain the coolers and let the the engine pump it back in (although if cranking like you say then it's probably OK, but "me paranoid"). floobydust, where do you disconnect the cooler hoses and pump the oil into?

I did notice what sounded like lifter noise the last few times I drove it, at less than 70 degrees out. It does make me nervous, although seems to go away as it warms up. I have another car that does that, but every noise on the Esprit scares me. Now I'm thinking about sticking with my 5W50 plan.

I am going to do a brake/clutch bleed, trans fluid change, and coolant. I like to go through all fluids on a newly acquired car, although I've had it for a little while now without doing that. How about power steering fluid change? That's the one I often skip.

Thanks
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Old 01-01-2012, 05:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I would at least make sure the level is good on the power steering. It can't hurt to change it although the Lotus doesn't seem to mind older fluid in there as much as it does in other places. I agree, on a newly acquired, used vehicle, the best advice is to just change ALL of the fluids and filters. Don't forget to dump all of the old washer fluid. After a while it gets all sludgy in there. It washes out easily with hot water. Best to just take the whole bottle out and wash it in the sink. Another place to check is the header bottle. I have seen them get dirty enough so that the level switch won't move. Also make sure the hose from the header tank to the overflow tank is not plugged up. The overflow tank is hidden inside the right, rear wheel well. Unless you have the service records you cannot tell what type of fluid is in the car. All you can tell is if there is enough. If you change it you KNOW what is in there and when it was changed. I am assuming you are keeping up on the service intervals on the timing belts? That is another VERY important item for the V-8 Lotus.
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the additional tips. The cam belt was replaced in 08. I'd like to the believe I have a couple more years with it (mileage difference is pretty small), but what's the recommended time interval for changing the belt?

Thanks
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You will get many opinions on what oil and what weight to use. Lotus has not updated their recomendations since the V8 Esprit was initially released as it makes no sense spend the money to test the newer oils available. To be conservative use Mobil1 synthetic 15W50, recommended by Lotus. I use Red line 10W40 as it contains the addative ZDDP and tends to run at the higher end of the viscosity scale. It is more important to change the oil frequently, like 4,000 to 5,000 miles or at least yearly.

Cam belts; never go more than 5 years between changes or 15,000 miles, alternative risk is just to expensive.

I also use red line MT90 in the transaxel.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:56 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floobydust View Post
... I also changed to a canton synthetic oil filter long ago. A billet spin-on with a replaceable 8-micron element. The 25-262 model fits perfectly... and also fits the Elise and my 1993 Benz...
I checked the Canton website looking for the model 25-262 and its not there. Has this been discontinued or replaced by a different model?

https://www.cantonracingproducts.com...&category=2501
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:59 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Update. I did a plain google search and got a hit here

https://www.cantonracingproducts.com...ion&key=25-262

Guessing from the specs the 25-264 is a newer version.

https://www.cantonracingproducts.com...D-2-58-O-RING/
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:15 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E5PR1T View Post
5W50 should be OK, Lotus recommends lower than 15 & higher than 40...so it should be good.
Hey Alan! Where did you see this Lotus recommendation?

I don't come from the thicker is better school of thought. I like the idea of thinner oil to move around easily and more quickly.
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:14 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jtrealty View Post
When I did my first oil change I disconnected and drained the 2 oil coolers. I figured if I didn't I would not get a lot of oil out from the coolers and the 2 LONG hoses by draining the crankcase. I did get a lot more oil out that way. Many do NOT recommend doing that but if you crank the motor and get oil pressure up before starting it after the oil change, I doubt if you do any damage.
David Teitelbaum
when I get a new car
To avoid having to deal with the oil lines, and then worry about momentary poor oiling on start up, I do the standard oil and filter change, then drive the car a few hours and drain the oil, but don't change the filter. This removes probably 2/3 of the residual oil left in the lines. Then I just keep to a 2-3000 mile change interval without the double oil change since I know what and when it was done. If you know the oil and interval are good then I think the oil residual in the cooler lines is not an issue.
Both methods have pros and cons.
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:45 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Does anyone have pros and cons for the Canton filter? Heard it does not have a bypass shunt and filters 100% of oil all the time, not just a fraction.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:53 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Lotus issued a TSB back around 2000, updating their oil recommendations for the 9XX 4-cylinder and V8 engines.

*~*~* Quote:
"Lotus 900 series 4 cylinder engines and V8:
Choose a multigrade oil with viscosity in the following range:
Cold viscosity; 0 - 15W
Hot viscosity; 40 - 60"

"Lotus specifically recommends Mobil 1 Motorsport 15W/50, and Castrol Formula RS 10W/60."

"In all cases, the oil quality grades which should be met are either European standard ACEA A3, American standard API SL/CF, SJ/CF, or international standard ILSAC GF-3. Check that this is printed on the oil container."
*~*~* End Quote

Note that the oil grades Lotus recommended, specifically API SJ, have higher ZDDP levels than current, modern oils. All Lotus engines V8 and earlier have flat tappet cams with less than modern metalurgy, heat treating or coatings. They depend upon higher ZDDP levels. The current Mobil 1 15W50 is minimally adequate with 1200ppm, but their 5W50 is not adequate with only 1000ppm.

At that time they tested a number of oils, and approved only two
Mobil 1 Motorsport 15W/50
Castrol Formula RS 10W/60
... neither of which is still in production.

The Mobil 1 product has no modern counterpart... it's just not available any longer. However, the old Mobil 1 20W50 Lotus originally recommended has 1600 ppm ZDDP, and is still available as Mobil 1 20W50 V-Twin Motorcycle Oil. It's ZDDP level exceeds the API's upper limit, so the API won't certify it for use in cars... hence the re-brand to V-Twin Motorcycle Oil. But it's still the same good stuff, you just have to shop the motorcycle aisle. Mobil 1 0W50 Racing Oil has even more ZDDP at 1750ppm, and is one of the few modern cross-over "racing oils" that also contains a full compliment of the street additives required for extended oil change intervals.

Those are the only modern Mobil 1 oils you should put in your 9XX 4-cyl or V8 engine. All the others have 800 to 1000ppm ZDDP, and that's too low for the Lotus engines, especially if you drive the car with some vigor.

You want ............. 1200ppm or better.
... don't use any of the following in a non-Toyota Lotus:
Mobil 1 0W-40 ... 1000ppm
Mobil 1 5W-20 ..... 800ppm "Extended Performance"
Mobil 1 5W-30 ..... 800ppm "Extended Performance"
Mobil 1 10W-30 ... 800ppm "Extended Performance"
Mobil 1 0W-20 ..... 650ppm "Advanced Fuel Economy"
Mobil 1 0W-30 ..... 650ppm "Advanced Fuel Economy"
Mobil 1 5W-30 ... 1000ppm "Mobil 1 High Mileage"
Mobil 1 10W-30...1000ppm "Mobil 1 High Mileage"
Mobil 1 10W-40...1000ppm "Mobil 1 High Mileage"
Mobil 1 5W-40 ..... 800ppm "ESP Formula M"
Mobil 1 5W-50 ... 1000ppm
Mobil 1 10W-30 ... 800ppm
Mobil 1 0W-30 .... 1750ppm "Racing " (good ZDDP / Too Lite)

... the following are good for your non-Toyota Lotus.
Mobil 1 15W-50... 1200ppm
Mobil 1 20W-50... 1600ppm "V-Twin M-cycle Oil", SJ
Mobil 1 0W-50 .... 1750ppm "Racing "

The Castrol product Lotus approved is gone/ retired, but has been rebranded a couple of times through the years. The same basic oil is still around as Castrol TWS Motorsport 10W-60 Synthetic Engine Oil. Castrol doesn't market that product in North America; however it is rebranded as BMW's house-brand for it's M-cars (M3, etc), and is available as BMW TWS Motorsport 10W-60 Synthetic Motor Oil through BMW dealerships. Some BMW dealerships stock the house-brand, others stock the Castrol brand. Either way, it's the same stuff... and expensive.

Castrol GT Racing is one of those cross-over "racing oils" that also contains a full street additive package for extended change intervals. But since Castrol doesn't disclose ZDDP levels, I don't know how it compares to Mobil 1's similar racing oil with street additives. If you want a high ZDDP oil, it's probably the best Castrol product available in the USA, but I can't back that up with data.

Amsoil's recommended products for flat-tappet engines that require higher ZDDP levels:
ARO 20W-*50 Synthetic Premium Protection 1266ppm
TRO 20W-*50 Synthetic Racing Oil 1235ppm
AHR SAE 60 Synthetic Racing Oil 1265ppm

Thin viscosity / high fuel economy oils are only good for your engine if it was designed to operate with them. The Lotus 9XX 4-cyl and V8 engines were not so designed. With their broad clearance bearings and the 4-cyl's oil pump design, it's important that you keep the viscosity number to the right of the W at 50 or 60 in all seasons.

50 degree days may be uncomfortable for some owners in southern climates, but they're not "cold", and 15W__ or 20W__ oils are fine. If you're going to drive the car in weather where the outside temps are consistently below freezing (32F / 0C), then resort to a __W40 motor oil. However, don't get on the car hard, as if it's summer.

Tim Engel
Lotus Owners Oftha North (LOON)
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