The Ordeal of the Camshafts - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community

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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-13-2017, 07:52 AM Thread Starter
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The Ordeal of the Camshafts

I took my car in to the shop in February to have the cams inspected. Here's the story:

The Ordeal of the Camshafts | Nobody is Listening

Any shortcomings in relating technical aspects of the story are entirely mine. I'm software, not hardware.

TL;DR - Hardening starting to fail, replaced with new Toyota camshafts which were defective, causing much damage.
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-13-2017, 08:02 AM
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boy that sucks

fookin Toyota

wonder what is up with that
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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-13-2017, 09:17 AM
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not that my car has any warranty... but this is kinda why I take photos of disassembly and reassembly..

In this case it might have been easier to prove the damage was caused by their cams and not by something previous.

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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-13-2017, 10:18 AM
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The real shame of this is the initial analysis of your original cams was absolutely wrong. That discoloration you see is the LACK of wear - the camshafts come from the factory with a grey coating that wears off within a few hundred miles, where it is still grey, NO wear at all...... believe me, I know what a wiped camshaft looks like, and you can clearly see and feel the wear. Your original cams looked great, and should not have been changed.
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Last edited by Familyman951; 06-13-2017 at 10:23 AM.
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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-13-2017, 10:29 AM
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I was just about to post the same thing Familyman951 just posted. I don't see anything wrong with the original cams. You can't see "hardening" failing. If the cams fail, you can see and feel where it wipes.

Do you have any pictures of the defects the new cams from Toyota had?
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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-13-2017, 11:49 AM
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The photography is poor, but those discolored areas on the original cams are the factory break-in coating. I don't see any bad areas. Plus hardening doesn't fail per se, some of the cams simply start out having been improperly hardened.
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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-13-2017, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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When we discussed the work, before I dropped the car off, I asked what he was going to do to inspect the cams. "Take measurements" was part of the answer. He didn't send me the actual measurements vs the spec, so I don't have that data. He felt the photo would get the point across, I guess. Illustration rather than proof. As I said, I'm not technical. I rely on my trusted advisors, and I'll put more weight to the opinions of those who actually saw the parts over those who saw only the pictures of the parts. My trusted advisors make their livings working on 7 figure Bugattis or are Lotus certified mechanics. How much wear would be required for it to be evident on a cell phone photo?

The main point of the story isn't questioning whether the work needed to be done, but that Toyota engineers accepted that their bad parts damaged my engine and that Toyota felt the extent of their liability was to replace said bad parts.

These are the only photos I have. It's pretty hard to get a good photo of the burrs inside the cam using a cell phone. I held one of the bad parts in my hand.
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-13-2017, 02:18 PM
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Well they deal with eight figure Bugattis so I'm sure you're totally fine. Totally.
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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-13-2017, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Grunschev View Post
The main point of the story isn't questioning whether the work needed to be done, but that Toyota engineers accepted that their bad parts damaged my engine and that Toyota felt the extent of their liability was to replace said bad parts.
I'm sorry this was (and maybe still is) such a hassle for you. I'd agree the point is not if the cams really needed to be replaced or not, you made that decision and expected the new cams to actually work and have your car back long ago. I'm a little surprised that Toyota is not willing to help with a new head, I mean a new stock head likely retails for less then they spent sending two people out to inspect what happened. See you on the track again soon.
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-13-2017, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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Well they deal with eight figure Bugattis so I'm sure you're totally fine. Totally.
Is there some sarcasm in there?

As I said, modern cars aren't exactly their specialty. So it could be that they were the wrong place to go. Perhaps I should give more weight to the opinions of several people I've never met who have never seen my car.

I'm happy to share my experiences with close-knit groups, where everybody knows pretty much everybody else, like the Lotus Colorado mailing list. But I'm more and more reluctant to share with large groups containing lots of people I've never met. I appreciate (or attempt to appreciate) constructive criticism but have less and less tolerance for sniping, trolling, and uninformed opinions. Not that I'm suggesting any of the responses here belong to any of those categories. I'm sure it's perfectly reasonable to be able to diagnose my situation based on nothing more than a cell phone picture and a non-technical description. But I've seen many folks say things here on Lotus Talk that is 100% counter to my personal experience, so any advice or information I get from people unknown to me gets severely discounted.
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post #11 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-13-2017, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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I'm sorry this was (and maybe still is) such a hassle for you. [snip] See you on the track again soon.
My end of the hassle is over. It's all on Victor now. Even my embarrassing brake noise is gone, now that I ran 5 sessions at COTA.

I'm planning on doing La Junta with CECA and I'd like to do another day or two at HPR. Between the camshafts and the COTA trip, the budget took a bit of a hit, so I'm not sure how many more track days I'll get. (One day at COTA cost as much as three at HPR, plus the 2,000 miles round trip and 3 nights in motels.)

Are you on the LOCO mailing list? I'll share the COTA story there, for sure. I'll probably share here, but like I said above, I'm getting cranky.
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post #12 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-13-2017, 05:05 PM
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Are you on the LOCO mailing list? I'll share the COTA story there, for sure. I'll probably share here, but like I said above, I'm getting cranky.
I am on that mailing list, look forward to your story. I should be at the next LOCO track day as well.
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post #13 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-14-2017, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Grunschev View Post
Perhaps I should give more weight to the opinions of several people I've never met who have never seen my car.
While there are many people here who don't know you and have never seen your car they do know the inner workings of these cars and are here to provide their private time to help or talk about these cars.

I don't think anyone else in this thread, including myself, are trying to put you down, troll, or be obnoxious. In this world of text it is difficult to provide the emotion that should go with messages.

With luck we will help the next person to come along after looking at their cams thinking there is a problem when there might not be.

I feel for you having to go through the ordeal or replacing a cam only to find out the replacement is bad and did more damage. That is why I asked if you had pictures of one of the new cams. It would help us in the future to know what to look out for.
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post #14 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-14-2017, 01:23 PM
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FYI, I believe that BOE just released a new intake cam ground to stock specs that will virtually eliminate wiping.

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post #15 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-14-2017, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TedR View Post
While there are many people here who don't know you and have never seen your car they do know the inner workings of these cars and are here to provide their private time to help or talk about these cars.

I don't think anyone else in this thread, including myself, are trying to put you down, troll, or be obnoxious. In this world of text it is difficult to provide the emotion that should go with messages.

With luck we will help the next person to come along after looking at their cams thinking there is a problem when there might not be.

I feel for you having to go through the ordeal or replacing a cam only to find out the replacement is bad and did more damage. That is why I asked if you had pictures of one of the new cams. It would help us in the future to know what to look out for.
No, I'm sure you had no intention to put me down, or imply that Victor and/or Ryan are incompetent. But the implication is clearly there. I'm not sure what other meaning can lie behind "The guys who worked on your car replaced a part that I can clearly see in a low-res photo is a-ok." Okay, I can think of another possibility, and it's worse than incompetence. I understand sometimes folks are just thoughtless and not necessarily mean. I know I've been thoughtless many times.

The cam in the photo is one of the new ones. You're looking for burrs inside the cam. You can make one out, but because the cell phone camera doesn't allow you to control depth of field or specific focus, it's hard to see and its shape is distorted. Even with the thing in your hands it's hard to see. Take another look at the picture, perhaps you can see it. We tried our best.
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post #16 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-14-2017, 02:53 PM
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I've posted this before, but I'll post it again:

THIS is a wiped cam lobe. This is from my car at 75k miles, and my motor was still okay running with it. Cam wiping is a real problem, and I'm not saying something catastrophic couldn't have happened with this much wear, and they were replaced as soon as I realized the extent, but I think people freak out about the cams and see a tiny bit of wear and think its time to replace them.
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post #17 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-14-2017, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by TachItUp View Post
FYI, I believe that BOE just released a new intake cam ground to stock specs that will virtually eliminate wiping.
I'm not sure if the ferrea solid rockers are what you're referring to (https://www.boefab.com/collections/e...-solid-rockers) but yes, these solve the wiping issue. I opted for them on my BOE build. There are drawbacks for N/A cars, however, and custom tuning is required.
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post #18 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-14-2017, 03:47 PM
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I'm not sure if the ferrea solid rockers are what you're referring to (https://www.boefab.com/collections/e...-solid-rockers) but yes, these solve the wiping issue. I opted for them on my BOE build. There are drawbacks for N/A cars, however, and custom tuning is required.
Phil mentioned in another thread that he has actual intake cams, they just aren't up on the website yet.

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post #19 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-14-2017, 06:10 PM
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Phil mentioned in another thread that he has actual intake cams, they just aren't up on the website yet.
True story

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post #20 of 40 (permalink) Old 06-14-2017, 07:41 PM
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