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My car has been with a mechanic for a few weeks. When it first was taken apart, the apparent problem was one cam shaft (intake side?) was badly worn, while the other was ok. It also ended up that the Rocker arms on that side were badly worn too, allowing these little shims, that sit below the rockers to space them correctly, to simply fall off. One of them fell off and it caused a valve to bend in and dent the hell out of the cylinder head/cylinder. I think it was the number 3 cylinder for reference. The mechanic should be finishing pretty soon, but i have to tell you, for a "bullet proof" engine, this scared the hell out of me. About $1,400 in parts, and a little over $2,000 in labor. 4 months out of warranty, lol.
 

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My car has been with a mechanic for a few weeks. When it first was taken apart, the apparent problem was one cam shaft (intake side?) was badly worn, while the other was ok. It also ended up that the Rocker arms on that side were badly worn too, allowing these little shims, that sit below the rockers to space them correctly, to simply fall off. One of them fell off and it caused a valve to bend in and dent the hell out of the cylinder head/cylinder. I think it was the number 3 cylinder for reference. The mechanic should be finishing pretty soon, but i have to tell you, for a "bullet proof" engine, this scared the hell out of me. About $1,400 in parts, and a little over $2,000 in labor. 4 months out of warranty, lol.
Sorry to hear about this. My car is going in for cam/followers replacement as well, but the wear isn't as severe as yours. This really should be a wake up to anyone out there with their warranty about to expire to go get their cam cover removed for a visual inspection of the cam lobes on the intake cam even if you don't have any outward signs/symptoms of cam or follower wear.
 

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I had mine checked by the Lotus Dealer about a month ago. The car has relatively low miles (2005, about 9500 miles when checked), but the PO had hit the rev limiter a lot.

Fortunately, no signs of wear....
 

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Is there any preventive maintenance that can be done to protect against this?
At this time, no there is nothing you can do. It only seems to happen to some of the engines and there is no known cause or way to prevent it. After seeing mine and knowing how easy it has been driven, I am in the camp of those that say the cam lobe hardening process was done incorrectly and the these cams were defective from day one. My car only has 2,900 miles on it and that lobe looked like it had at least 150,000 miles on it. Everything else in the valve train looked spotless and brand new.
 

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RE: preventative maintenance?

You can pull off your valve/cam cover and visually inspect the cam. Some guys that experienced cam lobe wear have mentioned a severe ticking sound from the engine, almost like a diesel engine, not quite a preventative thing, but at least some warning.

I wonder if this would work. I was talking about cams with buddy, he's a car guy - big ford guy and he put a performance cam in one of his cars that had been cryogenically treated. He said that treatment hardens the cam. I googled it and came up with the explanation:
One Cryo Cryogenic Tempering for Racers - Performance Racing Industry Magazine

or you could just buy a new or performance cam (not sure if any performance cams exist for our cars yet though), i wonder how much they are brand new from Lotus - one has to think a new one *should* be durable/reliable.

hth,
Larez2
 

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Just FYI, that's great advice for those still under warranty. Get it checked. I'm about 6 months out of warranty, and my car has been a prisoner for the past week and a half, getting new cams on my dime. I don't have a final quote yet, but parts are about $500. *sigh* I suggest, as Icedog has in the past, that we start a campaign to write to Lotus USA.

Wendy
 

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I'm worried about mine too. My car went out of Warranty in February.

I considered tearing it apart and looking at them, but then realized that there's no point now that it's out of warranty. I'll continue to drive it and try not to think about the cams. If they wear prematurely I'll fix it when the time comes. I certainly won't be happy about it. There is obviously a problem and I think that Lotus should be doing something to make this right. Compensate the people that have had to repair this out of warranty at the minimum.
 

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I'm worried about mine too. My car went out of Warranty in February.

I considered tearing it apart and looking at them, but then realized that there's no point now that it's out of warranty. I'll continue to drive it and try not to think about the cams. If they wear prematurely I'll fix it when the time comes. I certainly won't be happy about it. There is obviously a problem and I think that Lotus should be doing something to make this right. Compensate the people that have had to repair this out of warranty at the minimum.
I hear what you are saying, but waiting for the cam to wear so badly that the cam follower finger breaks off could also mean you will need work on the valve and guide that has been beaten to death by that worn follower. If you catch the wear early before it affects the way the engine is running, you will only need a new cam and followers and not be required to have the head removed for valve repairs. Unfortunately the cost to fix this problem goes up with the longer you wait to replace the worn parts. Removing the cam cover is a very straightforward job that does not require special tools and does not take that much time. I think it is time and money well spent to minimize later expenses whether your car is in warranty or not.
 

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Piper makes cams for the 2zz - Piper Cams frames page

My concern is that I drive my car hard all the time. With 7000 miles in 3 months and lots of time spent at high rpms I wonder how mine are looking.
I am sitting here thinking. I may just buy a set of the Piper cams and have them put in my car the next time I go to Auto Europe.

What is the exact piper number do we need and what is the cost?
 

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Maybe we can get a group buy on the Piper Cams?
 

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Tesprit...

Maybe you should just buy the Piper Cams and have them put them in your car. I wonder if you could. What difference would it make to Lotus. Just keep the cams that Lotus sends you.

I am now sorry I did not just do that. Cost of the Cams is probablay (dont know the cost yet) not that much compared to the labor....
 

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What is the rationale of the Piper cams? Do we know people are using them and they are not wearing out like the Toyota cams?
 

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I'm not so sure the Piper cams are the way to go. I found some pricing info. on them here Piper Camshafts - Toyota 2ZZ-GE and $949 (on sale) does seem to be close to Lotus stock pricing seeing as you are getting a new exhaust cam as well. The problem I see with the Piper cams is that, as far as I can tell, they only come in special performance grinds which may or may not be compatible with the tuning in our Fed. ECMs because they are designed for the "rest of the world" market cars. Even if they are compatible with our ECM tuning, I am quite sure that because of the special grinds they are not OBDII or emissions compliant and this would be a major problem for me. Does anyone know if they make a stock grind for our cars?
 
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