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Discussion Starter #1
I got only 5-6 laps in the first session on the first day at Thunderhill Raceway (Willows CA).

Pulled the plugs and all 4 cylinder chambers and plugs were soaked in oil. There is also oil coming from the head gasket area dripping down onto pan/block. I was able to do a semi cylinder flush to get the engine to fire up again -- to my amazement IT IS running (really poorly) but there is significant blue smoke coming out of the exhaust.

I still have oil pressure and oil temps are good as are water temps -- my coolant is a brown but doesn't apprear to have oil in it. An oil dip stick check there is not "Froth" in the oil so the oil appears to be clear of coolant. These are both positive signs. There is also no ticking or engine tap which is another good sign.

Even with the limited number of laps, my data logger showed good oil pressure (momentary dips into the 40's on T2). Since it was the first session I was NOT pushing the car at all, 8/10ths or less.

My "hunch" is the stock head Gasket is not sufficient to support the smaller 10 psi pulley in the FF kit. That's just a hunch, I don't know yet until I pull the motor apart.

Now, the real questions: How hard is it to remove the head on an Exige S?

1. Do I need any special Toyota only tools?
2. If I mark timing chain/sprockets/cams and tie up timing chain (so it doesn't move), will this approach work?
3. What "gotchas" do I need to look for?
4. Assume SC needs to be removed also?
5. Who makes a better quality head gasket? (have been warned by some speed world challenge friends to stay away from Cometic gaskets)

And if anyone is wondering, yes, I plan to put the car back to stock (stock pully, stock ECU, stock intake, stock injectors). And yes, I will have all that stuff for sale to anyone willing to "update" their motor to support the extra boost.

This is all assuming it's "just a head gasket".

P.S. put a scope down into cylinder and there is no obvious piston/chamber damage.
 

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fortunately headgaskets are not the end of the world, it sounds like one to me
when the timing sprockets should already be marked so you can line em up when you put it all back together
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Cool, so no "special" tools need for this job?

Brent, yeah I probably should have realized that there is no such thing as a 33% increase in power without internal modifications. I was overly optimistic with this Toyota motor "as is". But I suppose going back to stock will allow me to run TTS rather than TTU class (TTU is basically unlimited).
 

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Did you get meatballed which led you to pull plugs? Or was it just a hunch? Or did you see lots of blue smoke...?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sudden loss of power was my hunch ;) Would not pull above 6K rpm. When I post my video you'll see what I mean (and you also see I was very good on the revs, no over reving on downshifts and didn't touch the rev limiter at all). As soon as the engine note changed I had my arm out the window -- fortunately the undertray is good at catching oil -- I stayed off line for 2/3rds of the lap as best I could. I saw I had oil pressure and oil temps were high but not bad (217 degrees), water temp was fine -- had any of these been bad, I would have stopped on track immediately. But I was able to bring it back to the pits.

I pulled the plugs because I couldn't see any obvious source of the oil all over the motor and undertray -- after looking at the plugs (soaked in oil and oil pools in the piston plug indent) and looked at the head gasket area, I figured (hoped) it was just a head gasket.

Got some more professional mechanic/driver opinions from a friend's crew that runs Speed World Challenge touring. They all felt it was a blown head gasket after look at the car and firing it up and listening.

The pattern of oil soak in the cylinders was outer two cylinders had more oil than the inner two cylinders.

My friend (support crew) that was with me at the LCS Button Willow event had also noticed that my car produce considerable black/brown smoke under power (and this was just the drive up to BW). At NASA Thunderhill event he said it was even worse, but didn't see any blue smoke. My initial thought was the tune is running pig rich, but who knows, it could have been a head gasket long before I even did any events - I had about 6K miles street driving on the FF EFI/pully (PowerPak) kit prior to any events.

On the plus side, I got my RacePak Dash working well, catch can setup is good, oil pressure/temp sensors working great, water spray was perfect (IAT were down a little), wing return some confidence in the car, and far fewer rattles now. Other than the engine problem, car felt great.
 

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the headbolts are hex I think so you probably dont have the right socket for them but and sears would have em
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sounds like, no special tools, just lots of work.

Can I get the gasket from Toyota or do I have to order it from Lotus? -- in other words is it the same gasket?
 

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should be able to get them from toyota no problem, frank did find that the ticks on the cam timing didn't match as the manual says, he posted about them on monkey with pics.
 

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Pm Turbophil. He just swapped a head on his FF Elise.
 

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I would recommend ARP head studs during the change of gasket as you are already there.
 

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Sounds like, no special tools, just lots of work.

Can I get the gasket from Toyota or do I have to order it from Lotus? -- in other words is it the same gasket?
Rob, Snap-On has a deep narrow 12 pt socket that will help make the job easier.

You can use the stock Toyota headgasket.

I also recommned using the OEM Toyota coolant.

We have ARP studs if you decide to go that route.

I recommend also doing a leak-down test before you remove the head. If you remove the cams prior to the leak-down test the results will be less fallible too.

Kris
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I do like ARP bolts, used them before in other race motors -- especially the grease they use to help ensure proper torque. What are the torque specs for ARP bolts on this motor? Last time I used ARP, their torque specs were very different from manufacturers. And what is the torque sequence? Do these head gaskets require any type of sealer?

Don't plan to remove the cams unless I have to? Yes, leak down test will be done before and after.

Will check the monkey source.

Sorry for all the questions, this is going to be a long slow job for me.
 

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Removing the head with the engine in the car can be really tricky. You will need a pulley tool (like an AC remover tool) to remove the water pump pulley. The final major challenge is removing the crank pulley - so you'll need to remove a motor mount or two and use the jack to leverage the position of the motor in order to get enough leverage to remove the crank pulley.
 

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Rob,

As mentioned, I just did this... It's not a bad project.

I found it easiest to just yank the engine, but there's some trick to that as well.

Obviously the clam has to come off... It's a 4 hour job once the clam is off or tilted up:cool:.

Absolutely no special tools required.

Front cover MUST come off.

Easiest way to get cover off is to pull engine. Doesn't have to be done, but might as well, as everything else is so much easier that way.

Do you have a stock oil pan? The moroso pan adds another step, but no step too big for a stepper:D

Again, drop me a PM with your number if you want to chat and I'll give you a ring...

Best of luck,

Phil
 

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Sounds like, no special tools, just lots of work.

Can I get the gasket from Toyota or do I have to order it from Lotus? -- in other words is it the same gasket?
Toyota, $50, ask for a discount;)

Monkey Wrench Racing has any other bits that you might need. Most replace the oil pump with an upgraded unit from MWR since it's a weak link while doing a project like this as well...

Best,

Phil
 

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if you change your mind about keeping your FF kit you might want to consider a cometic metal head gasket(relatively sure they make em for this engine) will keep it from happening in the future :p
 

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if you change your mind about keeping your FF kit you might want to consider a cometic metal head gasket(relatively sure they make em for this engine) will keep it from happening in the future :p
FWIW- the stock gaskets are metal.... and HGs are way cheaper than engines. Not that he shouldn't take your advice, I'm "just say'n" ;)

Hate to be bad karma here, but I'd be quite surprised if he blew the HG. It would be some hellacious detonation that would cause that and a bucket full of luck that the pistons didn't take a dive before the HG blew on our engines...

Best,

Phil
 
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