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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I found some metal shavings on my dipstick.
I took the oil pan off as well as the cam cover.
Pretty bad cam damage on the cylinder 1.
I also found a very small particles of aluminium in my filter so doing more investigating.
What cam/rocker combination do you guys recommend?
Toyota combo is very reasonable $400
MWR cam and 4 upgraded rockers $1200 big difference...
Thanks for advice
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I know Boe carry a good replacement cam, maybe gIve them a call.
Just for reference, that is cylinder #4, #1 is at the the chain end.
 

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+1 on the BOE stock grind replacement. Better materials will help prevent repeat. Be sure to dive into the over cooling of oil/ wiped cam threads to educate yourself on ways to prevent reoccurance.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Over cooling? I did read about lack of lubrication because of the jet spray pattern and the soft material of the cam.
Also warming up the engine before gunning it.
 

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Don't forget the price of a tune if you go aftermarket, too, on top of all the other bits and pieces.

Too many threads on overcooling to start a new one here, but the gist is to wait 15-20 minutes after water is 180F to let the oil get up there. Only then get on the second cam. Personally, I blocked the oil coolers with inserts into the cooling ducts, and this helped a ton. If I was going to drive hard, I just popped them out.
 

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Like I said read all the threads on the intake cam wiping there are tons! Over cooling the oil and not letting it warm up 10+ min after up to full operating temp before getting on second cam are the primary suspects. Replace with the harder material cam and be aware of the other potential causes.
 

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2005 Elise LSS Saffron Yellow
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Over cooling? I did read about lack of lubrication because of the jet spray pattern and the soft material of the cam.
Also warming up the engine before gunning it.
This isn't a proven thing because nobody has been willing to intentionally encourage cam failures, but the general consensus is that wiped cams in the 2ZZ-GE relate to poor lubrication between the sliding followers and the high RPM cam lobes when they are engaged when the oil temperature is too low, because oil is more viscous than at design temperatures, and thus supply to the cam area is not as plentiful as desired. US market Elises have too much oil cooling capacity for most applications. Street drivers of NA cars have had good luck with just removing the sandwich plate, which bypasses the oil coolers entirely. Track use still requires oil cooling, as does a supercharger, so more complicated solutions are required in these cases.

The low speed cams use roller followers, so are unlikely to be affected by this problem. Careful oil choice is important. The 2ZZ-GE might just be the last engine in its class with sliding cam followers, and because of its high redline, has the same sort of cam/follower interface lubrication problems that cause wiped cams on vintage pushrod V8 engine designs. Stay away from 'Energy Conserving II' oils, and look for those with high amounts of ZDDP (Zinc) additive and a low cold viscosity number (Lotus recommends 5W40 oil - don't go up to 10W).
 

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Is it possible to tell if a car has this problem from just driving it? Or does it require a teardown like OP's car?
Thanks,
There are too many threads on this to start a new one, but to answer your question - the teardown takes only a few minutes and is better than waiting until you have a loud tick or refusal to go into second cam (the two main external signals)
 

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One thing the PO did while staying with stock OEM cam was to have it cyro'ed and tempered as well as quality components in valve train, billet oil pump and a few other mods all aimed at longevity vs HP. I followed his advise on oil and intervals as well as proper warm up and no problems in the 5K miles I've put on.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank all of you for your input! Very informative.
I have rev400 so I definitely need my oil coolers. I’ll be stepping up to MWR stage 3 cams and watching my warm ups a lot closer.
 

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I have rev400 so I definitely need my oil coolers.
The best thing to do is install an oil temp gauge, then you know where you are at. Even with the extra load of the Rev 400, I doubt you see must over 150-160 degree oil temp for normal driving, which is too low for the high rev cam. On track and spirited street driving is different of cause.
 
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I have rev400 so I definitely need my oil coolers.
Quite a few member on here have had good luck with stock oil coolers but replacing the stock sandwich plate with the Mishimoto plate and a 200 degree thermostat. The Mishimoto plate does a better job of not allowing cold oil to bypass through the coolers like the stock sandwich plate allows.
 

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Wouldn't a 0w-40 oil be even better?
I'd be shocked if it makes any difference at all because the second cam is only engaged when the water temp is high enough, so the oil temp is beyond the "w" range. Warm 0w-40 is basically the same as warm 10w-40 or 5w-40 or whatever.
 

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Wouldn't a 0w-40 oil be even better?
As @cyow5 said, the best thing to do is wait for the oil to be in the desired temperature range. If the oil actually gets up to a desirable temperature in a reasonable amount of time, you should have no hardship because of this. It's not like an Elige is a slug with only a 5500 RPM redline... If your oil temp takes too long to get to 80C or so, then you should do something about that, because there are numerous other problems with running the oil too cold.

Yes, theoretically a 0W oil might provide slightly better protection with cold oil and high cam engaged than a 5W oil would if its film strength is high enough. I remember reading a posting by a Ferrari-owning Florida doctor who was experimenting with this idea in his Ferrari. I'm not interested in risking valve gear damage on my Lotus in the interest of science.

The problem with this idea is that you get that wider viscosity range by adding more viscosity index modifiers, which tend to be one of the more fragile components of engine oil. Back in the days of petroleum engine oils, smart people avoided 10W40 in favor of 10W30 or 20W50 for this reason - the VI modifiers sheared down or failed due to thermal or chemical breakdown resulting in the oil reverting to its base viscosity in a 'high performance' application. We're using much more elaborate oil technology today, but the same principal of asking less and getting more predictable results as a result still applies.

Pretty much everybody in the classic car world (all flat tappets) has gone to 'diesel truck' oil - that is one with a CI-4 or CK-4 rating, because these ratings still require good performance in sliding contact wear tests, while newer S (spark ignition engine) ratings don't. Lotus' recommended oils hit this checkbox as well, I believe.

Vehicle OEMs are constantly pushing lubricant manufacturers to give them a little more: A little more fuel economy, a little more catalytic converter lifespan, a little more coking resistance in hot turbos. This leads to changes in oil specs over time. Because your engine's design requirements don't change over time, it gets more and more challenging to find the right lube or gearbox oil as the vehicle ages. Be grateful that you don't have a sump gearbox like many motorcycles and the BMC Mini have...
 

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I have a THEORY.
Observations (I won't mention the dreaded "oh, my oil line end came off and now my motor makes funny noises." BTDT):
2ZZ's in Elise's have some issues. Cams, such as this one, being an example.​
That #4 cam lobe looks to me to be a lubrication failure.​
On the 2ZZ, and most OHC engines, I think, the #4 cam lobe is probably going to be the last thing to be lubricated on a startup. That is, it's probably about as far from the oil pump as you can get.​
2ZZ's in Toyota vehicles don't seem to have these issues. It is not uncommon to find vehicles on CL with >200K miles on the original motor. As we know, Toyota put them in Celicas, Corollas and the Matrix/Pontiac Vibe. You don't see people complaining about wiped cams in those vehicles.​
What's different? The Elise takes the motor oil from the pump and wraps it all the way around the car before it starts lubing the motor. On a cold start, that's a lot of volume to pressurize before things start getting lubrication. Some people remove the oil cooler and have no more problems. Now, it could be because oil is warming up faster, or it could be because half the car doesn't need to be pressurized before the motor. Some people go with a short run to a close by oil cooler and have no problems. Same thing.

I think that were I to get another 2ZZ based Lotus, I would go with some type of pre-lube system.

Just my thoughts.
 
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