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Roberto Giannini
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is the recommended oil weight on the V8

I will be using Redline, in my lambo I use 15/50 and love it

What about the Esprit, I looked in manual could not find spec on oil recommendation
 

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98 Esprit V8 Calypso Red
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310 Posts

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3,546 Posts
Talking about oil is akin to talking politics or religion. Everyone has their own beliefs. Any argument is very anecdotal due to the limited experience of most. Very few have torn down motors that have been running only 1 kind of oil for all it's life. Oils have undergone enormous changes and improvements too over the years so it gets even harder to compare. Any good, nationally branded oil should be OK. I use Mobil 1 15W-50 syn which is what is recommended by Lotus. That said, I had noisy lifters for a while till the motor got really warmed up. Last oil change I used a can of motor flush before I dumped the oil and now the lifters quiet down a lot quicker. Change your oil frequently and the filter for long life. The most oil sensitive parts are the turbos. Using good oil and frequent changes you should get over 50,000 miles before you have to rebuild them. Keep the oil level at the full mark on the stick and check it on level ground before you start the car at least once a month. Change the oil every 5,000 miles or once a year. This is the place for technical info on the Lotus Esprit but not just the V-8. Hook up with the nearest Lotus group too. Google Lotus Limited.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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6,325 Posts
Very few have torn down motors that have been running only 1 kind of oil for all it's life.
Well here's one data point (tho' its on a 4 cylinder)


I have run M1 15W-50 since purchase (1993), changed at least once a season.

When I rebuilt the engine at 78K miles (mostly to seal it, and machine the crank for the Renault tranny bearing) all the crank and rod bearings had plenty of chrome left...NONE were worn.

My mentor (who had rebuilt 5 Esprit engines previously) said that was the first time he didn't see copper on any of the bearings. (Of course we replaced them anyway)


FWIW, YMMV, yada yada yada
 

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466 Posts
I use Mobil 1 0W/40. What can I say, it's the Great White North. Seriously, we often drop to freezing over night here even in the summer 'cus of the elevation.

My manual calls up (on page C1) for the V8 Mobil 1 0W/40, 5W/50, or 5W/30, but does not provide a snazzy thermometer graph showing ambient temperature ranges for the different viscosity grades. They do call up other brands in 15W/50, 10W/60, and 20W/50; don't know if they are full synthetic or not. The overall recommendation is 15W as the maximum low temp viscosity grade, and 40 as the minimum high temp viscosity, which kind of counts 5W/30 out.

HTH Red Line is great for the transaxle BTW.

Stu
 

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536 Posts
The 9XX 4-cylinder and V8 engines have bearings and lubrication systems that are designed for a high flow rate more than a high pressure, and a heavier viscosity oil. The _W part of the viscosity rating can be as low as you wish, but the numbers to the right of the W should be 50 or higher.

In a later Service Bulletin, Lotus expanded the range of acceptable oils to include 40 wt, but in the same SB, specifically recommended Mobil 1 Motorsport 15W/50, and Castrol Formula RS 10W/60. Neither of those products are still available, and the current Mobil 1 15W50 can't hold a candle to the old "Motorsport" variety. The best Mobil 1 for the engine is Mobil 1 20W-50 V-Twin Motorcycle oil. That's the old Mobil 1 that can no longer be API Certified because it contains more than twice the API's current (green) maximum ZDDP level. The Castrol Formula RS 10W/60 has morphed several times, and the name has changed. It's evolution is still a great oil, but Castrol doesn't sell it in North America. However, BMW rebrands it as it's "Motorsport" oil that is required for it's M-engines. You can buy it at any BMW dealership. It's great stuff, but expensive.

Even if the overnight temperature drops to freezing or a little below, a 20W/50 synthetic is not too heavy, and the heavier 50 or 60 wt is better for the engine once it's up to temperature. If the daytime highs are consistently below freezing, then it would be best to have the _W part lower (0W, 5W, or 10W). But for most northern-tier Lotus owners, by that time, the fun cars are heading for Winter storage.

Regards,
Tim Engel
 

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98 Esprit V8 Calypso Red
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310 Posts
What kind of oil filter do you use? I used K&N oil filter once & noticed a little bit of lifter tick on cold starts. I then switched to Mobil 1 oil filters, no more lifter ticking.

Talking about oil is akin to talking politics or religion. Everyone has their own beliefs. Any argument is very anecdotal due to the limited experience of most. Very few have torn down motors that have been running only 1 kind of oil for all it's life. Oils have undergone enormous changes and improvements too over the years so it gets even harder to compare. Any good, nationally branded oil should be OK. I use Mobil 1 15W-50 syn which is what is recommended by Lotus. That said, I had noisy lifters for a while till the motor got really warmed up. Last oil change I used a can of motor flush before I dumped the oil and now the lifters quiet down a lot quicker. Change your oil frequently and the filter for long life. The most oil sensitive parts are the turbos. Using good oil and frequent changes you should get over 50,000 miles before you have to rebuild them. Keep the oil level at the full mark on the stick and check it on level ground before you start the car at least once a month. Change the oil every 5,000 miles or once a year. This is the place for technical info on the Lotus Esprit but not just the V-8. Hook up with the nearest Lotus group too. Google Lotus Limited.
David Teitelbaum
 
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