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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
OK, so it has been over six months since my last post, but wanted to follow-up on the issues I had last November. Here's the linkhttp://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f160/help-second-opinion-broken-bypass-valve-65436/


After having the local Lotus dealer look at the car, take apart the supercharger, etc... they finally diagnosed the problem after three weeks of the car being in the shop as being a cracked ringland / bad compression. Subsequent repair work would be outside of warranty because of Gotham tune. Say bye-bye to the warranty on my engine.

After saving up my soda can money, I finally took the car to a independent shop (Gas Head Motorworks in Houston) to have them look at the car and give me a damage report. Within two hours they sent me an email with the attached images and asking me if I had my stock exhaust.
IMG_2018.JPG

IMG_2023.JPG

IMG_2017.JPG

Diagnosis = broken muffler thus the exhaust was choking off the engine! I dropped the stock exhaust off on my way out of town to drive my Miata at MSR Cresson.

Stopped by to test drive the car at lunch, and my car had dodged the bullet. I had my car back! I happily paid the $80 repair bill and thanked Clint and Kevin repeatedly for fixing my car in the most economical way possible.
:clap::clap::clap:

IMHO, find a good independent mechanic who knows how to work on race cars and the warranty issues becomes irrelevant. I'd rather pay for quality work than worry about what is and what is not covered by the warranty.

Happy day are here again!:coolnana:
 

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I had that happen about 25 years ago. Stumped several mechanics until one noticed the muffler was puffed up like a balloon. Cheap, easy relief!
 

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Now that you've discovered that it wasn't the engine, are you going back to the dealer to see if they'll cover a new muffler?
 

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Not a stock muffler, was a 2bular I think. Jim might cover it though.

I would like to say I am suprised that the dealer didn't catch that during a 3 week period at their shop. But i'm not... :rolleyes:

Glad you got her back, now you can stop driving that slow ass miata around the track. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Aftermarket muffler

It was an aftermarket muffler and I was fortunate enough to not have sold / given away my stock muffler.

I'm just so thankful that it was not a cracked ring land, or burnt valve or ??? that would have cost me $$$$ to repair. I'm also glad that the lack of outward flow did not create any other problems (as far as I know).

As for the warranty, well to be honest I'm not so keen on having those 'officially trained' technicians working on my car (unless a tail light goes out or something simple like that).

The guys at Gas Head Motorworks (Houston) saved me big time on this. Their honesty and quality of work is well worth the money. They certainly have earned my future business.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Not a stock muffler, was a 2bular I think. Jim might cover it though.

I would like to say I am suprised that the dealer didn't catch that during a 3 week period at their shop. But i'm not... :rolleyes:

Glad you got her back, now you can stop driving that slow ass miata around the track. :)
Already making plans to resolve that lack of power in the Miata issue. Within the year there is a good chance that you're going to see the tail lights of little green Miata pulling on you... -poke--poke-
 

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Already making plans to resolve that lack of power in the Miata issue. Within the year there is a good chance that you're going to see the tail lights of little green Miata pulling on you... -poke--poke-
Hope so, it's lonely out there on track with everyone moved up in red and you with your training wheels. :D

So when are we taking the Exige back out to a track? H2R sometime?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Am I correct in assuming the local Lotus dealer was less than "STellAR"?
Tim is a stand up guy and I've never heard anything but good things about him. He can drive a hard bargain, but that's his job and he is good at his job. The local dealer supports the local car club and provides much needed support for the Lotus brand in this region. Their service people are factory trained, fully qualified, and presumably knowledgeable about these cars.

That being said, it is my opinion that Clint and Kevin at Gas Head Motorworks are much better mechanics. My experience has been that GHM is way more customer service focused. They do quality work at reasonable prices. They understand that you drive your car on track and the last thing you want to be distracted by is a question about the quality of the workmanship or parts you just had installed.

This is truly a situation where you get what you pay money for. And let's be honest here, you don't bring 'real' money to the table with warranty work. With warranty work you bring the hope that the national organization might reimburse.

If you've been around cars for more than 5 minutes this concept is nothing new, money talks, BS walks.
 

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Soooooooo glad your problem turned out to be simple. That feeling you get when they tell you something is broke inside the engine... that feeling sucks ass.

xtn
 

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A cracked ring land and bad compression should have leakdown and compression test data to back it up and the compression numbers should be way off. Did Clint do a quick leakdown or compression test - it is very easy to do on the Elise.

I call foul on the prior diagnosis. Not mistake foul, deliberate foul.

Clint is outstanding. I race against his guys all the time and the cars are all well prepped.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
A cracked ring land and bad compression should have leakdown and compression test data to back it up and the compression numbers should be way off. Did Clint do a quick leakdown or compression test - it is very easy to do on the Elise.
Yes GHM / Clint did a compression and leakdown test to make sure the back pressure from the clogged exhaust did not cause any damage. All cylinders were within 5% of each other and leakdown was well within acceptable ranges.

As for it being an intentional mis-diagnosis, I have no factual basis to agree with that.

However I do have a very firm opinion based on performance as to where I will be taking my Lotus for any future work.


Clint is outstanding. I race against his guys all the time and the cars are all well prepped.
Yep, I agree 100%. If you are looking for a good performance / race mechanic in the Houston area for your Lotus / Miata or other track car, give Gas Head Motorworks a call.
 

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Been taking my Exige to Clint for over a year now and I really wouldn't trust anyone else with my car. Oil changes are less than half the price of the dealer and Clint knows all the correct bolts that need to be tightened... :) He also knows all the settings to do a race alignment on the Lotus.

For those of you who track your cars (or not), Clint does do free Safety inspections and makes sure your car is track worthy. Its a great time to meet the guys at the shop and create a relationship.
 

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So how much did star end up charging you for the 3 weeks? What expensive work did they suggest you let them do on the car?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So how much did star end up charging you for the 3 weeks? What expensive work did they suggest you let them do on the car?
Actually Star stepped up to the plate and charged me only for the diagnosis. I think they did this because the car was still 'broken' when it left their shop after being there for three weeks.

So to be fair to the service guys at Star, while they may have not identified and fixed the problem, they did not stick me with an outrageous labor bill for pulling apart the supercharger, etc...

Of course the warranty on the engine has been officially voided and getting that reinstated might be a huge battle with Lotus USA. I really not sure if the battle is worth it, it's not as if I'd be taking my car into the dealership for warranty work on my engine.:shrug:
 

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Dealing with Lotus warranty and Star's service is what pushed me towards the VF kit. Why fight with having a warranty if nothing is covered and there are better choices for mechanical work?

Plus Clint and Kevin do alot more than just basic oil changes and alignments. Of course they probably hate me by now with all my gadgets and toys I have them install. :)
 
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