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2008 Lotus Elise California Edition
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Discussion Starter #1
I hope this is the appropriate section to post in, I have a question to see what the problem is (if any) before I take it in to a mechanic.

I recently installed a new exhaust in the vehicle and I was indeed abusing the car a bit because it sounded really nice. Within time the smoke (black) started coming out of the intakes at the sides of the car (mainly driver side) as with an burning oil smell. I pulled over and let the vehicle rest started it back up didn't go past 5-6k rpm and it seemed fine. Any idea what could've caused it? Not sure if it's something I should be worried about. I drove it today and it seemed fine after letting it rest for a couple of days, maybe a very faint oil burning smell but not sure if that was just from the other vehicles around me.
 

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2008 Lotus Elise California Edition
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Discussion Starter #3
Have you looked over the wiring to see if anything melted? Any CEL?
No CEL for sure, but for the wiring i'll have to check tomorrow when the sun is out again
 

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2007 Lotus Exige S
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Any wrap or coating on the new exhaust? Headers too? Any leaks with the connections on the new exhaust?
 

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2008 Lotus Elise California Edition
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Discussion Starter #5
Any wrap or coating on the new exhaust? Headers too? Any leaks with the connections on the new exhaust?
The exhaust was bought used so if there was anything like that it would be gone. No leaks to my knowledge everything was tightened correctly and put back in place, If there was a leak by chance how would I check for one? I apologize I'm new to the community and working on cars in general haha.
 

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It may be that some of the oil vapors from the PCV were pushed out through the intake/air filter right behind the drivers door while you were driving it hard, up in the RPM ranges of the second cam. I noticed mine has done that when I've driven it hard. Then the odor goes away. Glad you're having fun with it.
 

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2008 Lotus Elise California Edition
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Discussion Starter #7
It may be that some of the oil vapors from the PCV were pushed out through the intake/air filter right behind the drivers door while you were driving it hard, up in the RPM ranges of the second cam. I noticed mine has done that when I've driven it hard. Then the odor goes away. Glad you're having fun with it.
That sounds about right to be honest considering it was redlining like never before that day and thank you! :)
 

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2007 Lotus Exige S
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The exhaust was bought used so if there was anything like that it would be gone. No leaks to my knowledge everything was tightened correctly and put back in place, If there was a leak by chance how would I check for one? I apologize I'm new to the community and working on cars in general haha.
Exhaust leaks can usually be felt by hand while the exhaust is still cold or if a big enough leak you could hear it. Sometimes I have to tighten exhaust clamps up after a heat cycle if I don’t do a good job the first time. Not sure what would be around the exhaust to produce smoke if you had enough of a leak at high RPMs, but if that is all you changed I would look around that area. Heat wraps will smoke on the first use but if you didn’t wrap the exhaust that is not the issue. Look for any fluid leaks or holes in PCV hoses and those connections before trying to replicate the issue.
 

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2008 Lotus Elise California Edition
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Discussion Starter #9
Exhaust leaks can usually be felt by hand while the exhaust is still cold or if a big enough leak you could hear it. Sometimes I have to tighten exhaust clamps up after a heat cycle if I don’t do a good job the first time. Not sure what would be around the exhaust to produce smoke if you had enough of a leak at high RPMs, but if that is all you changed I would look around that area. Heat wraps will smoke on the first use but if you didn’t wrap the exhaust that is not the issue. Look for any fluid leaks or holes in PCV hoses and those connections before trying to replicate the issue.
Will do! I appreciate the detailed reply it helps out alot.
 

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Any wrap or coating on the new exhaust? Headers too? Any leaks with the connections on the new exhaust?
Lost pawn asked if you changed the headers and you never answered. Exactly what did you actually change? Muffler? Header? Complete exhaust system? Now I ask if complete system or header was changed did you install a new exhaust gasket? I would pop the pans and get the car hot on stands and watch for smoke and follow the trail. Were there signs of oil on the pan? what is directly above any oil on pan? When you took it out after installing did you let it come up to temp before thrashing it? By any chance do you have a catch can that needs emptying?
 
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2008 Lotus Elise California Edition
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Discussion Starter #11
Lost pawn asked if you changed the headers and you never answered. Exactly what did you actually change? Muffler? Header? Complete exhaust system? Now I ask if complete system or header was changed did you install a new exhaust gasket? I would pop the pans and get the car hot on stands and watch for smoke and follow the trail. Were there signs of oil on the pan? what is directly above any oil on pan? When you took it out after installing did you let it come up to temp before thrashing it? By any chance do you have a catch can that needs emptying?
Just the muffler itself, it's from Larini to give you more of an idea what im working with. To answer the question about letting it come up to temp, I didn't sadly let the car warm up before i started going to town on it and as for the catch the car was fully serviced when I got it not sure if that was included. But I'll look videos on how check the catch on an elise if there's any online.
 

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Catch can isn't oem I was just asking. Please read about cam wiping and the importance of waiting 10 min minimum once you've reached normal water temp before getting on the second cam. Failure to do so may result in wiped intake cam.
 

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2008 Lotus Elise California Edition
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Discussion Starter #13
Catch can isn't oem I was just asking. Please read about cam wiping and the importance of waiting 10 min minimum once you've reached normal water temp before getting on the second cam. Failure to do so may result in wiped intake cam.
Seems fair, so my exhaust already does pop and gumble so how would i tell the difference if wiped? Thank you for the knowledge by the way.
 

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Degraded performance above 5K. You can give yourself peace of mind by inspection your intake cam.
 

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pops and gurgles are fine but if you don't take some precautions you will eat a cam and or engine. Keep looking to see if you have any oil leakage issues and just read up on intake cam wiping and let your car warm up properly.
 

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2008 Lotus Elise California Edition
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Discussion Starter #16
pops and gurgles are fine but if you don't take some precautions you will eat a cam and or engine. Keep looking to see if you have any oil leakage issues and just read up on intake cam wiping and let your car warm up properly.
I'll get a quote for my mechanic to check out the intake cam for peace of mind, fortunately enough there's no oil leakage from what i saw when i checked the car this morning for any burnt wires (none). Thanks for the information once again
 

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2011 Evora NA 6MT
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It may be that some of the oil vapors from the PCV were pushed out through the intake/air filter right behind the drivers door while you were driving it hard, up in the RPM ranges of the second cam. I noticed mine has done that when I've driven it hard. Then the odor goes away. Glad you're having fun with it.
Would an adaptation of a PCV catch can help to alleviate the oil in intake tube issue? Is that something that has been done within the Elise community?
 

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For racing yes for strictly street not really needed. Just google Lotus Elise catch cans and you'll see a number of vendors carrying manufacturers like BOE, Radium to name a couple.
 
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Since I'm new to the Lotus community, I was curious. Catch cans seem to be a matter of debate on their need/usefulness on many enthusiast sites, so I was seeing what the general consensus is here.

My experience with catch cans doesn't come from a racing perspective, but more so from an as needed basis for a street car.

I have a '74 X1/9 with an aftermarket air filter and crankcase breather vent added by the PO. It used to fume like crazy at idle and would belch out oil vapor onto the engine compartment after some spirited driving. After teeing a line to the hose between the motor and breather, and plumbing it into the pcv port on the carburetor, my fumes were greatly diminished and oil was kept from entering the intake manifold tract.

My second car, a 2017 Fiat 124 Spider, does not have a catch can yet, but on the subsequent Fiat forums, a lot of people are noticing oil in the intake tract after dialing up the boost thru aftermarket tunes. In those instances, the catch can is keeping the intake tract clean. I do not have those kind of issues with my Spider so I do not run a catch can in that instance.

Anyways, there's my .02 regarding oil fumes/smoke.
 
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