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Discussion Starter #1
Pretty sure I am in the situation that everyone with an Evora is dreading - I'm almost certain my clutch is toast and I need it replaced.

My symptoms - I'm not getting power to the wheels, my RPMs are all over the place, there is a delay when shifting and then the RPMs go up quickly accompanied by a loud whine while not actually getting power, etc. So basically it's not really driveable. My car only has 15k miles and I don't really launch it or anything, so this has taken me a bit by surprise. (I've had it for 4 years and I'm the second owner - it is a 2013MY).

I called my local Lotus dealer/service shop and am taking it in tomorrow to get it looked at. I talked to the guy on the phone and he said if it is indeed a clutch replacement, it wil be between $8-11k (closer to the latter if it needs a flywheel also). This being California, I'm almost certain that I'll get quoted at the higher end of the range. Now I knew about the cost of a potential clutchjob, but is it me or does $11k sound a bit excessive?

The guy also mentioned some aftermarket clutch parts that may be better to get that would last longer (and be potentially cheaper to obtain) but I'm assuming the vast majority of the cost is labor.

So I guess I'm seeking advice, especially from people who are familiar with the process. Are there shops who would do it for significantly less than ~$10K that aren't in England? I love my car, but hell, this has even got me wondering if I'm not better off trying to sell it to the dealer instead of paying for the clutch job. (I even read somewhere that some shop in England figured out how to do the clutch replacement for an Evora in under 10 hours or something without dismantling the entire car, but not sure what my options are in the US.)
 

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Sorry to hear the bad news...

I have not had to replace my clutch but I have been on here for a while. Based on what I've seen, that estimate sounds extremely high. I thought I've heard other members pay in the $5500-6500 range after checking several dealers. Speaking of dealers, is this the same dealer that quoted you a full service a few months back that was ridiculously high priced too?

Maybe some members that have had a clutch replaced will chime in. But, I thought it was around 30 hours to do a clutch (invictusmaneo's dealer took 29.5 hours in 2014. Chaos replaced his own clutch in under 20 hours). So, I'd see what the dealer's labor rate is vs Lotus' published Labor Times Schedule. For reference, here's what I have for pulling and separating the engine and then clutch replacement. (I do not know if rear clam is additional time, so I included it below. But, it appears the estimated 30 hours is the FULL job meaning clam/engine out/clutch and all back in). You can add up the times and then add in parts costs.

1262125

1262123

1262124


If it was me, I would shop around, including having dealers/indy shops in a nearby area/state provide quotes. You may be able to have it shipped back and forth including a fix for less than you were quoted. Dealers ship cars all the time and may be able to have your car shipped and only charge you for their actual shipping cost (since they are doing a major job).

Good luck getting it sorted....
 

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Discussion Starter #3
This is actually the cheaper place I ended up going to for service! That's Northern California for you, I guess...

Forgive me if it's a dumb question but which of those numbers do you add to get the ~30 hours you mentioned?

I asked how much they charge for an hour of labor and he says $200. Is it just me or is that kind of ridiculous?
 

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I did mine at the end of last year when I first bought the car. MY13 S

Heres a post about it.

Summary.
I had quotes from 6k-10k (10k from Lotus of Denver. It would have been a lot more once they got in there)
It took me 60hrs having never done it before and minus a few critical tools which slowed me down. (I wasnt going slow either)
All new parts from MWR totaled about $2k (light flywheel, heavy duty clutch, master and slave cylinder)


Heres something you should follow up on though.
Harry from A1 in LA quoted me something like $1600 labor. Which is ridiculously low, he was aware it was an Evora and had done them before. I didnt do it due to logistics and me wanting to do a bunch of other things at the same time. So possibly some miss communication there but worth talking to him.
 

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Extra jobs I did while in there.
Gearbox input shaft seal (requires splitting gearbox and added atleast 12hrs because I didnt know what I was doing)
Main crankshaft seals
Thermostat
Clutch slave cylinder.
Engine mounts

So id guess all that added maybe 15hrs.

I think a dealer quoting 30-40hrs is realistic (though I dont know how they determine hrs if multiple people work on it)
 

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I forgot to include it above, but here's the trans labor times...

I would add the trans assembly r&r, rear clam r&r and a couple hours for the actual clutch parts install. Should get you close to 30 hours. So, at $200/hr that gets you roughly $6K for labor only. $200/hr sounds high to me, but it really depends on location etc..

1262127
 

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From what ive seen I would say $200/hr is on the high side.
Though not far off normal which would probably be $160-170.
 

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Lotus West in Vegas charged me $185/hr when I had it in. But I think they’ve since increased it to $200/hr.

But that said, I had engine out repairs for pack rat damage and the total was less than $6000. No clutch repair, but they had to do a number of things while the motor was out to get it back to original condition.
 

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Where in Nor Cal are you? There's an indie shop near the capital and their hourly rate is $165. It's the only shop I use for mine if the work exceeds my capabilities and/or laziness factor.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Heres something you should follow up on though.
Harry from A1 in LA quoted me something like $1600 labor. Which is ridiculously low, he was aware it was an Evora and had done them before. I didnt do it due to logistics and me wanting to do a bunch of other things at the same time. So possibly some miss communication there but worth talking to him.
What is A1? Googling didn't really help. That does sound super cheap though.

I called up the two other "official" Lotus service places in my area, and one said they charged $250/hour and the other $275. I didn't realize these mechanics were making like $500k a year...

Although one of them said a clutch job would be between $5500 and $6500. Which is a lot more reasonable. The guy also said it could be a slave cylinder issue and not necessarily a clutch, which would be a much easier job. Is that possible to fix without taking the engine out?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Where in Nor Cal are you? There's an indy shop near the capital and their hourly rate is $165. It's the only shop I use for mine if the work exceeds my capabilities and/or laziness factor.
I'm in SF. So I imagine they're used to gouging people out here...
 

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What is A1? Googling didn't really help. That does sound super cheap though.

I called up the two other "official" Lotus service places in my area, and one said they charged $250/hour and the other $275. I didn't realize these mechanics were making like $500k a year...

Although one of them said a clutch job would be between $5500 and $6500. Which is a lot more reasonable. The guy also said it could be a slave cylinder issue and not necessarily a clutch, which would be a much easier job. Is that possible to fix without taking the engine out?
A1 is an indie shop in So Cal. From what I've seen posted, people are very satisfied w/ their work. And I think the owner is a Lotus aficionado as well.

The slave cylinder can easily (relatively) be changed from underneath the vehicle without any major disassembly. If it's a 2013, you might also be encountering a faulty clutch damper, which is designed to allow the clutch to slip some during hard/quick engagements to prevent roasting the clutch/flywheel surface. But if it isn't working right, it could be slipping more than it should be.

I'm in SF. So I imagine they're used to gouging people out here...
Sounds like you got pricing from Boardwalk and Los Gatos? If so, I would avoid the latter. They might be an official Lotus service center, but they don't really like working on such "cheap" cars. Boardwalk is fine; a buddy of mine in town took his 2014 there a few times for warranty work. They did a decent job, although it did take them a while.

If you don't mind using indie shops, there's Dietsch Motorsports in Livermore. And if you want to flatbed it out this way, there's Stewart's Automotive in Sac.
 

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What is A1? Googling didn't really help. That does sound super cheap though.
Harry is a member on here. He does a lot of Lotus work and trusted by a lot of people.

1262135


Is that possible to fix without taking the engine out?
Yeah thats an easy job.
I suspect my master cylinder was the culprit of my failure. It seemed to be holding pressure on the clutch fork (more than what I would expect). I replaced the master with a Wilwood and I cut the old plastic one open to find some white sludgy stuff in there (kind of like grease but chunky). Maybe it wasnt relieving all the pressure and allowing the clutch to slip.

I would definitely suggest doing the clutch slave and master first(+ insulating the slave cylinder/lines). Maybe you have half a clutch left and its the hydraulic side causing it to slip?
If you are going to spend $6k+ on a new clutch you would want to know why it failed in the first place. Because itll just happen again. Or at least have a good attempt at replacing bits that may have caused it to fail.
 

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I would call Allen Strommer withVSA in Las Vegas. He is THE MAN when it comes to all things Lotus. He was in charge of all of the Lotus Cup racing and a wealth of knowledge. He did work on my Elise and Exige for much less than the Lotus dealer here in Phoenix--and probably better. Full disclosure though, I do consider him a friend at this point. But know that is because of how he treated me as a customer. His number is 619-five one seven-1938. Ignore that the number is So Cal. That is where he started all his work. He is in Las Vegas now.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the feedback, all. I guess my main concern now is - how do I know if it's a clutch or if it's a slave cylinder or something else? Are there any tell tale signs? I guess I'm just afraid that they're just going to tell me it's a clutch regardless because they can make thousands more on that work.

A1 is an indie shop in So Cal. From what I've seen posted, people are very satisfied w/ their work. And I think the owner is a Lotus aficionado as well.

The slave cylinder can easily (relatively) be changed from underneath the vehicle without any major disassembly. If it's a 2013, you might also be encountering a faulty clutch damper, which is designed to allow the clutch to slip some during hard/quick engagements to prevent roasting the clutch/flywheel surface. But if it isn't working right, it could be slipping more than it should be.



Sounds like you got pricing from Boardwalk and Los Gatos? If so, I would avoid the latter. They might be an official Lotus service center, but they don't really like working on such "cheap" cars. Boardwalk is fine; a buddy of mine in town took his 2014 there a few times for warranty work. They did a decent job, although it did take them a while.

If you don't mind using indie shops, there's Dietsch Motorsports in Livermore. And if you want to flatbed it out this way, there's Stewart's Automotive in Sac.
I'll definitely give them a call once I find out what the issue is. I mean, if the difference is in the thousands, I guess it might be worth it to ship it down south. I did buy this car in Vegas originally and had it shipped over here.

Yeah, it was Boardwalk and Los Gatos. I've been to Boardwalk 2 or 3 times before for oil changes and they were fine, although the last time they gave me a ridiculous quote for the fluid replacement service, so I went to SF instead which was significantly less.
 

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The previous owner of my Evora had the clutch replaced at the dealer in San Fran and the bill came out to $10k. I'm also not impressed with their workmanship.
 

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Mine did the same thing. Slipped constantly. Replaced the clutch MC along with high temp fluid and a heat wrap and it’s been fine ever since. Shouldn’t clutches last for 80-100k miles (in theory)?
 

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Thanks for the feedback, all. I guess my main concern now is - how do I know if it's a clutch or if it's a slave cylinder or something else? Are there any tell tale signs? I guess I'm just afraid that they're just going to tell me it's a clutch regardless because they can make thousands more on that work.
Knowledge is power. Familiarize yourself with your vehicle as best you can. From how each system works, down to how each component works. Of course not everyone has the patience or desire to learn that much about automobiles, but it definitely helps to avoid getting ripped off by shops.

Aside from that, do your research. Shop rates vary wildly, as has been mentioned above. Find as much info as you can, good and bad, about each place before deciding on which one to trust. Sometimes it's as simple as a phone call and a chat with the service manager/owner, or sometimes it can be as painful as reading through hundreds of Yelp/Google/etc reviews (taken with a grain of salt).

As for tell-tale signs, there aren't really any simple indicators. The OEM clutch master cylinder is a known weak spot, and has caused various issues for many people. Some had similar slippage issues, others had issues building up pressure, so the clutch would never disengage. There's not a good way to test it though, aside from disassembly and dissection, and ultimately replacement. The slave cylinders are much better built; they're standard Aisin parts used on many Toyotas. But they too can wear out. I wouldn't think that yours would be, at only 15k miles though.
 

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My advice, try to find a good independent shop in close proximity to you. Have them replace the clutch master and slave cylinder. The master cylinder should be one of the aftermarket metal kits from one of our great vendors. After removing the master and slave cylinders, the clutch line should be blown out. Have the shop use high temperature racing brake fluid and heat wrap the slave cylinder and clutch line leading to the slave cylinder.

All of the above work should be done regardless, so it is not a waist doing it first to see if it resolves the problem.
 
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