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Hi everyone.

After having a few minor issues with my lotus V8 esprit (oil leaks, sensor issues, cam belts due for replacement) I have lost my cool and decided to pull the engine out. The car has 26K miles and is not in good shape. My 1994 Miata with 142K is in cleaner condition (i also cared for the car well) Anyways, I want to pull the engine out with the transmission and service it entirely from top to bottom outside the car. That means fix any leaks, de grease the engine and engine bay (its covered in oil and dirt) I want to install new cam belts new alternator (Cadillac upgrade?) new wires and so on an so forth. I just want tips, and or advice. HAS anyone pulled their engine? If so do you have pictures? Any advice? any help thanks
 

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You might find it easier to handle removing the transmission first and then the motor. You need an engine crane. Undoing the left strut allows the hatch to open almost vertically so you don't have to remove it. Use plenty of towels and fender covers so you don't mess up the paint. Make sure you keep track of any shims or washers on the engine mounts. Mark all of the wiring, especially the O2 sensors. With your mileage you probably won't need a clutch but it has to be checked anyway. You should not need any transmission work. You will want to replace the water pump, belts, and tensioners. The alternator can be done with not much difficulty with the motor in the car so I would not necessarily include it if the one you have is still working. You may want to consider replacing all of the hoses you can with silicone. JAE sells it in kits, motor, front, and other. The turbos should be OK but should be inspected. Before taking it all apart you should do a compression test and leak-down test. Replace the spark plugs. You should clean the motor up as best as you can and drive it a little till you can see where the oil is leaking from so you know which seals and gaskets to replace.
David Teitelbaum
 

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This sounds like something I would attempt, be sure and post some photos, im really curious to see the V8 Esprit with no motor in it. And even just the motor out would be cool. But before you do are you sure these issues cant be fixed with the engine in the car?, even with the 4 cylinder some impossible feats can be accompished with the engine in the car that at first glance seem impossible until you start doing it, getting past the "Why do I gotta do this" and "why would they build it this way" is usually the hardest part for me once I get started and the wrenches start turning it gets easier and even sometime enjoyable, and in the end definitely satisfying!
 

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Although most repairs could be done in-situ, when combining several jobs particularly including the cam belts (and you're doing them for the first time) it is definitely easier and probably quicker to pull the engine.

Personally, I would remove the hatch if you plan to do all the cleaning in the engine bay you spoke of. It's a 5 minute job with 2 people and it will be out of your way for the duration of the job. Just scribe the hinge location on the hatch before you remove it and that makes it simple to re-install and align later.

With the electrical issues you're having, I'd go ahead and rebuild or replace the alternator.

The clutch may not be worn out but if it shows signs of binding on the input shaft or is over 50% worn, I'd replace it. It's not unusual to have to replace a V8 clutch at 35K miles. At the very least, be sure to re-grease the clutch splines and input shaft with the proper grease. You can get a new OEM Lotus AP racing clutch for around $1500. If the flywheel shows any signs of heat damage, have it Blanchard ground by a competent machine shop.

If I pull an engine, I like to replace or rebuild every wear part I possibly can because inevitably the part you think is just fine will fail soon after you put the engine back in. Water pumps are a prime example. Of course a lot of that will depend on your budget.

Pulling the engine is not that difficult and as David mentioned, just be sure to mark all the connectors and take pics.

Good luck,
Jim
 

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The Right Approach

I just wanted to second what Jim K has said - Pulling the engine is not a huge issue especially if you have the facility (shop crane, floor space, a couple of willing friends, etc.) AS noted - document EVERYTHING and label all the electrical connection and vacuum connections. Take a LOT of pictures.

So many jobs which are a complete PITA with the motor in the car become a pleasure with the motor out of the car. And definitely fix and rebuild everything you can while its out on the engine stand. Literally everything is easier once the engine is out....
 

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I have pulled the V8 Esprit engine many times. It is not that bad of a job to do. I remove the hatch as it is only 6 bolts and it is one less thing in your way. I also pull the engine and transaxle as one piece. To me it is much easer to remove and install this way. I made a support similar to what the factory used to install the “power unit”. That is what Lotus calls the engine and transaxle as one unit. You don’t have to discharge the freon from the AC system as you can lift the engine a little when all the mounts are loose and with the extra room you can get to and remove the 3 compressor bolts. As mentioned above take lots of photos. If you don’t when it is time to reassemble the car you would have wished you did. If you want to see some photos PM me.
Bob
 

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