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Blown head gasket  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: 05-13-2009 06:23 pm
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subwoofer
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I am considering my options as I may be embarking on a dangerous journey after I concluded that my head gasket has called it quits.

Option 1: Get an ex-Esprit 907 shipped in from England. Freight and VAT (which is added on top of the sum total of purchase + freight) is as much as the engine itself (£500 + Dell'Orto carbs). I will have to take the seller's assurance that it is sound at face value, as I will have no possibility of checking beforehand.

Option 2: New head gasket, helicoil #4 plug, new rotor/annulus for the oil pump and while I'm at it a new water pump. This will not take care of the rear crank oil seal leak, nor the general state of the rest of the engine but can be done with the engine in place (hopefully), and I will still be stuck with a set of worn Strombergs, and the engine does use a bit of oil.

I need a few pointers here, I would really like to have the car on the road this summer, but is the cheaper option 2 worthwhile? What is the probability that I will wind up with a complete rebuild - the engine has 110k miles on it, if not 210k. Hard to tell, but I know the front suspension has been rebuilt at least once, since the lower wishbones were on the wrong side of the car.

--
Joachim

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 Posted: 05-14-2009 12:00 am
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smcmanus
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I'd do the head gasket and fix the plug hole.  Take your head to a good machine shop and they will have the plug hole fixed in no time.  Watch those shims and keep everything in order.  The rear seal is not a bad job either.  You could do the clutch at the same time.

The used motor is probably in worse shape than yours.  I suspect that will lead to much sorrow.  The devil you know!

Good Luck

Steve

 

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 Posted: 05-14-2009 01:05 am
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Jensen Healey
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Fred the Fearless Foreman installed the lower wishbones anyway they would fit. Some cars have two rights or two lefts!

Kurt

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 Posted: 05-14-2009 04:02 am
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JHRV8
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You know, the chance of getting a good used engine is poor at best, least they sell it in the first place.  I agree , stick with your present motor, fix ALL the problems  now and order  some new solex carbs.  You will be much happier and know what is in your motor........regards; JHRV8.

Last edited on 05-14-2009 04:04 am by JHRV8

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 Posted: 05-14-2009 07:24 am
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subwoofer
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smcmanus wrote:
I'd do the head gasket and fix the plug hole.  Take your head to a good machine shop and they will have the plug hole fixed in no time.  Watch those shims and keep everything in order.  The rear seal is not a bad job either.  You could do the clutch at the same time.

The used motor is probably in worse shape than yours.  I suspect that will lead to much sorrow.  The devil you know!


The seller in question is Lotusbits, but I do hear you, buying a used engine untested is a dodgy proposition. This coming from a man who just bought a used diesel engine for his Vanagon. I hope I'm lucky.

The time aspect is really what concerns me. I am planning a full rebuild, but I will not have time to do that this summer, so this will have to be on a repair basis. Even the rear seal may have to wait, if I can do the rest with the engine in place.

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Joachim

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 Posted: 05-14-2009 01:14 pm
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Brett Gibson JH5 20497
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It's a bear when you feel pushed for time to get something done, but it's only a sports car, (a very nice one), and alot of times you end up regretting that you did'nt do this or did'nt do that. I would vote stay with the JH engine, pull it out and do it right, to have a few months of driving now verses peace of mind for the next few years, it's not worth it .............

Good luck.    Brett 

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 Posted: 05-17-2009 07:26 pm
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ozzadavies
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Joachim, I'm in the process of getting a replacement from Lotusbits. I've had a painful time of it recently with my head gasket going at Christmas time. I had a professional head gasket replacement and head 'de-coke' from a great Lotus specialist here in London. 200 miles later the bottom end went.

At Christmas I was considering the two options exactly as you are. I've now decided to take a tested but second-hand engine with Del 45s from Lotusbits from an Eclat - he's fitting it at the moment.

I took the time to go and visit Mike the Lotusbits owner beforehand. He has a fantastic business - very well respected in Lotus circles clearly loves the cars the 907 found homes in. He showed me some cars he's worked on and I was impressed with his knowledge and attention to detail. The deal is that, whilst there are no guarantees, he tests the donor engine and will make sure it runs as it should when it's handed back to you. It's also true that the later Lotus engines are stronger and more powerful.

But...you're right, no guarantees and no prior engine history. It's a gamble. Comes down to what you can afford at the end of the day.

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 Posted: 05-18-2009 02:33 am
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Sylva
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Lotus bits are as good as you'll get with a second hand engine, I bought a engine from second hand Garry Kemp (Esprit S3) and that has been no problem, so can recomend that route.

Best bet from Sandafiord is get on the ferry and drive over and see Mike or Garry, then you can relaim the VAT and bring the engine into Norway yourself, then you can see the engine and at least get along weekend away, Harwich to Mike's place is a OK drive on the A14, and Mike is in a noce part of the country.

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 Posted: 05-18-2009 05:25 am
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subwoofer
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That long weekend could possibly be a long time into the future, I guess, better bet is to get it shipped. We are talking cost in the £250-300 range for shipping (+ VAT).

As ozza mentions, there may be more gremlins in my existing engine too, and there is really no way around a proper rebuild. Getting a second engine would be the easier solution.

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Joachim

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 Posted: 05-18-2009 09:21 pm
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Greg Fletcher
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I would go for the second engine myself (doesn't everyone have a spare?), keep in mind you may end up with 2 cores, but I would also assume your current lump is ready for a complete rebuild, that's the way these engines are. At least you have a chance that the new one will run for a while and you can work on the spare at your leisure. That price is very reasonable and you may get lucky. Plus, almost any amount of money is worth getting rid of the Strombergs! The 907 is a wonderful engine, but they don't last forever.

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 Posted: 05-18-2009 09:35 pm
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subwoofer
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Does everyone? :-)

Thankfully, rebuilding these engines are mostly a matter of cost, I guess you have to be really unlucky to damage it beyond repair. ozzadavies has agreed to have a look for me, since he is going to Lotusbits later this month, so the risk should be significantly reduced, now I just need to get hold of Mike.

--
Joachim

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