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Hi Greg,

I am stripping down my JH engine ready for a rebuild and I have noticed that the rear most (closest to flywheel end) oilway of the exhaust camshaft tower has been blocked up with some kind of sealant. I guess this modification is to do with preventing too much oil building up in the cam’ tower - correct ?

I have not seen any literature or service bulletins that relate to a modification of this kind. The engine No. is 3195 (built August 1973). I also have another JH engine (built August 1972) which also has this mod. I have attached a picture for reference (exhaust cam tower on left). Do you know what this mod is for?

The ‘plug’ of sealant is somewhat loose in the housing, and I propose to remove it and block the oilway with new sealant or a more permanent solution such as TIG welding up the oilway? Any advice ?Thanks for your help.

United Kingdom

Good question, that one. That’s quite common. It’s a not-so-high-tech Lotus factory fix to help prevent rapid oil drain back to the sump & maintain oil pressure in the top of the engine. The plug itself is made from some epoxy compound. Believe me, Lotus never did anything without a good reason, so I’d err on the side of caution and keep it as is, or in your case, if it appears loose, to repair the plug to its original spec. I’m not sure about welding, too much heat in the wrong spot will distort the tower, possibly creating more problems than when you started. Maybe some of our readers have a tip to pass on?


More on news on California Auto Emmissions for California vintage cars owners:

Governor Signs Smog Check Exemption Repeal Bill Into Law
We have just been informed that despite receiving thousands of messages in opposition to the bill, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has just signed A.B. 2683 into law.  The new law repeals California’s current rolling emissions-test exemption for vehicles 30 years old and older and replaces it with a law requiring the lifetime testing of all 1976 and newer model-year vehicles.

We remain confident that the facts are on our side:  California’s 30-year rolling exemption recognized the minimal impact vintage cars have on air quality, since they constitute a minuscule portion of the overall vehicle population.  These older cars are overwhelmingly well maintained and infrequently driven, and are poor candidates for reducing pollution.  They are, in the end, convenient scapegoats for legislators, regulators and stationary source polluters using false data and inflated annual mileage assumptions to make it sound like they are cleaning the air.  The old car hobby must stand united against future attacks that will accomplish nothing except require unnecessary testing, waste money and burden car hobbyists.  

Special thanks to all of the thousands of vehicle hobbyists and related businesses who contacted the Governor requesting his veto.  Special thanks also to the steadfast California lawmakers that supported our valiant cause - State Senators Tom McClintock, Betty Karnette and Chuck Poochigian and Assemblymembers Doug LaMalfa and John Campbell. 

We will live to fight another day!
Steve McDonald

SEMA VP, Government Affairs

Under this bill, all pre-1976 “classic cars” are permanently exempt from Smog Check.  Additionally, the bill contains provisions that will make future “classic cars” eligible for exemption from the visual component of the Smog Check progam. Who backs this bill? AB 2683’s support list includes unusual allies including the American Lung Association of California, the Western States Petroleum Association, Sierra Club California, the Alliance for Automobile Manufacturers, the California Air Pollution Control Officers Association, the California League of Conservation Voters, and co-sponsors Planning and Conservation League, California Council on Environment and Economic Balance, and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, blah, blah, blah.





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