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Engine Removal

Removing the engine from the Esprit is not a simple task (as one might assume,) but it is also not beyond the abilities of an ambitious wrencher. Be prepared to spend 10 or more hours (with two people) pulling the engine. If you have a lift or an overhead hoist you can save quite a bit of time. Before attempting removal make sure you own the Lotus shop manuals. Most everything is straight forward when removing the engine and you shouldn't need any special equipment other than an engine hoist and a strong nylon tow strap (to wrap around the engine because there are no brackets to hoist from.)

Hints and tips:

  • Get a sturdy step stool that will allow you to get a couple feet in the air. You will have the car lifted in the back (to get under it,) and you will spend most of your time leaning over the edge of the boot near the front of the engine.
  • A lot of tasks require two people (sometimes as simple as one person holding a nut from the top while the other loosens it from underneath.)
  • Make sure the engine hoist you get/have can reach into the middle of the car. A shorter hoist will work, but you will have to go at it from the side of the car.
  • Keep a box of sandwich bags and a sharpie marker around to mark where all your bolts came from. Also get a couple large boxes for the various parts you will be removing.
  • Get a couple cans of PB Blaster or Liquid Wrench (PB is better) and spray down things as you go (and if possible the night before you get to work.)

Engine Disassembly

Most people will probably have a machine shop do the majority of the work on the engine. Even so, most shops want a pretty clean engine (no cams, gears, etc.) So this means that you have another 6-10 hours of work ahead of you to pull parts off the engine. Removing the engine from the car shouldn't take any specialized tools, disassembly of the engine (even to ship off to the machine shop,) will take a variety of tools not in most wrencher's toolboxes. Using this guide should save you a couple trips to the auto-parts store to find the right tools (you could even order the tools online and save some money.)

Hints and tips:

  • Spend the money for a cheap engine stand, it will make life much easier. When you get the engine stand, get nuts to bolt the block to the stand. The bolts are 12mm x 1.50 (if memory serves) Make sure you get something that is about 1/2“ longer than the offsets on the stand.
  • The exhaust manifold will not come off easily, unless you are extremely lucky (and even then it will be a pain.) Make sure you have a couple of 12mm open ended wrenches to get up under the manifold. Having a dremel (or small rotary tool) with the remote attachment (so you can get in tight spots,) will save you time (because you may end up cutting nuts off the studs). It doesn't hurt to have a couple punches and chisels to tap the nuts off. The manifold, by far, will eat up more time than anything else (It took 4+ hours for me to remove the manifold, that included cutting off two nuts.) Don't worry too much about ruining studs. These are widely available parts (NAPA should have replacements,) although you really should replace any hardware with stainless studs (which I believe is what the OEM spec is.)
  • The vacuum pump requires a shortened 8mm allen wrench to remove it from the bracket. You will probably need to cut 1/2” off the short end of an allen wrench to remove the bolt.
  • To remove the cams, you will need a 12mm allen wrench (most sets only go up to 10mm, so you may need to go to a good auto parts store to get a 12mm,) to remove the access ports to the lower bolts.
  • You will also need an E10 socket to remove the bolts for the cam assembly. The E10 is a 6 pointed star (an inverted Torx.) Don't try to use a normal socket on the E10 heads, this will make it difficult to get the E10 socket on (after you've found out that you can't get a good enough grip on the bolt.)
  • Use a 4mm or smaller allen wrench to hold the hydraulic tensioner open. You can also use a drill bit or anything else that will fit the 4mm hole.
  • Magnets for holding the cam followers can be found at Radio Shack, Lowes or even Walmart (look in the crafts section.) Don't bother looking for these at an auto parts store.
  • I have an oil vacuum pump (used to suck the oil out of a dipstick,) that I used to suck the oil out of all the areas that the oil was pooling (like the cam assemblies, etc.) It's a little pricey, but helps keep things a little cleaner (and I sucked about 1/2 a quart out of the cam assemblies and the oil pump assembly area.) It saves a lot of paper towels (or a mess on the floor or drive.)
engine/removal.txt · Last modified: 2021/12/21 20:04 by driestone