Exhaust Manifold Leak

My EBD manifold has a small leak, characterised by a ‘chuffing’ or maybe ‘spitting’ sound, which appears to originate somewhere around the second cylinder in (from driver’s side)…

Have tried nipping it up tighter, but to no avail…

When we fitted it we used the old gasket, so that may be the problem…

After a test run this afternoon I returned home and leaving the engine running, jumped out and had a look at the manifold - to my consternation, the two middle pipes were clearly glowing bright red, whilst the outer ones were more ‘normal’ looking (This in broad sunnyish daylight )

Could the leak and the high temperature be linked ?

What should I do ?

Seek professional help, call Dave Andrews immediately.

Seriously, the only other case of glowing pipes that I’ve heard of was due to badly timed cams (have you been playing with yours lately?)
Of course, that robs power.
Another thing that leads to overheating is a lean condition. Dave Walker may help you with that.

But def. go to the experts. That’s a dangerous condition you have there IMO.



I agree with Uldis.

Russ had a similar problem after fitting different cams. I’ll try & get hold of Russ now, so he can you a ring.

Just get it sorted by Thursday - that’s an order!

It appears that my ‘red hot’ problem only happens at idle, and Dave Walker at Emerald has already helped me to adjust some idle settings, though it still gets red…

There may be more adjustments we can do, or indeed it may be linked in some part to the ‘leak’.

I want to change the gasket between the block and the exhaust manifold, but my local dealer is fully booked and can’t fit me in before Oulton on Friday.

Does anybody know a Lotus dealer or specialist who could perhaps fit me in Thursday to change the exhaust manifold gasket on my Exige, somewhere between Bristol and Oulton Park, or at least vaguely on that route…

(BTW Lotus service manual suggests the job should take 1.7 hours)

I’m getting desperate here folks, so help would be much appreciated

Get the leak fixed first, then check the manifold, either the mixture is still too lean or the vernier has slipped.

When you fitted the EBD manifold, did you replace the head studs with shorter ones, otherwise its a real PITA to get the manifold off the studs without removing, loosening engine mounts.

Sorry for not returning your call yesterday, i just didn’t get the time then forgot


Nick Whales in Brum???

Good luck.


Theres also Paul Mattys if Whales are fully booked.

Another thought, theres also Peter Smith Sports cars by Burton Upon Trent.
Most of the work + servicing was done there on my car before I bought it.


I just called - but I’m asking a stupid question here - is an exhaust leak gonna cause this or an inlet manifold leak ??

Anyhow, we might be able to find someone local if Mattys or Whales are full up - just let me know.




Thanks for those messages

Rob / Andy / Robbo - now booked in at Nick Whale’s on Thursday first thing !!

Phil - yes we did shorten the studs, cos that was the only way it was going on…

Hopefully we will have a fairytale ending


hope yo uget this fixed… i’m with Andy in that it seems more like an inlet leak than an exhaust leak… ie drawing air making it lean esp at idle… it maybe doesn’t have quite the same effect under throttle where there is more fuel going in?

Have you checked the condition of the plugs immediately after this scenario? does it suggest anything about the offending cylinders ?

I’ll have a look at the plugs tomorrow, before washing off all the cat prints prior to loading on the trailer and heading off to Nick Whales…

It is definitely blowing from the exhaust manifold, but perhaps also from the inlet??

The thing is that with the Emerald plugged into my laptop, the lambda sensor is showing a slightly rich mixture, i.e. just what we want… which kind of rules out the inlet manifold theory…

Hopefully NWs can sort this and we can all have a good time on Friday - if not, I’m going to get a ‘dancing’ card made up, to keep track of all my passenger rides with you guys !!

Nick Whale’s replaced the gasket for me at short notice, and allowed me to drink gallons of coffee and watch / help with the proceedings…

Unfortunately after four hours they still couldn’t solve the ‘red pipes’ problem

Thank God for Dave Andrews - he offered to see me at even shorter notice and managed to solve the problem in about ten minutes flat …

Remember I had the Exige ‘stuck wide open’ throttle problem?? Well somehow, when that was being modded, the balance between the four throttle bodies was disturbed…

Dave has this simple tool that measured the airflow into each throttle trumpet (�25 to buy) - these were the readings for each cylinder when we first checked:-

1 = 4
2 = 6
3 = 4
4 = 3

So cylinder 2 was idling with twice as much air as cylinder 4 - which meant a very lean burn, which continued in the manifold, and hence the heat, whilst Cylinder four was way too rich !!

The Lambda sensor showed the mixture as perfect all the time, since the gases had remixed by the time they reached the sensor, which is quite a way down at the end of the manifold…

Rebalanced we got:-

1 = 4
2 = 4
3 = 3.5
4 = 4


I was lucky my pipes glowed red, or I would have driven for ages with unbalanced throttle body airflows, losing power… How many of us have similar problems of perhaps lesser degree ??

Never thought of mentioning that

Yep got an air flow meter too they are invaluble for balancing the throttles.