This is getting bad....

So much for my suspected head gasket failure. I did have a cylinder full of coolant, but the gasket is fine. The head has been pressure tested, and that is also OK. The guys at Nick Whale’s are not sure what the problem was, but an independant asessor for the dreaded Warranty Holdings seems to think that one of the cylinder liners has moved due to the seal failing. The chaps at Nick Whales are not convinced the problem is that simple. They think the block might be warped! We’re starting to wonder how easy it is to get hold of a new Exige engine.Meanwhile, Warranty Holdings say that failure of the liner seal is not covered under the warranty because it would have decayed over a period of time, and is therefore not a “sudden mechanical failure” and therefore not covered. They also said that if the block is warped, it would have happened over a period of time, and is therefore not covered.At first, they claimed it wasn’t covered because Lotus has issued a bulletin about a manufacturing defect which causes failure of the liner seal, but then we found out that this bulletin only applies to Esprit engines.My manufaturers warranty only expired four months ago, and the car has only done 13000 miles. And only 7000 miles since the engine was rebuilt under warranty (including new cylinder liners…)Meanwhile, I haven’t seen my car in five weeks, I’m not sure what’s wrong with it, and I’ve no idea who’s responsible for putting it right.Can anybody give me any advice, or at least try to cheer me up a bit?

Sorry to hear this Brendan.Firstly you need to get Nick whales on your side - did they do the engine rebuild under warranty?Secondly, I suggest that you get an independent motor engineer’s report - hopefully this will come to a conclusion in your favour! Then hit Warranty Holdings with the report & if they don’t play ball, threaten them with legal action in the small claims court.When my initial 12 months Lotus warranty ran out, I bought the Lotus Approved Warranty Holdings “piece of paper” for over �600. Fortunately I didn’t need to make a claim, but I certainly didn’t renew it after someone I know had a real hard time getting them to pay a claim!!!

[image][/image]Brendan, you are in for some bull****, but keep at it & don’t let the bastards get you down. Luckily for me, I had LRV onside & they did all the legwork for me-i.e. letters etc., but I had to get an independant engineers report. They will try to test your patience & give in, but don’t. They are just trying to get out of paying!!!

Thanks for the replies chaps. Yes, Nick Whales did the rebuild. They’re firmly on my side, but they don’t really know what to do at this point. They’re having a visit from a Lotus field engineer in a couple of days, so we’re going to start by getting his opinion.

Brendan,Sorry to hear of your problems but the block is not that easy to warp, certainly not without you noticing anything happening beforehand like coolant lose or high erratic temps. You can use a bog standard 1.8 K block as there is nothing special about them.Did you have water mixed with oil in the sump as this is a sign that the liner seal has “broke” (water pressure being higher than the oil at that piont). If there was no sign of any breaching on HG etc then get Nick Whales to measure the height of the liners above the block, they should all be a few thou above the block (3-5 thou), if any are level or below then thats where your problem is and you can lay blame directly on them when they replaced the liners during the rebuild.Unfortunately the machining tolerances of the blocks are quite poor and it can be hit or miss on getting the liners at the correct height.Hope you get it sorted, if not ship the car down to me and we will do it at cost [image][/image]

I would certainly question their concept of a ‘sudden mechanical failure’. I can understand that they don’t want to pay for wear and tear issues, but come on guys ‘sudden’?Would a HGF be sudden? Only sudden in as much that the consequences would be sudden. A HGF might take weeks to progress to the failure point. Imagine you have a bearing race where a couple of balls are substandard.Deterioation would be progressive, but it would manifest itself in a ‘sudden’ manner like the race breaking up over a couple of miles. Maybe under their definition a couple of miles would not be sudden enough.

Yes, Warranty Holdings are complete bastards.Let us know how you get on Brendan[This message has been edited by Admin5 (edited 10 June 2003).]

Thanks again for your support chaps. Especially Phil, that’s a generous offer.Ken, you’re totally right. I don’t think any mechanical failure can be entirely sudden. Components will always fatigue or wear over a period of time before failing. The only way anything will break suddenly is if it’s subjected to an unusual force. Surely the warranty doesn’t only cover damage caused by abuse?

I have the same issue with my engine at the moment. The liners are a bit low. I’m thinking of going down the Scholar route, and having some heavy duty liners installed into the block, and the whole thing decked to the correct height with a plate fixed over the top. Will be speaking with Dave Andrews and Scholar about it in the next few days. Bri

Briankeep us informed how you get on Scholar did my engine albeit under a warranty claim direct with Lotus

Well, I’ve clarified WH’s position regarding the liner seal. It’s not covered because it’s not a component! I guess I can’t argue with that.The good news is that the Lotus field engineer thinks it may have been the head gasket after all. I’m waiting for the head to be skimmed before the Mike Satur gasket goes in, then we can try it out and hope for the best.

"It’s not covered because it’s not a component! I guess I can’t argue with that."Sorry?If it is not a component, then what is it? IMO there are only three items in an engine which are not components ie oil, fuel, coolant!

'Lotus field engineer thinks it may have been’Thinks and curing problems rarely coincide to provide solutions… Brendan hang in there matey sounds as if you’re on the bull**** trail - as Ken says if its not a component wtf is it???Good luck and stay firmSimonE

I was lead to believe the liner seal is just some sealant bunged round it as opposed to an actual component. Is that not the case?

This is all a question of semantics. If a thermostat housing is bolted to the block and requires a gasket sealing compound to ensure integrity and it ends up leaking, then it will be due to an uneven surface of the housing/block or improper fitting (loose or insufficient sealant). That does not mean the sealant has failed!!

Is HGF covered by the WH Warranty ? That is, after all just a seal isn’t it ? _ I also notice that the Lotus endorsed booklet clearly states that certain seals are covered … so what makes a liner seal different then ??Brendan I would fight this very hard - write a polite but very firm letter to all parties involved and copy the SMMT and Lotus themselves - mention the wording in the booklet and have an independent report on wether the liner seal is an expected failure component due to wear and tear ( I think not …) - also consider the very low mileage - would you acept that on a “normal” car … like an MGF [image][/image]

The hylomar sealant will not just fail and leak, the liner must have ‘moved’ to break the seal (see previous comment about checking liner heights)The definition of a component is… 1. a constituent part; element; ingredient. 2. a part of a mechanical or electrical systemTo argue the toss i would say that any sealant is a constituent part of an engine as without it it can’t function.

Thanks guys, that gives me a clearer idea of what I’m talking about. Phil, I forgot to mention the liner heights have been checked and are apparently OK."This is all a question of semantics. If a thermostat housing is bolted to the block and requires a gasket sealing compound to ensure integrity and it ends up leaking, then it will be due to an uneven surface of the housing/block or improper fitting (loose or insufficient sealant). That does not mean the sealant has failed!!"Ken, I guess that case wouldn’t be covered by the warranty because it’s not a sudden mechanical failure.The good news is HGF is covered by warranty, so I hope that was the problem.

I’ve decided to simplify any arguments over liner seals. It doesn’t look like there was ever anything wrong with the seal because the liner is in place and there was no water in the oil, and no oil in the water.I’m going to let the warranty company replace the gasket, and I’ll pay for the liner to be re-sealed just as a precaution.Does this make good sense?

"Pay for the liner to be resealed"It’s about 2 minutes and a small blob of Hylomar Blue. I’d be surprised if the garage charge you for it.I’d want to know exactly what each liner height is aswell…