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V8 Air Filter Install

One of the first performance upgrades made to any car to improve performance is an Air Filter upgrade. Mainly because it's cheap and easy to do. This will increase air flow to the engine, and help it breathe easier. It;s a cheap and simple mod, that can be done in a few minutes (on a normal car), and goes great with an exhaust upgrade.

The V8's induction systems differs from the 4-cylinder, as the V8 has two banks of cylinders and therefore requires two air filters. They are located each side of the engine bay, in the same place as the 4-cylinders one. This will mean you'll need to purchase two filters and not one.

A few companies make performance Air filters for cars, ITG Filters are now available for the V8. You can also get K&N and Green Cotton. They'll all pretty similar. Not only do they increase performance (some say increases of 2-5bhp), but these filters will last the life of the car. Only needing a re-oiling every 100,000 miles or so. So it's an upgrade you'd be stupid not to do.


You will need the following parts:

2 x New Air filters

You will need the following tools:

Super-tiny socket set (see attached) with 7mm socket. Small hands.

Removal & Fitting

Remove the air filter covers (one each side of the engine bay). These are attached with five 7mm bolts. Take care not do drop the bolts as you take them off. Don’t try to get into the bottom ones if the engine is warm – you’ll burn your hands .


Remove the old filters. Take care not to get any dust or debris into the air intake. Take care not to lose the round seal as its not attached. Fit the new filters. Re-fit the filter covers.

Easy peasy really. Takes 10 mins per side. Don’t even try it if you don’t have a small socket – a full size one will not fit in there. My tiny socket set was about a tenner from halfords several years ago.

LEW Verdict

LEW's verdict on this install, is do it. Anybody who knows anything about performance mods, will tell you that one of the first things to do is to change the Air filter. LEW's advice is every Esprit should have a filter and exhaust change. And considering the filter will last 100,000 miles, you won't ever have to replace it (you may need to clean it). Then if you keep your Esprit long enough, you'll save on the price of new filters over those years. A performance upgrade that will save you money!

V8 Owners Verdict

Comparison of K&N vs ITG: Both are excellent quality, much better than the lotus paper filters. Not possible to tell any difference on the road in terms of performance – both offer great flow. K&N’s you get more noise – sort of sucking, whoosing noise that is not there with the ITG. I’d be happy to recommend either filter. My personal preference I think is the more refined ITG filter.

This guide was performed and supplied by Rob Ellis on his 1999 V8-GT

itg Air Filters now available

Lotus Performance now have itg Air Filters for the both 4 cyl. and V8 Esprits. This gives an alternative to the K&N's and Green Cotton Filters. Call Les Twigg on 01629 650800 for more information.

Adrian Tries to fit his!
Replacing the air filters on a V8 is no 10 minute job, let me assure you. I started the task and very quickly released that the air filter cover was designed by a total cretin.

Firstly I climbed in the boot and undid the 3 small bolts at the top of each cover. This is very easy. All you need is a 7mm socket and a small ratchet. Then comes the bottom bolts. There are 2 on each cover and are almost impossible to remove. The problem is that in order to get at them you either need hands and arms no bigger than a two year old child, or if you’re not got those, then you need eyes that can see round corners, or a highly developed sense of touch.

So, not having hands the size of a 2 year old, the touch of Stevie Wonder, or indeed eyes that can see round corners I stupidly carried on. It’s practically impossible to get the socket on the bolt with the ratchet attached because the air filter cover sticks out too far. If you attach a small extension bar to the ratchet then it becomes too big to fit in the space between the bolts and the engine. So I tried putting the socket on the bolt first, then using the ratchet to turn it whilst not being fully being connected. After dropping the socket for the fourth time, climbing out of the boot and retrieving it the bloody socket fell off once more and disappeared into a black hole. It was not under the car, it had not rolled off the drive into the bushes, it had gone. I tried pushing the car back and fourth to see if it fell out from wherever it was wedged. Then I drove the car up and down the drive and stood on the brakes to see if that would shake it loose. After this failed I was forced to get in my other car a go and buy a replacement 7mm socket. As the shop did not have a single socket of that size I had to buy a full set ( for £7.50, not the best quality, but I was shafted otherwise ). So, I tried again, and again the socket fell off and disappeared. As I bought a full set there was an imperial one that fitted okayish so I managed to use that to get the last bolt out. You can also get too cocky when undoing the bottom bolts because what happens is that as you finally get the stupidly long bolt undone what you find is that the racket is now jammed next to the engine and you can now not get the bolt or the tool out.

After finally getting both air filter covers off I managed to find one of the lost sockets by spying it and poking about with a garden cane until it finally fell on the drive. God only knows where the other lost was has gone.

Next comes fitting the filters. I bought two ITG filters which seem a gnats cock too big so they have to be fiddled with endlessly until they finally fit ( sort of ) in the air filter cover. Refitting the air filter covers is okay if you only bolt it on with the top 3 bolts. I’ve not attempted the bottom two yet as I fear I may not have that many years left to live !! I think it would actually be easier and quicker to remove the bloody engine than to try and remove and refit the air filters with the engine still in the car.

Okay, finally, with the top bolts in only I took the car for 10 miles to see what it was like. Erm, well, it sometimes sounds a bit more sucky, and the exhaust appears to pop and bang a bit more, but I’m not 100% sure that was not just my imagination.

So, to conclude: Changing the filters on a V8 is more trouble than it’s worth. I’d not recommend it as life is too short.

For this mod, you will need :
Hands and arms of a two year old child
An endless supply of 7mm sockets
2 off filters


If you do this conversion. Feel free to e-mail me with your opinion on it and I can add it to this page. admin@lotusespritworld.com.

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