I have a 2002 Esprit and am looking to make it a bit quicker. The first thing that I would like to do is the gearbox mod, but I am having a very hard time finding the parts. I've emailed Derek Bell and he gave me zero helpfull info and seemed a bit rude. Does anyone know how to get ahold of these parts? I also am looking for a chip, forged pistons and a charge cooler kit.
As far as the charge cooler goes I think that Lotus PBC makes and sells one. Does anyone have any experience with this kit?
And last but not least if anyone has some or know someone with some solid experience when it comes to modding these cars and would be willing to give me some advice it would be greatly appreciated
If you are looking for better performance (all around), then I would do the following to your Esprit...
1.) Install two new K&N air filters
The K&N part number is 33-2547. This is a Euro only part number and not listed on the K&N website for our car application. It was originally made for the Opel Corsa and Vauxhall Nova in the late 80's but fits perfectly on the V8 Exprits. This is available through Jeff at JAE. Let Jeff know I sent you. He will take good care of you. His information can be found on the JAE website at www.jaeparts.com
2.) Start using the K&N oil filter
The K&N oil filter part number is HP-2004. This is one of the hightest flowing oil filter at 15 microns (more then Mobil). You can also use the K&N part number HP-3001. This is the same filter as the HP-2004 but just larger in capacity. It will allow your engine to run approximately 1/2 quart more then the standard set up. Both these oil filters have the anti drain back valve, which is needed for the V8 Esprits. This can be purchased at any of your local automotive parts store.
3.) Recore your radiator to a 4 core
The stock radiator in the V8 cars can use a little help. You can take your radiator out and take it to any reputable radiator shop and add a fourth core. This will allow your car to run approximately 5 degrees cooler. I would do this before Intercoolers. If you do not want to recore your radiator, Jeff at JAE has a really nice set up that comes complete with 3 new metal bladed cooling fans.
4.) Delete the Muffler
Although the stock muffler on a V8 is not restrictive at all, it does reduce the weight by approximately 50 pounds. You can get custom bent pipes as long as they are stainless steel and add some tips for a better sound.
5.) Replace the CATS with performance CATS
I recommend the Hyperflow cats. These can actually pass the emissions but also gives you a 90%+ non restrictivfe air flow. There are other CATS you can rig up but it is a gamble as it may throw a check engine light on your car. The V8 has four O2 sensors and if the length of the CAT pipe is not right, the post O2 sensors will throw a check engine light. The Hyperflow CATS can also be purchased through Jeff at JAE.
6.) Send your ECU to Johan Hybinette and have it rechipped
Johan holds the fastest V8 Esprit land speed record at 210.6 miles per hour. His information is available on his website at www.ExtremeEsprit.com
He has multiple ECU's available for the V8 cars. The most popular one is his red box ECU, which combines the High Torque ECU with the Race ECU. His family and mine occasionally travel on vacations together. He really is a great guy to deal with. Very knowledgable and can't say enough good things about the guy.
7.) Replace the stock shocks with adjustables
The last of the 2004 V8 Esprits came with adjustable Bilstein shocks that works great on our cars. Helps the handling of the Esprit tremendously. I have personally ran the Sport 350 shocks as well as the stock and the Bilstein. I like the Bilstein set up the best. This is also available through Jeff at JAE.
8.) Re-Inforce the transmission
I read on your post that you contacted Derek Bell. His set up is a good one despise some of the negative press of the past. Recently a guy named Craig Stephens bought the rights to the Derek Bell design. Craig has a complete and total solution now available for our Renault gear box without having to alter the housing. His company is called Halloway Performanace and his contact information can be found on www.HallowayPerformance.com
I sold Craig my 2001 V8 Esprit last year and know him well. If you tell him that I sent you, he will take care of you.
9.) Waste Gate
Although there are people out there with V8 Esprits that do this mod, I am going to vote against changing the spring on the wastegate to a higher pound spring setup. Unless you have forged piston modification along with some other internal engine work done to your car. This is my personal opinion only and does not reflect others thought process. The extra load on the motor is not something I am willing to risk unless the other internal parts of the engine has been addressed. If potentially blowing your motor is not an issue then this is a null and void concern. The waste gate also can be acquired through Jeff and JAE.
10.) Add Intercoolers
The set up you are talking about at Lotus Prepared By Claudius is actually a Johan Hybinette design. Take a look at the Extreme Esprit website and you will see what I am talking about. The perfect person to talk about this with is Johan. You can get two intercoolers in the V8 Esprit without having to make any modifications to the tub area. Or you can make the modification to the tub area and make the Intercoolers more visable. Which setup you pick is your personal preferance.
There is more that can be done but this is all I can think off the top of my head at the moment...
Good luck with all your modifications and I wish you the best. If you are planning to do the work yourself and need help walking through the process, feel free to drop me a line.
Disclaimer: I have no personal interest or affiliated with any of the companies recommended. Everything I shared is my personal experience / preference only realized through working on my own car.