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Old 11-25-2012, 12:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hello and what do you think of this?

Hello,

I just joined the forum to learn as much as I can about the Esprit. I am an experienced car nut having built a few cars in the past. My current car is a 2004 Crossfire that I put a Mercedes AMG V8 into. I am thinking of selling this car to help fund my next project. I am thinking about an '89-up Esprit to put the new Ford Coyote V8 into. There is already a custom bellhousing that mates the V8 to the Renault transaxle. Ford sells a stand alone engine managment system to help builders use this engine in their projects. HP is 412 with just under 400 ft lbs of torque. I figured this would create a very reliable and fast car. The new Ford engine is more compact than their earlier modular V8's and gets great gas mileage as well.

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Old 11-25-2012, 12:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think that you would just have to like to do these types of projects because it doesn't make sense any other way.

The existing V8 engine can easily be tuned to over 400hp. And the weak link is then the Renault gearbox, which they have a $3K kit to fix that problem already. And you would need that anyway.

You will definitely sink way more money into this swap plus major headaches and in the end your car will be worth less than a stock V8. And you won't have any more horsepower, and who honestly cares about MPG on an Esprit?

The stock V8 is reliable if you take care of it.

Last edited by lotusespritse; 11-25-2012 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think that you would just have to like to do these types of projects because it doesn't make sense any other way.

The existing V8 engine can easily be tuned to over 400hp. And the weak link is then the Renault gearbox, which they have a $3K kit to fix that problem already. And you would need that anyway.

You will definitely sink way more money into this swap plus major headaches and in the end your car will be worth less than a stock V8. And you won't have any more horsepower, and who honestly cares about MPG on an Esprit?

The stock V8 is reliable if you take care of it.
I understand what you are saying. I was told the same thing when I put the AMG V8 in the Crossfire. by buying right and doing my own work and selling the stock engine, I was only into that swap for $800.00 Don't tell anyone since everyone still thinks it cost a fortune to do. I know I could build a V8 Lotus for a lot less than the cheapest V8 Lotus' for sale (around $30K). I was inspired by the guy in england that installed an Audi 4.2 V8 with an Audi transaxle. The new ford engine is bullet proof and are starting to show up at resonable prices from wrecked 2011 Mustang GT's.
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You asked what we thought. And I told you what I thought.

Definitely go for it.

Keep in mind an older Esprit with nicely done Taurus SHO just sold for less than a regular one.

You haven't sold your Crossfire yet, so you can't say whether it made financial sense yet.
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You asked what we thought. And I told you what I thought.

Definitely go for it.

Keep in mind an older Esprit with nicely done Taurus SHO just sold for less than a regular one.

You haven't sold your Crossfire yet, so you can't say whether it made financial sense yet.
I saw the two SHO engined cars, and while the engine is beautiful its power is less than most of the Lotus turbo 4 cylinder engines. IMO, the SHO swap doesn't make much sense to me. I appreciate your thoughts. I am well known in the Crossfire community and have standing offers for the car. All of which made the swap a financial success. Don't want to sell it unless I can get excited about another project. Have loved the Esprit ever since I saw one as a kid turn into a submarine and latter when Julia Roberts was in one!

Can anyone tell me the length of the 2.2 engine from front of harmonic balancer to the bellhousing mating surface?

anyone know of a decent 89 up Esprit for sale at a good price? Looking at two on ebay now.

Here are pics of my last engine swap



Last edited by LantanaTX; 11-25-2012 at 02:47 PM. Reason: added pics
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I saw the two SHO engined cars, and while the engine is beautiful its power is less than most of the Lotus turbo 4 cylinder engines. IMO, the SHO swap doesn't make much sense to me. I appreciate your thoughts. I am well known in the Crossfire community and have standing offers for the car. All of which made the swap a financial success. Don't want to sell it unless I can get excited about another project. Have loved the Esprit ever since I saw one as a kid turn into a submarine and latter when Julia Roberts was in one!

Can anyone tell me the length of the 2.2 engine from front of harmonic balancer to the bellhousing mating surface?

anyone know of a decent 89 up Esprit for sale at a good price? Looking at two on ebay now.





A good guy to talk to is: Wayne Ellison. He is on this forum as well as thelotusforums.com The guy is an engineer. Since this is a mid engine car you will have to do some upgrades to the cooling fans and radiators etc. It might save you a lot of time to talk to him since he upgraded to a high output intercooled turbo solution on his esprit.
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Go for that white one on eBay for $10K. I bought his Nova wheels, and that car is a good candidate for an engine swap. If the engine is still solid, you could fix any minor issues and sell it for a decent price.
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Go for that white one on eBay for $10K. I bought his Nova wheels, and that car is a good candidate for an engine swap. If the engine is still solid, you could fix any minor issues and sell it for a decent price.
That is what I was thinking. I have sent him a message. Need better pictures.
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The coyote engine is going to be too wide with those big heads on it.. No way it will fit.. I would use an ls motor.. They will make a lot more power than the coyote, the dimensions are smaller, they are MUCH lighter and you could for the same price as the coyote put an N/A 600hp motor in one.. I am local if you need help sourcing a motor.. I am a little biased towards the ls motors though
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The coyote engine is going to be too wide with those big heads on it.. No way it will fit.. I would use an ls motor.. They will make a lot more power than the coyote, the dimensions are smaller, they are MUCH lighter and you could for the same price as the coyote put an N/A 600hp motor in one.. I am local if you need help sourcing a motor.. I am a little biased towards the ls motors though
I am just not a chevy guy and never will be. I don't think the width will be a problem as it is the same width as the Audi 4.2 V8 that has already been done in a Lotus. He had no problem with the width. The length has me a little concerned. The sky is the limit in terms of power but the stock 412hp should be plenty quick. I like that the Coyote is more modern technology than a LS and is similar in looks and design to the Lotus V8. Also like that parts needed to mate it to the transaxle already exist. The Renault transaxle is also popular with the GT40 kit cars. I built a GT40 in the past but that car used an Audi transaxle. Ford and Lotus have worked together in the past so "Powered by Ford" wouldn't be all that foriegn. Lotus Ford had some very impressive racing history.
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Old 11-25-2012, 05:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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An old zr1 lt5 would be a cool swap since lotus designed the lt5.
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I am just not a chevy guy and never will be. I don't think the width will be a problem as it is the same width as the Audi 4.2 V8 that has already been done in a Lotus. He had no problem with the width. The length has me a little concerned. The sky is the limit in terms of power but the stock 412hp should be plenty quick. I like that the Coyote is more modern technology than a LS and is similar in looks and design to the Lotus V8. Also like that parts needed to mate it to the transaxle already exist. The Renault transaxle is also popular with the GT40 kit cars. I built a GT40 in the past but that car used an Audi transaxle. Ford and Lotus have worked together in the past so "Powered by Ford" wouldn't be all that foriegn. Lotus Ford had some very impressive racing history.
Ahh Ford die hard fan.. I personally am an auto whore.. I like anything that has impressive performance and some good gawk factor.. I just think it would be an easier swap.. I'm all for smaller, lighter, faster, cheaper! The ls manifold also can be bolted up backward too! GM actually owned Lotus from 86-93.. and backed them when the Esprit was racing and doing very well.. That is why there are so many gm components on an esprit. But the cyote swap would be pretty cool!
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:02 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Ahh Ford die hard fan.. I personally am an auto whore.. I like anything that has impressive performance and some good gawk factor.. I just think it would be an easier swap.. I'm all for smaller, lighter, faster, cheaper! The ls manifold also can be bolted up backward too! GM actually owned Lotus from 86-93.. and backed them when the Esprit was racing and doing very well.. That is why there are so many gm components on an esprit. But the cyote swap would be pretty cool!
Have you seen a bellhousing for the LS to Renault? I actually like the LS. We run one in a Class 1 unlimited buggy that we just raced in the Baja 1000. I believe that engine is a LS3. BTW you can turn the manifold around on the coyote as well. see pic.

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Old 11-26-2012, 09:26 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Have you seen a bellhousing for the LS to Renault? I actually like the LS. We run one in a Class 1 unlimited buggy that we just raced in the Baja 1000. I believe that engine is a LS3. BTW you can turn the manifold around on the coyote as well. see pic.

No I have not seen a bellhousing for ls fitment.. I believe the un1 only survives in the Esprit because of the "cushion" a boosted engine gives between shifts, I doubt a un1 would survive the instant tq that the coyote or ls would throw at it.. Your only saving chance is to build it and add a dif.. Would be cheaper to buy a G50..
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:46 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I am pretty familiar with the renault transaxle becasuse I built a GT40 in the past. The GT40 guys have been using the Renault for years with mostly small block Fords such as the 302 and 351 Windsor. My GT40 ran a 347 stroker with with individual runner fuel injection with a Motex ECU through an Audi 5spd transaxle from an old Audi 5000. Because of the success of these the Renault boxes in the GT40's, I probably have more confidence in the Renault box than most people here do. Another thing about the coyote is that it is pretty docile when not pushed hard. you don't actually get the 412hp unless you get into the throttle hard which activates the variable cam timing. This could also give the cushion you mentioned. I am still trying to get measurments to see if the Coyote will fit. I sent a message to the guy who installed the 4.2 Audi. If I could ocmpare the difference between that engine and the Coyote, I will have a basic idea if it will fit. Anyone want to tell me how long the 2.2 Lotus is?

One more question: does the LS engine share the same bellhousing as a small block chevy? Tornado Sports cars who builds the Coyote powered GT40 (who I stole the pictures from) also sells a bellhousing for SBC to Renault. I also found out that they sell modified UN1 transaxles for 1,895. GBP which includes modified 2nd and 3rd gear and oil passages drilled out.

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Old 11-26-2012, 10:34 AM   #16 (permalink)
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One more question: does the LS engine share the same bellhousing as a small block chevy? Tornado Sports cars who builds the Coyote powered GT40 (who I stole the pictures from) also sells a bellhousing for SBC to Renault. I also found out that they sell modified UN1 transaxles for 1,895. GBP which includes modified 2nd and 3rd gear and oil passages drilled out.

Yes the ls shares the same belhousing as the small block chevys.. Just has one more bolt hole on the top that you wont be using with the older style bellhousing.. Great info on the upgraded un1 boxes! Do you know if they address the overhang on 5th gear which is a pretty weak part on the un1? I will have to do some research on their boxes.. Would be great to avoid the Esprit tax on a built transaxle..
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:12 AM   #17 (permalink)
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One more question: does the LS engine share the same bellhousing as a small block chevy? Tornado Sports cars who builds the Coyote powered GT40 (who I stole the pictures from) also sells a bellhousing for SBC to Renault. I also found out that they sell modified UN1 transaxles for 1,895. GBP which includes modified 2nd and 3rd gear and oil passages drilled out.

Yes the ls shares the same belhousing as the small block chevys.. Just has one more bolt hole on the top that you wont be using with the older style bellhousing.. Great info on the upgraded un1 boxes! Do you know if they address the overhang on 5th gear which is a pretty weak part on the un1? I will have to do some research on their boxes.. Would be great to avoid the Esprit tax on a built transaxle..
Thanks for the info. Sounds like the LS is another option to consider. I thought you guys might find the UN1 info valuable. I was also just looking at the Porshe Boxster S transaxle since adaptor plates are available for that as well.
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:00 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I will get you the dimension on the motor tomorrow, I have two on stands out of the cars. I also have a car ('89) without an engine in the bay, if any of those dimensions would be helpful. And a V8 car opened up if you need to compare apples to oranges.
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:36 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I will get you the dimension on the motor tomorrow, I have two on stands out of the cars. I also have a car ('89) without an engine in the bay, if any of those dimensions would be helpful. And a V8 car opened up if you need to compare apples to oranges.
Greg
Thank you! The Ford Coyote 5.0 is 27.5 inches wide, 26 inches tall and 28 inches long. I appreciate any comparisons/measurements you can give. I did get a message back from the guy "Hilly" in the UK who installed a 4.2 Audi V8 and he thinks it should fit fine, but he used an Audi transaxle and had the luxury of moving the engine and tranaxle for and aft a bit. I intend to bolt right up to the Renault transaxle.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:38 AM   #20 (permalink)
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LantanaTx,

I have an 89 for sale it is listed in the classified section. asking $8500.
Mechanically sound, needs cosmetic work.

Al B.
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email me at al.brussich@sbcglobal.net
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