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Old 01-05-2013, 11:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hussie the S4...

Ok boys and girls, it seems way too quiet around here, so get your popcorn.

On 12/12/12 (what a date, but easy to remember), Hussie showed up on my doorstep (previous owner photo) -



A '95 S4. Previous owner had her for 14 years, and did do some things, like change the oil, a clutch, and brake work at some point, but little else.

I am more of a G car guy, having been an original S1 owner in the day, and a couple of S1 projects in the garage now. I am building a 200hp+ engine for one of them currently, but realized it will be at least a year to finish up that project. So I pulled the trigger on the S4. I fell in love with the silk red and magnolia interior, and it was all over at that point.

The good points are the paint, interior, and motor/transaxle are good, it is pretty much totally original/stock. The bad is a lot of sorting to do. The most amazing thing is it has no oil leaks. I guess in the lotus community that means no oil remains in the engine or transaxle.

The name was from an email with a friend that is also restoring a S1 to running condition, he seemed to think the older lotuses in the garage (5) would not be happy with the young hussie moving in on their territory. So the name stuck.

My plan is to refresh and update the girl, and to do that in the next month or so. Then actually have a lotus that runs that I can drive, unlike the five garage stuffers I currently own.

Some may agree with the direction I am going, some may not, discussion is always appreciated and welcome. Where I may be a little off the reservation, is I would like better performance without hurting highway fuel economy, and most of my updates will be picked with that in mind. I consider this my 'economy retirement car', if I want to take off on a trip, I want to get there with enough money to still eat.

So the general thought is to renew or upgrade where needed while attaining a better state of tune, hopefully without going overboard and hurting the reliability or the value of the car.

Next, I will outline what I have in mind, if you are still awake.

Brian
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Very Nice

Sharp looking S4, Hope you get her sorted out soon... they are much happier when they are on the road
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Ok, here we go....

The general thought is to start with a full C service, and while doing that, swap out old stuff for new stuff as needed. The car only has 17,761 miles on the clock, but with a spotty service history, and considering the age, many things need addressed.

The first, and most important, is a new Gates HSN HTD cam belt. That should be what is on it now, but believe it is original to the car, as in 18 years old. Big time timebomb. Along with that, a new tensioner is getting installed, green dot pulleys, and should probably rebuild the water pump while in that far.

Since the chargecooler pump is known to be unreliable, and off of a boat motor, a new bosch electric pump and a blockoff kit have been purchased.

On the ignition, two new msd coil packs, iridium NGK's, and a new set of 8mm wires from JAE.

Optima 34R Red top to start the girl, should be here Tuesday.

Got a new turbo blanket, since my car does not currently have a motor cover. Anyone have one laying around for reasonable?

7 piece silicone coolant hose kit, since I have to dump the coolant to change the cam belt.

Stainless steel cat bypass and k&n air filter from Esprit Performance in England.

All new matched RC Engineering injectors via John Welch, upping the secondarys to 270cc from the stock 190cc. Read too many bad things on the rochesters that are in there having various failure modes when reaching their current age, and the better spray patterns will be welcomed too.

Stock lotus s4s mark V eprom, with John's adapter board, so no soldering or socketing needed. Better code than I have, and up the boost to 1 bar (which is why the secondary injectors were upsized).

I am planning on using MT-90 redline in the transaxle, but John does not seem to like that - "Next, MT-90 works in the transaxle. IF you change it often. If your not going to change it every 3-4k miles may I recommend Redline 75-90 NS, it is a true GL-5 lube and is better for the differential." Thoughts???

He also does not like the msd coils, or the iridium plugs. On the plugs, he uses the stock 6757 ngk's, and says you should change when you change the oil, because they foul, and a waste to use the more expensive plugs, not that he does not like them. Just wanted to clarify that. More thoughts???

Probably go for the mobil one 20-50 weight V Twin oil, or second choice would be valvoline 20-50 VR1. Even more thoughts???

Got in a spray can of custom PPG silk red paint to touch up the front lower valence, and a couple of scrapes on the nose, and the correct clear coat. I hope that is not more of an adventure than I expect.

Oh, and an ebay rice burner blowoff valve. Did some work in it today I will share in the next post.

A good lotus mechanic with a lift could probably do most of this in a couple of days. Me, with jack stands, and being an old fart, probably a month. This thing is insured, and has new plates, I do not want this to be a multi month project, but try and do the best I can the first time, and drive it soon and often.

So, am I on the right track, or just totally nucken futs?

Brian

Last edited by bharper; 01-05-2013 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The major things i did that boosted my S4 into a real monster: Racing chip from JAE, green dot cams, removed cat (test pipe from JAE), and custom muffler (basically gutted out the original muffler). Car is a monster. (And BOV valve) You can see my very car nearly bury the needle on youtube: "Lotus top speed" (says "some guy in florida nearly buries needle ....", that's my S4)
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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azesprit, I would be much happier on the road too!

judgea, cool video, but also be careful sharing links publicly, that could potentially get you in more trouble than you want. Cool too on the race chip. How long did it take to clean the drivers seat when the alarm went off??? I'm sure it would have taken me a while to clean up. Had a built javelin back in the day, built 390, 2.87 rear gear, it saw 157 a couple of times. Considering it was on first gen monkey wards radials, I am probably lucky to be around to talk about it. Losing a tire at those speeds would not be pretty.....

Right now, I'm going conservative with the factory code update until I know more about the S4, this car, and exactly what I have under me for certain. Later, I might consider more of a chip, but just not important in the grand scheme of things right now, other areas need the $$$$ and attention.

Brian

Last edited by bharper; 01-05-2013 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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With a bunch of $$$ already spent, I decided to skimp a little on the blow off valve, and try a cheap ebay part. If the seal holds up, I would expect it should work fine, it is not rocket science.

I decided to go external venting instead of internal, I did not want to add a small radiator size hose across the engine bay to the air cleaner box and punch a big hole in it.

My concern on external venting is on a single piston design the valve can be open on idle, and sucking air. With my luck, even though it would normally be a million to one, for me would be 10 to 1 chance it would suck up something of a solid nature, and not do a good job of digesting it in the engine. And filter light dust and such. Don't need dirty air in the engine. So some changes needed, simple and cheap.

Here is what the stock valve looks like -




I removed the ouput air horn, and turned it down so I could fit a std 35mm size air filter.




here it is with the filter installed, a std cheap filter used on a pocket bike/motorcycle.




The filter came with an external shield/hat, which I will use, and point the outlet ports straight down. This should help quiet it some, and keep rain out of the filter. I may leave it chrome, or may just paint it to match the chargecooler.




total investment for the blowoff valve kit (with the silicone t and such) and the filter - $75.

Brian

Last edited by bharper; 01-05-2013 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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nice work Brian!
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Old 01-05-2013, 04:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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tnx V12!
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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bharper, yeah it was some PO in Florida going that fast. I'm not in Florida. I don't think he worried about the alarm, felt confident it goes off when about to redline, some kind of safety feature.
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Nice I seen this car on ebay.
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:06 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Oh, ok, thought the text was saying it was a radar detector. redline makes more sense. Doubt I ever hear that in 5th!

Yep, was an ebay car, and it followed me home.... As well as 4 of my 5 others, I have to stay away from that place.

I don't know of another brand of car owners that watch ebay more than us lotus guys. Seems pretty universal to keep up with what is out there. There must be some long ass medical term to describe our behavior. The short version would be nuts....

Brian

Last edited by bharper; 01-05-2013 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:16 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I am totally guilty of constantly browsing eBay for Lotuses. Don't know why. After I sold my 91 SE, I kept looking at them on eBay even while I was into other cars for 10 years. It finally caught up to me and I had to get another one.

By the way, someone here would be interested in this new exhaust manifold for the 4 bangers:
Lotus Esprit S4 Exhaust Manifold | eBay
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:17 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Nice S4 Brian, don't think I've ever seen an S4 or S4s in that color.

Sounds to me like you're on the right track and should have a really nice car when the work is done. Definitely rebuild the water pump while in there.

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Old 01-06-2013, 09:36 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Tnx Jim, and yep, just ordered the water pump rebuild kit. Question now is if I should try all of this in car, or just bite the bullet and yank the motor and transaxle, clean everything up, do the service, and reinstall.

I am even considering doing the plenum porting, and yanking the intake manifold and port matching it to the head, I expect it is quite a bit undersized as most other lotus intake manifolds I have seen, including recent porting I did on a 912hc head and intake.

Have to smack my hands to not pull the head and bump up the intake valve sizes to max, and bowl port it. The bowl's on the hc head took a lot of work, meaning it should have picked up a lot of flow efficiency.

EspritSe, don't know if it is the lotus curse, or what, but once you get a lotus in your blood, nothing else will do. Drinking, drugs, women, vette's, porsches, merc's, eldo's, jag's, had them all, and just do not make the socks go up and down like a lotus on one of our curvy WV country roads on a nice spring day with the windows down, and the green trees curving over the road. 55mph open single lane roads, with lots of 25-35mph turns. It just does not get much better!

My fear on the S4 is it may be too refined for an old G car guy, but expect a lot of the same magic is still there. Arguably, the 95 S4 is one of the better lotuses ever made. Guess I will see. The newer lotuses, I do not know if they are as addicting as the older ones, but that is just due to no personal knowledge of or experience with them.

ACBC would have been a cool dude to hang with an evening at a pub or bar.

Brian

Last edited by bharper; 01-06-2013 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:21 AM   #15 (permalink)
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hey bharper, yes that is a radar detector/laser shifter in the youtube S4. It is a Passport SRX detector, that can check vehicle voltage, warn of redline, etc.

I also had a previous G-car (87 HCI). It was a wonderful car, strong, a brute. The S4 is more refined, also a great car, you will enjoy it!
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:06 PM   #16 (permalink)
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You should always be conscious of "project creep". In this case I would just do a through "C" service, changing all fluids, belts, and hoses. Once you start upgrading it becomes difficult to pick a place to stop. Then start driving the car and sorting out what doesn't work right. While doing that you can also work on the cosmetics. Check out drcolorchip.com for chips and scratches in the paint. Because of the age, doing the water pump, fuel injectors, and chargecooler also probably make sense. If the tires are over 7 years old they have to go and you probably also need wiper blades. Get some Leatherique rejuvinator for the leather. I would pass on the blow-off valve for the time being till you know the car is in good "tune". I would also document oil pressure and cylinder compression. Do not use a "true" GL-5 lube in the transaxle, it is not good to the brass parts. No need to get expensive spark plugs, they are really for use in cars where you rack up a lot of miles and you don't want to change them often. Consider creature comfort upgrades too like satellite radio or bluetooth and Navigation if you are going to be driving the car a lot. The S4 in stock trim is plenty of car if it is running the way it should. Any "upgrades" will have little to no decernable effect. Don't forget to do a through inspection of the undercarriage and suspension. Check the fuel tanks for any signs of corrosion or leaks.
David Teitelbaum
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:32 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Hey David,

I certainly agree on pretty much every point you bring up. My S1 is not running after many years due to the dreaded 'project creep', just finished restoring the third set of carbs for it.

I emailed Garry Kemp today, to get a water pump rebuild on the way, and he suggested considering the engine pull, so could also closely inspect the bottoms of the fuel tanks. If this car was in Britain, I expect that to be the norm. On the plus side, this car was in a basement heated/cooled garage for the last 14 years, and driven little, but regularly. So maybe I am ok there.

I've already had three nays on the iridium plugs, so I just ordered two sets of the 6757's. Was going to get a couple of spares, and thought that was stupid, just get an extra set.

Redline mt90 it shall be, everyone seems to have done good with that, even in the G cars.

paintscratch.com I believe was the name where I got the ppg mix from, and other supplies, I had read some of the other lotus guys had used them. They had never delt with the silk red color, however, and like most places, could do nothing with the dupont number. After a lot of looking, I did come up with a ppg number, and that they could work with. I will certainly take a look at yours if the existing supplies do not work out. I probably should have chased down a dupont dealer, the ppg dealers seem to be more common.

Already got a new anco wiper blade, their aero one, I think it was a 91-24 I seem to remember.

One reason I have tried to identify and purchase everything up front, besides trying to get it done quickly, is also to hopefully keep things on track, and not let it creep too far.

The optional parts at this point I would consider to be the green dot pulleys (already have them), the cat bypass, the coil packs, and the s4s mark V chip. However, I do feel all of those will be nice additions to performance, and most of those will also most likely help crusing mpg. The injectors I could have perhaps done without right now, but having known quantities in those positions I feel is more critical than many may think. Miss a lean or rich running injector, and major things can go wrong. Just not worth the risk on that score. Since all of the other optional parts are either here, or on the way, changing them at this time makes the most sense. When the cam belt is off, that is the time to do the pulleys, the water pump, and the tensioner. Having to change the coolant, as well as dump it to change the cam belt, is the time for the silicone hoses upgrade. Having the chargecooler off to do the injectors is also the time to add the blowoff valve. Just don't want to backtrack in certain areas when I am in there anyway.

I am certainy too damn windy!

Brian
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:00 PM   #18 (permalink)
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BHarper,

You probably don't need a filter on yur BOV. Even at idle your turbo is spinning and air is blowing from the turbo. On my esprit, there is not enough vacuum from the ITB manifold to open that valve with some real pressure in the pipes.. If you have both springs in your BOV, it will be closed under normal driving. It looks like your is a Greddy Type RS knockoff, but it still probably has dual springs in it. On the RS, I usually remove the inner spring and just runt he larger single spring. This makes the valve open up faster and stay open longer for better protection from impeller reversion. Even with just a single spring and some preload on it, the BOV is not open at idle or cruising.

I wouldn't recommend using just the inner spring..... it is too light.
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Old 01-06-2013, 02:18 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Hey QuadCam,

I agree 100% that air will not under most circumstance enter the blowoff valve exit. Even though unlikey, I am just most uncomfortable of anything solid ending up inside the blowoff valve, a small rock, a washer, dirt, a dead bug, water, whatever. I would also expect that the blowoff valve does not have much travel on the piston, and probably would not allow anything of size to fall through the opening to the seal.

The other half of the deal for me however, is to quiet it down some, without plumbing it back to the air cleaner housing, and cutting a big hole in the housing. That, I would not consider 'reversable' without buying a new air cleaner housing. The arrangement of the current air cleaner I expect should help tone it down some, and certainly will not hurt anything being there. I will probably even line the inside of the 'hat' with a layer of foam.

I will take a look at the springs, and preload on them once I have it installed. Yes, it would be best to not have idle vacuum on its own opening it up.

Thanks for the info on the springs QuadCam, I appreciate that!

Brian

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Old 01-06-2013, 04:12 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I've got approximately 76 1994-95 Esprit S4's in an informal registry I keep. This car is the only Maroon exterior color on my list.

I'm no expert, but obviously it's very rare color.

Is the front bumper the only place the paint needs some work?
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