Just who do you think you are??? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community

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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 04:07 AM Thread Starter
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Just who do you think you are???

Hello Everyone,

So, as I continue to learn about the Esprit ownership experience, I'm finding there are generally two types of owners: 1) those that fix things as they break/fail and 2) those that replace things ahead of time anticipating breakage/failure. I'm trying to decide which one to be and I'd like to hear about yourselves as I weigh the two identities. The case for type #1 correlates with the axiom "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" whose logic is hard to argue with. However, the potential variable that keeps me from pledging allegiance to that camp is: If, in GENERAL, when typical failures, etc. occur with Esprits, is it USUALLY the case that when 'a' fails, so will 'b, c and d' and then you'll have to replace all four OR is it USUALLY the case that you'll replace only 'a"' (I know there are likely caveats and exceptions galore here, but I'd like to hear your thoughts in a general sense). If chain reactions ARE the norm, it'd make sense to be the type #2 owner, however, if chain reactions are not COMMON, it'd make more sense to live by the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" logic. I think as I type this out that what I'm really looking for is a sound argument against type #1. To me, it simply doesn't make sense to spend money unnecessarily unless, more often than not, by doing so you're absolutely saving yourself from spending more money in the long-run. All Esprits being unique in their own ways aside, which Esprit owner type are you?

Stephen
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 04:40 AM
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I'm a combination of both types.


The quick answer is that, because of the labor time involved to access many components, it makes sense to treat them as regular maintenance items 'while you are in there'.

Other things I do as I perceive them, through observation (noise), or behavioral changes. I always say: "Keep the To Do list, shorter than your arm".

If I read of an easy thing I can do to prevent a common problem, I do it.






(A wise general knows when to retreat, so that he can win the war another day.)
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Atwell Haines
'88 Esprit
Succasunna, NJ USA


"Not all angels have wings." - Turbo R
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 04:58 AM
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When you have spent a 1000 dollars or a week of time disassembling the car to replace a broken part, and you hold in your hand a 50 dollar part that is known to fail at the least convenient moment, and you must spend that 1000 dollars or week to get to it, you replace it.

One does not spend 1000 dollars or a week of time to replace a 50 dollar part 'just because'

On my M100 the CV boots were cracked. It was 12 years old and had 65k miles. To get to them you must break the ball joints. So I replaced the ball joints[and struts, they were cheap then]
On the Exige I had to do the heater blower resistors, so the nose was off, so I replaced the stock radiator, and AC condenser, maybe 600 for both aftermarket.

On early Elans, replacing the struts requires removing the corner. Really ought to think about wheel bearings when you are holding them in your hand.

And finally, parts that die quickly don't all die quickly, be judicious when preventively replacing parts, sometimes the one that is in there is better than the one you bought new.
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Last edited by exigegus; 04-20-2017 at 06:37 AM.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 05:41 AM
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A lot depends on who actually does the work. Most owners will not spend a lot of money to fix every niggly little problem if they have to get the car to a shop, pay the labor AND parts (usually at list price) too. It is always cheaper in the end to be proactive and keep up with the maintenance. Getting stuck and having to get towed only adds to the cost of ownership and cause you to lose confidence in the car so you wind up using it less and less.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 05:43 AM
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In my experience, with the Esprit anyhow, The two categories are a little narrower than that. The first two owners of my car didn't do their own maintenance, so when something broke or wore out it was fixed by someone on a timeline trying to make a buck, probably working for a boss. Consequently things got fixed the easy way, the cheapest way, (for them, the non owner, not what they billed the owner for! You should see some of these charges! I have all the receipts.) I have had to redo things that professionals did because it was MESSED UP! And some of these were Lotus specialty shops. One of my favorites is replacing the fuel vent hoses on the tanks with the same vinyl hose, over and over, that doesn't stand up to fuel vapors! Why not just use fuel hose? But I digress. Few things are more disturbing to me than being stranded by a car and having to have it towed. So, yes while I'm 'in there' I try to do it the right way, clean things up as I go, and if I can simplify or organize or even design something a little better I do it. A few bucks here and there in well worth having to go back in there and redo something I already did.
All that being said, I LIKE working on the car. Probably sounds strange to non car people but it's the truth.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 06:53 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carbuff View Post
I'm a combination of both types.


The quick answer is that, because of the labor time involved to access many components, it makes sense to treat them as regular maintenance items 'while you are in there'.

Other things I do as I perceive them, through observation (noise), or behavioral changes. I always say: "Keep the To Do list, shorter than your arm".

If I read of an easy thing I can do to prevent a common problem, I do it.






(A wise general knows when to retreat, so that he can win the war another day.)
Carbuff, I'm beginning to get the sense that you and I run on the same wavelength. Your points are clear and well said. I think a blending of the two is where my comfort zone lies also. As exigegus pointed out astutely, if there's a part you know is going to be an 'a' leading to 'b, c, d, etc) or to higher dollar expenditures, go ahead and do it which makes complete sense. And, to your points carbuff, the access issue was a great insight in that if you're already going to be close by another part/area that is notorious or likely to wear, go ahead and do it even if it 'ain't broke.' Very good points, guys. I think this combo approach as well as staying up to date on prescribed maintenance (obviously) is the way to go and a mindset of ownership that I can feel good about. Thanks guys (and I certainly welcome other opinions, of course!)

Stephen

"Not even for a Scooby snack?" Velma
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 08:17 AM
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I tend to fall into the second category and anticipate things that may fail, depending on the cost. For example, I just replaced the tailgate release cable that goes from the handle on the B pillar to the release mechanism. It was a cheap replacement as I'm sure it was the original cable 16 years old so totally worth it. Had it snapped you're basically SOL.

David.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 10:53 AM
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The short answer is "it depends". However, with my 01 Esprit, I'm being very proactive and have already replaced several things that were "good", but also "old and worn". IMO, with a Lotus, especially an Esprit or one of the older models, you really need to build a maintenance plan for the next six, twelve, twenty-four, and thirty-six months and keep it updated. You're not going to be able to run down to Autozone for a lot of the parts so you have to find them first; it's better to replace before failure rather than have it fail and not be able to drive the car (especially when the weather is gorgeous!).

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 12:11 PM
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That hatch cable is a good example of the two types of owners.

@LotusGuy48 has one philosophy.



My philosophy is one of regular maintenance.

I inspect the cable ends for chafing and fraying yearly, then apply lubricant at the release (ball) end, and the latches. My cable is OEM as far as I know and it still works & looks perfect.

Atwell Haines
'88 Esprit
Succasunna, NJ USA


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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 06:53 PM
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Check my garage link under my Avatar.

As a previous daily driver of my late 88 Esprit - it only made sense to take the 'aircraft' maintenance philosophy - replace perfectly working parts if thet were very old and would have a high probability of stranding the car.

My 88 Esprit had one important job - 100% uptime as a daily driver to work, play and all point in between. Can't expect 100% uptime on 23 year old fuel pumps even if they only have 30K miles on them. Replaced most of the soft parts involved with cooling, filters, etc.

If you don't daily drive, you don't need to go my route - it certainly wasn't cheap given I don't do any of the heavy lifting (and I have access to excellent mechanics).

I even replaced the original spare tire in case of a flat in a remote area. Maybe overkill, but peace-of-mind is priceless.

Ironically, the only times the car needed to be towed were for the same problem within 30 days of each other - the original throttle cable broke at throttle side. Then 30 days later, the NEW Lotus-branded throttle cable broke at the pedal side.

50K miles in 49 months - not too shabby for an Esprit.

What a concept - maintain it well and it runs uneventfully

Eddie B
88 Esprit 'SLEEK GT'
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 08:05 AM
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Better safe than sorry, especially with the reputation that the Esprit has. I am the type of person that would rather replace and do preventative care so that I can enjoy driving the car. Unfortunately I am unable to wrench on the car so i want it to be as fully sorted out as can be.

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 10:14 AM
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I am unable to wrench on the car so i want it to be as fully sorted out as can be.
I have several Lotus friends that are the same. What they found (similar to sleekgt) was that it is wise to bring the car in to a trusted mechanic periodically (at least, every year regardless of miles driven).

Have the shop address the things on your 'list'. An experienced shop will be familiar with what causes the things. (In case you didn't know, stands for "They All Do That, Sir".)

That way, you will only have "idiosyncrasies" instead of "issues".

Atwell Haines
'88 Esprit
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 12:19 PM
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The other philosophy is to always try to keep the car in the best condition you can because if you let a lot of small things pile up, now it becomes a big project to get the car all sorted out again. IMHO being able to work on your car is just another aspect of the experience of owning and driving a collector car. If you don't know how, then learn a new skill. I don't know everyone on this forum but I would guess no one so dumb as to not be able to learn how to take care of their car and do at least minor jobs. If you can afford the money to get a Lotus and have the time to enjoy it you should be able to take care of it too. That means at the very least checking fluids, tires, bulbs, glass, cleaning it etc. Owner kind of stuff, not doing a valve job but maybe changing brake pads or brake fluid.
David Teitelbaum
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-21-2017, 08:54 PM
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The happiest owners are those who do their own work IMHO.
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Tom Mieczkowski
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 10:27 AM
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Long time ago, I was #1 type, but I got tired of fixing the original FUBAR-s with the same half@$$ed non-reliable parts over and over again.
Thus, after a while, I became #2 type, which was short lived, because I quickly realized that keeping these cars "stock" is insane!
They were built to last 5-7 years maximum and some systems were "unrefined".
So far, my list of major FUBAR-s is approaching 48 items.

So, by now, I'm #3!
LOL.
I do replace, redesign, redevelop and improve everything and anything which catches my eye on the given day. No holds barred!
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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 12:12 PM
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The happiest owners are those who do their own work IMHO.
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Originally Posted by MRDANGERUS View Post
I'm #3!
LOL.
Mr D is a very happy guy, I'm told!

Atwell Haines
'88 Esprit
Succasunna, NJ USA


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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 04-22-2017, 06:57 PM
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In my experience, with the Esprit anyhow, The two categories are a little narrower than that. The first two owners of my car didn't do their own maintenance, so when something broke or wore out it was fixed by someone on a timeline trying to make a buck, probably working for a boss. Consequently things got fixed the easy way, the cheapest way, (for them, the non owner, not what they billed the owner for! You should see some of these charges! I have all the receipts.) I have had to redo things that professionals did because it was MESSED UP! And some of these were Lotus specialty shops.
I completely commiserate with you on fixing what should have been fixed properly the first time. Whoever had my Esprit before me put a lot of money into some mods (made the rear of a 2001 look like a 2002-2004 and had a custom suspension installed), but failed to note that the tires were more than a decade old (or more), many of the seals and gaskets (not in the engine, but around the door, gas cap, etc.) were suffering from extreme dry rot, and that the windshield wiper fluid pump/motor was burned out. Those have all since been fixed (new tires, new seals, new wiper fluid reservoir assembly, but I'm keeping the suspension!), but another issue reared its head...

When I bought the car, I told the dealer that I wanted a new audio head unit installed that had satellite navigation, SiriusXM, and Apple CarPlay. He said, "No problem!" A large sum of money later, I have my car but the Kenwood head unit gives me an error when I try to use SiriusXM and the only navigation capabilities the unit has is when my iPhone is plugged into it. Now I'm peeved.

I had the car in for inspection (JMS Motors in Lancaster, PA...Joe and his crew are absolutely top notch to deal with) and asked them to track down the reason why the SiriusXM wouldn't work. Long story short, after they tore the dash apart and cracked the custom face plate (the audio guy who did it decided it was easier to hot glue everything together than do it right...) they determine that the audio guy never installed the SiriusXM module and instead just plugged a cable into the port on the back.

The audio guy, in Chicago, never put up a fuss or tried to dispute what I was telling him and immediately offered to send a new SiriusXM module and material for a faceplate. IMO, he knew they screwed up...who the heck does high end work and doesn't even test it? If I would deploy a workstation to a client that couldn't connect to the server or print, I'd be hauled in front of the Man to explain!

So here I am...I have ~$550 in labor charges to correct the problem that should never have happened. Monday morning he's going get a call and we are going to "discuss" this...I have documentation that says he did the work and yet it wasn't. Sad.

Kurt
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