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Old 12-28-2012, 06:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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New Esprit Owner in Dallas

Just thougt I would say hello. I picked up Alphonse's '89 Esprit today from Houston and just got it home to Dallas. It was a great drive and I was amazed at how strong and smooth the engine ran. Cosmetically the car is a bit chanllenged, but how how many Esprit's have been daily drivers for over 20 years? At close to 130,000 miles this must be one of the highest mileage cars around. All those miles willl soon melt away with a full restoration.
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Old 12-28-2012, 07:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome and post some pics!!

Glad to hear you are restoring it, they are great cars!
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome! It will be fun to follow your progress. We like pictures of every stage of the process around here.

I know you are going the big American V8 route, but what are you planning to do with the interior and exterior since you have to redo them as well? Going to keep it stock looking, or pimp it out?
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thumbs up

I love my '89 and have rebuilt the car entirely. Looking forward to following your progress. It will be a fun project I am sure.

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Old 12-28-2012, 09:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by lotusespritse View Post
Welcome! It will be fun to follow your progress. We like pictures of every stage of the process around here.

I know you are going the big American V8 route, but what are you planning to do with the interior and exterior since you have to redo them as well? Going to keep it stock looking, or pimp it out?
I am not looking to pimp it out... Any changes to the appearance will be mild updates. I tend to build cars to be either original or how I would built it originally. I really haven''t made any decisions yet. I will probably do upgrades such as bigger brakes, which may require at least 17 inch wheels. This car has the SE wheels with 15 in the front 16" in the rear. As I get into the car, I will look for oppotunities to intoduce more modern technology and reliability. Overall the car will be plausible original. The most extream things I am considering besides the new four cam Coyote Ford 5.0 is Budnik polished forged wheels and maybe different seats. The car is black with the silver/grey lower section. Probably will go all black. Painter is coming by tomorrow to see the car. I don't want to start on the car immediatly as I want to spend some time getting to know and evaluate the car first.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:10 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Here are a couple of pictures. The car is mechanically very good. The biggest issues are paint and interior. Today I restored the taillights, fixed two sticking doors, (I was trapped in the car last night!) that now are butter smooth. Still have to fix a broken right latch on front hood and going to take the Lexal cleaner to the interior.







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Old 12-29-2012, 12:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Interesting placement of the BOV. I put mine on the rear of the plenum and moved the pickup for the boost gauge.
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Looks good!
The rear SE wheels help a bit when buying tires.
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Congrats on the new project. Question, are the rear tires directional? The passenger rear looks to be on backwards. Enjoy!
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:57 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Tires are directional all around and no, they are pointed in the right direction. Good luck with the project Bob and I hope you have as much enjoyment with the car as I had. It was a bit tough when I listened to it going down the street and I was not in it. I try real hard not to wince when the garage door opens but after 21 years it is to be expected. Sorry about the front latch, did not know that one. Got home late yesterday and saw your call, hope it was not fom inside the car :-). Will call you today. Good luck and enjoy the ride.
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:30 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Al, I can't believe you got rid of this!
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Well... I am getting to know this car and having some fun. There really isn't much wrong with the car but I am addressing some samll things. The first priority was to not get trapped in the car becuase the door was stuck. Next was replacing a dead headlamp. I haven't change a sealed beam light in many years! Today I addressed a flopy headlight pod. tuned out the bearing plate that is riveted to the pod had seperated. The pod was fine but the heads of the rivets had broken off. Next on my list is to get the speedo working right, replace a burnt bulld in the temp guage, fix the right latch on the front bonnet and replace the left inner upper transverse link bushing which is creating a bunch of negative camber on that wheel.

Another thing I want to look into is changing the springs. This car was set up to race and at speed I have never experienced a better handling car, but I am street driving this car and don't want to have to set a side money for new dental fillings. I am trying to figure out what length and spring rate to use. The car has the system from PUK. I am thinking of 224# - 250# for the front and 250# - 275# for the rear. Any thoughts?
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:51 PM   #13 (permalink)
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You might be able to pick up some stock springs cheap from people breaking Esprits.

The rears are easy to change, the front is a royal pain compared to the rear.

For a temporary paint solution until you do the full respray, what about spraying it with plasti dip? Now they have a lot of color choices and matte finish is "in" with the exotics, like matte white and light blue.


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Old 01-01-2013, 06:41 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by lotusespritse View Post
You might be able to pick up some stock springs cheap from people breaking Esprits.

The rears are easy to change, the front is a royal pain compared to the rear.

For a temporary paint solution until you do the full respray, what about spraying it with plasti dip? Now they have a lot of color choices and matte finish is "in" with the exotics, like matte white and light blue.


Sent from my iPhone using AutoGuide.com App
the coil over shocks I have use standard coilover springs which are cheap and easy to get. My understanding is that the stock springs are cone shaped so would not work. As far as spraying it, I don't want to add another layer to have to strip off latter. Because of the UV damage, I have to strip this car to paint it.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:39 PM   #15 (permalink)
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That's cool car you just bought. I love the 89's. So with your restoration, are you planning to rebuild the 4 cylinder or do an engine swap ?
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:01 PM   #16 (permalink)
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the coil over shocks I have use standard coilover springs which are cheap and easy to get. My understanding is that the stock springs are cone shaped so would not work. As far as spraying it, I don't want to add another layer to have to strip off latter. Because of the UV damage, I have to strip this car to paint it.
Plasti-dip is not another layer of paint in the normal sense. It's a rubber coating that peels off easily:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jayyTUy3GTw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_Dw2fVoIqA

For a permanent finish, I bet an Esprit would look good in the also trendy chrome finishes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wI8aPaHIclQ
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:49 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lotusespritse View Post
Plasti-dip is not another layer of paint in the normal sense. It's a rubber coating that peels off easily:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jayyTUy3GTw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_Dw2fVoIqA

For a permanent finish, I bet an Esprit would look good in the also trendy chrome finishes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wI8aPaHIclQ
Wow, that is amazing! Neighbors would freak out if they saw me painting the car like that right in the driveway.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:07 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Talking about V8 swaps, here's a fresh video on YouTube along those lines.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAxN...xFpPiYHAujo9LA
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:27 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I think my Esprit would look good in this same chrome wrap. Very tempting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkV7aeLGd4g
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:46 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Talking about V8 swaps, here's a fresh video on YouTube along those lines.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAxN...xFpPiYHAujo9LA
That BMW V8 is pretty nice. I am looking at the new Ford Coyote V8 if it will fit. When the weather warms up a bit a friend is bring his 2013 Mustang over to talke measurements. I like the idea of a Lotus/Ford since Lotus raced with Ford engines for many years this way in the '60's and '70's. The first quad cam V8 Lotus used from Ford was the original Coyote Ford engine.
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