1999 Esprit arrived today - Questions - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 51 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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Smile 1999 Esprit arrived today - Questions

My red 99 tt arrived today and I am sure I will have plenty of questions after I check it out. It has 46K on it and the previous owner said his mechanic suggest the timing belt be done. Aston-Martin in Boston gets $136 an hour and quoted me $3,000 to do the job (replacing pulleys, et. all). They said $1800 in parts and $1200 in labor.
I have access to many very good mechanics at low dollars - I am a new partner to a used car dealership and some of the mechanics are pretty good. Still is this the kind of job you would only allow the dealer to do? Are there any really great Lotus places in New Hampshire/Massachusetts that would save me money?
Should I just buy the parts myself and have one of the regular mechanics do the job?

Thanks for any help!
Jon
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post #2 of 51 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 03:14 PM
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I would not limit my options to a dealer, but I would want a mechanic with Lotus (and specifically V8) experience to do the job.

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post #3 of 51 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 03:37 PM
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I would not limit my options to a dealer, but I would want a mechanic with Lotus (and specifically V8) experience to do the job.
X2...

Don't screw around with cheap fixes right off the bat...

You're a new Lotus Esprit V8 TT owner...respect that, and respect the car...

Take it to someone who knows EXACTLY what they're doing with these cars...

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post #4 of 51 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 06:21 PM
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I agree, especially since there are some Lotus specific tools required to do the job that even the best non Lotus mechanic is not going to have. And a screwed up timing belt is going to cost a whole lot more than 3K...

Jim
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post #5 of 51 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 06:27 PM
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I agree, especially since there are some Lotus specific tools required to do the job that even the best non Lotus mechanic is not going to have. And a screwed up timing belt is going to cost a whole lot more than 3K...
+1
The job requires a Lotus specific tool to lock the cams in place. Without the tool there's a very HIGH likelihood that a cam will move which will lead to piston-valve interference = replacing many, if not all the valves = REALLY expensive.

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post #6 of 51 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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Ok - so there is only ONE lotus dealer within 100 miles of me 03109 - no one even advertises Lotus as one of the cars they service...So I have to pay the $136 per hour for 12 hours and $1800 in parts?

current cars I have:
1999 Lotus Esprit V8 1996 Jaguar XJS (mint)
2009 Mercedes 300 Sport4matic 03 Camry XLE
1963 Corvair Greenbrier 2000 BMW 740IL
2002 T-Bird (two tone), 87 Omni Dragster(sleeper)
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post #7 of 51 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 05:24 PM
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If you're near Boston, there's an independent Lotus mechanic near you, Michael's Motorsports.

Michael's Motorsports - Lotus and Saab performance specialist

Jim
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post #8 of 51 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 05:27 PM
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Ok - so there is only ONE lotus dealer within 100 miles of me 03109 - no one even advertises Lotus as one of the cars they service...So I have to pay the $136 per hour for 12 hours and $1800 in parts?
You seem surprised. I don't know why - the Esprits are notoriously expensive to maintain. Wait for the transmission to fail.

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post #9 of 51 (permalink) Old 08-30-2009, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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You seem surprised. I don't know why - the Esprits are notoriously expensive to maintain. Wait for the transmission to fail.
I am not surprised on the expense...I am surprised that there are so few alternatives to the dealer. The inability to find a Lotus trained mechanic in the $85 per hour range is a bit surprising. I believe in proper service and want to get the timing belt changed asap. I am bringing the car in for an eletrical problem to Precision Imports up here tomorrow and will see how they do with that end of it...

current cars I have:
1999 Lotus Esprit V8 1996 Jaguar XJS (mint)
2009 Mercedes 300 Sport4matic 03 Camry XLE
1963 Corvair Greenbrier 2000 BMW 740IL
2002 T-Bird (two tone), 87 Omni Dragster(sleeper)
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post #10 of 51 (permalink) Old 08-30-2009, 08:47 PM
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3k for a timing belt job is retarded. I would either do it myself or find someone I trusted.

Or if your a little more financially able, then just do it.

Timing belts are something you really don't want to screw up (especially if this is an interference engine). With some older cars it isn't a big deal.
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post #11 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-02-2009, 06:00 PM
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Synaptic3 might be happy to do it.
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post #12 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-02-2009, 06:41 PM
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Synaptic3 might be happy to do it.
Yes, but they charge for the learning curve. If it's their first service of this type and you're trying to save money then it may not work out.

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post #13 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-02-2009, 06:44 PM
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If they do it wrong it's their problem.

Is the Esprit engine an interference engine? Meaning the valves occupy the same space as the pistons, so when out of time a collision is possible.
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post #14 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-02-2009, 07:04 PM
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If they do it wrong it's their problem.

Is the Esprit engine an interference engine? Meaning the valves occupy the same space as the pistons, so when out of time a collision is possible.
Yes

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post #15 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-02-2009, 08:43 PM
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If they do it wrong it's their problem.
Who said they'd do it wrong?

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post #16 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-05-2009, 06:41 PM
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Michael at MM is definately the most experienced Esprit mechanic/owner/driver in the area... and a good guy.
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post #17 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-05-2009, 08:12 PM
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Who said they'd do it wrong?
Didn't say they WOULD. But it is possible to miss a tooth or two.
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post #18 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-05-2009, 08:25 PM
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In this economy I can't see anyone turning down work. Offer them $2400 and see what they come back with. Everything is negotiable. Or they can just go out of business like 3/4's of all the Lotus dealerships in the LA area

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post #19 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-06-2009, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Zoomer602 View Post
My red 99 tt arrived today and I am sure I will have plenty of questions after I check it out. It has 46K on it and the previous owner said his mechanic suggest the timing belt be done. Aston-Martin in Boston gets $136 an hour and quoted me $3,000 to do the job (replacing pulleys, et. all). They said $1800 in parts and $1200 in labor.
I have access to many very good mechanics at low dollars - I am a new partner to a used car dealership and some of the mechanics are pretty good. Still is this the kind of job you would only allow the dealer to do? Are there any really great Lotus places in New Hampshire/Massachusetts that would save me money?
Should I just buy the parts myself and have one of the regular mechanics do the job?

Thanks for any help!
Jon

I had my 02 done by a Lotus dealer who put an Elise mechanic on it and promptly screwed it up. They ended up pulling the engine and rebuilding both heads after they started the car with the timing belts installed wrong! Get someone who has the tools and exoerience to get it right the first time and avoid the potiential for a disaster!!!
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post #20 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-06-2009, 06:04 AM
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Let me add, just because they are a Lotus dealer doesn't necessarily mean that they have experienced Lotus Esprit V8 mechanics on staff. Have you been able to question them about their techs experience levels?

"Against logic there is no armor like ignorance."
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