1999 Esprit arrived today - Questions - Page 2 - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #21 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-06-2009, 06:19 AM
Registered User
 
Simba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 580
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Mackey View Post
the Esprits are notoriously expensive to maintain.
No, they are not, unless the car has been neglected or otherwise beat on.

Quote:
Wait for the transmission to fail.
You'll be waiting a good long while, unless beating the crap out of it on a routine basis. The gearbox isn't the strongest thing in the world, but it's also not made by Subaru out of tin foil.

Regarding the cam belt service-- $3k is a bit out there. The cam belts cost $300 for a set, the tensioners another $300 or so, and the idlers are around $260. $1800 for ~$900 worth of parts is ridiculous, some of which you may not even need. So is $136 an hour for labor. Find a good independent Lotus mechanic and have them take care of it for you-- shouldn't be more than $1,500-$1,600 or so.

The Esprit has some fairly specific things that need to happen for a cambelt change, but none if it is anything terribly complex. The "special cam tools" are metal dowel pins, you can buy them or make them. The belt tension tool is something that any exotic service shop should have.

Last edited by Simba; 09-06-2009 at 06:27 AM.
Simba is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #22 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-06-2009, 10:36 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: CT
Posts: 510
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simba View Post
The gearbox isn't the strongest thing in the world, but it's also not made by Subaru out of tin foil.
Which one is that?
Snowphun is offline  
post #23 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-06-2009, 10:38 AM
Seb
BANNED
 
Seb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,012
Do NOT skimp out on the parts for a timing belt change. All you need is for a tensioner to fail and the engine will destroy itself.
Seb is offline  
 
post #24 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-06-2009, 12:19 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by s4s View Post
Personal attack removed

I think that is a little harsh considering Chris M has been a member her quite sometime with thousands of posts and you have um...10.

You may not agree and that's cool but that response is a litte uncalled for

Last edited by Mr. Know; 09-07-2009 at 11:17 PM. Reason: Personal attack removed
Southernguy is offline  
post #25 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-06-2009, 05:15 PM
Registered User
 
gregte's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 59
I can see why s4s had that response... Because Chris is wrong, the Esprit is NOT notoriously expensive to maintain, if he dosn't know what he's talking about he shouldn't chime in.

As for the question of timing belt service, I second Michaels Motorsports, he seems to know his $hit, and he is reasonable.
gregte is offline  
post #26 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-06-2009, 05:17 PM
Registered User
 
gregte's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 59
gregte is offline  
post #27 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-06-2009, 06:50 PM
Registered User
 
Quicker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 308
This is the reason way many Esprit owners are very handy with a set of tools and learn to perform much of the work laying on top of the engine, flashlight in mouth, mirror balanced against the firewall and working with three extensions on a socket.

the critical piece is setting the belt tension - no automatic tensioner so you have to set it to the correct tension when engine is cold) using a tension gauge on the 4pot, a 'tuning' Clavis gauge on the V8.
Quicker is offline  
post #28 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-06-2009, 07:37 PM
Probably Lurking
 
Keeper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: North of Boston
Posts: 3,097
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregte View Post
I can see why s4s had that response... Because Chris is wrong, the Esprit is NOT notoriously expensive to maintain, if he dosn't know what he's talking about he shouldn't chime in.
I can't. Being wrong doesn't make you an idiot.

Given how many Esprit owners I have met that have complained about Esprit maintenance, I'm surprised to hear now that they aren't a maintenance hassle. I would never buy one because of all the negative press I've received from Esprit owners. I know one owner who won't push his car in autocross or on the track because of how fragile the transmission is (his words not mine.)

-Shawn (2005 Elise) || New England Members of Lotus Ltd. (NEMOLL) - PM me to join local info list or NEMOLL || UberPost - Elise/Exige info: common problems/fixes, etc.
Keeper is offline  
post #29 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-07-2009, 05:29 AM
Registered User
 
DeanG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,026
In my experience (20 years of taking with Esprit owners, not owning one - my wife doesn't like them) many of the people who complain about Esprit maintenance cost are used to maintaining much more simple and inexpensive cars. I would say keeping an Esprit more difficult and expensive than an:

MGB - Yes
Comparable model year Corvette - Yes
Comparable model year 911 - Maybe a little
Comparable model year Ferrari - No

Owning an exotic/super car takes work and money. An Esprit is an exotic/super car therefore ...
DeanG is offline  
post #30 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-07-2009, 07:39 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 96
Not too long ago, I talked to a former Esprit owner at my company. He sold it because he had spent $12k in four years keeping it on the road. It was a 90 SE, just like mine. In the nine years I've had mine, maintenance has been maybe $2k, and 700 of that was tires. The rest is oil changes, cam belt change, chargecooler impeller, replacing a couple of fuel lines.

The difference? He was paying a shop to do everything, not a Lotus dealer, and obviously, they were charging him for the learning curve. I do the work myself, don't trust anyone locally. Wish I'd met that guy a year ago, I could have saved him a ton of money.

So, yes, if you pay someone else to fix everything, and they aren't an expert, it can be expensive. Do the little stuff yourself, and it doesn't cost much to keep one on the road.

As far as getting belt timing wrong, it's not that hard to get it right. Don't remove the belts until you have the engine in TDC 1. Lock the cams in place with a dowel rod. Take the old belts off. Slip the new belts on, being sure to keep them tight on the side that will be pulling the cams. After you've set tension, pull the plugs, rotate the engine with a long wrench on the crank pulley nut, and see if you feel any solid resistance. Two revolutions, you're back at TDC 1. Recheck timing marks. You're done. In retrospect, my 4 cyl is easier to work on than my Mercury Sable. Everything is on the bottom of that engine.

The Esprit is not idiot proof. Not when you're driving it or working on it. This isn't some Japanese econobox with neon lights and absurdly wide wheels. You actually have to know something about the vehicle.
TrapperJohn is offline  
post #31 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-07-2009, 09:00 AM
Registered User
 
DeanG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,026
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrapperJohn View Post
...The Esprit is not idiot proof. Not when you're driving it or working on it. This isn't some Japanese econobox with neon lights and absurdly wide wheels. You actually have to know something about the vehicle.
Amen
DeanG is offline  
post #32 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-07-2009, 11:26 AM
Registered User
 
Chris Mackey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 2,591
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrapperJohn View Post
Not too long ago, I talked to a former Esprit owner at my company. He sold it because he had spent $12k in four years keeping it on the road. It was a 90 SE, just like mine. In the nine years I've had mine, maintenance has been maybe $2k, and 700 of that was tires. The rest is oil changes, cam belt change, chargecooler impeller, replacing a couple of fuel lines.

The difference? He was paying a shop to do everything, not a Lotus dealer, and obviously, they were charging him for the learning curve. I do the work myself, don't trust anyone locally. Wish I'd met that guy a year ago, I could have saved him a ton of money.

So, yes, if you pay someone else to fix everything, and they aren't an expert, it can be expensive. Do the little stuff yourself, and it doesn't cost much to keep one on the road.
Thank you.

When I bought my Elise, I did some research into getting an Esprit, as well. This forum was a big part of the decision to get the Elise instead. The Esprit, relative to other cars, is an expensive car to maintain. Just because a few gearheads on this board do the maintenance themselves doesn't change that fact.

I have done all of the maintenance on my Elise. The only shop work done on was body work, which was expensive, of course.

2006 Elise, Ardent Red, Black Pack, LSS wheels, shocks and springs.
Chris Mackey is offline  
post #33 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-07-2009, 07:22 PM
s4s
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: SJC
Posts: 46
Hola,

In hindsight I do agree my choice of words could have been better (and apologies to those offended), <text deleted by Mod>.

Note, the first person to chime in about Esprit reliability has never even owned one! In my book this rates their input as zero value to the thread and the OP. If the mods needed to delete a post, <text deleted by Mod>.
.

Agree or disagree, but bottom line why should we permit inexperienced users to malign the Esprit over something they heard from their uncles, cousins best friend back in 1984 ......

Adios .....



Quote:
Originally Posted by Southernguy View Post

I think that is a little harsh considering Chris M has been a member her quite sometime with thousands of posts and you have um...10.

You may not agree and that's cool but that response is a litte uncalled for

Last edited by khamai; 09-07-2009 at 07:46 PM. Reason: Portions deleted due to continued harassment aimed at another member.
s4s is offline  
post #34 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-07-2009, 08:26 PM
Registered User
 
Tristar Racing's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 519
These Esprit threads make me laugh, mainly because everyone who says they are inexpensive to maintain does the work themselves.

Now I do consider myself mechanically inclined, and work on my cars quite often. I also work from home. Some people are not as capable working on vehicles, or they just plain do not have the time to do so. For anyone to assume everyone can work on their own cars and thus factor it into maintinence costs is misleading.

So for those people who dont have the time or capability, the Esprit is expensive to maintain; as expensive as its almost 100k when new buy-in would suggest. Dont discount this fact. Seriously, what car is "expensive" to maintain if you can do all the work yourself?

Carry on with the debate folks, I will still be chuckling to myself though...
Tristar Racing is offline  
post #35 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-07-2009, 11:02 PM
Registered User
 
Bibs_TLF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 201
It depends on your definition of expensive.

Cost of servicing vs new car value?
Cost of servicing vs current car value?
Cost of servicing vs daily hack?
Cost of servicing vs comparible performance supercars?

The Esprit is a reasonable car to maintain (esp here in the UK!) for it's performance in my opinion and experience. True, it costs more than a daily driver to look after for probably less miles but it's a sub 5 second 175mph supercar, you didn't expect it to be similar to a Ford Focus to run did you? In light of it's peers for age/performance, the Esprit is incredibly well priced to maintain well and a solid, reliable car if used and looked after.

With regards to V8 belts, in the UK we would expect to pay &#163;700-&#163;800, I guess this is $1100 to $1300. The $3k quote is (imo) very, very expensive just for a belt change.
Bibs_TLF is offline  
post #36 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-08-2009, 06:19 AM
98 Esprit V8 Calypso Red
 
E5PR1T's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 310
I agree the Esprits are more expensive to maintain comparing to a later Lotus Cars. Considering they're Lotus Developed Engines; you can't be comparing a V8 Twin Turbo motor to the Toyota built 4 cylinder. Keep in mind about the performance of the two engines. The 3.5 liter Twin Turbocharged V8 has a lot more parts than a 1.8 liter in-line 4. On top of that, there are less people working on the car as well. For a similar performance car, the Esprits maintenance is totally not bad.

Yes, it'll be better if Esprit owners know about their cars. But I think the same rule applies to any exotic car owners. If Esprit owners do not know how to preserve the car, the tranny would fail fairly quickly, however, any car would fail in someway if the owners don't know how to drive the car properly.

For those who talked about Esprits but don't own one. How many Esprit owners you know that complained about maintenance on their cars? I can easily show you a lot more Elise/Exige owners complaining about their cars on this forum. I would like to specify that I'm using this point as an example only; with all the respect, Elise/Exige are wonderful cars.

As for the cambelt change, $3000 is BS, don't pay for it, You're looking at ranges between $1600 and $1900 from a good Esprit independent mechanic like Michael's Motorsports. BTW, for those that talked about how expensive it is to maintain an Esprit, perhaps you can check and see how much is it for a cambelt replacement on a BMW M3 or Acura NSX first.

One last thing, please do not comment if you don't know the car well enough. Thank you.

Last edited by E5PR1T; 09-08-2009 at 06:37 AM.
E5PR1T is offline  
post #37 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-08-2009, 06:32 AM
Registered User
 
gregte's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 59
I did not mention in my earlier post that I am currently on my 5th, yes 5th, Esprit. I have collectively put on well over 100k miles on them and have NEVER had any major issues. Tires, oil changes, brake pads... that's it! The cars are bullet proof! It amazes me how people can come on here and give advice about something they heard second hand without any personal experience.
gregte is offline  
post #38 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-08-2009, 07:10 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 120
I have a '99 and 'had no major issues other than a $30 relay. The V8 esprit is pretty tough and will last a long time if it's treated correctly. If you power shift it, rev it to 7k and drop the clutch, etc, yes you will have tranny problems. If your Esprit is 20 years old you're likely to have more problems than a '99 w/ 46k miles. Congrats on your purchase - enjoy it!
billt is offline  
post #39 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-08-2009, 07:35 AM
maz
Registered User
 
maz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: chicago
Posts: 1,347
Michael is solid. Get a bigger radiator. God help you. The cars are either Really cheap to run,. or shatteringly expensive. There is no middle ground.

www.lotuscarclub.org
"Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns - the ones we don't know we don't know." (rumsfeld)
maz is offline  
post #40 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-08-2009, 07:50 AM
Registered User
 
8KRedRacer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 35
FYI - My 1997 had the timing belts changed at Aston Martin of New England-Lotus Motorsports in March 2006. They were changed the former owner with 6.9 hours labor @ $125.00 per hour and $244.36 for belts. The grand total was $1,106.86 for the timing belt replacement.

I have mixed feelings about these guys, because of several phone conversations with service manager. I found that work was stated to have been done on the invoice did not match the actual work.

Regards,
Alan

Last edited by 8KRedRacer; 09-08-2009 at 07:59 AM.
8KRedRacer is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community > Lotus Discussions > Lotus Esprit

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome