1999 Esprit arrived today - Questions - Page 3 - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #41 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-08-2009, 11:34 AM
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I think I looked at this Esprit before buying mine. What sticks out, if this is the same car is that the (PO Mr. Von something ) when I did a google search
on him - someone had a website dedicated to him as the second coming of Satan. Very funny!!!

Second, ITS A SUPERCAR!!!! Of course it will be a little expensive to maintain!
If you cant fix it and fix it right or maintain it at all -- DO NOT BUY ONE!!
( had my belts,idle and tensioners done at Lotus of ATL 2300K) so 3K is high
but whats high if you cant do it yourself ( CRAZY DIY ) and its your only option vs complete engine faliure!!

I have seen many posts that as soon a someone takes delivery of an Esprit, the first question is where can I get cut rate labor or parts -- This will only lead to DPO!!

I have wanted an Esprit since 1990, took me this long to get one B/C I am finally able to do it right and keep it running

Please, please enjoy your esprit, treat it right and maintain it correctly

I just finished taking mine on a 1000 mile trek and other than the right tailpipe weld breaking at the cat where it was modified by the PO to straight pipes it was flawless and FUN FUN FUN.

final note as stated by Alan, I have a V12 BMW that puts the Esprit to shame in the upkeep arena!!

sorry for the rant, but I am very passionate about the Esprit. Always loved it, always will and God willing the Evora sells like hotcakes and Lotus will indeed make a new Esprit.

Good Day
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post #42 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-18-2009, 08:39 AM Thread Starter
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Here is the parts pricing I am receiving with about $700 in labor. I have no problem with the labor costs. The first column is list, the second is my price the third is the extended price (if more than one of an item). So, Simba, which items am I grossly overpaying for?

Part Number Description QTY List My Each Total
5910 LOCITITE FLANGE SEAL 1 59.77 55.59 55.59
A918E0023F GASKET-PLENUM TO MA 2 39.38 27.25 54.50
A918E0094F WATERPUMP TO FRONT 1 17.00 11.36 11.36
A918E0102F WASHER CAMSHAFT PU 1 59.94 35.48 35.48
A918E0122F SEAL-SPARK PLUG HOL 8 13.99 8.94 71.52
A918E0124F SEAL 12 9.72 6.21 74.52
A918E0219F IDLER PULLEY 2 236.95 173.15 346.30
A918E0342F SEAL SPARK PLUG COV 1 47.04 28.55 28.55
A918E6019Z O-RING 1 9.35 5.58 5.58
A918E6021F O-RING COOLING 1 9.35 5.58 5.58
A918F0123F GASKET CAM COVER 2 131.96 88.35 176.70
A918W5225F BOLT 1 52.21 36.13 36.13
B918E0295J IDLER SPROKET/FLANG 1 627.99 458.92 458.92
C918E0297J TENSIONER 2 248.74 181.77 363.54
C918E0298F TIMING BELT 2 253.91 185.55 371.10
DEX COOL Dex Cool Antifreeze 2 10.77 10.77 21.54

Parts = $2116.91

Labor is described as such: $700
Replace Timing Belt & Water pump
Disassembled front of engine,checked all oil seals for leakage,
replaced water pump,timing belt,drive belt.Reassembled refilled
cooling system & bleed.Road tested ok.

This is another quote (now from a non dealer - about the same price)

Originally Posted by Simba View Post
No, they are not, unless the car has been neglected or otherwise beat on.

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.

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)

Last edited by Zoomer602; 09-18-2009 at 08:42 AM. Reason: adding info
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post #43 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-18-2009, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by E5PR1T View Post
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......
Umm, this forum started as an Elise forum for years, remember Elisetalk.com

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post #44 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-18-2009, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Zoomer602 View Post
So, Simba, which items am I grossly overpaying for?
Check the parts on lotusgarage, for example.

Cam belts: $149.50 ea, not 185.
Tensioners: $156.55 ea, not 182.

Crank pulley is around $170, not $450, and you shouldn't need one unless it's damaged.

The labor is reasonable, but all of the parts have a $20-80 premium on them, and some of them are highly unlikely to be needed. Either the shop is trying to take you for a ride on part costs / parts needed, or they have no clue what is actually needed and are going with the shotgun approach, and hence billing you for their learning curve.
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post #45 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-18-2009, 03:44 PM
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Lotus Garage does sell parts at a discount, you had better be patient though...they are slow.

The quote you show is just listing the parts at suggested retail, and the labor seems to be in line. As far as extra parts that may not be needed, they are correct to show everything up front, it's a lot better than telling you after the fact.
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post #46 of 51 (permalink) Old 09-20-2009, 07:18 AM
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On the contrary... One very fun, but very expensive vehicle that I maintaned myself was a Mercedes 6.9. Fast, but every time something ordinary broke, it was a fortune for parts, and those parts were purpose built for a very expensive car, and priced accordingly. Loved the big Benz, but it ate me out of house and home with maintenance costs.

With the Esprit, a substantial portion of the parts are off the shelf GM or Toyota. If you know where to look, the parts can be surprisingly cheap, especially if you're living in the US. The Esprit isn't unique in this respect, but it is unique in second sourcing parts that are widely available in the US from mass producers. Much of the high cost of the Esprit is it's limited production and handbuit nature, not the parts. 600 man hours was the figure I heard, over ten times that of a mass produced car, and labor isn't cheap. Even turnip farmers have to make a living.

True, if your idea of service is dropping the car at the dealer, any exotic will be expensive to maintain. If you know something about mechanics, but don't feel confident enough or have the time to tackle a cam belt change, you can still maintain an Esprit for less than most exotics, by knowing where to find the parts, and finding a mechanic who won't damage it or feed you a line. Or just knowing how to get online and do a bit of digging.

Any exotic, including the Esprit, is not a good daily driver, for a variety of reasons, including service and being down for parts. But, for someone who wants to live out a dream on a budget, and doesn't mind putting some of their own time into it, the Esprit is one of the most affordable exotics.

Originally Posted by Tristar Racing View Post
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...
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post #47 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 04:10 PM
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Timing Belt

I know Mike and he's a honest guy who knows what he is doing. I know the Lotus of New England. I bought 1999 Esprit from them. I had a great experience with the Esprit.

I now own a 2006 Exige. I needed to get a part from them for my door. I small plastic part that holds the rod the connects the door handle to the door latch. It was the most painful experience I've ever had at a car dealer. They would look for the part and not be able to find it. They wanted me to take a picture of it. Don't they work on these every day. When all this was going on, the car was under warranty. I kept asking if I could just get the part because it was had for me to be able to leave the car there. Finally about a month ago I spoke to the owner. He was an ignorant snob. As someone who has purchased a vehicle in the past from them I was totally surprised. It was if they didn't get the repair money they wanted nothing to do with me. I'm guessing by the appearance of the outside of the building they're are in trouble. I'm not stating this as fact but anyone who sells $250K Aston Martins from a building that looks like theirs does must be in deep ****.

Go to Mike. He'll charge you a fair price and do a good job.

Enjoy your Esprit.
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post #48 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 06:28 PM
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An exotic car such as a Lotus can be expensive. A lot has to do with how it was taken care of previously and if it was by a Lotus experienced tech. All too often if the car was not propelry maintained or the tech was not qualified, much of what you will be spending your money on is undoing the previous work and doing it right. There is also history. If the car was "beat" on then things will wear out and need to be replaced earlier rather than later. The clutch and transmission are the big (read expensive) areas that cannot be properly inspected without disassembling them. The clutch all by itself in parts is over $2K! If the brake fluid was not replaced regularly you will have problems with the brakes. Ditto for the clutch cylinders. Timing belts on the V-8 Lotus are very specific as to how it's done and the special tools required. You do NOT want to cheap out on them. The savings by having the wrong (cheap) person do it aren't worth the consequences. That's why the service history is so important. If a "C" service is due the price you paid for the car should have reflected that. A "C" service is more than just a couple of belts. A full "C" service can cost between $3-4K depending on what has to be done and the condition of the car. I have two '99's and they both needed TLC to get everything sorted out. It can get very expensive if you cannot do any work yourself. IMHO a large part of the enjoyment of this car hobby is the satisfaction of being able to take care of the car besides being able to drive it!!!!!!!!
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post #49 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-24-2009, 04:39 PM
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I purchased my Final Run last month in Chicago and the first thing I have done is take it to Aston Martin/Lotus in Boston for a full service plus timing belts, battery, fluids, etc.. I just got the car back last week and they have done a very good job, expensive, but very good.
The service managerīs name is Kirk and he has 3 Lotus specialists
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post #50 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-24-2009, 08:21 PM
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Arrow Heres waht happens when you take it somewhere else

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post #51 of 51 (permalink) Old 12-25-2009, 05:29 AM
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Haha, I'm imagining their taking off that front wheel being the "tipping point" here, to their extreme surprise.
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