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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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907 engine rebuild east coast

Hey all, I have a 1978 esprit S2 , I am located in Virginia Beach, VA. I am looking at having the 907 engine rebuilt, I have ordered a new updated adapter to install a GM style alternator, and a new rebuilt waterpump from the jensen healey preservation society who does GREAT builds ive read. My question comes down to now I need to find someone to rebuild this engine, but dont know of anyone near me that has experience on this engine. I have called Lotus PBC in California( literally across the usa from me lol) and was quoted from 5-7K. Im expecting it to be alot but including shipping , I am not sure if its worth it. Has anyone with an early esprit ever had the motor rebuilt by anyone on the east coast? I wont be hot rodding this car just weekend joy rides tbh. Thanks for the help! Yes im on the S1/2/3 yahoo forum as well,, thanks
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 03:40 AM
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There are reliable rebuilders on the East Coast. Suggest you start with this Topic:

https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f16...t=shops+repair

Atwell Haines
'88 Esprit
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"Not all angels have wings." - Turbo R
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 03:49 AM
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How many miles are on it

Why does it need to be rebuilt?
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 06:10 AM
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Even if it has a lot of miles on it, it does not necessarily need to be "rebuilt". You should do some testing first. Among the tests you could do are;
Oil pressure
Cylinder pressure, with and without oil added
Combustion gases in coolant
Measure valve clearances
Does it leak oil or coolant, and where. Is it making any "bad" noises, does the oil have metal in it?
Depending on the results it may just need a 'top job" aka refreshing the head. Or maybe just some new seals and gaskets to stop some leaks. Since you are on the East coast I recommend R S in Closter NJ. It is close enough you could drive there with it if it does need to be rebuilt.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 10:06 AM
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The S2s (and early Turbos) had cast iron cylinder liners so they DID need new pistons and liners more often than later 4 cylinder engines.

Contact Joe at JAE Parts to see what they are recommending these days. (805) 967-5767

JAE might also point you towards a rebuilder near you, that has purchased multiple engine rebuild items...meaning they have opened up more than one engine.

Atwell Haines
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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Ill have to contact joe. The car has 32k Miles. The engine has been out for 6 months, and i had another cars project i was doing. My mechanic whos pretty young i think is just overwhelmed and scared to touch the motor even though I have ordered alot of parts and have as much documentation that would be needed through the yahoo forum. I really want to drive the car but I do not take short cuts when it comes to maintenance . I have pulled the old fuel tanks and am prepping the new ones and stainless lines etc, am in the processes of finding the part numbers for certain coolant parts. but the engine is what scares me. it was bad, but i couldn't test it in the car. i know it started just fine before removal but I had it removed because the water pump had a MASSIVE leak. You couldnt even add coolant as it just poured out the front. I have a new rebuilt pump from greg at JHPS. I figured hey motors out, so lets rebuild it i guess. It sat in a collection for a year, and the last real paperwork i have from the car getting worked on is from the year 2000. So Until I can find someone i trust with a borescope to look in , im in a stuck stop if ya know what I mean. Sorry for the slow reply, Im on travel for work away from home. Which i do alot which is why i havent been able to just BAM get on this project
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 03:58 AM
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^^^ Ahhh, 'Shipwright's Disease'.

Goes something like this:
Sailor owns boat. Boat has burned out light in galley. Sailor decides to change bulb. Sailor notices socket is corroded, decides to change socket. Sailor notices wiring frayed while trying to change socket. Sailor decides to change wiring. Sailor notices galley ceiling slats are rotted while changing the wire. Sailor decides galley ceiling slats need changing. Sailor notices .
this goes on and on and on and on and pretty soon, Sailor is undertaking a major renovation of his boat because of a burned out lightbulb.
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Atwell Haines
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Succasunna, NJ USA


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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 05:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Riley88 View Post
Hey all, I have a 1978 esprit S2 , I am located in Virginia Beach, VA. I am looking at having the 907 engine rebuilt, I have ordered a new updated adapter to install a GM style alternator, and a new rebuilt waterpump from the jensen healey preservation society who does GREAT builds ive read. My question comes down to now I need to find someone to rebuild this engine, but dont know of anyone near me that has experience on this engine. I have called Lotus PBC in California( literally across the usa from me lol) and was quoted from 5-7K. Im expecting it to be alot but including shipping , I am not sure if its worth it. Has anyone with an early esprit ever had the motor rebuilt by anyone on the east coast? I wont be hot rodding this car just weekend joy rides tbh. Thanks for the help! Yes im on the S1/2/3 yahoo forum as well,, thanks
You have Abacus Racing right there in Virginia Beach (1372 Baker Road). I'm in Williamsburg, and Abacus did the cylinder head work on my S4 and they are highly regarded in the area. they work with JAE and know Joe, so they can work together on needed parts as the rebuild progresses.
Ask for Chuck.

Bob
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 05:35 AM
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[QUOTE=Riley88;5959430 I figured hey motors out, so lets rebuild it i guess. t[/QUOTE]


Well, if spending money is your top priority, have at it. Unless something terrible has happened, there is nothing wrong with a 32k 907

From age, some seals and gaskets. Perhaps valve seals.

If this were a chevy V8 with 300 dollar rebuild kit available, I would feel differently.


My advise:

Buy a gasket and seal set.

Do a leakdown check

Do a compression check.

pull the pan and do a visual check of the main and rod bearing furthest from the oil pump. [edit] only because you did not get it started to check oil pressure]


Absent visual copper, decent compression and leakdown numbers I would put it back together and move on to other things

This is not a Lotus twincam that at 40 k needs valve guides

The water pump seal most likely tore from sitting[all water pumps tend to seize if left too long]

If you read long enough you will find as many pitfalls from professionally built engines as older engines.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 05:44 PM
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I would hesitate to do a complete rebuild just because the motor is out. The previous poster got it right, if everything looks good just "freshen" it up. You *could* hook up a battery to the starter and crank it over and see what the oil pressure is too. Do not rebuild just because the water pump leaks, that is not indicative of a worn out motor. Doing the fuel tanks while the motor is out is a great idea. Once you get it running you may decide to do a top job. Doable with the motor in the car. More important than the motor, you might want to do the transmission so you don't have the pilot bearing problem and the input shaft screws itself into the crankshaft. Then you WILL find yourself rebuilding the motor!
David Teitelbaum
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 10:21 PM
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I have a new rebuilt pump from greg at JHPS. I figured hey motors out, so lets rebuild it i guess.
Did Greg/ JHPS rebuild your old pump, or send you an already rebuilt pump out of stock? If rebuilt, do you still have your old pump for a side-by-side comparison? Jensen-Healey pumps and Esprit pumps aren't the same. Off the top of my head, I don't recall the details, but they're different enough to have different part numbers. Be certain you have the pump that you need/ that will work.

It's too late now, but I can have the water pump out of the car in about an hour without pulling the engine. It takes about 45 minutes to rebuild it. Going back in takes a little longer. I'm not trying to 'rub it in' or make you feel bad about progress so far, but don't spend a lot of money when a little will suffice. Having said that, you have already bit the bullet paying to have the engine removed & replaced (R&R'd). Make the best use possible of that investment.

For a full rebuild, I usually budget $3500 for parts and outside services (machine shop, etc), and I do my own labor. The original pistons are cast, and old... retire them. Also, the current head gasket is thicker, and lowers the compression ratio by about half a point (8.4 becomes 7.9:1... feeble low). IF you replace the pistons, then go for more compression. At least enough to cover the gasket-loss, and there's nothing wrong with more after that. Depending upon whether the car still has to pass an annual emissions test or not, then 11.0-11.5 is good... at least 9.5:1

That $3,500 number would cover a set of new .030" over-size JE forged pistons, and the machine shop time to match-bore the old liners and gap the rings (a nice service JAE provides via a machine shop partner). Inflation has probably driven that price up. What's your shop's labor rate? How many hours are you comfortable with at that rate. Use them well.

The Flat Rate Labor Manual calls for 9.0 labor hours to remove the engine & transaxle, and the same to put it back in... 18 hrs x $/hr. Eighteen hours is 'fat' if you know what you're doing, but probably pretty close if you're saddled with a learning curve. If all you do is replace the water pump, then at shop rates ($/ hr), that's going to be an expensive pump. While the engine is on the floor, take advantage of the opportunity and make full use of it. But yes, that will run the total bill up. It's not the total bill that you should focus on, it's how much you get for the investment. At the moment, just a water pump, and that's one darned expensive pump.

I do a lot of Esprit engine work with the lump still in the car. Many people disagree with me... "I going to shim the valves, so the engine has to come out". Disagree. I can shim the valves and and be driving the car in less time than it will take them to put the engine on the floor.... and they still have to put it back in. If you are doing the work yourself, and it's your time to burn, then do it any way you wish. But if you're paying by the hour for someone else's labor time, then be a little more thoughtful about throwing cubic-hours at the project.

Regards,
Tim Engel
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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I did have my own pump remade by Greg. Pulling the motor and trans wasn't that hard a day's work. But my car is stored two hours from me. So my pump rebuild is the original it's fine. I am waiting on a few banjo bolts i forgot to order for the new fuel tanks and the stainless fuel lines I ordered from sjsmotorsports. I also ordered a circlip for the output shaft of the transmission. Exteriorand interior wise the car is amazing, but just the engine bay looked sort of crappy. I've had the frame por15'd as well. Reason for a motor rebuild was just because i have a nightmare that I'll just have a rebuild done etc and get it back in only for something to go wrong. I'm wanting to do what I can to beef up the transmission. I've read and downloaded every major post on the Yahoo forum. Some part numbers are hard to find but I refer to the manual when needed. Rdent.com, dave bean and sjsmotorsports. Greg at jhps has been amazing too figuring out what to buy. I've contacted one of the guys at my local shop called abacus racing in Virginia Beach. They were recommended by a fellow local delorean owner. The shop head said they have done the 907 before and they will rebuild the top and give her a in depth look over for me! Just gotta drive to Richmond to pick the darn thing up lol. I appreciate all the help! I dream every night of getting this darn car ready to drive
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by carbuff View Post
^^^ Ahhh, 'Shipwright's Disease'. [IMG class=inlineimg]/forums/images/LotusTalk_2015/smilies/tango_face_grin.png[/IMG]

Goes something like this:
Sailor owns boat. Boat has burned out light in galley. Sailor decides to change bulb. Sailor notices socket is corroded, decides to change socket. Sailor notices wiring frayed while trying to change socket. Sailor decides to change wiring. Sailor notices galley ceiling slats are rotted while changing the wire. Sailor decides galley ceiling slats need changing. Sailor notices .
this goes on and on and on and on and pretty soon, Sailor is undertaking a major renovation of his boat because of a burned out lightbulb.
I did 6 in the Navy and ironically work for the gov traveling to Navy ships. This analogy is true, worst than ya think LOL
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 10:04 AM
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I also ordered a circlip for the output shaft of the transmission.
Edit: For the "output" shaft ? What circlip for the output shaft? I read too quickly, or comprehended too slowly, but I wrote the following with the "input" shaft in mind. I'll leave it, but ignore it if I was barking up the wrong tree.

If you need the circlip, then go for it. But if you're proactively replacing the circlip because of all the online concern about the input shaft popping out and doing damage, that scenario applies to Turbo Esprits, and not S1-S2-S2.2 Esprits. There's a step on the early Esprit input shaft that bears against the circlip. The shaft CAN'T get by. With the Turbo's extra power, there were concerns over the Citroen transaxle's ability to cope. So they went through the gearbox eliminating steps, sudden transitions, adding radii... stuff to remove stress concentration points. The early step for the circlip was replaced by a taper, and it's the later taper that can wedge it's way past the circlip. That's the problem, and the S1-S2-S2.2 doesn't have it. If you're going into the S2's gearbox for something else, then certainly, do the circlip while you're in there. But, if you're going into the S2 'box just for the circlip, save your effort for something more worthwhile.

BTW, the upgrade snap ring is one of the smallest snap rings you'll ever seen in a gearbox. "That's bigger??" It's not like you're going from a wimpy little wire circlip to a big SNAP RING... you're going to a cute, tiny snap ring. It fixes the problem in a Turbo Esprit's Citroen, but there won't be any 'manly' satisfaction when you see it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Riley88 View Post
I'm wanting to do what I can to beef up the transmission.
In a naturally aspirated Esprit, the transaxle's only weakness is the bearing in the outer end of the output shaft housings. The N/A Esprit's rear suspension uses the halfshaft as the upper suspension arm, and the transaxle wasn't designed to carry those inward loads. The bearing fails progressively, and any tell-tale noise gets lost in the overall din of the engine bay. The output shaft moves inward until the flange starts rubbing on the end of the output shaft housing, effectively machining it shorter and shorter. Eventually, it tears up the seal, and a significant leak starts. By then, the damage to the housing is to great to allow simmply replacing the seal... it's trashed.

There is a brake mounting bracket that straddles the disc down low. It's easy to see from under the car. Normally, with the car's weight on the wheels, the disc is very well centered in the gap. When you can see the disc moving off center toward the inner side of the gap (toward the output shaft housing), it's time to rebuild the output shaft housings. The last time I checked, the bearings were hard to find or unobtainium. If you can't find the bearings, then Harry Martens can machine the housings to take another bearing he has found. To avoid having the car 'down' while the housings are being re-manufactured, Harry will sell you rebuilt housings out of stock. When he receives your old housings, and if they're in good, rebuildable condition, he'll credit your credit card for the amount of the core charge. You can have bolt-on replacements for just shipping time. If you're paranoid about the Citroen transaxle in a N/A Esprit, that would be the #1 job to look into. If the brake discs are centered in the bracket, you don't have a problem.

A lip on the inner face of the output shaft housing telescopes into the side of the gearbox/ bell housing. The depth/ height of that lip, plus some spacers, determines the total dimensional stack-up that sets the CWP backlash and the pre-load in the differential support bearings. The lip's height has a tolerance, and varies from housing to housing. So, whenever you install different output housings, plan on re-shimming. At a minimum, measure the heights of the old and new lips, and adjust the shim thicknesses as required to maintain the same overall total.

The OEM differential support bearings have a reputation for failure (POLAND is engraved on the side of the race). If they haven't failed yet, they're at least old. That basic bearing is very common, and INexpensive (cheap) given it's size. IF you go in deep enough to re-shim the backlash and pre-load, plan on replacing the bearings while you're in there. It's a common 30000 Series tapered roller bearing, "30208A". I prefer the SKF 30208J2/Q, but most major bearing manufacturers make one (*** 30208A / Koyo 30208 / Timken 30208M / NTN ET 30208 / etc).

Edit: I think I'm being censored. The *** is a bearing brand name... an F, an A, a G. I really don't care what someone's personal preferences are.

Other than that, the 1-2 synchros wear out long before the rest. If they're working, then don't sweat 'em. If they need to be replaced, then that's a full tear-down of the gearbox. As long as you're going in all the way, what else do you want to do while you're in there? Harry Martens has everything you'll need for the Citroen transaxle... or has developed work-arounds, like the output shaft bearing.
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Originally Posted by Riley88 View Post
Greg at jhps has been amazing too figuring out what to buy.
Certainly, use Greg as a resource if you wish. But keep in mind that he has a Jensen-Healey point of view, which in many ways, is contrary to the usual Lotus Esprit point of view. JH guys are always trying to tone-down the 907, making it easier to drive below 5000 rpm, and in traffic below 3500 rpm. Lotus drivers are bouncing off the rev limiter. I subscribe to the JHPS forums, and know Greg from there. He and I are pretty much at opposite extremes about how to rebuild or tune a 907. Greg was very proud of his first JH and how perfect the 2.2 converted engine was... but then he sold it. A friend near me bought it. After a while, he brought it to me, complaining about the lack of performance. "Can you tune it for me?" Well, no, not without replacing a bunch of expensive parts. The 107 cams are for 'de-tuning', not for hopping up. And the small DHLA 40 carbs with 34 chokes are for commuter traffic, not performance. The Esprit would be better served by Lotus 104 or Kent L14 cams and DHLA '45' carb bodies with 36 chokes... 37 chokes if you're a 'sporty' driver or autocrosser. My friend lived with Greg's old JH for a while, then sold it on. Greg is very 'into' Jensen-Healeys, and that's more of a silk scarf/ wicker basket gentleman's culture. He can help you attain peace there. Or, if you know what you want, he has sources... but stick to your guns about what you want, or he'll sell you a wicker basket for the back of your Esprit. ;-) Greg means well, he just has different goals; just stay true to your own mission.

Regards,
Tim Engel

Last edited by Esprit2; 06-30-2019 at 12:59 PM.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Esprit2 View Post
If you need the circlip, then go for it. But if you're proactively replacing the circlip because of all the online concern about the input shaft popping out and doing damage, that scenario applies to Turbo Esprits, and not S1-S2-S2.2 Esprits. There's a step on the early Esprit input shaft that bears against the circlip. The shaft CAN'T get by. With the Turbo's extra power, there were concerns over the Citroen transaxle's ability to cope. So they went through the gearbox eliminating steps, sudden transitions, adding radii... stuff to remove stress concentration points. The early step for the circlip was replaced by a taper, and it's the later taper that can wedge it's way past the circlip. That's the problem, and the S1-S2-S2.2 doesn't have it. If you're going into the gearbox for something else, certainly, do the circlip while you're in there. But, if you're going in just for the circlip, save your effort for something more worthwhile.

BTW, the upgrade snap ring is one of the smallest snap rings you'll ever seen in a gearbox. "That's bigger??" It's not like you're going from a wimpy little wire circlip to a big SNAP RING... you're going to a cute, tiny snap ring. It fixes the problem in a Turbo Esprit's Citroen, but there won't be any 'manly' satisfaction when you see it.In a naturally aspirated Esprit, the transaxle's only weakness is the bearing in the outer end of the output shaft housings. The N/A Esprit's rear suspension uses the halfshaft as the upper suspension arm, and the transaxle wasn't designed to carry those inward loads. The bearing fails progressively, and any tell-tale noise gets lost in the overall din of the engine bay. The output shaft moves inward until the flange starts rubbing on the end of the output shaft housing, effectively machining it shorter and shorter. Eventually, it tears up the seal, and a significant leak starts. By then, the damage to the housing is to great to allow simmply replacing the seal... it's trashed.

There is a brake mounting bracket that straddles the disc down low. It's easy to see from under the car. Normally, with the car's weight on the wheels, the disc is very well centered in the gap. When you can see the disc moving off center toward the inner side of the gap (toward the output shaft housing), it's time to rebuild the output shaft housings. The last time I checked, the bearings were hard to find or unobtainium. If you can't find the bearings, then Harry Martens can machine the housings to take another bearing he has found. To avoid having the car 'down' while the housings are being re-manufactured, Harry will sell you rebuilt housings out of stock. When he receives your old housings, and if they're in good, rebuildable condition, he'll credit your credit card for the amount of the core charge. You can have bolt-on replacements for just shipping time. If you're paranoid about the Citroen transaxle in a N/A Esprit, that would be the #1 job to look into. If the brake discs are centered in the bracket, you don't have a problem.

A lip on the inner face of the output shaft housing telescopes into the side of the gearbox/ bell housing. The depth/ height of that lip, plus two shim washers, determines the total dimensional stack-up that sets the CWP backlash and the pre-load in the differential support bearings. Whenever you install different output housings, plan on re-shimming.

The OEM differential support bearings have a reputation for failure (POLAND is engraved on the side of the race). If they haven't failed yet, they're at least old. That basic bearing is very common, and INexpensive (cheap) given it's size. IF you go in deep enough to re-shim the backlash and pre-load, plan on replacing the bearings while you're in there. It's a common 30000 Series tapered roller bearing, "30208A". I prefer the SKF 30208J2/Q, but most major bearing manufacturers make one (*** 30208A / Koyo 30208 / Timken 30208M / NTN ET 30208 / etc).

Edit: I think I'm being censored. The *** is a bearing brand name... an F, an A, a G. I really don't care what someone's personal preferences are.

Other than that, the 1-2 synchros wear out long before the rest. If they're working, then don't sweat 'em. If they need to be replaced, then that's a full tear-down of the gearbox. As long as you're going in all the way, what else do you want to do while you're in there? Harry Martens has everything you'll need for the Citroen transaxle... or has developed work-arounds, like the output shaft bearing.Certainly, use Greg as a resource if you wish. But keep in mind that he has a Jensen-Healey point of view, which in many ways, is contrary to the usual Lotus Esprit point of view. JH guys are always trying to tone-down the 907, making it easier to drive below 5000 rpm, and in traffic below 3500 rpm. Lotus drivers are bouncing off the rev limiter. I subscribe to the JHPS forums, and know Greg from there. He and I are pretty much at opposite extremes about how to rebuild or tune a 907. Greg was very proud of his first JH and how perfect the 2.2 converted engine was... but then he sold it. A friend near me bought it. After a while, he brought it to me, complaining about the lack of performance. "Can you tune it for me?" Well, no, not without replacing a bunch of expensive parts. The 107 cams are for 'de-tuning', not for hopping up. And the small DHLA 40 carbs with 34 chokes are for commuter traffic, not performance. The Esprit would be better served by Lotus 104 or Kent L14 cams and DHLA '45' carb bodies with 36 chokes... 37 chokes if you're a 'sporty' driver or autocrosser. My friend lived with Greg's old JH for a while, then sold it on. Greg is very 'into' Jensen-Healeys, and that's more of a silk scarf/ wicker basket gentleman's culture. He can help you attain peace there. Or, if you know what you want, he has sources... but stick to your guns about what you want, or he'll sell you a wicker basket for the back of your Esprit. ;-) Greg means well, he just has different goals; just stay true to your own mission.

Regards,
Tim Engel
Thank you for everything, you are a HUGE help to someone getting into this car. Ill get to the transmission and get her cleaned up and check it all out. Im SUPER into preventative maintenance so I might be nuking an issue thats a non issue. Ill check the brake mounting brackets. Ill update this trhead when I can thank you again. Greg is cool and theres nothing wrong with the wickerbasket crowd haha.
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 03:29 AM
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Arnie Johnson

I believe Arnie is still tinkering with Esprit 907/910 engines.
I would look him up in the Lotus Limited directory
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