Exhaust for 89 Turbo Esprit - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-09-2010, 04:31 AM Thread Starter
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Exhaust for 89 Turbo Esprit

I am a new Lotus owner and have finally have purchased a car that I have been wanting for some time. I have an '89 Esprit Turbo and I was wondering is there an aftermarket exhaust that would help the performance and also make the car sound a little meaner?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-09-2010, 06:02 AM
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Quicksilver has probably the best price for a quality system. The best price is probably here:
The Lotus Forums Shop - Exhaust Systems

But with shipping from the UK it may still be more than you can order one in the US.

1995 S4s
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-09-2010, 08:56 AM
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I can not give you many particulars as I bought it fairly recently as a "consignment car" without the opportunity to talk to the PO, but my 1991 SE has a MagnaFlow one into two muffler with duals, and a "V-8 type" rear valance to accomodate the dual pipes. I have no idea if it's actually one from a real V-8 or whether it was custom made from the original one. It has (see pic attached) two slash-cut chrome pipes similar to the pre-2002 V-8's.

As far as the muffler system is concerned, they are pretty loud. When the exhaust solenoid opens up, you can really hear the difference! It is a "single chamber" as opposed to a "double chamber" system which I have been told is no longer being made. I have been told that the system was originally used on Camaros and Firebirds. I have been told that the two chamber would be quieter, but there may well not be enough room up there to fit one of them, even if they were still available.

It is NOT a stainless system and I don't really believe that it was designed with performance in mind. The welds are already showing some rust so it will likely fall apart in a few years and I will be looking at having to fit another system at that point.

The MagnaFlow web site has them listed in the $500 dollar range.

I personnaly don't mind the sound level, except at freeway cruising speeds I get a little eardrum vibration if the windows are closed and the glass top is closed. This goes away if I crack the glass top a little.

My car also has the "ram air" mod (see the Lotus World web-site) and frankly I think you will gain more performance from that than a muffler system. This mod results in a slight increase in interior noise, too.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-21-2010, 07:28 PM
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I just put a Cat Bypass pipe from SJ on my 89 SE. This also eliminates the exhaust valve.
BIG improvement. Definately more power. Lots more sound, and nice popping in exhaust when throttle off. And less weight.

Real easy to install. I already had a dual Magnaflow Exhaust in nice stainless installed by PO.

I also did the Ram Air conversion. Adds some but not as much as the pipe.
Total cost about $200 and 3-4 hours. A no brainer in IMHO
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-22-2010, 03:35 AM
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I have an 89 Turbo and am running a Stebro left side exhaust. Purchased it in 95 and when it started to come apart last year I shipped it to Stebro and they rebuilt it for free. the can has a lifetime warranty and the company honored it.
The sound quality is excellent. Basey, not overly loud and what you want a sports car to sound like.
Only complaint is the mounting tabs that Stebro provides. Not a problem as they are shipped loose. I had a local muffler shop weld on some stainless steel rods and they work great.
The problem with the tabs is that they tend to break at the weld.
I paid 750 in 95 and considering the time and warranty repair I'd say I got my monies worth.
If you want photos email me off-line and I'll try to take a few for you.
I'm also running a de-cat pipe and custom manifold so mine is a bit louder than most woud care for. On a stock set up the sound level is slightly higher than the stock exhaust can, but definitely nicer to the ear.

Al B.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-22-2010, 02:54 PM
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'89 Turbo. Hybrid T4 turbo, intercooled, 18 PSI boost, S4s head, 4 into 1 SS manifold. Converted to RH outlet with S4 plastic. Stock convertor with a SJ X180R replica SS "muffler". Has a very deep pleasant tone.
Have a SJ cat bypass also---not installed anymore as the level of exhaust noise is totally obnoxious outside the car when it's making power.
And I mean it's LOUD! The engine is probably making some pretty good HP numbers which may explain the noise with the bypass. But if you're only making say--~230 HP, it might not be bad at all.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-22-2010, 08:37 PM
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With my windows up I can't tell much difference in noise for the ram air or the exhaust. Just has a much nicer tone.
With the windows down the Ram Air is way louder, as you can hear the air rushing in at about 3000 rpm.
The exhaust is louder and much nicer sounding with the pipe in, but less loud than your average Harley. But then again I have the MagnaFlow Muffler with dual outlet pipes which still tones it down some. No doubt that the engine is much less restricted on both ends and is making more power and spools up faster.
And it sounds faster and bigger.

I'm waiting anxiously for a Chip Switch from PUK to run some different performance setups. Then I will look at a brake and suspension upgrade as I'm still all stock on that except for the V8 wheels.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-23-2010, 04:02 PM
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The Esprit can use any Camaro 2.5" inlet transverse muffler with dual outlets. Recommend the SS Magnaflow...MUCH longer lasting than the Flowmaster setups.

Aside from looks, a single - outlet exhaust would work just as well, and not require any mods to the rear valence. I could dig out the Magnaflow muffler model # used on the Neil Micklewright exhausts on request. That SS system has a mellow sound and provides good power.

Atwell Haines
'88 Esprit
Succasunna, NJ USA

"Not all angels have wings." - Turbo R
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