Giugiaro Esprit front trunk (bonnet) release handle design? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
sleekgt's Avatar
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Giugiaro Esprit front trunk (bonnet) release handle design?

Question for the Giugiaro Esprit folks - is your front trunk (bonnet) release handle a 'multi-piece' mechanism?

Here's why I'm asking - the behavior has been different enough, long enough, that I'm worried something is going to break and I cannot retrieve my stuff.

My late 88 Stevens Esprit release handle was:
1. left underside of dashpod
2. felt like one piece handle welded to a long rod that stiffly pivoted across the entire dash
3. To unlock - push forward softly and it unlocks with a positive hard 'clunk'

My current 87 Giugiaro Esprit release handle is:
1. right underside of dash pod
2. feels like a handle that is attached to a multipiece rod that flexes considerably within 12" of handle.
3. To unlock- push forward HARD until a resistance is overcome - very 'soft' motion prior to the 'clunk'


Eddie B
87 Esprit 'SLEEK GT'
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 04:05 AM
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I never paid attention to the lock location. It is about center I thought,, but who knows and yes it is cheesy at best. I never lock the bonnet. It is always in the open position on my car. It has no effect or movement of the bonnet. After hearing the rear lid release opening cable failures I decided to avoid at least one bullet. Just call me lazy. I always lift the bonnet open about 16 inches in from the left hand side.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 04:44 AM
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Jenna, if you drive with the headlamp pods UP, the bonnet will bounce annoyingly (at least at 40+ speeds).

Sometimes I for get to latch it and that is how I can tell.

I've heard of broken transverse rods on both Stevens and Giugiaro Esprits. Might be wise to peek on the glovebox side, make sure nothing is coming adrift there. (And of course, apply some lubrication to the latching claws.)

Atwell Haines
'88 Esprit
Succasunna, NJ USA

"Not all angels have wings." - Turbo R
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 05:12 AM
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See attached for the RHD installation - I don't have an online version of the Federal arrangement, but basically the wire loop is on the left hand side. There are catches on both sides. The tube can come adrift at the pivots if the bolt breaks, or the welds from the levers can break at the ends of the tube. Replacing/repairing this is a bear because a LOT of the stuff in the dash has to come out to remove the tube.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 09:09 AM
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I think Mike is entirely correct - the LHD version is the same as above except the "handle/loop" is on the left. My lever closes smoothly with a bit of a clunk as it locks but the resistance is pretty even. One thought worth checking, after I had the dash out and back in for a heating matrix replacement I found the lever was working quite hard. After standing on my head so I could see under the driver's side of the dash (Lotus position?) I could see the lever end tied to the bell crank (left side of part 30 where 28 attaches) was binding on some of the wiring harness. A couple of zip ties in the appropriate places solved the problem.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 03:53 PM
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On my car if you don't manually move the latches ALL the way open before closing the bonnet, when you close the bonnet it will not lock. The release bar also must be all the way open too. When you lock the bonnet it should "bump" as it locks over-center. As mentioned you could have broken or missing parts. Or maybe a bracket is loose or something was forced/bent. It is a very simple mechanical system so if you can get a good look at it the problem should be obvious. Some wires can also hang down and get in the way of the bar.
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