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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-01-2010, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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Tires and deck lid release questions.

Hi!

I am a new Lotus SE owner in California, although I did own a 1985 Turbo Esprit previously.

I have two quick questions:

1.) Since Goodyear no longer makes a 215/50/15, what kind of options would you suggest for tires?

2.) What kind of fix would you suggest for my right rear deck lid catch, which does not release as it should? The left one (facing to the front of the car) works fine, but the right one does not seem to disengage fully.

I have enjoyed driving my "new" 1991 SE. Seems considerably more civilized that the 1985, but I am baffled by these two problems.

I will post more pics of the car (Red with metalic gold underbody) soon.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-02-2010, 04:08 AM
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For the deck release,

Start by lubricating the latches and cable, especially at the handle end. This usually makes them work OK.


Make sure the cable is not frayed near the ball at the handle...

Compare the actuation of the latches on each side (you look while someone slowly works the handle).


If you feel the need to replace the cables, do it BEFORE they break! It's so depressing to drill a hole in the bodywork when the cable fails...

Atwell Haines
'88 Esprit
Succasunna, NJ USA


"Not all angels have wings." - Turbo R
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-02-2010, 06:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carbuff View Post
For the deck release,

Start by lubricating the latches and cable, especially at the handle end. This usually makes them work OK.


Make sure the cable is not frayed near the ball at the handle...

Compare the actuation of the latches on each side (you look while someone slowly works the handle).


If you feel the need to replace the cables, do it BEFORE they break! It's so depressing to drill a hole in the bodywork when the cable fails...
+1

If you EVER have a sticky hatch release on an Esprit, fix it immediately! If the cable fails, the hatch will stay latched shut and there is no good or easy way to gain access to the latches to open the hatch. I heard of it happening to someone who spent an entire day unbolting the forward hinges on the hatch from the roof structure and then held up the front edge of the hatch while his skinny kid crawled under the hatch and over the engine cover into the trunk in order to release the latches! Most guys end up cutting a hole in the body panel behind the license plate or busting out a tail light (choose your poison! ) to gain access and then release the latches by grabbing the release cable sheath and yanking on it. This is one of those things that can be so easily prevented and letting it go will cause you all sorts of grief!
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-02-2010, 07:56 AM
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Or....
You can add a secondary (emergency) release.

After hearing of this problem by one of the members on the Yahoo TurboEsprit list I added a secondary release "cable" to each rear wheel well. I used a piece of 3/32" welding rod, one on each side of the car (i.e. one for each latch). I've never had to use them but it sure seemed like cheap/easy insurance.

BTW: You may also be able to get into the rear boot by "removing" the floor. On the G-cars there are quantity 7 each 6mm bolts that hold it in place (from inside the boot). 5 of them are pretty much easily (for an Esprit) accessed from below and can be drilled and then turned out with an easy out (the easy out will work from the bottom). The forward most pair of bolts would be hard to reach but after removing the 5 rear bolts you could probably push the back edge of the floor up far enough to get your arm into the boot to reach the latches.

Also, if you ever have the rear hatch off of the car make sure that you take care when re-installing it to properly align it so that the latches don't bind up. Even if the cable doesn't break you could end up with the same problem . I.e. you can't get the hatch to unlatch.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-02-2010, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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OK. Thanks for the posts re the trunk lid. Still looking for input re the new tire question.

Even if Goodyear still made the front tires (they do not appear to anymore) I would think that some of the new Japanese tires would be almost as good and a LOT cheaper, like Toyo, Kuhmo, or Sumitomo.

I have a set of Sumitomo HR 200's on my MGB, and like them a lot. Last quote I had from a Goodyear dealer in Monterey, CA was to replace the two rear tires (245/50/16's) for close to $600 - about $240 a tire!
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-02-2010, 04:07 PM
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Tires can be a difficult proposition, especially if you want a matched set of the different tire sizes F&R. Availability changes from year to year.

Check out the Tire Rack website, there are various "tools" there regarding overall diameter, load and speed ratings for comparative sizes and rim widths.

Read the Ratings and Reviews, talk to the Tire Rack representatives.

Always remember that TR does not sell every brand that is available. You may find some other brands that fit your requirements.

Wish I could help you more, but I last bought tires for my Esprit in 2006 and it has 15 inch wheels all around anyway...I WILL mention that tires which feel "good" on an MG might not be as suitable on another car due to weight and aspect ratio (not knocking the Sumimotos at all, they made the Dunlop M40D2 I had on my Esprit when I first got it).

Atwell Haines
'88 Esprit
Succasunna, NJ USA


"Not all angels have wings." - Turbo R
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-02-2010, 05:55 PM
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Lubricating the latches is important but it could be you need to "fettle" (adjust) the anchor pins or the latches. If you decide to do it I strongly recomend removing the trunk floor first. That way if you mess up and jam the trunk closed you can get it open easily from underneath. You might have to file away some of the fiberglass around the hole where the anchor pin goes through the latch so it doesn't rub on the fiberglass. Before adjusting the pins or the latches you should make sure the gap is equal all around the trunk. It is possible the trunk was removed in the past and never properly adjusted. THEN adjust the pins and latches. I also strongly recomend you add some type of back-up cable that can be reached from the outside just in case the main cable should break. Inspect the ends of the cable regularly and if you see any fraying replace BEFORE it breaks! The way the latches are set up when you pull the handle the left latch should release first and then the right one. And it should not take a LOT of pull. If it is difficult then it needs to be adjusted to make it easier.
David Teitelbaum
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-03-2010, 07:37 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, David.

Very good advice. My mechanic and I are going to tackle this problem Monday. The darn trunk has been locked all weekend!

You are exactly right - the left one is opening (clicking) first, but the right one never does, at this time.

I am thinking about maybe even fitting two small solenoids to activate those hatch catches - seems like a lot of work, but it's a pretty important part of the car and I would really like it to be reliable - an oximoron in a Lotus, perhaps!
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-03-2010, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa6rxm View Post
The darn trunk has been locked all weekend!
Why didn't you say so?


A 75% success rate can be had by driving over a driveway apron at an angle. Usually this will flex the body and allow the reluctant latch to pop. Try releasing the latch with the car in the other direction if the first attempt doesn't work.



Next way to proceed is to remove the roof panel (sunroof), then loosen (not totally unbolt) the four deck hinge mounting bolts. Moving the hatch a bit may allow it to pop free. Don't scratch your paint ...use blue masking tape around the hatch and body.

Only then should you consider cutting a hole in the body or cutting off the trunk floor bolts...


Good luck,

Atwell Haines
'88 Esprit
Succasunna, NJ USA


"Not all angels have wings." - Turbo R
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-03-2010, 09:03 AM
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The solenoids are a bad idea. The battery is in the trunk and if it goes dead the solenoids won't work. The back-up needs to be mechanical. You can try jacking one corner of the car, maybe that will be enough to get the right side to unlock. Try pushing down on the R/R corner as someone pulls the trunk release. Then try pulling up. Try everything you can think of before you cut. One method is to remove the license plate and make a hole behind it that is hidden when the plate is put back. If stuff is in the trunk trying to remove the floor is not going to work. If you can force the trunk open enough maybe you can reach the cable running from the right side to the left side. Then maybe you can pull it enough to get the right side latch to pop. This is very serious. If the battery should go dead and you can't open the trunk you are f-cked.
David Teitelbaum
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-03-2010, 06:26 PM
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You say that one of the latches is not clicking free. Does that mean that it is not connected to the cable or that it is not disengaging? You should be able to feel if it is connected to the cable by virtue of the tension on the cable transmitted to the release handle. On the G-cars, the right latch is the located at the end of the cable and it typically releases just a little bit after the left hand latch. If you can still feeltension in the cable and there is still movement in the cable after the left hand latch releases it is a good bet that the right hand latch is still connected to the cable. Hence the latch may be opening, just not far enoiugh to release the pintle. Or it could be that the latch or hatch is out of alignment and the pintle is hung up on the patch. If the latch is not opening far enough you will have to go inside the boot to release it. If it is out of alignment you may still have an option.

If driving daigonally across a road bump like a driveway apron doesn't spring the lid you could also try the careful application of some force. You could try to move the hatch laterally or fore/aft while someone else is holding the release lever fully open. If you can't get adequate movement with your bare hands you could try carefully prying the hatch with something like a wood paint stirring paddle inserted into the seam between the body and the hatch. You should insulate the paddle with soft clean cloth on both sides to protect the paint before inserting it immediately adjacent to the latch.

Note: A wood paint paddle is fragile and not likely to damage the paint or fibreglass due to application of excessive force. However this route would only be an option if the latch is actually being triggered by the cable. If the latch is disengaging, the pintle could be hung up in any direction due to misalignment, fore/aft or side/side. As a result some side to side movement or end to end movement of the hatch may allow it to release. On the other hand, if the latch is not opening, you don't have any option other than going in through the floor, going in behind the license plate (i.e. cutting a hole) or breaking a tail light and going in there.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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Tire question.

Well, I have always liked TOYO tires on other cars, so I went ahead and ordered Toyo Proxies 4's all around.

Had to get 225 rather than 215's for the front. My tire guy will mount them first, and I will go around the block to see if the additional width is a problem w/ body clearance.

The rim size should not be a factor as thay are right in the middle of the rim specification for the fronts and at the high end (8 1/2 in.) for the rears.

I'll let everyone here know how they work out and the particulars of the installation tomorrow...
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by wa6rxm View Post

Had to get 225 rather than 215's for the front. My tire guy will mount them first, and I will go around the block to see if the additional width is a problem w/ body clearance.

If you have any problems or rubbing, it will be at full lock. So make sure you try that in both directions, at a "normal" speed for you.

If you have occasion to turn sharply onto a driveway apron, try that as well...


BTW that larger size is 1.7% bigger. You may want to run a pound or two less inflation in front.

Atwell Haines
'88 Esprit
Succasunna, NJ USA


"Not all angels have wings." - Turbo R
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Atwell. I think it will be OK. I wonder whether the wider fronts will help or hurt low soeed force needed to turn, e.g. when double parking, for example. One theory is that the larger contact patch and brand new tread should make it easier, but then again a larger "patch" means that it would present more friction with the pavement, too.

I remember with my older Lotus (1985 Turbo) I sure liked to keep the front tire pressure up which helped in this regard.

As I am no longer driving in L.A. and can park almost anywhere I want to up here in Santa Barbara County it (slow speed turning and double parking) may not be such an issue...
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2010, 09:56 PM
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I have 235/40-17 fronts and 285/35-18 rear on my 1989 Esprit SE.
but you do want the overall diameter the same or within ~1%.

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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-06-2010, 06:28 AM Thread Starter
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OK. I ended up with the 225/50/15 and 245/50/16 Toyo Proxy 4 tires. No rubbing in the front at all. Very nice tires.

Fixing the right deck lid latch is still a work in progess... just removed the right pintle for the time being...there is something broken in that mechanism, or just bent...will fix it next week. I can open and close it with the right pintle removed on a temporary basis.
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-15-2010, 09:14 PM
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Thanks for the info.






Quote:
Originally Posted by jtrealty View Post
Lubricating the latches is important but it could be you need to "fettle" (adjust) the anchor pins or the latches. If you decide to do it I strongly recomend removing the trunk floor first. That way if you mess up and jam the trunk closed you can get it open easily from underneath. You might have to file away some of the fiberglass around the hole where the anchor pin goes through the latch so it doesn't rub on the fiberglass. Before adjusting the pins or the latches you should make sure the gap is equal all around the trunk. It is possible the trunk was removed in the past and never properly adjusted. THEN adjust the pins and latches. I also strongly recomend you add some type of back-up cable that can be reached from the outside just in case tires the main cable should break. Inspect the ends of the cable regularly and if you see any fraying replace BEFORE it breaks! The way the latches are set up when you pull the cars handle the left latch should release first and then the right one. And it should not take a LOT of pull. If it is difficult then it needs to be adjusted to make it easier.
David Teitelbaum
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