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Discussion Starter #1
Hello to everyone. Im brand new to the forum, and lotus. Ive been involved with rx7s and rotary's for the last couple years, and have a 13B - REW project going, dont think Ill be done before summer, and I am seriously considering a 1990 Esprit Turbo for summer fun (and beyond)

This is probally the most newbie question I can ask but...
Im just wondering if (appx.)$27,000 for one with 35k mi. is a good deal. Its a very sound car. After test driving, Im sure happy! Mainly Im just wondering what to expect in the time to come, as far as maintnence, drivability, ect. Ive learned already that a blow off valve for the turbo would be a good investment.

All information is appriciated and thank you in advance!
-Darren
 

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I'm all for buying an Esprit, but this car, based on year and mileage, should go for about $20K-$22K, if it's an SE (Chargecooled), which I'm like 90% sure it is. Also, certain things are crucial in looking into buying any Esprit. Things like the timing belt replacement is huge. Trans. issues, esp. the 2nd gear synchro, the clutch line should be converted to stainless, if not already done. How much do the cam towers leak? Have the fuel tanks been replaced/repaired/serviced?

Go to www.espritfactfile.com. All the info in the world is there. Otherwise, PM me, or give me a call.
 

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Hi Darren and welcome to the forum! :wave:

For a 1990 Esprit turbo, $27,000 is a bit pricey, but if the car is well kept and has full records proving it has been maintained properly it could be a good buy. Well kept Esprits can be very good cars to own, but poorly maintained ones can easily turn into huge money pits. If you really want this car for this price just make sure it is in as perfect condition as possible and don't worry about paying a premium for it. It is always best to start out with an Esprit that needs nothing and just keep up the maintenance on it rather than trying to fix someone else's mess of neglect for a huge amount of money that you will never get back out of the car. Maintain the car as best as possible, repair things as needed/when needed, don't modify it for crazy increases in power, drive it respectfully, and the car should serve you well. A good Esprit offers a lot of bang for the buck in the world of exotic cars. Good luck!!
 

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^ Agreed.

Also, $27K for a PERFECT Esprit with full serive history and recent belt changes, and recent blah, blah, blah, ABSOLUTELY IS worth $27K. Because, very simply you can spend $10K plus on an engine rebuild if the belt breaks, and countless other things that will add up quick.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wow thank you so much for the informitive information! Ive learned so much in the last couple hours. This car would be well worth it at the price to me, after driving it. Im going to look at the carfax tomorrow and very hopefully drive home in it :D Its in great condition, I couldnt find anything wrong with it, other than the brake effort being harder than Im used to (Im told this is normal, even on the Elise's) And the visibility will take a bit of getting used to, much like the closeness of the pedals. I love it.

It definately has the chargecooler, and Ill see if they have the full service history on it. With my RX7's Im used to changing the oil every 2500 mi, coolant / filters every 7k or so. I enjoy maintaing cars, so this sounds like a great choice for me. Any work that can be done in a driveway Im happy to do, and anything beyond sounds like it must go to the dealer.

The 1-2 shift was very smooth, and I couldnt feel any slipping or signs of wear. I am VERY impressed with it (to the point where I dont feel the need more power... yet haha), and I didnt even take it above 5krpms.

I think I can still get an extended warranty on it, and that sounds like a smart investment. Maybe I can talk them into a belt service.
 

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Darren,

Also look up the Yahoo groups Turbo Esprit and Lotus car groups. Both are predominantly Esprit owner groups. Someone there may know the car and be able to fill you in on it's history and condition in more detail.

If you get the car, good luck and enjoy the ride!

Al B.
89 Esprit Turbo
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thats a great idea, you never know, maybe I can find a P.O. :) Also I noticed that the clutch engages pretty late (close to off the pedal more than Im used to anyway) Is it easy to adjust the engage height like on the rx7? I like it pretty close to the floor (withing about 6"). Last time I had a late engage, my cluch burned out on the freeway. Is it something thats just common among lotus'? Or would this be something to be weary of?
 

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Wow thank you so much for the informitive information! Ive learned so much in the last couple hours. This car would be well worth it at the price to me, after driving it. Im going to look at the carfax tomorrow and very hopefully drive home in it :D Its in great condition, I couldnt find anything wrong with it, other than the brake effort being harder than Im used to (Im told this is normal, even on the Elise's) And the visibility will take a bit of getting used to, much like the closeness of the pedals. I love it.

It definately has the chargecooler, and Ill see if they have the full service history on it. With my RX7's Im used to changing the oil every 2500 mi, coolant / filters every 7k or so. I enjoy maintaing cars, so this sounds like a great choice for me. Any work that can be done in a driveway Im happy to do, and anything beyond sounds like it must go to the dealer.

The 1-2 shift was very smooth, and I couldnt feel any slipping or signs of wear. I am VERY impressed with it (to the point where I dont feel the need more power... yet haha), and I didnt even take it above 5krpms.

I think I can still get an extended warranty on it, and that sounds like a smart investment. Maybe I can talk them into a belt service.
The hard brake pedal can be attributed to the heinous ABS system provided by Delco. Follow Mark Wein's ABS disable procedure here for a good pedal feel:

http://www.voicecrystal.com/Esprit/ABS_Disable/

(That's the whole thing, very simple)

As a fellow RX7 guy as well, I can tell you you'll love the the Esprit and it's quirckiness. It's an incredible car, best I'll prob. ever own. Feel free to check my site to see many photos and stories of my Esprit ownership. All the best.

www.91MR2.multiply.com
 

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Wow thank you so much for the informitive information! Ive learned so much in the last couple hours. This car would be well worth it at the price to me, after driving it. Im going to look at the carfax tomorrow and very hopefully drive home in it :D Its in great condition, I couldnt find anything wrong with it, other than the brake effort being harder than Im used to (Im told this is normal, even on the Elise's) And the visibility will take a bit of getting used to, much like the closeness of the pedals. I love it.

It definately has the chargecooler, and Ill see if they have the full service history on it. With my RX7's Im used to changing the oil every 2500 mi, coolant / filters every 7k or so. I enjoy maintaing cars, so this sounds like a great choice for me. Any work that can be done in a driveway Im happy to do, and anything beyond sounds like it must go to the dealer.

The 1-2 shift was very smooth, and I couldnt feel any slipping or signs of wear. I am VERY impressed with it (to the point where I dont feel the need more power... yet haha), and I didnt even take it above 5krpms.

I think I can still get an extended warranty on it, and that sounds like a smart investment. Maybe I can talk them into a belt service.
It sounds like you've placed a big halo over this car. Be careful. You say you've looked it over. If you are a very competent mechanic that knows a great deal about these cars, then that may suffice. But by the nature of the questions you are asking, you know very little about these cars.

You can see an absolute pristine looking Esprit, all paint perfect, leather unmarked, and underside/engine detailed as if for a car show...and mechanically it could be a 401K wrecker.

Please get a competent mechanic to give it a good once over. The timing belt change is a fairly complex process on this car. Even for someone who knows what they are doing, it's many hours work.

Good luck, but please don't buy it just because it looks great and drives nice.
 

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Guys, to me, that price is high. I know of no 1990/91 SE going for that much in a while. More like $20k, maybe a few thousand more for a perfect one.

I agree paying a premium, even $27k, for a perfect car can be a good idea, but just understand you will have a hard time selling it for anywhere near that amount if you don't intend to keep it for a long time.
 

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After seeing your response, I have to agree with the last two posts. You need to look through the halo you have placed around this car and get a very knowledgeable Lotus mechanic to inspect the car. $27,000 is only appropriate if the car is PERFECT. This means a perfect body (original paint, no damage of any kind, etc.) a perfect engine (full provable maintenance records) and the car drives perfectly--you already mentioned the clutch pickup point is high. Price out the cost of a new clutch and labor (the parts alone are stupid expensive much less paying someone to remove the entire driveline to get to it and once everything is pulled, you might as well put in a new timing belt, hoses, water pump, etc., etc., etc.). See how one thing wrong can cost you thousands on an Esprit? If this is a reputable dealer (no private party would price a '90 Esprit at $27,000 unless they really didn't want to sell it) they should be able to give you the contact information for the prior owner, show you full records for the car and make sure there is nothing wrong with it when you buy it. Be very careful with this one--don't allow your emotions to override your decision making!
 

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If $27000 is in your budget I would recomend finding a 94-95 S4, they can be easily found in the mid 20's and have a bunch of improvements over the 89-91 cars. 27k for 90/91 is way out of line, even for a nice one.
 

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Agree again. In fact, if your budget is $27k, you may be able to pick up an S4S and should do so if you can. THose cars are just now dropping into the 30k range.

But the poster above is right. The last SEs (93.5) and the S4 (94/95) are even more sorted than the early SEs. THe cabin is bigger, and more attractive, for one.
 

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Guys, while 27K numerically may sound high, think about what many Esprit repairs can cost. *If* this car checks out perfect, it's really not a "bad" deal. It is on the high side, yes, but it beats buying a beat to death, put away wet S4/s, that'll need 10K in maintenance in the first year of ownership. And this is coming from a guy with an S4. It's all relative, and I just hope the OP gets a great car. Just giving both sides of the fence.
 

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If you already budget the 27K for this car. Mind as well spend an extra $200-250 for a local Lotus dealership or a reputable Lotus "Esprit" mechanic to do a complete PPI (Pre-Purchase Inspection). Make sure the PPI includes a compression test & leak down test. That way you'll know exactly what you're getting. Some Lotus mechanics are more familiar with the Elise/Exige models. What you need though is experts on Esprits. Where are you located? Is there any Lotus dealership in the area?

I wouldn't mind paying higher for an Esprit as long as it is the right car. However, I will walk away immediately if there is any doubt. Don't rush into decisions, be patient & make sure you're buying a very good condition car. Just want to let you know, you might still have to spend some money to make it perfect even you're getting one that's in really good condition. And do ANYTHING to avoid take home a nightmare because it'll ruin your enjoyment and Esprit ownership experiences.

Alan
 

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Another site worth looking at is Lotus Esprit World.

www.lotusespritworld.com

It's UK-based but there are lots of tech tips and upgrades noted.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
First of all let me say thank you for your concerns. I can see where it sounds like Im totally rushing into it.

Im about an intermediate mechanic, not afraid to take on long, difficult, and time consuming tasks, but was not familiar with Lotus specificlly. Thanks for all your reccommendations, and I admit I did feel a halo, but I think thats the 'magic' of the Lotus experiance Im feeling.

Its looking Like I wont be able to purchase it as apparantly I havent had credit history long enough for a loan. Im sure glad I asked and the information I received! It seems your right that it would be best to get a later model in the same price range.

If not this one specifically, I definately see a Lotus in my future. Ill certainly be keeping my eyes open.
 

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Good luck with it dude! One of the other "rules" of Esprit ownership is that you should never buy the first one you stumble across..something about the heart ruling the mind....lol.....

When you get one, let us know. I thoroughly enjoyed my 93.5 the 4 years I had it.
 

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If you already budget the 27K for this car. Mind as well spend an extra $200-250 for a local Lotus dealership or a reputable Lotus "Esprit" mechanic to do a complete PPI (Pre-Purchase Inspection). Make sure the PPI includes a compression test & leak down test. That way you'll know exactly what you're getting. Some Lotus mechanics are more familiar with the Elise/Exige models. What you need though is experts on Esprits. Where are you located? Is there any Lotus dealership in the area?

I wouldn't mind paying higher for an Esprit as long as it is the right car. However, I will walk away immediately if there is any doubt. Don't rush into decisions, be patient & make sure you're buying a very good condition car. Just want to let you know, you might still have to spend some money to make it perfect even you're getting one that's in really good condition. And do ANYTHING to avoid take home a nightmare because it'll ruin your enjoyment and Esprit ownership experiences.

Alan

Im in Seattle and the lotus dealer is Parkplace motors. Ive been stung by 'nightmere' before on a Mustang by a private party,and your right that absolutely lowered my opinion of Ford. I should have known better, but was garanteed a warranty by the mobile mechanic that sold it to me (which made me overlook some redflags), but when it came time to use it, he turned into a snake in the grass.

I know that Parkplace has a very good reputation, but I will still get it fully checked out just to be sure.

Cant thank you guys enough!
 
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