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Registered Insane
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Discussion Starter #1
I have a feeling that the seals in my master cylinder are bad. If I stab the brakes at speed they bite really good, however sometimes at low speeds coming to a stop the pedal gets mushy and car doesn't come to a complete stop. This is usually a sign of fluid getting past the seals inside the master cylinder and it's happened to me before in other older cars. The problem I'm having is finding a new master cylinder for my 2004 Esprit. My mechanic doesn't feel comfortable doing a rebuild due to the liability and I don't blame him. Can I replace it with an aftermarket one like Wilwood?

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

-Doc
 

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I do not think there are any "swap in" replacements for the MC on any Esprits.
 

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Cal H
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What kind of pads you got in there? Still got the stock pads? Some people put in high performance pads that do not work well for street driving unless they get real heated up
 

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Registered Insane
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Discussion Starter #4
What kind of pads you got in there? Still got the stock pads? Some people put in high performance pads that do not work well for street driving unless they get real heated up
I have no idea which pads are in the car. I was looking to replace them but I really think the symptoms are indicative of a failing master cylinder. When I flushed the fluid the old stuff looked like chocolate syrup. The car was previously garaged not far from the ocean so i know there was moisture absorbed. If I change pads I'd like to go with something to Hawk HPS.
 

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Those are the exact symptoms my car had when the master cylinder was shot...exactly. Luckily I fall into the SE crowd where my replacement came from a Volkswagen van of similar vintage for around a hundred bucks plus one plug to block off one of the ports.
 

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Your mechanic doesn't want to do a rebuild on your existing MC because he makes a bunch of easy money off selling you a new one.

Typically, the parts prices are doubled (or more) when it shows up on your invoice v. the cost to the mechanic. That's easy money....with no/little effort required....and it's one of the main ways shops/mechanics make easy money.

Heck, a lot of shops will sell you parts you don't need (and charge to install them) just to make money off the parts. It's a big scam.
 

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Registered Insane
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Discussion Starter #8
Your mechanic doesn't want to do a rebuild on your existing MC because he makes a bunch of easy money off selling you a new one.
That is the farthest thing from the truth with my mechanic. My family has been using him since the first day he opened his shop 15yrs ago and he is extremely honest. He actually prefers I source the parts for him.

Typically, the parts prices are doubled (or more) when it shows up on your invoice v. the cost to the mechanic. That's easy money....with no/little effort required....and it's one of the main ways shops/mechanics make easy money.

Heck, a lot of shops will sell you parts you don't need (and charge to install them) just to make money off the parts. It's a big scam.
Once again, no scam with my mechanic or easy money being made on marking up parts or installing parts not needed. He explained that Florida Laws concerning rebuilding certain parts hold him liable and he doesn't want to risk something catastrophic happening to me. I respect his opinion and I'm grateful that he is looking out for my safety. He has no problem sending the master cylinder out to be repaired and then he will install it.

So my question still remains unanswered. Does anyone know where I can source an aftermarket MC or am I stuck trying to find an OEM one for my 2004 Esprit?

TIA.
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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Have you considered one of the hydraulics resto/rebuild places such as White Post Restorations?

Brake Cylinder Solutions

Or, you could call Jay @ JAE and see if they offer rebuilt Kesley-Hayes MCs and you could send them your core afterwards.
 

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Specific Model/Year?

A VW Transporter van master cylinder fits the pre ABS Esprit.
Travis,

Can you be more specific as to model/year? Are you referring to a VW Vanagon or a VW camper? I have not had one in my hand but I have looked at pictures of those MC's from 1989/90 model years and they look like they are not exactly switchable. Ports are in differnt locations, there are extra ports, etc.

I also do not see a listing for a VW model "Transporter". Is there another name?

Tom
 

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Travis,

Can you be more specific as to model/year? Are you referring to a VW Vanagon or a VW camper? I have not had one in my hand but I have looked at pictures of those MC's from 1989/90 model years and they look like they are not exactly switchable. Ports are in differnt locations, there are extra ports, etc.

I also do not see a listing for a VW model "Transporter". Is there another name?

Tom
Tom,


This info is for 1990 and earlier with non-ABS vacuum boosted brakes with the Bendix master cylinder. Not for a V8 or for 1990+ with GM Powermaster III ABS

Brake Master Cylinder & Servo - Misc including parts cross references - The Lotus Forums
and
Brake Mater Cylinder - Suspension/Brakes/Wheels/Hubs/Steering/Geo - The Lotus Forums
 

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The Esprit V8 with the Kelsey Hayes ABS has a normal looking hydraulic dual circuit master cylinder and vacuum booster. It should be easily rebuildable, assuming you can get the seals!!!


Looks like Lotus Garage wants about $1000 for the master cylinder and vacuum booster assembly.
https://www.lotusgarage.com/shop/index.php?l=product_list&c=285
 

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I would do a full system check before considering any parts replacement. You are just guessing now on the master cylinder. Rebuilding it yourself is a very doable and low cost option IF you can get the kit and IF the bore is not all corroded. Since the K/H anti-lock brakes have a LOT of electrical stuff going on it is possible you have a problem with the logic board in the anti-lock brake unit. First step is to do a complete flush maybe several times since you say the fluid was very bad. To do a full system check you need a Tech 1 with the right cartridge and cable. This could be a problem with a wheel sensor thinking a wheel is locking up and the ABS is releasing pressure on you (just another wild guess). Does the ABS light come on and go out on start-up? BTW, there are TWO lights for the brakes. Both should light during start-up and then go out. With very bad fluid a brake piston could be corroded and sticking. Do not search for the easy to replace parts thinking that is all it can be.
David Teitelbaum
 

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That is the farthest thing from the truth with my mechanic. My family has been using him since the first day he opened his shop 15yrs ago and he is extremely honest. He actually prefers I source the parts for him.



Once again, no scam with my mechanic or easy money being made on marking up parts or installing parts not needed. He explained that Florida Laws concerning rebuilding certain parts hold him liable and he doesn't want to risk something catastrophic happening to me. I respect his opinion and I'm grateful that he is looking out for my safety. He has no problem sending the master cylinder out to be repaired and then he will install it.

So my question still remains unanswered. Does anyone know where I can source an aftermarket MC or am I stuck trying to find an OEM one for my 2004 Esprit?

TIA.
Yeah, OK. Easy there big fella.

Time to engage the brain here....

Have you looked at the bore? If the bore is good, there's absolutely no reason to replace the MC. Other than the mechanic making money off the part sale, as previously mentioned.

With a good bore, the MC is easily made as good as new with a seal kit. Probably not more than about $25 bucks and an hour labor. You stick with an OE part that fits and is of good quality. And, you don't have to waste time looking around for a replacement part (which may not be of equivalent quality).

If the bore is bad, I would consider sleeving it with silicon bronze or SS. There are lots of places with skilled people who do this for a very reasonable cost, and then the MC is actually better than new due to the improved corrosion resistance. I've done this many times with clutch and brake MC's. Pics attached of my ferrari MC sleeved with bronze.

Relaaaax man. And go ask your super duper honest mechanic what's the condition of the bore. You might want to actually look at it for yerself.
 

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