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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so it seems that I'm going to need to address this sooner than later. Since the availability for tires on my '93.5 are no longer available and finding streetable replacements seems extremely limited, it looks like my only choice is to get wheels. While I'm at it, since the brakes are OEM, I figured might as well upgrade these as well. The stopping power is just miserable and feels unacceptable. I'm a "function over fancy" kind of guy and don't intend to ever track this car.

I spoke with JAE about the shock dampeners (rear is leaking) and they don't carry Lotus stuff. They mentioned AVO, but I've heard bad things about these folks. So, I'd just assume go with those who've forged this path already and see what you all did/recommend.

So, here are my questions:

* What wheel set would you recommend for this car that would provide the most availability? What extra work would it take to fit these to the car, i.e. spacers, extra parts, etc.? I prefer the OEM look over any of the fancy options and am not made of money.

* Again, function over fancy, what brake kit would you go with? Who might have the best price on your recommendation? I believe the fronts have the steel braided lines from JAE, but I'll need to get them for the rear

* What tires would you recommend for the wheel set? I don't intend to let her out in the rain intentionally, so a summer tire would be ok I'm thinking.

* For the suspension, would you go ahead and replace the springs while tending to the shock absorbers?

I know I'm probably going to have to spend around $6k for everything.

Any/all feedback is extremely welcome.
 

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Confused when you say "I spoke with JAE about the shock dampeners (rear is leaking) and they don't carry Lotus stuff"

JAE specialized in Lotus stuff...

I got my SPAX coil overs from them...
 

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Pretty sure he meant factory Lotus OEM shocks,not after market shocks.
 

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Dunlop Direzza D101 (?) -inexpensive and highly recommended
17" Voxx Maglia - inexpensive and comes in 5x108 PCD ( Stevens Esprit), ET20 17x8

I personally went with OZ Futura ($$$) but those Maglias look good - someone here has a red Esprit with them in picture. Minimal spacers if you want factory offset

Downside is all wheels 17x8 , a little heavier than OEM, wider and you go with 18 rear and more weight/cost
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, sorry if I confused. They said they don't have Lotus OEM shock dampeners. And, I'm not against buying from UK suppliers either.

I spoke with a company up north (here in the States) called Apple Hydraulics and they said they used to repair these shock dampeners but no longer. I suppose, ideally, I'd like to find out whether a) it's feasible/possible/cost-effective to repair the dampers and, b) if not, whether the part could be sourced elsewhere refurb-ed/new (and whether a refurb from company X could be trusted).

Part number for the shock is A082D4174F. This appears to be for the heavier V8, but I'm having trouble confirming this.
 

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I also went with SPAX from Jeff at JAE. Very happy with them. V8 mind you, but sure he has the correct fitment for your model?
 

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Cal H
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Part number for the shock is A082D4174F. This appears to be for the heavier V8, but I'm having trouble confirming this.
That is the old part number for the original V8/sport350 rear shock.

Some 93.5 SE's used green shock A082D4158F I'm guessing you have this one which is the same one used in S4/S4s as your was a cross over model. Earlier SE's used an green dot shock A082D4121F. They don't make these anymore and are limited to new old stock at a dealer/reseller. Pretty sure either will work in your car as it is very similar in weight. and set up. Just make sure the spring perches are the same size as your is a cross over model.

The new Lotus approved replacement for your car is very expensive and that is LOTAC05405 for rears, LOTAC05404 for fronts. with springs they may be like 2K or more. Kind of a touchy subject. Someone at the Lotus Engineering stuck their necks out and spent some money to test suspension parts for the aging Epsrit's across all the model years. The expense is keeping many from buying them but unless people support and buy product it may affect the treatment of future development of not only Esprit's but other models like the Elise and others as they age. I know I should pay Lotus back for their research and development cost by purchasing the shocks from them but I'm not sure I can afford it. I have heard it is a very superior road setup.

BTW if you change wheel and go larger rear tire sizes you will mostly likely need to get adjustable upper links to get the tire back into alignment.

Good Luck,
Cal H
 

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[snip]
The new Lotus approved replacement for your car is very expensive and that is LOTAC05405 for rears, LOTAC05404 for fronts. with springs they may be like 2K or more. Kind of a touchy subject.[snip] but unless people support and buy product it may affect the treatment of future development [snip]I know I should pay Lotus back for their research and development cost by purchasing the shocks from them but I'm not sure I can afford it. I have heard it is a very superior road setup.
[snip]
About $2100 at current exchange rates (2/2014)

Suspension - The Lotus Forums Shop

RE: touchy subject:

I will give credit to Lotus for doing the updated testing of older Esprits with newer shock technology. As a product manager, I can only imagine the 'negotiations' that allowed this to happen (Return on investment justification, etc.).

And I'd hazard a guess that $2100 still doesn't cover what they spent to do this testing vs. the number of people that will buy it.

I'm saving my nickels and dimes for this one (isn't this what a Lotus is about - world class handling?) , although I'm probably want to go to polyurethane bushings (which is another non-trivial upgrade as well).

Reality is the other thread (exploring a low cost alternative to this kit) is really where most will go due to the cost.
 

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I spent the money for the Lotus/Bilstein/Eibach setup. As I recall the parts were over $2500, but that was 18 months ago, so possibly less now. Great ride, and surprisingly good handling on the track. The low speed compression is medium tight for handling, but the high speed compression is fairly loose for smooth ride. Just the way I like it. I did a the 3-day track session at Watkins Glen last year, when the LOG event was there. I was the only Esprit, and I'm a newbie on the track. I expected this suspension would be too soft, but I never wanted for control. That was a Porsche Club track event, and many of those guys were complaining about roughness in certain sections of the track. I still don't know what sections they were talking about.

With that package you are getting new springs as well as shocks. Both of those are 20+ years old on most of our cars. Yes they are expensive, but you'd spend at least half that for both shocks and springs for any other solution. I'm just glad Lotus put the resources in to help us update the old cars. As I recall the springs are progressive rate, I could be wrong on that. It takes a lot of effort to get a variable rate setup just right. I realize the money is significant, buts if you can buy them today for $2100, its a $1,000 incremental decision.

You have to drive a car quite a bit in varying conditions to evaluate a suspension setup. I've driven Esprit with other options, but not an extended time so I can't say how they compare. I had an M100 Elan for many years, and "upgraded" to the Gaz shocks, which in my opinion was a mistake. When the provider only gives you one adjustment, as I recall that was for rebound on the Gaz, you are largely left with what that manufacturer's preference was. It would take a lot of tuning to replicate what Lotus did with the Bilstein setup. On my motorcycles I have 3-way adustments (rebound, hi speed compression, and low speed compression), so you can create just about any profile you want. I don't know if any of the options for the Esprit have that level of adjustability, but if so they would not be cheap.
 

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Cal H
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Historically I have always put forth my efforts on having a solid car. Many times at the expense of the cosmetic items. I suppose none of the cars did not look too bad and others would consider the cosmetics okay. But all my cars were like that, destined never to win a car show but respectable standings somewhere in the middle. What what fun cars, a working or drivers sports car is what I always referred to them as. So when the times comes I will probably go down the road I always have and most likely buy the Lotus approved Bilstein/Eibach setup so I can say that I drive a Lotus. The only exception would be if I broke something that prevented me from driving the car and there was a good alternative to get me back on the road ASAP. Other wise it is a future budgeted item.
 

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Regarding wheels you may want to check lotusesprit101 post on the S4 wheels he has for sale. I have S4S wheels (which I believe are the same size) on my 91 SE. I just recently put BF Goodrich G force sport comp 2, 215/40/ZR17 front, and 275/40/ZR17 rear. Total cost on the tires was around $650.
Check www.espritfactfile.cmm/roadwheels.html for details on wheels.

Ed
 
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