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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As I slowly get into my 2001 Esprit, I keep finding that things that are normally trivial are confounding me. I'm replacing the fuel filter, and it seemed like I had to remove the one hatch strut to get the plastic side cover out. It's one of the locking struts. When I took it off, it fully extended and I can't seem to compress it at all. How do you reinstall this thing? It has a wire connector on each side, but is that something for the strut, or just some sort of ground pass-through?

Also, I'm very slowly starting to prepare to replace the axle seals. Normally I jack from the center rear, and put the stands almost under the hubs. But I guess I need to disconnect the lower hub bolts to pull out the axle, so I can't put the stand there. I have no faith in putting it under the jack point on the body. I tried, but the creaking sounded like it might crack something, and I don't have faith that it wouldn't slide off the stand. Is there another spot to put the stands? Maybe along the suspension tubes running forward from the rear? Or will those bend?

Thanks
Rock
 

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As far as the strut goes, there are locking type struts, you will probably have to pull it out then compress it, try using a vice but not to mar the surfaces of it. If I remember correctly the wiring connectors on the strut is for the defrost on the inner/outer rear windows, I think one side is the POS side and the other strut has the NEG side of the DC voltage to it. At least thats how it is on my 88, yours maybe wired different since it is much newer than mine. But your car probably uses the same struts I bet. These struts were the first things I replaced on my Esprit when I bought it, the hatch wouldnt stay up, I was bummed when they came because they were my first new Esprit parts, and they didnt fit, I ordered ones for "without" the wing (even though my car didnt have one at the time) and I needed struts for the car "with" the wing (of course now it has the wing anyways) The difference seemed to be how far the hatch opened, not really the weight of the wing on the hatch.

Also I use the jack points all the time when I work on my car, however I have two heavy identical floor jacks, I put one under each side and jack the car up evenly, a little this side, then that side. Then I drop it the same way, a little each side. All that creaking really worries me, I keep waiting for the glass to break whenever I jack the car up due to the body flexing, but of course we all know its got a solid frame, I think that creaking freaks everybody out. And because of the rarity and price of parts, I treat this car different than most others I've restored. Example, most cars I have worked on I have no problem jacking it up and holding it by the rear differential housing (pumpkin ball), I would NEVER think of holding this car up by the same place, it just seems too fragile.
 

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Rock,
I had to remove the RH side strut on mine once, and I couldn't reinstall it without also removing the LH side strut. It requires two people, but the job goes pretty quickly because with both struts off the rear hatch, it can rotate higher up, allowing the struts to be reinstalled into the ball ends on the hatch.
As far as jack points, I've only ever used the 4 points near the wheels and, of course, the trans cradle at the center rear. The 4 main jack points are a little weak. Two of mine were already flattened by a previous owner.
 

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with both struts off the rear hatch, it can rotate higher up, allowing the struts to be reinstalled into the ball ends on the hatch.
Yes, this is the way to go. I had the same issue and there is no way to compress it first and then get it on. Just pop off the other strut, lift the hatch completely vertical (with a helper), and get it back on in the extended position.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Tricky little struts. OK I'll try that. The hatch does seem much heavier then it looks.

I'd be a little more comfortable using the jacks on the jacking points since it shouldn't slip off there, but my one jack doesn't go terribly high, and the other slowly lowers itself. And I just don't have that much faith in jacks to get under the car with just them holding it. I guess any other points would be a no-no?

Thanks
 

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Rock,
The only jacking points referenced in the owner's manual are the four corners. I've only used the cradle as a jack point based on feedback from several other owners first. Beyond that, I'm not aware of any other locations.
Be safe, and best of luck!
 

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my one jack doesn't go terribly high, and the other slowly lowers itself. And I just don't have that much faith in jacks to get under the car with just them holding it.
Get some proper "jack stands" instead of relying on the actual jack. They are inexpensive and available at any auto store. Don't get squished!
 

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When doing the axle seals, I find it much easier to do from the top side. Remove the boot floor to access. It's a real pain to drive out/in the roll pins from underneath, pretty easy from the top.
*Match mark the holes in the end of the axle and on the splined shaft of the gearbox as soon as you remove it. The holes only perfectly align one way, if you're 180 degrees out, it will appear close but the roll pins will jam when you try to put them back in.

Use jackstands on the jacking points in front of the rear wheel wells. A small block of wood between the metal stand and body will help to keep from damaging it.

When removing the axles from the gearbox, unbolt the upper link and leave the lower link connected. Once the roll pins are out and with the wheels off the ground, you can stand on the wheel and it will lever the axle out of the gearbox. A second person helps. If by yourself, you can also carefully use a crow bar to lever the axle off the splined shaft.

You can do it by either removing the upper or lower link but I think it's a little easier removing the top link. It's definitely easier to re-align the upper link on re-assembly.

Good luck
Jim
 

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You can safely put the jack stands under the suspension tubes which run from the engine bay to the center rear. Put them as far forward as possible for stability.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks. I'd like to try to put them under those suspension tubes, at least as a safety backup. When you guys are putting stands under the jacking points, do you have a flat-top jackstand? I have the concave/axle type stands, and I can't figure how to use those at that location.

So far I feel like I'm getting very lucky with the seals. The roll pins were perfectly lined up when I went to knock them out from the top, and they came out no problem. I had tried to remove just the lower hub link (I read that somewhere) but I couldn't quite get the axle to clear. So I took off the top link on that side too. Seal and o-ring where no problem, although I have an existing gouge at 12:00 on the sealing surface. Hopefully the sealant around the seal will fix that. Just have to reverse that side and then do the passenger side, which I guess has a few extra items to worry about but hopefully should be ok.

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By suspension tubes I actually meant the chassis tubes, not the lower links going horizontally across the rear suspension.
 
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