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Discussion Starter #1
So the beaut' finally made it to my garage and I'm definitely giddy. First time Lotus owner. The hype is real! 8^) Now onto the issues that need addressing.

These are probably some dumb questions to you folks that have been working on these cars for so long, so please bear with my ignorance.

1st and reverse are near impossible after the car has been driven awhile. I checked the master cylinder reservoir and I can see a bit of liquid at the very bottom in a pill-shaped hole, but it appears as though it needs fluid or is this normal? The good news is that the cable leading from the master clutch cylinder has been replaced by a JAE part and it looks pretty new.

I spent a lot of time sifting through this forum and the few other sites that talk about maintenance. Someone mentioned the possibility of the bushings being bad where the shift linkage mates to the transmission. If this might be the case, is there an easy way to get to this? Does anyone happen to have a step 1 - 10?

I have the parts manual for the slightly newer V8 models. Most of which seems to apply to mine. 1993.5, btw. I'm going to be moving one of my tv's into the garage and hooking it up to the laptop after I figure out the best way to heat it. Currently looking at low-intensity infrared as the solution, but all suggestions are welcome. I'll need to insulate the ceiling and walls before I do that which should happen very soon.

The driver side door seems slightly leaned downward. I believe the way to rectify this is to open the panel immediately forward of the door opening to reveal the bolt that needs to be turned clockwise. Is that right?

The brakes will need to be bled soon. When I depress them, it feels like I need to apply more than normal pressure and when I left up, I can feel the pressure push my foot back a bit. Anyone have a good guide on bleeding brakes? I'm sure I can figure it out eventually, but videos, pictures and instructions obviously make life easier.

Can someone please post a closeup of where the tire jack goes? I had to buy another one because the PO didn't have it. I'm not entirely sure how the jack fits between the metal tongs and don't want to mess anything up as this has become my most precious possession and don't mind admitting to you all that I'm pretty obsessed with her.

I'm planning to do an engine-out service c and am looking at engine hoists aka cherry pickers (as some call it in my neck of the woods). I'm in the process of replacing my Harbor Freight tools with Craftsman or better. So, I'm not sure if the metal alloys used in HF's lineup would cut the mustard. Seems like most of their stuff is cheap Chinese stuff and I've already had a socket head break loose doing some pretty basic mundane stuff with my Triumph Trophy motorcycle. Sometimes I believe I'm a Brit born in America with all the things I gravitate toward... 8^)

Jack points - anyone have closeups of where they used their hydraulic jack, then points where the jack stands go? I've had the hockey pucks for a while now, waiting on the day the car comes home, but I want to make sure I'm in the exact right spot.

I'm going to do an oil change real soon. Is there an American supplier for Esprit oil filters? Are there others that might be better? Anyone an Amazon junkie like myself? Just bought some Castrol DOT 4 from there (GTLMA) for doing the brake bleed job. Still need to inspect the pads.

Don't want to inundate you all too much so we'll stop there. Whew! Thanks for any and all insight/feedback. I soak it all in, really. Wife's already jealous. rotfl
 

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Most of those are pretty simple, check

The Lotus Esprit Fact File

for answers to a lot of your questions. I have had mine about a year so cannot answer all though am positive someone else will chime in

1. Fluid should not be as low as it sounds. IMHO would flush and bleed with new fluid

2. Brakes said to need to flush and replace once a year

3. The translator (linkage) is pretty easy, I did mine a couple months ago, took all of maybe an hour or so

4. Reverse is not the greatest. Try putting into another gear THEN into reverse
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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Regards the brake feel,

You are dealing with the GM Powermaster III ABS system. They feel different than most modern brake systems...remember that the rear brakes are only actuated by the system's pump, not your foot. :huh: Definitely takes a bit of getting used to.

You'll need to follow the manual for bleeding the brakes. Or, buy a power bleeder: EG Mityvac...

++++++

That clutch...for sure, add fluid and bleed, but look for cylinder leakage. The clutch master can be tricky...it leaks down into the footwell where you can't see it. The slave can leak as well... that's a visual.

I, too, like Castrol LMA brake fluid.

++++++++++


I'm pretty sure that several folks use Harbor Freight hoists. ISTR a favorite model being mentioned, I think Tom M can help you out there.


++++

For jacking, in the rear place a floor jack under the frame hoop. In the front, I grab the cross member near the wheel I am working on. Depending on your front under-bumper valence, this is not always easy. NEVER jack on the control arms, they WILL bend.

I place my stands under the jacking points on the sills, but I don't let the entire weight of the car rest on them...just let the stands steady the car. The sills are just bodywork after all, and they WILL creak which will drive you "nutz" . :eek:

Have fun with your new toy! :clap:
 

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You definitely need to fill the clutch MC reservoir and take a look at the slave. For the MC as Atwell says you will need to get a flashlight and to wrap your hand around to feel for fluid. The slave is easy to check but be sure to pop the rubber cup off when checking to see if it is retaining fluid. Both of these can be easily rebuilt if you need to do that - and there is a drop-in WIlwood clutch MC replacement which is relatively inexpensive if you need to go that far.

HF tools are sometimes OK, sometimes junk. We have there 1.5 tom engine hoist in the shop and I find it to be just fine. Another alternative - and one which I personally prefer - is to use a ceiling-mounted chain hoist and to pull the engine straight up. It is a lot easier to do it that way than using a cherry picker because of clearance issue on the lower suspension links. Also all engine hoists as they pull the engine up also move it back - that is inherent in any lift which has a fixed boom. So you need to fuss a bit more using a hoist. One thing we have to do with our HF hoist is to raise the rear of the car yp a couple of inches by setting the rear wheels on blocks because the frame of the hoist will hit the suspension links when you go to roll the hoist under the rear of the car to center the boom over the engine.

I prefer Craftsman, Kobalt, or Snap-on for most hand tools (sockets, wrenches, etc.) I never buy HF air tools, electric tools, or "precision" tools. I do use them for stuff like welding carts, hoists, chain falls, stuff like that. I think over the last few years they have somewhat improved their quality - but I would be very careful in considering anything I buy from them. One of the things I've come to realize is that Craftsman as well as many others are getting their stuff from China too. So it really depends on the manufacturer and the quality assurance that the suppliers are demanding. I'm old enough to remember when everyone used to think everything Japanese was crap.... well, that certainly changed.

:D

No synchro on reverse - I always go into second before I go into reverse. You would be surprised how much the health of your clutch hydraulics has to do with the ability to get the trans to shift smoothly. I went through a hellacious amount of work once (including pulling the trans out) convinced there was something wrong with my clutch (horrible going into reverse). Changed a lot of parts. I found out that the root cause was a slave cylinder which had a very slight weep - you could only see fluid if you popped off the rubber end cap. Once I rebuilt that all shift problems disappeared. The amount of movement in the clutch mechanism is very small - any loss of motion either from the clutch hydraulics or some other source will cause problems. I would get the clutch hydraulics up to spec and see how the shifting feels after you go through that exercise. You can get a rebuild kit for the translator bearings. As was mentioned it is not a complicated job to replace the roller bearing in the translator housing and put new ends on the shifter cables. But I don't think that many shift problems are relate to the translator - in my opinion far more likely to be clutch hydraulics. Oh, and it is not so easy to bleed. I use a power bleeder and that takes care of the problem, but there are lots of complaints by folks who have a hard time getting the clutch bled on the forum.

It's a lot of work and it's a pretty good learning curve but I've loved every minute of my time with my Esprit. And I never have met an owner (or even a previous owner!) who said "Boy, did I hate owning that Lotus. I was so happy to get rid of it ....."

Nah - they look at my car like they would look at that beautiful girlfriend they had 20 years ago that got away on them and say with a sigh and a smile "Yeah, I used to have one a long time ago ...."
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all the terrific suggestions. Anyone have any feedback on the 2200rpm high idle? The PO said the Check Engine light came on after the first attempted start didn't work (battery was drained) and he believes this is the source for the light. I trust this guy, by the way, so I don't think he's telling me a story. I've already gone to inspect the car a couple of months before I took delivery and can confirm it was just fine then.
 

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Welcome!

If the battery was dead or near dead then the computer loses all it's learned data. If you then start the car it will go through a a learning process and the idle will be high and variable for the first 5-10 minutes. However you should not have a check engine light. On a cold start the check engine light should be off for the first few seconds, and then if there is a problem as the computer goes through it's checks the light will come on.

As has been mentioned, the ABS system is primitive. Pedal feel is crap at best, and you will feel all kinds of pulsations, but it should be firm and the system should function if you make a hard stop.

The bleeding process is quite lengthy and complicated. You can't simply bleed only at the calipers. As was mentioned the rear brakes will not work without a properly functioning ABS booster system, although it is still the pedal that actuates the rear calipers. There just is no fail safe redundancy at the rear.

You need to get a proper manual for your model. They are available on EBay in disc form, and occasionally in paper form. Also get a parts manual.
Then you need Freescan or Espritmon(haven't used) to read the engine codes and check running issues and sensor function.

I would advocate for getting the engine running with a diagnostic program hooked up before you decide to pull it. That way you can hopefully identify issues.

I would also think twice about pulling the engine if your only goal is a C service.

The only very important part of the C service is the belt change. That is difficult to do with the motor in, but a lot easier than pulling the motor.

If you look under the door sills near the wheel arches you will see obvious jack points.

We use Mobil 1 or K&N filters.

Randy

On the other hand if you need a clutch and fuel tanks then pull the motor.
 

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I would also change ALL of the fluids and filters. Especially the transmission. That can help with the shifting. I would not be too quick to pull the motor. Better to try driving the car a while and see what needs to be done. Get Freescan and a cable to see what codes you have that are lighting up the check engine light. Check the age on the tires and battery. Tires over 7 years and batteries over 5 should be replaced. Wiper blades don't last forever either. Unless you have paperwork showing a recent "C" service by a reputable Lotus shop you should consider doing it or having it done. If the clutch fluid is that low something is leaking. Fill it and bleed it. If the level continues to drop examine the master and slave cylinders to see what is leaking. British cars prefer Castrol Dot 4 brake fluid. Do not continue to drive if the clutch is not working well. You can do internal damage to the transmission.
David Teitelbaum
 

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All great advice above, the only one not addressed is the door. first confirm it is the door alignment and not the catch on the rear, then check the hinge for play. If these are both good then you are in for some fun times. Remove the interior A pillar trim for access to the top bolt and the carpet below the dash for the bottom one. Before you loosen them support the door (I use a floor jack with a soft piece of foam attached to it, just take the weight, do not jack it up!) loosen the bolts in the normal counterclockwise manner and gently lift the door, it only takes a very small movement at the front to make a large difference at the rear so don't get carried away. Tighten the bolts and see where you are, it may take a few attempts to get it right, just be gentle with her :)
 

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Wingless Wonder
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confirm it is the door alignment and not the catch on the rear, :)
WARNING! The rear door catches have hardware on the inside that could fall off. -eek-


If they do, you'll be pulling the gas tank. :facepalm Because the nuts never fall all the way down. Just to where you can't reach them. :mad:

:panic:
 

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On many cars the door "leans downward" because the hinges are worn. Trying to adjust will not work if the door has a lot of play in the hinge. You can tell by lifting the back edge of the door when it is open. If you can move it up a lot the hinges are worn. Replace the bushings and you probably don't need any adjustment. Drivers side doors will wear a lot more than any other since it gets used so much more and rarely gets lubricated.

The jack and the lug wrench goes on the underside of the plastic cover inside the spare tire.

If you use the jack points you will have to get a short piece of 2 X 4 with a cut down the middle to fit over the lip on the jack point so the jack doesn't bend it over.

To heat the garage depends on your area. How cold it gets, what kind of fuel you have available, how big it is, how warm you need it to be, etc. In my last garage I had a suspended natural gas heater. In my current garage I have 2 hydronic blowers. Some use waste oil burners. Others have wood fired stoves. If you have forced hot air in the house DO NOT add a duct to the garage. Very dangerous.

Unless you are using oil filters by the case and need to buy them as cheaply as you can, get them from JAE. Order at least 2, one for now and the other for the next time along with all of the other things you will be getting from them. If you are going to do a tune-up just place a big order with them and make sure they have your CC # on file and your limit is high! Maybe they will take Paypal!
David Teitelbaum
 

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<SNIP>

To heat the garage depends on your area. How cold it gets, what kind of fuel you have available, how big it is, how warm you need it to be, etc. In my last garage I had a suspended natural gas heater. In my current garage I have 2 hydronic blowers. Some use waste oil burners. Others have wood fired stoves. If you have forced hot air in the house DO NOT add a duct to the garage. Very dangerous. <SNIP>
Not that hard, just make sure to include fresh air return... And check insulation on the walls and garage door or throw money out the window
 

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Not that hard, just make sure to include fresh air return... And check insulation on the walls and garage door or throw money out the window
Most building codes do not allow you to include the garage with the rest of the house. Fuel vapors, CO and that kind of thing. It also can allow a fire to get into the house quicker. Unless the garage is converted into "living space" and you can't bring a vehicle inside you are not supposed to run a duct into it. Check with your local Building Inspector before trying to heat the garage that way. And yes, you do need to insulate and most garages were not insulated so the builder could save a few pennies on insulation. If you are not going to heat it a lot I like the waste oil heater solution but they are EXPENSIVE.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Most building codes do not allow you to include the garage with the rest of the house. Fuel vapors, CO and that kind of thing. It also can allow a fire to get into the house quicker. Unless the garage is converted into "living space" and you can't bring a vehicle inside you are not supposed to run a duct into it. Check with your local Building Inspector before trying to heat the garage that way. And yes, you do need to insulate and most garages were not insulated so the builder could save a few pennies on insulation. If you are not going to heat it a lot I like the waste oil heater solution but they are EXPENSIVE.
David Teitelbaum

I insulated the garage door and have two 5 foot long infrared electric heaters, do a pretty good job and no worries about gases and such.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks again for all of the feedback.

Midlife, what did you end up having to spend for those two heaters and what brand/model?

jtrealty, that's exactly what's going on with the door so I think you're right - worn hinges. Would you happen to know the part number for the bushings? I'm looking at a PDF at the moment that has a picture of a yellow S-4 entitled "Parts Manual Service Manual" I found online. It says it covers 93-96. Looking at section 10.15A, Door Shell, Beam, Hinges, and Hinge Post, I'm not seeing references to bushings, but perhaps I'm looking in the wrong section.

Looks like davebean, jaeparts, sports car world in Dallas and RD Enterprises in PA are the US suppliers for our cars. Are there any others beyond the occasional ebay by individuals I should be aware of?
 

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JAE is probably the best source for replacement parts after Lotus USA. Electric heat is among the most expensive to run, you need to have an electrician wire it up, also expensive, and with the hot surfaces you have to be careful, IR can be concentrated and if too close to combustibles it can set things on fire.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks Midlife and David. Really appreciate your feedback and everyone else's too!

Hope you all have Happy Holidays.
 
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