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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings Lotus Esprit Devotees,

I recently acquire my first Lotus - an 88 Turbo Esprit and am anxious to learn the ins and outs of the car. While this is not my first sports car (I have owned my fair share - more than my share if you ask my wife - most of German origins) it is one of the most exciting and definately one of the most beautiful.

A quick question - while replacing my car's thermostat, I managed - despite all my precautions - to get a small amount of anti-freeze on the timing belt. What problems have I created for myself and what are my options (fixes).

Thanks in advance for your advice and I am looking forward to learning and discussing the merits of these fabulous cars.
 

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Welcome!
I assume you have the Bosch injected car?

In any case, antifreeze washes off with water, so rinse it and you will be fine, plus the belt is toothed.

HOWEVER, make sure you know the history of the belt. Check the tension.
Most owners will tell you 2-4 yrs max on belt/or 30,000 miles whichever comes first.

If the belt breaks you will be out lots of money and lots of time. If you need to change it it is a PIA if you do it yourself(but way cheaper), but hard to find a good Lotus mechanic. If you have the GM injection it is slightly easier. While in there consider a new tensioner and a rebuilt water pump.

Not trying to scare you.... I love my cars, but the belt is the most important part of the car, and needs to be updated by due date.

Randy 89SE and others
 

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Welcome!
I assume you have the Bosch injected car?

In any case, antifreeze washes off with water, so rinse it and you will be fine, plus the belt is toothed.

HOWEVER, make sure you know the history of the belt. Check the tension.
Most owners will tell you 2-4 yrs max on belt/or 30,000 miles whichever comes first.

If the belt breaks you will be out lots of money and lots of time. If you need to change it it is a PIA if you do it yourself(but way cheaper), but hard to find a good Lotus mechanic. If you have the GM injection it is slightly easier. While in there consider a new tensioner and a rebuilt water pump.

Not trying to scare you.... I love my cars, but the belt is the most important part of the car, and needs to be updated by due date.

Randy 89SE and others
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks, Randy - that's what I did so I guess I'll wait and see. The belt has less than 10k on it but is getting up there in years - perhaps 3 years old, I'll need to check the records. It appears to me that it may need to be tighten - although the info about belt tension seems to pretty varied, depending upon the source. I have purchased a gates 91107 belt tension tested but am researching and gathering necessary components needed to perform frequency testing as well. I'm interested in seeing how each work on this car. Have done several belt replacement services of 928s but the Lotus may be more of a challenge to service due to the mid-engine layout. Any suggestions on parts availability and procedural descriptions (other than the service manual, which I already have) would be appreciated.

Thanks for your response.
 

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If you join the TurboEsprit mail-group on Yahoo Groups you will find a wealth of information in the Files section, including a treatise on Replacing the Timing Belt.

If you haven't talked to them already, you may want to talk to Jeff at JAE Parts in CA. They sell a Gates Racing timing belt that promises to be stronger and longer lasting than the OE type. :bow:


(I say PROMISES because, as Randy mentioned, no one has tested the longevity of the blue Gates Racing belt...) -eek-


A local Esprit owner let his OE-type TB go 16K and it broke apart after 10 years. :thwack: You DON'T want that to happen to you.
 

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Sands...
As Atwell says go on turbo esprit group on yahoo. Great file from Tim Engel on belt.
Most of us use the Cricket (sp) gauge which is cheap and easy, but not as accurate as the fancier gauges. I am very comfortable with this method, and it appears safe and successful.

If you can confirm the tension and your belt is low miles and 3 years old, then you are likely safe for a bit longer, but you want to put it in your eventual plan to change it.

Randy
 
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