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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been documenting the repairs on YouTube:
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This is my initial FB post from March 4 documenting that day.
Well today was an adventure. I should probably start a YouTube channel, but I suck at editing videos. So I’ll just tell the story here.
I bought another Lotus Esprit. They are getting worse and worse as I keep buying them. This one is in really bad shape. But it looks like a homeless puppy to me.....so I’ve got to try and save it.
So Scott McClendon and I go to get it today. The property owner warns me that it’s muddy out there. I completely disregard that because Scott’s Tundra has four wheel drive and is clearly invincible.
We get to the property and walk back to the car (I will attach as many pictures as I have). It’s rough. You can almost smell the pictures. But theses cars are rising in value so maybe if I take my time and do the work at home as fun time I can make it financially feasible. I hope that I can get my son Austin involved in the restoration. If I could make a VR game out of sanding off bad paint.....
Anyway this story isn’t really about the car. It’s about today’s adventure. We walked the trail to the car and back and decided it wasn’t too bad except for a couple spots that we thought we could avoid.
Fifty seven seconds later we are stuck. We decide to unhook the trailer so we can get unstuck. That requires a jack, some boards, etc but we get the trailer unhitched so we can blast out of the rut. Except we don’t blast anything. The truck just digs deeper and deeper. We stop when I realize we are up to the axles in mud. The running boards are basically on the ground. It’s bad. I feel trapped and hopeless.
But we hatch a desperate plan. The trailer has a winch and there is a dead mesquite tree off to the side fifty feet behind us and we have lots of car tie down straps. Scott manages to get a strap around the base of this incredibly thorny tree and only loses a little blood.
We hook the trailer back up to the truck and hook the winch up to the tree strap. Scott gets back in the Tundra and puts it in reverse. I stand to the side and operate the winch. We slowly, like inches at a time move backwards. We make it about thirty feet backwards. Hopefully the mud is squished down enough to give us a running start to jump out of the ruts. Scott puts it in drive and I push like hell. No idea if that helped or not but when I felt the front wheels clear that rut I was incredibly relieved.
Not only did we not get the car but we had to abandon the trailer there. There is just too much mud for us to hook on and get it turned around.
We managed to get the flat useless rear tires and wheels off the car so I can buy some new tires. We will go back when the ground is a little drier. Even with the disappointments of the day the fact that Scott and I kept level heads and McGuyvered our way out of a deep and slippery situation has me feeling great.







 

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As we say in the South, “Bless your heart” for taking on this very worthy project.
 
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2005 Lotus Elise
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11 Posts
Any back story on how it ended up in the field in the first place? Hats off to you for a very, very...ambitious project!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Any back story on how it ended up in the field in the first place? Hats off to you for a very, very...ambitious project!
It was in a barn. But a Tornado took the barn away. It was parked there while the last owner was working in Europe. By the time he got back it was no longer running and after the barn left it really went downhill.
 
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Dreaded Prior Owner
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784 Posts
Thanks for the detailed resto vids, I always enjoy a project build, especially one with warts and all.
 

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You are doing gods work on this one, not many people would look at that car and say, 'Hey I can make that run'

DId I miss a part where you put a new timing belt on, be a shame to loose 16 valves to a mouse eaten belt
 

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2005 Elise LSS Saffron Yellow
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903 Posts
Stuff I'm really enjoying: your production quality. Seriously, don't worry about making it look any slicker. The warts-and-all quality is part of what you get with rebuilding a rescued car, and people learn more from your surprises and mistakes than they do when everything goes perfectly.

That last one on rebuilding the CIS/K-jetronic warm up regulator was great - I'd always been fascinated with that system when it came on VW Rabbits, and never quite understood how it worked. I've seen mechanical fuel injection on a '55 Mercedes (140 HP out of 2.2 litres on a production car in 1955!) and it had separate components to do the barometric adjustment, the warm up adjustment, etc.

Incidentally, you discovered something with the water in the fuel tank trick that I'd found out years ago: fuel tank varnish isn't generally soluble in gasoline, but it is soluble in some alcohols and in water. The varnish traps particles of rust in it. So filling the tanks up with water and letting them sit like that probably got most of the varnish out of there when you cleaned everything out again. You probably saved yourself a lot of trouble with tank cleaning with that trick.
 

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07 Exige S
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1,645 Posts
I saw Number 27 and your video coughing it to life! I heard the backstory on why it only had what 7k miles?

I just really can't imagine a scenario where I abandon it like that. Am I to understand the barn that it was in more or less blew away around the car so that it was sitting on a pad in essence in a swamp? Just totally epic man. That car is gonna be one of your Harry Potter Horcrux before you are done with each other! I had a similar situation where a friend sold me his dad's Jaguar XJS for a song with a moral hazard parts car. Here I am 2 years later muttering in my garage like Gollum in Lord of the Rings. " My Precious will sing again!"

Thankfully, my Lotus sits patiently needing more or less nothing after my last maintenance barrage. I am definitely Subscribed man! Peacb
 

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I've enjoyed watching your videos although you are a glutton for punishment. How on earth do you remain so calm through the process? I'm looking for an X180 Esprit now and hope to look at your yellow one for inspiration at some point.
 

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Best of luck with that one! So cool to see it actually running. Just bought a set of your window boosters for my ‘91. :)
 
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