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Discussion Starter #1
4 Cylinder with Turbo.

What should I watch out for?

I race a 2007 Exige and have had no problems.

How much of a headache is this old Lotus going to be?

Thanks.
 

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That's one of the more reliable Esprits and easiest to live with Esprit, but it is a 20 year old car, so expect to be chasing little things frequently.

A lot of your answers are here:
Buying an Esprit
 

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I just bought a 93.5 with 9000 (about 15,000 KM) miles a few months ago. AC wasn't workign and had the dealer replace the compessor, drier and expansion valve as part of the sale. Also, the ABS light was flashing, but all esle worked fine.

In the last 2 months, I fixed the ABS ($100 part), changed the tranny oil, engine oil&filter, plugs, plug wires, and coil packs. opther than the abs, the other parts were just for my own peice of mind. I still need to change the timing belt and the rest of the major service items, too. Had to change all 4 speakers are the foam surrounds were rotted out, too. (i never even turned on the radio when I drove the car. OOPS!)

something I didn't know that was prematurely worn out was the shifter bushings. The PO broke the reverse lockout collar probably because the shifter bushing were getting sloppy and couldn't get the car in gear due to all the extra play in the shifter. So, I found a used shifter on ebay for about $100 and that fixed that.
Now, I am about to change the shocks and springs on the car.....as I have the "North American Lean" to my car. new springs and adjstable shocks from SJSportscars were about $800 (shipped.)
PLus, I need to add a new headliner to the sunroof.....mine is falling down and the foam is rotten behind the fabric.

needless to say, there are plenty if things to do to keep an Esprit in top condition.
 

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Yea, you have to be in the mood for that.

The 1998 V8 that I just received a week ago right this minute is in better shape that I could have expected for a 14 year old car. I am extremely pleased!

With that being said, after a week of tinkering, I have 42 more to-do items in my list already of little and medium sized projects. And I am sure I will come up with more for the list faster than I will check them off for the next couple of months.

But that's just fine by me. My other 2 cars are brand new and under warranty and already have the mods I wanted to add, so I was flat out of projects for them.

Whatever car I buy always gets sold in much better condition than I bought it, so I am not normal. You just gotta ask yourself, do you have the time, money and desire to tinker with a 20 year British exotic?
 

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At 60k miles things start to wear depending on the history of the car.
Check compression.
Make sure timing belt is up to date
If fuel tanks and fuel hoses not done, check very carefully. They will go bad, just a matter of when.
Could be a fine car, but all about maintenance

Randy
 

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Now, I am about to change the shocks and springs on the car.....as I have the "North American Lean" to my car. new springs and adjstable shocks from SJSportscars were about $800 (shipped.)

Wow 9,000 miles is pretty dang low for a 93.

What do you mean North American lean ? Is there a known problem with N. American Esprit suspensions, or just that the suspension is tired and needs replacement ? (and that's common on N. American cars since many are neglected ? )
 

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I had a 91 SE, and it leaned to the left because the heat from the turbo was beating down on the left hand rear spring.

If you wanted to keep costs down, you could just rotate springs yourself every now and then. It would be better to add some kind of custom heat shield.
 

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With that kind of mileage, not only are you going to have the typical age related problems, you will find much of the car is worn out. Beyond the usual brakes, shocks, tires, battery, etc, the motor is tired, the suspension bushings are probably all shot, shifter linkage, throttle linkage, motor mounts, etc. If you get it cheap enough and are willing to spend the time and money to rebuild it that's one thing, just don't buy the car and expect it to perform as it should if it was a LOT newer and a LOT lower mileage. If you are thinking of fixing things as they break you will never "catch up" unless the car was very well cared for.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Wow 9,000 miles is pretty dang low for a 93.

What do you mean North American lean ? Is there a known problem with N. American Esprit suspensions, or just that the suspension is tired and needs replacement ? (and that's common on N. American cars since many are neglected ? )
they say that the north american cars lean to the left over time because the cars really weren't designed to have the weight of the driver on the left side of the car. Not sure if that is true, but they sag nonetheless.
 

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With that kind of mileage, not only are you going to have the typical age related problems, you will find much of the car is worn out. Beyond the usual brakes, shocks, tires, battery, etc, the motor is tired, the suspension bushings are probably all shot, shifter linkage, throttle linkage, motor mounts, etc. If you get it cheap enough and are willing to spend the time and money to rebuild it that's one thing, just don't buy the car and expect it to perform as it should if it was a LOT newer and a LOT lower mileage. If you are thinking of fixing things as they break you will never "catch up" unless the car was very well cared for.
David Teitelbaum
But - if the car was well cared for and was driven regularly, which this car probably was, then I dont think "everything will be worn out". Many of those low-mile cars are the worst cars to actually drive. Maybe I just got lucky but my '87(25 years old) is approaching 60K miles and nothing is about to fall off. Sure, all services are up to date and a few parts have been replaced but its not at the end of its life cycle or anything. These cars respond well to regular use and preventative service from what Ive found.

Just saying - mileage and regular use can often be a positive indicator of a very good car.
 

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I agree mine is a 93 (early so older interior) and approaching 60,000 miles. Nothing on it is about to fall off. Actually, for a British car it has been incredibly reliable. Also there are others (I personally know a guy in Cape Cod) who have used Esprits as daily drivers and they have over 150,000 MILES on it without an issue

my '87(25 years old) is approaching 60K miles and nothing is about to fall off. Sure, all services are up to date and a few parts have been replaced but its not at the end of its life cycle or anything. These cars respond well to regular use and preventative service from what Ive found.

Just saying - mileage and regular use can often be a positive indicator of a very good car.
 

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There's a local guy in Houston that daily drives his 88 and he's over 120K miles without needing an enginer rebuild.
 

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There's a local guy in Houston that daily drives his 88 and he's over 120K miles without needing an enginer rebuild.
Yep - I believe sleekGT(Eddie?) drives his car all day, everyday.

Not saying you wont have to stay on top of things but these are amazingly reliable exotics if you make them so. I expect to get 100K out of the engine easily. It runs like a top right now with no oil burn or any signs of tiring. Who knows, maybe at 65K it will blow up? I doubt it though :)
 

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Even of you have a list of items to fix, repair or upgrade, they are all pretty inexpensive on the 4 dulcimer esprits. For example, a new fuel pump it's only about $60!
 

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I've owned my 89 since 1999, and have 61K on it. It's been one of the most reliable cars I've ever owned. I did a leak down test around 50K and the worst cylinder was only about 7%. Just a month or two ago, I did a compression test and all are 150+ and pretty evenly matched. Esprit maintencance needs to be respected but not feared. As the others said, it has the potential to last quite a while so long as it's well cared for.
 

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I've owned my 89 since 1999, and have 61K on it. It's been one of the most reliable cars I've ever owned. I did a leak down test around 50K and the worst cylinder was only about 7%. Just a month or two ago, I did a compression test and all are 150+ and pretty evenly matched. Esprit maintencance needs to be respected but not feared. As the others said, it has the potential to last quite a while so long as it's well cared for.
Right - once you promptly ignore al of the overblown, owner-induced horro stories.... they are just cars and respond well to be used. Like the human body. Amazing how that works.

Great to hear about your "numbers". Im hoping mine stays good too!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks Lads.

The car had $20K put into it with work by Toronto Lotus Dealer two years ago.

Engine and turbo rebuild. New clutch, new exhuast including manifold, radiator, shocks Brakes.

Chipped.

new rims and tires, upgraded Brembo brakes and more.:crazyeyes
 

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If they did the work right, that's a good car to get. That's a big if though.
 

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If it had all that work done, I would feel pretty good about the car. Would want to know what if anything was wrong that required a rebuild.

Obviously a car like that should get a good price if it was done well, but typically the PO won't recoup the cost of the repairs so it could be a very good deal.

And in the scheme of things our cars are not all that expensive for what you get anyway.
If the paint is good and you can get it for $22k or less it will be agood deal.

I wish you well and you may have a good deal.

Randy
 
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