The Lotus Cars Community banner
1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,155 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I've been away from these forums for a good while, but never lost my interest in Lotus cars, in fact you could say I've got a problem.

In 2004 we got a very early federal Elise...
In 2011 we got a 1974 Elite with a chevy engine... (we race this one http://www.facebook.com/bteamracing )
In 2012 we got another Elite mostly as a parts car
and last year we got a 1984 turbo esprit

so far we haven't got rid of any of them.

The Esprit is not running, and I'm intending to give it a pretty thorough overhaul. I'm a fairly competent mechanic after everything we've been through with the Elite. I'm going to be trolling through the old posts here for the weak points of the esprit to understand the bits that really need tackling before there's any attempt to start it.

So far the carbs are off and being refurbished. (one of the float needles was stuck) and the oil pan is off and everything looks good at the bottom end.

Front suspension bushings need replacement, pretty much all of them, I'll be replacing the timing belt, and I'm noticing a lot of chatter about the fuel tanks what should I be looking for here to understand whether I need to pull them for rework or not?

Thanks, I'll keep people posted on how my rebuild goes.

Steve
 

·
Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
Joined
·
6,427 Posts
Hi Steve, Welcome to Esprit ownership. Yes, It's an addiction...



I've followed your posts on the Racing Elite. :up:



I'd suggest subscribing to the Yahoo Groups TurboEsprit mail list. There, you can find files on cross-references, repair procedures, and other detailed drivel. :p


Regards the gas tanks, until they perforate, you cannot tell if they need replacement. If they are leaking, sticking your nose near the round hole under each tank is a good indicator. (Just don't breath too deeply!) rotfl
You cannot see the rusty area through that hole BTW, especially if the factory-installed carpet jute is installed.

If you plan to remove the drivetrain, then for sure, you should also pull the tanks for inspection, repair, or replacement.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,871 Posts
Hey Steve, long time no speak or see. Hope all is well. Are you still in the South Bay?


Take care, :up:

Abe
 

·
Cal H
Joined
·
982 Posts
There was one issue in the early turbo cars and I'm not sure when they were resolved. Could be after 85 or when the HCI engine came out. Had to do with the pistons crowning and causing excessive clearances and hot blow by contributing to ring land failure resulting in broken rings and/or pistons. Its been a while but an issue on early turbo cars that one should keep an eye on when going into the engine. Tim Engel could probably tell you more as he was present when I 1st saw it on Mcfaddens rebuild.
 

·
Integrator
Joined
·
3,003 Posts
There was one issue in the early turbo cars and I'm not sure when they were resolved. Could be after 85 or when the HCI engine came out. Had to do with the pistons crowning and causing excessive clearances and hot blow by contributing to ring land failure resulting in broken rings and/or pistons. Its been a while but an issue on early turbo cars that one should keep an eye on when going into the engine. Tim Engel could probably tell you more as he was present when I 1st saw it on Mcfaddens rebuild.
Ahaaa! This is very interesting.

Is that the reason why the majority (perhaps all?) 86-88 Turbos have boost restricted to 7.5psig by the means of Dealer installed aluminum spacer ring between the two halves of the wastegate?

I have removed the ring and my boost level went back to the advertised "book" value of 10psig!

Am I playing a Russian Roulette?
 

Attachments

·
Cal H
Joined
·
982 Posts
Ahaaa! This is very interesting.

Is that the reason why the majority (perhaps all?) 86-88 Turbos have boost restricted to 7.5psig by the means of Dealer installed aluminum spacer ring between the two halves of the wastegate?

I have removed the ring and my boost level went back to the advertised "book" value of 10psig!

Am I playing a Russian Roulette?
They solved the piston problem with the way they made the piston. Early turbo cars contained a lot of parts originally made for N/A cars that generated less heat and HP. So far the magic number for Lotus for me has been 30-40K. Even when I had Elan and Europa twin cams the engines toasted right around 30-40K. The boost restriction probably had more to do with the fragile transmission carried over from the less HP N/A cars before they switched to our more robust Renault LOL. Just like the V8's are dialed back for fear of blowing up the tranny made for our 4 cyl SE's. When ever I see someone slap in a turbo on a N/A tuner car making huge HP I always wonder how long the step up will last.

To be fair I once knew someone with an SE near Sacramento with over 110K on the clock but it showed signs of a very worn engine and turbo but it did still run just not as peppy and smoked a bit.

I think the nikasil piston/cyl, sodium valves and other things have helped our cars a lot
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,155 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the responses everyone, Yes Timing belt is a certainty and yes Abe, I'm still in the south bay.

So for the fuel tank, does that mean corrosion is from the inside of the tank out, or just that the outside corrosion is in an inaccessible area?

I can put my hands on one of those inspection cameras, but the question would be where to stick it.

Drive train out is an open question at the moment, While I have the tools I don't have much space, how much of a pain would the belt be without pulling the engine.

I'll also stick the inspection camera in the spark plug holes and see what I can see on the top of the pistons.
 

·
Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
Joined
·
6,427 Posts
So for the fuel tank, does that mean corrosion is from the inside of the tank out, or just that the outside corrosion is in an inaccessible area?

I can put my hands on one of those inspection cameras, but the question would be where to stick it.
I LOVE it when posters feed us these lines! rotfl



Regards the fuel tank: Read this, should answer your questions.

http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f164/definitive-fuel-tank-guide-181618/

The timing belt can certainly be done in the car. For me, the difference was two days VS two years. <sigh>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,155 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
II've bene woorking on the car some today. I'm refurbishing the carbs, I've removed the oil pan to take a look at the inside from below, and I ran a leak test...

Not good news, two cylinders leaked significantly down past the rings, and two leaked through the intake valves.

So at very minimum I'm now looking at rings and valve seat work.

Time to pull the engine?
 

·
Cal H
Joined
·
982 Posts
II've bene woorking on the car some today. I'm refurbishing the carbs, I've removed the oil pan to take a look at the inside from below, and I ran a leak test...

Not good news, two cylinders leaked significantly down past the rings, and two leaked through the intake valves.

So at very minimum I'm now looking at rings and valve seat work.

Time to pull the engine?
Easier to work on it on an engine stand but I have seen people do liner, pistons, valves with the block in the car. But would pull it if you are doing other items as well. Tanks do come out easier with engine out
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,235 Posts
I know I sound like a broken record (broken cd? broken mp3 file? I'm dating myself here....) but why in the world would someone want to do the pistons and liners with the engine in the car?

I have done a number of 910 engines including complete disassembly, rebuild, and re-assembly and I can assure you that the difficulty of doing things with the engine in the car is much greater and the ability to make certain all the re-assembly is properly done is likewise much harder than having the engine on a stand.

If you have the skill to do a major overhaul of the engine why would you not take out the motor, put it on a stand, and do it properly and comfortably? Getting a motor out of an Esprit is just not that hard. The comfort level, accessibility, and relative ease with which the major operations you need to perform is soooooo much better with the engine out that I can't for the life of me get why anyone would not go that route.
 

·
Cal H
Joined
·
982 Posts
The ones I have seen done with the engine in were people with small work spaces and/or did all the work by themselves in no hurry and when they had a hour or two here and there to spare they would putter in the garage. Well Me, I like a well organized work effort and I like a lot of company when I do projects. I prefer 3-4 Lotus specific skilled car people working at the same time doing different things. It is a social event as well as a work activity. The speed things get done is frightening at times.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,267 Posts
Here's a fairly recent thread (2012) of Bryan rebuilding an 1984 Esprit (engine and transmission were in pieces (but 99% complete)) that included an engine rebuild, transmission rebuild, etc. There may be some choice bits that directly apply to your 84 Esprit.

http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f164/rebirth-84-turbo-esprit-110123/#post1683724

Note that Bryan did get the car back on the road - I was truly amazed at his persistence and dedication to doing this. Also note he has not been on this forum since October 2013 (because he's rebuilding his DeLorean engine with equal dedication). A good reference thread.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,155 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Much appreciate the reference thread.

I've rebuilt other engines (not Lotus) before, so I'm ready to do the rebuild, and now that I know that I need to go into the engine, my intention is to pull it and get that look at other stuff such as fuel tanks at the same time. Getting the engine out will make space in my garage a challenge, but I should be ok.
 

·
Cal H
Joined
·
982 Posts
Much appreciate the reference thread.

I've rebuilt other engines (not Lotus) before, so I'm ready to do the rebuild, and now that I know that I need to go into the engine, my intention is to pull it and get that look at other stuff such as fuel tanks at the same time. Getting the engine out will make space in my garage a challenge, but I should be ok.
Just out of curiosity when you pull your engine and have a peek can you post the condition of the pistons primarily around lands where the rings sit are high failure areas. Although my car has the nikasil set I do on occasion help others who own earlier G cars. At times I like to work on the cars of others to keep in practice.

Thanks

Cal H
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top