The Lotus Cars Community banner
1 - 20 of 51 Posts

Registered
1985 Excel RHD 1988 Esprit Turbo
Joined
246 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I picked up a "low budget" '88 Esprit off of BAT last month. It didn't meet reserve, but I worked it out with the seller. Finally got the car delivered today. Pretty much as expected it. Some cosmetic issues, as well as a bunch of little issues that need to be fixed. I went through the same thing with my Excel last year and it's finally pretty much debugged from not being driven and suspect maintenance.
Now I need to do the same with this Esprit.馃槯 I have experience with Lotus eccentricities, but not with an Esprit.

So far-
1. Gas door release sticks. I did get one side to open after playing with it for a minute. Are the gas doors accessible from the little panels on the back side?
2. Parking brake doesn't seem quite right. It holds and releases, but it doesn't feel right. Almost like there is no return spring. Where should I be looking to get this sorted?
3. The most important! Neither seat slides forward or back. I need every bit I can get out of it! The release handles don't seem to be attached to anything. Anyone have a shot of the bottom of a seat so I can see what I need to be feeling for to get them to move? Not sure I could even get them out of the car without being able to move them.


Wheel Automotive parking light Tire Vehicle Car
 

Registered
Joined
1,339 Posts
Nice Esprit, I followed it on bring a trailer.
1.) The gas flaps on the 88 are pure mechanical using a lever and cable, likely lack of lubrication and lack of use. They have to be accessed from under the sail panel but access is extremely difficult.
2.) if you mean that when you pull a lever up it holds and then it flops back down again that is normal, there is no return spring as such, just the gravity of the handle going down.
3.) tough to say without seeing underneath, some remove the slider mechanism to lower the seat for more headroom, some remove the spacers which can restrict movement, others bolt them directly to the floor, but if you still have a lever it sounds as if it鈥檚 just again lack of use. The seats are easily removed though, four small 7/16 or 10 mm nuts underneath and you鈥檙e done.
 

Registered
1985 Excel RHD 1988 Esprit Turbo
Joined
246 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good to hear that the seats are accessible from the bottom, that'll make things easier!
Yeah- the gas doors haven't been popped much in recent years. The car has only had 1600 miles since 2012, and the last owner only put 150 miles on it in the 2 years that they owned it.

@Orlando Thanks! There are at least a few other Esprits in the group. Walter's, which I have yet to see, Dave has a couple, though I've only seen one, and Robert has an S1 that's been out several times. We'll have to see if we get them all out at once.
 

Registered
2017 Evora 400
Joined
1,549 Posts
Yeah, pull the seats by taking the bolts or nuts (I forget) out from the bottom. Then take the sliders apart, clean all the rust off, grease up and put back together.

Get the gas doors open. Try maybe a suction cup on the door, jiggling, nudging, while your helper pushes the release button. once open, work the catch and lube up with something like Break Free. If I recall, there is a release cable inside the boot.

That's how the parking brake works. You pull it up to engage, then push it back down so you can actually get out of the car. To release, you pull it back up, push the release button, let back down.
 

Registered
Joined
56 Posts
Congrats on the Esprit. Really like the color. It amazes me that people buy these cars and just park 鈥榚m. Which means they are scared something will break should they drive it or something is broke and they can鈥榯 or don鈥檛 want to fix it.

I鈥榤 6鈥2鈥 and on my 88 I removed the seat rails and just bolted the seat to the floor. You will need to drill new holes in the floor as the seat base bolts are in a different position to the rail bolts. Gives you about 1.5 inches extra headroom and you can push the seat base all the way back against the rear bulkhead for maximum leg room.

If you join TLF you can download a parts manual for free.

Good luck with the recommissioning. I鈥檒l be watching for updates.
 

Registered
Joined
1,457 Posts
The seats are held in by four 8mm nuts (13mm hex) accessed from underneath the car. Lotus coated these with some sort of horrible black sealant, so some cleanup may be required before removal.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JB455

Registered
1985 Excel RHD 1988 Esprit Turbo
Joined
246 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Congrats on the Esprit. Really like the color. It amazes me that people buy these cars and just park 鈥榚m. Which means they are scared something will break should they drive it or something is broke and they can鈥榯 or don鈥檛 want to fix it.

I鈥榤 6鈥2鈥 and on my 88 I removed the seat rails and just bolted the seat to the floor. You will need to drill new holes in the floor as the seat base bolts are in a different position to the rail bolts. Gives you about 1.5 inches extra headroom and you can push the seat base all the way back against the rear bulkhead for maximum leg room.
Thanks! I think the color is fantastic, though one of the guys in LLG suggested that being a less popular color kept the price down. The car seems to run and drive fine in the little that I've driven. The previous owner seems to have only driven it to get 4 new tires mounted and then little else.

I might have to try your seat idea- I'm 6'1" and I wouldn't mind being a little lower and further back!
 

Registered
Joined
1,190 Posts
I'm surprised it hasn't been posted yet, but you really should do the timing belt. It will give you a maintenance baseline.
 
  • Helpful
Reactions: VV00RA

Registered
1985 Excel RHD 1988 Esprit Turbo
Joined
246 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well aware of the timing belt. This one won't be as easy as it was on the 912 in the Excel! Glad I was able to do one where I can actually see everything before attempting in an Esprit. Was able to do the belt and all the hoses in under 2 hours on that one. Definitely gonna take a bit longer on this Esprit!
 

Dreaded Prior Owner
Joined
1,032 Posts
Re: lower seats, if you can (or have to) live with non-sliding seats, you can make up some rails to replace the stock sliders. This is what I did to maximize head and leg room in my '85 TE

Automotive lighting Hood Grille Trunk Bumper
Sleeve Grey Collar Dress shirt Denim
 

Registered
1985 Excel RHD 1988 Esprit Turbo
Joined
246 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok- I feel kinda silly asking this, but why is the procedure for starting a Bosch injected car? I know how to deal with carbureted cars and modern EFI cars, but this is somewhere in the middle? Do you use any throttle or leave it alone?
 

Registered
2006 Lotus Elise BRG
Joined
605 Posts
I have an 83 BMW with Bosch K Jettronic fuel injection, it consists of a fuel distributor and non electronic (glorified pressure relief valves) injectors. No need to touch the throttle pedal during starting. I'm guessing your Esprit has something fancier than this.
 
  • Like
Reactions: carbuff

Registered
2006 Lotus Elise BRG
Joined
605 Posts
Well- hard starting issue that prompted the above questions is solved. Had a fresh set of plugs sitting on the shelf so I threw them in. Car fired up instantly! Made me much happier! 馃槃
Awesome!
And did some quick research. Looks like 88 Esprits also have K-Jetronic.
 

Registered
Joined
1,190 Posts
The 88 does have K-Jet. And a quarter throttle is normally required for cold start.
 

Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo; 2005 Elise BOE Supercharged
Joined
7,134 Posts
Congrats. My throttle is worth a LOT more than a quarter...



Do you have an owners manual? See page 27...

That indicates NO throttle needed when cold, and one inch of throttle for a hot start.
Font Electric blue Document Carmine Paper


That said, IME the starting system is a bit hit-or-miss at around 40F to 50F. If it doesn't sputter within 5 seconds of cranking, turn off the ignition, then turn on so that the fuel pumps re-energize.

It might help to 'clean out' the blue Start Injector (top of engine) by plugging in the beige power plug from the WUR (Warm Up Regulator) and keying on the ignition. Only do this a couple times or it'll flood. But that WILL clean the blue injector! This fixed a starting issue for us, last year.

Normally, fuel delivery depends on actual air-flow past the metering vane under the air filter housing. Clean the edges to verify it isn't sticking.



Don't put a rear WING on that thing, y'hear?
 
1 - 20 of 51 Posts
Top