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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
Just got my mid-life crisis ( & boyhood dream) really rocking - un unloved '85 Turbo esprit.
Needs loads of things doing to it, but it is road legal so I'm driving it when it doesn't rain as the wiper is "Intermittent" :) . I'm no mechanic - but I'll have a go at as much as I possibly can - so will almost certainly be plaguing experienced minds to assist/enjoy along the way.
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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6,240 Posts
Pics! We need PICS! :giggle:

Apply Rain-Ex to the window (or use a car wash with wax in it)...that rain will just FLOW off!
 

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90 Posts
Welcome. Let’s see it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Here's some images ...... an loved car for sure ...

Lots to get on with, of course, firat starter project is the dashboard illumination - upgrade to LED lighting when I've sourced all the correct bulbs :)


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Premium Member
1987 Lotus Turbo Esprit HCI - Pearl white w/ Blue interior - No mods
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28 Posts
Great project! Looking forward to seeing your progress. "Boyhood dream" is the same reason I bought my G-body.
 

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‘83 Turbo Esprit
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38 Posts
Great car! I have an '83 Turbo Esprit and love it. Would love to hear how you get on with the LED dashboard illumination - that is on my list of things to do!
 

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2017 Evora 400
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643 Posts
I redid the seats on my 89 with just some scissors and my grandmother's hand crank Singer sewing machine, basically. Got a full hide of leather which was JUST enough for the 2 seats. I even had to use the brand. Just takes time and attention to detail.

Good luck with your project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
LED lights out of stock - so more searching to do ...

Leather Paint arriving next week - will "test" on some inconspicuous part first - btw, paint was colour matched to underside of steering column cover
 

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2021 Evora GT, 1986 Turbo Esprit
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116 Posts
Leather Paint arriving next week - will "test" on some inconspicuous part first - btw, paint was colour matched to underside of steering column cover
Interesting. On my 86 the steering column is black leather. I assume it is original. Maybe Lotus made a change at some point?
 

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Just saw this thread. A few random comments:
1. LEDs for dash- I did that, then abandoned it as there are additional things to address (turn signals may not work with original flasher module
2. Unconfirmed - I was told if I used LED in the ALTERNATE warning light, it would interrupt charging - something about incandescent filament was something it needed to sense for proper operation
3. LEDs for rear tail lights - while they may consume less watts, the fitment of the sockets seem to vary. I could not get my brake lights to stay anchored. And the brightness was same or actually lower. Depends on your LED source
4. Intermittent wiper - the operation is unusual in my 87 (assuming 85 is ame) and I don't recall my late 88 Esprit being the same. To use wiper continously, you move lever down (?) and turn off by putting back up - seems normal. But if you want INTERMITTENT, you pull back on stalk and it will go intermittent until you pull back again on stalk. The relay I believe is somewhere on the inside under the steering column. Try wiggling it to see if corroded connection causing issue.
 

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1987 Turbo Esprit HCI
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102 Posts
But if you want INTERMITTENT, you pull back on stalk and it will go intermittent until you pull back again on stalk. The relay I believe is somewhere on the inside under the steering column. Try wiggling it to see if corroded connection causing issue.
On mine if I go down a click then back up to off it turns on the intermittent wipers, the duration being how long you wait to go back down.
It's pretty annoying because it's almost never raining/snowing hard enough where I live to use any for of automatic wiper control. So I'm nearly always manually wiping when I need it. Doing so in the Esprit turns the intermittant wipers on, so I have to do it twice to turn it back off.
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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6,240 Posts
Doing so in the Esprit turns the intermittent wipers on, so I have to do it twice to turn it back off.
Same as on our '88. When our car had to submit to State Inspection, the workers in the line could never figure out how to turn off the wipers, LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
How's the restoration going?
Considering how the world is, how wet and cold it's been - I'm happy with progress. (I have no garage, and am not really a fan of working outdoors in wet/cold ;) ) and this is actually my first car that I'm learning and doing as much as I can - I must be mad.

I have completed the following:
1. Replaced all exterior lamps with LEDs. I did need to replace a relay for the side indicators, as the current draw was too small. GBP12 - all sorted.
2. Replaced all interior dash lamps with LEDs. All work - some I don't like as they look like torchlight beams - will change these out later.
3. Replaced Choke cable.
4. Checked compression with suitable tester.
5. Checked with CO anaylsyer after finding emulsion in dipstick tube. All OK - just 'cos it lives outside under a cover.
6. First tune of carbs (balance is quite close) - another fine-tune to come when it's a little warmer.
repalced fuel tank foam - what a PITA job removing the plank over the tank with the fuel sender.
7. Re-upholstered Cant rail and head-rail and sun-visors - see pic. Happy with my 1st upholstery effort.
8. Replaced footwell carpets (home made from a woollen rug offcut)
9. Re-attached a loose front bumper.
10. Got one solenoid-based door mirror working (one is still WIP)
11. Added extra trim on door surrounds to reduce wind-noise in the cabin - well worth the £14
12. Fixed glass roof - was getting snagged by boot lid when opening
12a. Replaced reverse light switch (and re-wired from switch into boot)
14. Replaced rotten foam in both B Pillars
15. Re-silvered internal compartments for front side lights and indicators
16. Replaced door switches
17. New tyres all round
18. Replaced top cover on Carb -when banjo bolt snapped it.



Wipers - in the UK (Dom) '85 model, there was a (LUCAS) relay located behind the steering column. A new one is stupid money apprx £100 inc taxes/shipping, so I just removed it from wthe wiring loom, so all I've lost is intermittent wipes. Over this side of the pond, it's either single or dual speed wipers that are typically required (if only Prince Lucas did a 3-speed model 🤣. )

Still other things to do - interior (re-colour) being the main area to focus on.
Extrior needs a full respray - but that's not on yet. Lottery win required.

And all whilst keeping it road - legal and trying to drive it as often as we're allowed to in lockdown.
 

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thebartman
5. Checked with CO anaylsyer after finding emulsion in dipstick tube. All OK - just 'cos it lives outside under a cover.
11. Added extra trim on door surrounds to reduce wind-noise in the cabin - well worth the £14
My late 88 Esprit Turbo (California car all its life, bought 2011 with 30K miles) - had the emulsion on the dipstick. Thought I had a blow head gasket but checked out OK.
The 'theory' is the cold (for California) mornings was condensing water in the engine.

The kicker? It was daily driven (1K miles/month) AND garaged.

Yet the emulsion still appeared. No loss of coolant, chemical test detected no exhaust components in coolant, etc.

RE: extra trim - I put that on my 87 after seeing the 88 had it double insulated. But maybe my hearing not so good - it made little, if any impact to the wind noise on the freeway.
 
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