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Hi all. New to Lotus and new to the group. Considering buying an Esprit turbo SE and I live in Atlanta. What are some options for service and parts? Coming from Corvette I am used to lots of aftermarket support. Am I going to be out in the cold? I do a lot of work myself so I am not scared of wrenches...just a little scared of a hand built car. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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No problem at all if you are handy and like to work on cars. The 4cyl Turbo with GM injection and all the chargecooler cars are Good if you are handy and knowledgeable. Systems are not that complex. They do need TLC.
Parts prices are moderate, availability is fair. Mechanics are hard to find, and most dealers are no longer useful for support. There is a great owner network, but it is small. On-line advice is available.

No need to be scared, we are rebuilding our third car, and we are just regular guys.... A lift helps a lot!

Randy
 

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having a lift is very useful and the ability to work on your own vehicle helps greatly, if you are mechanically knowledgable.

as 89.5Esprit mentioned, the SE cars are fairly simple cars. there aren't alot of electronics, like new cars.
 

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You should be able to handle most everything you come across. You have a good network with this forum for getting whatever part you may need whether it's OEM or aftermarket, and if you really are stuck then you can always pop it into the dealer (Motorcars of Georgia). I'd take it up there anyway after you get it just to familiarize yourself with the guys at the dealership. They're a little on the expensive side, but their Lotus tech knows what he's doing, and all in all they're good people.

And make sure to bring it to Caffeine and Octane when you get settled! If you don't know what/where it is then just google Caffeine and Octane Atlanta. There are a bunch of Lotus guys that go.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks so much all. I frame off restored my 'Vette and I am building a Cobra Kit Car so I am comfortable with my wrench skills and problem solving ability and now I have an excuse to get a lift!!
Never interacted with a British car and certainly not an exotic. Thats where the fear comes from.
I see "JAE" referred to a lot. Is that a parts house? Are there other resources for parts?
I live exactly 2.2 miles form the current Caffeine and Octane site and you better believe I will be there looking for Lotus on the first Sunday in August.
Thanks again.
 

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Here's a good website to get a feel for maintaining an Esprit.

Esprit Guides

The SE's are solid cars mechanically, and easy to keep on the road. We have had 2 in the family, and they were great over 12 years of combined ownership.
 

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PERFECT!! Thanks. I feel much better now. ;-)
Just try to buy one that hasn't rusted up from daily driving in the winter. It's so much less fun to work on an Esprit if you have heat or grind off every other bolt.
 

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If you do frame-off restoration work you'll have no problems working on an Esprit. Just be sure to get the Parts Manual and Service Notes for your car as they are most helpful.
 

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Arthur,

There are a handful of us 4-cylinder Esprit guys here in Atlanta who are fairly active, and we do our own work. A few points:
1) If you're comfortable with a wrench, it's a great car. The best way I can desribe working on it is that it is simple but hard. What I mean by that is that none of the systems are super complex, but access issues make working on pretty much everything a little harder than you might expect. The result is that everything just takes a little more time and swearing than on other cars, but it's really a pretty simple car at a fundamental level.
2) I wouldn't be worried about the fact that it's "hand built." That's it's saving grace. Everything was put together by a person so a person can fix just about anything on it. There aren't really any "assembled by robots" elements that can't be worked on in a home shop.
3) Getting decent service in Atlanta sucks, so 1 and 2 above are critical. The great exception to that is that LCU (Lotus Cars USA) is here in Lawrenceville and they have an affinity for our 4-cylinder cars and have been known to help out when someone gets into a jam.
4) Parts are actually pretty easy to come by with a few notable exceptions such as rear brake rotors. Nothing is impossible to find, though, and even the parts that are "expensive" aren't out of reach compared to other peers of the same era.
5) I'm in John's Creek about the same distance from Caffeine and Octane. I'll PM you my contact info and we can meet there on Sunday. Also, Norcross does an awesome British Car Fayre the Sunday after Labor Day (one reason British Car Day in May is getting smaller every year...this one is better). All the cars are parked around downtown...hundreds show up...with all the bars and restaurants catering to the crowds.
6) Finally, I consider early SEs and later SEs to be somewhat different cars. The drivetrain is the same, but those were years they started introducing power steering, ABS, and air bags. I prefer the older ones like my 89 non-SE for their simplicity and direct feel, but the later cars are more refined.

- Dale
 

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Discussion Starter #11
This just keeps getting better and better. Thanks to all.
Dale I live in Milton. The SE I am looking at is a 91. I dont think it has power steering.
I have never even sat in an Esprit. This one popped into my universe and I just latched on to the possibility of owning it. If you go out for a drive this weekend, I would buy lunch for a look at your car. ;)


Sent from my iPhone using AG Free
 
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