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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone I am going to look at a 88 esprit turbo tomorrow and was told by the owner that the turbo was not in the best of shape apparently ran a bit dry and bearings are noisy I believe they use garrst3 turbo's are these expensive to repair or replace as this will enter into negotiations for the price. I am a car enthusiast but know nothing about these cars except what I read on Wikipedia. I want something different to drive that's not going to be completely problematic. I am a decent mechanic and master watchmaker so I am pretty mechanically inclined any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanx Rik:D
 

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It's great that you can do work yourself but just the parts can be very expensive, especially on a problematic '88. If the turbo is bad it can mean there is a whole lot more going on. The other big problem area is the transmission/engine interface. When a $.90 clip goes bad the input shaft of the transmission screws itself into the crankshaft of the motor. This necessitates the removal of the motor and transmission and the complete rebuild of both units. Once it is apart you usually also go for a clutch and a whole bunch of other stuff. The very best money you can spend right now is for a PPI (Pre-Purchase-Inspection) by someone who really knows what they are looking at, a LOTUS expert. He will examine the service history and the car and tell you if it is a minor problem or a major problem and what it will cost to "sort" the car out.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Much better to start with a car that flys through the PPI and everything is working. Then you will still have a lot of things to fix. If it's a basket case from the start, you better enjoy working on it as much if not more than driving it.

David, is there something we should be doing as routine maintenance and/or upgrades to that $.90 clip to avoid this problem? I wouldn't mind spending $.95 on a better clip if that would help.
 

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I do not know of any way to prevent this from happening. During the reconstruction the "fix" is to machine the flywheel larger to hold a pilot bearing as opposed to the bushing which cannot take the thrust once the ring is gone. On every high mileage Lotus with the Citroen transmission this is a problem. I am not an expert on this particular problem. I don't have an '88 and have never had to fix one up. The "trick' if you want to call it that, is once you realize you have this problem you stop using the car to minimize the collateral damage.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Hi Rik!
A Turbo rebuild will run about $500.

Don't be scared of buying a Lotus Esprit, they are like any other car of the Era. Proper care and maintenance matters, a good mechanic helps, and some parts are rarer and pricier. Just like any other car there are always some weak points and things that tend to break more than others.

The '88 is the first of the Stevens Esprits, but it is the last year of the Citroen tranny and inboard brakes, and the Bosch fuel injection.

The tranny occasionally has had issues( like any other car), the Bosch injection works fine, but is a little harder to work on. And the inboard brakes are rare.

Otherwise check the fuel tanks carefully as they are likely to have rust and may leak or need reconditioning. That is a big job due to terrible access.

Everything else is pretty straight forward. Timing belts are a pain to change and need to be fresh(4yrs or 30kmiles is max recommended).

Pricing on these cars is all over the place. A super car with low miles can go in the high teens, but most go for $8-16k.

The '89 Turbo has the better Renault Tranny, and the '89 and on SE has the upgraded horsepower from the intercooler(Chargecooler) and this prices are a little higher.

Randy
'89 SE, '95 S4
 

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Rik, let us know where you are located. There is a pretty good owner network for advice, repair help, and sometimes to help look a car over. A pre purchase inspection can be a good idea, but good Lotus mechanics are rare.

Randy
 

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Hello everyone I am going to look at a 88 esprit turbo tomorrow and was told by the owner that the turbo was not in the best of shape apparently ran a bit dry and bearings are noisy I believe they use garrst3 turbo's are these expensive to repair or replace as this will enter into negotiations for the price. I am a car enthusiast but know nothing about these cars except what I read on Wikipedia. I want something different to drive that's not going to be completely problematic. I am a decent mechanic and master watchmaker so I am pretty mechanically inclined any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanx Rik:D
I bought my 88 July 2011 ( see my profile for full repair history/ experience since acquisition). Short answer - same as the others - buy the best condition With PPI. There's no savings in poor condition car. And with a low volume car such as the Esprit, being mechanically inclined helps but experience and research via the Internet and forums such as this are key to successful ownership.

Monday will be my 1 year daily driver milestone for my 88 Esprit. About 10,500 miles driven like any other car - work, Home depot, grocery store etc. it's possible but be prepared to do the required maintenance at the commensurate prices. You will find 'time is money' is very applicable here.

Send a link if your prospective purchase is online. But definitely recommended to do PPI before money changes hands.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanx

Thanx for the insight I live in Seminole florida west coast clearwater beach area. The car is in Clearwater going to look at it in the morning. The person selling the car is second owner and has put only 1000 miles in 10 years red flag maybe. Car has 35k miles on it. I'm not afraid of work but don't want to spend more time fixing it than driving it just looking for something a bit different and exotic. I've restored 17 z cars 240's 260's actually have a 260 I'm restoring now and was thinking of a V8 retro have a 350 vette engine with edelbrock heads and intake just haven't had the time but will be making some soon. Again I appreciate the advice and info and if any Lotus guys are in my area I wouldn't mind chatting with them. cell is 727-215-8870 thanx again:bow:
 

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These (Esprits) cars are not for spectators. If you are willing to "get involved" with a car and treat it (maintenance wise) like it's a race car ---- you will enjoy owning an Esprit.....otherwise, you will positively hate the thing ;)

And, don't buy one with "problems" right out of the gate ---- you will likely regret that if you are not already VERY familiar with these cars :)
 

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Averaged 100 miles per year for 10 years -- red flag!

You know cars obviously, but you seem to missing the point that this is a 1988 car. A 24 year old British exotic!

How can you not end up spending more time fixing it than driving it?

If you want a trouble free just get in a drive exotic, you better keep looking.
 

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David, is there something we should be doing as routine maintenance and/or upgrades to that $.90 clip to avoid this problem? I wouldn't mind spending $.95 on a better clip if that would help.
The circlip issue only applies to the G-cars with the Citroen gearbox. Esprits with the later Renault gearbox (SE-V8) are in no danger of this happening...
 

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Rik, I'm only 20 minutes from you and Tom M (89 Turbo) lives in St Pete. I can call you tomorrow and will PM you.

BTW if the car you are looking at is a black '88 Turbo with a modified rear hatch and wing.........
I saw it a few months ago.....I thought it was worth maybe $5k as a parts car!

Absolutely not "my first Esprit" kind of car, we could probably get it running and get it right, but way too much time and effort to make it a nice daily driver. It had been ten years since the belt was changed!

Randy
 

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The circlip issue only applies to the G-cars with the Citroen gearbox. Esprits with the later Renault gearbox (SE-V8) are in no danger of this happening...
Something I don't need to worry about thank goodness!

Appreciate you clearing that up for me as I have heard about this clip before but didn't know the details.
 

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The circlip issue only applies to the G-cars with the Citroen gearbox. Esprits with the later Renault gearbox (SE-V8) are in no danger of this happening...
The 88 Stevens US Federal Esprits also have the Citroen box (like mine :( ).
You can identify quickly by seeing extremely dished rear wheel:



But I drive it regardless - if/when it breaks, I'll deal with it :panic:

No sense keeping the miles down to keep it from breaking as it defeats the purpose of owning it.:shift:
 

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Agree. I make a point to drive my Esprit 3-5 times a week, and I break projects into pieces that only require a couple of days of downtime.
 

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My main point in mentioning the clip is if you buy an '88 with a lot of miles it may be ready to have this problem. In fact, the owner may already know it is starting to happen and is trying to dump the car before he has to spend the bucks to fix it. THIS is a BIG reason to get the PPI. Every '88 has this ticking time bomb waiting to go off. An owner nearby is in the process of putting his pride and joy back together after this and it is not cheap. As also mentioned there are other less expensive known problems like the gas tanks rotting out which, when you do the motor and transmission, is also a good time to do but it does take more time and increases the cost of ownership. You are buying an older used car! And it may have been neglected or flogged during it's lifetime. Just because you want to pamper it now can't undo damage inflicted on it by previous owners. Don't let the fact that he is pointing out what may be a small problem blind you to the other, possibly bigger problems. Ask if he has the service history on the car. If he doesn't, or it is incomplete that is an even bigger red flag. Unless you A) can buy it cheap enough and B) have the time and the finances to do major work on the car, this may not be for you.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Discussion Starter #17
sol

Hi Guys sorry to have wasted your time but I went down to Randy and Tom's place in St. Pete and another dream shattered I'm 6'3" and there isn't a shoe horn big enough to get me into the car. I appreciate your time so off to the next car maybe I'll find one I can fit in. Thanx again for your posts Rik:bow:
 

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You can modify or change the seats to fit at that size. If you put in Elise seats bolted right to the floor, you would have enough room for that height. If you go to a new V8 interior and put on an Elise steering wheel with the Elise seats, you would have lots of room.
 

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You might want to consider a Delorean. It isn't as fast as a Lotus but you could fit into it. It is a sporty 2 seater. John Delorean was also tall and he insisted his car be made so he could fit in it!
David Teitelbaum
 

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Sad to see a Fantasy shattered by reality.
Rick is a big guy..... Football player big. Couldn't get into the S4 or my SE with Elise seats. His legs won't fit.
Don't know if much more room in a V8 for the legs, but he would need a detachable wheel and even then is questionable.


Too bad as he is a very nice rational guy who would be a good Lotus owner.

Randy
 
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