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Hey guys I had my Porsche at a pretty high end shop today getting it ready to sell so I can start my Esprit search. These guys do lots of Mclarens and Ferrari’s etc etc. I asked the owner.......“I’m going to buy an Esprit V8 what’s your opinion?”
He shook his head and said. “ I won’t work on them. They always sit in my shop forever because you can’t get parts for them. Cool cars and not difficult to work on but I can never get parts.”

Is there any truth to this? I have browsed eBay for parts and there are very few on there.

Thanks
 

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Parts are not bad as long as you know the key vendors. I can provide you a list if you like. Some parts are now obsolete but I have a pretty sizable inventory of parts for sale. Please see that thread.

Thank you.
Manny
 

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interesting - hard to imagine its easy to get parts for a Mclaren.

Its got to be difficult running a shop working on low production volume cars where the local distributors cant drop most parts at the shop 2 x a day.

It seems like there is pretty good parts availability for the Esprit but you have to factor in shipping costs and time lags. Its just part of the process of working on cars like this.

It was the same way with the old air cooled Porsche's. With the exception that almost everything was available here in the states so it did not have to come across the pond.
 

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I can't speak about McLaren. I was referring to the Esprit and you are correct the lead times are typically pretty long (3-6 weeks) and it could take months. We do have a few options in the US though.
 

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Finding a good shop willing and capable of working on your Lotus competently is harder than getting parts. A shop with the attitude you expressed is not the first place I would take my car. Getting most parts that you will need is not that difficult. Many parts are cross/overs and the ones you must get from Lotus can be ordered. All of the wearable parts are easily ordered. Some of the less commonly ordered parts can be difficult to obtain, especially body parts if the car has accident damage. Get in touch with the local owners of Lotus's and find out where they go. Then find a car that doesn't need a lot of parts!
David Teitelbaum
 

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There's another thing at play with the Esprit, at least in the US. It's this affinity the parts suppliers and owners seem to have for avoiding traditional online sales models. Buying a part can be like researching folklore. It's a bit nuts. "Call JAE"... are you KIDDING ME? I don't want to talk to someone. I don't want to wait for them to pull a price out of thin air. Or put me on hold while they go look in a back room. If people can make money taking pictures of $3 parts and indexing them on ebay and amazon, JAE can make money indexing their damn parts.

I want to buy my part. If I wanted to talk to someone I would do it here. Hence "Lotus Talk."

Sadly "Lotusbuy.com" is already pointlessly registered by someone or I would set up a business indexing JAE, SP, rdent, ebay, amazon parts for a 20% markup. Those of us on the message boards are not the only owners googling for replacement parts. We are the ones with time enough to linger. I do wonder what percentage of owners we represent.

-Jason
 

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Wow Jason you said it, I have been thinking it.

I have been dreaming about buying JAE and turning it into a Pelican Parts for Lotus cars. On-line focused.

I have another question. Do British people handle e-mail differently than in the US? The Lotus parts places over their are very slow responding to e-mail?
 

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I got 99% of my parts from the UK (DeRoure) and have had good response time from them via email. They have always been my goto for Lotus parts (They are very organized and source the parts directly from the factory).
 

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While this "network" of suppliers may be well known and using the favored communications channels of seasoned lotus aficionados/techs, it is complex and irritating to newbies.

Rather than being able to confidently assert the part we need, we idiots get on the phone or write an email to a company like JAE and we are completely ignorant of wtf we are asking about. Black gasket blue gasket one gasket two gasket. Cmon. If I call a guy about a availability of a clutch plate and I'm told that the price is 300 something for a clutch that is exactly the same as a farm tractor, I feel like I have asked about the price of blinker fluid per gallon. I'm an idiot and I feel disenfranchised. I may well be an idiot, but you still want idiots to help make the market for our cars.

Newbies are definitely what makes the market for our cars. Exclusivity is only awesome to a point.

(Yeah, yeah... "I'm never selling my car." Right.)

I am neither a newbie nor an expert. I'm a 50 year old prior Lotus owner trying to rebuild a car I had to let go earlier.. partially because of bad supply chains. I've repaired Buicks, Chevys, Fords, VWs, Audis, a Porsche, BMWs, a Dodge, a Cadillac, several MGBs (thanks, Moss!). Getting car parts no longer means bellying up to a parts counter for a chat.

Truly. It is ridiculous. If JAE and their supplier pipelines are for sale, I am in. Or perhaps SJ would be interested in supporting a licensed US presence. I'm happy to hear why it can't be done and also from those who are interested in making something like that happen.

If you are from JAE and pissed off reading this... I mean you no harm specifically. I appreciate that you exist and you have helped to carry these cars through dark times. I just want more.

These cars are awesome. Let's preserve them.

-Jason
 

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Jason - I am confused really as to what you are complaining about. There are multiple Lotus dealers that provide parts via Lotus. JAE is one of them (exactly the same as a dealer except they do not sell cars). LotusGarage and eliseshop are two online sources where you can look at diagrams find your parts and click buy. JAE additionally sources parts that are used and has parts made. SJSportscars in the UK also does this at an expanded level making many many parts themselves. At SJ you can go online and order . The reason people say call JAE is for expediency / familiarity with the exclusiveness of the mark and because they will often suggest alternative solutions. As a small mark the Esprit sources parts from other manufacturers including isuzu, mitsubishi, gm, lucas, volvo, etc and there are cross references available that show many alternatives. It souncs like you just wish there was a newbie guide to finding parts. In fact there are some web pages the provide guidance including espritfactfile and lotusespritworld and then there's google. So while there are some parts that are no longer seviced like hub carriers, the supply chain is actuallu rich in my view for a car that went out of production over 15 years ago and was only produced in the thousands. Lastly, if you need a part. I probably have it.
Guy
 

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Wingless Wonder
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The reason people say call JAE is for expediency / familiarity with the exclusiveness of the mark and because they will often suggest alternative solutions.
Jason,

Just to reinforce what Guy said,

Today I spoke with Jay at JAE and they helped me with a LOT of my Esprit needs:

  • They have the little rubber fuel pump bobbin mounts for BoschFI fuel pumps. ?
  • They contracted for and can now provide the Lotus-spec Bosch fuel injectors that had been unavailable for YEARS. ?
  • They do not have the various plastic P-clips. (Mine are all brittle and breaking. :cry:) BUT he told me McMaster-Carr sells them. ?
  • When I wanted to replace the fuel lines under the Bosch fuel tanks, they pointed me towards an Alfa-Romeo specialist who sold 'em. ?

When JAE hasn't had a part, Steve at SJ often sells it. Or, Dave Bean or RD Enterprises.

And, talking to familiar parts vendors that you KNOW (like Jay, Joe, Ray Steve, et al) is actually PLEASANT. Kinda like talking to the neighborhood bartender after a long day on the job.

Tell you what, Jason, if you need a part, email me your needs and I'll call JAE for ya. OK??

+++++++++

I mean this from the heart,

Atwell
 
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From Ozymandias:
""Call JAE"... are you KIDDING ME? I don't want to talk to someone. I don't want to wait for them to pull a price out of thin air."
"If you are from JAE and pissed off reading this... I mean you no harm specifically. I appreciate that you exist and you have helped to carry these cars through dark times. I just want more."

If you don't want to talk to someone, then stick with the vendors with extensive websites - SJS, DeRoure, etc.
It is unnecessary to kick JAE in the teeth for not having an ordering website.

JAE does not pull a price out of thin air - when I ask, they quote a price before creating the order. To imply otherwise is highly inaccurate.

JAE is a longtime contributor to the Lotus community for decades and apparently holds their own using the phone business model.
And if you meant no harm with what you said, you certainly have a unique way of expressing yourself.

DIsclaimer - I am a frequent customer of JAE, SJS, and use both phone and web interfaces; the telephone still has value as mentioned by previous posters.
 

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I don't mean to bash JAE, just the implementation of the "value" business proposition. They are not liars. I'm frustrated that I can't order parts at 2am.

Synchronous communications wherein a parts manifest has to be transposed into verbal communications is not user/customer friendly. I do not like creating a parts manifest at all. Even in the cases where I need 20 things, I would prefer to use the ordering system itself to create a shopping cart. The benefit to the business with the shopping cart is that I'm more likely to just click "buy" at some point.

I am content with SJS's web site with the exceptions that (1) their cart seems to expire quickly, and (2) OMG, I'm not waiting that long for parts if I can help it.

To the extent that I failed to communicate effectively or was offensive, I apologize. This is also what I hate about the phone. If you just let me click "buy now," you get none of that. :)

I guess I should mention that I'm not looking at this exclusively from the customer perspective. I had a small chain of (franchised) battery stores. The franchisor heartily embraced telephone interaction and emphatically failed to leverage any potential online platform successfully until it was too late. I was misled during my due diligence and it was extraordinarily frustrating given my background.

Prior to that, I spent almost 8 years as a front end developer/product manager/project manager/director of web services for... a major internet company. Internet bubble? You are welcome!

I'm not just bitching - though it may have sounded like it. I want to contribute to a solution.

Perhaps pissing off the content stakeholders was not the best way to achieve that objective. So. Yeah. Sorry I'm an a$&hole about this.

-Jason
 

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I dont mind calling but I enjoy surfing and looking at pictures. The time difference is an issue for me too. Being on the east coast my sweet spot is 8-9 am to have time for a call. Lotus garage is all OEM and looks like V8 only? They can probably get whatever you want if you call.

I really enjoy a mix of aftermarket and in house developed solutions like JAE and SJS have.

I love JAE and use them when I can but I have become accustomed to a different model.

I think the real issue is the small size of the market. And the fact that I am too cheap to buy my own cell phone and my company phone will not allow overseas calls :)
 

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I have another question. Do British people handle e-mail differently than in the US? The Lotus parts places over their are very slow responding to e-mail?
I have bought many parts from PNM Parts and asked them many questions and they are always prompt in responding to emails, even though they are 5hrs ahead of me on the US east coast. I sometimes get responses during my dinner hour! The listed price of their parts seems to be cheaper but then you have to factor in international shipping, so depends on what and how much you are buying from them.

I have asked JAE more questions than I have actually bought parts, yet both Jay and Joe have always been more than willing to answer. I get the feeling they enjoy talking about the cars as much as they are running a business. Are they a little more expensive than if you identified and sourced a generic part by yourself? Yeah, probably. But 1) I don't have to go thru the hassle, and 2) I trust their knowledge. So would I rather they have an online store? Sure, but getting a quote via email, and then approving a purchase order, is not that big of a hassle to me. I guess I am the opposite from Jason, I would rather have an ongoing conversational relationship with them as Lotus car owners, rather than they just be a faceless parts supplier to me.

BTW, PNM is almost a hybrid. You can buy what you see online without communicating with a human. But if the website doesn't show the part you want, you can email and they will answer quickly. Then when you are ready to buy, they send you a custom link to the part in the store (even if it's not shown on the website) and then you complete the purchase online. I did this exact process with a windscreen fluid bottle and carbon fiber headlight surrounds.

Edgar
 

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Thx Edgar.

Yeah PNM is pretty responsive you are right. I guess my e-mail issues have mainly been with British parts places that offer some Lotus but its not their main deal and they get lots of traffic.

I did not realize PNM offered parts not shown on their web site. Have to keep that in mind.
 

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Wingless Wonder
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I did not realize PNM offered parts not shown on their web site.
That applies to ALL vendors. As they source things over time, offerings can change.

An example is JAE's newly-available reproductions of the 88 - 97 binnacle switches. Now, if you have worn icons, you can fix that!!! :love:
 
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