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Discussion Starter #1
In 2013, for a variety of depressing reasons, I sold my 1983 Lotus Esprit Turbo. Several weeks ago, I started wondering what happened to the car and became interested in a possible re-acquisition. After posting on Lotus boards and contacting the guy I sold it to, within days I actually found the car partially dismantled at a shop in Maryland. I am told the timing belt broke in 2015. The engine was severely compromised, removed, and basically a pile of parts.

So I bought it back.

There is nothing as disheartening as a bespoke engine with a turbo piled in pieces in a trailer. And.. uh... I've never rebuilt an engine, so there's that. So I immediately went online last week searching for a replacement I could use until I can source all the broken parts necessary for full assembly.

Thankfully, Jenna had picked up a spare engine and offered it out. It needs some work and parts I already have, but after a 12-hour round trip to seemingly middle-of-nowhere-but-lovely Pennsylvania, I now have that, too. (Pro tip: if you buy from Jenna and are offered the choice, pick the NJ site for convenience or the PA site for a lovely, mostly paved, drive.)

The car needs plenty of small things. (Driver door latch, driver seat attacked by a wolverine, carpet, belly panel, shocks, springs, brakes, gearbox finessing, clutch, gas tanks) The engine swap is just the tip of the iceberg.

Here's to hoping this all snaps together like Legos! (It won't.)

Hmmmmm... I can't seem to add photos to this.... odd

-Jason
 

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You can't make this up
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Jason,
Potter County is a lot prettier in Summer then Winter to be sure. But the mountain roads breathe drive your Lotus here.
It will be fun to see your progress getting her back to the condition it was in before. The picture you showed me was stunning example of a G car. It is also remarkable that our Esprit's where on the factory floor at the same time being built. Get those fuel tanks out and do a good job on the fuel cross over tube. I ran round gun cleaning wire brush through mine. It had lots of rust, mud and gunk in it. Let me know how you enjoy the tank removal. It still not fun with the engine out but a bit more forgiving. Depending on their condition on the bottom side you may find Renu to be a good option and save money over having aluminum tanks built. Keep us informed of your progress. To think,, that engine sure would have been fun in my MGB GT. But this purpose exceeds my follies. Best of luck. Get pictures up soon. Jenna, aka Penelope's Pitstop Resurrection.
 

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What are your plans for the dismantled engine? I could use some of the parts... And looking at your list of stuff, we may be able to work out a trade.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Jenna, I've been reading through your posts... Wow have you done a lot to Penelope. Inspirational! I think should I return to the area, I would come in from the East rather than from the South. Much better pavement!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What are your plans for the dismantled engine? I could use some of the parts...
Ask me after I have this one installed and running. :) My original engine is already component parts, so the equation does swing in your favor at the moment. Notably, I apparently have two good exhaust manifolds, the nuts of which I will soon be dremeling off.

Can anyone tell me what the differences are between the 1984 and 1983 engines?
LD910 83 07 20899 (original, I think)
LD910 84 09 21880 (Jenna-sourced)

Other than my '83 was black while my '84 is red?

Also, does anyone know any history on the '84 engine? Is it haunted? Does it have a tendency to run into bridge abutments? Or does the owner die within a year? Just kidding of course, but it would be neat to know.

-Jason
 

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No difference at all. Major changes didn't start happening until fuel injection came in - things like aluminum liners and forged pistons. If you like the black look, you can use those parts from your original engine.
 

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My advice would be to hold onto all of your parts until you get the car put back together. You never know what you need until you need it and you could find that the parts you thought were good really aren't. Also it is often better to sell many parts at once rather than piecemeal because some of the parts you may never sell. If you must get rid of parts only do so to trade for what you need.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Discussion Starter #8
David - absolutely! I am a hoarder at heart. Anyone need a non-overdrive tranny from a 1970 MGB? How about its HC engine? Air pump? Rear side window gaskets? Repairable 20" Audi Q7 wheel? Aluminum skid plate from a TT? 240v squirrel fan from a Rheem HVAC system? Ugly faucet that was in the house we recently moved to? The storage unit is getting full! And EVERY time I sell a part, I always need that part a week later!

:):):)
-Jason
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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I always need that part a week later!
Also, if you keep that old engine and all the parts, you'll NEVER need them. Cheap insurance?

I have a stainless steel clutch hose stored in my Esprit's spare tire, purchased ~ 1994. As a result, the good ol' red hose hasn't failed me yet! o_O :LOL: :LOL:
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Here are pics of the car... Meant to include these in the initial posting.

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Here’s the original engine and transmission pile:

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And here’s the '84 engine, along with my turbo:
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-Jason
 

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Discussion Starter #11
What should my battery compartment look like? I have a rectangular-ish black plastic top for this area, but I am missing the hold-down bolts and any associated hardware.

-Jason
1257132
 

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Looks a lot like FrankEnSPRIT when I brought it home.
 

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A member (no longer active) brought to life an 84 Esprit with a similar starting point - took him about 18 months? May be worth checking his adventure here:

Rebirth of a 1984 Turbo Esprit

 

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Discussion Starter #14
So Monday was about quickly shoehorning Phoenix into the garage while my home-from-college son had the MGB GT out. The MGB will be garaged in the trailer for now. We just downsized from a 3.5 car garage with 12' ceilings to a 2 car garage with 7'10” ceilings. Stupid time to bring another project on board, but..what.. I'm going to let Phoenix get away? Look how stupid this is.
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As soon as I rolled it in place and shut the garage door to warm up a little, I discovered that the driver door latch is flaky and absolutely will not work. I can't open the passenger door fully and the parking brake is partially working, so I had to put a hook on a stick to reach the inside of the driver door through the 3” I could get the passenger door open. Nice.

I ran over to the storage unit and brought back the hoist and engine stand. I have everything accessible on the engine now, but I am not very confident in the bolts I used. Ordered correct bolts.

I found that my ”red” engine has a layer of black under the red. Hmmm. Both my black set and my red set of covers are pretty crap looking, so I did some research on how to repaint them with the crackle stuff. Seems straightforward.

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This engine came without a turbo, but did include a wastegate. That's good, as mine is.. very messed up.

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I haven't removed either of these yet. Need to do we research on possible rebuilds.

I decided to really dig in by starting on my old turbo, which I know needs a rebuild as it had always spewed oil everywhere. It's also an inconveniently heavy object on the stuff-I'm-going-to-use shelf.

Separating it from the manifold was a pain. It was attached with nuts and bolts rather than studs thankfully. But I had to cut two off.
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I'll finish opening the turbo for a brief inspection before I order a T3 rebuild kit. Anyone know if I need the "thick" or "thin" shaft version?

-Jason
 

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The wastegate rebuilds are simple - clean up the valve and seat, replace the daphragm and maybe the spring. The usual suspects will have the stuff you need, or you can check with local diesel engine service outfits. They do turbo rebuilds all the time and should have parts on hand.
 

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As easy as it may seem to replace the parts in the turbo, I do not recommend doing it yourself. The most important step is balancing and you can't do it at home. When rebuilding a turbo it is recommended to replace the oil feed hose. When you get the turbo back keep it sealed up until you are ready to install it.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Discussion Starter #17
balancing
Party pooper. Now that I've researched it more, you are right. But machining or balancing anything in the Fairfax area sucks. If someone can tell me a company that will balance the components for less than $100, I'm in.

Already apart; kit arrives tomorrow. Shaft etc. marked. Hopefully it will leak again prior to destruction. I figure I have a 50/50 chance of that. I already feel like an idiot. My state of idiocy is the biggest stake here.. I'll gamble the turbo on feeling smug if I get lucky.

:-/

You told me so.

Keep the advice coming. Promise I will listen next time.

-Jason
 

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You can't make this up
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So Monday was about quickly shoehorning Phoenix into the garage while my home-from-college son had the MGB GT out. The MGB will be garaged in the trailer for now. We just downsized from a 3.5 car garage with 12' ceilings to a 2 car garage with 7'10” ceilings. Stupid time to bring another project on board, but..what.. I'm going to let Phoenix get away? Look how stupid this is. View attachment 1257148

As soon as I rolled it in place and shut the garage door to warm up a little, I discovered that the driver door latch is flaky and absolutely will not work. I can't open the passenger door fully and the parking brake is partially working, so I had to put a hook on a stick to reach the inside of the driver door through the 3” I could get the passenger door open. Nice.

I ran over to the storage unit and brought back the hoist and engine stand. I have everything accessible on the engine now, but I am not very confident in the bolts I used. Ordered correct bolts.

I found that my ”red” engine has a layer of black under the red. Hmmm. Both my black set and my red set of covers are pretty crap looking, so I did some research on how to repaint them with the crackle stuff. Seems straightforward.

View attachment 1257149

This engine came without a turbo, but did include a wastegate. That's good, as mine is.. very messed up.

View attachment 1257150

View attachment 1257151

I haven't removed either of these yet. Need to do we research on possible rebuilds.

I decided to really dig in by starting on my old turbo, which I know needs a rebuild as it had always spewed oil everywhere. It's also an inconveniently heavy object on the stuff-I'm-going-to-use shelf.

Separating it from the manifold was a pain. It was attached with nuts and bolts rather than studs thankfully. But I had to cut two off.
View attachment 1257152 View attachment 1257153

I'll finish opening the turbo for a brief inspection before I order a T3 rebuild kit. Anyone know if I need the "thick" or "thin" shaft version?

-Jason
 

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You can't make this up
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As soon as I rolled it in place and shut the garage door to warm up a little, I discovered that the driver door latch is flaky and absolutely will not work. I can't open the passenger door fully and the parking brake is partially working, so I had to put a hook on a stick to reach the inside of the driver door through,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

I had the same problem from the inside. Plastic lever ends fall off and back out of the door latching mechanism. Buy extras your gonna drop more then one... Count on it. and better stock up on band-aides.
 

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The turbo spins at over 100,000 RPM's. Even a tiny bit out-of-balance and the bearings will go bad and it will leak (probably why it is leaking now). If no one in your area can do it then send it out. Don't even attempt to put the new parts in, the shop will do it and that isn't worth much to do, the balancing is the big ticket item. Be sure to insure it for enough when you ship it. As for what to do first, my suggestion would be to give everything a good clean and inventory all of the pieces and parts. Make sure all of the paperwork on the car is in order. That means the Title is in your name and you have the car insured for fire and theft at least. Keep a log of your progress, what you buy, etc. That will be the foundation of your service history. Start putting together a list of all of the consumable, wear items you will need like weatherstripping, spark plugs, oil, filters, seals, gaskets, belts, tires, battery, etc.Because you bought a basket case you can't tell what works and what doesn't. You have to assume everything has to be fixed. Get the service manuals and parts manuals. Go over each system till you are satisfied that it is good.
David Teitelbaum
 
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