The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
‘83 Turbo Esprit
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I'm heading out west next week to pick up my '83 Esprit Turbo. The car seems in pretty decent shape (the BAT page lists all the work done) and I'm fitting fresh BFG Radial T/As.

1264306


The plan is to pick up the car and then spend a leisurely few days driving back to Colorado. Having never owned a vehicle of this age, I would love to hear your thoughts on what I should be checking ahead of that drive.

Does anyone have the dimensions of the rear "trunk" space?

The aircon has had a fresh recharge, which it looks like I'll need given the weather forecast!

Cheers,
James
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
351 Posts
Timing belt. The trapazoidal timing belt with the spring tensioner is a known problem. I think there is some kind of fix involving the fixed tensioner of the later motors. Gas tanks: Do you smell gas underneath them? Submarine propulsion system: Known weak point.
 

·
S4s
Joined
·
721 Posts
Welcome to Lotus Talk!

Looks well sorted from the BAT description.
  • I would verify coolant levels and temps on your trip.
  • If the radiator fins look plugged up with road grime or bugs, try washing that out 1st.
  • Test the pop-up lights during the day (if they don't work you can manually operate them, but it is better to find them during the day. Trust me.).
  • If you have one of those infrared laser temperature guns, bring that along to check brake temps at the wheels to make sure the calipers are operating fairly evenly.
  • Check once an hour to see if there are any weird smells or leaks: brake, clutch, coolant, oil dripping, etc.

Would love to see you at one of our Lotus Colorado meetings or drives. (www.lotuscolorado.com & subscribe to [email protected] )
 

·
Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
Joined
·
5,946 Posts
Watch out driving on those old tires made in 2003! Time to buy new, sidewall rubber is cracking. (I would over-inflate for the trip).

Trunk space isn't bad in an Esprit, but soft-sided cases are best. I always shoved the wife's extra shoes up into the nooks & crannies of the boot. PS: Exhaust heat will keep your toothpaste HOT, hope you like it that way! :LOL: :LOL:

As Seraph said, keep an eye on fluids. G-cars do not have overflow reservoirs, so you check coolant at the header tank, and it will probably purge air. It should be within two inches from the filler neck, COLD.
Check the oil every gas stop since you don't know the car.

PLEASE plan some time on non-Interstate side roads....:love:
 
  • Like
Reactions: JamesN

·
Registered
Joined
·
262 Posts
Great car - congratulations! Hope you love it as much as I love my G car. A/C or not it will still be a bit toasty in the car as the sloped windshield and marginal A/C (even if 100%) will be challenged by desert heat. The cooling system itself should be up to the task if it's actually maintained as was represented. That said a bottle of Water Wetter in the coolant before you go might not be a bad idea. You'll have plenty of space to store enough for your drive but I second Atwell's comments - only soft luggage and don't put anything in the rear that can't get hot - especially on the left side as the turbo is over there and transmits quite a bit of heat to the trunk. Finally, before you go make sure someone has looked over the fuel lines carefully and if any look the least bit suspect just replace them. Again, most likely that's been done already but the downside if not is not worth the risk!
 

·
Registered
‘83 Turbo Esprit
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Watch out driving on those old tires made in 2003! Time to buy new, sidewall rubber is cracking. (I would over-inflate for the trip).

Trunk space isn't bad in an Esprit, but soft-sided cases are best. I always shoved the wife's extra shoes up into the nooks & crannies of the boot. PS: Exhaust heat will keep your toothpaste HOT, hope you like it that way! :LOL: :LOL:

As Seraph said, keep an eye on fluids. G-cars do not have overflow reservoirs, so you check coolant at the header tank, and it will probably purge air. It should be within two inches from the filler neck, COLD.
Check the oil every gas stop since you don't know the car.

PLEASE plan some time on non-Interstate side roads....:love:
Got new BFG Radials being fitted.

Definitely planning some non-interstate time!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,421 Posts
When driving a car that you are not familiar with there are a few things you can do to minimize any potential problems. Don't trust the gauges till you have some confidence that they are accurate. For example the fuel gauge. Monitor it and make sure it moves as you drive. Compare it against the trip odometer and determine your gas mileage so you don't run out of fuel. Check your speed with measured mile markers. Using 60 MPH it should take you exaclty 1 minute to go 1 mile or 10 minutes to go 10 miles. The longer you measure, the more accuracy. Check your tire pressures and the lug nuts. Bring a gallon of water just in case. A fire extinguisher is a good idea. So is an AAA card and a cell phone. Some cash because not everyplace takes cards or checks. Make sure your paperwork is all in order, insurance,inspection and registration in case you get pulled over. For the first few miles you should stop often and walk around the car and check your fluid levels. Replace the tires as soon as you can, preferably before you take long rides away from cities with tire shops. Be sensitive to the car's sounds and vibrations till you know the car better. For instance does the car drive straight and stop straight? At the first sign of trouble pull over before you make the problem worse. Don't ride the car hard, the primary purpose of the drive is to get the car home, not to see what it can do.Checking the lights in the daytime is good advice, so is checking the wipers. Maybe you need a new blade, better to find out BEFORE it rains.
David Teitelbaum
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,137 Posts
Rare car, i was hoping that you were going to take the original engine as it would greatly increase its collectivity (is that a word? :) ) but as you are driving it home that may not be the case? I have seen blocks repaired, a dry sump car in Calgary, Alberta threw a rod that punched a hole in both the block and girdle but a VERY competent welder repaired to original specs and AFAIK its still running.
 

·
Registered
‘83 Turbo Esprit
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Rare car, i was hoping that you were going to take the original engine as it would greatly increase its collectivity (is that a word? :) ) but as you are driving it home that may not be the case? I have seen blocks repaired, a dry sump car in Calgary, Alberta threw a rod that punched a hole in both the block and girdle but a VERY competent welder repaired to original specs and AFAIK its still running.
I'm taking the original engine too but will ship that. I've wanted to do coast-to-coast for a long time so this is an excellent excuse to do so!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,968 Posts
Coast to coast in a Turbo Esprit! Sounds great! But... I can say is be careful; temptation to speed with light traffic today will be high. Just re-read and saw you're putting fresh BFG TAs on it. It would be worthwhile to replace the 37 year old spare tire I saw in the pictures. I replaced my spare in the 87 with a new tire in 2016.
My late 88 Esprit in 2011 had 23 year old factory original front tires (and 21 year old rear tires). That was scary in itself;
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
604 Posts
James - What is your route?
 

·
Registered
‘83 Turbo Esprit
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
James - What is your route?
So far the plan is San Diego > LA (see some friends) > Joshua Tree > Vegas > Zion National Park > Grand Escalante National Park > Rio Grande National Park > Colorado Springs. I'll be leaving the car in COS then heading back later in summer with a friend to do the rest of the trip to NYC, probably via the southern states.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
604 Posts
Let me know if you change it up and go through southern Minnesota. Lots of Esprits around here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,421 Posts
Keep us posted and if you are in the area and have any problems someone could help you. Let us know when you get to NYC, there are a lot of us here and it would be a good excuse to get out in the cars assuming we get past Phase I of the quarantine by then. Right now we are under "Modified House Arrest" otherwise known as self quarantine. I am now thinking it is more like forced early retirement.
David Teitelbaum
 

·
Premium Member
1987 Lotus Turbo Esprit HCI - Pearl white w/ Blue interior - No mods
Joined
·
28 Posts
Nice car, Congrats! Sounds like an amazing drive.

Hope you went with the original spec '60' profile tires instead of '50's for that original beefy tire look & a more comfortable ride.

I'm having Glass Sunroof Option Envy! :love:
 

·
Registered
‘83 Turbo Esprit
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Nice car, Congrats! Sounds like an amazing drive.

Hope you went with the original spec '60' profile tires instead of '50's for that original beefy tire look & a more comfortable ride.

I'm having Glass Sunroof Option Envy! :love:
Thanks! Got new BFG Radial T/As fitted - 235/60/15 on the rear and 195/60/15 on the front.

Will post some pics once we pick up the car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
432 Posts
1. It's a variation of the thought: Speed will Come.
So...........as David suggests........
Get the car there in one piece - you can drive it hard later.
2. Large black plastic garbage bag......if you must go to the spare tire, the car tire won't fit in the same space and likely end up riding shotgun.
3. Driving gloves - my preference is the double layer nomex from RaceQuip
4. Polarized sunglasses.
5. Rain-X and a few clean rags.
6. Don't drink coffee - generally all it does is open up your kidneys.
7. When I drive long distance, I like one padded seat-belt attachment across my chest like the kind used on both shoulder belts of a six-point harness before everyone wore a HANS.
8. If you have room for it - carry an air tank in case the newly mounted tires prove to have a slow leak...or maybe one of those plug-in-the-cig-lighter-take-forever little compressers.
9. If there are no blind-spot mirrors on the car's outside rear-views, get at least one for the driver's side.
10. You'll make sure turn signals / brake & tag lights work... but if you can... source a spare or two before you go - bummer to get pulled over for that "flickering tag light" sort of thing.
11. It's been sitting? in a parking lot, spray under the car lightly with a mist of bug spray, then move the car about two car lengths and let it sit a few minutes.
12. A spray bottle of distilled water if not a jug of distilled water and a couple of those "dryer - cling - free" sheets. Against a pre-wetted surface rubbing 'em with those sheets will make stuck bugs just melt off - then rinse.

Speed will come.
 

·
Registered
‘83 Turbo Esprit
Joined
·
33 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Keep us posted and if you are in the area and have any problems someone could help you. Let us know when you get to NYC, there are a lot of us here and it would be a good excuse to get out in the cars assuming we get past Phase I of the quarantine by then. Right now we are under "Modified House Arrest" otherwise known as self quarantine. I am now thinking it is more like forced early retirement.
David Teitelbaum
Would be great to catch up when I finally get the car here - probably late Summer / early Fall.
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top