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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For once I'm not coming to the forum with a problem. In fact my '86 HCi is running rather well lately with even most minor issues addressed.

I'm planning ~650 mile (each way) road trip in early July and curious what others have done to prepare for similar journeys. I've recently replaced all my fluids, belts are up to date, new tires. I'll take a few essential tools with me as well as the Lotus Ltd member list in case I break down somewhere convenient to a helping hand.

Am I missing anything obvious? Am I crazy to attempt this trip?
 

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1995 Esprit S4S
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Have fun. I drove my Esprit to Wyoming and back from the Kansas City Area and had 0 issues. I also drove my Esprit from Charleston to Nebraska and had 0 issues. Im planning on driving it from Kansas to Washington State and Back this summer. That should be around a 3000 mile round trip. If I get stranded, Ill have it trailer home and rent a car for the rest of my trip. Im not worried.

:)
 

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Agree with Wohlmeyer!

Adding a few ideas taken from multiple road trips in my other classic car (a '72 Pontiac)--albeit my trips were only six-hundred miles round trip (so half yours). I always like to tuck away a gallon of distilled water, a quart or two of oil, and my AAA membership card. If you don't feel like sticking a gallon container of distilled in the boot, transfer the distilled water to a several "spring water" bottles you keep on the passenger floor up front. Their small size helps you pour them into the header tank with little "glug-glug-glug"-ing of a coolant bottle, and you can drink them in a "thirst emergency".

Before you go, I'd go online and purchase an AAA service with the maximum allowable mile towing allowance (and gasoline allowance; up to five gallons premium, if you specify premium when you call). It sure would suck to have to get your car towed six-hundred miles, at two to three dollars a mile (which will not happen, mind you; but better caution rather than anything else). And be sure to write down the towing points for the car--if you should for some unfathomable reason break down, it's usually best to ensure your car isn't damaged by the responding party. Obviously, you already know the way to haul the car onto a flatbed, but...sometimes details like this escape us when we're frustrated and angry from a breakdown. Thus, illustration to the rescue.

Oh, and of course the obvious, which is to check your tire pressure and tread depth before you head out. If your tread is below the depth you deem "safe to be caught in torrential downpour doing 70+ on the interstate", you should be fine. I would never go on a road trip with less than 4/32nd's on my tread depth, but that's just me.

Also, you might wish to get "WAZE" app on your cellular device for traffic updates posted by fellow travelers.

Furthermore, you might want to make sure your AC is running well. Took a trip to Florida way back in 2006 in a 308 GTS whose AC was not exactly blowing super cold...even with the top off the car, it sure was a scorcher in that cabin.

That's all I can think of--most importantly, the list of Lotus Ltd. members is a great way to ensure peace of mind, and is probably far more important than the previous little "so incredibly obvious we sometimes forget" tidbits.
 

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Missing one uber important item...

RADAR DETECTOR!

:)
 

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I totally agree with Greentengu...
+1 on the AAA tow membership (with their highest plan allowing the maximum allowable tow miles)...it's peace of mind and a bargain if, heaven forbid, you end up needing it.

You've probably already got it covered, but I noticed you didn't mention checking the brakes or windshield wiper. You want to be sure that you have enough lining to easily last the entire trip. Also, whether it rains or not, you will inevitably be using the wiper due to bugs, dust, and etc so you want to make sure you have a fresh blade on there so that you won't risk scratching your pristine Esprit windshield.

Also, a lockable car cover might be a real plus in case you have to park in a less than ideal location overnight, whether motel or from an unexpected breakdown. It does take up valuable luggage space though.

Sounds like a great drive...should be fun!!!

Roy
 

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Absolutely not crazy! What a fine looking car.

I usually take my multimeter and a long wire so I can check minor electrical glitches, loss of a ground, etc. Small package of replacement fuses. Rather than distilled water, I have a small bottle of premixed coolant and a couple of liters of oil.

Not sure for your car, but I have added a short sling to my road kit. It fits in the grille tow ring and allows a flat bed to hook up easily without damaging the grille.

I have a small roll of duct tape should anything come loose.

I also have the parts and service manual on DVD along for the ride, and a pdf on my phone. Figure it could be helpful for reference for a non-Lotus tech, but have never ended up using it.

Most important thing I have found is to drive the car regularly for about a week or two before setting out to ensure everything is working OK, particularly after having done service work.

Best of luck with your trip. September plan is to take the Esprit to NC LOG, which should be about 5,000 miles round trip.

Stu
 

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You do all of the standard owner checks like tire pressures (including the spare), bulbs, wiper blades, checking fluid levels, etc. If you have been taking care of the car you know what works and what doesn't. If you have any service that may come due during your trip (like an oil change) you may want to do it before you go. Make sure your paperwork is all there and not expired (insurance, license, and registration). 3A is a good deal but you always have to worry about cell service in between big city's. Especially in mountains. Bring an accurate tire pressure gauge and check your tires every morning before driving. Other useful things include:
sunglasses
sun block
driving shoes
gloves
roll of paper towels
camera, pad , and pen
glass cleaner
large plastic bag (if you have to put the spare on you use it to put the flat in)
phone charger
GPS
1 quart of motor oil (the kind you use, just in case you need some and you can't find your brand)
A few hand tools will do since you won't be doing anything more involved than changing a light bulb.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I do have AAA, so no worries there. Good ideas with the quart of oil, some water, manuals, cover, etc. Though I do have to be somewhat choosey as I'll have a passenger and a weekend worth of clothes in the boot as well. Oh, and the a/c is inop. Surely it won't be too bad with the windows down, otherwise I guess I'm in for a sweat bath.

I've also been considering the radar detector... :D any recommendations?
 

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<SNIP>

I've also been considering the radar detector... :D any recommendations?
IMHO only ONE choice:

Valentine One..
 

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I would not advise a long trip without A/C. If you must then do NOT use the glass top! It can't be all that much to get the A/C going. You will be glad you did.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Agree with Kenny on Valentine One. Might want to check out the installation well before you leave. Not sure with your model Esprit, but I had difficulty getting the cigarette lighter plug to work with the stock power point (slightly different diameter I guess?). I eventually ended up hard wiring the V1.

Mounted the V1 on the rear window with a suction cup mount. I used the Concealed Display to run the warning lights to the lower dash area. Worked fine on the front windshield, I just didn't like all the wires kicking around.

Radar and Laser Detectors | Valentine One | Radar Detectors

Stu
 

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IMHO only ONE choice:

Valentine One..
Anyone have experience with these in VA or DC? They're illegal here and the cops have "Detector Detectors" (issued by the Department of Redundancy Department).

Valentine claims their product is undetectable but I've heard it may not be.
 

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Extinguisher.
Beaut. Of a car...
 

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The detector detectors are tuned to the superhetrodine frequency. Detectors that can't be "sniffed" use a different superhet frequency, none at all or are shielded so they do not emit any radio waves. Unless you remote mount it and hide it well (or make it invisible) it can still be detected visually. Some States, including CT, are VERY obnoxious about them and go to great lengths to confiscate them. States are prohibited from regulating the airwaves, the FCC has the only legitimate authority to do that. In States where they have confiscated radar detectors they had to return them when legally challenged. The States still give out tickets which can also be challenged but since it costs so much more to challenge the ticket vs the fine, no one has stopped them from writing tickets. To them it is just another source of revenue from people out of state. If you are concerned just hide it under the seat when passing through those States. V-1 is one of the better radar detectors but it is also one of the most expensive. Still, it is cheaper than getting a ticket. If your detector gets confiscated be sure to get a receipt. That way you can prove you had it if you decide to challenge the State. Contrary to what the State will say, radar detectors are not illegal. They are passive receivers and are not regulated by State or Federal law. If yours is confiscated that is considered a taking and for the State to take your property they must compensate you fairly.
David Teitelbaum
[Disclaimer- I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice]
 

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[snip]
I'm planning ~650 mile (each way) road trip in early July and curious what others have done to prepare for similar journeys. I've recently replaced all my fluids, belts are up to date, new tires. [snip] Am I crazy to attempt this trip?
Not crazy. My 88 is mechanically similar to your 86 (Citroen trans, Bosch FI).
Since 2011, I've done 6 round trips San Jose - San Diego (550 miles one way) plus a day trip San Jose - Los Angeles (450 miles one way) without incident. Note that I am a 7 day/week daily driver, so that may have some advantage mechanically.

I will second David T's recommendation about AC/glass top - in July, SC can be pretty freakin' hot. My day trip to Los Angeles - my AC was working 1 direction (and it was record heat wave). It was MISERABLE on the way back up - make sure you know that your removable (non-glass) top is working correctly - it's good emergency ventilation in hot weather.

I have been running my glass top last few weeks - while tinted, it heats up dramatically in the inside. The composite top will shield ambient heat far better.

RE: radar detector - I didn't want to spend the coin on a Passport 8500 or a V1 (if you got the money, by all means - they are great tools). I bought the mid-range Beltronics 200 (superseded by something else - it's a price point ) around $200-$250. No GPS but reasonably good range and sensitivity. It saved me 1-2 times on my long trips. Laser - forget about it - just pull over. Few detectors realistically can help in the laser department.
 

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Not crazy. My 88 is mechanically similar to your 86 (Citroen trans, Bosch FI).
Since 2011, I've done 6 round trips San Jose - San Diego (550 miles one way) plus a day trip San Jose - Los Angeles (450 miles) without incident. Note that I am a 7 day/week daily driver, so that may have some advantage mechanically.

I will second David T's recommendation about AC - in July, SC can be pretty freakin' hot. My day trip to Los Angeles - my AC was working 1 direction (and it was record heat wave). It was MISERABLE on the way back up - make sure you know that your removable top is working correctly - it's good emergency ventilation in hot weather.

RE: radar detector - I didn't want to spend the coin on a Passport 8500 or a V1 (if you got the money, by all means - they are great tools). I bought the mid-range Beltronics 200 (superseded by something else - it's a price point ) around $200-$250. No GPS but reasonably good range and sensitivity. It saved me 1-2 times on my long trips. Laser - forget about it - just pull over. Few detectors realistically can help in the laser department.
If done properly there is no defense against laser. To use it in that manner the officer aims at you and when you are too close to slow down he pulls the trigger (turns the laser on) and reads you. If they are lazy and just leave the laser on all the time you can be warned about it way before he can read you, even further than radar. The only "defense" against "instant on" laser is to see the police car and slow down far enough away. Depending on your speed and how well hidden the police car is, that is no defense. The V-1 will warn you but by then the officer has already got your speed (if it is being used in "instant on" mode). The police don't usually do it that way, too much work. They can get more than enough people the lazy way because most don't have any kind of detector. They set their radar to beep when they clock someone over the setpoint and then pull them over.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Battery powered air pump

Something like this:

[ame]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000SL4AA2/ref=wms_ohs_product?ie=UTF8&psc=1[/ame]
 

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A 12v to 110 inverter with USB connectors is also nice. Best if you can hard wire it to battery
 

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I also keep a couple micro fibre towels in the boot for clean ups and windshield. Paper towels and fuses already mentioned. Tech ref, if you have one.
 
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