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Discussion Starter #1
After a bit of research I've found out that my red '88 esprit was previously owned by a member of this forum who no longer frequents the site (last post 2012).

This particular member/prior owner was very vocal about only using the best mechanics and being very fastidious about the maintenance of the car. This same owner made it clear (over 500 posts) that he was also a skilled DIYer for the easier stuff and made sure nobody touched the car unless they were the absolute best at what they did.

I've never seen a bigger bunch of kluge fixes and hacked poor repairs on a car. The car wasn't horribly abused, just neglected to a degree, and repaired with little or no mechanical skill where something was attempted. You know the stuff...cross threaded nuts/bolts, bailing wire fixes, poor fitting parts, hacked wiring, hammer marks, pipe wrench marks, etc.

What a bunch of crap. Don't be a hack. If you don't know what you're doing, put down the vice grips and bailing wire and take the car to a good shop with skilled mechanics. Be ready to pay what's necessary to do the job right, don't take the cheap route. And if you don't know what you're talking about first hand then shut the hell up.

Just my $.02.
 

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Ya know, what you describe is exactly what happens with cars like these once they age. The average dudes can now afford them and for whatever reason EVERYONE feels they are a focking mechanic all of a sudden. I got lucky in that my previous owner was a meticulous nut job but he took it to the pros for the bigger stuff and if he did something it was done correctly and notes were kept.

He never went over his head though or past his skill level. You need training, patience, and a great set of tools to truly service these cars properly. Otherwise you are kidding yourself and ruining the car.

I understand that shops arent cheap and doing the work yourself does have financial and pride-enhancing merits. But, this hobby has more hacks and wannabe mechanics than any other by far. I know a certain user over at F-Chat that will NOT buy a used Ferrari from any DIYer for the reasons you highlighted. Its just not worth it.

Regular service & smaler jobs = Go for it yourself
Major items and big jobs = Take it to a good shop UNLESS you really know what you're doing and have the proper tools and skill.

And thats that.
 

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I have to be honest, I do not take my vehicles (any) to professional shops for those specific reasons beerman mentioned. The only reason my vehicles go to anyone else (mine or my wife's) is for, tires, alignment, and inspection.

I have had too many things scratched, dented, and put back together half ass by a supposed professional shop when I was younger.

I have fixed all kinds of equipment professionally since then for over 20 years now, just never cars. And I have learned that even if a repair place has a great name and rep, not all the tech's at that location carry that same worthiness or have the technical ability the place is known for. You are better off learning to do things yourself, if you are good with your hands, no one will take care of your stuff like YOU. It doesnt matter if its waxing it, or rebuilding the engine, no one will go the extra mile, like you will yourself, because to anyone else its just a job.

I just love being self sufficient though, I would rather spend $300 on tools to do a job, than pay someone else to do it, then the next time I have to do the job, I already have the tools.

Just my two cents. There probably are some people that are tool challenged though, of course thats why I own a business.
 

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In the PO's defense, in his eyes he had great skills and was adept at many things. It is tough to judge your own work, there is a built-in bias and conflict of interest. Maybe some of it was previous to him. It is rare to see any old, used car that doesn't have something that can be done better. When you bought the car you had the opportunity to inspect it and verify it was in the condition claimed by the seller. Every seller tends to exaggerate. I like to think my car is one of the best running Esprits around too! I am sure if you look closely you will find things to pick on too. It is human nature to tend to overlook your own shortcomings and exaggerate other people's. Look at any ad for a car. The words Perfect, immaculate, restored, clean, garage kept, etc, are used freely with little regard to actual condition. Get over it and fix the car up as much as you want.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Cal H
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I have only seen the cat that was on your car and thought it unusual but did not know what to say. Let us hope that was not one of the good repair points of the car.
 

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I have to be honest, I do not take my vehicles (any) to professional shops for those specific reasons beerman mentioned. The only reason my vehicles go to anyone else (mine or my wife's) is for, tires, alignment, and inspection.

I have had too many things scratched, dented, and put back together half ass by a supposed professional shop when I was younger.

I have fixed all kinds of equipment professionally since then for over 20 years now, just never cars. And I have learned that even if a repair place has a great name and rep, not all the tech's at that location carry that same worthiness or have the technical ability the place is known for. You are better off learning to do things yourself, if you are good with your hands, no one will take care of your stuff like YOU. It doesnt matter if its waxing it, or rebuilding the engine, no one will go the extra mile, like you will yourself, because to anyone else its just a job.

I just love being self sufficient though, I would rather spend $300 on tools to do a job, than pay someone else to do it, then the next time I have to do the job, I already have the tools.

Just my two cents. There probably are some people that are tool challenged though, of course thats why I own a business.
:clap:
Well said, I'm in total agreement.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have only seen the cat that was on your car and thought it unusual but did not know what to say. Let us hope that was not one of the good repair points of the car.
Yup, the cat was just one example..... The car ran, it just didn't run very well for a number of reasons, one of which was the hacked cat. I ended up fabricating my own cat bypass pipe from the correct 3 inch tube and a proper mandrel bent 90 - mig welded it to a perfect fit using a proper jig. It's a precise fitting piece with nice welds. This is just one example of correcting hacked repairs attempted by the prior owner who was, well, a complete hack.

I don't mind the corrective work, it's what I do for relaxation and enjoyment. All I'm trying to discourage is hacks from hacking nice cars like an old Lotus.

If a DIY'er wants to be a DIY'er that's great, good to be self sufficient and not have to depend on repair shops (some of which do poor repairs). Just get the skills to do a decent job first before hacking a nice old car.....
 

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Yup, the cat was just one example..... The car ran, it just didn't run very well for a number of reasons, one of which was the hacked cat. I ended up fabricating my own cat bypass pipe from the correct 3 inch tube and a proper mandrel bent 90 - mig welded it to a perfect fit using a proper jig. It's a precise fitting piece with nice welds. This is just one example of correcting hacked repairs attempted by the prior owner who was, well, a complete hack.

I don't mind the corrective work, it's what I do for relaxation and enjoyment. All I'm trying to discourage is hacks from hacking nice cars like an old Lotus.

If a DIY'er wants to be a DIY'er that's great, good to be self sufficient and not have to depend on repair shops (some of which do poor repairs). Just get the skills to do a decent job first before hacking a nice old car.....
You are describing the DPO (Dumb Previous Owner) syndrome. Common to most enthusiast cars.

I have owned 10 Lotus, and health reasons are forcing the sale of what will be my last (and favorite). For all, as well as an MGBGT I owned, I felt it was my responsibility to pass the car on in better condition than in which I received it. Even if it meant improving/ repairing just one thing. For THIS car, that's been challenging...the PO did such a fantastic job in its build.

But I think the next owner will indeed get an even better car.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
In the PO's defense, in his eyes he had great skills and was adept at many things. It is tough to judge your own work, there is a built-in bias and conflict of interest. Maybe some of it was previous to him. It is rare to see any old, used car that doesn't have something that can be done better. When you bought the car you had the opportunity to inspect it and verify it was in the condition claimed by the seller. Every seller tends to exaggerate. I like to think my car is one of the best running Esprits around too! I am sure if you look closely you will find things to pick on too. It is human nature to tend to overlook your own shortcomings and exaggerate other people's. Look at any ad for a car. The words Perfect, immaculate, restored, clean, garage kept, etc, are used freely with little regard to actual condition. Get over it and fix the car up as much as you want.
David Teitelbaum
Excuse me? Get over it?

You're missing the point of the thread David.
 

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Cal H
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Yup, the cat was just one example..... The car ran, it just didn't run very well for a number of reasons, one of which was the hacked cat. I ended up fabricating my own cat bypass pipe from the correct 3 inch tube and a proper mandrel bent 90 - mig welded it to a perfect fit using a proper jig. It's a precise fitting piece with nice welds. This is just one example of correcting hacked repairs attempted by the prior owner who was, well, a complete hack.

I don't mind the corrective work, it's what I do for relaxation and enjoyment. All I'm trying to discourage is hacks from hacking nice cars like an old Lotus.

If a DIY'er wants to be a DIY'er that's great, good to be self sufficient and not have to depend on repair shops (some of which do poor repairs). Just get the skills to do a decent job first before hacking a nice old car.....
I agree with you to a certain point and many have done really sub standard repairs but the hacks and neglected cars serve a purpose so some are able to acquire a car at a discounted price.

It is one thing if a seller was involved in fraudulent concealment of issues, but a quite a different circumstance if the issues were known either through sellers disclosure or discovery by buyers inspection. Either way if the issues are known with pricing adjusted and agreed to accordingly then there is really not too much to complain about. I take you to be a savvy buyer with better than average skills. I would like to think you knew or highly suspected what you were getting into despite the puffing up of the PO.

The ones I feel sorry for are the ones that are led down a rosy path unaware of problems and service issues that test the limits of their wallet and sanity. Situations like that crush dreams and suck the life out of their chance of a Lotus experience. As some only have one shot at it and it is tragic when that happens.

I can not complain about the issues with my project car even though I run across a whole set of issues along the way. I am thankful that my project is still on time and on budget
 

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I hired a lot of mechanics over the years for my job. I learned how to judge them fairly we'll. Just because someone likes to perform mechanical tasks does not make them a good mechanic. Research a shop and look at the work they do before letting them work on your car. Even the pros hire bailing wire and duct tape hacks!
 

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Excuse me? Get over it?

You're missing the point of the thread David.
If you are buying an older Lotus it is a used car and in all probability has had many hands on it over the years. Some good, and some bad. It is expected to see some substandard work. As long as it is not deep or substantial it can be corrected easily if you know what you are doing. One of the joys of ownership of an older car hence the term DPO (Dreaded Previous Owner). I find it part of the challenge, finding and fixing all of that stuff. Screws in the wrong places, wrong hardware, missing hardware, it is all part of the total experience!
David Teitelbaum
 

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Once you buy a used car..... LOTUS OR NOT, you are in your own.
You can't criticize the backyard mechanic- professional mechanic - genius mechanic or hacker mechanic.....they are not perfect....none are.
The bucks stop to you. You go on.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Pictures are worth a thousand words. Before and after.

Some people are just hacks and simply shouldn't be touching cars at all. It's real simple.

The point here isn't that a used car isn't going to have flaws, of course it will, it's a used car. Personally, I like getting a newly-purchased car sorted out, it's what I do for relaxation.

The point is, again, some people are just hacks and shouldn't be messing up nice cars like an old Lotus. If you don't have the skills then don't make a mess for other people. Go get signed up for a class and learn some skills, work with a good mechanic friend, get a proper set of tools and facility. Just don't be a hack.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Once you buy a used car..... LOTUS OR NOT, you are in your own.
You can't criticize the backyard mechanic- professional mechanic - genius mechanic or hacker mechanic.....they are not perfect....none are.
The bucks stop to you. You go on.
Thanks for the lecture there. Jeez, I never knew that.
 

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The biggest problem here is intelligence. Those of us that have a fairly high IQ don't always stop to think just how stupid 95% of the population is, and tend to believe everyone thinks just like us.

PO was too stupid to KNOW he was a hack.

Many purest would feel 90% of the mods done on this forum are hacks, because the car is not totally original any more, even if executed to a very high degree of perfection.

SO hacks are also in the eyes of the beholder.

Brian
 

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I have to be honest, I do not take my vehicles (any) to professional shops for those specific reasons beerman mentioned. The only reason my vehicles go to anyone else (mine or my wife's) is for, tires, alignment, and inspection.

I have had too many things scratched, dented, and put back together half ass by a supposed professional shop when I was younger.

I have fixed all kinds of equipment professionally since then for over 20 years now, just never cars. And I have learned that even if a repair place has a great name and rep, not all the tech's at that location carry that same worthiness or have the technical ability the place is known for. You are better off learning to do things yourself, if you are good with your hands, no one will take care of your stuff like YOU. It doesnt matter if its waxing it, or rebuilding the engine, no one will go the extra mile, like you will yourself, because to anyone else its just a job.

I just love being self sufficient though, I would rather spend $300 on tools to do a job, than pay someone else to do it, then the next time I have to do the job, I already have the tools.

Just my two cents. There probably are some people that are tool challenged though, of course thats why I own a business.
I totally agree. Hard to find a shop worth a damn these days. Sure, there area few.. .but none close to me. Dealers... the worst. I have corrected more crap on club cars that were sent to dear-ships for service because - to the owner's credit - they knew they were not mechanically incline.

Well... apparently the shop hires are not either! My favorit is still the Lamborghini Gallardo that that got oil added at the service but the dealer shop failed to actually drain the old oil. Filter? LOL... not!

Good friends and a good club with help s hard to beat. I have tackled a new job many times just becise of the advice, photos, and knowledge shared on forums like this one. If you know what a socket set is... go for the fix! Somebody more interested in your car being right than making a quick dollar will help you!


Cameron
 

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The bypass pipe made of 3 welded mild steel sections might be OK for an occasionally driven Esprit, but I'd guess that would crack on my daily driver Esprit regiment.

My 88 has a factory flex joint above the cat. Now, as an armchair mechanical engineer (aren't we all? ;-)), it makes sense that a heavy cat vibrating may need a flex pipe between the exhaust manifold and the ridgidly-mounted OEM muffler.



A cat bypass pipe would probably not need a flex joint if it were of softer stainless steel AND one piece pipe.

My personal belief is using that pipe as a pattern to get a 1 piece mandrel-bent stainless piece would be a good idea. The softer stainless steel and the 1 piece construction may hold up better in the long run.

My 2 cents
 
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