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Cal H
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Cal, I'm interested is such "engine refresher tech session". I'm about to be pulling apart and rebuilding my 910, the more knowledge the better always.

/hijack
The tech sessions are led my Tim Engel and Mike Griese The attention to detail is amazing. The use of the minimal amount of sealants used. Instead of a bead sealant that gets squeezed out into a mirco thin layer sandwiched between mating surfaces they use paint brushes and blotter up the excess on the surfaces before assembly as that is all that is left over from a bead of sealant anyway. It covered the design theory of the 900 series engine, failure points, mistakes to be avoided and the use of custom the made alignment and seating tools. Of the type destroyed by Fedex while on loan to Jim Knowles our southern most LOON as I refer to him.

Its weird as you are the 2nd person yesterday to mention needing a 900 series engine tech session. The 1st was from my next door neighbor who does not even have an Esprit. Apparently he wants to learn about the Esprit engine to help out his buddy back home who I think is a gulf war vet with some sort of physical disability. I'm led to believe his buddy is a good guy but not very good mechanically. My neighbor keeps saying "I'll probably have to go back home and help him fix his engine" as the car is just sitting there after he blew up his engine. "He can barely keep his Buell running much less an Esprit." My neighbor said he went as far as lending him a trailer that he keeps at his moms house so he could pick up the Esprit from the side of the road and get it home where it has just been sitting. So I guess we will just have to help out the Gulf war vet with the disability get his car back on the road.
 

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Can someone please explain what this is about? Are we talking about tech sessions at some national Lotus gathering? I would really like to attend something like this.
 

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Cal H
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
There are tech sessions at LOG at times but nothing like a LOON session.

For some reason many of the higher profile Lotus owners (all Lotus cars but high number of Esprit owners) have an association with the LOON's or Minnesota. It might be the cold winters when we talk, think and work Lotus. Many of us come from an engineering background and some have certain areas of speciality although all have cross over skills. Many have witnessed total dis-assembly and re-assembly of various models of Lotus cars. In my opinion it is because of 3 core people. Tim Engel, Dave Cammack, and Mike Griese that drive many of the tech sessions. There were many former owners like Keen Young and Dan Curry that were the early pioneers of Minnesota Esprit history when we used to gather and help work on their projects or just witness the work done.

When a LOON's members car suffers catastrophic failure or needs major services performed usually an e-mail distribution takes place of an event unless he opts out of a tech session. The owner of the car is responsible to acquire parts and/or outside services like machine shop services and related expenses at the direction of the tech leader. When a session is called it slows down the actual work because attendees can witness, ask questions, and experience the feel or physical touch that is required in many of the processes. For instance many just use a torque wrench to tighten down the head. It was explained to me that it measures friction resistance and that may vary depending on the fastener material and condition so in addition a degree wheel is used in a specific way. The touch and feel it takes under direct supervision is much different than reading from a book. Then there is the feed back of the tech leader as "no that's not right take it apart and do it again". For the owner of the car He gets free labor and 1st class repair. The attendees acquire knowledge and 1st hand experience through repetitive action. Well almost free labor, it is customary for the project owner to provide food and beverages. So for a multi-day top and bottom end engine build it is about 6-8 pizza's and beverages maybe more depending on the size of attendees. There are also times when many cars gather for a work session and people are free to jump from one work area to another as their interests dictate. Might be one person doing brakes/suspension and others doing electrical to body work. All depends on the subject of the day.

Sanj and Traivs would probably be great tech leaders in their home areas and local clubs

Anyway that what a tech session is
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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Cal, how long (in total) are the engine rebuilding sessions? X # of sessions a couple hours each?

'Cause there is a LOT to the process. Tim has written up a lot of the stuff he does :bow: :bow: :bow: and it is all in the Files section of the TurboEsprit mail list on Yahoo. :clap:

Also it's nice to have a knowledgeable person there (like Mike or Tim) that can look at a part and say "you don't need to replace that, it's fine" or "make sure you tickle the gurlywumpus before reinstalling that".


Once I've done a procedure I'm always willing to help another owner. I've done suspension swaps 3X and I'm leading a "tech session" in Massachusetts when Type82 gets ready to do his Citroen tranny. (Tim was VERY beneficial to me when I rebuilt my trans, BTW):clap:


That said, it's always nice (and unfortunately, time consuming) when an interested observer can get some hands-on. Like, several times I called Tim and asked "Just how hard do I have to hit this synchronizer to move it into the proper position???":panic: I know that's how I usually learn (or remember) a procedure. If I'm just watching it doesn't make as much as an impression. :sad::sad:
 

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MAN! I wish someone did one here in DFW! I dont need anything major done <knock on wood> but would love to wrench with some other Esprit owners!
 

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Cal H
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982 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Cal, how long (in total) are the engine rebuilding sessions? X # of sessions a couple hours each?

'Cause there is a LOT to the process. Tim has written up a lot of the stuff he does :bow: :bow: :bow: and it is all in the Files section of the TurboEsprit mail list on Yahoo. :clap:

Also it's nice to have a knowledgeable person there (like Mike or Tim) that can look at a part and say "you don't need to replace that, it's fine" or "make sure you tickle the gurlywumpus before reinstalling that".


Once I've done a procedure I'm always willing to help another owner. I've done suspension swaps 3X and I'm leading a "tech session" in Massachusetts when Type82 gets ready to do his Citroen tranny. (Tim was VERY beneficial to me when I rebuilt my trans, BTW):clap:


That said, it's always nice (and unfortunately, time consuming) when an interested observer can get some hands-on. Like, several times I called Tim and asked "Just how hard do I have to hit this synchronizer to move it into the proper position???":panic: I know that's how I usually learn (or remember) a procedure. If I'm just watching it doesn't make as much as an impression. :sad::sad:
The last tech session lasted somewhere around 6-7 hours and started with a bare block. Sometimes it lasts a little longer. I really don't keep exact time as we just keep going till the lead calls it off for the day. There were 4 in attendance plus Tim and Mike as tech leads. We began with installation of the bearing and crank with proper placement of the bearings and how they work and fail. Proper use of custom made seal alignment tools. The oil pick up and how critical it was for a proper seal on the pick up. They explain it in simple terms like sucking on a soda straw that has a hole that bleeds air. Don't want that to happen to the oil. Proper seating of the liners into the block. Assembly of the conrods and pistons into the cyl. Installation of the sump. Head installation to the block with proper shims and tappets and tighten down cam carriers. If you go to every single session it will consume 4-5 days spread out over several weeks till the engine fires up. But if you were to absorb everything you would be one heck of a 900 series tech at the end. I think that was 5th or 6th engine for me at various parts of assembly so I will keep going to future sessions as time permits. Sessions are segmented so some opt to go to a particular session to focus on areas that pertains to them. Some go to as many as they can , others not so many. Its up to the individual.

Anyone can read a book on how to do things. It's another matter when someone in the know says OK good job or that's screwed up take it apart and do it again. Or hey this a better way then the manual. Like being tutored by a master chef instead of using a cookbook.

Atwell, You da man on the east coast with the title lead tech for the C box and suspension. We must learn as much as we can. Tim is in good health but he scared us a while back when he checked into the hospital. Not only is he a very good friend but is a pillar of the MN Lotus community. Most Saturdays we see each other for breakfast and have a nice car chat. It nice when one finds someone to talk car with. There are many unable to do so or understand. Every once in while people will listen in to our conversation and have this glazed WTF look on their face.
 

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The tech sessions are led my Tim Engel and Mike Griese The attention to detail is amazing. The use of the minimal amount of sealants used. Instead of a bead sealant that gets squeezed out into a mirco thin layer sandwiched between mating surfaces they use paint brushes and blotter up the excess on the surfaces before assembly as that is all that is left over from a bead of sealant anyway. It covered the design theory of the 900 series engine, failure points, mistakes to be avoided and the use of custom the made alignment and seating tools. Of the type destroyed by Fedex while on loan to Jim Knowles our southern most LOON as I refer to him.

Its weird as you are the 2nd person yesterday to mention needing a 900 series engine tech session. The 1st was from my next door neighbor who does not even have an Esprit. Apparently he wants to learn about the Esprit engine to help out his buddy back home who I think is a gulf war vet with some sort of physical disability. I'm led to believe his buddy is a good guy but not very good mechanically. My neighbor keeps saying "I'll probably have to go back home and help him fix his engine" as the car is just sitting there after he blew up his engine. "He can barely keep his Buell running much less an Esprit." My neighbor said he went as far as lending him a trailer that he keeps at his moms house so he could pick up the Esprit from the side of the road and get it home where it has just been sitting. So I guess we will just have to help out the Gulf war vet with the disability get his car back on the road.
Well, let Lee know that my Buell is running just fine, did 200 miles on it Saturday.

The Lotus has indeed been neglected at the moment, just to many other things going on.

I'm an aircraft mechanic, and rather good mechanically.

The engine isn't blown, it spun a bearing I believe.

I'm not disabled, I just don't get around quite as well as I did before Iraq/Afghanistan.

It's not his trailer, it's his mom and dad's trailer.

Small world.

Tell Lee to bring down more of that coffee beer too.
 

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Cal H
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982 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, let Lee know that my Buell is running just fine, did 200 miles on it Saturday.

The Lotus has indeed been neglected at the moment, just to many other things going on.

I'm an aircraft mechanic, and rather good mechanically.

The engine isn't blown, it spun a bearing I believe.

I'm not disabled, I just don't get around quite as well as I did before Iraq/Afghanistan.

It's not his trailer, it's his mom and dad's trailer.

Small world.

Tell Lee to bring down more of that coffee beer too.
rotflrotflrotflrotfl

Lee sends his greeting. Here he is next to my car. He has a great sense of humor and likes a good gag. We just messing with you lol.
 

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I'll add my 2 cents in here... traveled up to LOON garage tech session from Alabama. Was not a wasted trip! As for LOG, have not been since it was at Barber and I am rapidly loosing even more interest personally. It seems to get further away from Lotus with regards to speakers and such every year...
 

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Premium Member
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Colorado

I have a lift and free standing Garage with good security and tools. If the Colorado Lotus owners are interested I would gladly dedicate the space and time for the group to work on cars... My knowledge is limited to Carb rebuilds, brake systems, and regular maintenance but am willing and wanting to learn more.

I feel our most knowledgeable guy is Travis and he has been more than willing to help out. But I also know he is a busy guy.

I love working on my cars and feel it would be a fun way to hang out with car guys..

Pic of my Garage
 

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I guess I'm late to the conversation. I just dropped into LotusTalk and noticed the thread.

Just to clarify, the LOON Tech Session isn't a class that repeats periodically. If someone has some repair to do, and wants to do it himself, then there are enough technical resources in the club who are willing to help them. Then if other's wish to attend and learn something along the way, they're welcome to attend and we call it a "Tech Session".

We've done that most often for rebuilding 907 / 910 engines, but we've also done it a number of times for rebuilding the Citroen transaxle, once for a UN-1 transaxle, and often for maintenance work like replacing timing belts, rebuilding brakes, rebuilding the steering rack, R&R'ing the radiator, or the ugly one, R&R'ing the fuel tanks.

For the last Tech Session, all the prep work took place over the Winter as the owner's time and check book could support. That included taking the crank to a machine shop for a polish and to have the pilot bearing (spigot bearing) bore modified to accept a ball bearing. But mostly it included all the tedious, time consuming work like cleaning, soda blasting, checking clearances, gapping rings, shimming valves, etc, etc.

With all the preliminaries finished in advance, the Tech Session Calvin talked about covered final engine assembly from bare block to complete. We talked about the work that was done in advance, and demonstrated some processes, but without the time consuming repetition. The engine ended the day still on the stand, so the rear main seal housing, flywheel and clutch were not installed.

This Summer, Mike G is planning to build-up a spare 910 for his '83 carb-turbo, so he was allowed to do much of the actual wrenching as a dress rehearsal. Stephen T spun a bearing in his SE, and plans to rebuild it himself; so he was there to learn about the process before actually doing it (we have his engine is apart and the crank & rods are at a machine shop, but he hasn't started the rebuild work yet).

On other occasions, we've included a larger group for the complete process from removal & tear-down through final assembly, install and start-up. In that case, it was a more hands-on process (work with supervision) that took place over a series of Saturdays, or weekends, spread over an extended period of time.

It takes longer to show people how to do something than it does to just dig in and get it done. So the approach we take depends upon how much time the owner is willing to devote to the rebuild. The longer, more involved projects usually take place over a Minnesota Winter when the car will be off the road for five months anyway. The amount of wrenching picks up over the Winter, and Summers are more for driving.

We have 'Drivers', 'Polishers', and 'Wrenchers', and mixes of all three. No one thinks twice when the drivers get a group together and head for the good roads; but how often do you hear of the other groups getting together. Well, here at the LOON, the 'Wrenchers' also get together regularly. Fixing something is as much of a club social event as driving some good roads.

I'm not sure why it's become such a common thing here in the LOON, but a non-event in many other areas. Wrenching is a great social activity, it helps owners who might not be able to handle the job alone, and teaches others how to take care of their cars.

Later,
Tim
 

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Cal H
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982 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Most LOON members can talk car and many know the Esprit and other Lotus cars well. To us wrenching parties are just as good as driving sessions. A driving session, that's good too. But that's another story.

This thread started partly as a set up by my next door neighbor from Oklahoma who is a very good friend of Barry (firefighter1c57). He wanted to mess with him a little and play a joke.
 

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We've done a few here in CO.

I helped a few guys with their timing belts, while others watched and learned.
We had one where we cut Johan's car into smaller pieces so he could make it wider;)

We used to have a group in Boulder who would all get together to get cars ready for track days, and teach the less experienced how. We did brake pad and fluid changes, clutch bleed, tech inspections... Those usually involved Lotus, Audi, BMW, and Porsche guys and girls.
 

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Cal H
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Colorado is pretty good. Johan was pretty good at the V8. A lot of good people have moved on. What ever happened to Johan's car? I guess Minnesota is stuck in a time warp. Sometimes it is difficult to think there are much faster cars out and about. Some with stability and traction control. I think many even shift by themselves. This might be the last generation to know how to drive a stick
 
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