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Hi, I have a 91' SE turbo Esprit.

It has 52k miles on it, but you wouldn't know it, in a bad way.
Car has not been properly maintained and had quite a loud knock in it when I purchased it. i have since gone under the covers and seen considerable camshaft warp and decided most of the uppper end and probably piston rings will need replacing. I do not have deep pockets, and hope I havn't got into something I cant get out of. I am inquiring to see where would be the best place to purchase parts, i am open to aftermarket (how extensive of a list for these there is I have no idea).
I also wouldn't mind adding some power if it wouldn't jack my rebuild price up extensively.

Please help I am a 21 year old full time student that probably shouldn't of taken on this project, but now that I have, could really use some help from the community.

thanks.
 

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Sounds like this one is going to break you. The parts are not cheap. And almost nothing on the Esprit is easy to fix.

JAE is the most common place to buy parts if you want to price it out -- fasten your seat belt and prepare for impact.

A 21 year old (same age as you), beat-to-death, British exotic is not one to own on a student's budget.

Maybe you can get out now for the same price you got in if you're lucky. Then go get a Civic and start modding that for pennies compared to the Esprit. That's what college students are suppose to do. Plasti-dip will be your best friend with the Civic.

Good luck. I haven't forgotten what it was like to be a poor college student, and I spent all my money on my 75 Ford and parts were dirt cheap compared to the Esprit. You have strayed too far off the path, I am afraid to say.
 

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Hi, I have a 91' SE turbo Esprit.
[snip]I do not have deep pockets, and hope I havn't got into something I cant get out of. [snip]

Please help I am a 21 year old full time student that probably shouldn't of taken on this project,[snip]
If this is the 91 SE that sold on eBay for $9400, I highly recommend you sell it ASAP, even at a loss. I know it sounds brutal, but it sounds like you know deep down you may have bitten off too much.

That eBay ad (8 previous owners, numerous 'minor' issues, high turnover ownership in last 5 years) reeked of very expensive issues. There's alot of information on this forum that would help you.

But as a 21 year old full time college student, the cost of the expected repairs will take your breath away.

My 2 cents - good luck.
 

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If it's this one:
Lotus : Esprit Turbo SE Coupe 2-Door in Lotus | eBay Motors

I would sue him to take it back. He doesn't disclose any engine issues and states it's in solid condition mechanically.

But from what you found, it probably needs a full engine rebuild. Some have spent north of $10K on that effort. And you would probably be only half way there money and effort wise to fix the rest of the car.

Just the issue with the head lights not popping up would probably break your non-existent bank roll. He says it's the bushings, but it's probably the hard-to-source controller.
 

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When I was almost 20 and in college, I came oh so close to Buying a black/tan 89se. This was in the spring of 92. I lusted after it so badly. Somewhere deep down inside, i knew that owning an exotic British sports car as my only source of transportation as a college student probably wasn't a wise decision. It was a hard decision to make to not buy that car......
 

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If you could afford to buy the car, that 89 would probably have done you ok since it was only 3 to 4 years old at that point.

21 years old for ANY car is a whole different ball game. Then when you factor in British, then exotic, then neglected and abused, you have to chalk buying one as a poor college student before doing any research as just making a rookie mistake.

Give it back or sell it to someone with the means, stay in school, say no to drugs, and come back when you have a good paying job and join the fun with us after buying a better quality Esprit than this basket case.
 

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Just the issue with the head lights not popping up would probably break your non-existent bank roll. He says it's the bushings, but it's probably the hard-to-source controller.
Actually thats one of the easiest and cheapest parts to get. Barring the craptastic Lotus brackets, the headlights are cheap to fix. The motors and controller are GM, from 87-up Firebird, 87-88 Fiero, and 87-up Corvette. Even if you have to buy a motor, reman ones are $50, and the modules RARELY go bad.

As for whether he's in over his head on an engine rebuild, thats another story...it could also be piston slap from the bores being ovalled. This is a good possibility if the car was driven mostly short distances and not warmed up well.
 

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Have you actually tried those modules yourself in your Esprit? Everything I have read shows that they WON'T work in an Esprit. They look exactly the same, but they don't work. Lot's of posts about that on the TheLotusForum.
 

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As SleekGT said 'Get out now' and cut your loss. You could try and sue the owner but that takes money, now since fleabay uses Pay Pal is there any recourse you could get from them?

I just did a lot of work on my '87 motor and spent $1500. just for parts through suppliers. If I had to pay someone to do the work the labor costs would have been in the thousands.
Fortunately since I've turned wrenches for 25 years I could do all of the work myself instead of paying $100. an hour for a mechanic with no Lotus experience to gain knowledge. These cars need a lot of patience to work on and for those with no experience will burn hourly time just trying to figure out how to do a job... I see these questions asked all of the time on the forum.
Parts can be difficult to get at and a lot of it requires using the 'feel' method for bolts because you cannot see where they go. That can become a real PITA and burn up a lot of time especially if you don't have the tools to make the job easier.

Sorry to be a 'Debbie Downer' but those are some facts of Esprit ownership.
 

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There are a couple of retired guys on here that rebuild basket case Esprits for fun.

Maybe you could sell it to them? I can't remember who they are, but I am sure they will see this thread.
 

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There are a couple of retired guys on here that rebuild basket case Esprits for fun.

Maybe you could sell it to them? I can't remember who they are, but I am sure they will see this thread.


This sounds like a good idea. From the little information you shared it really seems like you shouldn't own a Esprit let alone one that needs work. Focus on school!



BTW stop posting in every thread I read! Every time I see your avatar I want a newer red Esprit!
 

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There are a couple of retired guys on here that rebuild basket case Esprits for fun.

Maybe you could sell it to them? I can't remember who they are, but I am sure they will see this thread.
Never seen that except for the DeLorean guy. It's required knowledge to know you can never 'reep' the dollar amount invested in a car if you decide to sell. It's a buyer's market and the car is only worth what someone is willing to pay. From the sound of this car it's beat to death and going to cost way more than it is worth to make it right unless you can find a buyer with really 'deep pockets' so don't sugar coat the idea anyone wants this.

I've worked in the vintage restoration field and almost every car ends up at a loss to the owner. They have more money invested in the restoration than what it's worth. :shrug:
 

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Never seen that except for the DeLorean guy. It's required knowledge to know you can never 'reep' the dollar amount invested in a car if you decide to sell. It's a buyer's market and the car is only worth what someone is willing to pay. From the sound of this car it's beat to death and going to cost way more than it is worth to make it right unless you can find a buyer with really 'deep pockets' so don't sugar coat the idea anyone wants this.

I've worked in the vintage restoration field and almost every car ends up at a loss to the owner. They have more money invested in the restoration than what it's worth. :shrug:
Maybe Don Butler at Union Jack:

UNION JACK EXOTICS - Service for Lotus

If he isn't looking for a personal project, he may have a customer who is interested. Can also give you a really, really good idea of what it would take to bring your car up to snuff.

I believe he owned the Essex Turbo Esprit that showed up here last year, posted up by the guy who bought it from Don. Don owned it for many years.
 

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It may not matter. It seems that the original poster has gone into a state of shock and may not recover.
 

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Hi, I have a 91' SE turbo Esprit.

It has 52k miles on it, but you wouldn't know it, in a bad way.
Car has not been properly maintained and had quite a loud knock in it when I purchased it. i have since gone under the covers and seen considerable camshaft warp and decided most of the uppper end and probably piston rings will need replacing. I do not have deep pockets, and hope I havn't got into something I cant get out of. I am inquiring to see where would be the best place to purchase parts, i am open to aftermarket (how extensive of a list for these there is I have no idea).
I also wouldn't mind adding some power if it wouldn't jack my rebuild price up extensively.

Please help I am a 21 year old full time student that probably shouldn't of taken on this project, but now that I have, could really use some help from the community.

thanks.
Unfortunately I can't be of much help, but there are several Esprit owners in our St Louis Lotus club (STALLS), and I'm sure one or more would be able to help you out with info/advice. Let me know if you'd like to get in touch with them.
 

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Have you actually tried those modules yourself in your Esprit? Everything I have read shows that they WON'T work in an Esprit. They look exactly the same, but they don't work. Lot's of posts about that on the TheLotusForum.
Actually yes...I was attempting to diagnose a motor issue with my 93.5. Having owned a number of Firebirds and Fieros over the years I had a few of the modules available to try out. The OE "Lotus" GM part number is no longer available and there is a substitute GM number. There are two different GM part numbers, one will work, and the other will not. I believe that the one that worked for me was the 16525685 number. As it turned out there was an issue with the motor windings so now I have a firebird motor in there. Once I determined that the module wasn't at fault, I swapped the "Lotus" one back in.

GM 16525685
Buick: Reatta (1990-1992)
Chevrolet: Corvette (1997-2004)
Olds: Toronado/Trofeo (1990-1992)
Pontiac: Firebird (1990-2002),
Sunbird (1990-1994)

GM 16505400
Buick: Reatta (1988-1989)
Chevrolet: Corvette (1987-1996)
Pontiac: Fiero (1987-88), Firebird (1987-89), Sunbird (1988-89)

One of the reasons I bought the Esprit that I did was that I know how GM thinks...Lotus didn't have the money and GM didn't let them spend the money re-engineering parts that GM had access to in their vast parts bin. Quantities of scale make the parts less expensive (and *possibly* better engineered) for all of us.
 
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