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Putting the main front pivot bush in is fine (poly Non-Genuine), until you push the steel inner tube in, there's just a fraction too much material and so the push then pushes out of the lower link by 1-2mm meaning it's a pig to get into the subframe. I ended up filing the steel washers to form a taper and so drive them in between the bush and the subframe tubes. That was still very difficult and involved tapered punches, a slotted punch (slot means you can drive a washer in on its edge) and finally a 6inch bolt with the end filed to form a taper.
The poly bushes for the top wishbones (first time I've used these as they were not available in this form before), seem OK. Again, a small amount of excess poly material as they bulge out of the upper arms once the inner tube is in place but as they are not limited by the installation in the same way that the lower one is it's OK.
Then comes the damper (OK, I'd put the spring on, tried and realised the damper will not go in the way the OEM ones come out, so the spring was removed again), I had to do the usual trick of threaded bar and a pair of nuts to expand the lower link at the point the damper secures to it. Even having opened it up 1mm-2mm I still had to taper an edge of the spacer and then drive it into place with a punch and big hammer (the bolt with a taper came into play again).
annoying thing with the dampers, the adjuster may contact with the spring. If it does it will come off.
The ARB is not back in place, and it's not for want of effort but I gave up and decided it's much easier once the other side mount is removed and I can fit the ARB to both sides at the same time then secure in place with the new poly ARB mounting bushes.
What's noteworthy about this is not what they are doing but how long it is after the recall was issued but they are still happy to do it. There's no requirement for a manufacturer to undertake recall work on an unlimited time-scale they can easily argue the customer has taken many years longer than normal to respond, the car has no issues despite being 25+ years old so really doesn't need the work, but they are doing it with no hesitation.
Thank you Lotus Cars
Thank you Stratton Motor Comany.
Now to book the car in.
We hope to have a fully-packed three days with final details to follow, however we wanted to start the ball rolling with extending an open invitation to anyone wishing to visit and join us in the CELEBRATIONS whether you be a classic Lotus driver, past owner, future customer, current enthusiast or just want to have a snoop…. EVERYONE IS WELCOME!
At the Snows Motor Group we cannot claim to know all there is to know about Lotus but what we lack in experience we will make up in hard work, enthusiasm and our commitment to be the best Lotus dealership in the whole of the UK. We appreciate that we will not be able to get to where we want to be without great customers supporting us along the way and that is what we AND THE BRAND need right now - SO PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD and continue with highlighting GOOD NEWS about our favourite BRITISH car manufacturer to counter those that seem to wish for its demise!
If you intend to attend, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with an idea of numbers in your party and which day you will be coming to help us gauge numbers.
Thanks for reading and we hope to see you in May!
The Team at Snows Lotus Hedge End
PS – New Exige S will be on site over the next few days and on the road, we hope, on 2nd April.
Here you can see the result of a self straightened brake line.
I found an instruction on a webpage of how to build a little straightener...
You will need:
- 5 small rope pulleys (Dia ~30 or 40mm)
- 1 L-shaped iron (∼40cm in length)
- 5 smaller bolts, locknuts and washer as axle for the pulleys
- 2 bigger bolts, locknuts and washers to stick the irons together
⇨ in total around GBP 12.-
Make two L-shaped iron pieces and cut it in ∼20cm length each.
Then you have to drill two bigger holes to clamp the irons together and 3 smaller holes on one side and 2 smaller holes one the other iron. These have to be perfectly aligned for the pulleys.
And this is the final little tool...and it works!!!
With two bolts you can now also adjust your tool for different brake pipe sizes.
This tool can be found to buy, - but you will have to pay astonishing USD 300.--
I have the engine disassembled and chassis 80% complete. I just placed a huge order from SJ today, so I'll have plenty to do soon. Also, I'm working on the electrical including relay upgrades. I'll get some updated pictures on here soon.-Mike
Car Drifting Day with Drift Limits at Bovingdon Airfield
I recently attended a car drifting instruction day with a firm called Drift Limits which took place at Bovingdon Airfield on 25th November 2012.
What is Drifting?
Drifting is a funny word as for me it conjurs up a gentle, pleasant, 'drifty' experience. In actuality, anyone who's ever lost control of the rear end of their car has drifted - and it's not normally a pleasant experience unless you happen to be Stirling Moss.
Drifting is a term that's been coined for the motorsport world where the driver intentionally loses traction of the rear wheels whilst still managing to control the car around bends and so on. These days Drifting is a fully fledged sport in about the same way that Dressage is to equine sports. In Drifting competitions points are awarded for the amount of smoke coming from the wheels, the angle of the wheels, audience reaction and sticking to predesigned course plans. It's all quite showy and rightly so as it's much more entertaining to watch a car hurtling around sideways with smoke bellowing from the wheels than in a straight line. Drifting to that standard is pie in the sky for me - for now at least; as it was for most of the punters who were with me and my friend on Sunday. On the menu for us was instruction in performing Handbrake Turns, J-Turns, Donuts, Linking Turns and there were hot-laps around the track afterwards for those that wanted them.
Here are the photos taken by the resident photographer on the day. In the end there were too many photos to load onto Flickr so I decided to make a showreel instead and took the liberty of borrowing some music from the Kings of Leon to make it a bit more interesting. :-)
I can't seem to post the video so here's the link
I personally feel it would've been better to have had video footage as you don't really get any real feel for the (superb lol!) driving from these stills - apart from the odd puff of smoke from the wheels you wouldn't really know I was drifting. The hosts said they were working on getting the video sorted out.
The Day's Drifting Itinerary First of all there was an introduction and we filled out our disclaimers then we were split into two groups and my group went off to do Handbrake Turns.
Most of us are already familiar with what these look like from movies like the Blues Brothers where Jake and Elwood do a neat handbrake turn to park their police car outside their old bandmates restaurant (brilliant scene!). We did them around a cone; first we were shown how to get the car up to about 25mph in first gear and when we reach the cone we would simultaneously apply handbrake, drop the cluch and lock the steering wheel at 180 degrees. It sounds easy but it was probably the hardest part of the day for me.
J-Turns are when you start off by reversing quickly and whip the car round 180 degrees and take off on the same trajectory but facing it head on. They were done by building up to 6000 revs in reverse (this is bloody quick) and when 6000 revs has been reached, dip the clutch and lock the steering wheel. When you've mastered that you learn to apply the footbrake at the last moment to stop the drift and take off in first gear, all preferably in one smooth movement. These were the best part of the day for me as I got the hang of them straight away and they also look great.
These were done around a small group of cones and the idea was to drive around them with the car as sideways as possible, (there's a lovely Donut in the promo video below). The idea is to put a 'hole' in your Donut, i.e. not just keep the front wheels still while the back of the car draws circles, that's easy. Instead you apply just enough throttle to lose traction in the rear wheels, start a slide and correct as you go around - quite tricky.
This is when you're navigating turns at different angles, sideways - and doing it all as smoothly as possible using just the throttle and oversteer. That's the theory anyway, the reality is there's a lot of steering correction to be done but I managed to get the car satisfyingly sideways. :-)
The cars we were driving were Mazda MX-5s - like all drifting cars they're rear wheel drive and have a nicely balanced weight ratio from the front to the back of the car to make drifting easier.
Learning how to control a car in a slide isn't a necessary skill to pass your driving test in the UK but it's par for the course in the more northerly countries where they have to deal with icy road conditions routinely. This probably goes some way to explaining why there are so many of these Nationals acting as instructors at the different drifting firms that've sprung up around the UK. If you're subscribed to Groupon or any of the other voucher sites you've probably seen these firms advertising 'drifting experiences'; which is initially how I came to hear about this firm 'Drift Limits' of http://www.driftlimits.co.uk. Here is their short promotional video which gives you a much better idea of what drifting really looks like in action.
Here's the link to Drift Limits video
Like the other firms in their niche Drift Limits offer beginners drifting events and appear to be comprised of a group of good natured young lads who're trying to make a living from their hobby. Bovingdon Airfield is used for a number of ventures these days (since it ceased operating as a proper airfield); apart from the occasional light aircraft there's a market each Saturday, (a bit naff apparently) and there was an under 16's driving day going on elsewhere on the site while we were there. The Drift Limits facility is run from a couple of Portakabins which may or may not be used for other things on other days, I don't know. I do know however that there's not a female amongst them as there is no electricity to boil a kettle "too expensive", the refreshments (a source of much amusement to my friend Liz) were a packet of Digestive biscuits, a family bag of Hula-Hoops, some Ribena and a big bottle of water. Budgets didn't run to a kettle but with stereo-typical male logic in force a whole room of one Portakabin was devoted to housing a full sized pool table and nothing else. I say all this in a friendly way however as these little quirks were more charming than anything; I politely suggest they might like to pay a bit more attention to these things as they grow their business - and the loo facilities!
For most of us these experiences are a fun day out with the advantage that we might learn to control a sliding car a bit better in future; for me it's that plus I've decided to pursue it as a bit of hobby, as such I've tested out the drifting facilities at Brands Hatch (currently run by Allstars) and I'm off to Santa Pod in a few weeks to sample theirs. In my opinion Bovingdon scores over Brands driving-wise as there's more space to do more manoeuvres, (the Brands Hatch drifting school operates out of a couple of converted parking lots, albeit large ones).
To sum up my experience with Drift Limits: the instruction was good, the driving time in the cars was good too with not too much waiting around and the staff were friendly. All in all, an amazingly fun day, lovely staff, great value and I'll definitely go again.
Very happy with all but the binnacle - not trimmed far enough in. To be fair, he didnt have the instruments or details of how far back it should go although he did have the original to copy.
This has been solved by fitting some alcantara I had left over from the sun-visor trim (given to me by Colin Parry - 'Choppa') After rough shaping, the edge was folded and sewn making a very neat looking thing. That now covers the top and bottom of the binnacle inside. Pics not good its all just black and doesnt show very well but for the record,
Most of the interior refit went well apart from the fact that the old velor was squashed over 25 years or
so whereas the leather wasnt, hence a rather tight fit in places.
The gearshift gaiter was also not to my liking where it pokes through the fascia. This was solved by using a strip of scrap leather, creating a sewn bead and gluing it around the aperture.
Now just awaiting seats and door cards.
Do you happen to be on this forum? If not, does anyone know this person / car? I would love to know more about the build!
Source: Rotary Elite
Not so long ago, we were approached by a gentleman who is really picky with his cars. He had with him a Lotus Esprit S4 V8 Twin Turbo that he had had some trouble with. Basically... the car (engine) did what it wanted to do rather than what the owner told it to do. Boost was irregular, idle was rough and high and it didn't really feel "crisp". The goal was to get decent amount of power out of the engine, but it needed to be reliable and docile.
We put together a plan and went into production mode.
The engine had been upgraded with forged internals and put together with race specifications. It would cope with more power and most importantly, have good margins to the normal daily power output. The gearbox which normally is the weak link in these cars had also been upgraded massively. This beast could take on almost anything now. And when it did, the driveshafts broke, so they were also upgraded
We knew that the turbo pressure hadn't been stable. The engine management was still stock and it wouldn't be able to make the most out of the engine. We decided to replace it with a Haltech PS2000 stand-alone ECU. The boost control was also taken over by the Haltech ECU as well as all the other stock sensors.
The stock injectors are not big enough for any kind of power. Even from the factory, these engines came with two additional injectors in the intake manifold to give enough fuel for the engine. We don't like those type of solutions, we want the fuel to be injected as close to the combustion chamber as possible. We removed the stock injectors and installed 8 new technology injectors with extremely fast response times, making them perfect for idle and normal daily driving. To make sure that enough fuel was supplied, we dropped in two 300L/h in-tank fuel pumps in the OEM fuel pump position inside the tank.
The turbos were not in the best condition so we decided to upgrade them to a set of Garret T28 dual ball bearing turbos. The installation is tricky since it is very limited space. That limited space also adds to the poor intake, turbo piping and exhaust system flow from factory. There's a lot needed to be done here. We made the custom mounts and then built the rest of the airways to- and from the turbo's in order to create the best possible flow.
Due to the limited amount of space, the turbos' had to be mounted lower than the oil level in the oil sump. That meant that we had to build a complete oil scavenge system that pumps the oil away from underneath the turbo's and route them in a proper way back to the engine, as well as incorporating an oil breather system.
These engines don't have any sort cooling of the pressurized air coming out of the turbo's and into the engine. In this car, the air is directed back to the boot where a dual sided water-to-air cooling system cools the air down to an acceptable level, before being sent into the intake manifold. Here have have also made sure that the air flow and pressure is adequately stabilized between the two engine banks, in order to get an even load on both halves of the engine.
Finally, all the mechanical work had been done. Now it was time to do create the best possible engine calibration with the Haltech ECU. The calibration (tuning) was made in such a way that the car should be able to be used in any situation, from normal driving to the supermarket for groceries, as well as intensive time-attack laps on the track, without any adjustments, buttons, knobs or other tricks. It just does what you want, when you want it. A lot of effort was also put into creating the best throttle response.
In spite of all the power modifications, during normal driving, the engine was running with better fuel economy compared to factory. The new injectors make sure that precise fuel amount is injected as requested and the Haltech ECU works with the factory O2-sensors in order to automatically reach optimal fuel mixture, regardless of ambient air temperature, ambient/barometric air pressure, engine temperature etc...
Boost pressure has been programmed to follow the throttle pedal with a linear character. Despite other high performance turbo cars, where turbo pressure comes "all in", here, if your driving with part throttle in a turn, you will only get the equivalent amount of boost as that part of the throttle represents. This gives a great driving experience and keeps the driver in control of the situation. Racers know that the key to a fast time at the track is a car that is easy to handle and that follows your commands to the smallest detail.
After tuning, at a modest 0,8bar of boost and pump gas (petrol), the engine made 500hp and 650Nm of torque. If needed, there is easily an additional 100hp to gain with more boost, and if that's not enough, change the petrol to E85 and then there's yet some more
The owners first impression:
Car has never run this smoothe, had this crisp throttle response and it's really fast!
I agree, this is a really nice daily driver now and LOTS of fun!
Another good weekend, strip down progressing slowly but steadily. Got two vacuum pods from The Nut - thank you John - which is great. Not only was one actually a block of wood, the other one split in half from rust when I took it out.
Rad fans, radiator and condenser out today. Radiator in surprisingly good nick - considering a lot of the car - would undobtedly benifit fom recoring. But the condenser literally fell to powder in my hands. And that is why I ask the question...
Many people dismiss the Lotuis Elite A/C as poor at best, most successful at using precious BHP from an already old engine. So do I restore the A/C (it's a 503, should have had it) or rebuild without it? What are the implications of not rebuilding with it - I already don't have a compresser and the pipework is kaput. My big question is how would this impact on the heating system, if at all?
Cutting out some very decent foam for the tanks.
Lagging the inlet tracts to try and reduce heat soak. This is the titanium wrap from Agriemach.
More Agriemach stuff. Exhaust manifold and turbo wrapping using their exhaust blanket. Lods left, so will use to cover the cats once I have the sports cats.
New turbo lines installed. Thanks PNM, hope I don't need to trouble you again too soon....
So, all assembled at last. Cleaned up the plenum and cam covers. New engine mounts and gearbox mounts installed and ready. £275+ vat for all the mounts and bolts. This had better be good. And the ammount of new nuts and bolts for the engine and also the rear suspension.
As many of you will know, I decided to withdraw from Esprit projects and engine builds in order to give time back to my family.
The restoration of S300 #25 is now in the talented and capable hands of Dave Lisle (aka CHANGES). I would expect Dave to start a dedicated Blog for this project soon and wish him the best of British in bringing this great car back to a fantastic factory-fresh condition.
I thought I would try and document the events during the restoration and attach a few photos as we go.
Please be patient, as this is the first time I have tried this ‘Blogging’ process.
On initial inspection it would appear that there are a number of items that will need replacing and some that are missing!!
The chassis and most of the mechanical items have just come back from being powder coated and after a two visits to Lotusbits I have started to re-assemble the chassis and all of the running gear.
Engine and Gearbox have been sent away to be inspected and in the case of the engine upgraded to ‘HC’ spec. Did not realize that by doing this there are a number of changes that will need to be made, namely Oil Cooler now needs to be at the front of the car not next to the engine, so new oil pipes are the next requirement!
Finished running the new brake lines, trial fitting the front suspension and ARB today so time for a rest.
Have attached some photos (if I get the process right!)
Took me ages (and a little bit of blood) to get the hub carrier to radius arm bolt/stud out. Going to clean up all the bits, fit new U/Js and bushes and reassemble, hopefully later this week.
Chassis doesn't look too bad........
Did a lot of work on the car. This is the photo of the colour.
This car was the first 2.2 turbo car to be built after the Essex.
It is also the first one to have the Copper fire Read colour.
This roof radio is still missing.
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