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Car Blogs

Chord 2Qute DAC Now On Demo!

Posted by Vipers in Vipers' Lotus and HiFi Blog, 21 April 2015 · 49 views

Hi All,

I know a lot of people have been waiting for us to get the new Chord Electronics 2Qute Dac on demo so I just wanted to scribble a quick post to say that our demo model has just arrived.

For those who don’t know this is basically a Hugo in a Chordette chassis without the internal battery, so it runs of the mains, and no headphone output but still offers that award winning Hugo sound.

This really is the perfect DAC for home HiFi’s as well as the heart to a top end headphone rig, used as a Dac into something like a Stax rig or a Trilogy amp will really be something quite special, that is the beauty of the 2Qute, it is so versatile, and priced at £995 it won’t break the bank, so please feel free to get in touch to arrange a demo.


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Air conditioning

Posted by Neil Potter in Neil's Esprit Turbo refurb, 03 April 2015 · 37 views

This might turn out to be a protracted blog, but here's the story so far...

The air con on the car has not worked in my ownership, which is the only mechanical bit which doesn't work. The receipts file shows a new condenser was fitted in 1997, and was converted to R134a at the same time, but that's a long time ago. I had a specialist look at it, and was told that the system was holding a vacuum (slightly surprisingly) and the electric part of it was working fine, but the compressor was duff and needed to be replaced.

Part 1 - compressor replacement


I managed to source a second hand Sanden SD508 compressor from Ebay, for a bargainous £45. It came off a Saab 900 apparently. The compressor has an interchangeable backplate, where the hoses go in, and I was aware that the Sanden I had bought had two different hose ports, so the backplate from my old compressor would need to be recycled onto the new compressor.

That necessitated new gaskets. I managed to get a gasket set from a company in Australia, but it took a bit of research. I think if you are able to buy the backplate with the flanged connections (as required to fit our hoses) from a Sanden dealer you may well get the required gasket included.

IMPORTANT... You should note that the compressor actually has two different gaskets, one either side of the reed valve plate which sits between the backplate and the compressor body. If, when you are trying to separate the backplate from the body, you end up separating the backplate and reed valve plate from the body (as I did) you'll need both gaskets. If you do ever have to do this job, take great care to keep the valve plate attached to the body as gasket removal on these compressors is an ENORMOUS pain in the bottom.


Remove the hoses before you remove the compressor, and you'll probably need lots of WD40 to free them off. My system was empty, but if yours isn't I think it's a bit illegal, and a bit dangerous, to remove the hoses and release the gas.

Actually getting to the compressor isn't too hard, but I had already removed my alternator for rebuild. There are two bolts fairly easy to get to from the top, then another two you can get at below. You need to remove the belt tensioner to get at the final bolt.

Fun with gaskets

If you need to replace the backplate, once you've got the compressor off, you will put it in a vice and start hammering away to get the backplate off. Use a chisel or something, carefully, to try and prise it. It'll be stuck like concrete.

When you've got it off, you may well be faced with lots of old, gloopy, brown oil. Drain it out of the compressor body via the drain plug, and clean up the face of the reed valve plate before trying to get rid of the gasket material.

Gasket scrapers were next to useless in this task. I ended up using a dremel sanding disk, got through about 6 discs for each surface. A very time consuming job, and not ideal as you'll remove some of the metal from the surface. I then cleaned up the surfaces with some fine wet and dry paper. If you've unintentionally split the reed valve plate from the body, you'll have up to four sufaces to clean up before reassembly...

Use some PAG46 oil to lubricate the gaskets and surfaces before you reassemble.

When bolting up the backplate, check the interweb for the useful Sanden SD series service guide PDF. This specifies the torque settings on the bolts, which are 14 ft lbs intially, then 24-27 ft lbs for final.

More fun, this time with pulleys

Around about this point, I noticed that the pulley on the new compressor was different to the old one, to the extent it wouldn't work in the Esprit. The Esprit one has two grooves, whereas the Saab one has one groove at a different distance from the compressor body.

This isn't too bad to sort. You'll have to:

- use some bolts in the 3 threaded holes on the clutch plate, in order to hold the pulley steady and allow you to remove the retaining nut
- prise off the clutch plate (I used a small bearing puller on the bolts I'd put into the threaded holes)
- use circlip pliers to remove two circlips holding the pulley in place against the bearing (one "outty" around the compressor shaft and one "inny" against the pulley on top of the bearing outer race)
- use a largish bearing puller to remove the pulley and the bearing

I swapped the bearing from the Saab pulley to the Lotus one as it felt a lot smoother.

Then do the reverse of all this to get it back together again!

I think it's probably wise to install oil in your "new" compressor before reinstall, as the drain/filler hole is at 90 degrees to the vertical on the Esprit install. As I don't know the right oil I should be using, I'm leaving that to my specialist to install in situ.

One Esprit-ready compressor, ready for action.

Fitting it back in the car is pretty straightforward, but it probably helps to have someone hold it while you start securing bolts.

Fuel tanks finally done

Posted by vintaylor in vintaylor's Blog, 17 March 2015 · 59 views

Had a set of custom alloy fuel tanks made up.

I had the engineer make them slightly smaller to make the job of ever needing to get them back out much easier.

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Very happy with the result and one step forward in the restoration progress :)

2 wires engine bay

Posted by john genders in john genders' Blog, 13 March 2015 · 56 views

hi guys looking for a bit of help as I cant remember, 1985 lotus excel I have 2 wires running along the firewall to the passengers side I have the water bottle connector block that's straight forward but I have 2 other wires as well any suggestions were they go many thanks

lotus excel

Posted by john genders in john genders' Blog, 09 March 2015 · 43 views

hi guys shot in the dark any one near north wales that owns an excel need to have a look at an engine bay memory not to good any help would be appreciated

Suspension off

Posted by DaveyT in DaveyT's Blog, 26 February 2015 · 75 views

Well the goals for this session were:
1) to assess the broken exhaust studs in the cylinder head and figure out how to make a jig to drill those out and repairing replace them and then
2) if possible to get the suspension components from all four corners taken off ready to sandblasting and coating with epoxy.

The 40 quid engine stand from eBay worked perfectly with the engine fairly well balanced on the mounting plate,a little bit top-heavy maybe, but it will certainly make the job of drilling out the studs and awful lot easier. I will possibly be able to adjust so that the exhaust flange face is perfectly horizontal allowing pillar drill access rather than using pistol drill to drill out those studs.
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The rear springs look perfectly okay, nice and straight albeit with a fair bit of surface rust, but that should come off with a good blasting. rear shocks again have quite a lot of surface rust but seem perfectly serviceable so they will go back on after refurb. everything obviously will be greased up and I'll know what I'm doing next time so I think it's going back on the road with all the original parts initially. It can then be tested against a properly set up car so that we can see how much difference it makes and whether it warrants replacing any more of the suspension bushes. anything that is obviously worn will be replaced ..such being the case with the ARB bushes at the front.
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The front-end was altogether more of a pig to take apart than the rear. the upper suspension wishbone bolt actually had to come out through the body of the car...there is a thread on here ( search "upper wishbone")and I think Buddsy managed to do it without going through the body his 85 model, but as the picture here shows
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there is no way that bolt was going to come out towards the front of the car, the bolt end is tight up,to the body even at this point... that meant taking out the carpet from the interior and effectively punching through a big mastic patch which would have been applied after torquing up the suspension wishbone bolts to stop water ingress.
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Above shows the bolt end ready to be withdrawn.
This of course means I now have to replace the carpet as well which wasn't on the schedule for now, but there we go...

Having been on my own DPO while the car was on the road the trunnions were worrying me, so they had to come off. generally the suspension bolts came out fairly easily, but the trunnion bolts had seized within the bushes so we actually had to grind through the trunnions, which was a shame because ultimately the grease was still nice and soft, and had they not had to come off they would have been perfectly serviceable, so...another 40 quid to replace the trunnions.

Also, the front spring weren't as good as the rears:
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Is there too much sag in these?

As for the bushes throughout, the antiroll bar end bushes were definitely passed their best so will be replaced, and so all ARB bushes will go PU, but most of the rear suspension link bushes look perfectly serviceable, no obvious splits or tears in all except one, and that's on the exterior flange so I need to confirm whether that needs replacing at this point or not.

Saw an episode of wheeler-dealers where Ed actually used engine lifting straps with the ratchet handles as spring compressors which I thought was a remarkably good idea. didn't have to do that while the shocks were coming off but we did employ that particular method for taking out the antiroll bar, strapping it from one end to the other
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and that made things an awful lot easier, so going back in, that method will be employed again. I can see also it being useful for pulling the antiroll bar up to the centre mounting points on the chassis.

Stripped back end:
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I now have a workshop full of suspension bits and brake calipers ready for overhaul/ sanding before the next planned visit towards the end of April, and a blasting tank (£63 ebay jobbie) due to arrive Friday.
So overall a successful 630 mile round trip to visit the Esprit this time.

Almost April now and 50% of parts grit blasted awaiting re-coating. Spring, arms,and brake componemts came up well, shocks a bit of a cow to clean properly - ended up using a twisted wire brush mounted to the grinder for the first stage. Wishbones still to do, and lower arms to be steam cleaned as these are galvanised, then its on to the painting stage.

Doing it all at home with a small blasting tank, 80 mesh alox from machine mart, and a (too) small compressor. Time consuming, but time is something i have enough of!

2000 Esprit

Posted by boondock in boondock's Blog, 28 January 2015 · 65 views

2000 V 8 Twin Turbo..

34000 miles

Manual 5 Speed//////

For some reason......Clutch in,, I cannot achieve reverse??????

Is this a common issue?

Power Antenna Wiring

Posted by MacLotus1 in MacLotus1's Blog, 28 December 2014 · 77 views

Power Antenna Wiring Hello everyone! I would like to know if anyone has a power antenna wiring diagram or wire color code chart for an 1988 Esprit Turbo. I am attempting to see if this one works or not so I am trying to locate the power on and up wire that is connect to the antenna. I have the blue one coming from the after market stereo, just trying to find the connection. Someone else had the car and mad a mess of the wiring.

Accidentally found some Eclat Sprint wheels...(soooo lucky!)

Posted by LOTUSPOINT in LOTUSPOINT's Blog, 08 August 2014 · 170 views

As written in title, I found some of the most rare factory fitted Eclat wheels.
The problem was, the seller knew that too!

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Even though I had to buy them - and paid what he was asking for :huh:

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And now I' m able to give some new knowlege about these wheels...
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Road trip

Posted by jonny english in jonny english's Blog, 07 August 2014 · 140 views

Road trip 19 Hr drive, 5 day trip through the Canadian Rockies,!
Its amazing how much camping gear you can cram into an elise.

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excel restoration

Posted by john genders in john genders' Blog, 21 July 2014 · 155 views

so 21/7/2014 this is were I stand to date 3 rear brake pipes to fit then the body is going back on then its of to my mates paint booth which I borrowing for a few days for a full inside and out black basecoat and five coats of clear coat, followed by a trip to the upholsters for a full black leather interior in carpets and head liner

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noisy elise above 69mph

Posted by lola in lola's Blog, 16 July 2014 · 155 views

has anyone any idea what may cause chatter noise from under elise caused by chattering between the two floor pans, should these two be connected together in the middle?

3.15.14 Spring outing

Posted by v8vantage in v8vantage's Blog, 16 March 2014 · 221 views


The seasons have changed for the better and Spring is in the air with dry roads and glorious sunshine. What better day to give "Mario" his first outing this year. It was up early and on the road for a 180 mile round-trip to the cars and coffee get together in Portland. Every Saturday exotics/rare cars from around the area meet for an informal get together at a local coffee shop, it's become a regular fixture around the USA.


This was the first time I had done any distance on the new original shocks and boy does the car ride nicely. Tyres were set to 25 front and 33 rear, the result was a smooth ride and nice light steering. It also seemed to remove the last of the vibration I had all but eliminated last year. I'd also replaced the rear radius arm mounts as they were on their last legs. The left rear drive-shaft was checked for any defects as the right one had failed late in 2013.


The Seafoam fuel additive I put in the tanks at the end of Autumn worked a treat staibilising the 10% Ethanol blended gas and there was no hesitation or rough running during the trip. All the work done over the winter was fruitful and 136S ran effortlessly. A brief stop at the Ferrari/Maserati dealer on the way home finished off the trip nicely.


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Damper failed

Posted by andydclements in E 906 return to the road, 02 February 2014 · 322 views

Well, since restoring this car I've not used it much. That's not much for a car that I planned to be my daily driver. I used the red one quite a bit until I finally traced the misfire issues and so had confidence in being able to get to the destinations and return under the car's own power. I used the Berlingo when the weather was cold as it has a heather that is effective in less than 10 mins of engine running. I've now purchased a Signum as I'm ferrying my elderly parents around a lot and they cannot fit in the Excel and my Mother had difficulty getting in the rear seats of the Berlingo, and the Signum is more reassuring to drive than the Berlingo so there's less of a fear issue driving the Signum.

The last few times I drove the gold Excel I noticed a knocking noise on uneven road surfaces. I tried the exhaust, driveshafts,. I tried spacing the damper further from the A arm so that they couldn't possibly make contact.
With the car on the ramps (supported by its wheels) I discovered that the knock was replicated if I merely applied a small amount of upward force to the subframe. I managed to eliminate the body/subframe mounting form the list of options and so remove the damper. On inspection I have discovered that the damper has a knock in it giving circa 5mm of longitudinal movement without dampening, almost as though low on oil I suspect something inside has come apart. As the dampers are probably more than 2 years old despite the low mileage I doubt I'll the the manufacturer to honour the warranty, and without finding purchase info I doubt they'll even agree to assist in the funding of the repair, so I'm going top purchase just one damper (which is something I'd normally not do) on the basis the other damper (driver's side) is very new and has had very little use so it should be a reasonable match to the new one.

Alternator Output in Amps

Posted by Aston in Aston's Blog, 20 January 2014 · 268 views


Does anyone know what the factory Alternator output is for a 1990 Lotus Esprit Turbo ? We have one in the shop which is printing Bad out of a Sun VAT 45. It shows 85 Amps with a voltage of 12.95 V with a full load on at idle. I'm guessing the full output would be around 105 - 125 Amps .


Lotus Espirit Turbo 1983

Posted by alexander28 in alexander28's Blog, 04 December 2013 · 478 views

Hi Everyone,

I am new to the forum and would like some advice on my new toy which is a Lotus Espirit turbo 1983, the vehicle has not been driven for a few years & was wondering where and what costs I should be looking to pay to get a full service & cambelt done on the car ?, I am based between surrey/west sussex my local garage is main delaer Bell and colvill anyone had any experience ?, also anything else I need to look our for etc, this is the first time I have owned one and am very excited with the project ahead !!, if anyone can shed any light on if there was a limited edition turbo with the black badges etc the former owner told me so !, any help will be much appreciated ??


Air Conditioning

Posted by andydclements in G945 LVG returns to the road, 21 July 2013 · 444 views

I still haven't been working on the silver car as such but have been removing the Air-Conditioning from the red car (the AC never worked since I've had it) to provide some necessary parts for fitting AC to the silver car.
That's now all out of the red car,but I guess I'll have missed something and be cursing it after I've sold the red one. What it is that I'll have missed, I don't yet know.

Wheels, I need new tyres for the gold car, it has newly refurbished Speedlines. The silver car has Oz which are in need of a refurb. I could just have new tyres fitted to the Speedlines, or have the Oz ones refurbed and fit new tyres to those, using them on the gold car until it's ready (2015 at this rate). Choices, choices.

Launch Weekend

Posted by Lotus Hedge End in Lotus Hedge End's Blog, 19 March 2013 · 424 views

We are pleased to announce our latest and most excited launch for many years will be held over the weekend of 17th, 18th and 19th of May.

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 lotus@snowsgroup.co.uk 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.

Drifting Day at Bovingdon Airfield

Posted by Roz Bennetts in Roz Bennetts' Blog, 01 December 2012 · 1,105 views
drifting, bovingdon

I recently posted this on my blog but thought I'd repost it here on TLF as I thought it'd be great to organise a drifting event for those of us with rear wheel drive models.
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.

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.

Linking Turns
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.

Drifting Schools
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

Drift Limits
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.

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