The S300 restoration project that I started last year is now in fresh hands.
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.
Almost one full year after the last dyno session where we experienced the clutch problem, we were back at it this weekend.
With approx. 8000 miles on the engine and the upgraded AP clutch fully run-in, everything was set and ready. We did a total of 14 runs, with adaptions in between - final run produced:
Peak boost: 1.1 bar (turbine housings limiting factor)
Torque: 437 lb/ft
Inlet temp: peaking 40deg C
AFR: flat 12.1
Yesterday I drove the V8 from our place in France to Düsseldorf. A little shy of 1000Kms, but the weather was absolutely spectacular.
The engine behaved very nicely and despite my [i]discipline[/i] I did get caught speeding once on the way through France. Only a minor infringement, but still a 45€ spot-fine. :thumbdown:
It was after 9:30pm before I entered Germany and first encountered some unrestricted Autobahn. Given the lack of traffic, I decided to open up a little and see what speed was possible. The gearbox has a 3.44 to 1 cwp installed and managed a GPS based speed of 295Km/h @ 6500rpm..... would equate to 200mph with just over 7300rpm.... promising :thumbsup:
I can honestly say that is the fastest I have ever been in an Esprit and that it did not feel very safe :censored:
The noise from the road, wind and engine was almost intolerable. Next time I will use some earplugs !
Had a small problem with a stuck wastegate on the V8, when it returned to Lotus in December last year. The wastegate was freed up and all seemed to be okay following that.
At the weekend, I was doing to checks and routine maintenance and noticed that the wastegate was stuck once again. It was not able to close fully and movement was very stiff. The car has been used most weekends, so there is something not right. Not my favourite job, but the turbo had to be swapped out. The units are hybrids, but luckily I had another pair on the shelf.
Once off, I split the turbine and was able to get some movement in the wastegate, but it is definitely not free. Guess, I need a new swing arm.
The new unit was easy enough to fit
After adding the coolant back in and bleeding the system out, I went for a test drive. I´ve now got solid boost to 1bar, which is making for instanely fast acceleration. The best news of all, is that the clutch is now rock solid at that boost level.
Sometime soon, I´ll be looking to get the car back on the dyno for some real optimisation.
Finally after the S4s is away, I had chance to return to the S300 project.
The final preparations for the extraction, complete with the engine loom
Engine lifted and chassis rolled out of the way
Engine compartment starts the clean-up - first impressions are good.
Engine will be rebuilt with lightweight rods and billet steel crank - should be good for some serious power :construction:
Posty finally came good with my long awaited SPA dual intercooler temperature gauge.
The gauge loom was absent, but at least I was able to install the two k-type thermocouples in the right hand chargecooler body.
Still waiting to hear back from AP, but I expect an update on the clutch solution in early January.
It was specially ordered by and supplied to Romano Artioli, the boss of Bugatti when it owned Lotus back in 1994. The car has been well looked after over the years, but its owner would like to have it restored and approached me with the job for the mechanical aspects. The restoration of the interior and paintwork will be a task for someone else.
The first task will be to remove the engine and gearbox for rebuild/overhaul. Made a start with uncovering the engine, so that I could have a proper poke-around:
Engine brace and air filter/feed stuff away
Legendary T3/T4 turbo still in good shape
Shift mechanism and exhaust hanging bracket
Not bad for 16-odd years of use