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Esprit S1 Restoration (It's white too)

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The Rebuild Begins: Powdercoating the Chassis

Finally the rebuild has begun. A very exciting day indeed. A lot of work and time went into tearing the car apart, but here is where the long journey begins and the wallet starts getting lighter. But i can't wait to see the end result. For now, the first step towards a new looking Esprit, is with the backbone...the chassis. The chassis was quite greasy from some dripping coolant and the usual leaking valve cover. Luckily the chassis is galvanized and even 30 years later, there is no rust

catalina8

catalina8

 

Disassembly pt 15: The final chapter, suspension removal

Down to the last chapter in the Esprit disassembly. The focus this time is the suspension. I couldn't manage to track down a spring compressor that works on the esprit springs. The springs so tightly wound, i found that none of the compressors seem to work. Made due using some ratchet straps. All the bushings need to be replaced though. The springs and control arms look in good shape though. [attachment=22252:DSCN1729.JPG][attachment=22253:DSCN1759.JPG] These worn out bushings need to be

catalina8

catalina8

 

Disassembly pt 14: Stripping the chassis

I'm getting down to the last few things now. Just a few things left to remove. Its seems like it all happened quick on this blog, but it was actually a few months worth of work to get to this point. Sorry if these write ups are short, but i'm trying to cover a lot of work in just a few entries. Well, it's time to get the cooling fans and pipes off, remove the brake lines and engine mounts. Cooling components and pipes to remove: [attachment=22245:DSCN1732.JPG][attachment=22246:DSCN1746.

catalina8

catalina8

 

Disassembly pt 13: removing the engine

It's finally time to get the engine out of here. With an engine hoist, it's a one man job. First you have to remove the driveshafts [attachment=22236:DSCN1705.JPG] then a few bolts [attachment=22238:DSCN1707.JPG][attachment=22237:DSCN1708.JPG] and the gearbox is out: [attachment=22239:DSCN1710.JPG] Next...the engine [attachment=22241:DSCN1712.JPG][attachment=22240:DSCN1715.JPG] There's still a mess left over [attachment=22243:DSCN1726.JPG] A quick inspection shows a bad

catalina8

catalina8

 

Disassebly pt 12: Diassembling the chassis

I can't wait to remove the engine and trans, but there is still work to be done first. There's a few things to disconnect like the... gear linkage: [attachment=22234:DSCN1697.JPG] coolant hoses: [attachment=22235:DSCN1692.JPG]

catalina8

catalina8

 

Diassembly pt 11: Removing the body

Finally, the day came to separate the body and the chassis. I was a little unprepared, but with endless rain looming in the forecast and time off work, i did the best i could to hurry. Not the prefered method, but it works: [attachment=22229:DSCN1576.JPG] A couple pictures of the engine, trans., and chassis. [attachment=22230:DSCN1577.JPG] [attachment=22231:DSCN1579.JPG] [attachment=22232:DSCN1580.JPG] [attachment=22233:DSCN1583.JPG] [attachment=22228:DSCN1590.JPG]

catalina8

catalina8

 

Disassembly pt 10: Checking the bodywork

Still waiting for a good day to remove the body, i decided to have a look around at the bodywork. I took some pitcures of the cracking and chipping paint. The car looks pretty awful up close. Here's a few photos of just a few spots. [attachment=22225:DSCN1455.JPG][attachment=22226:DSCN1456.JPG][attachment=22227:DSCN1457.JPG][attachment=22224:DSCN1458.JPG] And yes...the paint was originally white

catalina8

catalina8

 

Disassembly pt 9: Prep for body removal

It's getting close to time for body removal, but a few more things need to be disconnected. Still need to remove the throttle and choke linkages, brake and clutch lines, and all of the engine wiring. This is the last time things will look this neat: [attachment=22212:DSCN1559.JPG] Disconnecting the brake lines: [attachment=22213:DSCN1505.JPG] Don't forget to release the parking brake lines too [attachment=22215:DSCN1510.JPG][attachment=22216:DSCN1512.JPG] Disconnect the clutch li

catalina8

catalina8

 

Disassembly pt 8: fuel tanks

This proved to be the most difficult part of disassembling the car. First i chose to cut the fuel line going into the fuel pump and drain the fuel there since i will be replacing the lines. You can see one of the exposed fuel tanks in this picture: [attachment=22207:DSCN1554.JPG] The fuel filler necks had to be removed. They're hiding behind the quater-windows. It makes removal a lot easier, if you remove the window first. A razor blade and some old guitar strings worked well to get the

catalina8

catalina8

 

Disassembly pt 7: The engine bay

The next job to tackle was removing the engine bay walls and floors. The area was starting to show it's age. The carpets were starting to fade and crumble. Everything started out looking like this. [attachment=22201:DSCN1481.JPG][attachment=22203:DSCN1482.JPG][attachment=22202:DSCN1484.JPG] The floor boards and carpet came out easy after removing a few bolts, but all of the boards crumbled so hopefully i can use the carpets to make templates for new floor boards. [attachment=22205:DSCN14

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catalina8

 

Disassembly pt 6: Removing the radiator

I found out there isn't a whole lot of room under the car to drain the coolant. [attachment=22198:DSCN1477.JPG] There were a lot more screws holding the shroud on than expected, but i finally got them all and removed the shroud. The fans and mounting brackets were badly rusted, but that's about the only palce there's rust on the car. [attachment=22199:DSCN1475.JPG] And after a lot of unbolting things and rust falling in my eyes...the radiator was out. [attachment=22200:DSCN1548.JPG]

catalina8

catalina8

 

Disassembly pt 5: Cleaning the boots

The boot area was pretty dirty before cleaning it out. Here's a picture after removing the spare tire. [attachment=22196:DSCN1404.JPG] Decided to remove the headlight pods next, but first had to disconnect the headlamp motors. The arms were quite rusted though. I'm pretty sure i used a whole can of WD-40. [attachment=22197:DSCN1403.JPG]

catalina8

catalina8

 

Diassembly pt 4: Heater removal

Once the interior was mostly out, the next goal was to remove the heater unit. It's really buried up under the dash, but i could actually get to it once everything else was out of the way. [attachment=22192:DSCN1409.JPG] I drained the coolant in the car, but more kept finding it's way into the lines. Besides this the heater removal was fairly straight forward. Just a few hoses and coolant lines to remove. [attachment=22194:DSCN1408.JPG] And don't forget the screws holding it in from

catalina8

catalina8

 

Disassembly pt 3: Wires and more wires

So most of the interior is diassembled at this point, but there are lots of lights and switches and gauges, etc. to disconnect. The wiring harness in this car isn't that complicated, but it sure seemslike there are a lot of wires everywhere. Carefully tagging and marking each wire should make reassembly a lot easier though...especially since i'll most likely forget by the time i get around to it. Here's the interior with almost everything removed: [attachment=22189:DSCN1402.JPG] Wires eve

catalina8

catalina8

 

Diassembly pt 2: The interior

Most of the interior was pretty easy to disassemble. The interior is held in mostly by wood screws and such, making a phillips head screwdriver you're best friend during this part of the disassebmly. Most of the interior was in fairly good shape, with minor discoloration of the leather and only a few scratches. [attachment=22187:DSCN1292.JPG] The door panels and most of the other leather bits were in decent shape: [attachment=22183:DSCN1290.JPG] [attachment=22185:DSCN1368.JPG] The se

catalina8

catalina8

 

Disassembly pt 1: The dash

It was a little tricky, but got the dash removed without too much trouble. I love the green Veglia gauge, so i was extra carefulnot to damage it. It's one part that must go back on. [attachment=22180:DSCN1291.JPG] The wood dash is cracked pretty bad so will have to figure out a way to change it. [attachment=22182:DSCN1275.JPG][attachment=22181:DSCN1276.JPG]

catalina8

catalina8

 

Before the restoration

So here are some pics of the Esprit about a year or two ago (most recent i could find)...before starting the resto. [attachment=21876:lotus pics 005.JPG][attachment=21877:lotus pics 002.JPG]

catalina8

catalina8

 

Back Story

So my father bought a '78 white esprit many years ago. He like many saw the 007 movie as a teenager and fell in love with this amazing car. Many years later he finally had one. The great thing was we actually managed to find it locally, and it was white at that. The car was repainted at some point in its live but it was originally a white car (no Tartan interior though, thankfully). The car was in fair shape at that point. It has a brown leather interior, which isnt great, but although i

catalina8

catalina8

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