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Resurrecting an Esprit S3

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Series of pics from primed and masked to final lacquer coat on. At last Re-blacking the interior lid section with matt black per original And underlay on the insides here Gradual build up of the base coat Lacquer coats commence: Oops, bit of short term memory loss while refilling the gun means a bit of extra flatting required... So now on to body trim parts, followed by the suspensions bushes and interior work, not to mention the engine seals, aircon, electrics It feels like a small light at the end of a very long tunnel, but at least we're now in the bloody tunnel  




Into the Booth

First week of September had us stripping the wheel arches and doing final bodywork prep ready for base coat when we're happy with the final match: Proof that 235 tyres won't work on the front.. D'OH! Next visit 1st week Oct




Bodywork started!

Current status all of the suspension parts have been sandblasted and epoxy coated ( in progress in pic)
[img][/img] are refitted to the car.   Decided to leave existing bushes in place for now to get rolling and able to paint...   Bodywork preparation has also now started in earnest. Gel crack filled and covered with 120g glass cloth/ West epoxy:
[img][/img]   [img][/img]   [img][/img]   [img][/img]   [img][/img]   The first coats of primer have now been applied to the sides of the car, and indeed the bonnet and tailgate, and are awaiting an initial flatting before the next stage of stopping up and a second primer coat.   We decided to take advantage of the weather and do all of the rubbing down and priming - the first stage anyway - outside, rather than in the spray booth. Matching the paint code A15 Helleblau has proved to be a bit of a challenge. While we can track down the ICI paint code very few people seem to have matched that particular code in refinishing products   [img][/img]   [img][/img]   [img][/img]   And with a black dust coat applied for flatting purposes:   [img][/img]   The best advice we got was from Alan at specialised painting services in Reading (as previously advised here on the forum) whose contacts at DuPont didn't recognise the number or the name at all. In the end we used the Akzo mix for Porsche helleblau, and added a yellow tint to give a slightly greener overall colour matching the inside of the rear buttresses very closely, as seen in the picture below. The straight Porsche Helleblau on the right of the test card:
[img][/img]   The picture here shows that jet washing the arches on these older cars is not necessarily a good thing... it's taken off all of the stone chip or underseal - whatever was in there - and gone right back to the gelcoat.   [img][/img]   I will probably use the epoxy mastic to recoat the inside of all wheel arches once they have been properly prepared. That will then be followed by another coat of modern stone chip   In other areas, work on the exhaust manifold studs continued...many thanks to [b]Buddsy[/b] for advice on cutting speeds. I made up a rudimentary jig based on the manifold spacings and the gaskets to as a guide for a slot drill to take out the snapped exhaust studs. These were then Helicoiled throughout back to 8mm threads and helicoil inserts secured in place with thread lock. [b]Warning[/b]: Needed to be very careful not to go to deep as the cylinder head towards a jacket wall is very thin at the bottom of the manifold studs (source Gary [b]Kemp[/b]) so each one was measured for depth carefully before starting out on the drilling process. May revisit this again having read about "timeserts" from someone else on here. They look like a brilliant idea...   Fuel breather pipes have seen better days
[img][/img]   as have the original ARB end bushes:
Presumably, these started life in one piece...   Next visit September.




Suspension and brakes rejuvenated

Took a while, but all parts grit blasted with 80 mesh Alox from Machine Mart before being sprayed with Rustbuster's FE123 as security against crevice corrosion, then sprayed with their epoxy mastic.   [img][/img]   [img][/img]   Sprays on much better than brush application, and coat build is excellent.   [img][/img]   [img][/img]
Wrapped ready for return^   Brake calipers were treated to the same proces before being coloured with smooth gold hammerite, which I hope will look good behind the silver of the BBS wheels. Caliper bores protected before blasting/ spraying   [img][/img]   pistons just slid into callipers without seals at present, refurb to be finished when new stainless lines refitted later on
[img][/img]   Back in Lincoln, all was loosely reassembled so we could get it off the ramp and start the bodywork...   [img][/img]   [img][/img]   Ratchet straps come into their own again for getting the springs on:   [img][/img]   On to the bodywork...




Further preparation

Another 4 days spent happily tinkering and removing more bits, a few purchases and even some replacement activity!

Picked up a n/s fuel tank, timing belt, tensioner bearing, door handle, alloy cooling pipes and headlight masks from Lotubits on the way up...

Both tanks treated with rustbuster fe123 , then brush painted with epoxying mastic for a thick protective coating. Heavy stuff to put on, and the brush marks will NOT flow out, even with heat applied during cure, but I'm happy that the level of protection is more than sufficient.

Tanks then re-sited, not yet clamped down as I'm not sure whether to put in any closed cell foam yet. It's only there for sound deadening, so I may put just a couple of strategically placed pads in when I bolt it all together.




Suspension off

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.
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.
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
[img][/img]   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.
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 trunnion bolts before being able to get them out of the trunnion bodies, in which the grease was still nice and soft, so they remain perfectly serviceable, just a new bush set required each side   Also, the front spring weren't as good as the rears:
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
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:
[img][/img]   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!




Good Clutch News

With the lump now out, first thing was a bit of a clean, from this:
to this:

Still a way to go, but it's clean enough to work on.

with the ancillaries removed, the next task was to take the clutch & 'box off to investigate the situation:
This shaft (specifically its bearing) was/may still be a source of concern:
I believe it to be a "floating" shaft, and currently assume that the 3/8" lateral play is meant to be there… off to the manual for the specs.

But at least we can see that the clutch was replaced 30 odd miles and 15 years ago…YAAY

Engine mounts are a bit past their best, as is this bit of heat shield:

and she's riding high without the weight of the engine

... the offending water pump is now ready to go for refurb

Bit of a delay likely now until the house move is over. Next planned major works beginning of July.




Engine out!

Well it took all day, but the lump is now on the ground..


The wonders of time lapse software. Only downloaded this today and chose 5 sec intervals. Might go for 3 next time.

Actual lifting of the engine took about 45 mins, but lasts 15 secs on the vid if that!

Problems encountered along the way included:
Manifold to down pipe bolts -the accessible ones were easy, the awkward one was a bugger that needed dremelling off
Engine mounting bolts all seemed to have different sized nuts & heads
Other than that, just the need for arms two foot longer and half as thick :-)

So, on to sorting out the issues after a good clean up.




Yup...engine's gotta come out

Slight change to the order of items on the last plan meant we piped up the cooling system first and ran it to test the water pump, proving a fairly significant leak from the shaft. Once again John, thanks for the heads up. Dripping off bolt seen below cambelt:

Unlike the last test, she also sounded like she was running on 2 cyls. The only thing tags was different was that to take the boot floor liner out, TOM had undone the HT & LT leads, coil and reg/rec connectors. All appear to be fine and properly reconnected, but we still have the running on two problem. Plugs came out dry so not water in the cyls..

Warm (ish) compression test had 1&[email protected] and 137 respectively-ok, but 3&4 at 105 and 115 max, so it's out with the engine.

OSR caliper, last 2 exhaust sections and boot liners removed tonight ready for full assault tomorrow.

From various posts, I've picked up on speedo cable and reverse sensor as being sensitive items...anything else to watch for specifically.?




Engine out (or not…)?

Well, since my first post back in December about getting up & running by August, things have changed somewhat:

Went on Holiday 1st week of Jan, saw a house, bought it...Sold current Berkshire residence, sold current Berkshire business, and will be living in new house near Bude by Easter if all goes to plan.

So, instead of being a mere 3 hours away from the esprit, it'll now be a 7 hour trek....On the plus side, I'll be kind of semi-retired, so should be able to get up there for longer each time.

The main goal is to get the bodywork done while in Lincoln ready for a move to Cornwall, but it would be good to get it MOT'd & drive there rather than using a trailer so, with one more visit planned for before we go, I wanted to get opinions before I start doing stuff that might cause further problems.

The plan for the coming weekend is:

- Remove all lining panels & steam clean the engine

- Renew all fuel hoses

- fit straight thro stainless exhaust section (replacing first silencer)

- Rig up a temporary (with clear tubes) cooling system to check water pump operation & seals. Will any damage to the seals necessarily be obvious?... Thanks to John (Molemot) for the info re: the water pump and likely result of running it dry.

- assuming pump OK, balance carbs with current gaskets

- While warm, test compression

Assuming all of the above goes well, then leave the engine in and replace timing belt while it's on the ramp. Bodywork will be going on alongside the above.

If, OTOH, any of the above need work then I reckon it's an engine out job...

Any comments welcome.

Pics to follow early April




Getting started

Hi All,

will try to keep this succinct but descriptive. Any helpful comments/advice welcome at any stage - I'm not that experienced in this sort of thing, but here goes!

See this link for the background: [url=""][/url]

Before Xmas 13, got up to Dad's to look at things. Some in a bit of a state, others not as bad as expected.
No so good:
Hopefully superficial corrosion,but will have to see after a clean up:
Secondary silencer definitely blown, will replace with SJ straight thro section.

And not so bad...
very light surface rusting, handbrake cables both operating smoothly, but will get a good lubing anyhow
iphone down the side of the fuel tank shows slight surface corrosion - worth further investigation

First full weekend Feb1/2014:
Aims - re-fit drivers door, get engine going, check state of tank/exhaust/fuel lines/carbs.
Door re-fitted.
Engine - after removing the plugs, turning over by hand several times then on the starter a few more, we cleaned up the plugs (no.1 was looking good, other 3 black & sooty after last run of 22 miles in 1998), re-fitted & gave her a try -

Click for video: no choke, 2 pumps on the throttle & a spray of easy start:

then tried with full choke (sorry about the language at the end - discovered we'd forgotten to reconnect the oil pressure gauge!)


Once the gauge was reconnected we ran her up again for 2 mins (no water at present so v limited run) to check the state of the exhaust, actual oil pressure (70 at c 1500rpm, cold) any obvious oil leaks, nasty top end noises etc, but generally she seems in fine fettle for a car stood for 15 years.

A promising start to getting back on the road by this August....



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