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Scratch the surface - 1981 Turbo Esprit Dry sump Restoration - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
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Scratch the surface

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davetoff

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Why is it that as soon as you remove one thing you notice another job needs doing underneath ?

Once I had removed the fuel tanks I noticed something leaking under the oil tank. Since it was looking a little forlorn anyway I thought I'd remove the tank and spruce it up a bit. It was a bit of a b*rstard getting  it out but finally decided to remove the bracket that it sits on, as I thought this would make it easier, but it was still stuck. Thinking I would have to remove the inaccessible hose at the bottom of tank to release the immovable object, I suddenly realised that the plug sticking into the wheel arch was stopping the tank coming out. Sheepishly I removed the plug and low and behold it came out no problem. Underneath the tank was 30 years of slow leaking oil, any amount of flies, insects, and detritus that had found their way into the crevice. Rubber-gloved up I cleaned and scrapped until all was good once more.

Oil tank had a bit of surface rust on, and oil on the bottom, but generally it was in pretty good shape. Once I sanded the surface rust away with wire brush on an angle grinder, and treated it, primed it and painted it gloss black.

Oil_Tank.JPG

Oil_Tank_3.JPG

Opening up the bottom to reveal a broken tea strainer, the top cover had come away which had made it pretty much useless. so got some oil resistant glue and bonded it back, after blowing compressed air through the mesh to clean it thoroughly. I then washed the casting with petrol and cut a new gasket and added some gasket sealer. I thought I'd also replace the hoses for new high pressure ones at great expense, I think the man must have seen me coming. Once I'd picked myself off the ground and after he'd cleaned my wallet out, I installed the shiny hoses back on the tank. Then just as I was putting it back noticed that the bracket had snapped that holds the tank in place. I welded it back together, sanded it all down and gave to two coats of primer and satin black to finish it off. I also noticed that the electrical lines under the tank weren't very neat so thought they could do with a clean and tidy up too. Re wrapping the electrical cable with insulating tape and cleaning the battery cables, then refixing with cable straps back to the body. Bolted tank back in place, and after slicing my finger open on the jubilee clips (didn't realise they were so sharp) sat back and admired my handywork, pretty pleased with the result as this is now the turning point when I start bolting everything back in ???

 

Oil_Tank_1.JPG

Oil_Tank_2.JPG

 

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That is lotus esprit restorataion for you. !   once you start to take things apart and start to delve into the belly of the beast it not only becomes more work but also more money lol.  But that is always the way with restorations and considering how rare these are i think we have all been very lucky thus far on spare part prices within reason imo. :)

One thing i always remember at the back of my mind when working on these cars is thank god they are fiberglass, Just imagine having to deal with rust on the body also.!  That metal trim that goes under the rear quarter glass is enough to contend with on the esprit body and needs re painting every year.:P

Glad its all going back together well.   :thumbup:

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thee whole right hasnd side of my under the oil tank was beautifully preserved under a thick layer of oil. Most likely from years of fill ups without being very careful. Still it helped unbolting the rear suspension bits :) 

Keep up the good work

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