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CHANGES

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Everything posted by CHANGES

  1. Part 5 Hunting out and Repairing seam joints etc. As mentioned in last post an aerial hole had been drilled through the rear quarter panel . When this was done no load plate was fitted inside so gel stress cracks spread out from the hole .. I quite often see cars that have had the holes filled in and they sink back and spoil the appearance of nice paint jobs. This is all because they glass the inside and then use filler on the outside. Too eradicate properly you need to grind back a reasonable area though the gel coat , tapering down to the base of the hole, before applying GRP repair patch to the outside. As you can see from next pic a repair section had been fitted to this car in its past . It was a nice repair but had some micro blister in the paint above it .. this may have just been a prep issue , but we will refinish the whole area again.. Once this section was down to gel coat lots of little spots of concern availed themselves. These will all get individual attention before the complete panel is addressed. An area that always come up is the ‘B’ post seam adjacent to the door latch. Other than a small crack been evident on close inspection, they won’t look bad .. But these area’s always crack due to the way they were initially finished . When the two halves of the mold were joined , they were glassed up on the inside and in most cases air voids got trapped in the joint area. Over time these expose a weakness and unless you go digging and fix properly they will just keep cracking, When fully exposed with all little crevices opened out, first apply small GRP repair patchs to the base of the exposed area. This is to fill and build without allowing any air pockets to get trapped again. Then apply final overlap GRP repair patch. If require you can also run a fresh patch of GRP on the inside . You will find as in this case that some of the mounting holes for the door catch will get filled out . So prior to doing this sort of repair a couple of reference photo’s and dimensional drawing will save the guess work when re drilling . Next we will start prepping for the quarter to door alignment. TBC
  2. On the kit I supply there is a thin rubber membrane in the top alloy adapter seats. The standard thick rubber spring seats are removed .. The set up I provide is just straight bolt on, no trimming of the bearing shoulder spacer will be needed .. The pic posted of one fitted above, was of a an early mock up unit. That lower spacer format was what was supplied originally as standard for Esprit. That along with a few other aspects were slightly changed during development. Like most things what you buy as an aftermarket product is one fits all mentality .. I try to refine what is available to get the best results , GAZ are very good and will supply to my specific requirements .. Following is pics of final test set up that was approved .. You will see small difference on spacer set up . Unfortunately they were a budget make, with very pliable sidewall. This and 255 instead of 245 being fitted to the rim allowed excessive tyre side wall roll on the rear .. not a good combination when mixed in with the rest.. Once again this should have been pointed out by the technician who fitted them, but i feel today they are just looking for the quick coin..
  3. I can only recommend as I have found . Over the years i have tried several tracking centers , all have had top equipment . Some claim top engineers . But unfortunately they don't all seem to understand Esprit set up . As you have said the new age mechanics only know the new age adjustments , therefore struggle with the Esprit.. I had very bad expensive experience 10 years back with a then, Lotus ,Ferrari , main dealer who charged £1500 to set my Esprit up totally wrong... Unbelievable... I could see it was wrong , as it leaned to one side, they said that's how some were.. Total Bollocks , but how do you argue with a multi million pound franchise when they hold your car. I had to pay to get the Esprit back , then take measures after... At this point I had started talking to Northampton Motor Sport on dyno work. They were disgusted by what i told them, saying they are familiar with this sort of GEO format.. Needless to say I gave them a try and never looked back .. So its not the equipment its the mechanic ,or in the case of NMS engineer doing the job.. NMS set up a lot of race/rally and track day cars as well as historic and classic. I think it is this broad base of experience that makes them so good.. They also have the experience to personalize your GEO if you have altered your ride height , suspension spec, or engine performance.. When this customers Esprit is repaired it will be getting one of my personally developed, tested and proven suspension upgrades. This is all new adjustable dampers, springs, and Lotac Polly bushing , same as my own Esprit. Then it will be shipped to NMS for full GEO and corner balancing .. I have also recommended a tyre spec to suit the set up that the customer is keen on.. That should remove all worries of a repeat situation of what transpired. Saying all this there are other companies that have equally as good reputation , But i still travel 1 1/2 hours to get mine done . Top Tip from @LOTUSMAN33 This can save you a lot of money , at £85 an hour plus VAT for top engineer to struggle with rusty seized nuts, then needing to manufacture shims seems a bit of a waste .. Always take a well presented car, with all specialist parts that may be needed to ensure best value for money .. .
  4. This unfortunately is quite true . In this particular case when using a pinch bar, there was excessive movement in some of the bushes . Well excessive from my stand point, which is not as new .. .. Just how they were interpreted by and examiner we will never know.. What I am really trying to get across here is, what seems to be a general lack of importance paid to some very crucial parts on our Esprit.. Failure to stay on top of these could put you in a situation which created this thread. We are all very pleased when our Esprit passes an MOT , but we should not totally depend on it as clean bill of performance capability.. I quite often ask customers when they last had their GEO checked .. The answers are very disappointing . When my Esprit is in service it has GEO check done at same time of MOT .. So annually.. Many may ask why. Well the answer is simple . These Esprit are pieces of engineering, shimmed and tweaked to an exact standard .. When this goes out they will not perform properly. Maybe i am a bit OTT but I can feel when my Esprit is a bit off. It is usually just down to tyres, usually needing pressures adjusting. , but noticeable to me .. So a soft or deformed bush as above pics will effect GEO and feel drastically.. .. I believe the biggest fall down of owners , is with those who have never driven a fully sorted set up . As such they except the package they have purchased as the norm. Over time this degrades and as long as they never over stress the components everyone is happy.. Then out of the blue you are going quite quick or have to brake heavy .. ' it happens' OOPS out of control crash bang... '' which could have been avoided '' So what owners need to ask themselves is, what cost more suspension maintenance or the unthinkable .. Rant over , stay safe , and enjoy your piece of Lotus engineering..
  5. Ok , So moving on quickly before we start getting into the body repair and the other areas , more suspension observations .. Bushes ... I see this too often .. How these were not MOT failures beggars belief. In the last pic you can clearly see how far off center, the pin in arm is . The bush is deformed. As a result the GEO will be way out.. What we must also be aware of is the structural function of the bush will have been compromised .. The springs and spring mounts are also in poor condition. The Rating and damping on the front was way out , on the soft side, with an opposite at the rear.. Its is difficult to fully asses the springs due to the condition , but they do not seem to be a professionally matched set. When we put this all together with poor tyre choice on make and sizing on the rear, we have identified major areas of concern . In truth what we have here is an Esprit that would be unpredictable when put under stresses .. These stresses can be as simple as heavy acceleration as in this case , but could have been just as easily cornering fast... As these are the pleasure points in owning an Esprit, having one that can not meet the performance requirements is a bit of a worry.. In my professional view , when this Esprit started to slew under power it was all over. There would not be enough stability or consistency in the suspension to control it.. The outcome could have so easily been worse, as it is we just have a repair and renew to do .. Maybe some lessons can be taken from this .. Next up is ...... Strip and fully analyse extent of body damage.. TBC
  6. Part 5 Generating shape and profile continued. There was enough room in most of the fixing holes to get a reasonable position, but to get the best mean result I had to slightly slot a couple .. This still left a lot of basic miss matching which needed working with the fillers again to level out.. You will note on the last pic that a piece of molding trim is taped in place next to the transom panel .. This is to ensure that the body line blends perfectly when completed rather than just random butting up .. This is just one of those tiny details that easily gets overlooked and will be noticeable when on finished body .. The next two pictures show the typical poor edge fit.. They may not stand out so prominent in the pic’s but in reality were quite bad Once the high / low spots are identified, it just a case of more filling and flatting.. I am afraid to generate the desired finish there is no easy way around it . Just fill flat and graft.. You will note on the later pics that we have also moved into the rear quarter panels now. As previously stated , its a natural progression following the flow of the lines .. However there was an aerial hole put through the O/S rear quarter which had to be addressed . I will cover how that was removed in the next section , along with other seam cracks / air voids and adjacent gel cracks . But to finalize the shape of the transom , once again a coat of glaze filler was used. With one final flat we generated a smooth transition from transom to back deck and quarter panel . TBC
  7. Well done Steve ... You were so close on first shout .. As you can see not only is it fitted on the inside , but the a thick tracking plate it fitted to the inside causing even more toe in .. But here is the kicker .. You were on the money again @910Esprit with your first observation , When the Nyloc nut was remove there was barely 4 threads engaged . The thread was well short of engaging with the Nyloc. Scary when you are throwing in this case 270 BHP at it .. This was work that had been done by previous owner , then gone un-noticed during service and checks done on MOT's etc. ... But in defense of those mechanic's , If they were not up on how it should be done , it would look fine .. What this does expose is what can happen when the uninitiated carries out work on the Esprit. My biggest question is what were the GEO figures .. ?? Unfortunately all the rear suspension is now bent , so unable to asses what was .. More to follow
  8. This answer is getting warm .. This is getting hotter ..... In fact almost to hot to hold ... with great observation on the Nyloc , that bit is steaming ..
  9. You ain't seen the best.. this is just a taster . Answers on a post card , calls will be charged at standard rate , plus a bottle of Gin for @Sparky Does that mean you know or are you just Ummming a tune ..
  10. Not all restorations come under the heading of restoration , some are a bit more challenging.. What we have here is the most unfortunate situation where the owner / TLF member had not long had his 88 carb turbo fully repainted with body update to later spec.. He had also had the engine tuning fully sorted on the dyno .. Whilst out enjoying his pride and joy in its new livery , he applied the new found power on a straight dual carriageway and pulled out to overtake ....... and oops it slewed sideways, generated the typical tank slapper and then visited the scenery ... My task should I choose to except it was to repair all damage , whilst doing this i was also to explore why it went out of control so easy . At this point it must be said during inspection by me and insurance engineer nothing had broken or come adrift that we could initially see that could has caused it.. As with all accident damage what you see on the surface is a mask , experience has taught me what to expect in the hidden depths . From the first pics it would look like a quick fix . However there are tell tails if you know what to look for . One clue is in the next pic where the base of the 'A' post has shifted forward causing a fracture inside the wheel well .. The next is how the shell flexed when the door was released .. This project will take a few months to complete . So far I have found a few interesting points, some shocking , some very disappointing , The combination of some of these i believe were contributory in the owner loosing control as he did .. The owner has always relied on mechanics to carry out the maintenance tasks , service , MOT's and repairs etc , so was very disappointed and shocked when I exposed some of the things I found... As a result he has given me permission to share them with you all on the forum, in hope the insight may benefit others ... Before we start , I will give you a spot what is wrong here pic.. Its the area of trailing arm to chassis . ( those who already know keep schtum ).... Brownie points for correct summation. TBC
  11. Part 4 Generating shape and profile continued Establishing a level down the sides of the tailgate is far more straight forward than the previous sections.. What does need to be considered is any minor distortion down the backbone on the quarter panel itself at the same time .. (298) On this Esprit they were very good, however I have seen some quite out of shape when stored or used with the support rib that was previously mentioned, being incorrectly fitted or not fitted at all … We will still needed to work the overall surface finish of the quarter panel , but at this stage we are just establishing a level across the joint to finalise the tailgate form. (340) What we have not mentioned up to now is the gapping.. The main reason for this is the tailgate aperture to panel fit was not that bad on this one . A bit wobbly in parts but fairly square …. It is very common to see them tight on two diagonal corners and loose on the apposing Also very poor aesthetically around the hinge points. Not a lot you can do with that except re-shape the tailgate to custom fit .. In this case we just needed to build the edges of the tailgate with small amount of filler to bring the gap to a parallel tight 7mm.. It was decided the final gapping will be 6mm , but at this stage we are using the 7mm gap gauge to allow for the polly ,primer, and colour coat etc .. This can build up each surface which will close the gap to the desired .. Failure to just follow this principal will result in gaps being tighter than requested, or compromising the Polly coat isolator. (342) Whilst establishing the uniform shape, some areas on the quarter panels threw up a mismatch which would have looked wrong if corrected within the tailgate form .. It is important to follow the natural flow and curves of the body, This is what makes it look all balanced when finished.. If you short cut, just to make individual area levels match, then you can loose the effect. It is important to maintain an overall focus as you progress. By doing this you will find you attention will natural flow from one area to the next, blending the form as you go .. (346) (338) Even on areas which seem fine I will coat with a glaze filler, this will help refine the shape and provide good adhesive qualities . (377) The natural progression now takes us into the transom .. This unfortunately only fitted where it touched and was full of lots of minor annoying faults .. (388) Also, must remember to sweep up yet another bucket of dust TBC
  12. Basically yes. You will need to play with the ratio, but you will soon work out what gives the best results.. Go to a spot you know there is gel crack and practice your application on that area .. find a method that works best for you ..
  13. Part 3 Generating shape and profile continued Following the glaze coat is the next stage of flatting, all by hand now.. Air tools can be a bit aggressive , leaving marks that will need filling again , so although its labour intensive by hand it can work out quicker.. Another reason for hand flatting is feel/ sound. It is not easy to explain but you can feel and hear how the surface is flatting out .. When it becomes uniform it has a different feel and sound to the stokes ( My therapist said what you are now thinking ). At this stage seeing the very slight deviations will be difficult even with a straight edge . Using a guide coat will help show up the odd spots etc , but I find by just wiping a hand over the surface you can pick out any low spots and defects. .. The next pic shows the roof really starting to form out now , with just a small build adjacent to the capping rail to bring into line (329) The next two pics show how the profiles of the roof and tailgate harmonize. The first shows the smooth progressive flow from one to the other which we had lost with the sunken tailgate (330) The second shows the consistent shape starting to form side to side, with the tailgate matching the roof line perfect (331) We can now start to progress down the tailgate length … As with most, the shape has sunk , the following pic’s will show what with have to start with and work from.. (280) (282) (283) (284) With the top front section being level where we have already formed, the back transom area is not far out , but as pic;s show the center substantially dips down over the length ,, This was the same on both sides. The next stage is to carry out the same process of build and flat to bring in line and match to the quarter panel profile .. It is also important to note that on the 'G' cars there is a stabilizing strut that need to be fitted to the inside of the quarter panel before finalizing shape. With out this the panel can flex and any shape will become inconsistent. TBC
  14. Only where it is supposed to have . A lot will depend on quality of what you are looking at .. Area's where gel coat has de-laminated will be of concern .. Aggressive sanding of exposed GRP surface with 40 grit to key in primary repair. Then apply layer of resin with cloth or mat as you would to any damage repair area. ( I will be covering this type of repair a bit later in the thread ) .. As long as your gel coat or substrate is sound and crack free you can start working the finish.. Unfortunately media blasting can disguise gel crack , so you need to go searching.. Areas where it lifted during blasting will have been bad spots.. Its ones you can not see that come back to bite you. In situations like that I would orbital sand each panel one at a time down to a circa 300 grit.. This will be quite smooth . Then apply a thin stain coat by hand , wiping over the panel allowing it to soak down into any cracks .. Then stain should not put much colour on the panel but will highlight all the cracks .. you can then grind them out and carry out resin build repair as previously stated. .. ( don't over apply stain if cellulose based ) . Spraying an epoxy coat all over will only bury what is there already .. Unless you apply a tissue or similar layer within this , any cracks will eventually work their way up . If you are looking to do similar to what is in this thread, then only local repairs will be needed. You will see as the thread progresses, we use polyester coat to seal everything down once required form is achieved .. These are also far more resistant to cracking..
  15. Part 2 Generating shape and profile of roof and tailgate. As the previous pictures show the top of the tailgate profile has sunk significantly and the body line is now inconsistent. This same problem was on the main roof area but not as obvious in photo’s . Unfortunately the curse of this type of restoration is even the slightest waver will be seen in the reflection spoiling the whole effect. Any deformity on the roof area will jump out at you because of its location to the eye line .. Looking at any panel head it on will disguise faults. But create an angle of view below 45 degrees and things start to appear.. When a paint finish has an orange peel effect , below this angle you start to see it clearly. However an orange peel effect can also take your focus away from general panel deformation, this is why some restorers never fully colour flat. You can test this analogy on any car finish, you may be surprised what you start to see.. Using a straight line in any reflection or strip lights as I do, will also help your eye focus on the actual surface profile as well as paint finish quality. In the following pic of roof section it is hard to see the fault , but it has sunk around 1mm by the yellow X, also in the foreground you can pic out when air pockets under the original gel coat have been exposed on the capping rail. (0256) These sort of dips and hollows are all over the roof panel and only visible with this method or in final finish. So extra attention to detail here pays dividends later .. The roof and the tailgate roof extension should have a natural slight curved shape from side to side and front to rear. This slight dome effect is what gives the panel a certain rigidity. On the next pic you can just make out the curve , also a small dip in the center between the two red dots.. (0261Li) This all may seem very petty to most. In the above pic you get the impression there is not much wrong with any of the above, even though previous views have shown how far out things actually are. Photo’s , especially without gloss finish will disguise the true shape . So correcting these faults requires generating a fresh surface skin , lifting all the sunken points and sculpting the optimum profile. This is a very long messy and quite intensive process to get spot on . It requires constant building and flatting until desired shape it achieved .. On these roof area’s , mainly due to the amount of building up needed, especially on the tailgate, we used a carbon fiber filler .. This provided the volume, rigidity without the weight.. Following pic shows things progressing with additional application of carbon fillers needed on the tail gate . (0290) A lot of the initial work can be done with air sanders, Orbital and flat bed, but as the shape forms you will need to use all hand blocks and planes etc, with guide coats . The next pic shows the roof now starting to get the true shape , with matching profile across the shut line with tailgate .. A final skim over with 180 grit on DA (orbital sander) to ensure all traces guide coat paint is removed . (292) Next step is to apply a glaze filler , This is a fine grain , quite fluid filler , which we use to eradicate all the finer defects . It will also provide a substrate that can be worked to a high degree of finish. With this application we can now start to hone the final shape .. When applying and sanding we also level up the height of the roof to the capping rails. They should be in the same plain and match up leaving the appropriate gap for the finishing trim to be attached .. Whilst doing this it is necessary to insert a shim the same thickness as the finishing trim under the capping rail to insure correct height is maintained when finally fitted up . ... (293) It should also be noted , that between each filling process, sufficient curing times should be allowed. Although these are activator hardened in less than 30 min , in can be several hours before full cure has occurred. This will vary on temperature and accuracy of ratio on mixing.. Working the surface after just 30 min is common practice , but the best and more accurate results are achieved by allowing more time .. ( These will also vary with different products and application ) TBC
  16. Body , panel fit ,flat, gap, prep and paint. Part 1 Introduction Before undertaking any restoration, partial or complete, you need to ask all the relevant questions.. The main one is what do you or the customer expect from the finished result.. The next one is, how is going to be achieved. In this thread we will run through what was undertaken to achieve the specified body restoration requested by this customer.. The subject is 1982 Esprit turbo ‘G’ car. The customer’s request was to achieve a flat panel finish with all matching gaps, along with spot on panel alignment.. The paint finish should be flat with as much depth as possible. The focus was on emulating a hand finished show or promo car. Analysing the project The first consideration is a 38 year old GRP body with all the usual defects. These vary from gel crack, to flaking paint and micro blister, with some previous repair work etc etc.. However the biggest problem is the panel deviation.. Over the years GRP will move and distort. You can see this in most of the examples out there.. When they left the factory as new, the panel alignment and shape would have been much more consistent than what old father time has left us with now.. This is just the nature of the beast … The challenge is to not only return a 38 year old example to as new, but also move it onto the next level only found in show/ promo versions.. An inspection of subject Esprit did not show any horror stories, just what we expect to see.. Although several coats of paint in some areas, I felt sure there was no hidden nasties.. When I explained everything involved and the time span needed to complete the requested finish the customer said proceed.. The starting point. First we check and asses all panel fitting and contours. This will mean removing the panels and then refitting with new seals etc, shimming and adjusting to the best possible fit . By using a long flexible steel ruler as a plain gauge and straight edge, you can easily expose all the areas of concern. These can be marked up showing all the high and low spots. The aperture fitting is always testing, Gaps will end up going in every direction, so finding the mean position is all we can do. Once happy it’s the best it can be, we can start the graft . The following pictures show how the contours of the roof and tailgate have sunk and bowed. Stripping off all the paint exposing faults in the gel finish was next. Any obvious gel crack areas were immediately addressed by removing said gel coat in that area at same time. This is a selfless task that has to be done to get the best results. It is very important to establish a solid and structured base to work from for this type of finish… Straight forward repaints will only require rubbing back to provides a stable substrate to prime and paint over.. However we will be building the base layers using GRP and various polyesters and carbon fillers, to reshape the panel profile. If we were to do this over just a sanded paint layer, there is a possibility chemical/solvent reactions can soften the original paint making it unpredictable.. Unfortunately if dodgy paint layer is left, initially everything would seem fine and only some time later (months/ years) you can get wobbles in your flat finish or sinkage / mapping around repair build blend points .. This happens because the original paints eventually dries back, contracting and pulling on the surface .. On straight colours, if clear coat layer has enough depth, you may get away with another flat and polish , but you are usually stuffed with metallic finishes as the metallic in the base coat will shift and show fault . The next stage will be to address the areas pictured above , to achieve the desired shapes and gaps.. TBC..
  17. I have seen lots of blown clutches during my race/rally years some like this one .. but these are high performance cars being driven hard and the clutch taking the brunt of it all .. They also have very heavy clamp loads which is why the clutch explodes rather than the friction plate slip .. The springs are supposed to make the clutch more compliant and prevent shock load reaching the sandwich plate which has failed.. Your springs don't look over used , they generally go loose when over taxed. So this is a mystery .. I would ask a few questions. 1/ What is the clamp load of the cover , 2/ When was it last changed 3/ Is it original equipment or recon unit.. I expect #3 will be the source of the problem .. It may have been a recon unit which has used the original Borg and Beck center with other sub standard parts ... This is quite common practice which will not show issues on less powerful cars , however it may have found its limit on the turbo Esprit.. The only other possibility , but unlikely is a fly wheel dish effect.. this can distort the disc un-naturally during clamping which can over time stress parts.. easy to check fly wheel , if it is bad enough to cause a problem , you will see it by putting straight edge across face .. its not unusual to find 0.010''+ on older flywheels. Otherwise i would just re face or replace fly wheel , along with new OEM quality clutch, check all associated alignments , re fit and have fun.. hope this helps shed a little light on possibilities .
  18. First check as @CarBuff stated , easy to check.. From experience the translator goes sloppy when used rather than tight, but still worth a check ... If you have old cables fitted they could be binding , causing your issues... Again easy to check... just disconnect at the translator and move the gear leaver in neutral orientation.. To be fair if your gear section movement is free then cross gate / neutral should be as they share the movement.. However there are other area's that can influence cross gate movement not related to cables or translator.. The first is the leaver mechanism itself , which is spring loaded with a few pivot points.. If you have done the disconnected cable test and it moves free then dismiss that... So now we move on to the cross shaft itself within the box.. To test this disconnect the translator and move the shaft in and out as if in neutral .... this should be quite free, but is spring loaded . It should always return to a central position freely.. If this is stiff then there is you problem ... Inside the rear cover the cross shaft has two springs and hard plastic retaining collars .. These collars can sometimes melt / de-form over time from the heat proximity of the exhaust back box, as a result cause the shaft to bind ' go stiff' .... This cover can be removed and the problem solved without having to take out the whole box assembly .. By doing all the tests and following procedure, you should be able to resolve this without to much expense.. Hope that helps .
  19. Just bumped into this post. Its nice when customer's is pleased.. I had to do a double take on the third pic, the one posted above .. Then I realised it was the Esprit roof reflecting the inside / ceiling and up and over door of @RichardJGC garage. So for those curious or interested in how Monaco White can achieve a clarity / depth usually only found in darker colours , We may need a specific thread , 'off topic for this one' .. uhmm , Something to reflect on...
  20. The paint code error is just that , it does happen. As for the colour shading on you Esprit , its a lottery.. The situation is already apparent by the many shades you see on NM repairs . Most yellow's and red's are made up of several pigments . the ratio's of each can vary to provide comparative shade . Unfortunately you can use the same pigment mixing code in two different product suppliers and get completely different shades.. Trying to tint such a wide number of pigments is a painters nightmare , even when you get it correct on the stick , it will dry two shades darker.. Trial and error on a paint out card is the only way , down side is this can take a long time , sometime days .. Even then, when put in a filter light situation it won't match . As for solid or clear over base, That will depend what the factory did .. However for any repair clear over base is the best solution . This will allow you to blend out the repainted section over a wider area disguising any small shade errors . To do this you will need to use pure un-tinted clear coat , otherwise you will get a filter effect changing the shade again.. As for using rattle cans , Good luck with that .. I would love to say there is an easy solution to get the results you want by the methods you suggest , but their just isn't.. You may be able to disguise the section repaired to look better , but i fear you may need to contract a professional to get the best results.. This will be expensive, so as long as you realise a DIY repair is just that , with best guess colour match , your expectations should not exceed your result.. Using the original paint supplier the factory used for your Esprit is a good start. Hope this helps and it all works out to your satisfaction ..
  21. Uhmm , did someone mention Lego .. Got lots of GRP but bit short on Lego.. Think @Sparky had the midlands supply.. Lots like necessity needs the mother of invention, How can I help ..
  22. It can but as you say needs other parts... I did mine quite a long time back, to memory I only used the later mounting plinth. However seem to recall it also needed some finesse work as well .. Mine has been fitted and working fine for several years... The only issue I found was it works 5 times smoother and more efficient than the early type, but i decided to just put up with that .
  23. It can be done with a quality aftermarket unit , Unfortunately you can not expect it to just slot in ... You need to do a bit of customising to the new aerial unit to achieve the fit required for the tight space , along with some minor fettling within the aperture itself.. With a bit of time and patients it is achievable producing a superb quality result that looks just like the original .. Unfortunately it can take quite a bit more than a couple of hours, even with the door removed.. It all comes down to how original you want it to be ... I had no choice, The customer requested it to be done, and as close to original as possible so a solution had to be found ... So at least you know it is achievable if you persist with it ..
  24. You won't see them from the radio aperture , you will need to remove the lower sections to see in .. they won't stand out easy you will need to look for them .. use the pic i posted as a guide . They will be circa 3'' back from the vertical point of front side mount bolts .. If you try to lift and they are attached you will rip the section of you GRP chassis tunnel away .. The body should lift very easy when all bolts are undone , When you have lifted 1'' or so you may need to move chassis forward 1/2'' to clear the front top wishbone pivot bolt , which can catch in the recess adjacent to them..
  25. Have you got the two vertical bolts infront of the gear leaver under the radio consul on yours, these are 17mm AF and can be extreacted without taking all the center counsul out but a bit fiddly ... Not fitted to all models ,, worth looking at from what you describe .. See pic with little red flags showing position
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