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    Esprit GT3
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  1. Updated version with partially threaded mounting studs and fillets around internal right angle corners:
  2. You were right: learning a new CAD package is v. hard work! However, I'm pleased with the result. Just need to talk to a 3D printing house in the morning... Have now found a print bureau in Portsmouth who have an on-line quoting system that suggests £10 or so (presumably plus VAT) per unit, plus a small set up fee.
  3. You're right there's some work involved. I'm waiting on a quote for the scanning and reverse engineering into a CAD file. Alternatively, I keep threatening to learn how to use a CAD package properly, so this might be the ideal opportunity to simply draw the casing shape from scratch. There are many of the intricacies of the Caerbont casing that do not seem relevant to our gauges, so they could be omitted, whilst taking the opportunity to slightly thicken the plastic case. Then of course I'd have the ideal excuse to buy a 3D printer... On reflection, I could also update the mounting to use a finely threaded external collar, rather than the metal bracket.
  4. Thanks for the confirmation. I agree with the issue of originality of the front of the gauges, but am less concerned about the casing since it can't be seen with the gauges in situ. Hence my desire to reverse engineer the shape and then increase the thickness of the casings to add strength.
  5. Yes, they are the Caerbont instruments, whose co-located sister company, Speedy Cables, can apparently repair them, but there are three disadvantages to this: The company's name is a bit of a misnomer in the sense that my and many others' experience with them is that they are anything but speedy. Second is that I'm told that they charge upwards of £50 to repair each gauge, and third is the fact that I would still have delicate plastic casings.
  6. Funnily enough that was my wife's suggestion - to replace plastic with metal - and I considered it, and also discussed it with an instrument repairer. Unfortunately we concluded that the way each of the terminals is brought out of the back of the gauge - using a threaded stud - would mean that there would be a lot of re-work necessary to make insulating pillars for each stud. I therefore discounted the idea for the time being. At one point I also considered buying cheap Chinese gauges from AliEpress and cannibalising them just for their casings...
  7. Thanks Colin, but if you search this forum, other Lotus groups, and indeed any number of TVR forums (fora?) you'll see that it's a commonly mentioned problem. I think that it's exacerbated by over-tightening of the knurled nuts that hold the mounting clamp. I've tried glue but would prefer something more permanent....
  8. I've just realised that despite being a member for almost a decade, my car isn't on the list: 1997 GT3 in Calypso Red VIN: SCC082920VHA42141 now residing in Hampshire
  9. Whilst concluding my conversion to LED lighting on Sunday I got a nasty shock when I removed the instrument binnacle cover and found that all five of my minor gauges are exhibiting some degree of cracking. The water temperature and fuel gauges being the worst; having cracks around more than 300 degrees of their circumference. All this on a car that has done 20,000 miles hence has spent most of its life away from extremes of temperature. The cost of replacement is obscene: £450 for five gauges, and I’m still awaiting ‘Speedy’ Cables’ quote for repair, but it occurred to me that either of these solutions will still leave me with the same weakness to future failure. I’m therefore contemplating a modern alternative which is to have a casing 3D scanned as a baseline, then converted into a CAD file which can be modified to thicken the plastic to strengthen where appropriate, before being manufactured using 3D printing. The non recurring expense of going for injection moulding rules it out unless there’s a demand for thousands, which I very much doubt, but I wonder what the potential interest might be for modified casings? I’m aware that the same gauges are used in the Esprit, early Elise and some TVRs (anything else?) so I can’t imagine that I need to make a batch of more than 10 sets i.e. 50 cases initially. Obviously I’d want to amortise my initial outlay in scanning and re-designing, but firstly I’d like to get a feeling for who would be interested, please? Hopefully this doesn’t count as illicit marketing… but happy to be corrected.
  10. Just to resurrect and update this thread. On my GT3 I have replaced my brake/tail light bulbs with LEDs but found, as others have done, that with the ignition on, as soon as the side lights are switched on, the ABS illuminates its warning light. (It’s a ‘97 GT3 so has the Delco ABS system) I concur that this is because of the inner workings of the LED ‘dual’ bulb which is, in fact, only one, and that it effectively back feeds the ABS Controller through the bulb sense wire. My instinct was to overcome this by simply adding diode in the feed to each brake light, such that power from the side light circuit could not get back to the ABS Controller. Unfortunately the forward voltage drop across the diode seems to be too much for the ABS controller which continued to show a warning. In order to persuade the ABS Controller that there is a good circuit path to ground I have therefore also added a 4k7 resistor between the anode of the diode and the bulb’s earth wire. This seems to do the trick.
  11. Steve, Thank you so much for your help. Cheers Richard
  12. I am in the process of possibly the slowest Esprit rebuild in history, but the end is in sight, and I’m chasing fiddly odds and ends. With that in mind, does anyone please know, or happen to have a photograph of the fixings that are used on the rear radius arms (trailing arms) to locate the handbrake cable, the speed sensor cables and the rigid brake pipe. From memory there were a mixture of plastic and metal clips, but I can’t find them in the remaining parts tubs, nor in the parts catalogue, they’re not listed on SJ Sportscars’ web-site, and Googling hasn’t yielded a picture of an assembled trailing arm. As the Classic Car Show is on at the NEC next weekend I thought I’d have a trawl around the inevitable flea market, but only if I know what I’m looking for. Many thanks in advance.
  13. Please add my name to this group. I've been slowly restoring my GT3 and am nearly ready to replace the powertrain, so this would be a timely upgrade.
  14. Zulu10


  15. Zulu10

    Lotus Excel S.E

    Yes, it interested me too, so I enquired about its status and this is the reply I received: "Hi no mot or tax not sure about service history I have had car about 8 months got it from a job I was on. It has been some one pride and joy as you can tell from condition but only got log book. Thanks." That rather calls into question the "one owner from new" statement. Judging by the underbonnet photos I think it has been stored somewhere none too dry. I suspect it might need a bit of tlc to get into roadworthy condition - certainly to the point where it's fit to be used daily.
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