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Everything posted by Vanya

  1. I think its scary how close Colin Chapman was to destroying/muddying his legacy as a result of this. Even in this documentary he is a hairs breadth away from being framed as a prime suspect. It feels horrible to say, but if his passing hadn't happened when it did, he and his brilliant contributions to Motorsport might have been remembered in an entirely different light.
  2. Well today at long last, after 9 years, I finally fitted original spec rear dampers to my SE, big shout to to SJ Sports Cars for having these remanufactured. The difference now that I am running OG bushes, shocks and springs all round is night and day. The GAZ dampers I had in the rear had literally no rebound compared to the old Lotus spec, which left me with a bouncy rear (I was also using the SE spring raye with the adjustables vs the supplied 250 lb S4 springs, which made matters worse). Anyways for those wanting the original stuff so they don't have to sell their organs for the ever more expensive LOTAC setup, stuff is again available.
  3. Now to see if I can have walnut burl dash, magnolia hide and BRG exterior...
  4. A few snaps I've taken of my Turbo SE, now actually cleaned and washed.... What a joy it is to walk out of the house to this sight...
  5. Home at last. I'm pleased to say that the new bearings have zero play in them. Well worth the expense. Now time for a geo check.
  6. Quick update: I found an original part on eBay and enhanced the image. I could just about make out that the bearing is SNR - doing some digging I found a kit for a Renault Fuego or Espace (commonly known as an xref). Kit is R155.11 and contains the bearing TGB.10872.S02 - the latter of which I can just about make out on the eBay pic. Hopefully this will help someone out there. edit: aaaaand here's the final proof! Dug out my old bearing from the trash.
  7. Hi, I got these from SJ, but Paul Matty are stocking these as well (called their parts department yesterday and confirmed). I'll give SKF a shot if I can find them readily. I am generally not opposed to alternative sources for parts but when it comes to bearings I believe I've learned over the years that you really don't want to skimp on quality, if given a choice. Of course this makes it difficult to do beforehand because you need to know the dimensions - and removing the old bearing non-destructively is impossible I think? Anyway I am looking forward to pulling my weight and contributing with a decent xref for the community. Thanks for the help guys!
  8. Update, luckily there's a lot of cross references for these bearings, and SKF VKBA971 seems to be a match. I dunno the hierarchy of bearing quality but SKF is right up there and has worked for me in other applications. I'll try and source some and report on fitment.
  9. Put the bearings in the press and the play is in the bearing. Even after 5 tons of force is applied there's still play. I'm so sick of these counterfeit aftermarket parts. Lose so much time and money. This happened to me when I bought front wheel bearings from the same specialist, had to grind them off because the tolerances were off and fit an SKF bearing instead. Unfortunately genuine rears are unobtainable from Lotus. Aaaarghh. FFS... Attaching pic of the bearing below. Pure garbage.
  10. Yeah I felt SO stupid when I re-read the manual and saw that...why on earth didn't I press the assembly together, instead pressing only one half. That said, you'd think 270 Nm or so would bed it in properly.... How much force do you guys use when fitting these with a press? I probably would have stopped when feeling resistance (if the halves were together) so as to not damage anything. That's usually how I fit bearings anyway; they slide onto the spigot smoothly. Will do this afternoon! Thanks for the help guys!
  11. Yeah I thought this might be it, but then we put the car on its wheels and torqued links to hub, links to chassis and radius arm to chassis all at ride height. Play persisted. Have I deformed the bearings somehow? It has been a while indeed! Hope you're in good health!!! I feel bad for spending so much time away from this place As for the play; I know, it's weird right? No play 9 and 3, at all. Is there a trick to installing the rear bearings on Stevens Esprits when new? I gently pressed the one half onto the hub spigot in the press and stopped when it had bottomed out. Screwed the other half into the hub carrier with the torx bolts (it fit into its recess without any persuasion required. "Cable tied" the hub part to the hub carrier so it wouldn't fall off in transit to the garage, and then fitted the lot onto the drive shaft and torqued up the nut. I can have a look tomorrow where the play is but I'm 99% sure its from the hub. It would be VERY odd if it were from the links as those parts are brand new and tight AF to fit. Maybe the two bolts holding the radius arm to the hub carrier need extra torquing up when everything is in place? Typical that this weird stuff always happens to me!
  12. And we are back in business! Moving in to a villa (and buying cheap and crappy Alfas) has brought with it all kinds of distractions, so it's taken a while to get round to finishing the tast of rear suspension refurbishment but yesterday, after much wrangling with the re assembly of the heat shields above the LHS engine mount, the car was back together (I swear that job itself is worse than 2 seized links). So now the Esprit is back on its wheels and..well would you look at that, no longer leaning! Naturally however these projects don't always work out without some difficulty somewhere. It was generally speaking smooth sailing except for the fact I now have play at the rear wheels, both sides, at the 12 and 6 position. The bearings and bushings are all new. Am I missing something here guys?
  13. Hello all! I've stumbled upon what I believe is an inferior batch of rear link bushes for the Stevens Esprits and wanted to see if anyone else has had the same problems. This weekend I started to re-assemble my rear suspension and began with the (generally basic) task of pressing in the bushes to the links. I had 4 bushes left over from my V8 ownership days a few years back, and 4 "newer" ones I'd recently ordered. Both are original parts with the same part number, sourced from a reputable independent supplier. The first "V8" batch had a matt appearance (similar as the bushes I'd fitted to the front of the car a few years ago) whereas the "newer" parts were shiny and felt almost harder to the touch. Anyway the older matt bushes went in without a problem using the conical tool I've previously used with success. The newer one disintegrated upon fitting. Here are some pictures of the "suspect" batch, the disintegrated bushing, and an "older type" fitted to a lower link. I haven't had this happen with bushes before. It's almost like the rubber was dried out and cracked apart. What say ye? I'm usually the first to blame myself when something goes wrong but this has me scratching my head. Note: no, I did not attempt to press these in bone-dry without any lubricant. As always, thanks in advance for any and all words of wisdom. In the meantime I'll keep myself busy by wrenching on one of my Alfas, which ALWAYS require some kind of attention...
  14. Lidls finest. Got the job done. Just needed Cobalt coated bits and some oil.
  15. I'm personally a massive fan of zinc plating and love the finish as it's an indicator of whether the car is driven in the wet or salt. If the zinc is still there, it's a good sign. Many Swedish Esprits I have seen the factory plating still present and correct on the links etc. For my SE rear suspension now I intend to do the same, even moreso because it juxtaposes well with parts that have yet to be done (did the front suspension years ago - still looking amazing!). They're a massively satisfying indicator of "progress" I think the gold standard (no pun intended) is what @CHANGESdid with that Sport 300 restoration a few years ago....
  16. Hmmm damn google photos. Doesn't seem to be an option to make the pics public. Lets see, does this link work:
  17. Wow, has it really been this long since I've done anything on the car? There have been some distractions along the way, but I assure you the car is still very much in my possession and my main passion in terms of car life. After 9 years of ownership I decided to tackle the rear lower link pins. Oh what a pig of a job.... Given how seized on everything was, the only way to get the lower link off was with the angle grinder, something my brother promptly took care of: Removing the rear wheel bearing (check this setup out!) Ok now the lower link pins... The idea was sound, but there is no thread on this Earth that has the strength required to pull these out without stripping. It worked on one side; Some heat needed: With that part of the job completed, it was time to treat ourselves. Went out and bought a GTV. What's better than a Busso v6? A Busso with a turbo on it! (2 liter goodness) Anyways... We got the other half out by welding on new thread to the existing (totally stripped) link pin: Now to tackle the insert...oh god. So how did we do this? Well, by cutting away at the inside with a dremel bit designed for grinding steel. Gotta be careful with 2 things; not to go too far, thus marring the aluminium casting, and not to have to great an angle on the bit (otherwise it snaps off, creating costly bills). After cutting through I tried to collapse/crush it using pliers, but the steel is very thick, and my hands took a pummeling - pain for days afterwards. Plan B. The Press. In order to press this out we needed something with a flank that would freely pass through the opening in the casting; we rounded off the head of a stubby bolt: So how did we press this out "safely"? I didn't take a picture of this side, but I have one for the other side. In this picture we are attempting to press out what's left of the link pin, but the principle is the same. Using the remains of the older link pin, we pressed out the spacer. It took about 3-5 tons to shift it, and it would move in steps, making banging noises along the way. We learned that you ideally need an unthreaded steel rod; something that hasn't been compromised in terms of potential bending motion; I tried using punches but you see them bend in real time (very elastic they are). Anyway we are at present stuck trying to extract the stud and spacer on the right hand side; it's proving more difficult than the other side. We need to find threaded bar strong enough to withstand the pulling force required. That and "longer" nuts with more thread on them to distribute the load. After that, We will try and press out the spacer without cutting and collapsing; if 5 tons does it, like previously, it'll save hours of grinding at the steel. Speaking of which, here's a good reason to look at your lower link pins. To the left here we have cut away the rubber to make room for the angle grinder. To the right, you can see that the bushing has long since worn away, resulting in metal-on-metal contact between the lower link and the snubber washer. I imagine this did little to improve NVH, ride comfort or performance. More to come! I can't wait to get these pins out so I can send these parts for blasting (and zinc plating where applicable). That and with a bit of luck with all the new bushes and new links, the geometry will at last be right, and the car maybe wont lean any more.
  18. This sounds quite interesting Dave, I might be interested in this! My Esprit currently has NOS original coilovers in the front, and new original bushes all around throughout the front suspension. The rear is running adjustable SPAX dampers with original length and spec springs. I haven't gotten round to changing the bushes in the rear suspension yet - many are damaged (like the lower wishbone to chassis which are shot). The gap between the left hand side wheel and wheel arch, and the right side, differs by an inch or so. Even at the front. Rear suspension is up this winter - gonna have at those seized lower links finally. When I'd re-done the front suspension I loaded up the car with 140 kg of ballast and a half tank of petrol, and torqued up all the bolts at ride height (surprisingly, all can be accessed with the car on its wheels!) The ride height from the ground to the chassis was in spec. I've set one shock in the rear to match original dimensions, and the driver's side a cm or so higher to compensate for the lean, and to get the right "ride-height", but alas it still leans. I've just looked at the manual and the body bobbins etc and I have a hard time imagining everything would line up if you "shimmed" for height. Or are the holes so large that shimming is possible, after which fixings are torqued down? I cannot exclude the possibility of my car having been crashed and poorly repaired, but surely there would be some fairly obvious evidence of this that I'd have picked up on during the last 8 years? Here's a picture gallery (click the thumbnail) from a few years ago when we replaced the front suspension and had it checked:
  19. Hey everyone, I've not been as active on here as I'd like to be, and I must admit the same applies to my Esprit which saw now upgrades or overhauls this past year - just a few miles. Last night I was in the garage doing some odd jobs on my Alfa when a guy shows up and says "I dunno if you've noticed but something's happened to your car". I assume vandalism, but no, he is worried that my suspension has collapsed as the car is leaning towards the driver's side. I explain to him that this is an Esprit flaw. "Has it been crashed?" he asks. "No" I reply. "Oh, so you've had it since it was new then?". "No, but I've rebuilt so much of it, surely I'd se evidence of crash damage. Also the geometry checks out" "But it shouldn't be this way" "But it is, it's a common problem" "You should call the factory. This isn't right. Or do Lotus make such low quality cars?" I became more and more terse and I think he'd had enough of me shortly thereafter when he went his own way. The question stands though; why do some Esprits (mine is RHD) lean, and others not? When I rebuilt my front suspension with original components, replacing the shims etc identically, the geometry on the Hunter machine checked out perfectly. Green all the way. The rear is out of whack as I haven't done the bushings yet, but I have new coilovers in the back too. Does anyone know EXACTLY why this affects some Esprits, and not others. Is it chassis fatigue? Is it due to large variations in the body moulding? Can the body be "shimmed" when fitting onto the backbone chassis? Do we have a source, past or present, at Lotus who can tell us why this is an issue? I've had the car for 8 years like this and it's gotten better after replacing suspension, but it would be nice to have a level Esprit so I can avoid stupid conversations like the ones above. Let's get technical!
  20. Good points, the both of them - the car around the Busso V6 rusts away if it isn't Dinitrol treated (my current 166 is and is rust-free. Beggars belief). As for Evora NA, every time I sit in that interior I fall in love with it. I can't wait. I've heard this about the 156. I've only briefly driven the 156 2,5 sportwagon and found it to be quite nimble, especially compared to the 166, which, lets face it, is more of a riviera cruiser.
  21. Man I was born in the wrong decade. Some of the stuff on your lists is awesome - Meraks, 456's.... Here's my, relatively speaking, pedestrian history... Ford Focus 2006 Lotus Esprit Turbo SE 1991 (still got it) Lotus Esprit V8 1996 Lotus Elan SE 1991 Jaguar XKR 2002 Jaguar XK8 1997 Maserati 4200 2004 Peugeot RCZ 2012 Toyota GT86 2012 Fiat Brava 1997 (best 50 quid car I've ever had) Ford Focus 2006 (wifeys current beater) Alfa Romeo 166 2005 (current beater 300 000 miles and counting) Itches to scratch (once the threat of global financial meltdown due to C19 has receded): Maserati 3200 (The Widowmaker) Lotus Evora NA Aston Martin DB9 Alfa Romeo 156 Alfa Romeo Giulia Alfa Romeo 166 (pre-facelift) I've gotta say though, Alfa's are extremely addictive - as an engineer the Busso V6 is such a joy to work on and everything so accessible (and affordable) it's hard not to want more of them. Even if the cars are FWD and a bit slow....
  22. I've read some weird rumours along the lines of "The MC20 was meant to be sold as a Dino while the Roma was meant to become the Alfieri" - I can kind of see it. This car has nothing whatsoever to do with Maserati, except maybe that crazy track car they put out a long while back. Is "Carbon Fibre + Alcantara Delete" an option at this point? It looks cool, I can't fault the exterior other than it doesn't really have its own identity. The interior looks like any modern supercar interior. Dunno if this will sell?
  23. I dunno man, there's just something about the brand. I personally love them - I also know of a guy who has a car collection that is beyond epic and he really loves the GranTurismo; and many out there feel the same. Merak, Quattroporte IV Evoluzione, 3200, 4200 Cambiocorsa, GranTurismo, Ghibli - all awesome cars. I was particularly floored by the quality of my old 4200 - so incredibly well put together throughout. Sadly parts prices and the expensive Cambiocorsa box saw me part ways with it. If nothing else Maserati is a good stopgap between Alfa Romeo and Ferrari.
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