OK, here's my review at last.
First off, don't think you can just install new brake hoses, of any brand, onto your 28 year old car over the course of a day or so. Oh no. As well as needing 11/13/15/17mm flare spanners (ideally 2 x13mm ones) you will encounter one or more of the following fun issues:
- seized nuts. Get your Dremel with flexi attachment ready.
- seized caliper to hose adaptor on the rear Bendix calipers (seized to the hose, not the caliper thankfully in my case)
- rusty brake pipes, particularly at the front. You will want to replace them!
Get some M10 locking washers to replace the old ones if you don't have any to hand. Oh, and the bleed nipples on the front calipers are M7 1mm threads.
OK, the hoses themselves. Goodridge kindly sent me the ones with stainless fittings, in smart black. I can't fault the quality - these things feel like they will last forever. They have a little permanent collar on them showing date of manufacture, which I guess is quite nice if you want to prove the work you did was recent. They come in a slightly boy-racerish box, and I can see why as they market these hoses as a performance upgrade. I guess the folk who are drawn to quality and reliability will do their own research rather than impulse buy.
A point to note is that the Esprit Turbo kit they list on their website, is I think the one for the SE which it turns out is not quite the same as for the Stevens carb turbo. There are 6 hoses in the kit. The 4 rear ones are identical to each other and fit perfectly, but the front hoses must be different (think the SE hose goes straight into the caliper rather than into a little curly pipe bracketed to the caliper). I needed all 6 pipes with the same fittings at each end, but 2 slightly shorter. Happily Goodridge were very quick to sort this, and replicated the front hoses from the old one I sent them. They now have the knowledge to produce a specific carb turbo kit, so they should be able to help if you give them a call.
There isn't any literature in the package to help you work out what hose goes where, in my case the two front hoses were slightly shorter. From a buyers point of view this information would be helpful and save a lot of swearing if you start at one end and fit what look like the right hoses until you get to the other end.
Fitting took ages for the problems outlined above (might do a blog post on it), but once all in, brakes bled, leaks dealt with, it was time to go for a spin.
All things considered, braking performance is I think a marginal improvement. Not so much in outright stopping power, but in firmness of the pedal and effort needed to get same result. It is slight, to be honest, although conditions at the weekend were a little damp so I couldn't give the brakes a full workout. I suppose I couldn't rule out that I managed to bleed out a little air that had been there before; nonetheless I'm happy that things are better than before and so I would recommend. Just don't expect a radical transformation.
The key thing for me is that these hoses inspire confidence. Looking at the old knackered hoses which came off the car (possibly original), I feel a whole lot happier that I'm not trusting them any more. The Goodridge hoses look and feel like the premium product I think they are, and given how much these cost vs how much we all spend on Esprit maintenance, it seems a no brainer to go for the quality and consider the performance improvement as a bonus.
Just my 2p worth!