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Neil Potter

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Everything posted by Neil Potter

  1. For what it's worth I used a smaller diameter (think 6mm ID) PVC tubing to replace these hoses, as I had some lying around and the job needed doing when I bought my car. Four and a half years later they're fine.
  2. My biggest ever Lotus spotted haul outside a gathering. Last Thursday 25th May: 2.45ish Grey Excel on A45 near Northampton, looked great and sounded better 7.45ish Red M100 Elan on a40 near Thame services and finally, a gorgeous Essex Esprit parked on a driveway in headington/temple cowley borders in oxford!
  3. Hi Freek, I don't know about the bleed nipple but the whole cylinder is so cheap (Landrover S2A) at about £10 delivered, that you could just buy one of those, the bleed nipple will likely fit your existing cylinder and you've then got a spare cylinder!
  4. 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!
  5. I'm in, finally! 1 & 2 Brian & Jackie, Breakfast & Museum 3 & 4 Johnny & Audrey, Breakfast & Museum 5 C8RKH, Breakfast and Museum 6 & 7 John and Marge, Breakfast & Museum 8 & 9 Gordon and Carlene - Breakfast and Museum 10 & 11 Colin & Heather, museum 12 Hedgerley - Breakfast & Museum 13 & 14 Al & Debbie (yippee I'm home for something!) - Breakfast & Museum 15 & 16 Gregor (Dude on here) & Emma - but Emma is only a maybe. Breakfast & Museum 17 Duggie - Breakfast & Museum 18 & 19 Alfa2Evora (David) & Jennifer, Breakfast & Museum 20 & 21 Sharron & Dave, Breakfast & Museum 22 & 23 Alan & Jim (vegetarian), Breakfast & Museum 24 Neil P, Breakfast and Museum
  6. I'd absolutely love to go to this, looks like a stunning drive. I've been absentee while engine got rebuilt, but it's now run in and rejuvenated. Sadly I don't think I can get back to Glasgow by 2pm, when I'm being required to entertain guests. Hope to make the November outing...
  7. Looks like someone got a great deal there. Colour is definitely not the best; seen midnight blue in the flesh and it is indeed dull. A shame, as there isn't really a good dark Lotus blue; azure is too purple for me. There's a very classy audi blue which i'd love to see on a stevens esprit, but not for purists of course.
  8. Went for a drive; 700 miles covered since the engine rebuild and so I'm starting to relax a bit. It all sounds lovely. Two "nice car mate" conversations. One bird crap. I've had far worse days with the car.
  9. Yep, that'll have been me taking the scenic route to the shops from Coatbridge. I'm running in the rebuilt engine if I was driving strangely!
  10. Fitted new rotor and dizzy cap today, so about a tenner in the swearbox and forearms/knuckles lacerated as usual. This was prompted by lack of firing on cylinder 3 traced to obviously corroded number 3 terminal on old dizzy cap. Then it gets weird - this doesn't fix the problem. After a lot of lead swapping and head scratching it turns out that swapping over the spark plug with another moves the problem, so spark plug was also toast! Now fixed and running fine. Surely there's a cause and effect here - dodgy connection and weak spark causing plug to fail? Moreover I shouldn't have had to replace the cap after only about 2 years. What are people recommending as distributor-less solutions? I got a crank trigger wheel fitted in anticipation of doing away with the dizzy at some point.
  11. Neil Potter

    Neil Potter

  12. Andy, that's almost it, but the dizzy gets vac pump vacuum when cold before the thermal switch changes it to manifold vacuum; hence the three pipes out the switch. It's supposed to need more advance when cold to speed up idle and warmup, but I found I was getting too much and it was causing much like what Ben is describing. On my car i get manifold vacuum all the time and have no problems.
  13. Steve isn't wrong; it's a cold ignition problem. It's certainly worth checking all the vac lines to match spec, but i doubt your static timing is wrong if all is fine when you're up to temperature. But I do think you'll solve it by ensuring the distributor only gets the manifold pressure. Reason is I have the same problem since i got the distributor rebuilt, and I'm sure it's because the vac capsule delivers too much advance. Problem went away when i blocked off the high vac feed to the distributor.
  14. This sounds very much like your vacuum advance is causing problems. When the car has warmed up the green valve (between the carbs just below the inlet manifold) switches the vacuum feed to the distributor from high (vac pump) vac to low (manifold) vac. Trace the high vac line (the one which is furthest away from the engine) to where you can get better access to it, and block it off/clamp it. See if that fixes it. If it does, your vac capsule may be failing. Has it always done this or started recently?
  15. I think I promised to help this year, but I am sans Lotus while CHANGES sorts the engine and it really wouldn't be fun driving from Glasgow in a Citroen C4. On the record - next year for sure. Hope all goes smoothly and it's another great success!
  16. Been a while since I posted anything, but while my engine undergoes its rebuild I've been reflecting on the various works done to the interior over the winter. The dash came out (there are 4 nuts holding it in, and I defy anyone to get them all back in without the aid of extension bars, universal joints, magnets and lots of swearing), along with all the leather panels for reconnolising and repairs. While all this was out, I: - put in an electric aerial - wired in some footwell lights - wired in Spiyda Design's anti-slosh module to the fuel gauge and light - fitted a delay box to the circuit feeding the dome light, so it dims to nothing rather than just switching off - treated some minor rust to the chassis door mounts and the scuttle beam - refitted the choke control - the little clip that holds it in place is an absolute pig to get in properly and I don't believe it can be done with the dash in situ - tidied up all the wires with loads of cable ties - retrimmed the steering column shroud - put new black leather on the dash below the windscreen - replaced the rusty steel air vent on the passenger side below the windscreen - replaced the rusty sun visor pivots - broke the rear view mirror but sourced a second hand replacement (off a Hillman Hunter apparently) Hopefully I don't have to do any of these things again for a very long time... Anyway, the main purpose of the blog entry is to document how I put in a new console piece, just above the radio aperture. On my car, this is just a blank panel covered with a strip of leather. For some time I've wanted to put something in there with buttons and lights and things. As a fan of Knight Rider in my youth, you can never really have too many of these things. Panel design Reigning in my desire for a funky but anachronistic air/fuel mix gauge, I realised it needed to not be too crowded to look sensible. I looked at what I needed in there; and settled on a switch to override the otter switch and control the rad fans, a yellow light to show me that the fans were working (as opposed to the "fan fail" light, which may or may not show me if the fans aren't working, although has been known to come on when the fans do), a blue light to show me that the air con was operating (if I ever get it fixed) and a switch to retract the electric aerial without switching the stereo off. This last one was needed because the replacement aerial cannot drain properly to the outside, it's just too big. It has a drain hole at the bottom, but rather than fill up my footwell I prefer the idea of stopping and putting a rubber cap on the retracted aerial if I'm ever listening to the radio in a rainstorm! So 4 switches or lights. At this point I decided I wanted rectangular items, which seemed to me to be more 1980s than any of the circular options. Note that this is a much harder option than going for circular bits, which can have their apertures drilled. Materials Suitable switches and lights were easily obtained from Car Builder Solutions. Plastic was much more of a problem, as if plastic is rigid enough not to bend on switch pressure, it's too brittle to work properly when you're trying to make a rectangular hole. I found this out the hard way after cutting out the required size of black ABS (took numerous attempts with my rubbish jigsaw), using a soldering iron to melt out approximate rectangles, and then setting to work with craft knife and file. Managed to shatter the thing pretty quickly. Further research yielded The Plastic People who offer a range of plastics cut to size. The aperture is 185mm by 37mm on my car, so rather than rely on jigsaw and steady hand I got them to send me this sized piece in a couple of different types. The best for this purpose turned out to be their "foam board" which is soft enough to have the rectangles cut out with a knife but solid enough (just) to act as a panel. I did reinforce it with two thin strips of the original ABS along the back of the panel though. Here's what the plastic panel looked like with the holes cut and the lights test fitted: The font of wisdom At this point, I decided that unlabelled switches or ones made from a label maker were going to look a bit crap. I needed something authentic but which Doing a bit of research on this forum, it turns out the retro-futuristic font in use on the Esprit up to about 1990 when the old HVAC panel was discontinued, was something called Microgramma. This was also used on the Elan in the sixties, so is a nice link to Lotus history even if the font on the exterior of the car is different! To try and match my HVAC panel, I downloaded a font file and mocked up a Word document with suitable legends (attached here). This can then be printed out on sticky paper and applied to the panel. Finally, I put on a layer of matt self-adhesive film to cover over the whole thing and make it look a bit more plastic than paper. Wiring Meanwhile, I'd managed to identify the wires needed for the switches. Both lights are currently unwired, as the air con doesn't work and I think I need to run a wire from the rad fan relay to the dash to have the rad fan "activity" light work - a project for later. The aerial switch just interrupts the 12v signal wire from the stereo to the aerial. The rad fan override switch interrupts the yellow and green wire which goes from the otter switch to fuse 13 in the fusebox through a large block connector on the RHS under the dash. It's not any of the binnacle connectors. Putting it in place On the home straight now, I used a dremel to cut an aperture in the blank panel forming part of the centre console trim. This was just wide enough for the switches and lights, as I needed to retain some of the panel to receive 2 self-tapping screws. This are not very tight (to avoid distoriting the switch panel), but secure it well enough. Here's the end result - terrible photo, will take a better one when I get the car back... Control panel.doc
  17. Hi Brooke, Not driven an earlier car, but mine has the HC engine. Everything I've heard says the HC has a bit more mid-range torque, though I guess the gearing (citroen box on the G car, renault on the Stevens) will also be a factor. Forged pistons on the HC, so maybe a bit more tunable if you're into that kind of thing. I believe the HC also includes the turbo with the water cooling, which is a definite plus to my mind. All stevens carb turbos are HC, and these seem to be more common than G turbos and certainly cheaper. G car with HC is pretty rare beast. Maintenance will be pretty similar, though I think the HC has redesigned cam covers to avoid oil going everywhere when checking valve clearances! hope this helps!
  18. Thanks guys. The crank case breather WAS blocked; I'd put a filter on it a couple of years back rather than have it push oil mist into my turbo and carbs. The filter was full of gunk, as was the green thing with the gauze in it. I noticed this after I first caught the traces of mayo on the dipstick. Assuming that it was HG failure i was thinking the blockage was the effect rather than the cause. There does appear to be a bit of a film on the coolant though, which would seem to settle it. B**ger.
  19. Evening all, Looks pretty much like my head gasket has given up the ghost. I spotted some mayonnaise on the dipstick in the autumn and put it down to condensation in the tube (oil at the cams was fine). Might have done thirty miles since then as the interior has been out for reconnolising. But I started her up tonight and watched the oil get gloopier through the filler cap; obvious white swirls in there. All very depressing as I'm really looking forward to some tours this summer. Engine has done just over 100k miles, but is in reasonable shape I think for that mileage. Although I haven't done a proper throttle open compression test on the hot engine, before I knew much about these things I did one on closed throttle when cold and got readings of 90-105 psi each. A couple of questions: Any straws to clutch at here? It seems pretty conclusive to me so is it worth doing one of those exhaust-gas-in-the-coolant chemical kit things? And can a HG be done in situ? If it's an engine out job then it might make sense to bite the bullet and get a rebuild. cheers all, n
  20. Happy to drive electric as and when it represents a practical value proposition. I doubt that the IC engine would be banned; more likely we'd see deterrent taxes on petrol. It'd have to go up a huge amount to put me off my 2000 miles a year in the Esprit. If they were banned outright I'd likely look at putting an electric engine in it.
  21. Evening all! MOT is coming up next month and I've no idea where to take the Esprit to get its ticket. Any recommendations for somewhere who will treat it with kid gloves? I'm in NE Glasgow (Bishopbriggs). Cheers, Neil
  22. I think my car must have been done at the same time as Atwell's, as it's a mirror image two-tone from the same year, also with the grey sill. Magnolia interior, Atlantic Green A61 exterior, this pic shows it all but the carpets are new.
  23. That Dodo Pro stuff looks much better than the original stuff, which is pretty heavy, and there's lots of it (two layers on the bulkhead IIRC). Probably a good upgrade. I also had a few chunks missing from the drivers footwell when I did the carpets, but have to say it didn't occur to me to replace it.
  24. Spooky; another Neil pulling his Esprit apart, who has also found loads of superfluous stereo wiring this afternoon! If you need a new electric aerial I believe Esprit Engineering have some that will fit. Thanks for the screwdriver bit tip Malcolm, I have a little 90 degree ratchet driver which takes those bits, but even that was too big in that space. Managed to get it out though, that rusty vent has been bugging me for three years now, gonna get it powder coated. The screen landing task is bothering me as I think the Stevens screen is very slightly curved, unlike Slewthy's G-car, and the sealant seems to be a bit uneven at the base (possibly not the original screen). I think a lot of test fitting with a roll of vinyl I have lying around will be the way forward, then look for some suitable leather.
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