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Racer16

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About Racer16

  • Birthday 08/09/1981

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  • Name
    Jonathan
  • Car
    1977 Esprit, 1978 Esprit
  • Location
    Ohio

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  1. Another quick update for you guys. While waiting for parts I did more disassembly. I wasn't planning on removing the body, but since I was most of the way there already I took the opportunity to properly clean things up. There was no damage and only a bit of surface rust, but it's looking a lot better now. Now it's really ready to be put back together. Unfortunately I found several pinholes in the corroded ends of the alloy coolant pipes, so it looks like I'll need to source replacements for those as well. For the 90 degree pipes between the main pipes and the radiator, it looks like there's a part number for a rubber coolant hose. The car had alloy pipes with straight rubber couplers at the ends. Is there some reason I'm missing that I can't just replace the alloy pipes with rubber hoses? The pipes are corroded beyond repair. And a long shot question, but does anyone know if there's a machine shop in Ohio familiar with building 907 motors? The motor definitely needs some work beyond what I'm capable of doing in a home garage.
  2. I finally got everything else out of the way and started making progress on this project. If you consider taking even more parts off the car as progress... Starting at the front end, the original piece is still there behind the grafted on splitter, but somewhat the worse for wear. The aftermarket A/C components aren't doing it any favors either, and I'm sure they're not helping with airflow through the radiator. The radiator itself doesn't look too good either. I'm not sure if it's worth trying to refurbish or if it would be easier to just get the aftermarket aluminum radiator with updated fans and never worry about cooling again. On the plus side, I don't think the shell was molested too much in fitting that newer nose piece, other than some screw holes, so I'm hoping I can pull it off and get a replacement for the original type splitter. The wiring looks like a challenge, so I'm ignoring that for now and I took out the fuel tanks instead. They weren't actually that difficult to remove, helped considerably by not having an engine in the way I'm sure. To my surprise, I had to drain almost five gallons of something that used to be fuel out. I was initially optimistic that this meant the tanks might not be too bad since they weren't leaking. After getting them out though, there is a considerable amount of rust both inside and outside. Once again I'm debating whether refurbishment is worth it or just order the aluminum replacements and be done with it... I am compiling a list of parts I think I'll need, so hopefully I will have some reassembly progress to report eventually. Thankfully the cars came with a copy of the workshop manual and parts manual, so I feel like I have a fighting chance.
  3. Thanks everyone. I will probably start a thread in the restoration section once I really get into #545H, but for now I just want to get the black car going. I'm operating under the assumption that it won't need a full restoration at least. Is there a market for the turbo motors if I just decide to sell it? It's supposed to be a low mileage Euro engine, but it's been sitting for ~10 years now. I think I'd just sell one of these cars and buy a later car if I really wanted a turbo. The garage with the shell in it actually has a paint booth section, so I'm planning on painting it myself. Unfortunately I don't know how to paint yet, but I've got a couple old Alfas that I might try my hand at before I get to the Lotus. Does anyone have an opinion on whether the US based suppliers like JAE and RD Enterprises are good sources for S1 parts? Their websites don't show a whole lot. SJS of course seems like they have everything if I need to order from the UK. I believe I have all the major components of both cars, but I can tell I'm missing a lot of hardware and fasteners and little stuff like that. And of course all the rubber lines and hoses and bushings will need to be replaced. Speaking of which, and this seems like a stupid problem, but I don't have all the lug nuts for those BBS wheels and I've never seen ones that look like this. Google has failed me. Any thoughts on these?
  4. I ran across a deal earlier this year that I couldn't pass up. I've liked Esprits ever since I was a kid, but never really expected to own one (or two). But I always keep an eye out for interesting project cars so I went to check out a cheap 1978 Elite from Craigslist in West Virginia. I passed on the Elite, but in the garage they had a black S1 Esprit with the engine removed and a pile of parts that supposedly used to be a white S1. It took me three or four trips with my trailer to get everything back to my shop, but with the direction prices on old sports cars have been going, I thought this might be my last chance to make something like this happen. The previous owner was a member of this board who passed away about 10 years ago and left a lot of unfinished projects. Everything had been sitting untouched since then, until the family started selling off the cars recently. The black car is #278H. Before coming to this side of the country it was a California car where some unfortunate cosmetic choices were made. An S2 splitter was grafted onto the front end, along with side skirts, intake ears, and a louvered rear hatch. I could live with the rest, but the splitter is cracked and falling apart, so I hope it will be possible to restore a proper S1 nose at least. The interior is pretty good, I'm guessing it was redone at the time of the body "upgrades." The drivetrain is where I'll need some guidance from the brain trust here. The previous owner apparently had the idea of putting a turbo motor in the car and a complete '84 turbo motor was included with the car. This does not look like a drop in project to me, and I'm unwilling to modify the shell or chassis, assuming it would even be possible. From browsing the owner's old posts here, he might have abandoned that idea and was in the process of rebuilding the stock 907 with a later HC head, 2.2 crank, overbore pistons, etc. I have all these parts as well. I can put together an engine, but I have never touched a Lotus before. This part of the project will be challenging. The (formerly) white car is #545H. Looks like it might have been one of the last S1s sent to the US? It was a basketcase with restoration work started and stopped over several owners for at least the last 25 years. Also found previous posts from a hopeful new owner here. With luck, I'll get farther than they did. It does appear to be very nearly complete, including a good set of Wolfrace wheels and a new windscreen. It also came with a complete engine, though I don't think it actually came from this car. My initial thought is to put this engine in the black car to get it going while I sort out the situation with the other engines. I'm sure it will be years before 545H is roadworthy. Pictures of what is probably a huge mistake They don't roll well without a gearbox to hold up the suspension. Enough to get it out of the trailer and into the garage though. Paint is in fairly good condition. Suspect it might have been resprayed when the bodywork was added. This atrocity has got to go. Interior isn't bad. Not sure about the new steering wheel, but it's there now. Original is on the passenger seat. The turbo motor and a stock 907 with Dellortos, and my helper. 545H: Someday these two will be together again. The disassembled hot rod 907 motor. He obviously spent a lot of time on everything. I hope I can finish his work. So many Lotus parts... Looking forward to being a member of the Lotus community. I'm located in northeast Ohio. I'll have many questions for the experts here as I get deeper into the project this winter, but for now, what the heck is a Series 1 owner supposed to do with a turbo 910 motor? Maybe I need to buy another Esprit to put it in...
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