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    Esprit S3, Esprit Turbo, Esprit HC Turbo, Essex Esprit

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  1. Yes, a misfiring when hot problem leading to a full "no spark" situation (and a night spent sleeping at a motorway services) was due to one of those Lucas rotor arms with the rivet. It was running badly when hot for months and I replaced all the Lumenition system and wires and plugs etc, but not that pesky rotor arm. Although I did check it before and it looked fine with no burning or tracking marks which is why I didn't replace it then. You can get better arms with no rivet from the Distributor Doctor (they are red) and since I have fitted it my car has had no misfiring whatsever hot or cold.
  2. The solution to my problem was just the rotor arm. It was only misbehaving/misfiring when hot for several months. I diagnosed it when stranded overnight at Magor services after it cut out completely at the Servern Bridge toll gate (the AA took me there. The spark was disappearing down the rivet hole. You can get rotor arms that dont have the rivet and remove that temptation for the spark. The car has not missed a beat hot or cold since I changed the arm....
  3. That would involve measuring! I know there are differences with the roll bar and mountings, but I thought someone might have done the swap and knew the pitfalls. I guess if the upper shock mount is similar and the lengths of the wishbones are the same then any other issues could be circumvented with a bit of welding and fabrication. I know the front leg of the lower wishbone on the non trunnion cars has nowhere to pivot so that is the main issue. The trunnion cars use the roll bar as the front leg of the wishbone which puts a lot of strain on the bush that connects it to the wishbone and definitely is not an ideal design. The 87 car feels much more precise with less tramlining and steering kickback at the front end than the trunnion car.
  4. Does anyone know if it is possible to fit the front suspension from earlier or later Esprits, so getting around the whole trunnion problem? Also the roll bar on the trunnion cars acts also as part of the bottom wishbone which is another good reason for ditching the whole setup!
  5. Looking closely at the old trunnion bolt, I just cant understand why whoever designed it would not have made it much stronger considering what a safety critical component it is. It pulls against the coil spring pressure, has to wind in and out of a thread when steering, and also has the levering action of the wheel trying to bend it. Add braking pressures,potholes, rust, poor maintenance to the mix and its pretty obvious why they can break. Oh yes, and drill a big hole up through it for the oil and also another hole in the casting above for the steering arm to further weaken it. I know the original design was for older, less powerful cars with thinner tyres, but even so..its amazing they dont break all the time. I read somewhere that you can loctite a suitable sized drill bit up the oil passageway to make it a little stronger but I for one wouldnt like to go for a hard drive along bumpy B roads with a setup like that holding the wheels on. The CC trunnionless joint has to be a better bet even with the minor niggles. Joolz
  6. Just read your V8 conversion thread and I am impressed. Its the way Lotus did some of their designs, finding a cheap effective solution and going with it. I wonder how many of the keyboard warriors have the gumption to tackle a major engine swap - I certainly couldnt, just keeping the underpowered 4 cylinder running is enough work for me! I like the use of Mondeo discs at the rear - genius! I have spent ages with thin shims trying to make my old rear discs run true. Can I ask you about those canley classic front balljoints - when the bottom balljoint is welded as you have done, is there enough range of movement in the ball for the complete range of movement of the suspension? I know the nut can foul the carrier but that is easily cured. Joolz
  7. What you say may be right, I suppose it depends on how much up and down the Lotus has compared to the GT6....I will look at it carefully when I fit them and see what other issues there may be. I am also going to measure the geometry to see if anything has changed from the trunnion setup. Imagine the extra forces the 4 pot calipers will put on that old trunnion bolt (whilst steering and going over huge potholes)!! Joolz
  8. This thread has gone a bit dead with no more info on the mysterious Lotus Balljoint carrier. I have been contacting someone at Canley Classics recently and got this reply: "If your Lotus uses an original Triumph (Herald/Spitfire/GT6, etc) bottom wishbone then I can't see any problems with using it. If it doesn't then I'm afraid I cannot recommend it. Regards " They dont seem to know anything about the Lotus bottom balljoint carrier mentioned by the Vermont company. I will be therefore be buying their GT6 kit and I think I will modify the bottom carrier by packing the gap between the bottom wishbone and flat bottom face of the carrier with a strip of steel held in place with a couple of small bolts drilled up from the bottom of the wishbone - M4 should be OK tapped into the steel - should be thick enough. I think whatever the deficiencies of the Canley kit it is a million times better than a hollow rusty bolt that may or may not snap screwing in and out of bronze trunnion. I dont know about roll or camber or geometry, but the trunnion on the GT6 is in exactly the same position on the upright as the Lotus one so they must have designed the kit to replicate this - the only differences could be the length of the wishbones on the GT6 compared to the Lotus. I do think the lack of a dust seal is a major oversight. There isnt a bearing in the world that likes road grit and salt between the bearing surfaces - if you grease it that will just make the grit stick in there even more! Any one have any ideas on a suitable seal, just one on top would be better than nothing. Joolz
  9. I have the same trouble on my S3. In addition lately it stalls when hot or sitting in traffic after first running rough ( I have to keep the revs up to keep it going) I have noticed that when hot using the electricals makes it misfire worse or stall. This makes for stressful journeys, especially with the red clutch hose syndrome rearing its ugly head as well! I did some voltage measurements on the connector that leads to the Lumenition/coil box and the volts from the front of the car fusebox seem to be slightly lower than battery voltage and much lower when operating the windows or lights. I can only deduce that my original wiring is causing a voltage drop from the front to the back of the car - it does look in poor shape and wasnt really up to the job when it came from the factory, the main feed wire from the battery to the fusebox is too small. Add 35 years and corrosion and it wont be any better! I am going to try running the ignition straight from the battery whilst it is misbehaving and see if my problem goes away. If it does I am going to power the ignition through a relay straight to the battery, this will save me rewiring the car. I will keep you posted on the results. Joolz
  10. Possibly, and is the only logical explanation, but the broken bit wasnt near the pickup to block it, although it may have been when the engine stopped running and only moved later when I was fiddling with the distro. I glued the vane back on with super glue, reassembled with a new rotor arm ( I had to smash the old one off as it was stuck solid) and the car started normally and ran smoothly! There was definitely nothing wrong with the old rotor arm - no cracks and as good as new. The weird thing was the way the engine stopped before I had all this faff - it stopped like someone had turned the ignition off, and I only heard 1 weak cough from the engine after trying immediately hot and on the following 2 days when cold. There should have been a good spark from the three working cylinders or at least some firing sounds. It defies logic. I have bought a new "chopper" - thats what the plastic thing is called- from SJ and I will fit it tomorrow. The old one had traces of glue near the broken vane so I think a PO had a similar problem. The plastic vanes are very easy to accidentally break if you are trying to lever or force the rotor arm off. Thanks to all for your help, I was stuck 200 miles away from home with no tools trying to fix the S3 in the evenings in the Hotel car park - the car conked out exactly at my destination luckily, almost like it was doing me a favour! I recently drove it to the Alps and back and it didnt miss a beat so I cant complain. Joolz
  11. Hi, thanks for your help. You are correct in saying that the sparks coming from the coil prove that the electronic points are OK, and it must be the rotor arm or the distro cap. I spoke to Steve at SJ and he seems to think its the rotor arm, so I have ordered one. However I was looking again at the distributor and I have noticed that one vane of the 4 vane disc that passes throught the optical sensor was broken off! I dont think it was me that broke it - while looking at the rotor arm. And since the engine stalled, there was something clearly wrong with the ignition before I even touched the dizzy. There are no firing sounds at all when turning the engine over. Surely though the car would still have 3 cylinders functioning if one vane was missing? Dont the vanes correspond to each cylinder? Joolz
  12. I am scratching my head on this one! My S3 cut out in a hotel car park, just ticking over, after I had just covered 200 miles up the M6 with no issues. I tried starting it immediately, but it just turned and turned with only 1 cough. I looked at it the next day and the fuel pump is ok and working and delivering fuel to the carbs. I pulled the coil ht wire off the distributor and cranked the engine, and it is sparking strongly. However when I check the plugs for sparking, there is nothing. So, great I thought, its just the distributor cap or rotor arm but these look absolutely fine with no cracks or tracking marks. It doesnt cough at all now when cranking and I am thinking that somehow the ignition timing has slipped, but the cambelt is nice and tight and the rotor arm cannot be rotated freely so it must be still connected to the toothed wheel. Any ideas anyone? Where should the timing marks be at TDC on the toothed wheels, including the one that does the dizzy. Even if the ignition timing had slipped, I surely should still get a few random sparks out the spark plug leads unless perhaps the rotor arm is firing between the cylinder contacts in the dizzy cap?
  13. LOTUS

    Essex 007

    No, but I probably will be putting an ad up soon
  14. LOTUS

    Essex 007

    No. 18 is still for sale...Its in South Wales.
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