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  1. Yes, my tyres and tyre pressures are spot on 25 at the back and 21 at the front. My next port of call was going to be the bushes around the front end, I think they are all original from 1981 - maybe I am expecting too much from such old rubber! The car is coming up to 100k now... Joolz
  2. My S3 has had its rack and U/J replaced, the bottom U/J was nearly seized at one point. The car pulls to the right on gentle braking, but I think my calipers are a bit uneven. The problem I have is that the car will not steer straight driving over the worn inside lane on the motorway, it trys to climb right and left out of the ruts, I know the ruts dont help but it is the worst car I have driven for this type of steering problem. It is fine on flat roads, but there arent many of those in the UK. The alignment has been done twice, the bushes are a bit old but I cant detect any play when jacked up with a big lever on the job. The wheel bearings and tyres are OK. It seems that the problem is slightly worse with the new rack. Also (mabe a stiff new rack) the steering does not center very willingly, it seems to keep whatever direction I point it to, and only roughly comes back to an approximate straight ahead position. The rack seemed very stiff when I took it out the box, so maybe it will loosen up a little. My question is: Is a normal for an old G esprit to wander about over bumps/undulations etc? It does have a wide track. I am getting bored of fighting the wheel to keep it going straight Rgds Joolz
  3. I could accept that if the high speed steering was better, but it isnt! I will give you an update after I have changed the rack and been for an alignment - I am hoping it will transform the steering although my rack doesnt have any play in it despite the stiffness and it has been for a quality alignment recently. It also has new tyres and front wheel bearings. It was actually steering better with too much toe in before the alignment - better self centering, and less twitchiness. I suppose the suspension bushes are worn out and this was masking the problem. Joolz
  4. It seems to be the pinion shaft/pinion bearing baulking every half a turn, so I have ordered up a new rack and one U/J just in case. I dont understand why it suddenly went south though, but the steering has definitely been bump steering over rough roads. I have an HC with 10000 miles on the clock and this car drives straight and true, but it has the later suspension (no trunnions). I have been through some huge puddles far too fast recently, one caused the S3 to acquaplane sideways into the path of an oncoming car, luckily he was going slow and I just managed to collect it in time. I figure some water must have got into the rack - it certainly went everywhere else! Does everyone have the same problem as me in that when I am manouvering on full lock at parking speeds, the front tyres on the S3 seem to scrub and scrape very badly, especially on gravel. The HC doesnt really do this, but Steve at SJ said that all early Esprits do it, something to do with the geometry. It seems pretty poor, I mean you wouldnt buy a car new from a dealer that had such trouble doing a U turn. I had a go in a new Citroen C4 recently and it was a bit of a revelation, compared to my S3 it steers, stops, goes and handles better - I know the Esprit is 26 years or so older, but you dont realise how far car design has come when you are used to driving old cars around. The C4 doesnt look as good though! Joolz
  5. My S3 steering went suddenly notchy and I had to fight it going around left hand turns. On jacking the car up I discovered that the rack was seriously stiff every 1/2 turn of the wheel, and the pinion shaft seemed to have a lot of lateral movement when going through the stiff sections. The trunions were fine. There doesnt seem to be any play though in the steering. Does this mean I need a new rack? If so how do I remove it, does it involve messing with the steering column or can I just try to uncouple the lower U/J somehow? The car has been wandering around the road lately (wont hold a straight line on a bumpy road or on the brakes) but the stiff steering happened overnight. Joolz
  6. Cool! My car has illegal headlights! No-one is in danger of being blinded by the dim glow though, and I figure some of these HID lights on other cars are too powerful,especially if you are in a low car like the Esprit, I have moments of complete blindness at night in the rain when a car fitted with these passes me by.. Joolz
  7. powder coating involves heat, i have had a few problems too trying to get bearings back in when they havent masked off properly, powder coat is thick and tricky to get off!
  8. I have a 1981 S3 N/A and have been investigating my poor Hella headlights. The outer ones were OK, going from Dip to Mainbeam, but the inners were only main beam despite having the same H4 lens as the outers. I thought that this was correct (like an old BMW setup) but on further investigation I found that all 4 were supposed to Dip and Mainbeam. As far as I can make out Lotus designed the outer pair of lights to be powered through the steering column stalk (this is why it can melt and burn out if the contacts get dirty) and the inner lights are powered through a high beam and dipped beam relay under the glove box. One of those relays in my car was open circuit. Cibie 5.75 " reflectors are nearly the same as the Hellas and will fit with a bit of persuasion. Although all four lights work now, they are still rubbish, mainly due to the voltage drop between the battery and the rusty lamps (the wire Lotus used is too thin for the length) Put higher wattage bulbs in at your peril - they will let the smoke out the Lucas wiring!!! I also have an 87 HC turbo and that one has Cibie headlights (original), but only the outer ones do dip and mainbeam (and sidelight), and the inner ones are Mainbeam only. I think that is the way they are supposed to work. When you put the light switch on sidelight, the pods pop up and there are four sidelights showing at the front, the two in the bumper and the two in the outer headlights. The lights in this car (on Dip and Mainbeam) are better than the S3, I dont know why. Hope that helps Joolz The delay is because half the lights are powered through a relay, and the other half are powered through the stalk with its path of higher resistance. There is a point between dim and dip if you are slow with the action where the headlights can go out! Joolz
  9. Thanks Sephyr I will have a look at the problem tomorrow. I am getting fed up of driving the car around whilst freezing, it has been very cold here lately Regards Joolz
  10. I have some heat coming out of the screen vent but none from the footwells. I have two disconnected vacuum lines above the drivers pedals that hiss when I block them both, but I dont know where to reconnect them. There is a junction of small pipes at the end of the disconnected pipes. The Mode and Fresh air valves appear to have their vacuum lines connected, at least the parts I can see upside down with my head jammed under the footpedals! I need a diagram of the vacuum layout. The car is a 1987 HC turbo G car. Joolz
  11. A diagram of the vacuum hose layout for the heater system for a 1987 HC turbo would be handy. Can anyone help with this? I can provide some photos of the disconnected mystery pipes if that helps. Regards Joolz Can you back flush using the two hoses that connect to the front and rear of the engine? It would save going under the car? Joolz
  12. I have got an update on the S3 heater problem, it took another litre of water/antifreeze with the back jacked up and after that the gurgling sound stopped behind the dash, and it doesnt appear to be using water now after several drives, one down to Wales and back. The heater is still not that warm though, on the max setting of the blower it blows tepid. The halfway setting seems to be slightly hotter. Is there a mod that will get all that nice hot water that zips round around the car to warm up my toes a bit better in this cold weather? Lagging of the heater pipes? I was previously logged in as LOTUS Joolz
  13. I just thought I might mention that another difference between a stainless tubular manifold and the original cast iron one is that the stainless one is quite a lot noisier, probably due to the thin walls. I also had a problem with the welds cracking where the tubes are welded on to the cylinder head flanges, all four of them were cracked after less than 3000 miles. SJ lotus however had them rewelded and sent back to me with 4 new gaskets in no time at all. When I put the manifold back on I used stainless studs and copper locking nuts as the new correct steel Lotus ones that I had used before were rusty and the nuts were nearly undoable (after only 3000 miles!). I also retapped the stud holes to clean them out a bit. The new ones are still looking OK after about 1500 miles. By the way to remove a stubborn cast manifold with rusted nuts is nearly, but not quite impossible whilst the engine is in the car, you need to be creative with drilling/grinding/sawing/working upside down. A good technique is to use an old undersize imperial socket or spanner which can be hammered on to the thing that resembles a nut. It sounds silly but I have found if you try to tighten the nut first, it may then untighten more easily. If that fails drilling a line of holes with a dremel into the side of the nut and then splitting it with a chisel sometimes works, and there is a small cutting wheel for the dremel that works on some of the easier to access nuts. If you break a stud, I wouldnt bother with those stud extractors, they have limited strengh and usually break off in the stud leaving you with hardened tool steel to try and drill through. An effective technique (if part of the stud is protruding) is to try and weld a steel rod firmly to the stud at right angles, the heat of the welding and the leverage offered by the rod usually works. All good upside down fun! Joolz 81 S3 82 S3 Turbo 87 S3 HC Turbo
  14. On the subject of brakes, I had a very noticeable vibration on braking in my 1981 S3 caused by one of the rear discs having large runout. I assumed it was the disc and bought a very expensive new pair, but after several hours removing the old ones I discovered that the drive flange from the gearbox had the runout (a very difficult thing to measure with a dial guage as there is no continuous smooth surface to measure on). While I was scratching my head, wondering how much hassle it was to pull out the offending flange, a neighbour arrived and started rummaging in his garage as I was absentmindedly trying various thicknesses of washers under each of the 3 bolts holding the disc on to try and compensate for the runout. Unbelievably the neighbour had a full box of engineering shim washers of different sizes and we managed to remove the runout completely! The car does not vibrate on braking at all now, so before condemning the discs, check your driveshaft flanges!! Joolz
  15. What does it attach to? Are there fixing points for it? Also should there be an undertray at the front of the chassis to protect the cooling pipes where they come out of the chassis - there seems to be several screw holes there that look loke a flat triangular plate fixes on there. My 1981 S3 has neither the front nor back undertray Joolz
  16. Thanks for the advice - Is that the same Hilly that did the impressive V8 conversion? I would love to have a look at that car - I recently moved from Maidenhead to Wallingford so I dont think Im too far away from you. I too am an electronics engineer who prefers tinkering with cars! I have a bad habit of collecting G Esprits (and BMW 635s) and currently have 3, the best of which is an HC turbo converted to fuel injection that has only covered 10000 miles from new, but I prefer my slightly tatty S3 (the one that cant hang on to its coolant) as I can drive it every day without many worries - it has done nearly 100000 miles now and apart from the water/heater problem is very reliable as I have cured every fault as it appeared! Anyhow I will try to get the air out the system and I will let you know how it went. Joolz
  17. I have just spent 2 weeks off and on repacing leaking radiator on a 1981 s3 g car, now the heater only blows tepid air and the car seems to require half a litre of water after every drive. i have checked for leaks, and i dont suspect the head gasket, where is the water going? Do i have an airlock? There are no puddles underneath either???? only clue is the gurgling sound when you rev it. joolz
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