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OwenGT3 last won the day on December 31 2015

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About OwenGT3

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    Lotus Esprit GT3, R56 Mini Cooper S

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  1. Mine is also like Ian's new pipe, no loop ever since I've owned the car. I think at some point the pipe on my car got damaged and the original hasn't been available for some time to replace it, so your only option now is to make one up. Personally if the engine is getting tugged away from the baulk-head to allow the loop to straighten out, I wouldn't want to be in the car at that point!
  2. I've moved operations back to the front of the car and have now started to strip the front suspension (08.11.19). I started on the N/S suspension and generally it came apart reasonably easily. Most large bolts needed breaking with a strong-bar, but then removed with a ratchet spanner OK. The only problematic bolts were the suspension arms, upper and lower arms. The front lower arm bolt has seized in the bush, so the head of the bolt may need to be cut off to drive the bolt out, or using an angle grinder cut down the sides of the arm in the housing to remove the bolt. The shock-absorber and spring assembly came apart OK and was no problem removing from the car. It will be nice when it all goes back together, being all nice and cleaned up and painted.
  3. Today's (30.10.19) task was to remove the crankshaft rear seal housing, allowing me to remove the crankshaft engine main bearing housing. The bolts wouldn't come out using the hex heads, so some other method was required. I decided to weld some nuts to the head of the bolts, which would give me better purchase on the bolt with a bigger spanner, plus the heat from the welding would help free the bolts. I have to say this method worked a treat and all the bolts were easily removed, I just had to protect the engine from weld sparks so as to not damage any surfaces. With the seal housing now off, I was able to continue to remove the crankshaft main bearing housing. This came off with ease, gently tapping it to remove it from the studs. With the housing removed I was able to inspect the main journals, which like the con-rod main bearings, are in a really good condition. I checked the end float which was within specification. With the engine block totally striped now, the final items to strip were the cam carriers. These again were not too bad to strip, with only the camshaft sprocket and end float nuts being the worst items to remove. To do this I used the old cam belt around the sprocket and held in the vice. With a strong bar the nuts cracked and were removed. With the sprocket off, I just had to remove the camshaft seals to withdraw the camshafts from their housings. The engine is now totally dismantled.
  4. Today (21.10.19) I finally removed the last rear shock, spring and upper suspension link. The top nut on the shock had to be cut partly to get it to move. This was done with a cutting disc and Dremel, removing a face on the nut. With the part removed and some WD40 the nut started to move with a spanner and was removed. The lower nut came undone without any need for cutting. With the shock and spring out of the way, the upper suspension link was finally removed. I then moved on to removing the passenger side fuel tank. Similar process to the drivers side, but with less items to remove from the top of the tank. The fuel filler neck was removed along with the passenger side air-duct. Finally with all the bolts, nuts, brackets and seatbelt removed out of the way, the tank could come out of the car. This side was easier than the drivers to remove, it may have been the boot release cable on the drivers being in the way causing problems, but the tank was out. This tank has weathered better than the drivers side, with just a small patch of powder-coating paint lifting from the tank metal. Even so both tanks will be stripped of coating to have a fresh coat of paint and protection if used again.
  5. I finally removed all the valves from the head today (17.10.19). This wasn't too bad a job as I had a valve removing tool and they came apart really easily. All the guides are worn, with one inlet valve being very sloppy on number one, but the valves don't look too bad a condition generally. Some ports you can see blow by on the inlet valves, which obviously would be contributing to low compression. Seats on the exhaust valves were very thin and looked like they were not creating a good seal. I think once all the faces have been machined, new guides and the valves lapped in, the head will be A1 again. Another job I did was to dismantle the pistons and con rods. Again the pistons are in very good condition as are the rings for the mileage of the car. The pistons came apart easily and are now ready to be cleaned up.
  6. It is a good idea, I have heard others have considered this as an option. I don't know whether to buy the actual release if you can still get it, but if not a good set of strong magnets will do. Can't be worse than Lotus sikaflex method, I know it's good stuff for bonding, but not what I would expect on a £50k car.
  7. The job I did today was quite a small one, but needed to be done. As the fuel flap on a GT3 on the drivers side is blank, Lotus glue them shut with bonding agent. The flap needed removing for when the car gets painted, so I had to get a scalpel behind the fuel filler flap and cut the glue. Luckily this was not as bad as I thought it would be and the flap opened. When this goes back together I am going to fix this with powerful magnets, as I might put a trickle charger socket in this blank fuel filler.
  8. Today (12.10.1) was spent stripping the engine some more. I removed the turbo from the exhaust manifold, this required the nuts being removed with a grinder, but I did manage to save the studs. I also stripped the inlet manifold down to it's component parts. As well as the engine parts, I did remove the drivers side fuel tank. I can see now why this job is so bad with the engine in, as even with easy access the tank was still tight getting it out. Once the top board, seat belt, cross-over fuel pipe and earth strap was removed, the man issue was the seat belt mount. The tank needed to be forced past this, but once past the tank came out OK. The fuel tanks are actually in very good condition, even with all the powder coating removed, with just surface rust on the tank. I think with a good soft shot blast and paint the tanks will come up well. The passengers tank doesn't look as bad as the driver side for powder coat removal.
  9. I'm thinking of some light shot blasting to remove rust, then pressure test them. A good coat of red oxide paint and then a nice enamel top coat paint, two coats. Foam replaced with proper non-porous type.
  10. This is my understanding, that they shouldn't be honed @andydclements. There is the odd mark, but I would expect some on an engine that's done 97k. If there were no honing marks then possibly they would need replacing, but from first look I think they still have a good amount of life in them. I am going to measure them to see how much they have worn, but this engine I have never seen it burn/smoke or use excessive oil consumption. Also with a restoration like this, where do you stop? I'm already way over budget so if something can be saved and used a bit longer, then I will keep it. It's the same with the fuel tanks, they are both out now. One all the powder-coating has flaked off, the other just one small little patch. The tanks are really good condition. So do I add nearly another £1k to the restoration and buy alloy or stainless replacements or just restore the originals? I'm more than likely not going to be the next person who will have to remove them, having sold the car on by then, but if they last another 22 years, then it won't be all bad.
  11. Looking at the condition of the liners, they are very good. The whole bottom end of the engine is very good, so I will just replace shell and rings. All of the problems are in the head with the valves.
  12. I've continued with stripping the pistons out of the engine. All the bores and pistons are of the same condition as piston one, so really pleased the engine is good. The next stage is to remove the crank from the engine block, so the lower section of the engine needs removing. This shouldn't be too bad a job, but the rear crankshaft oil seal housing bolts are corroded in. I've applied loads of penetrating fluid, but they are not moving. Also being hex head bolts, it doesn't take long for them to ring round and then you are stuck. I am thinking of welding a bolt to the hex head dome bolts. The heat might help as well, but it's mostly to get a better purchase on the bolts to remove them. I will need to replace them all.
  13. Very good, I've just done a quick test, but this seems to show minimal movement. I will conduct a full measured test before removing, I just need to check the manual for specifications and tolerance.
  14. Today (05.10.19) I removed the sump from the engine, as I wanted to remove one of the pistons to check the bores of the engine. The sump came off relativity easily, but all bolts are showing some corrosion between the two types of materials. With the sump finally off, I removed piston one from the cylinder. Luckily Lotus dowel the big end caps, so you don't need to mark them. With the piston out and a wipe of the bore, I was able to see they are very good for the age of the engine. The bores are not heavily worn and you can still see the original score marks. The crank was also very good with no scoring on the journals. Knowing this now, I should be able to rebuild using standard replacement rings and shell caps.
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