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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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. @Stuart Monument You could try asking the Jim Clark Museum if they are interested in buying it. They know it exists as I had to seek their permission to use the helmet design. I would be quite proud to have that on display in his museum. If they bought it, I could touch up any repairs needed so it was mint for display.
  5. @Buddsy Scott Budds made some of the component parts for me, with CTL also contributing loads in help, parts and services. The £10k original price was in two parts, the owners sponsored the dragon, paying £4k to be part of the whole interactive art event. They then paid £6k bidding on the dragon at auction, they bought their own sponsored dragon back. Some more photos of the dragon IndyGoGo500 @Stuart Monument Have you tried Caister Castle museum, he might consider buying it, beings it is quite unique, I have the guys number if so. Would be nice to keep it in the local area and on public display. Me giving it a dust at it's location in Chapelfield Mall during the event.
  6. Day 20 (26.09.19) of my restoration and I finally took the head off the engine. To my surprise the head, pistons and bores are all looking remarkably good for 97,000 miles. The pistons are still a nice fit in the liners, which have a minimal wear step at the top, although bores will be checked to see if in tolerance. The piston tops are clean, just covered in a layer of oil residue. I did do a leak test on all the valves and compression chambers, as I was expecting number two cylinder to be possibly damaged with some wear, as this was down on compression so much when I tested it. Actually all the valves are really good, number one and two did drain in the leak test, but the damage just looks to be carbon build up, so I think a good clean, reface the valves and seats, all should be fine. Three and four did leak, but only minimal. As long as the valve guides are still a good fit, with indications that they are, then the head needs minimal work to put right and has saved me some money, always a good thing! The rest of the engine is coming apart reasonably well, with only one bolt head shearing off so far in the water pump thermostat housing, but that should still be possible to remove. Hopefully the bottom half of the engine will come apart as easily as the top has.
  7. I haven't worked on the Esprit for a few day, but decided to get back on it, so today (14.09.19) I stripped the rear hubs down. Again as they haven't been to bits in possibly 22 years, bolts were seized, so first thing all fixings required a good squirt of releasing fluid. I started to release the bearing hex head bolts, but these were seized solid, so decided to cut them off as it was easier. The lower link arm pin was also solid in the hub, so having heard the stories of cracked hubs, I decided to cut these off as well. This required cutting the pins down between the link arm and the hub pillars. Not much room for the cutter, but I was using the 1mm cutting discs. With the link arm out of the way one side of the pin just fell out, but the other side had to be worked out. The steel to alloy side was the easy removed side, but the steel on steel side was rusted tight. Able now to be able to hold the hub on a solid surface, I was able to drive the pin out with a punch and releasing fluid. The last item to be removed was the ABS sensors. Although I didn't need them when the car is rebuilt, I did want to remove them and save them, but I'm afraid this didn't happen. The sensors were corroded in the hub tight, so the only way to remove them was to break them out. This required removing the connection top, then drilling down the side of the magnets. This slot made the body of the sensor loose, so I was then able to hammer them out with a punch. With everything removed from one hub, it was the same process on the other hub. Another item stripped ready for the big clean up of parts.
  8. Well today (17.09.19) the engine finally came out. I don't know when the last time it was out, but never in my 12 years of ownership. It wasn't too bad a job to do, some fiddly pipes to disconnect at the front of the engine, awkward in true Lotus fashion, but once they were off, the lifting was relativity easy. I'd removed the inlet manifold to make fixing the lifting strap easier to go around the engine, which was actually nylon rope as that's all I had to hand. Putting it in I will use something better. The car was at the lowest point on the jack system, but once the bolts had cleared the engine mounts, the engine lifted with ease, with just a little guidance near the rear of the car so it cleared the panel, Lotus don't give you much leeway in the engine bay. Once cleared of the bodywork, it was just a matter of wheeling the lifting hoist back to clear of the car. I placed the engine and gearbox on a trolley with a wood sheet on top, luckily Lotus engine sumps are nice and flat to sit on. With the engine and gearbox out, I finally separated the two parts. The bell housing was quite dry, so no rear oil leaks, but release bearing was dry as hell. It's surprising how heavy the gearbox is just on it's own. The plan now is to get the engine on an engine frame to start stripping the head off. Other items on the engine and gearbox will follow the same for inspection.
  9. Today I dismantled the rear suspension. Most of the bolts came undone with relative ease, just a quirt of WD40 and the nuts could be removed. There were a few nuts that needed cutting off to remove the part, shock absorbers being one of them. The lower link arm was taken off with the hub, so as to remove the lower pins on the bench. The pins will be cut off so not to crack and damage the hub. Brakes were OK to remove, but new handbrake cables will need to be fitted. I also got the screw holding the clamp bracket out for the two injectors in the plenum manifold. A better screw will be fitted when assembling this item. All items will be reconditioned, painted etc. before being refitted.
  10. The remaining items at the front of the car were removed. This includes the charge cooler radiator and the main water cooling radiator, along with the cowling. Some bolts had to be cut off, with a few coming undone by spanner. The core on both radiators are beyond repair, so will need to have new ones.
  11. Today (24.08.19) was spent stripping a lot more parts from the engine and engine bay. The engine is almost ready to remove, with just a few components attached. Both sides of the engine bay were also stripped, exposing the petrol tanks. Most components that sit on top of the tanks were removed. The exhaust system and the rear hanging frame was also removed. The loom was removed from the side panels and is now tucked up to one side. Again lots of reference photos were taken for rebuild time.
  12. A little work on the engine today, started to strip the engine down ready to remove. Most of the work was removing the loom from engine, but to get the loom completely away from the engine, some engine parts needed to be removed. I've taken loads of photos of the position of the loom and all the connectors, so will know where they go when refitting it all back together. I've done worse in my time restoring cars.
  13. I don't need them now as I have the late V8 stainless trim centre exhaust outlet. The old ones were rusty as hell, had to be cut off.
  14. Not much work on the Esprit today (17.08.19), just removing some small parts. Removed some small spats that sit on all the corners of the bumpers. Also removed t h e tailgate locking plates, exhaust splash shield and rear boot breather vent frame.
  15. Today I finally got the rear boot spoiler lip removed, Lotus did stick it on with a lot of silicone. Also, I finally got the rear bumper removed, which required the fixing bracket inside the boot to be ground away with my angle grinder. The nuts were heavily rusted and were never going to come undone, also access was limited with the exhaust which is still on the car. With every large panel other than doors off the car now, I will go back to the front and start removing the radiator, oil coolers, etc. once these items are off I will go back to the engine area again and start to remove that and the gearbox, followed by fuel tanks and then finally all the suspension. I think the rear lower bumper bracket has rusted so much due to some water leaking into the boot over the years. I know when I first purchased the car, water was leaking through one of the bolt holes on the rear spoiler, all the boot carpets were damp.
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