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  1. I bought the parts stock off a Lotus dealer that went bust a few years back. The parts have been stored for nearly 20 years. In the collection I have two near-perfect 15" fronts, two near-perfect 15" rears (Renault trans) as well as two near-perfect 15" rears (Citroen trans). All rims have the OZ Route black stickers on them. I would guess they are new car take-off rims. Interested? [email protected]
  2. Okay folks . . . this might just interest some of you. I just bought the parts stock from an ex-Lotus dealer in the greater Toronto area. The dealership went bust in the early 1990's and the head mechanic retained the parts. Now he is 64+ and looks soon to retire (I believe). In this collection I have parts for the G-body overhead stereo. 1) the grey "soft" vinyl/plastic outer body shell of the stereo unit 2) a black (dark grey?) metal plate These items are new, however they have been sitting (bagged) on a shelf for 20 years. I would say they are around 9.25 out of 10 in con
  3. Besides meeting the Lotus drivers, I also got to collect debris from Paul Tracy's #8 car when it was wrecked in front of me at corner #7. The Indy marshals instructed me to pick up the carbon fiber debris on the track while they took care of the bigger pieces like half front wings, nose cones, etc. After collecting two handfuls of c-f "scaps", a front wing angle adjusting turn-buckle and a tear-off from his visor I was walking back to my concrete/tire-wall bunker when I discovered his left mirror (wholly intact) and half the blue rear wind end cap (with the white #8 on it) in the grass. All
  4. I couldn't see that Takuma sat any lower in the car than other drivers. In my eyes they all sat pretty low. I sort of think he was striking the subtle depression in practice for giggles and "put the hammer down" when it was important. I did notice Takuma didn't have that "special" Lotus-themed helmet on (the one featured on a You-Tube video with the vintage BRG/mustard Indy car and the modern one). One other KV Racing Tech-Lotus driver had a mostly green helmet with -what looked to me to be- a "fingerprint" theme across the front. Either that or it might have been a complex spiral galax
  5. From where I was standing, Sato looked consistent but NOT particularly fast all of Saturday morning practice. Note that Friday's Indy practice was scrubbed . . . it rained far too much. Sato was choosing to use this dip (a patch of concrete that surrounded a man-hole drain, just after the #7 apex) to "experiment" in some really odd lines (at least in my uneducated opinion). His car was pitching with some really, really visible wheel direction corrections (opposite lock?) just before the dip and then immediately after the dip. He always went tight into the apex and lost obvious speed do
  6. Hey folks . . . just got in from the Edmonton Indy. Worked Friday, Saturday and Sunday at turn #7 with a great group of guys (Tom -a retired medic from Denver, and Richard -a professional corner marshal from Quebec). Great fun. I heartily recommend it should you get a chance. Just before the race starts, they parade the standing (and waving) Indy drivers around on the back bed of Honda Ridgeline trucks . . . two to a truck. Takuma Sato and Paul Tracy (R and L, respectively) were the first to go along the circuit. It is customary for the corner workers to leave their protective enc
  7. The frame re-spray is, for now, done. We have now touched up all the small bits and I'm really pleased with the final look. Progressively more rubberized undercoating was applied so it is a darker repair than what I left it as last evening. I think that I'll let it harden for a few days more and then mat clear-coat all of it. My thought is the clear-coat will offer a greater level of rust protection. During the final touch-ups I noticed one thing that seems odd to me. At the back end of the frame there are orange plugs that cap round steel tubing . . . these lie slightly inward of the
  8. We began refinishing the heated/straightened area today. After 15 minutes of wire-brushing, another student takes over with 10 minutes of hand sanding using 60 grit paper. I do not know if it helps with a better finish, but I offer another 10 minutes of detail sanding using a finer grit . . . I think mostly for Zen-like "effect". The spray-on zinc coating matches the frame in terms of texture, but not colour. It is quite a bit lighter. Three lights coats were applied; they dry almost instantly. After that I decided to mist the patch with rubberized underbody spray (satin black) to darken
  9. Okay, we warmed the RR lower link's ears and bent them straight. It is quite a relief just to write that statement. It was a lengthy process; started ~5:00 PM and finishing it at 10:30 PM. The reference tool had to be fabricated and then tested. I am not proud to say it failed the first bending test (weakness at the weld connecting the threaded rod to the machined bushing). A second one was made out of thicker rod and the weld adjusted for more penetration. Two rounds of welding/grinding ensured that any slag was removed and new weld material was then built up over every weld-fissure.
  10. Thank you (all) for the recent input. We are setting up -to weld together- the reference arm for the RR suspension lower link. I think we will try that repair this coming Friday. To be honest, I am a bit worried about this operation. It is sort of a "make or break" major fix that could decide on the fate of this car. As for the motorcycle case sealant, I am familiar with SUDCO Three Bond Adhesive case sealant/liquid gasket. Part number TB1104. It is an opaque white liquid that is really sticky (when wet) but remains highly elastic (when dry). It is also a small fortune per tube . .
  11. I decided to use Victoria British (aka "Vicky Brit") for the valve shims; they sell them for the Triumph TR-7. All the traditional Lotus suppliers -that I am familiar with- aren't open on a Sunday, but Vicky Brit sure answered their phone quickly. On Saturday, I first tried the local independent SAAB shop in Edmonton. He wanted $5.00 per shim (used). Vicky Brit charged $2.95 a shim (new) for most sizes. As expected, I grossly over bought shims. I think I pretty much cleared out VB's stock of 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116 and 121 (thou) sizes. The 121's are for wet sanding to some in-betw
  12. Today, after class was over, the '91 car's intake camshaft biscuit shim clearances were measured. Since the "rebuilt" head was previously serviced by an individual unfamiliar with Lotus cars, I decided to start with an identical set of similar shims (each 99 thou of an inch thick). All the intake valves ended up needing remarkably thick shims. In order to get the 6 thou desired gap, the thinnest shim is 111 thou and the thickest shim is 115 thousands of an inch thick. My -said to be huge- collection of Esprit valve shims caps at 109 thou, so I guess I'll be mail-order shopping for new
  13. As for the frame alignment on the '91 Esprit turbo SE, I can confidently say we measured this "till the cows came home" between 1:30 and 6:00 PM last Friday. We also did this Wednesday night . . . just to get skilled on the procedure. The frame is straight, but the mounting "ear" for the RR lower link is bent. The bend works out to be 1.65 degree (forward) -according to my math-. The distal link bushing center lies exactly 1.25 cm forward of the RL's and 0.9 cm inward of the RL's. We plan on correcting this by machining a thick solid steel tube 1.75" in length and welding this to a soli
  14. Serge: Yes, I have three Esprits . . . and one (and only one) wife. Her input this morning around breakfast is she "doesn't tolerate the Esprits so much as resenting them". I will call you when I visit the Edmonton house next. AP
  15. Serge, I will be back to Edmonton for the May 23 weekend (for certain). Since the snow has left Edmonton, I have visited for some really intensive wrecking yard visits . . . things like pulling an entire SAAB 2.3 litre engine using only hand tools, a 6' long webbing sling, plus two sets of hands and a 2"X4" beam. It rained pretty intensely that Saturday as well so I had a great time in the evening cleaning every single socket, extension and wrench for a return visit on Sunday morning. I was there April 30-May 1st for (believe it or not) some Chevy Aveo pieces and, again, May 7-8th for t
  16. Okay, after a long period of car detailing (mostly big 4x4 trucks) the automotives shop has returned to a bit more Lotus-related work. The cylinder head was washed in solvent and lovingly disassembled. That process, once again, convincing me that my vintage Mac Tools valve spring compressor cannot be bettered. All aspects of the head checked out really well . . . . longitudinal and transverse "warp" was far less than what we could measure (under 1.5 thou of an inch). The head's mating surface was flawless, all the manifold surfaces were nick-free and the whole thing looked either new o
  17. Scott: I will be (again) seeing the Edmonton Indy show this summer. Any chance you need help with the rental van driving lunches? AP (often in Fort Mac)
  18. Since last Thursday night, we are off for Easter holiday. The kids will return to the shop on the 26th of April. In the week and a half off, I will pop out all 16 of the non-original stainless steel valves on the cylinder head and assess if the guides have been recently replaced and if all the valve seats look good. My guess is they are after-market bits for a 907 Jensen-Healey motor. The stock Lotus valves had 45 degree bends in all of them. The box those damaged valves came to me in were said to be the source of the new ss valves. Manley valves . . . generally an American muscle ca
  19. "The Fiberglass God" also wants to know this . . . Why do we get relatively easy detachment of (cured) newly laid fiberglass on areas wet-sanded with 180 grit, but a very strong bond to areas that have been prepped with a dry 120 grit flap-wheel on an angle grinder? In both cases the areas are prepped with acetone and blasted with compressed air before we apply the patch at room temperature. What is the ideal surface texture that ensures the strongest fiberglass bond? AP
  20. My block #3 students wish to thank you for the provided answers to the first round of questions. A few more questions have since arisen: 1A) "The Fiberglass God" (umm . . . the student chose this name, not me) asks: We route stress cracks to half panel depth (1 mm) and then grind/taper the walls of the route out about 2 to 3 mm on either side. Some text sources we have read recommend a 12:1 ratio (width of repair to depth). Do you think the more steep taper we use will generate problems because of the smaller surface area of the repair? 1B) If we use epoxy for the stress crack repai
  21. My students have some interest in this blog idea. In order to protect the student's identities we have decided to use "nicknames" for each students. Some of them have a few questions: 1) "McDonald's Man" asks . . . . Why does the Esprit contain so many unused holes drilled in the fiberglass panels (under the bonnet) and in the area behind the rear bumper? 2) "Forehead Man" asks . . . . When repairing stress cracks in the gel-coat we have routed out the crack and filled it up thin slices of matting and polyester resin. Is there a better (faster?) way to repair stress cracks? 3) "Kok
  22. Thanks for the kind offer. I will mention it to them tomorrow in the various classes. My guess, however, would be video game playing trumps any blog (in their minds). AP
  23. The hope is these kids will be motivated to learn more, both in my shop and elsewhere in their young adult lives. I can say a few students were real "issues" with behavior and attendance but once my Esprit arrived those issues reduced. This was really obviously the case for a select few K&E (knowledge and employment = special needs) kids. One of them is my "master" fiberglass worker . . . even thought I taught him to fiberglass he is (now) better than me. To be honest, here in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada a custom modified pick-up truck would probably be more of an attraction to most
  24. This is my block #3 class. They are usually (often?) my hardest workers. A few of these students are, now, so good at fiberglass repair that it amazes me. The one holding the sledge is simply show-boating . . he actually rarely does work on the Esprit. The two wearing ear protection were, one minute before the photo, prepping one of the under bonnet ducts for a new layer of fiberglass. This class works as a team really well. AP
  25. The price of a Canadian car is usually a minimum of 1.5 times that of a similar US car. I would look on eBay and see what a nice V8 of that year goes for in the US . . . off the top of my head, I'm thinking $35,000 to $41,500 (but to be honest, I haven't looked recently). So $52,500 to $62,250 (Canadian) might be in order; likely slightly more at the dealer because of profit margins. Besides the purchase cost always bank in a few dollars ($2000?) a year for wholly unexpected repairs and maybe half that again for expected costs like tires/oil changes/etc. In all likelihood I am underestim
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