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  1. 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 condition. I own Steven's cars so I have no real need for these. E-mail me if you are interested in them. Since I am on holidays till late August there may be a bit of a delay returning the e-mails.

    [email protected]

  2. 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 of this came home with me.

    Two days later I contacted "Make-A-Wish" foundation who kindly requested the debris back for Paul Tracy to sign so they can sell it on e-Bay. I delivered it to the Make-A-Wish contact person (at his house) less than one hour ago. I was gifted a signed colour picture of Paul, a signed Dragon Racing ID card and two signed visor tear-offs. Plus I got two "Make-A-Wish" t-shirt which they sell at the Toronto and Edmonton races. The contact was actually the designer of those shirts.

    I hope this helps that foundation.


  3. 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 galaxy. Nice look, though.

    I'm going to get flamed on this comment . . . but up-close-and-in-person the nicest coloured cars were #77 (the bronze metallic top caught your eye) and #4 (the camouflage print scheme was stunning). Oddly, on paper those cars do not look out of the ordinary.

    Takuma also has a quiet and notably polite-sounding "soft" voice. Soft much like the announcer from a classical music radio station.


  4. 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 doing so. None of the faster drivers used a tight apex line here. It seemed to me he was trying to bounce off that depression and use it as an aid to re-position the car for corner #8. Let's just say everyone at my corner also thought it was just plain odd. At best he seemed mid-pack in the morning.

    He got smoother throughout Saturday. Once qualifying began he became a totally different driver. Far, far smoother and, now, he went wide at that apex . . . carrying more speed into the turn and exiting it with a less-audible "pop-pop" (produced by the meth back-firing when there is a long return-to-throttle gap) than before. He looked more than good when qualifying . . . he seemed great. The sessions where group A (about 13 drivers), group B (the remaining 13 -or so), C = the top 6 of A and B combined, and D = the top 6 (or was it 8? or 10?) from C. All of B beat all of A's times 1,2,3,4,5,6, etc. by the very smallest of margins. At my corner, we figured the course was warming due to tire friction (it was too cold and cloudy to blame it on the sun warming the asphalt). All-the-while, each session Sato looked smoother and got faster. Half-way through session D, I was pretty sure he would be on top. I was right on that guess.


  5. 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 enclosure area and stand on the edge of the track to provide kind words to all the drivers. As the first two went past my corner at 10 km/hr and I decided to shout "Go Team Lotus" which caused Sato to spin around, smile and immediately wave very intensely at me. As he got even closer I then shouted "I own three Lotus' (sure it was lame but that is all that came to mind at the time) . . . . wherein Sato pretended to have a big astonished look to his face and continuing to smile back. He was less than 2 meters away at that point. When I shouted "Have a safe race and best of luck to you" which caused him to brake into a big grin. He also gave me the twin "thumbs-up" signal. As the truck pulled away, I also clearly heard him say "Thank-you".

    I more-or-less said the same suite of words to E.J. Viso and Tony Kanaan as they rode by (on separate trucks), but I got a bit more subdued reactions from them. But they both clearly said "Thanks", after hearing the "good luck" or "have a safe race" comments.

    I know cynics would say that any driver would smile and wave, regardless and it is wholly meaningless. I just thought it was a great thing because they all drive for KV Racing Technology-Lotus and I "tried" to show them my appreciation for their skills and effort. Sato -by the way- put his #5 car on pole on Saturday. Due to a turn #5 incident he finished the race (I think) two laps down. The #82 car (Tony Kanaan) around half way through the race had a lot of tire contact smears on his right side-pod (I think) he ended up one lap down. The #59 car (E.J. Viso) was -maybe- around top ten. But please do NOT quote me on those positions or stats because as a corner worker you are so concentrated on your one corner (i.e. reporting incidents, ID'ing passes during double waved yellows, signalling to your crew/other crews and/or waving the appropriate flag that you sort of "miss" the big picture. As in my case the overall results of this particular race.

    So that's my 2 cents on the subject.


  6. 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 upper shock mounting points. There are two of them (one L and one R). I measured their elevation and although they are nearly exact (L = 548.1 mm, where as R = 550.0 mm up off the ground), I wonder if this is something to worry about? Is a difference of less than 2 mm an issue here?

    I am up here in Fort McMurray, Alberta while my other Esprits are hiding 500 km south in Edmonton. So I cannot easily compare between similar cars. One big question I have is the two round frame tubes have vastly different gaps between the trunk floor. The L side has an inch plus between the tube top and the inside crest of the fiberglass wheel well. The R side lies absolutely flush with the trunk floor. Both locals have body bolts really close by and each bolt possesses a similar 1/4" spacer washer between the frame and the body. There appears to be no damage to the fiberglass body around either body bolt. No stress cracking is evident anywhere near these points . . . even on the R-hand side.

    Question: Is the R side frame tube too close to the body when the tube contacts the trunk floor underside? If the answer is yes, then I guess this indicates a far more severe amount of rear frame damage than I first thought.

    Can anyone help me out with this comparison? Many thanks.


  7. 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 it.

    Well, underbody spray doesn't mist . . . it spits. Now, the stippled salt and pepper combo is neither the correct colour or texture but pretty much every student in the shop likes it a lot. So I have decided to leave it as is. I have found one or two surface rust spots elsewhere on the frame (one closest to the exhaust manifold and another due to the RR spring nicking the frame). Those areas will be touched up tomorrow.

    The rest of the rear suspension pieces will be powder-painted gloss black -likely this summer while in Edmonton. I have a spare set of SJ (purple) poly bushings to add to these. I also bought some new Renault Fuego front wheel bearings = Esprit rear wheel bearings from "Canada Eh" Auto Parts (highly, highly recommend this web site to all the Canadian Lotus folks . . . just be sure to know your cross reference info). The hubs only required wire brushing to clean them up. I have decided not to use the yellow adjustable Spax shocks (I am saving those for the '89). Instead, I will use some nearly-new blue Armstrong(?) shocks bought years ago on eBay. I have new springs as well from that same eBay buy. These were advertized to be off of a 1991 with less than 10,000 miles on it and said to be replaced with V8 items.


  8. 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. The 2nd one easily passed the bend test. A 1.75" (long) threaded insert was pushed into the bushing and two bolts/wide washers retained the reference tool to the lower link's ears.

    With the aid of a plumb bob, a reference grid was scratched onto the concrete floor and the pencil-point tip of the manufactured tool was recorded on the floor (using an awl). All that was needed was to measure a new point 13 mm behind and 3 mm swung to the right of that point. The trig told me this. This was marked with a black sharpie pen. Just to be sure, we again measured the frame. It measured perfectly straight longitudinally and transversely . . . but the RR link axis lay displaced forward and inward.

    The school's Welding/Fabrication instructor (Mr. Adam Taggart) lay underneath the car while I ensured the car didn't catch fire (although this sounds funny . . . it isn't all that humorous when you are working on your car). Oxygen and acetylene fuel and a brazing tip could warmed one half of the boxed-in ears, but this side would cool before the opposite side glowed orange. After 1/2 and hour we switched to a richer acetylene mixture and a cutting torch head (without using the oxygen blast). This wider flame could warm both ears. An immense amount of time was required to heat that frame. Everyone involved (including the spectators) were surprised just how much heating was needed to warm the ear mounts to orange. Once this was reached, the tool was gently pulled to the new index mark and this was held as the ears cooled. By that time I was pretty close to flash-blind, so spectators assisted in telling me how close I was to the new point. Using an discarded Spray-9 bottle, a water mist created a surface hardening. We limited this to 30 seconds. The rest of the frame cooled for over an hour as I cleaned up the tools and shop floor. Legally we had to wait for 1 hour due to fire risk (this is a school policy).

    Based on all measured marks there was no spring-back whatsoever. I believe we are now at a point less than +/- 0.5 mm of perfection. Any error = the width of our drawn reference lines. Although it might not sound all too impressive, this is a major step forward in the rebuilding of that car. The engine/transmission/rear suspension can now begin to be returned. I am now confident (hopeful?) the car will be road-worthy this time next school year. By-the-way, a new exhaust manifold was ordered. I am choosing not to tell my wife how much that part cost.


  9. 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 . . . I have seen it go for $60 to $90 tube in the early 1990's. Never has an engine case leaked using that product on any SuperBike 750 engine that I worked on (two decades ago I was a mechanic/engine builder for some Kawasaki pro privateers). In Canada, I have found that it is a difficult product to locate. Motorcycle speed shops occasionally sell it.

    No new repair work on the Lotus (other than me cleaning/polishing turbocharger parts) till the valve shims arrive from UPS.


    Can anyone sell me a new (or good used) exhaust manifold? Look around the garage folks . . . someone has to be more of a collector than me.

    Post '88 (or so) turbo with an internal wastegate. New manifolds are pricey, to say the least.


  10. 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-between size that I fear I might need someday.

    In other news, the engine's exhaust cam clearances all measured up well. Contained shims were 88 to 95 (thou). Only one valve would benefit from a different shim one thousand's of an inch thinner . . . the rest were perfect. Beyond that, I have a lot of spare shims in the more typical 85 to 108 (thou) sizes.

    Question. Has anyone ever tried a motorcycle case sealant in replacement of the Lotus-spec red Loctite case sealant for the 910 cam boxes? The motorcycle sealant is both flexible and withstands high temperatures (such as those found in air-cooled bike engines). It might be a better long-term solution. The red Loctite seems to always heat check and then drip (pour?) oil on most 910's I have stripped for rebuilding. It was patchy and heat-checked on this '91 engine, yet I do not think this engine ever ran after its last rebuild. Odd.


  11. 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 valve shims. In case you were wondering, the car came with wildly off intake valve clearances. They ranged from 9 thou to 15 thousands of an inch. Tomorrow we do the exhaust camshaft.

    Just for comparison purposes, my far higher mileage 1989 Esprit came with nearly perfect valve clearances. I guess I was simply "over due" for this extra work.


  12. 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 solid rod exactly the length off lower link. That (new) rod will have a machined taper point which will act as a reference point to gauge how much bend the ears will require.

    After some discussion with the welding instructor at the school, we decided to mark the longitudinal and transverse frames axes (measured using the rear suspension shock mount holes) directly onto the concrete floor. Be aware that the car is sitting on axle stands. The old RR lower link point-of-contact-with-the-floor and the new point (when the ears are bent similar to the RL-side) will be marked on the floor. The ears will be warmed with an acetylene torch until orange, the taper point rod quickly installed (using thick/wide washers and a bolt with a nut) and the reference tip of the rod will be used as the lever arm to pull the ears into proper orientation. Rapid rewarming of the ears might be needed. It is expected that a solid reference piece would allow the thin base of the ears to we warmed far more that what should be transferred to the rod. The link will be "tied in place" as the ears cool to limit/prevent spring back. Much talk was made to quench the steel ears with a mist of water (or should we use oil?) immediately after the dull orange is lost via air chilling. This will be done to only the outer ear surfaces. Once cold, that portion of steel frame will be wire brushed, spray painted with a galvanic primer (likely three times), and then covered with an asphalt coating. Strong ventilation will be provided as the original galvanic coating burns off.

    I welcome any comments that might improve this repair procedure. We likely will wait 1-2 weeks until attempting this repair. Note that buying a new frame (though an ideal solution) isn't really an option for this car.


  13. 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 the SAAB 9000 block. We required both up at school in Fort Mac. The second time you spend 5.5 hours (straight) at a wrecking yard you sort of get a better understanding of when to pause for food or water, how to organize your tools so you don't lose too many in the mud, and/or ensure you pace yourself so the job gets done with minimal risk to crushing fingers or related skin abrasions. Buck's Auto Wreckers is my choice for these outings.

    Tonight (after school) we set out to measure all the key corner points of the '91 Esprit's frame and rear suspension. One student was wildly keen on helping. That took much longer than expected, plus the shop was baking warm by 5:00 PM. We used a sheet of paper atop some plywood and leveled this with cedar cabinet shims so it was parallel to the frame's base (the shop floor tilts a bit). We then marked the key pivot points using a plumb bob. I haven't yet done the trig with the kids, but I expect that the frame is wholly straight but the rear right frame "ear" holding the lower link will be bent (perhaps as much as 5 degrees). For certain all the rear suspension pieces measured 100% perfectly the same L-side to R-side. I think a few suspension bits have been replaced (there is less oxidation on the RR bolt's cadmium plating and "fresher" looking/feeling RR link bushings). I should mention the RR rim is known to have sustained a good whack, bending it 2.5 mm off of true. The deformation and flange abrasion suggests the car spun (?) and managed to strike an unlikely-to-move object on the inside of the RR rim (deforming that region of the wheel outward) while sparing all other rim surfaces. When collected, the car's RR wheel sat "off" (easily seen to be toed and cambered in). I guess what can I expect with a $4200 Esprit? Some extra shims were added to the RR radius arm by some previous owner.

    Importantly, there is a reason why I have collected seven sets of Steven's Esprit rims over the years. Not only was it to lovingly clean them, strip the paint, hand sand them, weld over any nicks and chips, file the repaired area to perfection using tiny rifler files and then spend a fortune powder-painted them . . . but, now, I can tell my wife that it was a smart idea to have those spares because this car needs a straight set of rims (just pick a set you like the most). In case you are wondering, she didn't buy that argument.


  14. 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 or recently machined. I think that head had been put on the block and the engine had never ran (even for a minute). Good thing because of all the missing oil gallery plugs.

    The stainless valves are also new . . . still wet with assembly lube. All the guides look like new brass (perhaps a bronze alloy?) and they are also perfect in spec. Strangely, a stiff solvent-resistant grease was applied to the top of the valve keepers (likely to hold the valve shims in place). This grease was brilliant red in colour and resisted being washed away with brake cleaner, electrical contact cleaner, acetone, varsol, etc., etc. No idea what it was but after two days of soaking in our solvent tank we picked it clean with a brass brush and fine screwdrivers. Could this have been some version of red rubber grease?

    The head was mated to the block this evening (after school). The kids rather liked how it appeared that I "talked" to the cylinder head as I worked on it. Just simple stuff like the "1,2,3,4" you say to yourself as you torque the head stud nuts in stages. They tell me I also clearly said "good baby . . . sit tight" as the cylinder head slid down the head studs and seated to the roll pins on the block. Teaching really is part entertainment when you think about it.

    We stopped soon after that. It appears I now need 1/8" British taper thread pipe plugs for the threaded holes above each exhaust port as mine have distorted hexes. Anyone have a Canadian source? We also will need a single thicker-than-standard cam thrust washer. I doubt it, but does anyone have a spare one of those? One cam measured to 2.5 thou play, the other showed 7 or 8 thou. I believe the manual claims 5 thou to be the acceptable max (sorry, I left the manual at school today). Considering we also had time (after school) to drive downtown and completely rid Walmart of its $5-a-gallon motor oil -which was on sale-, I have to conclude that today was a rather good day. By-the-way, we use that for "regular car" oil changes.


  15. 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 car and hot rodder sort of supplier.

    Does anyone know if they once supplied 910 engine valves?


  16. "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?


  17. 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 repairs is there a risk of thermal expansion being different between the polyester remainder and the epoxy patch? Could it separate due to expansion?

    2) "Newf Fill-er-up" asks: Around the edges of the tail pipe (at the rear valence) the fiberglass is black and charred. Is there any fiberglass repair that is more tolerant of this heat? (Note: Mr. Podor wishes to indicate that the exhaust was not stock on this car. A larger diameter than stock outlet pipe rested against the valence, in part because the rubber muffler hangers detached from the frame support allowing the pipe to swing.)

    3) "Dayton Downtown" asks: Ford trucks use a double-wall exhaust tip (separated with a gap of air) so as to protect surrounding painted surfaces. Could this solution help here? Has anyone else had this problem?

    4) "The Rumbler" asks: On the rounded curves and edges of the valence there is a 1-2 mm layer of unusually soft (i.e. easy to sand) white body filler immediately below the paint and atop the fiberglass panel. Is this the way it came from the factory?

  18. 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) "Kokanee K" asks . . . . The cost of replacement engine pieces (especially pistons and liners) are seriously far too much when compared to any other car we have worked on. Why do these parts costs so much?

    4) "Proud Newfie Kid" asks . . . The oil coolers are non-anodized alloy but the nuts are steel. The steel appears to be untreated (without plating). As a result the two metals have fused together and the alloy cooler breaks apart upon removal. Why would Lotus choose this manner of assembly? Do they not do R & D to test the longevity of this?

    5) "Jose Von Vanilla" asks . . . Exactly how did the name Lotus get chosen?

  19. 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 of these kids. Few of them had ever heard of a Lotus.

    The good thing is the car is not a flawless beauty. Let's face it, it was $4200 problem-in-waiting sort of car. A used economy car might have cost me more.

    If they scratch a portion of the paint or break a tab (say on a panel) etc. etc., well, I can live with it all. The project is moving along at the rate that I can afford replacement parts. No, it will not be done by the end of the school year . . . perhaps at the end of the next school year. I plan on wet-sanding the body and re-spraying it here in the shop. The engine is 75% rebuilt and will be visible in the photo of my block #2 class (which is not yet posted). Happily, few costly engine bits were needed (so far at least). The exception is an exhaust manifold . . . which I'm still eagerly hunting for.

    By-the-way, all the American V6 engines in the background of the block #3 photo are donations from dead cars long before my time here as the auto shop instructor. Kids get engine rebuild modules from those donated engines. If one of the kids really needs such an engine, I let them take it to fix their car (if the work is done in our shop they get modules for this effort). We have about 15 of these engines on rolling stands and they take up far too much space in my shop.


  20. 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.



  21. 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 underestimating this figure if you drive it often. That's my uniformed 2 cents.

    AP (with a '97 V8)

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