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Posts posted by andrewp1989

  1. Use a tanden bicycle brake cable as the inner cable. It is 2-3 inches longer than required. Silver solder the one pear-shaped end on AFTER the cable has been threaded through the casing (engine side to the interior). I did this under the dash at the pedal end because I thought it was easier to do.

    I may have been wrong about the easy part.

    The second time I did this I used two grub screws on a hollow (and threaded) barrel end at the engine and left the original pear-shaped end on the brake cable. Threaded it in from the interior to the engine.


  2. I have noticed a great deal of variation in SS alloy mixtures between countries and between companies. As a result, do not trust any general rule about fastener strength (e.g. SS is ALWAYS softer than mild steel, etc.). Ask for the manufacturer's MSDS test results from your hardware supplier. These should be trustworthy.

    In some cases, a great variation in SS fastner strength appears to be how much metal the manufacturer puts around the countersunk head (especially in the case of allen-head screws). Some Asian firms I have used (these supply Japanese motorbike tuners) have very skimpy bolt heads . . . the head height is shallow and the head diameter is 10-15% diminished. Perhaps this is for weight reduction in racing. Regardless, you can easily internally strip such a screw head though in doing so the strength of the threaded section is uneffected. Drilling the screw's head out, removing the static piece and using vicegrips is unscrew the threaded bit is the only easy way to service the assembly.

    In nearly all cases I use low-temp Loctite as a preventative measure for galvanic corrosion in alloy assemblies, copper grease in frequently serviced items (e.g. rear wheel bearings), and ceramic grease (wildly expensive) for extreme high temperature conditions. In the end I think the Lotus factory used none of these measures. I had to drill out half of my rear wheel bearing allen-head fasteners to replace the bearings. The same thing happened on the from main seal housing. Any quality SS part with some measure of corrosion protection in better than the untreated steel fastners Lotus usually use.

    But maybe I worry about these things too much.


  3. I found that my Esprit's 30 mm drive axle nuts were well held on with ~250 foot/pounds of torque. No amount of hand loosening with a breaker bar would budge it . . . . . the car would topple off the stands before the nut came free.

    But 15 seconds with a 400 ft/lb impact hammer loosened it with a resulting small "cloud" of rust dust. That event "paid" for the purchase of the air compressor pretty much immediately.


  4. In a few key locals, Lotus claims to add Kevlar fabric to the Esprit body to aid in rollover strength. This is based on the "Lotus Esprit Supercar" coffee table-sized book descript of the factory steps. I seem to recall the base of the A posts and, perhaps, the forward portion of the roof has one (more?) layers reinforcing it.

    I also believe a metal support is added to the windshield frame . . . . though I thought it was steel piece (like on the early Elite) and not aluminum. I don't know how it is bonded in.

    I guess that's their version of a Kevlar and aluminum safety shield. Now that you know; don't it make you feel protected?


  5. To be honest, I also have thought of doing what you are now thinking of attempting. The Austin Marina-sourced door handles look especially "cheap" on my 1989 car.

    As far as I can tell, the flush door handles off the S4 appear (externally) to be sourced from the 1st generation Suzuki Swift (here in Canada). The Suzuki model year is perhaps 1990 -1992 (guessing). I know the Turbo Swift has identical handles, but I can't say if all model Swifts have them. GM had a near 50% ownership of Suzuki cars (then) so it kinda makes sense that this could be a GM-sourced part for the S4.


  6. My 1989 has the thin and "extra cheap-looking" generic BL signal switches. I'll call these the earlier style switches.

    After the introduction of the S4 (or perhaps a few months earlier . . . I'm not exactly sure) Lotus used the modular, thick-armed "chunky" signal switches sourced from UK-made GM cars. These switches mount by snapping-in from behind the steering wheel. The earlier switch used a circular ring clamp that mounts slightly behind the steering wheel to the steering column support.

    I think your car has the latter style. Check the various cross-reference links because someone in the UK has certainly has found the source for the S4 switches.


  7. Based on what few 1980's British cars I have seen in Canadian wrecking yards, I am assuming that Lotus "borrowed" the signal and wiper stalk switches from either a mid 1980's Rover SD-1 (the angular Rover with the alloy V8 engine) or the last generation Triumph Spitfire (rubber bumber version).

    Can anyone tell me if these guesses are correct? Does either part exactly swap over without mods?


  8. To answer the question of the leaky pipe thread fitting . . . here's my best guess:

    The BPT (British pipe thread) original Lotus fitting was "lost" and has been substituted with a locally-supplied NPT fitting. If so, she's a poor substitute!

    The alloy threads in the head might be worse for the wear because the pitch is close but not close enough.

    Maybe drill and tap with a slightly larger pipe-thread size that you can buy a plug for?


  9. Um, if we are talking about the same control knob . . . . then don't drill them just yet.

    The control knobs are junky looking (I do agree), but they are rare as chicken teeth.

    I "think" they are sourced from the last model year of the MGB . . . the ones with the huge rubber bumpers. Here in Canada, these knobs are super hard to find. Five years and, so far, I have one spare in poorer shape than my original Lotus knob.

    These knobs should have a recessed allen or slot-head grub screw that holds them to the shaft. At least mine did.


  10. Oil leaks drive me bonkers.

    Once you find the seal that leaks, you might try polishing the bare shaft seal region with steel wool/1000 grit wet sandpaper). I find that will help as some of the time a film of old seal is baked onto the shaft and will not allow the new grease seal to come in complete contact.

    Look very carefully for nicks or wear rings in the seal area of the shaft. If possible, mount the seal inward or outward a bit (~1 mm) so that it avoids these worn areas. BUT ensure that no internal drain holes are blocked. If these worn areas are really obvious then attempt a speed-sleeve type of repair. Never will there be a factory-ready speed-sleeve because Lotus would rather sell you a new camshaft . . . you might need to machine your own and use an oversized inner-diameter grease seal.

    Use very high quality silicone sealant in regions that Lotus does not use. Example: waterpump area, sump, oil pump, cam box end plates, etc. Also consider cutting you own gaskets out of thicker/higher-quality gasket material compared to what Lotus supply. In my car, examples include the oil pump gasket.

    If you have a porous casting (e.g. a sump), remove it and get it lightly sand blasted. Then consider getting it welded (if stress cracked) or externally powder coated aluminum grey (if porous). This has worked wonders in large thin castings from other projects.

    In some extreme cases you may have to "re-engineer the Lotus engineering" to solve the leak problem.


  11. I once brought my starter and alternator to a local alternator/starter rebuild shop and asked if "they had seen anything like this before"?

    They claimed the starter was 100% Jaguar . . . but they didn't give me an exact model or year. This was based on the casing shape and size. They showed me a catalogue ID pic and, yup, I'd have to agree that it's a Jaguar.

    They also stated that the solenoid was not Jag but some odd Magetiti-Marelli piece (with a Lucas sticker on it?) that they had never seen before. The owner is Italian and does work on Alfas and Fiats . . . so the solenoid might be a bit of a challenge to match.


  12. Here is my 2 cents on the issue.

    Teigan's complain is wholly valid. I do not mean any disrespect to Lotus, but when I work on my car I see many of the fasteners that the vehicle is held together with are far, far too low quality.

    They are :

    too soft steel (they might be stamped grade 8.0 or grade 8.8, but I'll guess they are about half that) because they shear with minimal torque. Could the cheaper fastener supplier be fibbing?,

    really poorly coated (8 year old protected bolts like a 20 year old chassis bolts from a Fiat. Fiats rust when they look at water,

    the bolt or nut hex heads vary . . . they are 12 mm (sometimes) and 13 mm at other times, yet access is NOT an issue in their application (like validly in the exhaust manifold studs),

    the washers are 6 mm diameter for a 4 or 5 mm bolt ot nut. Hey, now that makes good sense to me! Weird stuff like the builders used any washer type available in the nearest corner of the shop floor at the time of construction,

    the quality of critical part assembly is poor (e.g. lock washers against the fiberglass with the flat washer below this ? ? ? for some reason),

    the long-term design of the component appears not to be well considered. For example, when a nut-sert rusts in place how can the part be removed? When the square hole is provided to adjust the round peg (of the headlight pod edges) the manufacturer should realize vibration will settle the pod causing it to, eventually, fowl the body. I think that is just common sense.

    Yes, the Lotus is a wonderful driving machine.

    Yes, I love it's looks (even today 20 years later).

    Yes, I am willing to do small repairs and adjustments.

    Yes, I enjoy "reworking" the issue to solve the problem.

    But, NO, it is not a quality/durable product that weathers well with use. Get over it folks. This is why everyone shows photos of their own designs and necessary improvements over the factory. The new and improved shift linkage some owner has built out of stainless steel, with adjustable links, that reduces lever slop, etc. etc. etc. At the price Lotus charges for the car (or its replacement parts) we should not have to improve upon their design as frequently as we ALL seem to do. I do it too, but have chosen not to tell you about all the required mods.

    Does this make me want to sell my car (ever?). NO.

    But next time I spend the sum of money the Esprit cost I "might" look elsewhere. I will not name names so no one can be critical of my possible choices. Lotus must lose business to infrequent repeat buyers for some reason.

    My apologies if I have insulted anyone or "ruffled your feathers". I just see it like this from my end of the wrench all too often.

    PS: The local nut and bolt supplier (Edmonton Nut and Bolt) LOVES me because I almost never reinstall any factory-supplied fasteners I have removed from the car. I have a corporate account theer for some reason.


  13. At 68,000 km my car had replacement tires (maybe 5000 km old) as well as heat-checked, warped and paper-thin original rotors . . . both front and rear.

    Alternative sources for these rotors exist.

    I know the front rotors for my 1989 non-SE Esprit are 1980-1982 Toyota Celica Supra front rotors. Cheap as they come (maybe $25 Canadian each).

    I have cross-checked dimensions and think (hope?) the Esprit rear rotors are Renault 25/30 rear rotors. I believe rear rotors are optional on some of these Renaults depending on engine size or model weight. The bigger wagons should have rear rotors. These cars never came to Canada so this is speculative.


  14. A few people have reported a similar "jumpy" VDO tach with a mind of its own. I have heard it will do this in cold/humid conditions (e.g. start up in the early spring after being stored through a cold Canadian winter). Mine has yet to do any of this.

    I'm guessing that the internal circuitry of the tach is shorting out from dew and reading wildly high RPM's. If yours does it while dry then the circuit board might be at serious fault.

    Broken solder joint to a tach circuit resistor? Seen it once on another (cheaply made) car.


  15. The US and Canadian version of the "Vauxhall Astra Mk I" appears to be the Passport Optima which is later called the Pontiac LeMans (1988 to 1992).

    The Pontiac LeMans with optional foglights would be the aerocoupe (3 door) Pontiac LeMans SE. However that car -in Canada and the US- does not have foglights even remotely similar to the non-SE Lotus Esprit. They are 50% smaller, really cheaply constructed and mount with twin screws that sandwich the lens to the raised sides of the plastic foglight body.

    In the UK they might cross to the Vauxhall Astra Mk I. Here in North America no way.

  16. The part numbers are those listed by Hella on a round white paper sticker found that is glued to the outside of each SE projector foglight body.

    I have tried to match up the number for Hella dealers but (in Canada) have not been successful.

    The SE lights look very close to the projector foglights from on somes BMW's. Note that BMW do not use the squarish glass lens . . . they have the same projector lens exposed while Lotus cover the projector lens with a fluted piece of clear flat glass which is sealed with black rubber "goop". On the BMW models (I have so far seen for sale on E-Bay) it appears the the 1/2 dome hemispherical lenses is exposed to the elements. They seem to mount like the Lotus version does.

    1990 to 1992 VW Golf - note "for US models"- have a similar-shaped foglight to the Lotus SE but the mounting system is to the inboard side and not from above (as in a Lotus). Also I believe the VW foglight is polycarbonate (lexan?) plastic; not glass.

    So I am still stuck for the exact source Lotus get them from. It could be Saab, Volvo, Opel, etc.

  17. The pre-SE Esprit foglights look like typical rectangular Hella/Bosche/etc units, but have a ball/socket mount at the the back of the plastic case that is unique. In North America, I have never seen another foglight with a similar mount and adjustment system. Trust me, I have tried!

    Does anyone know if these units are Lotus specific? Is there another manufacturer with an exactly similar setup? Especially important . . . is there another manufacturer that can supply these units to me in Canada!

    SE-model Esprits use Hella projector style foglights mounted flush or just inside the front air dam. The Hella part numbers for each of these are: "02 B 1NL 004 840-00", "H3", and "18212". H3 refers to the bulb used.

    Does anyone know what manufacturer might use a similar foglight? One source has suggested BMW but I have been unable to confirm this.

    Many thanks for those who can help.


  18. It sounds like the problem is not with the shifter itself (i.e. in the interior of the car) but with either:

    1) the translocator T-piece (on top of the trans where the two shifter cables mount) or,

    2) inside the actual trans involving the brass shifter "finger" that engages either of the three shift plates/blades) . . . . Lotus might call them "rods".

    My 1989 car had a poorly adjusted translocator T-piece. The gap between each heim joint (the end of each cable) was too short. Also be aware that the measurement of this is odd because 2 people are needed to do it. One to hold the shift lever 4.5 degree off the 1-2 plane (how does one measure 4.5 degrees anyway while sitting in the car?) and the other to measure the eye-to-eye length and the angle of the translocator. The translocator turns on a set of bearings. Mine where crusty and needed to be pulled and replaced. Do NOT buy the bearing from Lotus; an industrial bearing supply house is 20 times cheaper. To make things worse a key holds a shaft steady against the translocator. The key is 4mm keystock . . . . I think. Buy it at an industrial supply house as it is cheap. The keystock material Lotus chose is too soft. The steel wears round against the slot of the shaft . . . . making the translocator swing later and less per mm movement of the shift lever.

    My car had all these issues. Cleaning everything, lubing the heim joint pivots, new bearings, new keystock, proper alignment solved everything and made the shift lever "feel" directly located to trans . . . . for once.


  19. The Jag window motors come in two types . . . . a large round black Lucas motor and a much smaller, thin silver/black Delco version. UK Delco I believe.

    The Lotus regulator has holes for both motors mounts (they differ in size); so I am guessing that Lotus gets their Esprit window regulator from Jaguar. XJ-6 perhaps.

    Has anyone tried to physically fit the larger black Lucas motor into an Esprit door? Is there room in the Esprit door for it?

    The reason I ask is the Lucas motor has much more torque than the Delco. Also (unloaded) it spins faster and would lift/drop the window about 40% quicker than stock. This is based on the count of teeth turned per second. My Esprit (with standard Delco motor) has super slow window lift/drop speeds plus it stalled due to friction within the dry felt-lined guides at the half-way mark. The Lucas motor might solve all these issues. If it fits.


  20. :huh: Found the major issue.

    You cannot mount the spray shield if the sump has already been fitted. The shield just does not clear the extra ridge of aluminum that is the sump lip. Without the sump, the spray shield slides in from below and is rotated around (behind) the crankshaft into place. Tricky, but possible.

    Tip to our friends at Lotus . . . . improve the service manuals every few years with slightly better diagrams and/or more info to procedures.

  21. I spent sometime looking through the new-old-stock collection of a Italian car repair center in Edmonton that sold Momo products. This was about 5 years ago.

    The closest thing to the original Esprit hub that I found was that from an older Mazda GLC. Spline number and inner and outer diameter were perfect to the Esprit. The Mazda hub did not have the recess for the two aluminum collets as found inside the original personal-brand Esprit hub. But it fit very securely on the Esprit steering shaft.

    Might help.

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