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TrapperJohn

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About TrapperJohn

  • Rank
    LOT
  • Birthday 15/11/1956

More Info

  • Name
    John O'Rear
  • Car
    90 Esprit SE
  1. I've recently acquired a new project, a 1985 Mercedes 190E 2.3-16, with the Cosworth engine. Picked it up for a song (well, USD$1500) because it's previous owner, a fellow interesting car collector, had passed on and his widow needed it gone in it's non running condition. (engine not getting any fuel) The more I dig into this little jewel, the more I come to appreciate the Lotus philosophy of 'keep it simple'. The Merc has a most interesting FI system on it, a semi-mechanical continuous injection system specific to that engine, but is it ever complicated... same for the self leveling rear s
  2. I went the granite route. Expensive, USD$4500, but it's the last countertop I'll ever buy. My wife is quite the pastry chef, so this gives her the largest possible surface for rolling dough. It would seem that is best done on a cold, hard surface. On the other hand, I look at that countertop on occasion and see a respray and set of Saturn wheels... oh well.
  3. One big objection I have to texting is, you're getting royally stiffed on the price right now. Maybe it's the onset of old geezerness, but personally I find the abbreviations appalling. Technology is dismantling this beautiful language, and I suppose it's doing the same to other languages as well. But, we will find a way to adapt. We always have. The flush toilet was a radical change from the earth closet, and not a moment too soon. Email seemed to be an impersonal substitute for a handwritten note when it first came out, now it's almost old school itself. Even the Elan and Europa owne
  4. A little OT, but the dizzy problems... I was having an issue with feeling woozy after physical effort. Used to be I could ride my bicycle all day and just get tired. In the last year, I started getting dizzy after a few miles, long before I got sore. Same for sawing up fallen trees on my farm for firewood, was getting dizzy, not a good thing when you're holding a large running chain saw. Finally found the problem - caffeine overload. Granted, I was hitting it pretty hard in my day job, but when I gave up caffeine, the dizzyness went away. After a bit of experimentation, I found I could hav
  5. All fine and well, until an adversary figures out how to jam the signal to control a UCAV. Remember that the drones in use over Pak/Afghan are not autonomous when used for attack, a human is in control, and actually fires a missile once another human has confirmed the target. And even then, they don't always get it right. Autonomous attack capability is a long way off, if for no other reason than what could happen if it goes wrong. And it will go wrong. If the RN is going with the naval and not STOVL version of the F35, that would explain retiring the short deck carriers - the naval varian
  6. FWIW: I went through a cam belt change for the first time last summer on my 90 SE. Wasn't really that hard to do, nothing that can't be done on a weekend with hand tools and colorful use of language. Get one of those little 1/4" socket sets, you'll need it to get into tight spaces. Grind down an 8mm hex wrench to loosen the vacuum pump, one of the hex bolts is right behind a pulley. Some instruction sheets recommend putting a wrench on the crank pulley and bumping the starter to loosen the bolt, but that scared me - might break the starter, and if the wrench comes loose, it can flap around
  7. I spent a delightful afternoon tooling around in what was called a T Bucket - back half of a model T Ford body, with the engine and radiator out in the open. Steering wheel was almost straight up and down, just like the original. It was... a challenge. Bags of power, instant response, very slow steering, a real snarl from the small block Chevy engine, and the 'personality' of a live front axle. Hitting a bump in the road became an adventure. Which way will it go, and how much wheel jitter will you experience? Just don't try to turn quick at anything higher than jogging speed because it wou
  8. What I remember were those clear plastic seat covers with the bumps all over them. Uncomfortable, hot, sticky, and when a little boy fell asleep on the back seat during a long drive, his face looked like it had been worked over with a waffle iron.
  9. Don't hold your breath. Mexico is sitting on some pretty fat crude reserves, but a culture of corruption has insured that it hasn't contributed measurably to a stable life for their citizens. Already, China is all over those Afghan mineral reserves. And they have no qualms about greasing whatever palms they have to, or leaving behind whatever environmental or governmental wreckage they have to, to get what they want. It would be a shame to see that happen, after both the US and UK have sacrificed so many of their young soldiers to try and stabilize the place. Sad fact is - democracy is mor
  10. My 1 ton diesel truck (Ford F350) has backup sensors and a rear camera, and needs them - it's 24 feet/7.5 meters long. But when I think of enhancing the Esprit, backing up and parking aren't the first things that come to mind. I also use the 'raise the headlamps' method for pulling into the garage.
  11. I've had the same thought myself, as my poor SE looks sunburned with the clearcoat peeling off. Good spray jobs aren't cheap, cheap spray jobs aren't good. Don't know if this holds true for Esprits, but with the Europa, if you sanded past the gelcoat you'd expose the fiberglass and have all sorts of pits forming in the paint if you didn't reseal. And practice, practice, practice. There's a fine art to getting the 'wet spot' going, and keeping it going without having it run. Practice moving the paint gun in a straight line while maintaining the same distance from the target - first tim
  12. Okay, it flashed three codes at me: 24, 35, and 42. 24 - might be the speedo disconnected, I have the slipped magnet problem so I just pulled the cable. 35 - it has been exhibiting an iffy idle for the last few months. Some times it idled fine, some times it was low to the point of occasionally stalling, and I had to keep a foot on the pedal to keep it going in traffic. Thanks, computer. I already knew that. 42 - That must be the problem. Says it's running on ignition module timing, and isn't kicking over to ECM timing after starting. Unless the Esprit has a different meaning for t
  13. My 90 SE isn't feeling well at all. It started with the check engine light coming on after startup, but it went out after about 15 seconds. Was like that for about a month, but nothing else seemed wrong. Last week I notice a brief stumble at low throttle, just the one chug, on the way home. Yesterday, it did not want to start. Not hitting on all cylinders, eventually warmed up and ran fine. Today, it is properly sick. Same startup: crank, splutter, feather the throttle, eventually warmed and hit on all cylinders, sure felt like fuel feed problems. but... after warming, it went sick aga
  14. The best Esprit is the one sitting in your garage. It's the perfect blend of performance, style, and especially... price.
  15. Another US Esprit owner here. Honestly, they're not that hard to work on. You just have to learn the sequence of pieces to take off to get to what you want. I find the 4 cyl's engine easier to service than my 2001 Mercury Sable wagon, where all the accessories are stuck on the bottom of the engine. The key is being able to service it yourself. An Esprit will eat you out of house and home if you have to pay someone else to do everything. If you do the service yourself, it's fairly inexpensive. In general, the Stevens Esprits are reliable considering what they are, but they are also high str
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