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  1. I just replaced my front springs (as well as bushes/dampners, other bits/pieces) with SJ "euro" front springs (on a S1). The SJ springs are COMPLETELY wrong. The ride hieight was rediculously high. I cannot recommend the SJ front springs. I think others on the forum have already mentioned this...I have the ride height right now, but it was pain in the backside.

    Id recommend sourcing from somewhere else, or getting custom ones made using the factory spec. I havent measured the SJ ones, but there is no way they meet factory spec. Shame as everything else from SJ is usually top notch.


  2. My bushing (holds the rack inside the rack "outer" tube just before it exits to hook to the inner tie rod end) was also disintegrated.

    I fretted for a while about replacing the whole rack, but managed to find a replacing bushing from rd enterprises here in the USA ( for $20 or $30. So, if some parts dude in the USA has them, you MUST be able to find them in the UK. Replacing it was a bit of a witch. Had to dissasemble the inner tie rod assembly. There is a small pin hammered in at the factory which locks the lock ring against the inner tie rod "captive" cup/nut (this will all be meaningless unless you are looking the the rack). Anyways, carefully drill that out and you can get the inner tie rod apart. You need to dissasemble that to slide the new bushing over the rack end and into the end of the rack.

    Problem I encountered was that the rack factory had done an over zealous job of pressng the little lock pin in, and had messed the threads up on the rack end. The thread is something like a 14mm 1.25 or 1.5 I dont remember, but its big and not normally found in the laymans tap and die kit. Luckily a friend of mine owns an import shop and had such a die. Cleaned that up and reassembled with the new bushing in place (which was a VERY tight fit over the inner rack end) and reassembled it all.

    Another note....count the number of threads showing from the lock nut to the last thread on the rack so you an assemble to the same position and keep about the right tension (compression!) on the inner tie rod ball joint. Too tight and it will wear the plastic cup, too loose, and the rack will click and also rapidly destroy itself. I couldnt find specs but did have the brains to count the threads! Lastly, rather than drive a new locking pin (which would involved drilling a new hole) i chose to use loctite instead. If you see an orange esprit on I80 next month with 60 degress of tow out, you will know the loctite wasn't a good idea and you should replaced the locking pin!

    I will be doing a "string" alignment this afternoon for the first time too...will be intersting to see how well that works. Plenty of write ups at places like:


  3. I'm doing just the same on my S1 right now. Its a ****ing b**** is all i have to say.

    I took of my radiatior/surround, removed ARB,, undid the top wishbone as the balljoint....and this was all just the get the springs off! I think I will have to disconnct the flex brake line too to i can get my compressed springs in there, although I have not attempted this yet because I found some other tyhings that need replaced (lower link bushing, ARB bushing etc). I do recommend removing everything thats remotely in the way, gives you a little more fighting chance.

    I cant fit a regular spring compressor so i have a feeling i'll be welding up some dodgy arrangement using chain, scrap steel and probably a dab of chewing gum.

    My biggest worry is I want to adjust the ride hieight some, so i will be doing this 5x over the next month!


    P.S. I did see the link someone posted to a "1 arm" spring compressor that looks like its the bollox, but at #300 pounds, I dont think so!!

    PPS I dont take compressed springs lightly...i have all my insurance up to date for the wife if one of my contraptions lets go and spreads by head over ther garage floor...

  4. Paul:

    Dragging up an old thread here, but upon takeing my front susp apart to fit new arb bushes, springs and shockers, i notice some play in the, what i would call, inner tie rod. In other words, i can wiggle the wheel left and right a little, sthe steering wheel stays still but the rod arm going into gaitor clunks around.

    Anyway i havent dissembled yet, but im hoping its just te plastic bush that has dissintigrated. Did u have the same play in yours before dissasembly?


    Ps excuse spelling, im on my stupid phone in garage.

    I managed to get a new plastic bush from these people...

    So I now need an idiot's guide to stripping and rebuilding the steering rack - anybody know of such a thing?

    Thanks, Paul.

  5. Kinda. I found that all my "upward" facing panels were oxidised...hood, rear hatch, roof, and the sides and lower parts were v deep orange. I took off my rear valance (exhaust cover?) to make a few repairs and its obvious its gel coat (its cracked where exhaust hit it) because there i no way paint for would crack and hang on in the same manner. On the rear valance Ill have no choice but to paint over top to cover the repairs...

    The upper panels seemed to respond pretty well to compounding, but I dont want to go nuts when I have no knowledge of the depth of the gel coat or its response to wet sanding/compunding/polishing. Kinda like working on someone elses clear coat but they didnt tell you how many coats they sprayed on! (in my experience, usually one coat less than what i needed as I burned thru to the base LOL). Any boats guys on the board with gel coat restoration experience?


    Sorry....this was in repsonse to Lyns post, but Georgio beat me!

  6. Apologies for resurecting this old old thread, but I was polishing on my car this weekend trying to bring the paint back and doining some minor fiberglass repair to some stripped screw holes, when it bacame evident that I might have a gel coat car. My serial number is 77020151H.

    I see in the previous posts that serial numbers to 7703 were gel coat (recall this is a '77 federal S1). I was grinding on the rear valance to prep for the screw repair and there is at least a 1/16" of "paint"...well there is no way its paint and according to my serial number is it gel coated?

    It was behaving slightly weird while i was compounding/polishing too, getting very soft but no much "paint" was coming off. I think gel coat for i correct?

    Second, and I have no idea here, possible to get a gel coat to a slick/glass like surface? How thick is it on Esprits? Can I wet sand? (I have a fair amount of body work experience with single and base/top coat urethanes). Attached is a pic of my work so far (apologies for the crap iphone pic), but its looks pretty shiny still:

    Wheels were taken off last night to be sent of for polishing.


  7. Wow a real Tuscan (prototype even). That would be fun.

    Re: interior

    Im stock piling parts I know I will need (new shocks, springs, etc) when i go thru it (just placed a $2500 order with SJ). The plan is to get my TVR off the lift in the next few weeks, then stick the lotus on it and give it a really good look over (yep....brass fuel Ts and new fuel lines probably the order of the day) and properly check the flex brake lines for interior deteriation, and general lube. The only thing I will be doing for the summer other than giving the interior a damn good clean, polshing exterior out, will be putting the Dellortos on it and retuning the engine to english specs (cam retime,dizzy spring change, etc). Otherwise I plan to enjoy as is for at least this summer before taking anything apart. And then I will make the interior decision.

    Yes my speedo works. I think you had said to Matt that maybe it looked like it had been worked on. I dont know until I take it out....the rest of the car (pedal pads, seat wear, etc) generally agrees with a low mileage....just might not be the 18k indicated but thats OK. Also, the proper orange carpet is there...hidden by Pep Boys mats!!

    THanks for all the comments guys!

    Ill post more shots from underneath etc when i get it on my lift.


  8. Bumpers...yes, euro bumpers part of my parts order....the fed spec ones will go into dry storage with the smog equipment for the next owner in case they truly want it "original".

    Gavin: Next time feel free to email and stop buy to check out the fleet. The TVR has been a bit bastardized....its got a ford 302 in it now...but its being treated to a new built "GT40" engine and a set of quad webers. Couldnt resist having those 8 trumpets when you open the hood. Oh and of course its hellacious scary to drive but TVRs were always meant to be a bit hairy. The lambo and 911 are pretty girly in comparison...all those computers and all wheel drive to stop you from killing yourself whereas the TVR just eggs you on and lets you sail right past the edge of grip without any warning whatsoever.

  9. Yes thank you was a nice find. I have been monitoring S1s maybe once a month for a few years....doing the occasional craigslist search and watching ebay. I happened to perform a US wide CL search just before xmas...found this on the morning of the 22nd Dec and bought it the next day sight unseen (apart from pics).

    1. Im located in Lincoln, NE.

    2. I have a bunch of other cars...some British, some more foreign (1972 TVR 2500, '65 Landy SW (in the pic), '07 Lambo, '07 911), just sold my '62 mini station wagon. I got airplanes and a helicopter too...if its shiny and aluminum (or steel or carbon fibre) I probably own it hahahaha.

    3. Chassis number is 77020151H

    4. The engine was checked by the LA Lotus dealer before it was started in 08....I have receipts for new belts, fuel system OH, etc the PO knew enough to have somebody professional coax it back to life. Im working on my TVR right now so ill get that done in next month before i goof with the esprit. I did just make a massive order of parts from SJ in shocks, springs, various other pieces in readiness.

    5. Interior: I'm quite IS original....but I also like a crisp fresh car....I wish it werent quite so faded. One thing I have toyed with is saving the tartan peices perhaps, and using new green....its the green thats faded the most.


  10. Here are some pics of my new esprit. Came out of CA. Im the 3rd owner. 2nd owner bought it in '79, drove it a year, then stuck it in storage until 2008. 18k original miles. Its a California emissions federal (hence all the air injection crap on the cam cover). Pretty much bone stock "barn find" so to speak. I have wanted for may years and Im glad I waited for the right (unmolested) one to come along. I will be performing a light restoration to get it fresh but will keep original (or easy to convert back to original....see box of Dellorto 45s I have already got for it!). Engine cover,clip on cleaner, etc all off because ive been buggering around with it. Took if for a quick (very cold) spin around the block (its about -5 deg c here). Feels nice and light/tight with a nice smooth gear change.

    You can see have been asking about interiors....CA sun is great for the chassis, but terrible for the interior. Original, but v faded, My orange carpet might be rescue-able.







  11. Take a look at the scissor hinge assemblies you can buy for honda civics etc. They are pretty big and beefy...I have no idea how you could possibly mount the same in the A pillar area on in an Esprit. But...people told me I couldnt fit inboard rear disks on my TVR 2500M. About 400h of labor later, voila!

    Lastly, even Lambos dont have lambo doors anymore, at least my Gallardo doesnt :)


  12. Yes, I already spoke to Nick (see my original post)...he's not interested in selling any materials at all...thats fine, its his stash. He mentioned he did sell to a retrimmer and the retrimmer did a crap job so Nick said he wouldnt waste the material again.

    With regards to what SJ sells....I see they do indeed sell both the green and the tartan. Is the tartan they sell not the same/correct? Anyone ever looked at it?

    Lastly, I would love to have my car done by Nick, but the car in Nebraska, USA. He was somewhat reticent about just having me ship the interior and really wants the car there for him to work on. Now, its not just a quick jaunt from Nebraska to a port (closest is Galveston over 1000 miles away). So that means I would have to containerize here, then rail/truck it to the port, then get it over to the UK. Even with a cousin in the overseas freighting business I'm looking at about $4000 each way (~2500 quid) and that before I have to pay Nick!!! Hence my interest in sourcing material myself...and there are some talented interior folks over here so I wouldnt have some problem giving them a shot.

    Thx for the info so far though.


  13. Not sure if this is the appropriate location, but I assume admin will move it if not!

    I have a federal S1, bone stock. Still has the original tartan interior and orange carpet in not bad shape (car only has 18k). However, I will be performing a full resto as I cant leave well enough alone. I spoke to Nick Fulcher about buying materials from him for the interior redo but he wasn't cooperative (I can understand...he has the golden egg, I too, would protect that stash of material!). SO then I thought, well, the material was weaved once, it can be weaved again.

    I have been talking to a mill about getting both the tartan and the green material reproduced. I talked to the mill today and he said no problem replicating the tartan, but hes still researching the green nylon/poly twill. The funny part was, he asked what the material was from because its pretty crap quality. We both had a laugh when I told him a mid 70's british sports car. Turns out he grew up in the UK (as did I)...just that unspoken acknowledgement of terrible 70's british car quality.

    Anyways, I will likely have a 30 yard run made up (thats the min) of this stuff. Way more that I need. Is there any interest from the purists? I will get samples first from the mill...I told them it needs to be exact or I will not go to the expense.

    Im not asking for people to go in with me. I will buy it etc, then sell on as folks request, but just wanted to see if there was any interest whatsoever?

    Marcus ([email protected])

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