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mr50bmg

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Posts posted by mr50bmg

  1. ... Ferrari had and have maintained the glamour associated with successful Grand Prix racing along side the aspirational and alwaysexpensive, very well styled road cars, they have managed to continue to develop the "brand value" which has over-ridden the issues of fragility and temperamentality.

    Hello Nigel. You bring up an important point. Over the years I've attended and taken my Esprit to many exotic car shows and, while observing the usual Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porsches, etc., one thought occurred to me: only enthusiasts buy Lotus. Sure, enthusiasts buy other marques as well, but one never really knows if that Ferrari or Porsche owner bought the car for its perceived investment value, for the badge and status, or whether he's an enthusiast. With Lotus, it's a fair bet he's an enthusiast that knows a bit about cars and driving.

    Also, we both share Cayman S ownership (mine's 2008). I was looking for another mid-engine car and felt I wasn't ready for an F355. When I heard the seductive sound of the Cayman's engine behind my head, I was sold. Yet, some things on the car are total crap and I've written to Porsche about them. 90% of all be electronic stuff in the cabin should be thrown out (thus saving weight). Don't know if this is true on yours, but having the battery inside an electrically controlled bonnet is stupid. If your battery is low enough (and three weeks non-driving can do that), you won't be able to start the car and you won't be able to pop the bonnet. Not only that, you won't be able to withdraw your key from the ignition. Diabolical! You'll need to recharge through the fuse box or lighter. In true fashion, what the Germans should have provided to pop the bonnet open is an explosive bolt mechanism.

    ... and the cheap plastic caps for the oil and the coolant tank that are stiff and nearly impossible to twist back on? Those are an embarrassment I wouldn't have expected to see on a Trabant.

    Fun car to drive, though.

    When this thread first started, I thought it was about the older Lotuses - I didn't realize Andy has an Evora. Well, in my experience here, all of the newer cars - Elise, Exige, Evora - have been very well received. On our many shows or road trips, I've never heard my fellow club members being asked by others about reliability. I think the general attitude is that the Elise/Exige embody the true spirit of what a Lotus is and it is a car Chapman would have loved. So, here at least, I think reliability questions are a relic of the past.

  2. Hello all,

    Through the kindness of the Lotus archivist many years ago, I obtained a Certificate of Provenance for my Esprit plus other details in an accompanying letter. From this, I learnt the date of manufacture, the date of sale, and the selling dealership. I was also pleased to discover that the engine, transmission, radio, and everything else on it today is original.

    The letter states the car was first sold in Antwerp to a Mr. Woensel and was destined for Saudi Arabia. This makes sense, as my car is a RoW car and, in the VIN, the letters EHH indicate 1984, Hethel factory, and "hot" export.

    I believe I am the third owner, buying it in 1991, after it had been brought to the US and "federalized" (addition of catalytic converter and other bits). The second owner told me he had it brought to the US from Qatar. I should have asked more questions of its history, but at the time I didn't have the interest.

    So, I realize this is a long shot, but if anyone knows a Mr. Woensel, maybe he is the one. I would love to know more of my car's history.

    For now, posting a reply here is the best way to reach me.

    Q: should I post this in the Esprit forum as well, or is that forbidden?

  3. Returning to this forum after many years, I would like to add some perspective to this topic.

    First, in 1991, I bought a 1984 Turbo Esprit which I still have today. In addition to monthly drives of 50+ miles, I've taken many 300+ mile trips in it at least once a year and even a 2000 mile trip. Overall, in these last 24 years of my ownership, there hasn't been much anguish.

    Bad or poor maintenance by previous owners or unknowledgeable or uncaring mechanics have been the bane of many foreign cars. Also, in the 1950's through maybe the 1970's, many if not most Americans didn't realize European cars (especially British or Italian) weren't designed to run for 12 months with just oil changes for maintenance.

    A few years ago Hemmings wrote a story about a 900 mile trip in an Esprit and brought up all the tired clichés. I wrote to the author to complain, saying he did a disservice by perpetuating stories of issues that no longer exist. He replied back, essentially saying "well, that's the reputation they had, so I can repeat it."

    However, I do flinch a bit about the fit of the early Esprits (I can't speak for other Lotuses). A 1981 DeLorean has far better fit and finish than a pre-GM Esprit (an Elise owner in my club has a DeLorean, so I'm very familiar with them). So it is with other cars of the era such as the 911 and Ferrari 308. They looked more substantial and felt more substantial, even if an Esprit can beat them on the track. That feeling is what survives today.

    Lastly, I've owned an Audi S4 (2001) and now own a Cayman S. They are very good and extremely reliable cars. It does Lotus owners no good to hurl childish epithets at other marques.

  4. Hello all,

    I need to get the tach repaired on my '84 Turbo Esprit; , can the tach be removed by taking the fascia screws off or does the whole binnacle need to come off? The parts and service manuals don't make this clear.

    Thanks!

    Dave

    --

    Once you start using Windows, your brain has a half-life

    --

    Every time a new Windows OS comes out, I feel like a stroke patient: I have to relearn everything. Yet, I have UNIX manuals from 1976 that are still correct today. New functionality should build upon an unchanging foundation.

  5. Thanks - nice to know the Pertronix isn't the problem.

    So, can the tach be removed by taking the fascia screws off or does the whole binnacle need to come off? The parts and service manuals don't make this clear.

    Dave

    --

    Once you start using Windows, your brain has a half-life

    --

    Every time a new Windows OS comes out, I feel like a stroke patient: I have to relearn everything. Yet, I have UNIX manuals from 1976 that are still correct today. New functionality should build upon an unchanging foundation.

  6. Hello all,

    A while back, my '84 Turbo Esprit came to a halt with what was diagnosed as a bad coil. Possibly the electronic ignition module was also bad. I agreed to have this, along with the distributor bits, replaced by a Pertronix system (though, in the interests of originality, I might consider going back if parts are available).

    Anyway, the car runs but the tach is dead. Occasionally it will swing wildly between 0 and 2k. Maybe the tach died when the coil did or maybe it doesn't work with Pertronix?

    I really need the tach to work. Can it be removed by taking the fascia screws off or does the whole binnacle need to come off? The parts and service manuals don't make this clear.

    Thanks!

    Dave

    --

    Once you start using Windows, your brain has a half-life.

    --

    Every time a new Windows OS comes out, I feel like a stroke patient: I have to relearn everything. Yet, I have UNIX manuals from 1976 that are still correct today. New functionality should build upon an unchanging foundation.

  7. Thanks for the replies, everyone.

    If the car was running ok before the floats sank then it should run ok with new floats fitted & adjusted to the correct height (also stated in the workshop manual), are you sure your mechanic knows what he's dealing with??

    This is what has me and the mechanics baffled. They've tuned the car before and adjusted the carburettors, so they have the experience. Yet, before the floats sank the car was running fine.

    I didn't know my car had an HEI module, I thought is was just ordinary points. Anyway, the symptoms that I had that required me to bring it in were rough running at low RPM (under 2000) and an occasional odd sensation of power cutting out very briefly while just cruising along. I could've lived with that for a while, but I had to bring the car in anyway so they could insure it would pass emissions.

    -Dave

  8. Nice fix, Peter.

    On a somewhat related note, many years ago I retrieved my car from my mechanic and started to leave. Noticing that the fuel gauge was reading surprisingly full, I asked whether they'd put gas in it. No. That was strange, but I drove off anyway. Minutes later, I noticed the temp gauge reading high. After getting scared, shutting the car off, checking things, and then restarting, both gauges read normal. Then, on a later date, after about 30 minutes of driving I noticed the same phenomenon: I look at the temp gauge, get scared because it's reading high, then also notice it tells me I've got a full tank when I know I've got much less.

    My "regulator" has since been fixed, but it's good to know there is this electrical interaction. If you're ever in doubt about your temp gauge, you can always stop, pop the hatch, and listen whether the coolant tank is sizzling or whether coolant is coming out the overflow hose.

    -Dave

  9. I already have the shop manual for my 1984 Esprit, but I've been told there is a "parts manual" that goes into significantly more detail, hopefully providing part numbers and sizes for my Dellorto carburettor jets.

    My car has been in the shop since June 2nd, where they've been trying to diagnose what's going on with my carburettors. This is a shop that has done great work for me in the past and has been able to tune the engine and carburettors before without problems.

    What is happening now is that back in late May, my car was running very rough. So, the first thing my mechanic discovered is that both floats had sunk and couldn't be repaired. It took about three weeks to get the floats because parts suppliers here either claimed that didn't have them or promised to send them but never did. Anyway, he decided to order them from the UK and the floats arrived in July.

    The time between July and now has been taken up with them tracking down intake leaks and fixing those. What seems to happen now is that at midrange RPMs the engine tends to surge and go lean. They have my shop manual (in addition to their own), but neither have the details on what size jets to use and the part numbers; they feel that somehow the jetting is wrong, even though they've been working on the car almost on a yearly basis for well over 10 years.

    So, what could've changed? With new floats and a new distributor, it should be as good as new.

    We're hoping the parts manual will have the needed information to confirm whether the jets are correct or not.

    Thanks in advance!

    -Dave

  10. I'll bet an Elise or Exige would embarrass that Viper.

    And 4.x for 0-60? Yawn. When people at work start quoting 0-60 times, I just tell them about group B rally cars. Anything over 3 seconds and you weren't competitive. Someone in town here has an Audi Sport Quattro group B car that they drive - very sweet.

    regards,

    -Dave

  11. Yes, the non-sequential nature of the last digits (and possibly not starting with 001) would explain these cases and would explain mine in particular.

    Mine is a RoW car, SCC082910EHH10xxx

    There were 522 Lotus Esprits made in 1984, 301 were for the UK (197 were Turbo, 104 were NA), 174 went to the US, and 47 were RoW cars, of which mine is one. However, my last three digits are greater than 522 even though Lotus made only 522 cars that year.

    I've corresponded with Chris Brown at Lotus and he was able to provide me with a surprising amount of information about my car.

    regards,

    -Dave

  12. It could be that the knocking is external - the plastic air intake/duct is very close to the cam towers and is loose; I am hoping that was it.

    As for the rough running and low RPM behaviour at startup - my mechanic tells me both of my carburettor floats were sunk and was surprised that car was as drivable as it was! He has been trying to get floats for my Dellortos for a few weeks now and, after much searching, it sounds like there are none to be found in the country. So, he's getting them from the UK and we are just waiting on delivery.

    regards,

    -Dave

  13. Lancia is way cool; BMW not so much. BMW may be brilliant engineering and performance, but is antiseptic and cold. Like the cockpit of a Bf109, a horrible place to die. Italians have soul. On a summer evening, pull up to an outside cafe in BMW or a Vespa scooter - the Vespa gets all the points.

    TR6 is cooler than the Healey. Healey has nice two-tones, but is an old man's car.

    :lol:

    regards,

    -Dave

  14. For the last 17 years I've had nothing but positive reactions from people, usually a thumbs up or a wave - even from motorcyclists. It is very common now for people to come up from the passing lane and then pace me when viewing the Esprit from its rear oblique angle (which is its best presentation, I think). It's also very common for them to be taking photos or videos from their cell phones.

    There is a similar thread to this on another forum inhabited mostly by Elise owners. I was quite surprised that they get almost as much negative reactions as positive ones. However, it may be due to them being generally younger and hanging out in places where there's a lot of trash talk.

    regards,

    -Dave

  15. Hello Mike,

    Very sorry to hear about the incident with your daughter. Although I don't have any children, I can imagine how angry you must feel that someone would do this and that it's being handled so poorly.

    There's always been bullying, but in the past there were consequences and these days the bullies know (or think) they can do whatever they want and they won't have to suffer for it. A few months ago there was a well publicized incident here where a girl was lured by her "friends" into a house and about a six other girls beat her unconscious and damaged her hearing. Plus, they put the video on Youtube!

    For your daughter's sake, I hope you are able to bring the bully to justice.

    regards,

    -Dave

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