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  • Name
    Michael Rodrigues
  • Car
    1987 Turbo Esprit HCI

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  1. I've got one fitted and I wrapped the wastegate discharge as well. They do make a tremendous difference in engine compartment temperature, but the materials don't last. The turbo blanket will smoke for about an hour when first installed as about 0.5" of the ceramic packing closest to the housing turns to ash. After the initial "burn in" wear is much slower, but after 18 months or so depending upon how hard the car is driven the thread holding it together will burn up and the blanket will begin to fall apart. Any metal touching the outside of the blanket, such as an O2 sensor, will burn through as well with time. Standard header wrap will burn up in a couple of months if the car is driven hard. I've recently bought a new blanket, which is supposed to withstand 1800oF continuous, called a Lava Shield, by Heat Shield Products. It's considerably thinner and is unlikely to reduce heat in the engine compartment as well as the first one, but hopefully it'll hold up. I also bought some new header wrap called Inferno Wrap, also from HSP supposedly good for 2000F continuous. I've yet to fit either so I can't say whether they'll live up to their reputation. My car has a water cooled ball bearing turbo; I've had no reliability issues, but I can't say what might happen with an old air-cooled plain bearing T3.
  2. The Renault UN1 transaxles are fine up to about 350 ft-lbs of torque. It's torque that kills gearboxes not HP. From personal experience with a new gearbox, under hard use I had the following issues: 1. The Lotus shifter is garbage. Light, but vague and sloppy. The UN1 is capable of delivering excellent feel with no slop, but you'll have to craft your own shifter/linkage. I've done it and can send photos if desired. 2. The second gear synchro is slow, perhaps due to the mass of the gear or the inverted cone design. To avoid graunching upon upshifts you need to pause a half second or so between 1-2 upshifts. Rather than trust the driver and to avoid second gear synchro warranty claims Lotus spring loaded the second gear shift fork. While under normal driving the spring imparts the desired delay, under high RPM upshifts and hard driving the spring is inadequate and results in slow upshifts and premature 2nd gear synchro wear. Whether this will be a problem depends upon how you drive. The fix is to remove the spring, replacing it with a machined steel sleeve to fix the shift fork solidly. But this means removing and disassembling the transaxle. 3. Shifting becomes stiff when the box gets hot. If you intend to drive hard on twisty roads I recommend a diff cooler and electric pump (Tilton/Mocal) activated by a temperature switch wired through a relay. Lotus used two versions of the UN1. The standard, and the high torque versions from 1993 on. The difference is the stiffness of the case, with revised ribbing in the differential area, and the diameter of the cross bolts tying the case halves together. The bolts in high torque boxes are 2mm larger in diameter. The later versions with the shift lever on the right side of the gearbox have shorter cables and shift better than the earlier cars with the shifter on the left. Other than the slow second gear synchro and dodgy shifter, the boxes are quite fine. The shifter can be solved if you're determined and most folks can live with the 1-2 shift delay. The foregoing comments apply to a 4 cyl with a high torque, Sport 300 gearbox. The transaxles are much more marginal in the V8s.
  3. It depends on the pump you plan to use and its current load. I run a WC Engineering pump on my '87 HCi. The current draw is low enough that it can be connected to one of the fuel pump circuits.
  4. Andy, my car is a US car with a composite roof. They use a smaller version of the striker pins and latch similar to the deck lid. I agree replacing the roof seal will increase tension and reduce rattling of the roof, but notwithstanding, if the latch is functioning properly, the pin shouldn't be able to to get past the latch plate. The roof only pops loose on one side. I'm thinking the riv nuts that secure that the bottom part of the latch were not properly aligned when the car was built meaning the latch doesn't properly secure the striker pin. The build quality of this particular car when new was not very good. For example, the fuse panel was stuffed up under the dash secured by zip ties; there was neither a bracket for the panel nor a fuse panel door as shown in the owner's and parts manuals. Since there's no way to relocate the latch plate, I'm thinking that maybe making a striker pin with a larger diameter head will cure the problem.
  5. Has anyone had a problem with the removeable roof popping loose when going over the slightest pavement ripple? Mine pops loose incessantly on the passenger side. Neither the pin nor latch show any signs of visual wear and I've tried every adjustment possible with no luck. Has anyone come up with a fix or upgrade?
  6. From these guys. The front office, Lloyd Buttfoy, is not as accessible as one would like, but he knows his stuff and is 100% honest. Lloyd has the production rights, handles new orders, rebuilds and after sales service. Manufacturing is in TX. If there's a problem he can get a part from TX in a day FedEX. I speak from experience. They stand behind what they build. M---
  7. The transmissions are about $9,000, but there it was more work than expected to get it into the car: Clutch The release bearing setup New half shafts (Renault box cans can have the old ones shortened) Bell housing - Quaife for the V8's or Conversion Components in NZ for the fours (I paid for the casting pattern, it would be nice to see it used more than once). New shifter or shifter modification, custom cables and working out linkage ratios and details Fabrication - adding a rear shelf to the rear hoop, removal of the old gearbox mounts and replacing the lower frame rails (need to be dropped down to clear the wide ZF sump and inspection cover below the ring gear), reinforcement of the inboard suspension pickup points. New "dumbell" shaped muffler to clear the longer gearbox, and fabricated saddles to mount it. Lots of detailed, trial and error machining and fitting to get the hydraulic release bearing height correct, eliminate play in the gearshift action and obtain a good feel. The bell housing needed 30 hours of welding and fine machining to get right, but that was done when I installed the Quaife as were the half shafts, and I have detailed notes and pictures of what was required so the foundry could make the next one better. The learning curve from the Quaife installation experience largely prepared me for this one, but the lower frame changes came as a surprise when offering the box up. Said and done, the car shifts like a dream, fast and precise and the ratios are perfect. But it took me 4 transmissions to get there - 2 Citroen ring and pinions, a Sport 300 box (didn't break but lower ratios too short and slow 1-2 synchro action), the Quaife - a disaster for the road, and finally the ZF. It's finally becoming a real car.
  8. To all. For a parking brake I use a Mapco hydraulic parking brake. Not DOT but works great once you change the 0-rings from neoprene to EPDM. The gearbox is an RBT DS25/2 made in Texas. RBT bought the rights, tooling and NOS from ZF. The great thing is rather than buy an OEM production version, the boxes are built to order, allowing you to mix and match features from any ZF DS25 ever produced. Mine is based on the BMW M1 version, which has CV joint output shafts, the shortest input shaft available M29 x 10T 4.25" long, a stronger case than the Pantera versions and upgraded synchros. The M1s ran the boxes with the input shaft above the output shaft; the internal oiling is configured to run the box flipped over like a Pantera. The ratios I selected are different than those used in the M1 with a lower final drive. The LSD is a clutch type, set up 40% lock up. The box is rated to 500 ft-lbs of torque. The clutch is a 240mm AP Racing tuning clutch with an adapted and modified hydraulic release bearing for a Saab 900, also by AP. Here are a few pix of the box install. The last one shows the finished linkage in nickel and the 9 quart blow molded water injection tank for the Acquamist. The electrics have been relocated from the trunk floor so the floor can be removed w/o breaking and harness connections. The sheet metal screws and spire nuts have been replaced with Camloc quick release fasteners as well. All carpets are wool. The trunk, German loop, and the interior in Wilton Wool. The interior is not finished yet, I'm working on a new console and will have to pull the windscreen to finish retrimming the dash. The hole in the carpet behind the passenger seat has been filled with a J&S Safeguard sequential knock retard system. First class job ! Great to see some more images of your project car Michael. Mike S Thanks! That's quite a complement coming from you. Beautiful engine build. I now have a far greater appreciation for the complexity of the V8's. Building one of the fours seems almost trivial by comparision!
  9. It wasn't easy. The prototype took about 16 hours of machine time. You start with almost 20lbs of aluminum for 2 lbs of brackets. The first set were made for calipers with ears. Having the basic design worked out, this second set for radial calipers took about a day on a mill, plus fitting, shimming and minor adjustments to get the calipers centered on the rotors. With this design, the minimum disc diameter possible is 12.5". I run 13" at all 4 corners, 6 pistons in the front and 4 in the rear. First the outboard nose of each upright was machined round. The brackets were machined from 7075. Longer bolts secure the caliper mounts to the radius arms. The braking loads are passed through the center hole in the brackets to the upright castings.
  10. Mark, That may be tough without changing the bulb holders; the bulbs are screw in while most of the LEDs I've seen are the wedge push in or bayonet type. These guys have a fair selection, you might check with them: If you can, go with lamps that have 3 LEDS in them, single light bulbs will be too dim. More than 3 LEDs usually means a bulb head to large in diameter to fit inside of the green lens inside the gauge. may be able to provide you with new bulb sockets It's also possible that the new Smiths Classic range use more modern bulb holders. These guys would be able to tell you:
  11. Here's a few pics of my work in process. I've taken the same approach with my old Esprit as Caterham has with the Seven. Think of it as the G-car equivalent of a CSR260.
  12. Spin the oil pump with an impact wrench with the timing belt removed, connecting the oil outlet to the inlet, if the adapter is in place. Better not to crank the motor, the pumps take some time to prime and produce oil pressure. With an impact you can pressurize the motor before it even turns.
  13. Excuse me, but I should have specified. My comment applied only to the US Federal Elise with the Toyota motor, as per posts on Elise talk forum. I'm not familiar enough with the ROW K motor cars.
  14. "While I was re-doing the head gasket on my elise and about to fit a remote thermostat, I realised that the Elise uses an electric water pump to assist the mechanically driven one." The electric pump in the Elise is to improve circulation to the heater core, not to improve cooling.
  15. I went for an inch. Doing so allows you to port the diffuser, opening the inlet about 0.25". In theory you should go as large as you have room, but there are physical limitations. You'll also need to make a new manifold brace, reshape the dipstick tube and make a "V" support piece with the tube clip to support it. Try to go 2" and the adaptation becomes more complicated.
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