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Tony K

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Posts posted by Tony K

  1. 8 hours ago, S22fan said:

    What brand is #324J?

    Hi S22fan,

      324J is the chassis number of an Esprit S2.2 that I own.  It is a RoW car, left hand drive, and was imported to the U.S. in the early 1980s.    What do you mean by what brand is it?     (By the way, might be better to message me than take this thread off course!)


    Tony K.  :)

  2. Typically on the Veglia gauge, the point where the red zone meets the green zone is somewhere from 15-20 psi.    As a general rule, if an S1's needle stays out of the red at idle on a hot summer day with the engine and oil fully heated up, then I don't worry about it.  If the needle dips into the red, I look into it.    

    On a hot sunny day (85F degrees or higher), oil fully warmed up, driving on an expressway, the needle should be at or close to the middle of the gauge.  Maybe a little higher, maybe a little lower, depending on vehicle speed, outside temperature, and engine RPM.    If it is much higher, you either have a really tight engine (unlikely), a massive oil cooler, or a minor electrical issue affecting the reading.

    On a cold startup, I have seen the needle be anywhere from 3/4 of the way up to all the way at the highest point.  Readings I have taken were around 80psi, but that was only a few times and it was a long time ago.   There is a pressure relief valve on the oil pump, and I think variances in the OPRV might be what is allowing some to go higher than others (but tolerances also could play a part).

    I once had an S1 whose oil pressure gauge readings varied depending on whether the lights were on.  Somewhere it must have had a dirty connection or ground.    It was a federal car, and if I had the headlights or just the parking/running lights on, the gauge reading would change noticeably;  I don't remember which was higher or which was lower, but when you are driving around, you should turn your lights on to see if it makes a difference.

    I would definitely get a mechanical gauge.  I connect one to my S1s about once per year as part of their "annual checkup".  

    Also, on the topic, if you feel like a little project that might be verify gratifying and will pay dividends over the long run, drain your oil and remove the sump --  unless your engine is recently rebuilt, I can almost guarantee that you will find all kinds of crud  -- bits of gasket and sealant, etc.,  -- stuck to the screen around the pick up tube.   Removing that stuff makes it worth the effort, and you will feel so much better the next time you start the car.   Be sure to loosen/tighten  the sump bolts in an order similar to how you would do a head gasket, and don't overtighten them - Workshop Manual gives the spec, I think it's only about 5 ft-lbs.


    David, just read your post more carefully (what I wrote above was a general response, didn''t notice who it was that had posted the question)  -- if you have a sliver of green (let's say a needle's width) between the needle and the red zone, that's probably 20psi, maybe 25.  Right where it should be on a new, tight engine.   Get used to that needle almost touching the red at hot idle.


    Tony K.  :)   

    • Like 2
  3. Per jonwat's comment, the Coopers head gaskets were notorious for leaking.  It was not uncommon on a cold night for coolant to drip down the exhaust side of the block from the head gasket, but to not leak when it warms up and expands (liners too high relative to the deck).  I wouldn't be surprised if coolant found its way into the sump somehow after years of sitting (i.e. liners not high enough relative to the deck).   (Or the liner nip was/is correct and the gasket just leaked.)    If the oil is brown and the coolant is green and they're not mixed up like chocolate milk, then you know the engine never ran with coolant in the sump and that it happened after it was taken off the road.  

  4. Hi Jani,

      I don't remember for sure;  I experimented my way through it -- I tried using small washers on a few;  on others I lifted the leather and skimmed some off the back with a Dremel tool to make the leather thinner; and in other spots I may have also just pressed hard enough that it compressed the leather and stayed on.    I also don't remember whether I used one or two or three washers -- may have varied by how tight it was.   

        I initially used screws and nuts to fasten the clips to "test fit" them so I wouldn't have to drill a rivet for a clip that was too tight.  Once I was comfortable that it would fit, I used the rivet.  The rivet pulls with a lot of force, so make the screws tight.

        Thinking back, trying to remember, I would probably use washers throughout as a matter of course.  If they rattle like Paul's did, I would apply a tiny dab of RTV silicone to the back of the clip/on the washer with a toothpick.

    I hope this helps!




  5. Probably ok.  Never pulled on that span specifically, but I do recall the tensioner being touchy like that when static.  I am always careful when taking the tension reading that the engine's last movement was completely clockwise (that it didn't get bumped backwards even the slightest as to reduce the tension).  

    What I would make sure of:   As long as the tensioner has two springs inside the piston and the piston moves freely in any and all instances, I think you are fine.    With the tensioner looking like that, I would disassemble the whole thing, clean it, new grease, and replace the neoprene washers, and maybe the bearing depending on age and condition.  If the pivot does not move smoothly or if there is excessive play (rare), consider replacing the bushes.   When the tensioner is apart, rotate the piston within the cylinder, and rotate it while moving it in and out, to see if it binds at any point.   

    I don't see anything in the Workshop Manual about a ground strap on the tensioner, but many of the early cars I had and worked on had one or some remnant of one.  So I always make a new one when I service the tensioner.   A simple curved wire from the 10mm bolt to any bolt on the body of the tensioner, using eyelet connectors.

    Hope this helps!

    • Like 1
  6. Roy, in answer to your question about the original fabrics, for the brown marcasite velvet, the best thing we have found is "crypton suede" fabric in the color Chocolate, sold at, of all places, JoAnn Fabrics.    For the beige, I believe Jon Roberts on this forum has found something that is very close to the original.    

    If opting for leather, there is a Mercedes color that is a dead ringer for the original Lotus beige, but I don't know the name of it.  

    For carpets, Federal S1s came with both a normal cut pile type and a deep "shag" style.   A faithful representation of the cut pile can be found at World Upholstery either among the Jaguar PLP carpet or the Wilton Wool, although not an exact color match.   For the shag, there is an inexpensive style U.S. made bathroom rug that gets passed around from big box store to big box store that is almost a dead ringer -- it looks the same, just the pile is deeper.   It was first at Walmart, then years later at Target, but I haven't seen the exact thing in the past year or two.  If it turns up again, I will buy a bunch.    Maybe the folks in the UK have a better source for the shag carpet -- perhaps someone on the forum can chime in.  

    For the heel pad on the carpets, the narrow rib rubber matting sold by World Upholstery is a dead ringer for the original  stuff. 

    For binding, I am not aware of anyone in the U.S. who offers the exact grain pattern that Esprits have;  I have always used U.S. sourced binding, but would really like to know what is available in the UK, because the exact stuff might still be around.

    For boot carpet on an S1, the closest thing to original that you will find is "squareweave" wool carpet for old German cars at World Upholstery.  Color "black" , 1009.   A lot of people think the boot carpet is solid black, but that's because theirs is old and dirty.   The original is a wool blend with the telltale white hairs among the black.  The carpet sold at World Upholstery is a little better quality than the original and the rows/loops are neater, but it is by leaps and bounds the closest thing to original you will find.

    If you want to restore your S1 interior to the closest thing possible today as to what it was new, 90% of the selection work is done for you in these paragraphs.  


    Tony K.   :)  


    • Like 1
  7. Leather trim was available from the factory on late S1s.   Earliest I have seen was fall of 1977 build.   

    Available colors were beige, red, and black.    Beige seats, pleated inserts and rear bulkhead panel were paired with brown marcasite velvet dashboard, door panels and console.

    Black leather was paired with black marcasite, and red leather was paired with black marcasite.    What was *not* available until later was full leather, i.e. leather on the parts that were covered with marcasite, such as the dashboard.

    In other words, the late S1s with leather  were similar in material usage to the early S2s with leather.

    One detail I have noted -- on a leather interior S1 that I had, the entire seats (front, back, and sides) were leather, as was the bulkhead panel.   On a 1978 S2 leather/marcasite car that I did some interior work on, the sides and backs of the seats were vinyl that looked identical to the leather;  I think the bulkhead was, too -- can't remember 100% -- but there should be enough leather-and-marcasite S2s left in existence to determine what was the norm.  

    In any case, leather on an S1 was on late cars only, and was/is rare. 

    • Like 2
  8. For what it's worth, I have been told on a few occasions over the years that a few (late?) Federal S2s were sold with them, but have always presumed that if so, they were dealer added (just like fog lights and sunroofs . . .).  

  9. Hi @GTK, yes, I took it to a place that sells landscaping stone.  You drive your vehicle onto the scale, receive a ticket, load your vehicle with stone, back onto the scale, and pay.  I pulled up in the Esprit.  Should have seen the look on their faces. :D  The scale went in 20 lb. increments.    I don't remember how much fuel I had at the time, maybe it says so in the original post.  

    • Haha 1
  10. As for the early cars (approximately those with a gelcoat finish), my understanding at this point is that they were covered in a flocking, similar to a dashboard on a Merak, Uracco, Dino, etc. form that era.  My first experience with this was with the owner of 200H, an original white on tartan car, back in the mid-1990s.  The stuff was a dark gray with a hint of green, and apparently it didn't last long or rubbed off easily, leaving a smooth but matty and mottled dark gray surface.   In addition to 200H, I have seen remnants of it up close on two other cars -- the unrestored yellow car that Scott Walker had about ten years ago, and Lyn Weschler's car (original owner in New York).   When I visited the UK about 8 or 9 years ago, Scott and I had a discussion about this, clearly looking at dark grey-green fuzzy remnants in the corners of his dashboard and binnacle, and remarking that the Nextel was way too light, and too stiff.  

    I might be wrong on this.  I have not seen enough original examples to be confident.  But I have recently reconnected with the owner of 200H, and could revisit the conversation and take a closer look at his car.    
    Restorers of other exotic cars of the mid-'70s have reapplied that type of flocking to dashboards;  I haven't looked into it, but I know that stuff is out there.

    One thing that I am pretty confident about at this point is that on a late spring 1977 S1 onward (perhaps cars with lacquer finish), it's just black marcasite.  

    1 minute ago, Fridge said:

    Andy Graham at the Lotus Archive describes the dark Marcasite as "gunmetal", rather than black (which most folk use).

    And I think that's a fair description of it.  :) 

     . . . and in the land of Crypton Suede, our only choice appears to be "Caviar".   Is it full-on black, or a dark grey?   I don't know.  What I do know is that most people think  "gunmetal" marcasite is just "black" and call it black, so in the grand scheme of things I don't think it's a big deal.

    Crypton Upholstery Decor Fabric 54"-Suede Caviar

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