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HElp - and where to get it?

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I have enjoyed your site very much. I am hoping that you can help me or point me to someone who may have done a frame off on an esprit.

I have a 1977 Esprit in need of some substantial restoration. (new interior, rebuilt engine, rebuilt bumpers, new rubber and piping throughout). Using an original shop manual I have begun the process of unbolting the frame from the body and have I believe completed this activity. That said I do not see the frame letting go.

I have removed all body to frame bolts, upper

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Welcome to forum John :P

I have no experience about taking the frame out of the body but here are some discussion about it

Hope it helps :o

Check my blog and leave comments/suggestions Jussi's photography blog

See you in G+ Jussi Alanko in Google+

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Guest teigan

there are several members who have done exactly what you are attempting. wait until they reply to you before proceeding further. it will save a lot of effort, and you'll avoid stressing body parts; both yours and the car. best regards.

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Hi John

You are about to begin a wonderful adventure. I have done a complete frame off rebuild of my '83 Esprit.

First back track and make sure you got all the bolts accessed from the interior and front trunk. One in each footwell, 4 along the tunnel and two in the front trunk. There are also 4 bolts on the firewall that have to be removed.

On the S3 there is a medal strip that runs the width of the underbody. Is helps to hold the engine undertray in place. Not sure the S1 had an undertray?

There are also 4 bolts that hold the pedal box in place. Its bolted to the chassis not the body but its good to get the box out of the way. On an S1 this could be your problem.

When you lift the body you have to pic up the rear first then high enough to clear the two mounting points located on the chassis in front of the engine (about 5 inches). Next pick up the front just enough to get a little clearance from the chassis. Then roll the chassis forward an inch or two to clear the Upper A-arm pivot bolts. Then pic up the front. Right you've already removed the pivot bolts.

Does it lift ANY at the front? If it lifts a little then its hanging on something. If its solid then she still bolted somewhere.

Does it lift ANY at the back?

Give us a list of the bolts you removed.

Send Steve at SJ Sportcars an email he's pretty good with S1-S3 Esprits.

[email protected]

Hope this helps?

Good luck,


'83 Turbo

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John, Gernot Wolf from Austria has done a beautiful body off restoration of an S1 .

He is on this forum. I would send Wolf a personal message to ask for his advice :o


Edited by WayneB
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As long as all the Body to Chassis mounting bolts have been removed along with the Pedal Box, Coolant & Heater hoses, Brake Lines & Cables, Fuel Pipes and Electrical Connections the body should lift off. The Body is not glued to the chassis.

It sounds like there is still some Body to Chassis mounting bolts connected. Usually it is the ones somewhere in the cockpit - front or rear bulkhead. It is worth checking if there is any movement at either back of front - this may point to where it is still attached.

Hope this is useful


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Hello John,

back from my holiday and back in this forum :o

I have read your message and I hope you will have much fun with

restoring your car :P

To get the body off you have to do the things mentioned by Kato

and Louis (but there is a little difference to the S3).

There are only 2 bolts in the rear, 2 on either side of the tunnel, 2 in front trunk,

4 holding the pedal box (bolted to the chassis) and 2 holding the brake master


For better stability of the body shell I wouldn't suggest to remove the firewall,

also it is not necessary to remove.

If the carpet is out of the car you can see the pivot bolts and washers of the

upper front wishbone - they must not be removed.

Begin to lift up the body at the rear, then roll the chassis a little backward (not

forward as written above) to release the point, where the pivot bolts of the front

suspension are breaking through the body shell. Now you can pic up the front

also and lift the whole body.

You can see it here:

Because of adhesive oil, rust and smut between the body and chassis I've had to

pull a little harder at the begining to get the body off.

I hope it helps you -

Best regards Gernot

'76 lotus esprit s1 - monaco white ... '11 lotus evora na - aspen white Posted Image
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Guest Troy Halliday

When I removed the body from my S3 I did forget to remove the pedal box mountings which took a litttle while of head scratching to work out what I missed. Once removed them body was still stuck solid. I ended up putting a couple of troley jacks under the rear of the body shell (on wood blocks I will add) while a friend stood on the chassis in the engine bay. It eventualy let go. I did have an issue that when I started to lift the body of that the front suspension arm bolt where catching on the inner wings. You have to lift it up and towards the front of the car.

All of this may be slightly different on your car but I am sure there will be simularities.

If you look at my signiture below you will see a link to my photo diary which is in desperate need of an update :D

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  • 8 years later...

Last year I bought an Esprit S1. What I thought was going to be a fast flip over, turns out to be a little bit more work :). For days I am trying to lift the body. I removed:

  • 3 bolts (in the back)
  • two seat belt bolts (cockpit)
  • two bolts (cockpit) connected to the front suspension,
  • 4 bolts (cockpit) of the pedal box
  • the flexible steering joint
  • two bolts (in the front) to the radiator frame

(I did not remove the front suspensions bolts. There are huge clearance holes cut around them.)

 I tried to jack the body off, but nothing :(. The complete chassis is coming of the ground. What did I forget? Any advice would be very appreciated.            

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After speaking with Renn yesterday.  I discovered under the carpet indeed two more bolts (each side) about a metre forward of the seat belt bolts.  I will try to remove these this evening.  Now I understand why I kept lifting the complete car of the ground.

Not an easy job, when you do it for the first time.

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