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Hammer59

Esprit questions

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Hi all.

I've been on the lookout for a late-80's Esprit, preferably turbo but not essential, for about 18 months now, with no luck.  I was considering Pureguava's S3 when it got snapped up by some discerning buyer in early 2018.  There hasn't seemed to be any NZ Esprits on the market since then.

Does anyone have, or know of, an S3 for sale?  I'm tempted by an English 1988 turbo but am in the dark over the importation process.  Are there any pitfalls with the compliance of imported models?  I'm aware that freight/clearance/GST will add about 10k to the price, but will bite the bullet if there were no major modifications required to get the car legal here.

Any advice would be appreciated.

 

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HI Terry,

 

I would suggest starting with a call to Ken at KW Historics (www.lotus.co.nz) He will know a lot about the import process and may know of any cars that maybe for sale.  There are not to many that come up for sale, having said that there is club member selling their 90's Esprit (on trademe at the time of writing). https://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/used-cars/lotus/auction-2379198680.htm?rsqid=16da40138eb743b594811a1cb3edbd7b-001


Rich Miles - Social Media Coordinator - Club Lotus New Zealand

www.clublotus.org.nz 
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Welome to TLF Terry. :welcome:

You could also try Steve Taylor at Lotus Marques in Melbourne. He may know of some Australian Esprits for sale. May save you the hassle of compliance issues as well.

Best of luck searching. You should duck over to the Introductions area and say hi in there as well.

ps. I have moved your post over to the Wanted section in the Esprit area as it will get more views in there.


All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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That looks great, congratulations. What a fantastic early Christmas present.

You must be getting more excited by the day.

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Very nice! Congrats :thumbup:


88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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Lovely.  Did you see her before buying or totally unseen?


Alcohol. Sex. Tobacco. Drugs. Chocolate.  Meh! NOTHING in this world is as addictive as an Evora +0. It's not for babies!        

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I didn't see her in the flesh, but there was so much detail in the description,  along with 170 odd photos, including a wealth of history/invoices/MOTs etc.  I also spoke to the previous owner several times, so I'm fairly confident it's not a total dog.  Auction estimate was 18k - 24k so I think I got a bargain,  too, considering the way prices have been going.

Yep, can't wait for it to get here. I'm expecting red-tape hassles when it arrives but will just work through them hopefully. 

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That sounds like a good price for an SE. Keep us posted when it arrives. :)


It's getting there......

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To Richard in Auckland.  Yes, that black one was one that had come up recently.  The other was only on for a few hours and then withdrawn so I'm assuming it got snapped up.  Thanks for the info re Ken at KW.  There'll be a definite shortage of Lotus knowhow here in Wanganui, but I don't mind getting my hands dirty.  I'm looking forward to a few NZ Lotus club events.

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Looks lovely, congratulations!

If it is indeed mechanically sound, you've good a helluva bargain! Having all the invoices is always a good way to start. You'll want to change the cambelt unless you're sure it's been done less then 2 years ago, a bit of work, but a good excuse to give the engine a thorough check-up.

Are you planning to do the work yourself, or do you have a trusted garage/mechanic to take car of her?

Filip


I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.

 

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Nice motor - even I’ve never bought an esprit unseen from foreign shores.

looks like a decent purchase price as well - so even if there’s issues needing attention - there’s plenty of room in that purchase price


Only here once

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Thanks for the comments.  This is the car if anyone's interested. https://themarket.co.uk/listings/lotus/esprit-turbo-se/1d2067cc-36b1-4151-80ef-a9dd61cc953b?status=live

I'm pretty sure I bought it in appreciation of the wit and wisdom of the copywriter as much as anything.  You don't get ads like that here in NZ!

Full service, including new cambelt, waterpump, gear linkages and output shaft seals , was done early last year, with only a few hundred miles travelled since, so I shouldn't need to worry about those for a while, although she will get a new oil and filter straight away.

I tend to shy away from cam-belt changes, ever since I changed one on my fiat 124 sport and forgot to time the auxilliary shaft (drives the fuel pump) and its cam lobe had an eventful meeting with No.2 big end.  Had to throw the whole motor away after said lobe, now separated from the shaft, was picked up and shoved through the side of the crankcase, right where my gormless face was perched.  No damage to me, before you ask.

The position of the cam belt on the Lotus looks like it would be hellish to replace anyway.  I can't believe it's not an engine-out job.

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1 hour ago, Hammer59 said:

The position of the cam belt on the Lotus looks like it would be hellish to replace anyway.  I can't believe it's not an engine-out job.

if you get close to the engine. Read a lot about it. Take you time. It is not a difficult engine. You can easily manage it with the engine in. One tip: use a mirror.

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Engine in about 3 hours - engine out - no more than 40 minute if your taking your time.

to pull the engine - it’s about 4-5 hours and super easy if you use a tractor loader


Only here once

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The SE finally arrived in NZ on 19th December.  Customs and quarantine had to do their thing and I travelled to Napier last Tuesday and trailered it back to Wanganui.  Battery dead as a doornail, of course, but after a night's charging, I was able to fire her up for the first time last Wednesday.  Drove it a short distance on the Thursday to the local testing station to get complied, warranted and registered.  Picked it up Friday morning after it flew through all the tests, much to my surprise.  Just had the weekend getting to know the car.  Man, she flies.  The steering seems a little strange.  There's no play but the car 'tracks' all over the place.  It's quite hard work keeping her straight at low speeds.  New dunlops are on the front.  Tyre pressure?  Manual recommends around the 20lb mark, but that must have been for early tyres, surely?  I put 30 in the front and 32 in the back.  Any advice appreciated.  I notice boost will go up to at least 1 bar when flooring it.  Is this the SE's overboost coming into play or might there be a wastegate issue?  Also, there is a need to 'feather' the engine at low revs, to get it off the mark, to stop it from stalling, even when engine is warm.  No real problem idling, although it's a little lumpy, as expected.  Should be said that it had half a tank of fuel in it.  It will be at least 4 months old, and more likely closer to a year or so, as the car was rarely used by the previous owner.  I added some petrol conditioner, so hope that helps.  Anyway, happy to finally get the car and looking forward to meeting a few other NZ Lotus owners.  Cheers.

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It should be straight as an arrow unless the wheels are spinning.

check the front suspension bushes - these are critical. If they are purple or yellow split bush units in there then that really won’t help matters.

http://www.lotusespritworld.com/EModels/SE.html Boost should settle at 0.85 bar. You need to make sure she’s not overboosting as it’ll run lean if it does.

lumpy it may well be unless it’s done some miles and a relearn on the ecu after the flat battery


Only here once

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I have the tyre pressures on my G car as in the manual 21/25, irrespective of the fact that the tyres are modern, so I'd try the manual pressures - although  LEW shows your SE should be 26/26. The tyres were designed to be part of the suspension so I'd have thought higher pressures could throw the ride out.

 

 

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Thanks, guys.  I'll drop the tyre pressures and see if this makes a difference.  I'll check the bushes but the compliance and WOF (warrant of fitness = MOT) tests would have picked up any suspension issues, I would think - they are pretty picky over here.  Is the turbo boost gauge usually pretty accurate?

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6 hours ago, Barrykearley said:

It should be straight as an arrow unless the wheels are spinning.

check the front suspension bushes - these are critical. If they are purple or yellow split bush units in there then that really won’t help matters.

http://www.lotusespritworld.com/EModels/SE.html Boost should settle at 0.85 bar. You need to make sure she’s not overboosting as it’ll run lean if it does.

lumpy it may well be unless it’s done some miles and a relearn on the ecu after the flat battery

Just a thought about the ecu:  the car has a battery isolator fitted.  The previous owner did not drive it very much.  I'm assuming that the relearn will need to occur each time if I use the isolator?

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Yes the isolator will cause a relearn every time it’s used. Most folks put trickle chargers on to solve this problem.

the poor idle and fettling the throttle - you need to plug it into a pc running freescan - check the TPS is set right and works - then change the iac valve - this causes poor starts when hot and idles running problems.

aftermarket bushes will pass an mot - but cause poor handling especially at the front.


Only here once

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Even the best of examiners will pass poor Esprit bushes unless they're familiar with them.  The standard test methodology reveals little yield on a bush that will perform badly under load.  If the bushes are OK, then a 4-wheel geometry check is likely what you need.

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12 hours ago, Hammer59 said:

Also, there is a need to 'feather' the engine at low revs, to get it off the mark, to stop it from stalling, even when engine is warm. 

Perhaps it is just getting to grips with a different clutch/flywheel?

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5 hours ago, Sparky said:

Even the best of examiners will pass poor Esprit bushes unless they're familiar with them.  The standard test methodology reveals little yield on a bush that will perform badly under load.  If the bushes are OK, then a 4-wheel geometry check is likely what you need.

Couldn’t agree more.

Given my experience, a fresh geometry check should be a must when buying an Esprit, it could reveal all kinds of issues.

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