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"Recommissioning" a 1984 Turbo

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Hello to all, this is my first post having just joined the forum.
I should start by saying I am really pleased to found such a helpful and valuable source of information and I'm looking through all the topics.
I've owned a 1984 Turbo esprit since 1987 and am now " recommissioning" the car after 17 years in storage. Prior to storage it was used regularly. My plan is to do whats needed, get it mot'ed and drive it. By whats needed I mean make it safe and not catch fire. I say that since a long time ago I lost my eyebrows and my Eclat to a fire☹️.
New cambelt and tensioner, rebuilt calipers so far. Waterpump was new just before storage and doesnt leak. Carb rebuild kit bought from classic carbs on ebay, are they ok?
I'd be really interested if anyone else has "recommissioned" a Turbo after this  length of time and what needs a good looking at. It was all ok.
Specifically can I have a good look at the fuel lines or should I replace all? Do the tanks and outlets rust /corrode?
The water hoses and clips look ok, dont leak, but again they are 36 years old.
All ideas appreciated. Thank you.
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  • Gold FFM

17 years 😱 wow - that’s some will power leaving her that long.

whack us all up some pictures - we love those.

and defo change all the fuel lines - that’s a long time for them to have rotted and you may well not see the real damage. Hopefully the clutch and brake cylinder hydraulics havent pitted inside the cylinders.

Only here once

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16 minutes ago, suitably.obscure said:

what needs a good looking at

Welcome to the forum William.

I'd change all the fluids for a start.

Make sure no valves are stuck.

Make sure turbo spins.

Inspect the inside of the fuel tanks for rust.

Fresh fuel.

A must will be to get oil pressure up before actually starting the engine.

Once the engine is running you can start checking the suspension.

Lots to do I suspect, they don't like being stood.


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9 hours ago, suitably.obscure said:

Carb rebuild kit bought from classic carbs on ebay, are they ok?

Just double check its specifically a Turbo kit as the gasket material etc differs from an NA.  

Assuming your clutch and brakes are free, are the brake disks still OK?    Fronts can be suseptible to judder if they are unevenly corroded where the pads have been left in contact

Dont be suprised that even if the hydraulics brakes/water pump dont initially leak, they may start to after you start to use them.   For that reason keep them under close observation - If you are going to 'use' the car, I'd consider changing all the hydraulic seals & brake hoses as a matter of course - Not as difficult as it sounds.

Drop all existing fuel - Be good if you could look inside the tanks with a boroscope, as flaking crap will either leak or cause running issues with debris.

If the rad is original, I'd be suprised if its not getting a little crusty & brittle in the fins.  This tends to run the car a little hot.    Dont be suprised if you spring a number of leaks in the alloy coolant pipes, as they tend to pinhole corrode 'upstream' of the clip where the rubber overlaps the metal.   However, the rubber pipes seem to survive age very well.

Is there any mould on the leather?   If not, storage conditions have probably been OK.   If any interior switches have become intermittent, ping them apart with your fingers and give them a spray with a professional contact cleaner, which will bring them back to life.





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21 minutes ago, suitably.obscure said:

its possible we looked at the same cars

Each time I've bought a Lotus (3 so far), I've only ever looked at one car for each purchase.

My Esprit was owned by someone who lived a mile or so away from me on Surrey, down a cul-de-sac - and I used to see it on his drive every now and then. I decided that I wanted to but one for my 24th birthday, but really could only afford £10k, which was the S3 NA price in 1987. I recall Turbos were around £15k. Once Saturday in late May, I was driving past and the owner had the Esprit out, so I turned round and approached him. I said that I was looking to buy one and was wondering where he had his serviced. He replied that he was looking to sell it, to which I responded, how much? He said £10.5k. Take me for a drive, if it is OK, I'll buy it, so off we went, and I bought it - sorting out the funds took about three weeks, had to sell my car and get a bank loan. During the test drive he mentioned that he was getting a Mercedes. I reckon we was offered £10k as a p/ex, so added £500 on top. I got a bargain.

2nd car went the other way though, Black 1987 Excel SE, went to Norfolk Motor Company to look at an £8.5k Excel - which had been sold when I arrived, ended up buying one for £14k  the same day.

Hope to see your Esprit on the road soon, and you'd be more than welcome to come out to once of our meets ups if you fancy an early morning drive on a Sunday.

Keep the pictures coming.


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