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88 Door Handle Rebuild - Interior/Exterior/Lights/Glass/Alarms/ICE/HVAC - The Lotus Forums Jump to content


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For those of you that have run the Deca Ralley, climbed everest, survived 48 hours in the outback, had your chest waxed . . . there is one last thing you should do before you call it quits in this life. Repair the door latches on a 1988 Lotus Turbo Esprit. I fullly beleive in Lepricons at this point, because no other friggin creature on the face of this earth could have installed these at the factory. You have to be double jointed in the fingers, have a huge tolerance for pain, patience of Jobe and be magic and very small.

I am currently in the middle of dying the interior leather black from its original dove grey, the grey has worn thin in a few places and needed it. I will post pictures of this when I am done, I did the ash trays first, to test, then the doors. The results are phenominal, I am very very pleased. The kit came from liquid leather, the spray gun was crap, but the dye works very well, and look fantastic. The interior looks brand new, or at least the doors do. Anyway, I took this time to rebuild the door locks, the PO had had the window motors worked on, and the mechanic had broken the 2 little plastic half squares on the door handles, and overtightened them, misadjusted, etc.

Knowing that this was not an easy job, I chose this night because it was a full lunar eclipse here in north america, and I thought a little magic might help make this job easier. I know how these doors are, plus it is a lotus, plus it is a pre 1992, plus a PO crappy mechanic had made them worse, all the odds were against me.

At first I cussed the existence of Colin himself. I wondered how in the he__ someone could possibly design something like this, to go in a car like this . . . So frustrating, trying to hold the door handle, while you get the little half squares around the latch, while you hold the screwdriver in, and keep from scratching the newly dyed leather. The first one was a learning experience, I learned how much I could bend the plastic squares and press them in whilst holding the latch out with both a hand and a screwdriver behind. At a certain critical mass, you here a click and you oh so gently let go with the screwdriver and push up until it pops mostly in place. You must do the top first, you must have 2 screws in, namely the rearward facing screw and the top screw, or the plate on the back of the door that holds the screws will not stay in place. And then you can do the bottom very gently until it snaps. Tighten all the nuts and bam you are done. It seemed I struggled for a bit, and then when I realized the trick, they went in with a little patience and dexterity.

After finishing the first door, I slid back in the seat, with my feet hanging out of the car and I felt something behind me, I was sitting on it. And then it hit me, how I had accomplished this task without taking my own life in frustration . . . I was sitting on my Bible, I had driven the car to a mens study group on Tuesday night. So this is going to be in my toolbox from now on when working on this car . . . it worked so well maybe I will try it with the Testarossa . . . .

p.s. after lubing the windows with dry lube and the gear with liquid grease . . .they work much better . . . still pathetic . . . but better . . .

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:lol: Thanks Chris! I must be double jointed cause i didn't seem to have the troubles that you encountered. The exterior door Handles on my 88 were bent and the interior handles were missing the trim ring... i can't believe those stupid plastic trim rings were $5 bucks each!!! Stupid POs!!!
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Hi Chris,

I am not sure if this is pertinent to your model Esprit but the window performance can often be improved dramatically by using relays to power the motors rather than passing the current through the window switches directly. It should be a relatively straightforward procedure and I think there was a write up either here or on LEW sometime ago.

I hope it helps :lol:

cheers

-Chris

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yes and if I werent so darn impatient I would have waited and done the relay switch . . . I did find 2 wires, with connector slide on ends on them in the passenger door, purple and black that were just hanging free . . . not sure what they were connected too . . .any ideas ? I also went out and purchased a new HVLP touch up sprayer for my air gun to spray the dye on the interior in hopes of getting a more even fit . . .but then again I just found a wrecked v8 full of parts, black with black leather already purchased quite a few bits . . . and thanks to RENS, a class act, for getting me setup with some CX mirrors all the way from europe. . . to us delivered . . .

I wrote it hoping people would get a kick out of it . . . you have to laugh or you end up putting a hole in the fiberglass body of the car with the nearest tool . . . anyway, I figured out on the second one that the notches in the plastic ring peices were perfect places to put your screwdriver to lift the door handle to slide the ring under . . . worked fabulously . . .

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  • 2 weeks later...
I recently drew up a schematic for this mod:

The window on the passenger side of my esprit did not work very well (indeed to slow and I was never sure if it should completely close). After reading this thread I tried to connect the window motor immediately to the mass and the 12V of the car without switches and a lot of wires in between and indeed this worked without problems.

So, after this test, using the inserted scheme I builded in these 2 relais last weekend and now it works fine. Thanks for the idea and the scheme which is working perfect.

Regards

Jos

Edited by SHB662
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  • 2 weeks later...

You want automotive relays, similar to the ones that are already used all over the car. Thay are typically rated at 40 Amps. Bosch, Hella and Tyco are good brands. You can get relays online from Waytek, http://www.waytekwire.com/, try their stock numbers 75311 or 75312 ( the second one has a mounting tab).

Edited by sanj

Visit Sanj's Lotus Esprit Turbo SE pages

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well i put the relays on, interesting . .. my window would not go up and down, i could hear the relays poping on and off, however, no movement. So i hooked a battery straight to the window motor and it moved up and down fine, then i tried it again later and it did not move just clicked . . . not sure what the deal is . . .

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If all is correct, only one relay will operate at a time.

Yep I think your circuit is fine, I am not sure what the problem was, I went out and got back at it today, and BAM everything worked fine. I wonder if the window motors have a built in over-heating or over-amp type protection built in? I doubt it they look so simple, I took the small wiring harness out of the equation and went straight to the leads coming off the motor from the relay, and that worked like a charm, then I moved the window up and down a few times, lubed it in places that I could not get too with the window in the up position, and now it is working well. I can now go through toll booths and drive throughs without opening the door . . . . nice. . . thanks for taking the time to create the diagram. I am now going to do the other window switch and the other door . . .

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  • 3 weeks later...

I followed the schematic and everything worked flawless! I tapped the 12V wire and wired up a small relay harness and mounted the assembly next to the motor with relay harness mounting brackets. Thanks Sanj!

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I followed the schematic and everything worked flawless! I tapped the 12V wire and wired up a small relay harness and mounted the assembly next to the motor with relay harness mounting brackets. Thanks Sanj!

Whoo-hoo, a happy customer!

Chris, hope you figure out what's up with yours. FWIW, I had a loose fuse connection on mine last year, gave me fits until I figured it out.

Visit Sanj's Lotus Esprit Turbo SE pages

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Whoo-hoo, a happy customer!

Chris, hope you figure out what's up with yours. FWIW, I had a loose fuse connection on mine last year, gave me fits until I figured it out.

hmmmm . . .where is the fuse? I need to tighten my relays as well, the sockets are all just dangling in the fuse box . . . i was thinking i had a kinked wire or something because it is very spuratic . . . when it works it flies up and down, i just do not have the interest to fix it right now, i am trying to get a wing fixed and get the new wheels sorted out. . . . i did find and fix 1 small oil leak . . .the door will get fixed eventually . . . thanks

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