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jrome

need advice in purchasing 1988 lotus esprit SE

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Hello,

First of all, great forum you have here. I am a complete newcomer and do not know much about repairing cars. Thank you for your help and patience.

Two days ago, I was presented with the opportunity to buy a 1988 Esprit SE but have no idea if the car is a lemon or in good condition. I looked at the car and the exterior is in great condition and the interior needs to be refinished (leather fading,etc.). The engine has 88,000 km and he mentioned it has a little oil leak but has been looked at (nothing major he said). Overalll the appearance of the car is superb and he took me for a spin and it was "Mind-blowing". The seller said that he is the second owner and the vehicle has been garaged for a few years. He rarely used it and only placed about 1000km. He has some of the service records that has been done in various places as there is no certified Lotus dealer here.

My plan is, prior to making any offer, get it checked first by a mechanic (210 point inspection). But, the problem is,as mentioned before, there is no certified lotus dealer here in Saskatchewan (Canada), and the closest thing I can find that will service it is a porsche repair shop. Would this suffice in servicing this car?

Besides the mechanical inspection, any other advice? I am totally hypnotized by the car and have the money to buy it,but, trying really hard to stop myself until I get a better idea of the condition of the vehicle. This site is awesome and I am learning alot about maintainance and servcing of this car. Thanks again for all of the help.

Regards,

Jrome

P.S: I have posted this same message in other lotus sites.

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Jrome.

This is the ONLY site for Real Esprit owners. There'll be lots of posts shortly but I'll welcome you on behalf of the Moderators. ANy questions about the site please just ask.

Firstly, the interior. Find a good coachtrimmer/leather specialist and ask them how much for a re-trim. Several members have used reconditioning products also with very successful results, but it won't repair damage.

Secondly the Oil leak. Be careful. We all know that "It ain't an Esprit unless it leaves you a present on your drive after standing", however there are oil leaks and THERE ARE OIL LEAKS. Most common is Cam Tower Gaskets weeping. Thats easy and cheap to do. But there is alot more to leak so be careful. There are more people on here with more knowledge than me on Engines (like everyone).

I bought an S4, which I got about


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Hi there :D

1988 is very early for an SE. Make sure it is an SE model with the delco injection and

the chargecooled engine. many Stevens of the era now have SE spoilers and wheels so

can look the part.

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AN 88 is not an SE.

Last 4 digits of an SE VIN would be 5000+

http://www.espritfactfile.com/Mod_Info.html#ChangeHistory

'88 Model Year Introduction October '87

Esprit (N.A.); U.K. & Export 85 D 3000, 85 A/E/G/H/S 1000

Esprit Turbo; U.K. & Export 82 D 3000, 82 A/E/G/H/S 1000

Esprit Turbo (H.C.P.I.); USA F - 2000

As prior '88 M.Y. cars except:

Peter Stevens designed body, Lotus O.Z. wheels, open back (N.A.) or glazed (Turbo) tailgate. Non-USA cars; Renault transmission. USA spec.: Citroen transmission (as prior '88), Bosch fuel injection.

USA Esprit Turbo 'Limited Edition': March '88

As '88 M.Y. USA cars except:

Pearlescent white body, wheels & mirrors

Open back tailgate

Strut mounted rear spoiler

Sony compact disc auto-changer

Elm instrument masks

Silver fascia plaque.

'89 Model Year: October '88

Esprit (N.A.); U.K. & Export 85 D 3374, 85 A/E/G/H/S 1087

Esprit Turbo: U.K. & Export 85 D 3374, 85 A/E/c/H/S 1087

Esprit Turbo (M.P.F.I.); USA F - 2500

As '88 M.Y. cars except:

Heated door mirrors

Central door locking

Electric filler flap release.

USA spec.: Lotus/Delco multi-point fuel injection, Renault transmission.

40th Anniversary Commemorative Esprit Turbo (Except USA): November '88

As '89 M.Y. cars except:

Carburetor Turbo (U.K.) or M.P.F.I. versions.

Pearlescent white body, wheels & mirrors

Strut mounted rear spoiler

Front spoiler bib

Sony compact disc auto-changer

Elm instrument masks

Silver fascia plaque.

Esprit Turbo 'S.E.' (Chargecooler): 82/F


Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

My Lotus Photo and Projects Album

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Actually... it IS an SE... but SE in north america doesn't mean the same thing... it has the citroen box, the car is located in calgary, white with a blue interrior and the guy is a big wig for an oilfield company. Mine is also called an SE on the registration... I know this is confusing.. but it is not DELCO injection, it's bosch ke-jetronic without a chargecooler. I have been meaning to look at this car myself, as I have some local guys who are interested in purchasing it as well. I will pm you Jrome... I can help you directly and go and see the car with you if you like. I am not a certified mechanic.. but I seem to be the local Lotus Esprit repairman at the moment.

As a side note... I'd like to know why they called the 88 an SE over here across the pond though... maybe it's because it's actually a G-Car with a Stevens body?


Modifying esprit's.. now that's fun..

PS... I AM NOT A CERTIFIED MECHANIC.. I Have chosen to help those in need, in the past and must not be construed as being a certified technician.

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Sorry Mark but I disagree with you. If it's got a citroen box, bosch ignition and no chargecooler it is NOT an SE despite what the registration says.....


1995 S4s

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Jrome I posted on Pistinheads welcoming you to possible Esprit ownership. I also questioned an 88 SE but may have been the case for US cars? And also yes I agree some chaps have SE badges on their cars when they shouldnt.


350.gifNo.23

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And, for the record, my 89 SE is 'esprit turbo' on the registration document!

:P

Of course the people that produce these registration have as much interest in the

engine and performance spec of our cars as, say, i have in jazz music. What is stated

on the ticket is so frequently nonesense that keeping tracks of what models are actually

on the road is impossible. Here in the UK i looked at and Esprit S, being sold as an SE by

a perfectly inoccent guy that always thought it was one just as it was injected.

I guess the point is this:

If you think you are buying a Lotus Turbo Esprit SE, with it's injected chargecooled engine

and performance jump that comes with it... Then make sure you are buying the SE that the

world knows about.

If you want a Lotus Esprit turbo, and have found a nice example that is a bit unusual and not

what the SE badge (if fitted) would normally suggest, then if you are happy with the car then

go for it.

..as, a good esprit in either mode will be a very fun car.

:D

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Ive never seen any 88 esprit refered to as an "SE" in USA or UK, other than Mark just now and the registry and this one.... I think it is a Canadian registry error...

There were commerative pearl white 88's.

But the 88 is usually only known as "Stevens", "X180", "88 Esprit", BOSCH Stevens" etc...

It is possible that the marketing in Canada refered to them as a Special Edition since they were basically a Guigaro Esprit with the Stevens body. And then later the 89SE was "Special Equipment"


Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

My Lotus Photo and Projects Album

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I agree that it certainly is not an SE by definition... I'm just trying to come up with a reason why they may be called an SE... I suspected that it was simply because of it effectively being a G-car... dunno... moot point really... just found the registration on mine to be the same as the other 88... It may be a Canadian Registration error.... who knows..


Modifying esprit's.. now that's fun..

PS... I AM NOT A CERTIFIED MECHANIC.. I Have chosen to help those in need, in the past and must not be construed as being a certified technician.

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Sorry for the late reply.

Thank you for all of the great advice. It is good to get it clarified that this car is not the SE model with the delco injection and the chargecooled engine.

From what I understood, this engine is not as powerful, but, is it less or more prone to breaking down? Maintainance wise, is it cheaper or the same?

Thanks again for all of the guidance in helping me purchase a Lotus (I want one sooo bad that I am having trouble sleeping. And when I fall asleep, I dream of the *@%m car).

Regards,

Jrome

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