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Help looking to buy a V8


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Hi,I am toying with the Idea of buying a V8 Esprit(Ebay ,Black reg MIB3530).Has any body seen this car or know of it,s history any info would be greatly appreceiated.Also what should I look for in a 1998 V8 engine ect.I am famillar with the 4 cyls but not the 8,s.Thanks Paul G.

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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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There's quite a few people looking at this car too. You have to make sure the seller doesn't play one off with another as the buyer may end up paying more for it!

The seller is a trader who is selling on a return basis so doesn't actually own the car. Claims the owner emigrated last year to OZ and left it at the garage where it's being serviced.

Cambelt is due later this year. It has 50300 miles not 53000. Cambelt was changed at 47000 but this was in June 2005 and it's nearly 4 years later.

Also last service was June 2007 which was 18 months ago.

This service is a bit vague, oil, filter, air filter, fuel filter, plugs etc. I am not sure which this service is as the seller did not know.

Dave Walters

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Hi Paul,

I don't think that there are many special issues to check for with the V8 that you wouldn't do when buying any Turbo charged car. An issues that does come to mind is to check that the engine has had it's liners done under warranty.

There is a buyers guide on LEW.

Regards,

Peter.

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With regards to the liners, Lotus Technical have said that if the liners haven't failed by now, then there's a very good chance that they won't. Remember this only affected the early cars and 13 years is a long time for a problem to show if it's there. I think we can consign the liner issue to our memories as it's no longer something to worry about.

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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Hmm the whole Cam belt thing puts me off. 4 years without a change so firstly you definately don't want to drive it home!! So thats a low loader. Then, I couldn't accept that service as correct and it's due a C and a Cam Belt. So thats

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NO NO Kimbers,

The cambelt isn't due until next service not this one. It's due at the end of this year I think. Looking at my notes it was last done in Oct 2005 not June. It's 24K or 4 years. The cambelt won't snap on your way home, don't ever worry about this happening. Don't forget they were originally designed to last 72K or 12 Years.

I would not let a

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You're right Dave. Once I add in insurance I'm about

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Just been talking to an independent Lotus garage and was told that the cam belt will need changing because it,s been stood up for a year or so. And also to check that it has cat converters (MOT failure)

It all depends how desperate they want to sell.I was thinking of offreing well under

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Yeah, they'll hold on till some chump who doesn't know Lotus's gives them their asking price I would guess....not that you'd have to be a chump to buy it at that price, merely someone who'll accept everything they tell them.

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Paul,

Just because it's been stood up doesn't mean it needs a cambelt change. You don't know whether it has been started during it's storage or not.

As for a cambelt change PNM Engineering can now do it for

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To be fair - if I was buying a car of this age and the cam belt hadn't been done recently I would do that as a matter of course.

I done it with pretty much all the cars I have cared about, just put it in for 1 big service soon after purchase so we know the service history is wiped clean.

As for service history, a car that has some is obviously more desirable than one that doesn't but it doesn't mean rutleys - it's nice to know what has been done but if it's a good car (will come up on the inspection) you can generally see how it has been maintained - stamps in the book are fiarly handy but again if the seller missed everything off but still has the last 2-3 years, there isn't much of a problem - which then all ties back to buy the car, service everything - wipe the slate clean.

End of the day all this umming and arring - the best single thing you can do is get someone who knows Esprits to check it over.

The second best thing to do is what Dave says, make sure it's not losing water past the liners - that can be done by presurising the system

I would make these along with an MOT, conditions of sale - it does look absolutly beautiful in black though.

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If the car is 1998 and the engine has been replaced under warranty,how ? or I am being thick cause surely the warranty has run out by now and so not covered by Lotus.or is this an after market warranty that we could all buy into ?

GC1

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Hi Paul,

They are completely different cars even though they are both Esprits. If you have the money to buy the V8 for a short period then I advise you to buy it and try it. If you don't like it then you will get your money back. If you like it then sell your S1, shouldn't have too much problem selling it on here as long as you are realistic. I've seen quite a few owners saying they would buy a mint S1, lets see if they come out of the woodwork...

David Walters

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Not to quibble too much, but, regarding the cambelts, I was under the impression that the V8 time interval (and for most owners, it seems to be that time, not milage, is the limiting factor) for the change was four and one half years (per Dave Simkin, of Lotus USA, and other sources as well). Based on an October 2005 date, that would make the next change due in April of 2010! That's a pretty good "comfort zone" for driving it home. This, of course, assumes no "set" has taken place from excessive down time.

To my way of thinking (and, admittedly, I'm still the FNG on the block) the most important thing to be checking with the belts is when the last retensioning took place. That interval is, I believe, 18 months. This, interestingly enough, is an "even divisor" of 4 1/2 years. If the correct tension is maintained, the belts have (as has been mentioned elsewhere) a decent chance of lasting well past Dave's 72,000 miles "design" limit figure. Not that I would want to be the test mule on that experiment. :P

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Correct in both regards as I am getting mine changed at the end of the summer under the warranty and then I get a free retensioning about 18 months to 2 years after the change. You are correct it is every 4.5 years or 36K miles whichever comes first.

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I think some of you are a bunch of tight fisted g*ts. Where else will you see a V8 at this price ?

How can you all be so negetive about a car you dont know, at that price ? When buying any car you go: look, inspect, listen, ride, read any history, and finally get a 2nd opinion ( preferably from an expert or someone who knows this particular model ).

History is ALWAYS a secondary consern - what the car is like NOW is paramount. A car can have excellent history and be no good. A car can have little, no, or poor history and be fantastic. History can be fabricated or altered. It also has no relevance to how it was driven or cared for by the owner.

If a car is always main dealer serviced it may have had a well-off owner whos clueless and the servicer may have limited experience ( I know more than 1 main dealer that virtually never sees a V8 ). An owner serviced or budget specialist maintained car, may have limited history but may be an excellent car. Its more likely to have been more sympathetically driven by a more informed owner!!

NEVER QUESTION OR ASSUME BASED ONLY ON PRICE. You could overpay or miss a bargain

NEVER QUESTION OR ASSUME BASED ONLY ON HISTORY. You could overlook a great car or buy a dog.

I've owned several performance vehicles, in my experience more expensive does not guarentee better or more reliable. In fact the more you pay the more disappointed you will be if a fault or unexpected cost arises.

If your buying today - the car is 'right' today - the price is good today, Why not buy?

I think anyone buying this car would probably service it after purchase in exactly the same way regardless of its purchase price.

My advice - go see the car, if its 'right' you may be looking at a bargain. If its faulty it may still be good value. If its 'not right' you can walk away.

Some answers here are negetive and seem to be purely based on the price.........Tut Tut!!!!! icon2.gificon2.gif

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