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Can anyone give advice and tips on the V8 model???

What to avoid. And what to look for??. Ive heard that early ones suffered with engine trouble?? Is this true? And would that have been solved by now??

I have looked on Esprit world and seen some early 96 cars priced around the £12-£13 thousand marque. Are these potential money pits. Or is that what the market values them at now??.

What are the annual running costs per annum??

And finally. I have heard from a few that the Sport 300 was regarded as the best Esprit ever made. What makes it better than the V8??.

Sorry for all the questions. Any advice and help would be most appreciated.

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I would check the state of the fuel tanks, as this is a hefty bill if you can

I'm sure I'll get corrected but I'll give it a go!!

The engine issues were largely down to the Cylinder liners having problems. The thing to look for is that they have been change at some stage which should be included in the history.

The early cars you are talking about are as good as any other provided they have been serviced and maintained. Its like any car, you get what you pay for. The only thing you may not like is that you still get the earlier style of dash board where as the 98 on ones have the smaller more modern binacle. See LEW link to models below check the First of the V8's Versus the GT.

http://www.lotusespritworld.com/models.html

The Sport 300 is one of the 2 most focussed models the other being the sport 350. The sport 300 has all the power without the weight gain that the sport 350 had due to the V8 engine also I believe the power delivery is more linear in the sport 300 also. The other model to look at is the S4s which is basically a more modern take on the the Sport300. This was the last of the 4 cylinder cars (with the exception of the GT3 which is a 2 litre as opposed to a 2.2) and is also highly regard but is more of a road focused rather than the other two which are more track day specials.

Think that answers everything but I'm sure others will chip in!!

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^ Spot on really, but the V8 is more progressive than the laggy 4 pot. V8 punches from all angles andis more linear imo.

S300 (X-180 R) are the most desirable Esprits becuase of their racing pedegrie, chassis is stiffer, better brakes (silly expensive to replace) and so on. Downside is expense LOL, factor

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I've listed all the running costs so far for mine:

http://www.lotusespritworld.com/EOwners/PeteHizzey.html

Despite it having an A1 written assessment before purchase I still found around 2000 euro of work that needed doing.

Only thing since was a failed alternator and battery this year but that can happen to any car.

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I would check the state of the fuel tanks, as this is a hefty bill if you can

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1996 Esprit V8, 1998 Esprit V8 GT, 1999 Esprit S350 #002 (Esprit GT1 replica project), 1996 Esprit V8 GT1 (chassis 114-001), 1992 Lotus Omega (927E), 1999 Esprit V8SE, 1999 Esprit S350 #032, 1995 Esprit S4s, 1999 Esprit V8 GT (ex-5th Gear project), 1999 Esprit V8SE ('02 rear)

1999 S350 #002 Esprit GT1 replica

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Grrr sorry Dave I hate that saying :)

Always judge on merrit not the price - Paul C's car was a prime example of a cheap but well sorted Esprit.

Dave Mc's old car (now owens car) was serviced every week and yet it blew a valve...

Facts of the matter are :

1) You can never say how mcuh will this car cost, becuase as Dave says, it might all go wrong one year and be fine the next...my PO spent a fair bit on my GT3, I've spend under a grand on repairs (not inc servicing) it's been more reliable, cost effective than my folk's Honda civic (and cheaper to insure bahahbahahaah :( kills me everytime)

2) Bargains are out there to be had, judge each car on the mechanics and not the paintwork / price. Low mileage is not always best, consider why it's been driven so little, has the oil been changed in that time or has it just sat there to rust/rot.

3) As I say without a crystal ball you can only minimise your risk by having the car inspected by a recognised Esprit know all, that excludes some Lotus dealers actually. Update your location and people can point you towards the best places to ask for advice, after that it's in the hands of the gods. The cars are so individual, some people baby them, some people rag them so you're never going to know until you have owned it for a few months.

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Best tip is there's no such thing as a cheap esprit

...unless you are trying to sell one!

Check out my sale threads from November to janurary, plenty of people saying 'gosh thats cheap' and what a bargain it was. But it was there for the world to see for months before i sold it. Sometimes people just want and need to sell.

Was only saying to Kato on Saturday that IMO after long term ownership, selling the car is sometimes an exercise in not having it anymore ASAP.

:baby:

By this i mean that if you were GIVEN my SE four years ago then you would have spent what it was worth running (and enjoying!) it.

:(

I did not want to put it up for what 'i think it's worth' and then sit there for months waiting. Fact is, if i could sell the car in five minutes then i might as well sell it for £2k less than it's 'value' than ask for £2k more and end up keeping it for a year, running it, and spending money on it while it's up for sale.

For some folk, especially those with long experience of 'suprise Esprit big bills', selling fast is more important than sale price. Not owning an Esprit is worth about 2-3 thousand pounds a year to me, selling fast was worth that much to me. I've been there with my first esprit, up for sale for nine months and in the workshop twice in that time...

:)

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Hi Jonathan,

Paul's old car reasonable price wise, I certainly wouldn't have said it was cheap. Do you know how much has been spent on it since?

Whos' Dave Mac? I am not familiar with Owen's car apart from since Owen has owned it.

I suppose I should have made myself more clearer. I should have said that to the average Esprit owner looking to move up or new buyer, there's no such thing as a cheap Esprit. Someone who knows what they are looking for i.e trade, mechanic or experienced owner then maybe there is but even experienced Esprit owners can get caught out.

In recent past I've managed to source a good low mileage SE for

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I totally agree, it's a general statement but you can also put people off potential bargains that are out there to be had if you look carefully, people moving country, people wanting a quick sale (priced to sell) and so on. Just becuase something is cheap doesn't mean it is nasty - which is why I always say go on the car's merrits and price it up from there.

Would I buy a

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The amount spent on my Esprit after purchase was a 'new owner' spend and not a true reflection of what was needing doing if you simply planned to use and enjoy the car, Robert likes his cars to be very good mechanically, but more importantly cosmetically to a standard i will never reach on any car i would have thought.

Mark, Dave is right, my £8k SE did have a lot spent post purchase, but mainly on a full respray, new wheels and redone interior. All of these make that car now look superb and up to what Robert wanted (he's sold it now!) the car to be for himself.

If i had kept the car a further five years i would have not got it resprayed, i would have not got new wheels, i would not have got the interior reconnolised. I'd have continued to drive it and it would have continued to be described as a good (not excellent) example. I don't think i have owned a car since the mid 1990's that you could not say 'would look better with a respray', and my S3 had a small tear on the driver seat throughout my five year ownership.

The last four cars i have owned could have had a respray, wheels and interior. But none of them were in bad or unpresentable condition, and had someone else bought my SE they might just as easily be enjoying it now without all that done and still be getting complements. It depends how far you want to go, and Robert goes that bit further!

:(

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Hi Jonathan,

Wasn't Dave MeKenna the guy who chipped it to the max or am I getting my wires crossed here?

The two other cheap cars that I sourced are forum members' cars and have been great examples. No nightmare problems.

Going back to the topic, I think now we are agreeing or similar issues. I try not to put new owners off which is why I always offer to go and look at a car with them as a second opinion. Sometimes this is not always convenient due to the location of where I live but I am willing to travel 100 mile radius at my expense to help these new owners out.

Lets hope Mark does find an Esprit he likes and is a good one.

BTW Mark, the blue V8 I was talking about is at PNM Engineering at the moment just about to have an inspeciton done. Current owner is trading it in for a Jag XK convertible and he and dealer want peace of mind. You could try and contact the owner and see what he was offered in px? You might be able to offer him a bit more money and also get it at a reasonable price? You have to be quick though.

David Walters

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What are the weak points to look for??. It seems fuel tanks could be one. Anything else??. If anyone is in the S.E. London/Kent area and willing to let me have a llok at one and talk me through a few things i would be more than grateful.

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Look for:

Liner issues and loss of water

Overheating problems (radiator gets blocked)

Loss of water through front cover (engine out job)

Clutch and gearbox issues

Corroded turbo oil and water pipes

cracked turbo housings

broken manifold studs (engine out)

Leaking fuel tanks (engine out if more than one)

Last cambelt was done?

David

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Mark, Bibs and I are in mid kent (see my info on the left < )

You might be in luck cus I only work 2 days a week now :alien: (mebbe less soon :harhar::dizzy:)

But I dont know enough about V8s really, certainly not as much as others on the forum, you might try getting it to Lipscomb Lotus down the road from me, Sinclaires at Romford or perhaps Lakeside engineering / Steve Williams in west London to give it the seal of approval. Can certainly have a look though.

TBH fuel tanks on a low age car are probably not a weak point - my SE is 20 years old and doesn't leak fuel - dunno how you'd check it in the car without an endoscope ?

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Hi Jonathan,

I think since the introduction of the V8 in 96, Lotus may have changed the spec or company who made and coated them as they tend to rust quicker than some 20 year old 4 cylinder Esprits. I don't think the tanks were keyed or etched properly as the coating comes off in sheets. Mine rusted and it's not that old. I have pictures showing the coating on mine in one sheet come off the side. Looked great from up top, all black and no rust. But underneath it was rusting and the sheet of coating rip off all the way to the top. I think it's becoming a common problem now for V8's.

There were also a few other inferior changes with the V8, oil cooler pipe material, radiators, fuel filler grommets and other grommets etc.

David Walters

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inspection of the fueltank coating (outside) can be made while the Quarter-trim (the carpeted stuff on RH/LH sidebay..) is out . Watch from top to the bottom of the tank-sidewall , if there is that stupid cellulose-paint is coming of in sheets. It is an thin painting, done with a brush on unprepared bare metal. So it will definitely not hold for long... .From the underside of the car you can see an hole in the body composite, on one side where the tanks are. If you use your finger and can find any flakes of paint in the sand & dust there you know what it means. The sheets fall in the hollowed body-sections under the tank area, as the paint is coming off.. . On replacement/rework use closed cell-foam as insulation, instead of the open-foam type.

pictures from an '98 car (around 100.000km )

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LOL shows you what I know :alien:

(see I wasn't lying)

Looking at Daves check list I would have got most of it which is nice but you're far better off agreeing with the seller to have an inspection done, I'm off to Lipscomb in a sec to get an MOT, they're only off the M20 so it's easy access - I'll ask if they can sort something out/price.

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Mark,

Mikes/Daves lists are good. I've had my V8 a little over a year and spent over 5 figures in getting it into good mechanical shape.

My advice:

1. Never buy from someone that does their own servicing or if so be sure that they're doing the jobs that really need doing not just an oil change.

2. Make sure the car has had money spent on it especially from the list mentioned (My new golden rule). I've done disks, suspension, radiator and gearbox rebuild in a year!

3. Spark plugs will get wet in older v8's, make sure they're changed before you buy!

As Dave says, definitely take someone with you who knows what to look for.

Good luck! And I hope you get a good one!

Charlie

Edited by CharlieC
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  • 2 years later...

if you have a problem paying 8000 euros for a big service and fixing all kinds of stuff to bring it back the way it ran when new , do not buy one. get a 911/928. or whatever.....my car has 26.000 miles and I spent already 15.000 euros on it in my first 2000 miles of ownership! ( and it was a good , never abused car form miamibeach) ( new turbos, new gearbox, red chip, brakes, racing catalytic converters - CAUSE IT HAD NO CONVERTERS AT ALL!,...) has 460 hp now and drives real fast, but it still and always will feel more like a crazy toy than a good car. ....a toy for people who like to burn money for no reason, like having a russian MIG jetfighter from the 60's. that's the truth.( but I still like it,... I have too, cause nobody will ever buy it from me anyway....)

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of course, some would buy it -but for sure not for the price you have paid harhar.gif

..maybeeit would really be good for you to stay with Porsches instead ? Especially as all those 'add-ons' dont mean to be nessesary to have a working and functional Esprit. It was just your way to think that a Florida car will be the best option ...even knowing that those cars don't like to be driven less.

Turbo-rebuild is competitive calculated by R&B compared with the main company [schlütter], so why have you choosen to get totaly new ones ?? ..and catalytic converters are available on several places, there is no need to buy R&B ones

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to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

*********************************************************************

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