saggitarius

LS4 Engine into Esprit S2

100 posts in this topic

Now seems to be the time to retract into the garage and do some work. At least the weather is not looking bright for outside activities :-)

http://i601.photobucket.com/albums/tt94/EcurieEcosse_bucket/Esprit/Julaften04.jpg

Edited by saggitarius

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Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.

After I got the Lotus project I had to finish of the work on the garage. First of all to put insulation in the ceiling - which is done and has helped a lot - but I also need to spread electricity and compressed air through the room. It's an OK space, with almost 70 square meter, (11x6 meters), but that doesn't stop it from being filled up with everything. Even if I think I'm tough on myself not allowing things in there that are not related to cars and traffic. But lately it has been difficult to walk in there for a person on foot...

GarasjenForRydding1.jpg

GarasjenForRydding3.jpg

GarasjenForRydding5.jpg

So this Christmas I managed to set aside time to bolt wooden standers on all the walls and start to hang up shelves there. And throw away a lot of rubbish that has been laying around for ages. Among a lot of other things four old rusty Alfa Romeo wheels and lots of cardboard boxes with content that now can be left on the new shelves.

Underneath her somewhere is a complete Lotus Esprit body. (And I'm not kidding!!):

GarasjenForRydding6.jpg

From an other angle it can be seen :-)

GarasjenForRydding7.jpg

But give me a few days now and I'll be back with a completely different garage - where it's possible to do some work :-)))

By the way - the blue little beauty in the background on a couple of the pictures is the Marcos that lives in there among all the rubbish.

Edited by saggitarius

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Well done on sorting your garage out.........makes me feel like doing mine again now.

Have you done anymore looking around at ECU's

BTW the LS4 is like mine really low compression ideal for either turbo's or supercharging .... should be good for around 500-600 with a little boost

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The compression ratio on the LS4 is 10:1, and I have thought that with time it will be fun to try a supercharger of the more modern type, but that wil be something for after the car is on the road.

And when it comes to which ECU it's still open, but have read some positive comments on the VEMS. Seems to be quite able to control a modern V8....

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A small update on the project.

Even if I'm deep in cleaning/clearing out the garage and making it fit for working on the cars, there is some progress of the conversion across in the US.

As I mentioned earlier I have "outsourced" the job of making the adapter plate and starter/clutch to a machine shop in America. I guess I'm going to face some challenges anyway, and since I don't have a lathe (yet) I would had to buy services locally anyway.

The machine shop had done this job before on an LS1, but since the starter motor sits on the transmission side on the LS4 and has a different bolt pattern they had to do some adjustments. But now things are nearing completion over there and I got a couple of pictures:

Here is the adapter itself, together with the starter that comes with the "package":

AdapterPlate05_I_produksjon.jpg

And since the adapter has a certain thickness it removes the transaxle away from the engine, bringing the input shaft to the gearbox away from the crank spigot bearing. Therefore the machine shop has made a new flywheel from 1018 steel. This takes the surface for the clutch closer to the gearbox AND has a centre hole that mimics the end of the crank, ready to be fitted with a bearing.

AdapterPlate06_I_produksjon.jpg

The flywheel will go on the crank together with a flexplate from an automatic to supply the starter with a set of teeth for starting. I'm still a bit unsure about exactly how the starter is going on, but that is the last thing under construction at the moment, and I will come back to this quite soon.

Edited by saggitarius

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The compression ratio on the LS4 is 10:1, and I have thought that with time it will be fun to try a supercharger of the more modern type, but that wil be something for after the car is on the road.

And when it comes to which ECU it's still open, but have read some positive comments on the VEMS. Seems to be quite able to control a modern V8....

I would have thought 10:1 was quite a high compression? If you went for forced induction would you need to be using premium grades of fuel?

I've been following this thread with interest as I also thought the LS4 would be a great option for a conversion, not sure I'd be allowed that increase in capacity here in TAS though...

keep up the good work!

cheers,

simon

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You can do some force feeding on 10:1 but need to be careful. With the swept volume of the V8 you will notice a difference with just a modest increase in pressure. But for a more brutal approach you will need to lower the CR, which is not expensive with the prices of parts in America (at least compared to what you have to pay for parts for Lotus, TVR and Porsche).

But in my view there is an other thing to consider: The Esprit is a relatively light sports car, and to just increase the low down grunt of an LS4 without doing anything with the upper part of the rev register doesn't feel completely right. I like to be able to hang on to gears for some time and feel the tingling in my spine from the combination of shove in the back and the sound of a powerful engine revving through its register right behind my ears. So I guess that when the car is on the road and has been sorted, I'm going to take some time to think of the alternatives before starting to take her apart :animier:

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As I warned for in the beginning, this project wasn't going to be a quick two week buildup ;-)

I wasn't completely ready with installing everything I needed in the garage, like lots and lots of shelves on all the walls (now in place), painting the ceiling and installing lots of light sources. And I still had some things to do on the stable mate Marcos.

But even if the Lotus is standing still in it self, I'm constantly searching for information and parts:

The S3 chassis I bought looks the part, and since I'm using an Audi trans - and have to buy a complete suspension anyway - I decided to build the later - Stephens - type, with outboard brakes. Have been in the market for such items, and the most difficult part to find second hand was the rear hub carriers.

Anyway, some weeks ago I managed. I saw an an on the LEW for an Esprit at a breakers yard in the UK. And I thought that it was fun that I could use parts from one of the ultimate Esprits.

This is a picture of the car, that obviously had had a fire (seems to happen often)

EspritS350Breaking_DV.jpg

It's a Sport 350, and I bought both the rear and front hub carriers from it. And since I allready had the radius arms and rear upper and lower links it's now starting to become complete.

Up front I have the upper arms and the lower ones are soon coming as well.

SuspensionCompleteRear02.jpg

SuspensionCompleteRear01.jpg

The parts are in good condition technically but I'm going to do some blasting, sanding and painting before installing. The upper links I have are of the standard variety, but will be rebuilt into adjustable.

Since these parts are from a Stephens car I'll have to measure everything and find out if the wheels line up properly. But that's part of the fun:-)

And I must say it's fun that the parts are from a good birthplace. Not that it's any fun that the S350 burned in the first place, but when that happened anyway, I feel that these parts came to a good home.

Edited by saggitarius

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so you bought the hub-carriers from the 'Douglas-Valley Brakers' S350 ?

That car was already discussed in this board, and Douglas-Valley is often mentioned as to expensive. Can you say what you paid for the parts ?

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I agree that they are too expensive. Been in contact with them before and got quotes that were quite steep. However it seemed - after searching for such items second hand for almost a year - that the alternative was to buy NEW parts through the Lotus dealer network. And that became a lot more again.

I payed around £625 for all four corners, plus freight. And since that includes bearings, hubs, bolts and other hardware I just have to bite the bullet. And part of my judgement is that now I have a piece of documentation from a well known supplier that can be used when I present the converted car to the Norwegian authorities. Since it's from a Lotus V8 it will hopefully mean something to them...

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Hi folks - just a small update on the LS4 adapter:

I wrote some time ago that I found a supplier in the US that had experience with connecting LS engines with Audi transaxles, and a couple of days ago a got the parts in the post. They look really good, and it's quite obvious that a lot of thought and work has gone into this.

The adapter plate itself is really two plates mated together:

GirkasseAdapter21Kant2plater.jpg

When you look from the engine side of the plates you see the cut out for the starter at the upper right side in this picture. And the way the two plates are made makes the flexplate run within the adapter plates. That way locating the starter is really well controlled, and the teeth of the starter ring run inside the twin adapter plates.

GirkasseAdapter18Motorsiden.jpg

Included in the parts I got is also a new (professionally reconditioned) starter and a reworked flexplate with starter ring teeth that fit the teeth of the starter. Even the correct bolts are included.

GirkasseAdapter15Flexplate.jpg

GirkasseAdapter13Starter.jpg

and a new clutch disk with the correct spline pattern for the transaxle

GirkasseAdapter14Lamellplate.jpg

and a new pressure plate, Sachs thrust bearing - and a special adapter for locating the starter to the main adapter plate!

GirkasseAdapter16Trykkplate.jpg

Then there is the flywheel itself. Here seen from the side facing the flexplate/engine:

GirkasseAdapter10Svinghjul.jpg

Here the clutch side with the necessary holes and dowel pins.

GirkasseAdapter11Svinghjul.jpg

When you look into the centre hole of the flywheel you can see that there is allready a roller bearing to support the input shaft to the trans:

GirkasseAdapter12Svinghjul.jpg

All in all I'm very satisfied with the "package" :-)

As mentioned in another thread on this forum I've thought some time that the S1 version of the Esprit is the cleanest in appearance. It's not like it's a BIG difference, but a series of subtle differences that together make it cleaner.

I have the same with the sturdy old Lamborghini Countach. The first - show prototipo - version is the best looking in my eyes, and as they added more spoilers, extensions to the wheel houses and boxes to better the air flow and cooling it became more cluttered. Probably easier to live with than the first ones but not so good looking ;-)

I may have to be careful here with lots of views and lots of owners of all kinds of Esprits but my old S2 "shed" will be subject to some small modifications to make it look more like the S1. I'm not planning on a clone, just some tweaks.

One of those tweaks is the rear lamp assembly. I've been searching for a set of S1 lamps for some time, and the few ones "out there" has been a bit expensive. But then I came to think of the source Lotus had for these lamps to begine with. I meant I've heard that they came from a Fiat X 1/9, and sought for those on eBay. And luck at first strike; a pair of immaculate X 1/9 lamps at a decent price now recides in my garage

KarossNyeBaklys.jpg

Then I'll have to get the fiberglass and epoxy resin out to make these fit the way I want.

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great looking sandwich plate kit

whos the outfit in america that does this?

yes the S1 taillamps are x19's

if you like to replace S2 parts to get more of the S1 look ive been looking for S2 wheels and mirrors with chrome stems.

cheers

pp

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The small outfit I used in this case is called

A&E Automotive & Machining and the person I was in touch with is Eric Martin.

I reached them on [email protected]

I have started this project with an empty bodyshell with chassis and an engine, so I'm afraid I don't have any parts that are surplus to requirements. On the contrary, I need to find and buy every little piece, bolt and nut ;-)

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gier

many thanks for the contact info

please keep us posted!

warm regards

pp

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Lotus rear carriers were made from LM25 aluminum casting that was fully heat treated the factory (LM25 TF). Look up on the web the process for getting a TF hardness. Suggest you check the hardness of the rear carriers to see if they were heat relieved (from the fire) . The mechanical properties of the TF were almost doubled from the as-cast state

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Thanks for the input.

And yes it's been in the back of my mind too. Have a friend in a metal research lab that may be able to test them for me.

Geir

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Small feedback about the worries that the rear hub carriers that came from the burned S350 might have been turned "soft" by the heat from the fire. Have had a talk with people with background from the lab of Norsk Hydro - one of the largest aluminium manufacturers in the world, and they do in fact confirm that under severe conditions, meaning a long lasting fire that keeps the item subject to high temperatures over a period of time the original tempering treatment by Lotus may become degraded.

In this case it is qustionable if the temperature has been high enough and for long enough to make this happen.

But more importantly: The tempering has its own "memory", so even if it should have been softened, it will regain its previous strength given enough time.

In my case the car will not hit the road until two years from no - and that would be enough under any circumstances.

So I'm relieved and ready to work on :-)

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Geir,

Any news on you progress? Pics would be good.... :)

Cheers,

Bjørn

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Hi Yeti (Bjorn) and everybody else:

Progress is a bit slow for my Esprit V8 project. Have been gathering parts and information for some time, while planning the actual build.

The "obstacle" at the moment is the garage itself. Because of a nice and exciting vacation in England this summer and gathering parts for my other project (the Marcos running restoration) I didn't get as fas as I wanted with fixing up the garage for a new winter. In the process at the moment of insulating the doors and doing some cleaning up. And then I discovered that the heavy duty compressor I got cheap last year didn't work properly. Seems the 4kW 3-phase motor needs a rewind with new copper wires. (Asked a specialist what they charged and was told that it would be cheaper to buy a new one - and that was £750, so I guess I'll have to do it myself :-)

Before the compressor is working I won't be able to sandblast the suspension parts and convert the chassis into a running chassis. The parts I have at the moment, are

* The chassis of course

* All the rear suspension arms (S350)

* The lower front suspension arms (S350)

* All four uprights/hub carriers and hubs/bearings (S350)

* Parts and tools for making the upper front arms

* Front AP Racing brake calipers (TVR/S350)

It will start during the winter. I know the progress is a lot less than I see others here manage, but both having a family, maintaining a house and trying to enjoy the work makes it a bit slow.

I'm reading this forum almost every day though, and I'll be back with a new repport and pictures from when the actual building starts.

Geir

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Nice project, stick with it...

Re power, a blower is not needed imo but nice if you go that way BUT lots left in the engine N/A.

The chevy was always a nicer breathing small block than a cammer Ford 4.6 and a bigger block at that. Lots of options on power such as a stroker kit, which means you could keep the same compression heads, just up the fuelling. I like the idea of a 396 or 427 stroker but with high rpm on solid lifters and maybe roller cams.

Once you get north of 400bhp p/tonne then she's going to feel quick for the chassis and you'll want to evolve the chassis to handle it. I'm running about 400-450 p/tonne and it's brutal in a lightweight package. My plan is a stroker and up the carb, which will ramp up the torque controlled via MSD ignition. Early chevy 5.85 litre, 286 9000rpm cam (but only running 7000rpm) and no fancy electronics :)

If I could I'd have a TVR AJP engine, stroked out or a Judd 3.5 v8 on carbs. An LT5 on downdrafts would be naughty.

More pics please!!

Best regards

Jon

www.espritspecial.blogspot.com

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Jon - thanks for the input.

From what I've read and heard about the TVR engines they are very powerfull for the weight and size but seem to need expensive overhauls more frequent than "normal" engines. Well in that way they seem to a bit relatet to the Lotus built engines :-)

The Judd are pure racing engines aren't they. I was once toying with the idea of buying a "leftover" DTM Alfa V6 engine for an Alfa road car I had. 100kg V6 and 420 hp. But when you see the maintenance regime on those it gets a little scary to a normal guy like me wanting to use the car on a daily basis.

Yes I went though several possible engines before ending with the LS4. And one of the reasons - besides the low weight - the LS4 came out on top was what you mention: There are so many things you can do to it if you want to increase the power. I know that already the 300+ hp and the grunt from low down in a NA 5.3 V8 is not going to let me down big time. And just changing the camshaft and rocker arms together with a non restrictive exhaust will increase the fun even further.

For the project I've been searching for one more set of brakes. I discovered some time ago that the TVR Cerbera 4.2 has the same AP Racing CP5200 brakes up front that Lotus uses as standard on the S350 and as an option on the other V8s. I've been looking for quite som time on eBay, searching for Lotus, AP Racing and TVR. Since I don't want to pay the Lotus kind of price I had to wait for some time, but last summer I found a good pair from a TVR dismantlers and just a couple of days ago I got the other pair. They all need a little bit of "shine up" but are working fine.

BremseCaliper_TVR_foran01.jpg

Since they are the same front and rear an adjustable reduction valve will be fitted to balance the power, and I need a set of separate hand brake caliper of course.

The next important parts on my shopping list are the shocks and springs. I can't really start building the rolling chassis without those. I may just get some worn out ones cheap first, for the build up period. And then buy the real deal when the car is near complete.

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Geir,

Glad to see you are still moving on with the project, Its the best way to be shopping around for better prices rather than rushing out and spending over the odds, Hope you get some suspension soon, cant wait to start to see some pics off the rolling cjhassis etc,

Look forward to the updates and good luck on finding the suspension, :thumbup:

Regards danny

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As I've stated a couple of day ago I'm now looking for a set of coilovers for teh the car, to be able to get it mounted on a set of wheels. It's much more practical that way to be able to move it around in the garage. At this stage it can be just a set of worn out springs and dampers. So if anybody out there has something like this laying around, or know a friend who has I'll love to pay a few pound for them and have them shipped to Norway. Since my car is such a bastard, I guess several types may be possible to use. But they need to fit a car with the outboard brakes.

Cheers for now

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Since the summer is now mostly over, it was time to look into the garage to see if there was something needing mending :P

And there I found an Esprit chassis that looked a bit sorry for itself. My other projects (Marcos, house, job, garden etc) has taken priority the last year, so even if I've been investigating, searching and collecting parts for the Lotus, nothing much has happened with the real bits and pieces. Have also started the negotiations with the Norwegian authorities to make sure that my efforts won't end in a non registered project.

But now I'll slowly start in the garage, and first part was getting the chassis down from the hooks in the ceiling and and prepare it for painting.

DSC00046.jpg

DSC00047.jpg

DSC00048.jpg

I've bought a tin of silver POR15, and wanted to roughen the chassis a bit with a wire brush first. But discovered that the PO had applied the black paint over dirt and grease on several places, so I first had to do a proper cleaning.

DSC00049.jpg

This included using white spirit (and later I'll use thinner), sharp and pinty instruments to get old grime and badly applied paint off. I'm trying not to damage the zinc layer in the process, and I must say I'm impressed with the quality of the galvanizing done by Lotus. On some patches the zinc was worn down by general use, but this was in areas where rust wont easily start anyway, and I'll use at least two layers of the POR15 to keep her safe.

DSC00050.jpg

DSC00051.jpg

DSC00052.jpg

DSC00053.jpg

I promise I'll keep the reports coming more frequently in the future than in the past. And maybe switch to the blog part of the forum?

Geir

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