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should I turbo charge ?

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I just want to note before I ask for opinions and recommendations, that it is really great what Lotus is doing for male cancer. It is ironic I guess that I have always wanted to have a Lotus and I had to wait until now when I am fulfilling my bucket list as I have terminal cancer. I know the purists will cringe at what I am about to ask but understand I am working with what I can on a limited budget and time table. Normally in my previous restorations of old MG's etc. I stick to stock. I recently purchased a 1978 Esprit with just over 8,000 miles on it in fact I have yet to see it as it is in transport from another state. I would like to get some rallies in while I can and up my performance just because. I have been considering turbo charging my new baby. I have a background with MG's and Jags but have never worked on a Lotus much although I have helped others with theirs and I certainly am NOT up on modifications and things like this. I just want her to go as fast as I can make her go for a reasonable price. I located a Garrett turbo for around $1500.00 which seems reasonable but as I said I am not familiar so let me know if this is not. First what does everyone think about this idea? Will it up my performance enough to consider ? Is it too much stress on the engine ? Is it a fairly simple procedure ? My friend had a Europa and cooling was one of his biggest problems, from what I have read so far it seems like this is also a problem for the Esprit, true? If so what does every one suggest to increase cooling ? Oil cooler ? Any and all recommendations will be gratefully accepted. I want to optimize my time I have left with my new toy so any and all ideas to bullet proof her and make her perform I would appreciate. Please feel free to contact me directly too.

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Bruce.

Techy bit.

As it's an S1 it will be (unless it has been changed) a 907 block, if you turbo charge one of those it may start to twist the block, it's the reason original turbos were dry sum (flatter sump pan = greater rigidity), then later castings were stronger. You'd need to decrease compression ratio, do cooling as you've noted, alter carbs to cope with pressure. I guess you'd have to modify the floor etc to suit, but that's minor compared to some of it.

You can do it, but ... I'd say, get a turbo engine and whack that in, it will probably be cheaper, quicker and be more robust. Chassis etc wasn't necessarily designed for it, but that doesn't mean it cannot take it, and without wishing to sound callous. You want the performance now, not worrying about will the chassis fail over 30 years.

Humane bit.

Wow, what a way to think, you are going for it in terms of things to do, and I hope some of the locals on here can & will help (I guess by "state" it means you're in the USA, if it were the UK I'd help.

Who cares what purists think. The car has 8000 miles, in which case it wasn't used, so thankfully you are going to put that right.

Andy

ps.

Welcome to the forum.

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Thank you Andy !!!

Not only for the advice but also the welcome and kind offer of help. Yes I am in the States. Originally from here but have spent last 4-5 years in mission clinic in West Indies until getting stuck here with medical situation. But at least I get to see my sons. The points you bring up are the exact type of things I was concerned about and not having enough background, nor the time to develop it, I was afraid I would produce more problems than horse power. It definitely sounds like an engine swap would certainly be more reasonable. I will look for a complete swap out and save the original so it can be returned to original at a later date. Like you I have never understood why some one would by something as wonderful as this car and then set it in a garage and stare at it. She will see more of the road than she ever has very shortly. I am sure I will find more than a few dried out seals etc. although the previous owner did spend over $8000 2 years ago replacing dried out hoses and seals. What a shame though. Thank you again Andy and if you have any other ideas or suggestions please feel free to contact me. I am not sure how forum works yet but I indicated direct contact was fine. I do not know if I am allowed to list my e-mail address though. In any case thanks and be well.

Bruce

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Hiya mate.

A lot of what needs to be done has been covered above.

Just an idea!

Your S1 is a VERY desirable and therefore valuable model, and with 8k miles on the clock I'm guessing it could well be in an excellent condidtion.

I'm sure someone over there stateside may be interested in a swap of a later 2.2 High compression N/A or even a turbo for your car. That way you'd not only get a faster car, but also a better handling and braking car!

Just a thought? :lol:


Chunky Lover

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Glad you are full filling your dreams and i only hope you get to do them all. Live life to the full and by that it doesnt mean by length but by doing everything you want to do.

There will still be alot of people on here saying dont do it its an S1 but its your car and i wish you all the best with it. Oh and cant beat a nice turbo instal if its done properly!!

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Welcome to the forum Bruce. Ambitious project but a fun one too! I'm guessing you're in or around Houston, Tx?


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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The S1 doesn't have the upper rear suspension links, the driveshafts do the job instead. I explored this route a while back and spoke to Scott who used to work at Bell & Colvill, who produced their own turbo conversion for the S2. I was thinking of recreating that.

His advice was to tread carefully. The extra driveshaft loading will eat driveshafts and the rear UJs. Extra heat can potentially warp the head, and don't forget the S1 doesn't have the engine bay ear vents so it has less engine bay cooling. Also I believe the S1 has a slightly smaller radiator, making cooling even more crucial.

I'm NOT saying don't do it. I AM saying it won't just be a drop it in and play route. You'll need to think through a load of other mods and upgrades to get some reliability.


Regards

Mat

post-1-0302470001278592957.jpg

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Bruce, mate, just enjoy the car and whatever you do to it. Chap has to have a project...as for the cancer, I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in 2007 and I'm still here, and doing nicely. So get stuck in!!


Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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Ok, if you don't like the sound of my original suggestion....

I may be in a position to sell you a turbo (may need new seals, impellors intact), inlet tube, plenum with trumpets, pair 40 dhla turbo carbs and inlet manifold, external wastegate assembly (needs new diaghphram soon), wastegate adapter (will need repair as a lug has snapped off), basically EVERYTHING external to you're engine except exhaust manifold that you'll need for the conversion.....

If you can get yourself some lower comression pistons then that may well be all you'll need.

I need to make way for injection hence having the job lot!

Simon


Chunky Lover

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Hiya mate.

A lot of what needs to be done has been covered above.

Just an idea!

Your S1 is a VERY desirable and therefore valuable model, and with 8k miles on the clock I'm guessing it could well be in an excellent condidtion.

I'm sure someone over there stateside may be interested in a swap of a later 2.2 High compression N/A or even a turbo for your car. That way you'd not only get a faster car, but also a better handling and braking car!

Just a thought? :cheers:

Hey Simon !!!

Thank you for taking the time to respond and for the great idea !! I used to be able to sit down and come up with alternative plans for situations very easily but it seems especially of late that the idea well is dry. I do love the S1 as it is and hate to change it but it came up at a price I could afford as opposed to a later turbo and it seemed to be my one chance a Lotus so I went for it. It is reportedly in great condition with the exception of the interior which has some tears etc. mostly due to the fact that it was a California and then Gulf Coast car which sat in heat and of course it effected the interior The previous owner, a collector car dealer, took care of a great deal of the mechanicals that fail due to sitting instead of driving. In fact he spent about $8,000 replacing dried out seals and brakes 2 years ago. It is supposed to be delivered any day but of course with this snow, ( I currently live in North East Ohio), it will probably be delayed again. Any way a friend of mine pointed out to me that I am rushing into decisions instead of thinking them through and causing myself time consuming problems which is what I am trying to avoid. So I am going to pursue the possibility of a swap just as you suggest. Sure would be a lot easier and then I would have owned 2 Lotus's in my life instead of 0 or 1 and i could appreciate each one for it's own personality. So I am going to locate and contact the local club. There is a dealer in the Cleveland, Ohio area and I am sure I can get their info from him. Thank you again Simon ! I have always found that I meet the best people in car circles. They are the most REAL people I have encountered over the years. Be well.

Bruce

Glad you are full filling your dreams and i only hope you get to do them all. Live life to the full and by that it doesnt mean by length but by doing everything you want to do.

There will still be alot of people on here saying dont do it its an S1 but its your car and i wish you all the best with it. Oh and cant beat a nice turbo instal if its done properly!!

Hi Wayne !!

Thanks for the support and understanding ! I really am not sure yet which way to go but I know this car will have a great deal more than 8,000 miles on it as soon as the weather clear up. Right now we have over 2 feet of snow. My sons grew up into gear heads but then what choice did they have! HA HA!! One has raced for Subaru and the youngest who has been licensed less than 2 years drives a modified Miata and is beginning to do rallies. I am hoping they will join me in my return to racing after all these years and it looks like they will. I am hoping to participate in my first return in about 4 months. Luckily so far I have no problems that will effect my ability to race or would endanger any one else plus I am focusing on timed competitions so I will have little or no close interaction with other cars so although I do not for see any problems I do not want to endanger any one else and could not forgive myself if I did. There are also many events in Mexico that I qualify for and are run about the same way. So here is to life and going FAST in a Lotus !!!

Thanks again and be well.

Bruce

Hi Bruce and welcome to the forum. :P

Where are you located?

Hi Jim !!

Thank you for the welcome !! Located in North East Ohio which means I am buried in snow right now !! Not great for driving a Lotus in. It is scheduled to be delivered from previous owner any day and with the new snow storm I now have a problem of where to off load it as my street which is normally very wide has been only partially plowed due to the large quantity of snow. So the poor thing may come out of the truck a few blocks away and have to be driven on snow for the first time in it's life to my house. Once the weather clears up she is going to get a whole lot of miles put on her !! I m not sure what modifications I will do if any but the folks here on the forum sure have been helpful and very kind. Who knows maybe I will get to drive it to Florida ! Thank you again, take care and be well.

Bruce

Welcome to the forum Bruce. Ambitious project but a fun one too! I'm guessing you're in or around Houston, Tx?

Hi Bibs !

Thank you for the welcome ! No, wish I was in Texas though I sure could use the warm weather right now as I am buried in snow. Actually I am in the north east section of Ohio where I live about 2 miles from the town I grew up in which is ironically Kent, Ohio !! I have a friend who moved to Calgary Canada about 25 years ago from England who is sure that I am secretly English because almost all of my play things, cars and motorcycles, have always been Brit. In fact we meet when he purchased my '55 MG TF. I sure could not ask for a more friendly and helpful group of people than I have meet on the forum here. Again, thanks !

Bruce

The S1 doesn't have the upper rear suspension links, the driveshafts do the job instead. I explored this route a while back and spoke to Scott who used to work at Bell & Colvill, who produced their own turbo conversion for the S2. I was thinking of recreating that.

His advice was to tread carefully. The extra driveshaft loading will eat driveshafts and the rear UJs. Extra heat can potentially warp the head, and don't forget the S1 doesn't have the engine bay ear vents so it has less engine bay cooling. Also I believe the S1 has a slightly smaller radiator, making cooling even more crucial.

I'm NOT saying don't do it. I AM saying it won't just be a drop it in and play route. You'll need to think through a load of other mods and upgrades to get some reliability.

Hi Mat !!

Thank you for taking the time to write me ! Your absolutely right. You and several others have pointed out I am not considering the project as a whole which is something I do not normally do so I need to slow down a bit on these modifications. Simon has suggested I might want to pursue a trade and that is a very viable idea also. I do really love the wrenching but I love the driving. So I guess one thing I have to decide is which I want to do more. The last thing I want to do is create more problems than a 30 year old car that haas not been driven much will have already. I would prefer to make it more bullet proof than anything. So I must give this a great deal of very serious consideration before I do anything. One thing I know for sure though, there is nothing like going fast in a Lotus !!! Thank you for the heads up and please fel free to contact me with other thoughts any time. Be well and enjoy !

Bruce

Bruce, mate, just enjoy the car and whatever you do to it. Chap has to have a project...as for the cancer, I was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in 2007 and I'm still here, and doing nicely. So get stuck in!!

Hi John !!

Thank you for the support and understanding. Your absolutely right I intend on driving this Lotus until one of us wears out !! As to the cancer, well this is the second time in my life they have told me I had only a short time to live. Right now I am 7 months beyond their predicted expiration date and still kicking. A good friend commented that I was "too much of a crusty old ^*^%& to die so easily". I certainly hope he is right as I really do not have time for it. All I know is that if the grim reaper comes looking for me he will have to chase me down so he better have a faster car ! HA HA ! Good luck with yours and thanks again. Be well.

Bruce

Ok, if you don't like the sound of my original suggestion....

I may be in a position to sell you a turbo (may need new seals, impellors intact), inlet tube, plenum with trumpets, pair 40 dhla turbo carbs and inlet manifold, external wastegate assembly (needs new diaghphram soon), wastegate adapter (will need repair as a lug has snapped off), basically EVERYTHING external to you're engine except exhaust manifold that you'll need for the conversion.....

If you can get yourself some lower comression pistons then that may well be all you'll need.

I need to make way for injection hence having the job lot!

Simon

Hello again simon !

Thank you for your first note and for this one !! Your first note got me thinking about all the possibilities so I am giving it careful consideration now as to which way to go. I still like the idea of a turbo modification as long as I do not create more problems than it is worth. Thank you very very much for letting me know about your turbo and let me give it some VERY serious consideration. Although I do not have a great deal of knowledge about turbos my oldest son who has raced for Subaru does and I will be relying on him for the technical aspect of this. It just amazes me the kind of HP you can develop this way. Right now the car has DelLorto 45's, would these work or do I need the ones you mentioned ? I just hope that with the terrible weather we have right now with about 2 feet of snow on the ground that they are able to deliver my car which is supposed to occur in the next few days. Let me get back to you Simon, and thank you again for your help and kindness.

Bruce

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Turbo or no turbo. Just remember to change the cambelt (Or make triple sure it has been changed resently). Otherwise you'll be doing a lot more that just bolting on a turbo.

But instead of a turbo you could consider a supercharger. They generally generate less heat, and can be fitted to higher compression ratio engines.

Cheers,

Bjorn


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"If it isn't leaking, it's empty" - Comment from a British sportscar enthusiast after being made aware of an oil slick under his car

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