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Halletts5

Restoration of S3 2.2 HC

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Hello,

Today I have bought a 1987 Lotus Esprit 2.2 HC. After much contemplation and reading of posts on this site I have decided it is something I can take on. The previous owner has told me that about 10 years ago it was running fine, but was then just left on the drive due to various reasons and is now how you see it today.

Don't laugh, but I have never done anything like this before. Here is a photo of the car before I have done anything to it.

My original intention was to completely strip it and then rebuild, but after reading a few restoration posts I think the best course of action after a good clean would be to try and get the car running before taking it apart?

post-10429-073832900 1275428458.jpg

Any observations or advice before I get stuck in would be greatly appreciated!

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Hi good proejct to get your teath...and lawn mower into! I started a similar project 2 years ago 1985 Turbo. Still working on it in fact I have been spraying the wheels tonight. Anyway this really is the best place to keep motivated and to find info as well as a good bunch of people.

All the best

Buddsy :lol:

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Richard,

Glad to see you have started a thread mate :lol: Dont be put off by the way the car looks at the moment ! not that you would of been otherwise you would not of purchased it :whistle:

As you probably know the chassis is galvanised so there should be no problems there, the body work obviously needs a respray but most project cars do anyway, The interior I myself find very easy to restore on the esprit as its simple, depending on your budget for the project you can make your own carpets from templates from the old ones.

My advice get the steam cleaner out and blast the thing to bits, Depending how far you want to go with the project you could probably have this car back on the road fairly soon, new brakes, tyres etc, Does the engine run......

Regards danny, good luck on the project and look forward to the up dates as they come mate :D

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Looks like a bit of work there!

t-cut-500-ml-color-restorer.jpg

Good luck with the project, we'll all enjoy the updates :lol:

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Main thing is it looks complete,

Think I'd start with a good clean, jet wash or steam to get rid of all the muck, then turn the engine over by hand, if that's ok put a battery and some fuel in and see if it spins up.

Chris

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then turn the engine over by hand, if that's ok put a battery and some fuel in and see if it spins up.

IMHO With a 10 year old cambelt, possibly perished I wouldn't risk it!

If the valves aren't bent at the moment why take a chance?

Having stripped a turbo engine I have to say it was relatively straightforward and whilst I acknowledge that the gaskets aren't cheap wouldn't you feel better knowing you had a solid 'heart' in the car?

John

p.s. congrats on choosing the best model :thumbsup:

Edited by Mr_John111

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I'm with John on this one. DON'T START WITHOUT CHANGING THE CAMBELT!

However, the guy who just left it in the driveway should be shot! 2guns.gif

Another thing I learned yesterday is that fibreglass sokes up water. So if you are going for a respray, it needs to be thoroughly dried in a paint booth (like 24 hours in the heat).

Bjørn

Edited by Yeti

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Bjorn,

Yep one of the previous owners of my current restoration project must of wet flatted the car or stored it outside before the top coat, plenty of water blisters in the paint!

Regards danny

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Bjørn: 

I thought this was a well known fact, but people obviously don't know. Another thing to watch out for is that GRP (glass reinforced polyester) actually dissolves in water if not surface treated. If you ever had an old boat, you probably already know this. It takes a long time, but a car sitting with a puddle of water somewhere inside for ten years could get some damage. This applies to laminates made from polyester, epoxy laminates are not prone to the same problems (but horribly expensive and nasty stuff to work with).

I third the motion of changing the cam belt before hitting the starter for the first time!

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Bjorn

I totally agree that the polyester soaks water if not properly painted and waxed.

But I think there has been a development prices for Epoxy.  It may be a bit more expensive than Polyester, but the ways Epoxy works are quite superiors in more ways than one.  It keeps moist out for one, and doesn't deteriorate in UV light or under influence of water for two.  And it also attaches better to the old GRP than Polyester.  But even if it doesn't smell as poisonous as Polyester it's very nasty to work with as you say, nasty to get on your skin or to inhale the fumes.  But a great resin to have used once it's cured.

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Thanks for the welcome,unfortunately I fear talk of resprays at this stage is a tad premature!

Well, I haven't really done a lot so far except give it a good clean. I am not going to try and start it without changing the cam belt as advised. I have started to remove the engine bay surround in order to gain better access to the engine and hopefully replace the cambelt in-situ. Unfortunately all the 'captive' nuts aren't captive anymore so its taking a bit of time, the more I see of the car the more I see will need recon or replacement, just about everything! I am looking to purchase a workshop manual before I start taking bits of the engine, or any other major mechanical parts, is the one SJS sell for £90 any good?

post-10429-075841000%201275937334.jpg

Edited by Halletts5

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Thanks for the welcome,unfortunately I fear talk of resprays at this stage is a tad premature!

Well, I haven't really done a lot so far except give it a good clean. I am not going to try and start it without changing the cam belt as advised. I have started to remove the engine bay surround in order to gain better access to the engine and hopefully replace the cambelt in-situ. Unfortunately all the 'captive' nuts aren't captive anymore so its taking a bit of time, the more I see of the car the more I see will need recon or replacement, just about everything! I am looking to purchase a workshop manual before I start taking bits of the engine, or any other major mechanical parts, is the one SJS sell for £90 any good?

post-10429-075841000%201275937334.jpg

Cool, a good wash and overall clean is a good start. I bought the Service Notes for both turbo and N/A Esprit and its a very good definately worth the price. Would be cool to see more pictures on your car.

Fred

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take it from me - if you want to do the cam belt , on a car that has been standing like that one , drop the motor - chances are that a lot more needs repairin.

but wow what a lovely project - we look forward to photo's

richard

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Good luck with the esprit! always good to see another esprit being restored instead of taken apart and sold!

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Sorry, I have read enough threads on this site to know you guys like plenty of photos! Not sure why my last photo didn't work so here are a few more.

Ideally I would like to take the engine out to do the cambelt, but I'm afraid I have to have something to cling onto for this project, i need to hear the engine if only for a few seconds! Plus while the weather is good I want to keep the car outside.

£90 for a workshop manual seems a bit steep, I hope its worth it. I am going to try and be very frugal with what I spend on this car,otherwise I think it could get out of control.

post-10429-061962300 1276023633.jpg

Post jet wash and vacuum

post-10429-026754800 1276023651.jpg

post-10429-063498500 1276023668.jpg

Still trying to get the engine bay surround off.

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Managed to spend a couple of hours on the car this evening. Still trying to remove the engine bay surround! So far I have removed the rear exhaust section, the rear two under trays (all the inserts came out of the fibreglass), and all but two of the bolts holding the engine bay surround on.:sorcerer: There arent any bolts along the front flange of the bay surround are there?

Starting to think I am not going to be able to fire the engine up in-situ, everything seems to require replacement, and I think it will be a lot easier to play with out of the car.

Spent a few hours last night studying buddsy's thread, not sure if it has motivated me or not! That box of bits didn't seem to have much in it for £1000! Still the engine looked amazing, I want mine to look like that!

Can't wait to start pulling the engine apart, but I'm going to ait until I have got the workshop manual, i assume it covers the engine?

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Thanks Richard! I was about to say you car looks in quite good nick! The out side looks a bit rough with the lacquere comming of but that engine looks pretty bloody good. If I were you I would seriously think about leaving it in doing the cam belt in situ and getting it running. If it smokes and is rough well then you can strip it but if not leave it for a later day and clean up those parts that do need some work? Looks quite a good reg plate too!

Good luck.

Buddsy :sorcerer:

Edited by Buddsy

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So I have managed to remove the engine bay surround after purchasing a dremel. Had a go at starting yesterday, unfortunately it didn't want to know. After faffing around with the immobilizer, which I am not looking forward to removing, the dashboard lights came on, but no starter. Took the starter off, stripped it down a bit, no seizing, so I guess the problem must be electrical, bugger. Not to good with the old witchcraft to be honest.

I have pretty much decided that my plan is to lift the engine and gearbox and work on that and the rear of the car, the interior and exterior can wait until all the mechanicals (and electrics) are in good working order. by the way the interior was a bit of a garden when I picked up the car, the seats will need completely re-doing, the rest might be salvageable, but realistically will need renewing as well. My intention is to keep the car pretty original, but where something needs replacement and there is a better option available I will probably take it.

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Hi Richard,

Glad to see you are getting on with the car, as for the starter check its getting feed, Invest in a good quality test light or you can buy the full test ones now that can feed a live or earth through them,good investment and handy for testing electrical systems on your own. i.e check the small wire to the starter motor solinoid is getting a live when the keys turned all the way etc, you can always bridge a connection just to turn it over. BE CAREFULL OF CAMBELT DUE TO AGE ETC would be horrible for the belt to go adding to restoration costs and prolonged work.

I personally would not pull the engine though, change belt in situ, flush coolant and renew, run engine up to operating temp to check for leaks, noises etc, respray and buy some new seats, and replace brakes. THEN MOT !

You will be suprized how well these cars do in long term storage. Im testing a paint system at the moment on a project car and will put out the results but until then im staying quiet due to fear of been mocked if it works out it may help a few project owners to help themselves and dramatically cut respray costs.

Regards danny

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Well, I haven't had much time to spend on the car over the summer. I have had the starter motor apart, some work colleagues had a look at it, stripped it down, rebuilt it and came to the conclusion the solenoid is knackered. Since then I have been spending what free time I get to prepare my garage before I wheel the car in for the winter. I will post a few pictures when it is finished, hopefully some of you guys will appreciate my efforts, (my better half believes it a complete waste of time and money!). I would still like to get it started before stripping it down, but as for getting it MOT'ed, that just isn't going to happen, the whole idea of getting the car was a project. Especially after reading buddy's thread (more than once). BTW what on earth is that aerial thing you have stuck on your beautiful car in the engine installation pictures?! Anyway just wanted to reassure those who are interested that I haven't given up on the first hurdle!

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You can tell your better half that it is better than you spending all the time in the pub and out with the mates - that would become a lot more expensive and i reckon can get you in a whole lotta trouble !

Now as far as the cam belt goes - if you are really skinny , have a decent lift and need to pull everything , trust me pull the engine and box !

I did the belt in situ two years ago and i am now busy with other bits and pieces .It is like day and night working on the lot out.

Rather remove it , clean the lot and you probably will find one or two other things that need addressing ,especially as it has been standing.

Keep us posted

Richard

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Well I haven't had much time to spend on working on the car, (and my garage is freezing!).

I have finally got round to buying a new starter solenoid from Woods autos. This has been fitted, starter motor serviced and the assembly has been bench tested, it now works. Unfortunately it was a while ago since i took the starter motor off. Out of the four wires that I labelled up I cannot remember where the forth one goes.

I have one large red - goes to upper solenoid copper post.

White/Red - ignition - goes to solenoid post marked IGN

White/Yellow - coil - goes to spade connection on solenoid

Brown - according to wiring diagram in service notes goes onto the same post as the battery lead, could someone confirm this for me? I'm a mechanical engineer not an electrician!

post-10429-0-30004500-1299100678_thumb.j

I have ordered some new spark plugs, oil and fuel filter from SJ sportscars and plan on attempting to start the engine in the next week or so.

I have also ordered a clutch slave cylinder kit, however I took the old one out today and it looks pretty seized up.

post-10429-0-94240800-1299100840_thumb.j

I am intending to draw fuel directly from a seperate fuel container rather than test the integrity of my fuel tanks at this stage. Fingers crossed, when I tried it before all the lights lit up on the dashboard but there was no sounds at the back end,so hopefully the electrics are not too bad.

Hopefully someone can confirm the wiring for my starter and I should have an update sooner rather than later.

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Yep, brown to the alternator goes to the same post as red from the battery, saves running two separate big wires to the battery.

Seems that you are making good progress, keep plodding on and don't loose heart.

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Hi mate good to see the spring has brought you back out! Good news for you is that's the same slave cylinder as mine. I bought a replacement on off ebay. I have since found the £39.00 I paid is the same part that sells on ebay for a landrover for £10.00 They are not genuine Lotus but they are cast ally and lighter than the old cast iron one. Any way I think there is something in the cross reference part section.

Buddsy

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