free hit
counters
'91 Esprit Turbo SE is our school shop project - Topics - The Lotus Forums #ForTheOwners Jump to content


'91 Esprit Turbo SE is our school shop project


Recommended Posts

Hello to the rest of Canada; especially those other Lotus folks here in Alberta.

I am the Automotives teacher at Father Patrick Mercredi High School here in Fort McMurray, Alberta. Besides Fort Mac, we also have a residence in Edmonton (where my red '89 Esprit and silver '97 V8 are known to hide out).

Last summer I had the chance to purchase a really well-used (maybe this should read very well abused?) Esprit Turbo SE from a rather uninformed gentleman in Hinton, Alberta. Some of you might recall seeing this car for sale on Kijiji. It started off for sale at $15,000 but -some 4 months later- I bought it for $4200. Realize it sat outside for 2 years and was mildly vandalized. He said the engine had been rebuilt . . . well, let's just say he was either hoping this or was mistaken. Perhaps the engine rebuilders were just absolute beginners as no Hylomar was used to seal the bores and oil gallery blanking plugs had been left out of the cylinder head. If the car had been run after the rebuild it would have seized from lack of oil. Luckily it couldn't be restarted (for other electrical reasons). Also let's not talk about the clutch which was worked to point of turning the flywheel a vivid blue.

I asked my principal if this car could reside in the shop as the school "project car" and was happily surprised when he said yes.

Needless to say, many of the students are now well motivated to learn. We have rebuilt the long block and -most recently- both cam boxes. They (the students) are awaiting me to return to Edmonton in order to collect needed parts for the rest of the cylinder head rebuild. Beyond that, my shop kids have done fiberglass work on the damaged rear valence, the front spoiler and various smaller portions of the rear inner fender wells were stones (perhaps?) punctured the fiberglass. Trust me on this . . . . you have an unmotivated student? Give him access to your Lotus and some fiberglass matt and step back and watch him get interested really, really quickly.

Removing the under bonnet scoops and variously layered air ducts have been a brutal task. All the fasters have seized to their captive nuts which, then, shear from their fiberglass support. If you have needed to do this in order to replace or clean the rad or oil coilers then you too can repeat the following line. Fun, fun, fun; okay everyone I'm temporarily blind from shower of rust powder . . . where is the eye wash station?

The interior is raven/black and the next major project will be the refinishing of the elm instrument panel masks which have buckled and heat-cracked. If you ask me wood veneer is an odd choice in an near all-black interior. It just looks "old school" wrong to me. I hope to either refinish with mock carbon-fiber or experiment with creating a fiberglass copy of the masks which can be gloss paint finished.

I would appreciate input from anyone who refinished their instrument masks. Also advice on removal of the oil coolers without shearing the 30 mm (lower) and 29 mm (upper) gland nuts would be most helpful to me. Soon I can supply photos of the work-in-progress.

Andrew Podor

Link to post
Share on other sites

Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.
  • Replies 65
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Posted Images

Has anyone tried to update their exterior door handles? If so, how many modifications were required and how did it work out?

Mine are the out-dated TR7/Morris Marina versions. Hinton-based vandals tested out if they could survive a prying from a large screwdriver. Well, the door handles lost that competition. The pivot pins outwardly buckled and the alloy handles eventually split.

Has anyone tried to install exterior door handles from a Pontiac Firefly Turbo/Geo Metro? Based on appearances, the later Steven's cars used these (S4 on up to my '97 V8) . . . though this is a speculative suggestion. Just wondering.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The interior mech is quiet different, you'll find it a fairly major job to swap handles. Lotus sell the old handles for around £20 each, they aren't expensive.

As for the binnacle, Rich H on here covered his faux cf one on his s4 with some more faux cf but in a much nicer weave, looks great. Details here...

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

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Andrew,

First off, I owe you an apology. I have been so busy that I just haven't even considered shipping out the transmission bits you asked for. I can do that today as I am sick as a dog and am thus, not at work. Second, I'm pretty sure I have a second clutch for you (but I will have to double check.) As for removing the oil coolers... I'm trying to think if I've ever actually fully removed them. I've generally just removed the oil lines themselves and unbolted part of the cooler in order to move it out of the way of the bumper. I've had the full front end apart in the 2002 and the 1988 and I'm certain I've never actually had to remove the coolers completely. However, If I had to remove them, I'm sure I would need to remove the power headlight system and the washer system and the a/c system to access the bolts. I would ask if you have the esprit manuals, however, I've heard rumor that you know the manuals verbatim. You did mention that they are gland nuts, which I presume means that they are bonded to the fiberglass... if this is the case, the best rust remover that I know of is called "Nut Buster" and I think you can get it at NAPA. I had to soak my rims in that stuff for 3 days before I could get them off of the hubs. Give me a call if you would please (403) 581 6875.

Yours,

Mark

Modifying esprit's.. now that's fun..

PS... I AM NOT A CERTIFIED MECHANIC.. I Have chosen to help those in need, in the past and must not be construed as being a certified technician.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Parent-teacher interviews have slowed things for the last 2 nights . . . . so no new Lotus work. Also, I keep forgetting to take the digital camera to school.

With regard to your transmission bits and a clutch, I may just swing by and see them/meet up with you this summer. I am driving the truck east with a set of new VW rims to my father (in southern Ontario) while also dropping off a set of worn V8 Esprit wheels for refinishing in Regina. It will be a two week holiday in Ontario (also picking up Esprit parts there) before I drive back west. Please be aware that you were speaking to a twin-Lotus owner friend of mine (Francis S. from Edmonton) regarding the transmission shafts. For reasons I cannot explain, he spoke - without my consent or permission - about me needing a set of Esprit input/output shafts. These are not critically required, at this point, as I have no plan to swap an alternative to the original 5th gear.

The oil coolers have a lower line that does not support anything, plus there is good access to the 30 mm gland nut. The upper lines cover a captive nut that sandwiches the oil cooler top to the base of the fiberglass body. On top of this is the 29 mm oil line gland nut . . . there is rather limited access to this one. Maybe a stubby wrench could work. By-the-way the headlight pods and the electric motors that move them are all out.

Compared to the 1989 car, this 1991 does not have user-friendly oil lines. The '89 car's oil lines easily unscrewed for me - owing to a cleaner and drier location, perhaps.

The frail aluminum oil cooler and the steel line coupling on this '91 appear to have galvanically locked. Even with really good support on my feet & legs, my 200 pound/6'1" body (lying on the floor) cannot spin the lower nut free. The fiberglass can bee seen to bow (plus it pops and cracks mildly) when serious torque is applied. I have sheared the 6 mm bolt that holds the oil cooler to the body off. To be fair, it was super rusty. I am thinking I might have to dremel the oil line gland nuts apart with a tiny metal chop-saw blade to free them. I have no doubt that the threads of the oil cooler will be ruined in the process. How the top line is to be unbolted is a mystery to me. If a 2 foot long wrench on the lower line doesn't work, no stubby wrench on the top line could work. Every version of penetrating oil have been applied to these nuts in the last few weeks.

Beyond this, I believe the 1991's twin oil coolers are Lotus-specific. I have been unable to source similar parts from the typical oil cooler suppliers like Modine, Setrab, or Earl's. Their offerings are all far larger. Does anyone know better about this (i.e an alternative supplier)? At present I am thinking that a custom rad shop might be a cheaper source.

As to me knowing the entire service manual off by heart . . . that is a bit of an exaggeration. I have only read it 6 or 8 times (cover-to-cover). It lies on the night table next to the bed.

AP

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have used www.rondavisradiators.com in the past for fabrication of custom rads. I had them build the custom intercooler radiator for Aerobat's v8 and it is gorgeous and a perfect fit. As for the input shaft.... let me know when you are coming through as I am sure the two of us (from what I've heard about you over the years) would get along like peas in a pod. Hope to chat soon!

Modifying esprit's.. now that's fun..

PS... I AM NOT A CERTIFIED MECHANIC.. I Have chosen to help those in need, in the past and must not be construed as being a certified technician.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I will try, later tonight, to provide you with some digital photos. These were taken perhaps 1.5 weeks ago. Sadly, I am not a strong computer person, so Mrs. Podor is the one I will be asking to preform this -admittedly- simple task. Should things not work out, then at the latest these should appear tomorrow.

Generally I would say that motivation is the easy part. Getting the proper spare piece . . . now that's the real issue.

AP

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is my block 1 CTS Automotives class (grades 10-12). Quite a few are missing this Friday morning.

More pictures will follow.

post-391-0-74350700-1301889108_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is my block #3 class. They are usually (often?) my hardest workers. A few of these students are, now, so good at fiberglass repair that it amazes me. The one holding the sledge is simply show-boating . . he actually rarely does work on the Esprit. The two wearing ear protection were, one minute before the photo, prepping one of the under bonnet ducts for a new layer of fiberglass. This class works as a team really well.

AP

post-391-0-41858100-1302056097_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Andrew,

That is very cool. Those kids will remember your class forever.

Any idea how long to complete the project? Certainly it won't be done in this school year will it?

Good job, kids need more teachers like you. :thumbup:

1995 S4s

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a fantastic opportunity for these kids... I wish I could of done something like that when I was in School....

Keep up the hard work kids and Andrew keep us posted step by step

Cheers

Felix from Eastern Canada

Link to post
Share on other sites

The hope is these kids will be motivated to learn more, both in my shop and elsewhere in their young adult lives. I can say a few students were real "issues" with behavior and attendance but once my Esprit arrived those issues reduced. This was really obviously the case for a select few K&E (knowledge and employment = special needs) kids. One of them is my "master" fiberglass worker . . . even thought I taught him to fiberglass he is (now) better than me. To be honest, here in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada a custom modified pick-up truck would probably be more of an attraction to most of these kids. Few of them had ever heard of a Lotus.

The good thing is the car is not a flawless beauty. Let's face it, it was $4200 problem-in-waiting sort of car. A used economy car might have cost me more.

If they scratch a portion of the paint or break a tab (say on a panel) etc. etc., well, I can live with it all. The project is moving along at the rate that I can afford replacement parts. No, it will not be done by the end of the school year . . . perhaps at the end of the next school year. I plan on wet-sanding the body and re-spraying it here in the shop. The engine is 75% rebuilt and will be visible in the photo of my block #2 class (which is not yet posted). Happily, few costly engine bits were needed (so far at least). The exception is an exhaust manifold . . . which I'm still eagerly hunting for.

By-the-way, all the American V6 engines in the background of the block #3 photo are donations from dead cars long before my time here as the auto shop instructor. Kids get engine rebuild modules from those donated engines. If one of the kids really needs such an engine, I let them take it to fix their car (if the work is done in our shop they get modules for this effort). We have about 15 of these engines on rolling stands and they take up far too much space in my shop.

AP

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you want to improve their writing and well as spannering, I'll help set up a blog they can update?

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

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the kind offer. I will mention it to them tomorrow in the various classes.

My guess, however, would be video game playing trumps any blog (in their minds).

AP

Link to post
Share on other sites

Andrew, if those kids knew that their efforts could get a truely international following, and that the mighty resouces of the Lotusforums community would be a mouse click away to help on just about any problem they may encounter, I'm sure they would be interested in using a blog to record their progress and to solve their problems.

Normally Aspirated - and lovin' it!

Link to post
Share on other sites

My students have some interest in this blog idea. In order to protect the student's identities we have decided to use "nicknames" for each students. Some of them have a few questions:

1) "McDonald's Man" asks . . . . Why does the Esprit contain so many unused holes drilled in the fiberglass panels (under the bonnet) and in the area behind the rear bumper?

2) "Forehead Man" asks . . . . When repairing stress cracks in the gel-coat we have routed out the crack and filled it up thin slices of matting and polyester resin. Is there a better (faster?) way to repair stress cracks?

3) "Kokanee K" asks . . . . The cost of replacement engine pieces (especially pistons and liners) are seriously far too much when compared to any other car we have worked on. Why do these parts costs so much?

4) "Proud Newfie Kid" asks . . . The oil coolers are non-anodized alloy but the nuts are steel. The steel appears to be untreated (without plating). As a result the two metals have fused together and the alloy cooler breaks apart upon removal. Why would Lotus choose this manner of assembly? Do they not do R & D to test the longevity of this?

5) "Jose Von Vanilla" asks . . . Exactly how did the name Lotus get chosen?

Link to post
Share on other sites

1) not noticed myself - if its around double skinned areas these are sometimes filled with a foamin agent (at least, they are on some of my panels) - drilled parts also let double skinned panels move and 'breathe' if you trap air in them they could likely crack. Thats my best guess.

2) I always thought epoxy resin was the better stuff to use - Ive repaired faults using the same method, does take time and patience

3) Prob has to do with the fact its a highly strung engine - 2.2lites producing regulat 265BHP is pretty intense - plus Lotus sold a few thousand of these engines vs a few hundred thousand on other cars, cost rises / unit when producing lower batches.

4) Heheh, cost. The nuts / bolts would have been zinc plated like all bolts - but very rarely do any manufacturers use things like copper grease to stop corrosion. What you're talking about is galvanic reaction between dis-similar metals - aluminium and stainless steel usually have this problem of fusing (but not zinc plated steel as far as I know) which is why people use a barrier grease such as copper grease to stop it happening - copper grease also helps prevent corrosion which is more likely the result of the oil cooler failure, being so low to the ground and collecting a lot of water/salt. So its cost, the more cynical among us could suggest...extra parts required on repair ? Its one of my biggest bugbears on cars, once propperly greased, working on the car is a dream.

5) You'd have to ask Colin Chapman. I believe Hazel Chapman knows but as far as I know its a secret.

Edited by Jonathan

facebook = [email protected]

Link to post
Share on other sites

My block #3 students wish to thank you for the provided answers to the first round of questions. A few more questions have since arisen:

1A) "The Fiberglass God" (umm . . . the student chose this name, not me) asks: We route stress cracks to half panel depth (1 mm) and then grind/taper the walls of the route out about 2 to 3 mm on either side. Some text sources we have read recommend a 12:1 ratio (width of repair to depth). Do you think the more steep taper we use will generate problems because of the smaller surface area of the repair?

1B) If we use epoxy for the stress crack repairs is there a risk of thermal expansion being different between the polyester remainder and the epoxy patch? Could it separate due to expansion?

2) "Newf Fill-er-up" asks: Around the edges of the tail pipe (at the rear valence) the fiberglass is black and charred. Is there any fiberglass repair that is more tolerant of this heat? (Note: Mr. Podor wishes to indicate that the exhaust was not stock on this car. A larger diameter than stock outlet pipe rested against the valence, in part because the rubber muffler hangers detached from the frame support allowing the pipe to swing.)

3) "Dayton Downtown" asks: Ford trucks use a double-wall exhaust tip (separated with a gap of air) so as to protect surrounding painted surfaces. Could this solution help here? Has anyone else had this problem?

4) "The Rumbler" asks: On the rounded curves and edges of the valence there is a 1-2 mm layer of unusually soft (i.e. easy to sand) white body filler immediately below the paint and atop the fiberglass panel. Is this the way it came from the factory?

Link to post
Share on other sites

"The Fiberglass God" also wants to know this . . .

Why do we get relatively easy detachment of (cured) newly laid fiberglass on areas wet-sanded with 180 grit, but a very strong bond to areas that have been prepped with a dry 120 grit flap-wheel on an angle grinder? In both cases the areas are prepped with acetone and blasted with compressed air before we apply the patch at room temperature.

What is the ideal surface texture that ensures the strongest fiberglass bond?

AP

Link to post
Share on other sites

Andrew, I am just catching this thread. While I have no answers to any of the asked questions, I just wanted to say: what a fantastic project, congratulations!

"At home, I have a King Sized bed. Now, I don't know any Kings, but I would imagine if one were to come over, he would be comfortable." -Mitch Hedberg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Since last Thursday night, we are off for Easter holiday. The kids will return to the shop on the 26th of April.

In the week and a half off, I will pop out all 16 of the non-original stainless steel valves on the cylinder head and assess if the guides have been recently replaced and if all the valve seats look good. My guess is they are after-market bits for a 907 Jensen-Healey motor. The stock Lotus valves had 45 degree bends in all of them. The box those damaged valves came to me in were said to be the source of the new ss valves. Manley valves . . . generally an American muscle car and hot rodder sort of supplier.

Does anyone know if they once supplied 910 engine valves?

AP

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Andrew, I actually have new valves from SS for my esprit.

Modifying esprit's.. now that's fun..

PS... I AM NOT A CERTIFIED MECHANIC.. I Have chosen to help those in need, in the past and must not be construed as being a certified technician.

Link to post
Share on other sites



×
×
  • Create New...