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Transformers... Turbo trim on an S3


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I was thinking... If someone :lol: wanted to 'convert' an S3 into a turbo what would they have to do? I'm only talking about the cosmetics - not the engine. I am guessing it is more effort than finding the trim and bolting it on.

Is the light enclosure at the back, part of the main body or is it a section that is bolted on? I tried to find some photos but there are no clear ones and the manual is not helpful.

Any ideas? Anyone done this?

(Sorry to all those who love the look of the S3 but I do really like the Turbo :) )

Edited by Goose
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I was thinking...  If someone  :lol: wanted to 'convert' an S3 into a turbo what would they have to do?  I'm only talking about the cosmetics - not the engine.  I am guessing it is more effort than finding the trim and bolting it on.

Is the light enclosure at the back, part of the main body or is it a section that is bolted on?  I tried to find some photos but there are no clear ones and the manual is not helpful.

Any ideas?  Anyone done this?

(Sorry to all those who love the look of the S3 but I do really like the Turbo  :) )

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Guess you are referring to the lights in the rear spoiler section - yeah much nicer than the S3 treatment.

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Ciao,

JB

'88 Excel SE - monaco white

'99 Elise 111 - azure blue �

'87 TurboEsprit - calypso red

'02 BMW 325ci convertible - diamond black

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http://excelregister.lotusexcel.de

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Hi there,

It's all easy to do except the duck tail flick :)

The S3 and the Turbo have different body shells and the Turbo has a step section (as visible in Jimmy's pics) thatthe tail bolts to...

The rest of it is all swappable - Paul C did most of it to his old car (Now owned by El Tel :lol: )

"When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked him to forgive me."

------------------------------

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I think the endcap at the back really finishes off the car :P

But I'd forget about the sills etc. :lol:

I think it would be easier to do an X19 lamp conversion, which would look just as good :)

slade

"It's called a fire hydrant. Firemen like to stick their hose in it, and eventually squirt water from it."

Owner of 86 TE HCI, and 55 Chevy. Stare at broken down TR7

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Thanks for the photos and advice. Good to hear that it is not impossible but fitting the rear sounds awkward. Looks like it will involve cutting the back of my car off and doing a bit of fibreglass moulding. :lol:

I think I will try and lay my hands on some second hand turbo trim to allow me to see just what will be needed.

Terry (ElTel)/Paul C - have you any photos of the rear of your car that you could send to me? Any advice? Thanks in advance.

Anyone have some old turbo trim they want rid of? :)

Edited by Goose
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can it be done the other way round? say make a s3 turbo look like an S1? have the relative reliability and development of the later model with the cleaner looks of the earlier? just theoretical question

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I'm not an expert but it strikes me as easier (and cheaper) to take an S1 and put S3 Turbo running gear into it than the other way round, however if anyone knows better..............

Regards

Mat Kutub

1979 S2

Regards

Mat

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I'm with Goose on this one. I love the look of the turbo too. Unlike your car Goose mine has no rubber bumpers - they are all body colour. Not sure if that is standard or a previous mod. Would the slatted rear boot lid be a straight swap for a standard glass bootlid my 83 S3?

That was the only mod I was thinking of trying - what does anybody think?

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Nnnnnnnnooooooooooo

Keep these gorgeous cars as they should be. If you want a Turbo, get a Turbo. If you want an S1 get one. These lovely cars are too rare to butcher yet there are still just enough around to get the one you want and price-wise, for the G-cars, there's not much difference between good examples of most models if cost is an issue.

Tell me to shut up if I'm talking out of place!

G-cars rock!!!!!!

Pete

Pete '79 S2

LEW Miss September 2009

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Guest Troy Halliday

Sorry guys I am with Pete on this one. I do prefer the Turbo to mine but at the time of buying it was a snap impulse thing without doing my homework ( a rare thing for me, rose tinted glases and all that)

The turbo does look the business and far sportier than our S3 N/A. That does not mean our N/A can't look the best you can make them.

But here we go on what is neccesery.

Front apron/skirt unbolt about 6 well rusted proberbly siezed nuts, and remove and replace with turbo one.

Side skirts drill out numerous pop rivets and possibly cut through jointing agent (tiger seal or the like) if used. Line up new Turbo side skirts and hope the rivets align but proberbly redrill holes to match the existing holes in your body tub. Use a line of tigerseal revit back together again job done.

Rear glass panel. This is not exactly a streght fit as the turbo boot also incorperates a section that encloses the engine. Without this your boot will get wet as there is holes in the vent to do just what it was designed to do ie, vent hot air of the red glowing snail thing.

Rear tail (duck tail) the Turbo body tub as stated before is a deifferent shape at the rear see the earlier pictures posted in this thread. Now without actual having one of the and offering it up to the rear of a S3 I am not sure if it would be possible to adapt to fit. But I would take an educated guess at NO. The reason being is that the S3 already incorperates its own tail which has a flat section on the top and this would interupt the duck tail line of the turbo. Purely grafting it on top would leave a large seem that would not aline along the sides.

Rear Bumper I also believe is different being slightly longer than the S3. But this could proberly work OK it is a simple matter of 4 bolts although you still have the problem with rusted seized bolts (believe me I know)

The rear valance agin simply unbolts (again the problem with rusted seized bolts) and would simply be a matter of bolting on the new one.

And yes before any one asks I did think about doing it at one stage but thought it better to keep this classic car as close to standard as possible.

The changes I made are either mechanical upgrades , brakes, clutch lines, coolent system, lights (oh forgot to mention that one my lights are the same as you will find on most spitfires and no I do not recomend going through the same procedure as me better to buy the conversion kit than fabricate new mounts as I did). The other details were personel preferences wood dash, cream clocks (although they were the same brand and design) leather and alcantara.

The engine was pure vanity however. Having bought a S3 and not a Turbo I didn't want the Turbo boys to rub it in my face hence the ported and polished HC head, HC Block, lightened and balanced bottem end, a pair of 104 cams, tubuler manifold and straight through pipe to a sports back box, ram air system and a clutch thet slips like a bugger because it can't handle the power increase. Although that is soon to resolved as I will be picking up a Turbo flywheel tomorrow which will then be lightened and balanced and then a new turbo clutch and preaseure plate. With any luck after all this messing about I should be able to hold my own <_<

So next time fishy you'll be seeing the back end of my little copper beauty :lol:

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Thanks for the compehensive response Troy! If only the rear section was a straight swap... <_< I think I will just continue restoring the one I have and keep an eye open for a project Turbo G car to work on. B)

Did you do all the engine stuff yourself? I noticed that LotusBits offer a performance upgrade for 912s but have not heard of anyone getting it done.

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Guest Troy Halliday

I sent the crank,flywhell, rods and pistons of to be lightened and balanced . I was old however that thy were very good to begn with. With certain bits needing no atention at all. The flywheel was lightened not by huge amounts but enough to make quite a bit of difference. The head had already been played with before I got it. I did not know this at the time of purchase but soon noticed the difference. But while I was in the process of cleaning it up I got brave and ported it out further removing all sharpe edges and maxing it out to the gasket profiles. What can I say I had a mad moment with what could have been an expensive attempt. I reconditioned the rest of the block with all new shells and bearings, new oil pump inards the worls. I intend to fit a throttle bodied injection system to it at a later date and have already remade both the tanks from stainless steel which include a small swirl pot on the bottom, and return pipes. I may however have to add a secondery swirl pot but this will be worked out later.

I am sure I have forgotten quite a few things but that covers the basics.

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Hi Angus,

I nearly attempted to this myself a little while ago before my turbo came up, perhaps a little late but I do have a lot of spare turbo parts including the rear tailgate and side skirts, so if your interested send me a pm.

Cheers,

Brent.

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Noooo! Leave the poor thing alone; what is it with this "identikit" approach to Esprit-dom? Just because parts can be swapped doesn't mean you should. From the above comments it would appear the rear tail can't be done without some seriously risky surgery.

S3s are a nice model in their own right, and rare too (outsold 2-1 by the Turbo I think).

If you are bitten by the modding bug there are a couple of owners on here who have swapped the wheels for modern 17"ers and made the S3 look really quite stunning, like a paper dart...

red

silver

Mind you the Turbo to S1 conversion idea could be the exception that proves the rule!

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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Mind you the Turbo to S1 conversion idea could be the exception that proves the rule!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I wouldn't do it, but I still think the turbo rear looks about 10 times better... though the X19 tails look 100x better and are easier to do on an S3 :)

I think the big problem would be that you'd still need the intake ears that clutter the turbo/S3 and the lack of which make the S1 look so great.

I still think the huge ass turbo bumpers were a compromise that the designers never really wanted... but I'm used to them.

Slade

"It's called a fire hydrant. Firemen like to stick their hose in it, and eventually squirt water from it."

Owner of 86 TE HCI, and 55 Chevy. Stare at broken down TR7

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Actually Slade the S3 uses the same shape bumpers as the Turbo Esprit. :)

I like the S3s front spoiler and sill panels more than the turbos, it does improve the cars wedge profile for the better IMO B)

But I agree the turbo has a nicer arse end! :)

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Edited by WayneB
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Yeah I know :) I was talking about the S1 conversion. I guess I could have called them S3 bumpers as well... but didn't the turbo come out slightly prior to the S3? :)

slade

"It's called a fire hydrant. Firemen like to stick their hose in it, and eventually squirt water from it."

Owner of 86 TE HCI, and 55 Chevy. Stare at broken down TR7

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The rest of it is all swappable - Paul C did most of it to his old car (Now owned by El Tel :P )

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

:blink::huh::P

You trying to get me killed fishy???

ALL the work on my S3 was done by a previous owner BEFORE i

bought it and i have IN NO WAY ever chopped an S3 in this way!

:)

I was very happy with the look though (why i bought it, why Tel

bought it off me). I agree 100% that if i had a stock S3 and wanted

this look - i'd buy a turbo, no argument.

It's a lot of work to do the change properly, sills are not too bad,

Louvres are not too bad to do cosmetically (as mine were) but if

you want them to duct properly then you need to buy a turbo cars

engine lining and lid for it to mate to.

The rear panel requires cutting a rasher from the back of the S3.

Work involved is like someone has driven into the back of you.

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