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Suspension help for 2002 Esprit

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Car has 12,700 miles, just got all leaks fixed, hi-torque ecu, now want to improve stability. I have the Dunlop tires, checked to make sure air pressures are correct. The car just feels unstable, especially under braking from 100 mph down, front end wants to move. Also with the hi-torque ecu it will spin the tires in 2nd gear under WOT.


Is my alignment off?

Are the Dunlop tires garbage, maybe should upgrade to Michelin or Bridgestone?

Upgrade to the Lotus damper program shocks and set to lower ride height?

Upgrade to the Final Edition shocks and springs, but I have heard these are the same as the upgraded dampers, with a bit more adjustability?

Took my wife for a ride, and the car scares her at speeds over 80mph, where my 360 Spider, and my 996 GT2 make her feel more secure at high speeds.

Any help would be appreciated.

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Shocks not compressing evenly under load?

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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Also with the hi-torque ecu it will spin the tires in 2nd gear under WOT.

After I fitted the hi-torque chip to my S4s she'd spin the wheels in third on a dry road when the turbo boost came on. devil.gif


John W

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I have similar issues with traction and have replaced the tyres with Micelins and the geo setup which improved things a little but the problem still exists. My feeling is shocks would improve things a little more but I see a Quaife LSD in my future smile.png .


I'll get around to it at some point.

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For your Esprit to handle the way it's supposed to, everything involved must be up to spec and working properly. It's likely that your problems are caused by a combination of issues as opposed to just one component.

Tires, dampers, springs, bushings, ball joints, tie rod ends etc all need to be checked and replaced if necessary. And then a complete comprehensive alignment needs to be done for camber, caster and toe in the front along with camber and toe in the rear.

Doing a proper alignment on an Esprit is fairly complicated and time consuming and should be done by an experienced Lotus tech. It will take the better part of a day if anything besides the front toe needs to be adjusted and expect to spend several hundred dollars.

If you are still on the original dampers, bushings and tires, I would expect those need to be replaced at the least.

Don't rule out problems in the rear setup either as that can cause issues in the front as well.

One of our local guys with a 2002 like yours brought his car to my shop recently complaining of the same symptoms as you. Upon initial inspection we determined that both front dampers were leaking, several bushings had the shoulders worn off and the lower ball joint on one side needed replacing. He's ordering all new parts along with the Bilstein damper and Eibach spring setup for all 4 corners.

Edited by lotus4s

1995 S4s

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They're in the workshop manual and most alignment shops should have them pre-programmed into their machine :)

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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I found a Big O near my house that had the Hunter laser alignment rack, and had the Esprit settings in the computer. I ended up with my own custom settings somewhere between a mix of SE and V8 settings. They also had the S4s and Sport 300 in their database back in 2005...

I went with some toe-out to cure understeer and make the car turn better, but it does make it more lively in the braking zones. You may want to choose a toe setting closer to the 0deg end of the Esprit specification.

For the V8 FRONT

Camber - 0.25”; f 0.25” (- O”15’; f 15’)

within 0.2” (0’12’) side to side

Castor + 3.2”; +/- 0.2” (+ 3°12’; +/- 12’)

within 0.2” (0°12’) side to side

Toe 1.5 mm toe out overall; +/- 0.5 mm

(0.2° toe out overall; +/- 0.07”)

(0°12’ toe out overall; +/- 4’)

For the V8 REAR

Camber - 1.5”; +/- 0.25” (- 1°30’; +/- 15’)

within 0.2° (0°12’) side to side

1.0 mm toe in each side; - 0, + 0.3 mm

(0.13” toe in each side; - 0, + 0.04”)

(0°8’ toe in each side; - 0, + 2’)

within 0.2 mm (0.1°)(0°4’) side to side


Vulcan Grey 89SE


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Ended up buying a Final Edition Bilstein setup and some new bushings. Couldn't pass up the deal. Read too many threads about leaking shocks, I believe I have one, and since I have decided not to sell it, mine as well pimp it out.

Any recommendations on a better front sway bar, such as the Sport 350 or another brand, let me know.

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