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S300 No. 25 Restoration resumed

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As some of you are aware Mike Sekinger started the restoration on this particular Esprit last year.

However Mike has decided to devote his time to his family and withdraw from the Esprit building scene.

After discussions with Mike and the owner I have taken over the project. The restoration will take a new track in the form of now retaining mostly the original factory specification, The work will all be done in house with exception of machining and specialist services. The target is to produce a factory fresh Esprit by May 2012 ( 6 months )

Mike had only removed the engine and box so it was still mostly it tact. The project will now involve a body strip and repaint , refurbishment of all body parts , chassis removal with full strip and rebuild of all components , and a full engine / g/box rebuild . All component parts will be checked and reconditioned as required with the exception of the interior and associated fittings .

The first part of this project was to get all the Esprit and parts to my workshop, This was achieved by using a reputable classic car tranceport company to collect the Esprit from Mike's place in France , then a 7 hour round trip by me to Gary Kemps in Yorkshire to collect the engine and box .

Strip down work on the body as part of phase one is well under way. So far the usual expected areas needing attention have arisen such as the petrol tanks and radiators.

The tanks have been shot blasted and lead loaded on the corrosion areas , then repainted . The petrol pump was systematically changed for a new one even though the original seemed fine,

The radiator were all sent to a specialist for rebuild and test and the fan system reconditioned along with wiring. Some of the metal work has been sent for electro re-plating....

I will keep you informed as work progresses with technical info on areas if required.





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Good to se you have taken this project on. I'm sure it will end up stunning. Please keep us posted on the work


Amateurs built the Ark

Professionals built the Titanic

"I haven't ridden in cars pulled by cows before" "Bullocks, Mr.Belcher" "No, I haven't, honestly"

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:thumbup: Look forward to future post on this, have fun :)

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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Things are progressing nicely with the tanks now refitted , the new radiator system is complete with a small modification to the a/c and c/c systems linking the two together, This had to be done in a way that could be easily reversed to standard if required.


I am now starting the body work , first step is to flat back the lot with 180 grit using various shaped and flat blocks , This is the point when the tennis elbow comes back, but also one of the most important parts of any paint job. This will form the foundation for the final finish and expose all faults and work previously done , which all must be addressed at this point, This can be a slow tedious process but done correct will reap dividends long term.


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Not many 300's had AC fitted. A double rad was used to increase the chargecooling capacity instead.

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. 

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Not many 300's had AC fitted. A double rad was used to increase the chargecooling capacity instead.

There are a few points on this S300 No 25 that are different , It was specifically built that way for the 1st owner who owned Lotus at the time.

I Have linked the two rads together to provide similar c/c cooling as the std. s300's but in a way it can be reversed for authenticity if required.

Part of the brief on this restoration is to not wonder away from its original form and spec. However there will be some changes for reliability and longevity for eg. stainless steel fasteners where appropriate and polly bushes.

The last week has been spent flatting all the paintwork with dry 180 grit , this showed up all the faults and previous work done, which needed to be addressed. Once happy with what I had , I then proceeded to flat the whole lot again this time with wet 400 ,This now provides me with a suitably prepared surface to apply the isolator sealer coat.




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Well another week goes by, as is always the case with body work you wonder where the time has gone.

The truth is in the detail,

The flatting process is a laborious procedure but ultimately satisfying when done carefully and correct.

Major attention should be taken in getting into the corners, fiddly but important because the paint will blister and lift there eventually if not keyed properly.

An area for attention that became apparent was when fatting with wet 400 and feathering in the different layers of paint. The last coat of paint applied to particularly the rear wing and arches was not flatted fully before being applied, this was noticeable buy the gloss line that appears between the coats.This is actually the edge of the top surface of the lower coat still shining......

If you applied a solvent based paint/primer over this it will soften expand and absorb solvent, within six months after you have finished this line will reappear as the now substrate dries and contracts. In solid colours you may be able to flat out, but generally your stuffed with metallics. The other concern is that this substrate is technically unstable and may well eventually cause cracks in the finish. particularly in hot climates.

The only solution is to flat out completely chasing the line till it vanishes, this will take time but a lot quicker that redoing it later.....

When i had done this i still applied an etch isolator to make sure, the product i used has no solvent in and once dry is impervious to solvents, some may know it as ' Bar Coat' . by applying one coat 15-20 microns at body temp 65'f it completely seals everything in.. It is important to not get it wet but as it is dry within one hour the simple thing to do is to lay on two coats of high build 2k primer to complete the process.






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Thanks Darren, Its always nice when someone pops round to share the progress , These early prep stages take such a long time and never get seen or appreciated for their involvement in the final coat quality. As you say these stages are far more interesting as you can see the subtle undulations and faults as they get removed, (satisfying)

The next stage is to shadow coat the now primer finish and flat out all over again. This time with 800 wet.

This must be done with more care and not to much pressure to prevent score lines. It will take quite a lot longer and quite a few sheets of 800 to complete the whole process. The purpose is to remove the orange peel effect in the primer, the degree of this will vary with film thickness and type/mix of material used.

It is also important not to flat though at any point as this will require a repeat of the last procedure again. Unfortunately regardless of how careful you are this will happen....The aim is a fully fatted unbroken finish of primer,




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  • 3 weeks later...

After all that prep work and endless flatting it has made a pleasant change this week to throw a bit of colour on the body and some of the component parts.

There is still a few bits to paint like the arches and door mirrors but the main parts are done.

Next week will see an end to the painting, then i can start reassembling the body .




After all that work i thought i would take some refreshment and and a little reflection

on the work so far.....


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Was.that a genuine equipment bud can? were all.aware.of.the amazing solutions lotus can come up with with a very low.budget....

No Lotus would have used Bud light :)

Amateurs built the Ark

Professionals built the Titanic

"I haven't ridden in cars pulled by cows before" "Bullocks, Mr.Belcher" "No, I haven't, honestly"

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Which color is that?

Midnight blue met. Code B42.

A very crucial technical point has to be corrected here.rtfm.gif It is not Bud Light , we all know how important the correct lubrication is. A light beer would not lubricate my old joints, no.gif the viscosity is very important ,

And as for corner weighting .....I find one can is perfect ,thumbup.gif a second will cause me to lean ,huh.png 3 ? sick.gif

Your quantities and brew may vary, please consult your workshop manual or local bar for details...cheers.gif

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No Lotus would have used Bud light smile.png

You may be mistaken Chris. In keeping with the Lotus philosophy, Bud Light would be far more preferable to Bud Heavy.


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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Hi all,

I spent this week finishing off the painting , then the reassembling all the body parts and fitting, This is great fun, sorting out all of the components, cleaning , checking and reconditioning where needed. Most of the fixings have been changed for new stainless steel , The doors took the longest with so many fiddly fixings, these are all part of lining them up correctly to insure the seals touch where they should to minimise the wind noise. I always find it best to assemble each door on the car, this reduces the risk of chipping the paint and only needs one careful pair of hands...

All component parts are now fitted with the exception of bonnet, tailgate and arches, these will be fitted at the end of the project..

This then is the conclusion of stage

Stage two is the strip and rebuild of the chassis and all its components, This will start on Monday with the separation of the body from the chassis....






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