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S3 pre or post 85 - but which is better?


Guest allgoodpeter

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Guest allgoodpeter

There's only one way to find out!

OK, given I want a G car and sense says get an S3, I now have a choice of a couple - an 84 or an 85.

Is the post 85 revised front end so much better than the earlier version that I should go for that one if all else is equal? Are there any other revisions that are worth having on an 85?

Oh and the 85 car has a riviera roof.

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I suppose it depends what you mean by 'better'. Post 84 is a much neater solution and allowed the use of superior uprights and also included revised (vented) discs and calipers etc.

Dynamically, I doubt there is a noticeable difference and parts availability is fine for both.

I would definitely choose the car on condition and price - and not worry about what was a fairly minor technical development. (compared to the difference between an S2 and an S3, which is essentially a whole new platform and dynamically very different).

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The later cars I have driven have had a more composed feel, a little more solid and of course this would be the case as each evolution was an improvement. As Steve says condition is by far the biggest factor though. If like for like then the later car but don't get a later car just because it is.

Trevor.

I'll get around to it at some point.

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Are there any other revisions that are worth having on an 85?

The handbrake is a lot easier to use as it has a finer ratchet whereas on the '82 I owned I needed to yank on it like a gorilla to get it fully on, also the lever folds down flat while the brake stays on but I wouldn't discount a good pre '84 just to get the improvements of a post '84.

Cheers,

John W

http://jonwatkins.co.uk

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Guest allgoodpeter

Just exactly what I wanted to hear - I guess its a case of IF there was no other difference then buy the 85 but not as an end in itself. Of course as I now know, there is no such thing as two Esprits that are evenly matched!

OK, so no fight then..........

Thanks everyone.

The handbrake is a lot easier to use as it has a finer ratchet whereas on the '82 I owned I needed to yank on it like a gorilla to get it fully on, also the lever folds down flat while the brake stays on but I wouldn't discount a good pre '84 just to get the improvements of a post '84.

I do like the 85 handbrake I admit - and I'd like it even more if it was a foot closer!

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I do like the 85 handbrake I admit - and I'd like it even more if it was a foot closer!

My handbrake was only ever used for the MOT. Once I was queuing up a hill & stalled as I started to pull away, without thinking I dropped the clutch, restarted the engine (while rolling back) & pulled away at the second attempt. Probably gave the guy behind a bit of a fright though. :thumbsup:

Cheers,

John W

http://jonwatkins.co.uk

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Guest allgoodpeter

My handbrake was only ever used for the MOT. Once I was queuing up a hill & stalled as I started to pull away, without thinking I dropped the clutch, restarted the engine (while rolling back) & pulled away at the second attempt. Probably gave the guy behind a bit of a fright though. :thumbsup:

I was watching the owner of a car I viewed at the weekend - he didnt use the handbrake either - i think with a little deft footwork it should be possible to heel and toe whilst letting the clutch in.

One thing I did notice on what was my first proper test drive was how easily I slipped back into double declutching to the approving look of the owner. Took me back to my heavily modified Alfa Sprint I built in the mid eighties - lightened flywheel, it was a treat to blip on a downshift. My daily Alfa Giulietta just wont do it.

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Hi Pete,

I thought you must have one by now! In case you haven't seen it there's a white S3 on ebay but

the garage wants 15k and that's not MOT'd! Also I think I saw a white S2 with S3 bumpers on there.

Quite like my post 85 in terms of knowing it's got the Toyota suspension instead of trunnions. My Triumph Spitfire

past has had a lot of trunnions snap leading to suspension collapse in various high-streets! Also the sunroof

gives an extra 3/4 inch in roof height on the post 85. Wouldn't stop me looking at earlier ones though...

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And an Esprit is a lot heavier & faster than any Spitfire.

not at the front..... but it is THE reason I went for an post 85 (after a trunnion broke on the old spitfire and I already have a europa with a trunnion (I wanted at least one lotus without a trunnion)

and the post85 sits a bit higher so nowadays with al those speed bumps (sleeping policemen) it's nice to have a little more room.

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Guest allgoodpeter

Hi Pete,

I thought you must have one by now! In case you haven't seen it there's a white S3 on ebay but

the garage wants 15k and that's not MOT'd! Also I think I saw a white S2 with S3 bumpers on there.

Quite like my post 85 in terms of knowing it's got the Toyota suspension instead of trunnions. My Triumph Spitfire

past has had a lot of trunnions snap leading to suspension collapse in various high-streets! Also the sunroof

gives an extra 3/4 inch in roof height on the post 85. Wouldn't stop me looking at earlier ones though...

I thought I'd HAVE one by now! So many false dawns! But I have a few to choose from. I saw the S2 on Ebay last owner but there are too many aspects I dont like. The S3 on Ebay at 15K is a joke - I've written and told them that I will buy it (subject to inspection etc) for 8K but they maintain that its very rare ("only 767 made you know"), one owner and low mileage so they think its worth that much. Also I cant do any history on it as they wont reveal the reg plate.

not at the front..... but it is THE reason I went for an post 85 (after a trunnion broke on the old spitfire and I already have a europa with a trunnion (I wanted at least one lotus without a trunnion)

and the post85 sits a bit higher so nowadays with al those speed bumps (sleeping policemen) it's nice to have a little more room.

I remember my dad oiling his trunnions - on a Morris Minor and how many of those we saw with a front wheel collapsed - always on a roundabout. It stuck in my mind that trunnions need regular oiling. Have any Lotuses ever failed?

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No, but under braking the torque on the uprights because of the far wider tyres & larger discs & the far higher speed will be much greater than it would be any other trunnion wielding vehicle.

remember the gt6 has the same trunnions and a very heavy all iron 6 inline at the front (and don't forget that gearbox) . I have never seen a esprit with broken trunnions btw (or a europa) for me it is just the idea this can happen far away from home

with the spitfire I left the car on the side of the road, went home drilled a m12 hole in it and went back to repair it on site. then drove home very slowly..... (was on a sunday)

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I fitted a new steering rack, ARB bushes, new bushing etc on my trunnions over christmas. Asked a lot of advice on here whilst doing the job and did hear a report of a trunnion breaking on an esprit. But very very rare.

There is a 1983 turbo on Piston heads. 12K

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Im sure ive read somewhere ( on here?) of a replacement trunion that has a ball joint at the bottom .

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Ive just read the entire story on the replacement parts from the HERE link above. All very complicated but does seem parts specific for an esprit are not yet availiable.

Does anyone know how much work it would be to fit post '85 suspension. Maybe from a broken up car. i know of one bracket would need to be fitted to the chassis. Anything else anyone?

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