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Alex Carter

am i being taken for a ride

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Some of you may know im restoring my v8 .

I have purchased the revamped kit from lotus eibach springs and bilstien shocks .

the front set up shocks and springs are fitted to the car .

the rear springs are sat in my lounge and the rear shocks are not available from bilstein yet .

lotus cant get hold of them as bilstein wont give a delivery date could be a while .

so

speaking to lotus cars i was told that putting a set of sport 350 shocks at the rear to go with my eibach springs would work .so officially i would have different shocks front to back but same springs .

after some thought i decided that i didnt want odd shocks and that it would be better to go with the sporth 350 shocks all round. and keep the v8 springs .

after some discussions with people that know a little the conclusion was lotus are trying to fob me off with something thats not right but itll do to get me off there backs .

im a little bit annoyed and confused as the whole idea of my build was to refresh the car to its former glory and enjoy it how lotus originally made it as best as possible . now it seems that wont happen because of this problem

opinions solutions welcome im not sure what to do spring rates will me different and rebound blah blah blah .....

lotus are suppose to email me monday with a solution but i dont want to be told itll be fine because i dont want fine ! i want right .

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I can understand your disappointment but I wouldn't get hung up on a problem that can't be solved in terms of Lotus getting your OE shocks. They don't have money to order these in quantity is my guess so even if you hold out then you may be waiting a long time. Get your rears refurbished and put the car back together until the Lotus shocks arrive eventually, if ever. Frustrating but you are doing a great job on the rest of the car so be a shame to let this taint the enjoyment.

Trevor

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That's annoying, I've been toying with the idea of a full polybush and suspension refurb for my V8 for some time now. I was very tempted to buy the whole package from PNM and may well decide to do that in the future. If anyone wants to replace the front discs of an AP braked car I have just bought some from PNM at a very reasonable price and they look exactly the same as the drilled AP's

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Is the problem Lotus or Bilstein? If its the former and supply is related to the current financial woes at Lotus it seems the obvious solution is to get a refund from Lotus (although that may prove difficult!) and get the shocks direct from Bilstein. If its a problem at Bilstein then its a waiting game. But don't compromise, go with the 'proper' solution, as I hope to do next year.

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the problem is bilstein hedgerly they cant give a date to deliver. lotus have rang them and theres nothing that they use to make a set for me they have to build from scratch basically .

now my concern is that back in the day lotus were famous for there handling but these new kits all use the same parts so theres no individuality between cars anymore they share the same shocks so this kit almost seems like an average now not a specific .

i think ill send the lot back and go for a coilover set and just spend time setting it up. .

poor jim clark he'd turn in his grave if he knew

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I recall a thread a couple of years ago Alex about these replacement kits. Lotus went to the trouble of specifying and setting up the kits for each Esprit variant, right back to the S1. They spent hundreds of hours with a decent example of each model on the track at Hethel and surrounding roads setting them up, so the kit and specs provided for the V8 should be the correct one for the car, not an 'average' as you seem to think.

I know when I looked into it a couple of years ago it was not only possible to get he right kit for the car but you could have it done at the factory and the whole set up - chassis, suspension, wheel alignment, steering etc done by factory technicians and then have one of the chassis engineers prove it out on track. Of course, that was under the 'old' regime at Hethel....

OK, just found the thread - its actually on LEW. There is a lot of info here -

http://www.lotusespr...Suspension.html

Edited by hedgerley

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I did this conversion about three years ago myself: bought all the stuff from SJ. It's disappointing if this set up is "no longer available", for one reason or another.

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My car had avo s on it and they were not good .I shall order the pro kit from sj instead and return these

I did this conversion about three years ago myself: bought all the stuff from SJ. It's disappointing if this set up is "no longer available", for one reason or another.

So how is it ?

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Alex, I think that the package is very good. I am not a 9/10ths or even 7/10ths driver, though, so I can really only comment that it was an improvement over my previous set up. I say "was" only because it was so long ago that I did this, I can't really make a present tense comparison. The ride is good, and the car handles well for the driving I do. Things are a bit jiggly on the lumpier roads, but I think my car urgently requires new bushings up front.

I remember specifically that when I took took the rear dampers to the shop to have the bushings pressed in (I don't have a press) the mechanic remarked that they were high quality.

Just an added note from the link that Mark provided above: from the Lotus Dealer Bulletin issued November, 2006, one of the notes states "Recommended to fit as complete vehicle set"; it seems wise to me, therefore, to avoid the mixing and matching that Lotus suggested.

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What's wrong with the Sport 350 handling? Putting something Lotus spent a lot of time and money developing on your Esprit surely must be better on fitting parts which just happen to fit?

Who at Lotus are you talking to please?

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Gary aftersales advised me bibs and theres nothing wrong with 350 handling but my car is a v8 se not a 350 so the cars heavier the springs arnt weighted correctly for my car and the rebound from the shocks wont be right either .

Hence why I spent so much in the first place buying this eibach and bilstein set up instead of the cheaper option

Edited by Alex Carter

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The Sport 350 and V8-SE weight pretty much exactly the same. The Sport 350 dampers are pretty high end units, not quiet as good as Bilstein but not far off and speaking to a very experienced member of staff at Hethel he's said you'll be fine with the 350 units which are tuned to your requirements, they'll be much better than any alternatives for your car.

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The Sport 350 and V8-SE weight pretty much exactly the same.

..don't say this to loud :D

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Everything being the factory weights on LEW? Those figures were published for homologation reasons.

I've had a Sport350 on the Brands Hatch weighbridge, there a topic in the 350 tech area and it was 1302kgs iirc, no doubt within 2/3 kgs of your car.

The person I got the advice above from is a very well experienced engineer with 33 years experience, 26 of them directly with the Esprit.

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Bibs, that's why I say *dont tell the 350 owners* ..as most times it seems to be a shame for them, to have nothing else than a 'overpriced V8 with some different options on the list'

-but anyway, 1303kg without driver is light, compared with the MOT (TÜV) wheight notes on the regular brake test form

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*dont tell the 350 owners* .

I am off to the weighbridge tomorrow.....................................just so I know!

I test drove a few V8 before buying the Sport350 and they ALL felt different on roundabouts with some having a lot of roll and a softer feel in the older cars, I put this down to wear and tear on components but changes in spring and damper rates must have occured during the production period,

Alex, best of luck finding the parts you need. after the time you have put into your car, get it the way YOU want it.

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you are right on differences in 'pitch & roll' ..as for the spring rates and ARB dimensions ..so there must be a naturall difference in character

..but again 1302kg is lighter than my GT, the point on the other hand is :

-the price the s350 was named for ..this, especially compared with those up-speced 2002/3 'ordinary' V8s in terms of material, brakes and body styling doesn't say to me "go there and buy an s350 over an 2002/3 version"

Edited by Günter

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Gunter, my 1st choice to purchase was a 03/04 car. but I could not find a suitable car for sale !

the Sport 350 turned up at the right time at the right price and felt right when I drove it.

I could be tempted to change if the right car was available.

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FWIW i test drove 4 v8 esprits in total. two standard suspension v8's, the sport 350 No:000 and my current car.

My car has the lotus upgrade bilsteins/eibachs/poly bushes and it feels more akin to the sport 350 i drove rather than the two other softer v8's. From memory the only difference in feel between my car & the 350, was you could feel engine vibes more in the 350 (i think they used stiffer engine and gearbox mounts)

I know this is hardly a scientific appraisal, but just my own findings :)

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think there will be no car that is 'factory' anymore, if you not call the Eibach-suspension upgrade as 'factory' (as it was available in the same way as many other Lotus/open market parts were available over the years)

..so the differences will mix-up more and more in those cars who survived

Edited by Günter

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The factory developed that suspension to feel the same as the original but with modern components, cant see it being anything but 'factory'.

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