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I have just changed the front and rear shocks on my '83 Turbo Esprit.  I bought the shocks from SJ, normal dampers at the rear and adjustable at the front.  I set the front shocks between their softest and hardest position, however, the ride feels sort of spongy.  Even when braking at parking speeds, the car continues rocking fore and aft as if it's made of rubber.  And driving on normal roads feels really horrible, with the car bouncing.  So I set the front shocks to their hardest position, but still this made no difference in this area.  Any ideas?  Just for the record, I fitted the two rubber bushes, each sandwiched between two metal washers, one below the mounting point and one above.  Now I'm also believing that the car is sitting even lower than it was because it's hitting even the smallest ramps!

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If the car continues rocking after braking, or bouncing as you describe, that is caused by little or no damping by the shock. I am not aware of the adjustments you have on the shocks.

 

Is it just spring adjustment or can you adjust the damping as well?


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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The car is standard all round.  The springs are the original items while the dampers are new but non adjustable at the rear and adjustable at the front.  At the front, the Protech dampers have been adjusted to their hardest position but the problem remains the same.  It's a very strange feeling I never experienced in any other car.  It feels as if the whole suspension system is made of rubber.  I'm new to Lotus, having bought my Esprit a year ago with dead dampers.  When I press the car from the corners or try to gently lift it up from the wheel arches, the shocks feel firm and the car doesn't bounce like it did before I changed the shocks.  However, the ride quality is so terrible that on a lightly bouncy road I even managed to rub the middle of the car to the tarmac!  It doesn't inspire confidence so much that I almost never use it and when I do I rarely exceed 3000rmp or use higher gears than 3rd!  Which is a shame cause it's a really nice car.

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Time for photos Dion.


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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It's worth checking out the bushes. The dampers will (hopefully) dampen movement along the line of those pistons but the bushes will allow the car to move relative to the wheels by means of rocking the components. On the '83 the front wheels are secured by the pivot bushes and the ARB, on the rear it's the link arms and the front pivot bush on the arm.

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Having just fitted new poly bushes to the ARB, they made a great difference to the feel of the car. My Protechs are a good few years old now, and I have them around mid-range settings....nothing spongey there. I did have them on a harder setting, but found that the greater compliance of a bit softer seemed to work better....Lotus suspension is supposed to move up and down!


Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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If you're grounding out, the springs aren't doing their job in supporting the weight of the car. 

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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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This is from a very knowledgeable source on the matter...  :unworthy:

 

 

The first thing that needs to be checked is the Ride Height.

It sounds like the car is sitting very low if it is grounding out after new dampers have been fitted.

If it is using the original springs it is most likely that they are well past their useful life.

Thirty year old springs that have been on a car with worn out dampers will definitely be way out of specification.

They will have settled which will make the car ride low.

On the 83 Turbo the spring sits on the front arm so cannot be adjusted to change the ride height so the only solution is to fit new springs to restore the original specification and ride height.

I can’t comment on the specification of the Adjustable Dampers but they are used by many owners so should give reasonable damping.

Until the issue of Ride Height is resolved the damping may not be working properly.

If the car is sitting very low the Damper Stroke may not be working in the correct range or possibly bottoming out.

Without knowing the  damper operating range (length) I can really say if the damper is working properly.

I suggest that the car is fitted with new springs of the correct specification which will give a correct baseline to start the process of setting the damper adjusting to a get satisfactory setting.

The other thing to consider is the condition of all the suspension bushes. How old are they? They may need changing to get things back in a satisfactory condition.

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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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Thanks guys!  You're really supportive!  As I said, I'm new to Lotus, having been a Porsche owner for well over 20 years.  I still love these cars but these past few years I became disappointed with how the company is proceeding.  So instead of buying a Boxster or something similar, I was on the look out for something more interesting and last year I found this nice, original example of  the Turbo Esprit which was, unfortunately, neglected for some years.  After pouring in fresh fuel and changing the spark plugs, the engine fired after a couple of cranks.  A test drive revealed that it was in a very good condition, including the turbo.  The disks and brake pads are new and the body is still in a very good condition.  However, I could not put it through the VRT (the equivalent of UK's MOT) due to these suspension problems.  The shocks were dead so I ordered four new ones and replaced them.

 

And yes, the grounding started when I fitted these new shocks.  In fact, the car is now sitting lower (especially at the front) and small ramps which I could easily tackle with the old shocks are now impossible to ride over.  The springs and bushes are still the original items.  I did not suspect that the bushes were the culprits because they still look fine.  But now I think that I should change these as well, after I change the springs all round. 

 

Once again, thanks guys!  Will keep you posted after I order and fit these parts.

 

dion

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Well, I've just managed to change both front and rear coil springs and the 'spongy ride' is now cured!  Thanks!  The car now just needs wheel balancing and wheel alignment and all will be perfect (hopefully!)  :-)

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:thumbsup:

 

No more grounding out?


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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nope, no more grounding :fun:

 

in fact, the space between the front wheels and the front wheel arches is more than 1 inch than it was before i changed the springs!

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Spot on :)


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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