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Overhaul advice


islandbloke

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Hi Folks.

 

Lottie is almost 24 and with over 140k miles (not sure exactly as I replaced the speedo and lost count) and again feels tired, irritable and like she needs a thorough refreshing. The paint Gavin did when he 'borrowed' her for 4 years has faded and bubbled in many places (damp in the spray booth?) so needs redoing (I'm thinking of a wrap to allow more money for mechanical work). Apart from a new head gasket we've left the mechanicals much as he and Garry Kemp upgraded ten years ago.

 

Question is this: as ever I don't have a lot of money to invest, but I'm useless with spanners and need to entrust her to someone (ideally who loves Esprits above easy money) to overhaul. As she shakes and rattles a bit these days, I think I'd like a body-off inspection of the chassis (and any repairs doing) which should also make the other jobs much easier. Fingers crossed her engine and gearbox are still good (although I need a new translator assembly) but I think it's time to fit the new steering rack, cambelt, check the tanks for leaks (again), renew all her brake lines, coolant and heating pipes and hoses etc. Just noticed a pool of oil under the front left side (presume a pipe or the oil cooler).

 

Any advice and a likely budget to allow? If anyone wants to PM me with a recommendation, please feel free. With such a big job I'm happy to take her anywhere in the UK (I'm on the Isle of Man) and leave her with a guru for 2-3 months.

 

Thanks

 

Stu

Proud recipient of the LEF 'Car of the Month Award' February 2008

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: "Wow, what a ride!!"

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Hi Stu

 

I'm not a spanner man either, so I would recommend GST in Newmarket - he brought my Esprit back to life a year ago. Although as to costs, I can't advise, although a body off sounds like it might be a fair bit.

 

Hope you get everything sorted in the new year.

 

Happy Christmas

 

Chris

Edited by ChrisJ
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If you are going to go through suspension, brakes , cooling, steering, fuel system you will go to £5-6k in parts without trying. You can stick £300 on that just for stainless bolts , brackets, clips etc.  Its little bits of wear on lots of things and sadly the only way  to get it peeky and perky is to go through the whole lot ie not just back end of gear linkage but cockpit end as well plus maybe even cables etc.  Only way I justify it myself is it wont need redoing for ages and it will loose a lot less money than spending the same amount on a modern car.

Edited by mdw
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Hi Stu,

 

I am just nearing completion of me 1989 turbo SE (seven years in total) I have spent £10,000 on parts alone plus £2,000 on paint. I have done all the work myself (apart from the paint) so I think you could be looking at a bill that far exceeds the value of the car. Having said that; you will be in essence driving around in a new car. Gerald at GST has been very helpful to me and I couldnt speak more highly of skill and how amiable he is. It is probably worth having a conversation with Gerald to assertain what the scope of the work would be and how much ££££££££££ it might cost........... he is very candid about that sort of thing. 

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Taking the body off is the most major step you can take....and I wouldn't do it unless it was essential. From what you say, I don't think it is. As has been said, once you get to that point and are paying someone else to do the job, it would be cheaper to sell it and buy a better one! Of course, if you're an idiot like me and enjoy grovelling on the floor and dirty fingernails, the economics are different. Shaking and rattling sounds like suspension bushes and body-to-chassis mounting points, especially thos on the rear bulkhead. It's amazing what a few polyurethane bushes can do. Paint is expensive...I spent around £1500 on paint in the early 1990s...and that was just the paint, I sprayed it myself!! I would suggest you sit down an write a list of what problems you have...then take it and the car and get some quotes. Of course, what you ought to do is buy some spanners and learn (!). All you need is the usual complement of body parts, eyesight and brain....it isn't rocket science!

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

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John - I'm not averse to spannering, but inevitably end up with a box of 'spares' after rebuilding anything, and I'm too old to bugger about in this weather on a gravel driveway...so one of my conscious decisions in life is to sometimes take advice from people who know and find an expert you can trust (the reason for the thread). I can probably make more doing what I'm good at than I'd save in doing a maybe substandard job on Lottie - she deserves better.

 

She's still driving well and there's nothing major that I'm aware of - just a number of niggles. I've never cured the fuel smell despite having the tanks and fillers checked and the crossover breather replaced. I suspect a duff sensor somewhere - boost isn't coming on until higher in the rev range. Brake calipers need replacing, oil leak I mentioned in the OP. Bushes were changed for polys less than 10k miles ago, along with new shocks. New exhaust manifold and tyres. I've had the chassis/body mounts modded behind the seats and tightened up, but the body still feels sloppy to me (maybe needs new rubber seals all round too).

 

Of course, if it's silly money I'll just do the bits that need doing - but I seem to remember the body removal/replacement wasn't a huge hours tally and it would seem to make sense with an almost quarter century old car to be able to check everything properly, fix any issues and make sure it's properly nailed back together again. At the back of my mind I was guessing that I'd maybe spend £5k on the project, but it seems that's too little. I'm not looking for a concours garage queen, she's always been a driver. And I promised her when I got her back from Gavin that I'd never sell her again, so that's a complete non-starter - it would be easier for Arthur to give up Excalibur!

 

Reason I asked was that I often see fond comments on a number of jobbing Esprit spanner men within this forum, but as I'm out of the loop of the usual LEF suspects I don't know any of the faces.

Proud recipient of the LEF 'Car of the Month Award' February 2008

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: "Wow, what a ride!!"

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I would also highly recommend GST Performance. I have never been disappointed with the work the team undertake. Gerald has said in many cases they uncover other issues as the car is taken apart. These are the curve balls that can increase a project budget. It's also about future economics - like: If you have the engine out - shouldn't you do the belts and the clutch... you know the sort of thing. I think you would need to budget more than that if you were looking to do a body off restoration - but unless you are looking to make it concours - do you really need to take the body off? Not to mention everything that will be disturbed when you do. To get it "sorted" you may be in with a shout at that budget - to "restore" I think you are out on budget. 

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Thanks Paul. Sorted sounds good!

Proud recipient of the LEF 'Car of the Month Award' February 2008

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: "Wow, what a ride!!"

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More thinking at present Paul!

 

I'm due a couple of quid from a pension and will decide what to do when that modest payday arrives! The consensus here seems to be to leave the body on and address the issues individually. I've also had a restorer recommended here (IOM) so may chat to him too. Maybe an engine out job to check the tanks (they were POR'd 10 years ago), do a major (cambelt) service, change all the hoses and anything else that will be crumbling, stretched or worn-out after 24 years and then go from there. If there's enough money in the pot I'd like to respray her (colour change to something that won't fade as quickly as Calypso), if not a vinyl wrap may be an option as a partial solution.

Proud recipient of the LEF 'Car of the Month Award' February 2008

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: "Wow, what a ride!!"

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