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Jacques

The story of Little Red Riding Hood

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Once upon a time, far North in the Cold Scandinavia, there was an Esprit called Little Red Riding Hood. As time flew, she grew up to be a very pretty sportscar, but she did not feel right at home. Winters were Cold, dark and harsh, so one day she decided to move to Denmark and settle Down there. Enter me. Therefore this thread.

 

Update::

For the last few days I've been working on a set of rather shabby OZ Futura's in the very nice dimension of 17" * 8,5" front, and 18" * 10" for the rear; so it's European sized Futura's. They happen to fill out Little Red Riding Hood's Wheel Arches quite well, So I better take them apart, renovate them and bring them back to their former glory, so that Little Red Riding Hood can look pretty, if she will visit her grandmother. Thanks goes to Bibs, for making this possible, as he did all the heavy Work of picking them up in the UK, pack them and ship them all the way to Denmark to suit Little Red Riding Hood. You know: girls and shoes... ;)

 

I started out with this:

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Nobody does it better - than Lotus ;)

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Then I drove to the other end of this Island, to meet a wild man from Down Under WHO happen to be specialist in Wheel repairing. He put each of the Wheels on a machine and showed me that they are not radial and they don't run true. Now that, I cannot present to Little Red Riding Hood, so I left them with him, so he could sort out the problems, including repairing all the Little dents and marks on the outer lips.

A few weeks later I picked them up from the Australian guy, WHO must be a very sensible man, as he drives Laverda (like me), and we agreed that I take them home and Work on them as much as I can, and let him put them back together, as he have the Machinery to balance them out as close to zero, as possible, which I can not. The reassembly in itself is no big deal, but since I suspect that Little Red Riding Hood will run real fast when she wil have her new shoes, I prefer to make them as good as can be.

Centers off, bolts and nuts off, inner part (the star) off, pack it all up and home.

Here, I now concentrated on stripping off the destroyed corroded cracked clear coat on the outer lips, using Nitromors as paintstripper. Working outdoor with breath-protection, acid gloves and special glasses. It took 2.5 Liter of the acid to take most of the clear coat off, and three days in total. Quite much harder than I expected.

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Here's a rim on acid (well real acid, not the music one), followed by what it looks like now.

Then I concentrated on the bolts and nuts, which all had screwlock on threads, and lot's of burnt brakepad dust and some rust.

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Nobody does it better - than Lotus ;)

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Then I took the advice on here, and cleaned up every single bolt and nut with 6 times of washing them in good quality Wheel cleaner, followed but inserting a bolt in my cordless drill, and cleaning it with the green pad, as can be seen on the above Picture. Then reverse the bolt, so that the thread is now in the drill, and clean Again. That takes some hours...

Then I drove to a Lotus friend on the other end of this Island, and he got me some really serious acid (still not the music type), called flusacid (don't know any other name), and the I sank each nut into the acit for a couple of minutes. Be carefull, as this acid is so strong, that it eats skin, flesh and bones, should you come in contact with it. Outdoor, mask, gloves and glasses plus extra clothes.

Then I washed every of the 150 nuts 6 times under rinning Cold Water, and hanged them to dry for an hour.

Then the door bell rang, and the postman brought me a nice package containing the story of Little Red Riding Hood's brothers and sisters. I'm sure she'll be very happy about it.

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Nobody does it better - than Lotus ;)

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Ups: Here's the acid. Nasty stuff. Can't recommend it to others to be honest. But it is really efficient.

To my amazement, I noticed that all the nuts had gone rusty. So I sprayed them liberally with wd40 and cleaned them up, one by one, with a toothbrush, and then Again with a towel.

This is how they look after some 9 hours of work:

 


Couldn't resist it, so here are the finished article to bolt together the Futura's, once they are ready:

 

To be continued

Jacques (and Little Red Riding Hood)

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New saddles.

In order for me to fit Little Red Riding Hood propperly when she blazes ahead, I decided to change the seats for something else that would hold me firm, and preferably not as comfortable as the original ones.

So I looked here and there, and someone off here came up with a set of Sport 300 seats for sale, including the subframes.

They looked okay when they arrived here by truck, but the leather were light Brown, and some alcantara in the middle. As Little Red Riding Hood have all Magnolia leather interrior including the sunroof and roof trim, and I want to stick with that, I took the leap, and delivered them to a professional trimmer in Copenhagen, IM Autosadelmager. I asked him if he could redo the saddles for Little Red Riding Hood, and surely he could, but I would have to look carefully at all the options and quality of leather. So we did, and I chose a colour as near the original as possible, and that happened to be their best quality, which is processed more, is a bit thicker, and should last longer, virtually for a few decades.

I testfitted the retrimmed Sport 300 seats, and they fit okay, while the centertunnel of Little Red Riding Hood is a bit wider than the later sisters, therefore not leaving room for say the Recaro option (comfort model seats), with out being quite squeezed. Never mind, they fit, and I started on looking at the mounting. Naturally, the factory chose to move the drillings in the floor, so that it does not fit.

I then had a friend weld in some seriously thick steel plated to be able to measure up new holes. Then cut it Down to size and sandblast the lot and then powdercoat it al in satin Black powdercoat.

 

 

 

 

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Then followed by some more fiddleing, because my super stable welded on plates cannot be there because of the Deep rounded shape of the Sport 300 seat dhape.. More angle grinder, filing and sanding, and then off to the welder to have new 8mm bolte welded in as per the original (which is now cut off.).

Little Red Riding Hood have eaten wll, and is a bit fat around the waist, so she's on a diet to get fore fit for the job. Therefore I ordered some nice titanium 6al4v bolts for the frames (not to the floor), and some Black aluminum washers to bolt together the frames and the seats. Total weight saving on the seats, frames and bolts etc are 10,328 kilo.

I took a trip around the countryside in a propper speed, so I could relearn Little Red Riding Hoods computer how to give more HP's, and I can report back, that the seats hold me much better than the original SE seats. They clamp better, and still feel comfortable (well sort of), and the also support the upper torso and a bit on the shoulders. A good idea for someone WHO wants to sit more tight and firm. Highly recommended.

But Little Red Riding Hood is not only a bit fat, she also enjoys the sun to a degree, that she have fainted floormats and they are even beige. After sitting in the car twice, they goes from beige to Black, and to resolve this, I have ordered a new set of red floormats for Little Red Riding Hood. She is now well chuffed ;)

But now the carpets look fainted and dull, so I better order a fresh set of red carpets. I only have to find someone WHO can make the bindings in leather and not thread. Hmm... more Things to solve, so more later.

 

Jacques.

 

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Nobody does it better - than Lotus ;)

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A question on the acid - why not use off-the-shelf phosphoric acid? I am also a 'recover' metal parts where needed/possible, just wonder why the no-doubt 6 molar acid. Always keen to get a better result.

Iain

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Hi Ian, Since it's probably safer to Work with, I'll try that NeXT time, in stead of the hydrofluoric acid I used this time. Really nasty. As far as I know, phisphoric Acis is also an ingredient in Cola, and probably why it can remove rust.

 

Cheers,

Jacques.


Nobody does it better - than Lotus ;)

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Well the diet for Little Red Riding Hood goes on, and this time I looked at the airbox, which is well constructed glassfiber. SOme years ago, it was possible to get some real nice parts for the Esprits, and since then it kind of vanished into the abyss. So, I called around, and asked if someone could still deliver me a lightweight carbon airbox. Sorry sir, but no, was the general answer.. But finally, I found a British Company, WHO still had the mould, and was willing to make another carbon airbox. As can be seen, t is very well made, and the enduser have to drill the holes and add some small strips of protection rubber, to avoid the mounting making cracks in the carbon.

New brackets was also ordered, and some nice new bolts and washers.

I chose not to reconnect the crankcase breather into the new airbox. A filter on that in stead.

Little Red Riding Hood saved another 346 grams, theoriginal weighing 742 grams.

It comes very well packed.

While at it, I slot in a new sealing ring and a K&N airfilter, so Little Red Riding Hood can breathe a bit better..

This is how it looks like.

 

Cheers,

Jacques.

 

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Nobody does it better - than Lotus ;)

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As can be seen on the above Picture, I also sneaked in a BOV. Real easy to install. The problem is, that I don't really kno how I can be sure of when the BOV let go of the excess air. It would be nice to know, so I can avoid a loss of HP's. Still, I have been driving around with it, propperly tightened, and it seems to Work well. Hopefully opens up the breath of Little Red Riding Hood, so the turbo spools up faster, which it surely does. And hopefully a bit longer life of the turbo as well.

The silicone hose is way too wide, but that is easily remidied with a scissor. It does not reuse the pressure into the airbox, but vents free.

The problem on gearshifting the Little Red Riding Hood is more than just cable adjustment and a reworked bearing Tower, it is also this gearstick, that misses a guidepin and has a worn out nylon spacer the the reverse inhibitor.

The inhibitor is okay, but i slottet in a new one, had a nes nylon spacer and two new guide pins slightly thicker (to take up a bit slack) made by a friend WHO is good on a lathe. I loctited the spacer in, and since Little Red Riding Hoods rubber boot under the gear leather gaiter was Loose, I secured it with the original clamping ring and new screws.

While at it, the dietprogramme for Little Red Riding Hood, I decided to make a carbon inner gearstick. Saves another 192 grams. It now shifts smoothly and nicely with all gears and reverse in place ;)   (couldn't find reverse and first before, only with a bit of searching and violence).

Here is how it looks.

 

More to follow,

Jacques and Little Red Riding Hood.

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While it is now possible to take off and blast away in Little Red Riding Hood, it's really not been possible to stop her Again, since she moved to Denmark after I bought her.

In order to remedy that, and since installing bigger brakes is illegal in my country, I first changed the brake fluid for some fresh DOT4 from AP with a fractin higher wet boiling point. That didn't help much and I then took all four brake calipers apart, cleaned them up, lubricated them, and put them back together. That didn't help much, so I took the brake pads out, and they were not worn, sanden them lightly and back in. But that didn't help much either. I looked at the brake vacuum system, and it's tight and Works, so that didn't help much either. Finally, I bought some nice new brake pads for street use, and bedded them in over 100 kilometers of country side driving and braking. That helped, and they are now working very nicely, and to my immediate satisfaction.

Although Big AP's are on the wishing list for Christmas, I first have to convince the local authorities that they should approve the big AP's (and before buying them). Then have it written on the registration certifivate. Only then they are also approved by the Insurance as well. But that is futire plans.

For now, Little Red Riding Hood can brake Again.

To back that up I opted for going on to bigger Wheels, and to be able to get fresh tires together with a lower profile to aid steering.

I sourced a fresh set of AWI Monoblocs and got the fronts off here (thanks), in a nice new powdercoating that matches the metal flake size on the original paint. These Wheels needed steering adjustment , so I did that too, after having added some new Toyo Proxes T1-Sport assymetric tires. They are soft and stick well, they don't tramline,a nd steer very well in my Humble view.

Since the fronts are 8,5" * 17" with 235/40-17ZR and the rears are 10" * 18" with 285/35-18ZR,they fit exactly under the Arches. I've been told that 295/40-18ZR can sneak in also, but that is for the Futura's I am working on right now.

 

More later,

Jacques.

 

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Nobody does it better - than Lotus ;)

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Fuel smell. Hmm, all the way from Stockholm to Copenhagen. That gives a headache. So one of the first Things I did to Little Red Rifing Hood was changing the fuel vent hoses between the tanks, which are already changed to aluminium. Since the fuel vent hose tends to fall Down, I glued in a few bits of velcro on the c-pilars, and likewise on the fuel vent hose. No more Falling Down, and no more fuel smell inside or outside.

Then I decided to change the fuelline (well one at least), as it is 24 year old plastic, and they rotted up from the inside on my Corrado. So better do it now. Easily, there was a kit with the parts to do it. The other fuelline will be changed too later on.

Fresh fuel filter and Little Red Riding Hood feels jsut fine.

 

 

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Hmm, okay, so I also changed all the brackets in the engine compartment, so they are fresh Again,. and a few bolts here and there. But the chargecooler did not really get cool, so I took the chargecooler pump out and hada look at it. No leaks, no problems to be seen, but on closer inspection I noticed that the two hoses to the Behrer chargecooler were put on wrong. Swap and it worked. Anyway, since I've read so much on the chargecoolerpump being unreliable in one way or another, I also opted to leave it off, plug it and install an Electric chargecoolerpump. I ran plus and minus wires with a fuse on the plus near battery, isoleated tehm with thick silicone hose protection and then a plastic cover outside, and ran it to a relay and connected that to the two solenoids on top left side of the engine realy plate; plus connected it to the new Electric pump and extended one of the hoses a bit to resch the pump no Witting near the coil pack, plus routing wires along the other wires on the lower edge of the manifold and together with other wires through existing holes in the body, to the Electric plate.

Then just refilling the system with fresh cooling fluid plus bleeding the system and look if the coolant actually runs around the system.

Now, there was a surprise: more power! A lot actually. The Little Red Riding Hood didn't actualy feel slow before, but now she leaps forward with wheelspin and drifting to both sides. Impressive how much power that small chargecooler can release.

Most pleased!

Hmm... better get a different diff.

 

Jacques.

 

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Tiem for normal service items, such as oilfilter, engine oil, gearbox oil, airfilter and sparkplugs. While doing that, I also changed all the drain and filler plugs, so they are fresh, because they looked real sorry for themselves being corroded, stained, and twisted, so it became fiddly job taking them off. Since I suspect that it have to be done fairly often, I'd better change them all now.

Then off to the spline of Little Red Riding Hood. It was red and old, and there seems to be various sayings on the subject of changing the clutch hose. I thought that it wouldn't probably not get heated up so much that it bursts or inhibits the clutch function, but at least from old age, it should be changed, so I opted for a braided kit, and then I noteced that the hose fittings are bigger than the standard items, making it impossible to slide through the holes in the chassis. Grrr.. The dealer told me, he'd fitted tehm just fine 7 times, but okay, them exactly my chassis seems to be a one off, because I measured a minus of 2.5 mm. I'd say a quite bad kit, as the fittings are pressed on. I would have prefered something better that can be taken apart and repaired in hte future.

I took Sparkys advice, and filed it Down in one end (the rear one), so it went right through the chassis. Them some new rubber protection to go. And finally cleaning the underside of the car.

Refilling the clutch system with fresh DOT 4, and bleeding it plenty of times. Then leaving it overnight, and rebleeding it a few times NeXT day, and all was fine, Better gearchange! and much better feeling with the clutch.

Most pleased and so is Little Red Riding Hood.

 

Jacques.

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Nobody does it better - than Lotus ;)

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Been working 6 hours today on one of the new shoes for Little Red Riding Hood, so she can go propperly dressed.

I started up as above with taking off the clearcoat, then moved on to sanding by hand with 120 grit, then 220, 280, 320, 400, 600, 800, 1000 and then polishing a bit with autosol and a rag. There's still a lot to be done, so as can be seen in the last Picture, it's not reassembeled, just laid up to give an idea of what it will become. Next is the other 3 Wheels, and then seperating the barrels and outer lips, glass blasting and then powdercoating them in silver. More later.

 

General comments and Ideas of a better method are most wellcome. Also I would like to be better in removing the last bit of scars, so ideas on this are also most wellcome. I dumped the idea of a drill with a polishing Wheel on, as it takes the same time, and by doing it all by hand, I have better control and no dings. So 6 hours of polishing, and I'll rest my arms and go take a swim ;)

 

Cheers,

Jacques.

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Very nice, much better :D


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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Thanks Iain, I'm working on it. No skills to match you paint though!

Anyway, I did one rear today, so I sanded it by hand for 8 hours. Will polish some more tomorrow, as my arms are a bit weary.

Here's a pic:

 

Cheers,

Jacques.

 

 

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looks great .just doing the outer rims on my se wheels so know how you feel .Mike

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Thanks Mike. Are you polishing them? I need to refurb mine as well some time. I was thinking on paintstripping them, sanding them thoroughly, and then sending them out to be golden anodized. Sounds crazy, but this American video with a guy in a red SE, have his Wheels made something like that. Looks really good to my eye.

What is your take on this?

 

Cheers,

Jacques.


Nobody does it better - than Lotus ;)

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Little Red Riding Hood demands some attention, so I decided that I would improve the front end a bit, by installing a later model front lip. A small improvement in guiding air should come out of this. Anyway, it's very thin and I put in on mostly for looks, as I find the front bumper a bit high off the ground, and it also protects the bumper from, well... bumps.

 

Little Red Riding Hood have developed some rettleing, and one of those I've traced to a broken exhaust hanger. Made of stainless steel, I still thought it could be made better and had it strenghened as can be seen. The exhaust clamps were really rusty and being nasty u-clamps that deforms the exhaust tubes without sealing them. I imediately took them off and replaced them with lighter better clamping propper hardware (in stainless). Saves another 67 grams.

 

The headlights were okay, but to help Little Red Riding Hood see better when passing through the dark forest, I got a set of new headlamps, stainless backing plates and hardware and some new philips extreme bulbs. Really good light on her now. Well chuffed.

But the main beam didn't really Work, so I took the stalk apart and repaired it. It fell apart two more times, so I got a new light stalk, and all is good now.

 

More later.

Jacques.

 

 

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Headlamps look awesome Jacques, a job for me soon. Where did you get the lamps and the backing plates from? Are both lamps convex?

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