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Grahaml

High miles

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I'm looking to get an Esprit.  I've a Porsche 996 at the moment - I posted in the general chat section before.

 

As I am looking at more cars advertised - and reading a little bit more I am not seeing very many high mileage cars around?

 

In many other makes it's not at all unusual to see cars for sale with 100K plus, 150K or even 200K miles on them.  Yet I see Esprits advertised with 40K miles having just had an engine rebuild - and mostly very low miles cars advertised.

 

Should I be wary of higher miles?  What exactly is higher miles on a Lotus engine?

 

Generally it didn't bother me provided the engine had been maintained and ran well;  should I be more wary with Lotus?

 

As an add-on to this question I have seen on other fora threads along the lines of highest miles?

 

What is the highest recorded mileage car in (regular?) use?

 

Many thanks

 

Graham

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Hi Graham and a belated welcome..... I'd say a well maintained 910 engine is more than capable of 100K+ mileage with the correct care and service schedule adherence....  IMO most Esprits having rebuilds with sub 50k miles are probably down to simply being garaged away and off-road for a number of years (mine included!)

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Hi Graham,

Totally agree with Nello, the engine was designed to last at least 100,000 miles and 

many do and more.. premature rebuilds are usually as said due to prevention checks

after long storage times.. The biggest problem is they don't get used enough..  

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I'll just parrot everyone else here- when Lotus was owned by GM to my knowledge the cars were required to clear 100,000 miles without major work being done. I believe the four cylinder cars can do this without any issues. 

 

Some people also rebuild because they want to tinker, or port the cynlinder head or are generally under the impression that the cars aren't good enough the way Lotus delivered them.

 

There's a guy on here whose V8 has cleared a hell of a lot of miles - I think it was over 150,000 miles. Do a search of the forum (his engine HAD been rebuilt though, which isn't sooo surprising)

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Hi Graham

 

My Esprit has about 118,000 miles on it. No rebuild that I'm aware of and it still drives just like it should.

 

Like any car, maintenance and use is key. Things seem to go wrong on them when they don't get used

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Hi Graham,

 

 

On these cars, allow 5K per annum. Anything lower than this is considered low mileage and vice versa. It's odd as we always constantly see Esprits, no mater how old they are at around 60-72K over 15-20 years old.

I would personally go on condition and FSH with supporting receipts and MOT's. There's no point buying a low or mid mileage without supporting documents as you'll be paying a premium without getting the back-up.

 

 

Regards,

 

 

 

 

David

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Most old Esprit's have 60,000 miles on the clock.  This is because they get clocked back by dealers / Owners.  The same cars had 60,000 miles on the clock when they were 4 years old.  I have a load of old car magazines from the early 90s and most of the Esprit Turbo's and X180s for sale in ads had 60,000 miles on the clock then.

So as Dave says get a car that's has a full service history, with plenty of expenditure and that has been regularly used.

 

Also buying a car that's been off the road for many years will also cost a lot to recommission.

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My 87 NA has 124k on the clock and runs well the hc engine with nicosil liners are good for this sort of milage then the coating will have gone and a rebuild will be on the cards.

My 82 turbo has 47k on it and the motor has to come out as i have lost compression on a couple of pots with the iron liners when you put your foot down the carbs inject neat petrol in washing the oil away from the liner piston and you end up with wear at the top of the liner.

The old twin cam suffered the same fate, so a car that has been on long runs will do higher milage with less wear than an engine used for short runs on and off the gas.

andy b

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The speedos are prone to breaking (magnet drops out of position) and some people dont bother to get them replaced - its a fiddly job, and this can mask the true mileage which in turn can work to the benefit of the owner if he plans to sell.

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Like the guys said, it's astounding the number of Esprits that have mid to late 70,000's miles on them. Very very suss. I bought an S4 with 74,000 miles on the clock and I always wondered if it was higher, but it wasn't an issue, she ran like the day she was first built.

 

That said, watch out for wavey Speedo's. It's not a perfect science as some of the speedo's were prone to being a bit wishy washey, but when those old speedo's are clocked it tends to make the Speed dial fluctuate whilst driving.

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That said, watch out for wavey Speedo's. It's not a perfect science as some of the speedo's were prone to being a bit wishy washey, but when those old speedo's are clocked it tends to make the Speed dial fluctuate whilst driving.

Really? I remember being told to always make sure the numbers were in line, but the speedo needle wobbling is usually a problem with the drive, the cable coming loose in the back of the speedo or even the cable itself.

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I was told by the factory it can be and it has been a telltale sign on old cars as well. Maybe it affects it when they remove it to clock it? I wouldn't know, being as mechanical as a hamster....actually a hamster may be more mechanical.

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Thanks for all the advice.  

 

I know what you mean about not liking not being used - that's an issue with Porsche too - the well used cars seem to last much better.

 

It's still strange not to see cars with high mileage advertised for sale - well compared with other makes anyway.  I fell a little more reassured though as I start looking.

 

Just need get my own car ready to move on...

 

I need to get a better look at a few Esprit too - I've never looked at one close up never mind sat ion one or driven one!!

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Mines just gone over 90K, no blue smoke or lack of power, still runs lovely, even better since I fixed the fuel pump problem last year. I use mine all year any weather except snow, went to work in it today.  :D

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Where abouts are you? I'm near south end in Essex. You're always welcome to come over and check mine out/go for a whirl. Only thing is it needs to be a dry day. I don't use it when it's wet as it lives under a cover and I don't want to put it back on wet

Not my picture, nor my car, but it's genuine.

100kmiles.jpg

Mine reads 4,000 odd miles but that's because it had a new speedo. It's all in the history as well as the milage when it was changed.

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A view from the U.S.:

I have seen a decent number of Stevens (1988-91) and the occasional S4 Esprit for sale with 100K+ miles -- they were mostly in Texas and California (warm climate states), and had been used at least for a while as daily drivers.   Seen a couple of 1986-87 Giugiaro Turbos (HCi) with high mileage, too.

With the older (Giugiaro Turbos) and S1/S2 models, you see a lot of rebuilds (especially S1/S2) with lower miles.  I think the longevity of the 9XX engine series definitely improved over the years with revisions to both the car and the engine. 

 

 

Top reasons I've seen for lower mileage rebuilds on 907/910 engines in the U.S. (in no particular order):

 

1)  Want more power.  -  On 907s, higher compression pistons/performance cams, etc.;  on 910s, rebuild to HC spec., etc.

 

2)  Catastrophic failure.   --    Overheating, carburetor fire, cam belt or tensioner failure, loss of oil pressure, etc.;  almost always in conjunction with a poorly maintained car (not just lack of maintenance;  also lack of precision in performing the service) and/or an owner who is not as "aware" of his machine.  (Example:  Not noticing the fans not running, then not noticing the temp gauge skyrocketing, then continuing to drive until the head cracks or engine seizes.)

 

3)  Perfectionists.   --  They start with one little job or imperfection, then "while you're in there" leads to digging deeper and deeper until the whole engine is apart on their workbench.  (Example:  Time for a cam belt/valve adjustment.  Front or rear main seal is also leaking.  Pull the engine.  Ugh, it's dirty.   While it's out, start pulling it apart looking for other things (often in the name of resealing!).  Even though they had a perfectly good running engine, they're machining parts and replacing parts just because they're no longer within tolerances of "new", and the engine happens to be conveniently out of the car and on a stand.  :)

The takeaway from this:   Only a small number of rebuilds I've heard of have been because of general wear.  Neglect, and not closely following the servicing procedures are the primary causes for unintended engine rebuilds.  

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thanks again - USA cars often seem to have higher miles generally - 200K isn't particularly surprising on Porsche forums for 996 or Boxsters (basically the same engine).

 

Thanks also for the offer cammmy - but I am at the oposite end of the country - in Edinburgh.  There's one car not too far from me that the owner is also interested in a 996 so I may be able to meet up and at least we can have a look at each other's cars.  He has a '92 SE high wing.

 

Graham

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996 or a High Wing?!  I know what I'd prefer, grab it while you can!

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There was an article in Autocar a few years back where a guy had taken his 1999 GT3 around the clock twice. I know a 1977 S1 like that too. The Lotus engine is nowhere near as bad as people make out

 

The amount of cars at "just low enough to be reassuring" mileages is very suspect.

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Not my picture, nor my car, but it's genuine.

 

100kmiles.jpg

That pic is old ! She's got another 32,000 on her now :)

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High Wings are rare if they are genuine ones. I'd also recommend looking at the S4 which was the first of the new style (more rounded) and had power steering and ABS and a little more room inside (if you are taller than 6ft this helps).

 

The old wedge shaped (we call them G cars) Turbo Esprits were great and are a good investment as well.

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High Wings are rare if they are genuine ones. I'd also recommend looking at the S4 which was the first of the new style (more rounded) and had power steering and ABS and a little more room inside (if you are taller than 6ft this helps).

 

The old wedge shaped (we call them G cars) Turbo Esprits were great and are a good investment as well.

Has anyone ever rigged an SE with a High Wing? I've seen the opposite happen but not seen THAT much love for the HW.

 

That said, I'd definitely get one. That wing is outrageously cool in the flesh. 

 

Get the HW. No power steering FTW!!!

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Kimbers meant to say 'are great'...

 

+1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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