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Look what Q has brought for us. Isn't it nice ?


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Not looking so good right now Fabian. The interior is in bits in my garage.  The heater matrix started leaking last weekend - just about the worst job on this car I think. Total interior and dashboard disassembly required to extract the heater unit and remove the core from it.  Being a very early S1 it doesn't even have the same heater as the later S1's and S2 cars. 

IMG_4844.JPG.e388622b49c8fd447795ba78c5b

The matrix is completely different - both pipes exit on one corner, and the matrix is unobtainable. The parts manual lists it for my chassis number, but has no diagrams.

It looks like this and the measurements for anybody who needs them are :

275mm long, 155mm high, 56mm deep. Pipes are 5/8" diameter.

IMG_4783.JPG.43986f609430b63e27ca1dbe842

Having measured the core, its remarkably similar to both a Land Rover series 3 and a Capri MK3, but neither are an exact match - both being a little shorter or shallower.  I probably could have made one of them fit (they are only about £55 delivered on eBay), but in the end I found a local radiator repair shop that would make me an exact replacement using this one as a pattern for £135 plus VAT. So, since I NEVER want to do this again, thats what I'm doing.

Yes, I know when I refurbished the heater box I should have replaced the matrix then, but it cleaned up, flushed through and pressure tested ok at the time..

 

 

 

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Well if it helps I find the thought of doing some of these jobs much worse than actually getting on with them. Your half way there! I am about to take both doors to pieces again to rebond the quater glass. A job which took me weeks to do. I keep telling myself within a week I'll have it all back together. Good luck with the reasembly, should be much easier this time.

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44 minutes ago, giorgio67 said:

Is your water valve ok?  

If you need, there is one available from SWLC, I think the last new one in the world.

Giorgio

There is no water valve on the early S1?

Lotus Esprit [meaning] a 1:1 scale Airfix kit with a propensity to catch fire

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Hi Giorgio - I think its only the S2's that had a water valve, my S1's heater has hot water flowing through it permanently - there is no shutoff valve, which contributes to the uncomfortable cabin heat in the summer! The only thing controllable about an S1's heater is the tiny amount of air flowing through it by moving a flap on the heater unit !

Hi Fabian - its certainly a benefit having disassembled the car once already, everything comes apart easily. Despite this and my familiarity with it, it still took a solid three hours to remove the blower unit and pull the matrix. I'd estimate it'll take me a full day to put it back together, getting a good fit on the dashboard, chrome trim, instrument cluster, heater control operation and of course refilling and bleeding the coolant system ensuring no more leaks.  The only saving grace is that I'm using this opportunity to fit a nice little USB charger socket inside the glovebox - much easier access to the fuseboxes with everything stripped out and hidden away so originality isn't compromised.

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47 minutes ago, Lotusfab said:

Well if it helps I find the thought of doing some of these jobs much worse than actually getting on with them. Your half way there! I am about to take both doors to pieces again to rebond the quater glass. A job which took me weeks to do. I keep telling myself within a week I'll have it all back together. Good luck with the reasembly, should be much easier this time.

Agreed - the doors are a real pain to get right alignment everywhere. Replacing the exhaust manifold side engine mounting bush is another job which looks totally impossible with the engine in the car, but I'd downgrade to 'difficult' having done it. I still maintain repairing the heater is the worst one though - mainly because of the need to remove everything just to get to it. PaulC reckons the car was built around the heater.. 

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http://www.thelotuscentreonline.co.uk/epages/sdctukef2v6v.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/sdctukef2v6v/Products/A079P4029F

:cry:      looking at the parts list seems that some cars have the water fitted and others not.

 

Giorgio

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  • 3 weeks later...

Happy to report that I have fitted the custom built replacement core for the heater (very welcome in this cold snap of weather), a new aluminium expansion tank, cap and 10L of fresh coolant later I have a working car again. B-)  Carpet and underfelt have dried out so they'll get refitted at the weekend.  Phew - what a job ..

IMG_7031.jpg.6bc1821c32b37350ba0bf3efa1a

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have wonderes for a long time why some car manufacturers choose to hang a heater matrix down from the ceiling in a string - and then build the entire car around it.  This is a service item after all, and it is NOT neccessary to do it like that.

My first "real" car many years ago was an Opel Ascona A 19SR, that was five years old when I bought it, and I had to change the matrix after a couple of years. The job was done in less than 20 minutes with a single screwdriver: unscrewing three screws and removing a lid on top of the bulkhead in the engine bay.  Under the lid was the matrix, held by a couple of screws and two hose clips - everything easily accessible.  Many years later I helped a friend to replace the matrix in a Lancia Thema. As far as i remember we unhooked a couple of clips on the bulkhead, and had to slide a plate to one side and draw the matrix out on a pair of runners - like a drawer - and unscrew the hose clips.

On the other hand - a month ago I dismantled a BMW five-series E39 and sent the "tub" to the recycler.  In the process I saved lots of parts, and also TRIED to save the matrix.  After removing the entire interior, dashboard, instuments, all wires, air bags, everything, I still was unable to get the matrix out without destroying it.  IMO this is not only unneccessary from the manufacturer.  I think its done to MAKE it difficult/impossible for even a well equipped home mecanic to do, and to secure a steady supply of work for the dealer network.

ON a car like the BMW, a leaking heater matrix will be the death of the car. To have a dealer to perform the operation cost more than the value of the car itself, even in Norway with the prices we have on cars.

But maybe it's me getting cynical and grumpy :o

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It's not just you, I'm cynical and grumpy as well. With a car like an early Esprit, I just accept thats the way of the world, roll my sleeves up and get on with the job. But on an E39 BMW there is simply no excuse for designing in work.  I heard a couple of years ago that a weak spot on the LandRover Discovery is the turbo bearings become noisy and require replacement early life. To remove the turbo's from the engine, the body shell has to be removed from the chassis to gain access! Maybe this isn't true, I never bothered to find out - I also never bought that car for precisely that reason..

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If you think about the design on the Esprit's heater box, it wouldn't be difficult to have made the heater matrix slide into the heater box through a panel on the side of it from the passenger foot well. 

John looks like I've got the same style heater box on my Esprit with the single blower, but my matrix exists through the ends of the matrix not at 90 degrees like your. 

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  • 1 year later...

The only safe place to put the pads on a four-post lift is at the front and rear of the outer sills. The fibreglass there is very strong, but use a material for spreader plates just to make sure.

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  • 2 weeks later...

All back together now with new Protech dampers all round - does anybody have a guideline on how many 'clicks' to set the rate to ? I have the rears set at 4 and the fronts at 5 but it feels quite soft.

It's quite a challenge to get the front springs compressed enough to get all this ...

IMG_7776.thumb.jpg.fa5014d69101fde1c9345d82b3149552.jpg

back to this ...

IMG_7793.thumb.jpg.dfaf33c417c676eb3eb2f4a8d3c4e73f.jpg

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6 minutes ago, jonroberts said:

All back together now with new Protech dampers all round - does anybody have a guideline on how many 'clicks' to set the rate to ? I have the rears set at 4 and the fronts at 5 but it feels quite soft.

It's quite a challenge to get the front springs compressed enough to get all this ...

I think mine all have 4 clicks.

Lotus Esprit [meaning] a 1:1 scale Airfix kit with a propensity to catch fire

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