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Windscreen washer bottles and all that!

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As posted elsewhere, my '96 had a front end crash which damaged a few bits and pieces under the bonnet. One was the brake master cylinder fluid reservoir which I have now sorted ( The other weird one that somehow the windscreen washer bottle cap came off and didn't stay in the car. It was the blue plastic clip on type, so to find a replacement...


..and the saga begins. Ha, I do actually have a life but like a dog with a burglar's arse I have ended up getting to grips and digging around on Esprit washer bottles in general.


There are a few threads in here regarding repairing them and also pointing to S J Sportscars who hold stock but as with the brake reservoir I was more intrigued about where they come from and perhaps where else they are used.


This is my washer bottle, you can see that it is the rectangular type but it has a level sensor for the low washer fluid warning lamp:




The missing cap is the same as on the bottle advertised by S J but I didn't want to shell out nearly fifty quid for the whole thing:




eBay is your friend at times like this and I found a cap off of a Land Rover Discovery 2 for a few quid:




Unfortunately it's the wrong inside diameter and doesn't fit. Duh. I should have asked first. So the easy fix didn't work and then I was off investigating. What is this bl**dy thing? Looking at the bottle more closely I noticed that it had a screw thread on the filler neck. Hmmm. Interesting, perhaps these used to have screw on caps? Trawling eBay I find an old one (no sensor but whatever) with a screw cap. It doesn't say what it is off, just "Morris, Austin, kit car, hot rod windscreen washer bottle". Bought for a tenner - it will do as a spare with a mod for the sensor - and delivered:




The cap cleans up fine and I am sorted for now until I can find the right clip on cap at some point:




I'm still intrigued about it though. Was this used on any other cars? Earlier Esprits? Bearing in mind this is my first Lotus and a recent purchase, I haven't really looked at any other Lotuses in detail. There is a thought in the back of my mind that I'm sure I have seen this type before in the past, with the slide on mounting, but where?


Looking at the pump, it has "Tudor Systems Limited" cast into the moulding:




Now that figures, there were three main UK manufacturers of OEM bits like this I believe; Trico, Tudor and Lucas. So it's a Tudor bottle then. Trawling around I find a brand new pump in original packaging which will do as a spare, but it's branded as a Lucas WSB168. Curious. I buy it anyway and it is indeed a Tudor pump:




Looking at the forum again, there is a thread on a bottle for an S4 which is the same type. So I go back in time through all of the Esprit model parts manuals. First the '98 on V8s which had a different bottle completely:




Available from S J too:




Mine is a '96 to '97 V8 but strangely the parts diagram shows a screw on, not a clip on cap. It doesn't show the side of the bottle with the level sensor either:




The part number is C079M601OF. S J list these as "up to 1998" only, which looks right:




The S4 and Sport 300 manual shows the same bottle and part number:




But S J lists the cap for this as "Up to 1996" which makes me think that the '96 - '97's did have the blue plastic cap as standard and the parts diagram was out of date:




The NA, Turbo and SE '88-92 is again the same:




Going back to the Turbo Esprit '80 - '87 we have a change in part number, it was A079M601OF, but the bottle looks the same. Am I right in thinking that the Turbo didn't have the level sensor or a warning light and this is the difference? Perhaps someone can confirm?




S J list this A type, it's the one I originally looked at for the cap. Except it should have a screw on type ;-) The pump they list is old faithful too:




To finish this off, the S1, S2, S2.2 parts book has the same bottle, the A type:




Which kinda confirms my suspicions that I had seen this 1970's vintage bottle way back. Yes, on a Moss Roadster kit car my then girlfriend used to own! So what else was this used on? There must have been other buyers apart from Lotus. I have checked Google Images for washer bottles for most of the UK 1970's car manufacturers:

Aston Martin
Land Rover


Nothing doing. Only one find of something similar which is for a Reliant Scimitar but this has two pumps, presumably for the rear wash/wipe as well:




I can only conclude that this was very much a Tudor aftermarket car accessory shop job? Unless somebody knows different of course...


And what of Tudor? Originally Tudor Accessories Limited, they grew during the 50's and 60's on such upgrades as aftermarket car heaters, sunroofs and so on. Tudor Systems Limited info from Companies House:



Company Number 01694824 Status Dissolved Incorporation Date 27 January 1983 (about 32 years ago) Dissolution Date 21 May 1996 Company Type Private Limited Company Jurisdiction United Kingdom Registered Address
  • B32 3DE
  • United Kingdom
Latest Accounts Date 1993-12-31 Latest Annual Return Date 1994-07-01



It looks as though they might have been bought out by Valeo, the single director and the company secretary have been associated with both organisations. Perhaps the 1996 dissolution had something to do with the change in washer bottle in 1998!



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