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The Long Old Road Ahead (Time to Strip!)

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Well its been a long time coming, bought the car Sept/Oct 2005, never really driven it due to the unknown age of the cam belt and stupendous amounts of oil leaking from everywhere along with everything else!!!

Only thing I managed to do in that time was fix the corroded otter switch so the fans would work and snap the old rusted seat botls off so I could fit the Elise seats (Still not fitted just placed!!! :) )

Well having had jet another booring day in work and returning to my cold empty house I thought I'd go tidy the garage!!!! Wow....!!!! Thats what I thought anyways......

Put off the recent thoughts of buying a big american muscle truck (not sure what I was thinking!!!) and thought I'd best focus a little attention to my baby thats all damp and shivering in the garage!!!!

Have to say she looks pretty minging at the moment, severly needing a good wash n wax!!! Moved all the bits of trim I'd already removed and had subsiquently started to go mouldy into the house.... actually the Lotus build room (dining room) within which I have recently turned the heating on to keep all my shiny new bits cosy warm!!!

Whilst I was in there in my best clothes, couldnt be bothered to go change, I decided to start taking the boot floor and side walls out to get a better look at the task ahead!!!!


God its filthy underneath all that lot!!!!!! :)

Condensation in the garage, coupled with a leak has resulted in a very wet floor, started slipping all over the place so had a look underneath.... :( Oil and water everywhere.... what a mess!!!!


Anyways the good news is the turbo bolts even on the exhaust side are looking pretty good, not rusted at all... studs look like they have seen better days but the nuts look as if they have been replaced, service history says its had a new turbo at some time and the heads been off so fingers crossed!!!!

On the Turbo side of thigs, took the air pipe off feeding the turbo to see what the play in the shaft was like, I've got horizontal/vertical and lateral movement :P not good, spins freely and the tips of the blades look in fab condition, smoke on boost tellls a different sotry so I'm guessing as someone bought my Turbo in the sale i'm gonna have to look at getting this one reconditioned.

Another good thing is the Elise seats look fab from back here, bit of a miss match colour with the rest of the interior but toying with the idea of getting the whole lot retrimmed....

Chunky Lover

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oh god theres another one!!!!!!!

i think we should have a section just for us now simon.. lol..

the two simon's

just one thing simon... get yourself some of those plastic trays used for electronic stuff, you can buy a good load of them cheap, then label them and stick the relevent bits in as you take them off.

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Well, good luck Simon. As an engineer I know you'll do fine and it will give you something to do other than staring at you sexy wheels and brakes! :D

Personally I envy you. My dad could easily do what you are about to do, even today, but while he was always encouraging me by showing me how I was always more interested in selling my toy cars to my mates for a healthy mark up! :D

Possibly save your life. Check out this website.


Distributor for 'Every Male' grooming products. (Discounts for any TLF members hairier than I am!)

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Started mine in 2000.. very similar idea of rebuild and it's still not ready but should be next week!! Hoorah.... Finanical ups abd downs marrage break down and time issues took their toll and now finally I'm on the home straight.. I hope you have better luck buddy!!


Mark MacKenzie  Elise S2 135 Sport 

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As GKP said, slippery slope mate, I should know...................

Good luck with it all (I have replied to your PM) and anything you think I may be able to help with just give us a shout.


1981 S3 4.2 V8 6 speed (The Mutant)

Mutant V8 Conversion Thread

Knowledge is power .................... apparently.


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Go Simon Go! :D

Keep us posted - I'll repeat what others have said - slippery slope - but really good to see another G car get the attention she deserves...

1983 Turbo Esprit - Silver - 'Lottie' and 1999 Elise - Norfolk Mustard - 'Liz' Daily driver - 286,000 miles and counting!

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Hats off to those who do big projects, hats off again to those who complete them :D

If I may offer the only advice I would give someone here is don't take too much off in 1 go.

I've had MAJOR probs with parts suppliers not only on the GT3 but with the SE, both of which have encountered months of downtime whilst waiting for stuff. The way I tried to overcome this was to take more off and try and complete other standing sub-projects....however the same happened on pretty much everything I've done and you end up with a load of trees and no forrest (if that makes sense).

Loads of hard work but if you can come out the other side MAN is it a boost - If I can help with any parts etc lemme know, I've got a list of reliable / cheap suppliers for stuff (and sadly a much longer list of time wasters who'd rather not do business).

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Cheers for the support guys!!!!

Jon.... looking to rippout the interior and send it off to lotus after i've decided on colour scheme..... expecting a 2 month ish turn around and when its back I'll store it in the house all nice and warm.....

The engine will be ongoing during this time, whether its a full NEW engine or just a rebuild of the old (nothing wrong with it it just leaks oil!!!!) and a turbo rebuild......

Suspension clean up is your fault!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seen yours and thought i'd be embarrassed to be parked next to you with manky bits behind the mags!!!!!!!

Just priced up new shocks and springs...... blue annodised shocks and springs all round for a shade under

Chunky Lover

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Welcome to the land of the lunatic...every 6 month rebuild I started has typically taken 3 to 5 years!! Best way to paint is to get ALL the panels off the car and the trim off from around the windscreen etc. then you don't get the obvious lines where the masking went. Preparation is the key, and that's what takes all the of the reasons why you can do a better job then the professionals, who have to keep within a reasonable budget. You can spend WEEKS rubbing things down and filling until it's right! A nice pursuit in the summer sunshine....

You can rebuild your own turbo if you want to, it's not that much of a job, but the parts aren't readily available in the UK..I got mine from the USA, cost me about

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

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like you and so many others, i too have my car stripped ready for full respray and new leather interior and like you was sending back to lotus but found that for almost the cost of a lotus retrim i could get the car painted and retrimmed !!

car due back next week and will post pics and i have seen the trimmers work and know that will be A1

good luck and enjoy


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What suspension have you opted for - not the Lotus one ?

You wont regret the POR-15, just remember to keep everything away from sunlight at all times.

Mine's been on a year and it's fine...done the SE as well, best thing to do is take everything off the car and start from there.

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Hi Jon

Was going for Blue Alloy GAZ shocks and springs...... Won't fit!!!! :D Bugger, didn't realise the top mounting on the front is different from 84-85, just thought it was the lower spring pan issue.... never mind...

Scrub that.... looks like i was wrong, just need to sort out different springs.... will update when I've bought them!!!!

Will probably go for the same option as Hilly, know it fits for sure then!!!!

Been in the Garage today, forgot to take my tools up again!! Doh!!!! :( so didn't get to take much apart.....

Thought I'd look at the fuel tank breather pipes as they seem to be a common problem no matter what Esprit you have....

LEW Guide



They weren't broken before I disturbed them but just gently pulling them away and they broke in several places, really hard and basically buggered..... they are now anyways!!! LOL :)

The layout of the pipes looks differnt in G cars so I'll try take plenty of photos and provide an updated guide...

As per most things the header tank is well rotten!!!!


Lucky I bought the upgraded cooling kit....!!!! Brand spanky new one included with the kit!!!! Along with a plastic expansion tank..... Came with about 50 million little bits and pieces and no instructions!!!! :o

Luckily Dave (I think it was Dave) from Lotus forwarded the relevant documentation to me, turned up Saturday... makes more sense now!! LOL

Surprisingly the nuts holding the Turbo to manifold etc etc..... look fairly new, not corroded at all, studs have seen better days but think with a bit of the good old WD40 and a wire brush should come off easy enough..... Knock up tabs securing the Turbo haven't even been used so fingers crossed no snapped studs..... Touch wood!!!!!!


Trying to build a fence at the moment as well, never done it before, doing the whole feather edge thingy, 17 metres of it, so it'll hopefully look kinda pretty... :)

Have to remember to take my tools tomorrow.... when it gets dark, fence erecting is an issue, especially if you want it all straight!!! LOL When the sun goes down it's Esprit time!!!!

Probably soak the studs as soon as I get to the house and keep topping them up with WD for a couple of hours before I look at removing them....!!!!

Just put a Flora tub in the dishwasher, guess it'll come in handy for storing something!!!! :D

Hopefully have a little more done tomorrow........


Edited by Simon350S

Chunky Lover

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my header tank looked like that matey, i cleaned it up and im going to re-coat it.

take off that heatshiel before you try to remove the turbo, makes life easier, keep an eye on the spacers though as they will drop out.

still give the nuts a squirt of wd40 though.also, on the side of the turbo is the small diameter steel oil return pipe, be careful undoing the brass nut, mine was a pig.

i dont know what else to suggest really if i can remember anything i will tell you. and if you want a hand, i can be foreman :D

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When you re-fit the fuel breather hose don't stick them in place with the contact adhesive used to hold the carpet in place as I have a theory that it is the glue which causes the pipe to fall to bits........


1981 S3 4.2 V8 6 speed (The Mutant)

Mutant V8 Conversion Thread

Knowledge is power .................... apparently.


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1st Blood!!!!!

Well it had to happen some time soon... skin off knuckle on middle finger!!!!

Bashed my funny bone..... ain't funny though, it bleedin hurt!!!!

Funny thing is though I've got home dirty!!! Now thats not happened for a very long time and I enjoyed it, even the hard bits..... got me scratching my head, wanting to give up, and then carrying on!!!! :( Wierdo!

Anyways.... 1st off airbox was removed..... was very surprised at what I found

  • Empty chewing gum wrapper
  • 3 x cigarette buts
  • feathers
  • loads of other crap

Didn't get a pic cause my phone was playing up... managed to sort it after but was too late to photo this.

Do passers by poke things through the ears or was the driver just a lucky shot??? Who knows!!!!

Next off was the header tank... Cut off!!!!!!! as all but 2 of the bolts were tossed, closely followed by all the pipework leading down to the thermostat housing, jubilee clips cut off in the process......

New one on me.. must be a new specialist repair material!!!


Electrical tape to fix the coolant hose!!! LOL, it gets worse as under that they'd taped up the aircon pipe, guess they weren't sure what was leaking so taped everything up.... not sure what other technical masterpieces I'll find along this journey!!!! :huh:

Then came the turn of the turbo to part company with the engine....

Wire brushed all nuts and soaked in WD40 for about 4 hours, reapplying several times in between doing other jobs...

As expected, all nuts and bolts came off no problem at all........ apart from one!!!!!!!!!!!! :(:P

Lost my temper a bit with this one.... upper right hand bolt securing the turbo to the manifold... couldn't get a socket on it as the body of the turbo was in the way and stopping me from fully seating the socket....

Having spent ages trying to undo this little bugger with no movement whatsoever, and following a trip to the local (uselessly staffed) halfords store i decided drastic measures needed to be taken......

Thoughts of removing the cross brace that goes between the rear body mounts ontop of the gearbox turned into reality to give me more clearance for.. well... wasn't quite sure at this time but what the hell it was coming off.... quick 2 minute job, 4 bolts and I'll be done!!!!! ummm... well... maybe not!!!!!

Seems the cross brace was under alot of pressure from the chassis and having been able to remove the two inner bolts, removing the two outer ones became a real problem as they just splayed out at an angle half way through removing them cause the chassis had closed up..... quite a bit!!!!!

Anyone else had this problem??

  • Lotus special tool number 1


Both these jacks came in the boot of the Esprit when I bout her and have just come in very handy... Managed to jack the chassis back to the original bolted position and removed the last 2 outer bolts...

Having removed the jacks it seems the chassis wants be over 1cm closer together than the brace allows them to be, holes are no where near lined up...!!! think me has a problem somewhere.. will post in Tech forum in case someone else has come across this before..

Anyways, brace off, back to the remaining turbo bolt...

I could get a ring spanner onto the bolt but there was no way in this world it was going to go anywhere... no possibility of any additional leverage and thought the only way to budge the thing was going to be with a big shock...

Having dropped my pants and exposing myself to said bolt, it still wouldn't budge!!!! So lacking a hammer I went searching the garden for a BIG stone and once found headed back in the garage and constructed this......

  • Lotus special tool Number 2


holding one of the socket ends against the spanner and smacking it with the big rock did the trick.... took a bit of time and thought it was never going to work but after several minutes of gentle persuasion and liberal amounts of WD40 on a regular basis.....



One Turbo!!!! oh the joy of finally getting it off.... 10 mins removing all the other fixings and probably the best part of 1 1/2 hours on this one little bas**rd

Filled with joy, I've now showered and had dinner, off to grab a beer from the fridge... and a plaster for my finger!!!


Edited by Simon350S

Chunky Lover

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i dont know what all the fuss was about... errr.. i'll get my coat.

when you re-fit the header tank and the engine bay liners etc, if you have any corroded rivnuts i have got bags of them here, im only going to need a few and then i can pass them on. massive selection including aluminium.

Edited by bigsi
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