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Esprit Turbo project car - part3 - the further continuation


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29 minutes ago, jonwat said:

Using an oil filled grease gun can get very messy & I though I'd save him the expense of buying one 😀

Thanks John. Mine has been modified to take the grease nipples. I have got a new grease gun on the way with a flexible end. Should be pretty easy to top up using this method. The nipples can be accessed by just turning the steering wheel.

Grease gun £10 on ebay.

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2 minutes ago, Lotusfab said:

Mine has been modified to take the grease nipples.

You mean someone removed the bolts and screwed in grease nipples?  Wow.

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British Fart to Florida, Nude to New York, Dunce to Denmark, Numpty to Newfoundland.  And Shitfaced Silly Sod to Sweden.

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For what its worth I drive this car in the wet. Whilst I had the wheels off I had a chance to inspect the chassis and other components. I found the callipers which were plated then painted are in excellent condition, as are all the POR 15 coated parts. The powder coated parts are still pretty good. The new ball joints, which were all new, already have surface corrosion. I have cleaned them up and applied ACF 50. I think a more permanent solution would be lacquer or paint. I have found even the stainless parts have signs of corrosion. Basically plated parts are corroding whilst anything painted seems good. Esprits seem to degrade pretty quickly when used in wet conditions. Of course you won’t see any of this unless its on a ramp or you get the wheels off.

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I was chatting to Matt Watts about preservation on Esprits earlier last week Fabian, I was just saying the ice cold weather caused condensation on my JPS and some of the new plated bolts have gone slightly cloudy.

Things aren’t made like they used to be, he coats all his fastenings in a form of hand paint lacquer. I can find out which brand but he swears by it.

Like you the painted stuff out lasts other items so I’m going to revisit mine and paint my fastenings I think.

They need to be used but also maintained so you can enjoy knowing your investment isn’t disappearing beneath you. 👍🏻
Dave :)  

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Do or do not, there is no try! 

 

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As a grease nipple has a spring loaded ball to prevent water ingress/ lubricant egress, I don't see much point in swapping in & out blanking plugs.   TBH There's far more contamination risk via the top trunnion seals.    Keep a dedicated gun filled with EP90 and give them a charge every couple of months to force out the old oil rather than just drizzling in oil to top the things up.  (Oil is fed to the bottom of the trunion, from a drilling in the upright and effectively changes the oil, by pushing past the top seal when charging using pressure).

Does anyone remember the failrly common sight of Morris Minors by the side of the road with a collapsed trunnion?      

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Back when I ran a classic Elan ( oh, the joy! ) it was EP90 via PVC hose off an oilcan for me, easily done routine. As to alignment I concur with Fabian on how workable it can be for the conscientious owner to adjust settings. I tweaked both front caster and rear tracking quite successfully by way of simple methods like centreline based measurements to the pickup points out aft, a simple shimming of the upper arms balljoints out front. Adjustments made, positive seat of pants results were immediately realised, and later checking by a pro shop with instruments confirmed targets hit with precision.

On caster I would offer some insights from the outcome on the Elan, not necessarily useful given the difference between those and Esprit. After progressive tweaking of the suspension settings to harmonise with uprated wheels/tyres I'd gained performance but found the car wanting in terms of high speed tracking and steering feel. This was with caster at a quite minimal level I don't now recall in absolute detail. It was when I bumped the caster up to something on the order of 3.5 degrees that the car came good, imparting great feedback as traction limits were approached and tactile sense of front tyre loading through all cornering. FWIW.

Cheers

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6 hours ago, 910Esprit said:

 

Does anyone remember the failrly common sight of Morris Minors by the side of the road with a collapsed trunnion?      

I remember seeing a few Triumph Heralds back in the day with collapsed suspension. They used these trunnions. Many of the 60's race cars at Classic Team Lotus also used them!

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46 minutes ago, Andyww said:

I remember seeing a few Triumph Heralds back in the day with collapsed suspension. They used these trunnions. Many of the 60's race cars at Classic Team Lotus also used them!

That was central to the revised advice shifting off grease and onto EP oil, as I understand.

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After a comprehensive heating test I discovered its actually working. I hadn’t looked in much detail at the diagram in the manual and the heater settings - I haven’t really used the heater much until now.  The Max setting is actually off! The heater only works when the selector is between interior and screen. More importantly hot air only comes out from the screen vents and into the footwell. After a discussion with Andy on here I got to the bottom of why it didn’t feel hot enough, most of the heat was coming from the screen vents. Two bits of 1 1/2 pipe were missing from underneath that direct air to your feet! I don’t remember these being installed when I took it apart. They are hidden pretty well in the diagram! New pipe on the way and will be installed soon.

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On 03/01/2021 at 11:35, Lotusfab said:

I did that with the S1. The main stream companies know nothing about aligning an Esprit chassis. I got them to measure it and then took it away and shimmed it myself and brought it back for a final check.

I had an align check done on this, but the same problem they haven't got a clue what they are doing. I trust my own readings more than theirs. Plus I don’t damage the wheels buy strapping on laser targets. 
In fact Kwik fit damaged my Land rover chassis and told me it had to be scrapped! I told them I have just rebuilt the entire front end and  they have damaged it by not loosening the chassis bolts prior adjustment- I heard the guy swear as he flattened off the chassis lug with a breaker bar and then he disappeared! I suggested they read the Landrover alignment guide and their alignment screen before they attempt to adjust the alignment on something they don’t understand. In the end I told them to get it off the ramp and never went there again.  I bought and ID tool interface and got a company to adjust it under my supervision, after I had put into tight tolerance mode and calibrated the steering angle. 
I am no longer convinced electronic alignment is any better than the old fashioned ways. Lotus aligned it using parallel bars in the factory. Track cars and F1 still use the old methods. Its a personal choice, but I think because I can spend unlimited time on it in the end my result will be just as good or better. 

 

Remember, it's not only KwikFit that have these machines, and I know of at least one Lotus specialist who uses them. I've had my geo checked twice on a Hunter Machine, by KwikFit, with no damage to the car, or the wheels, whatsoever. The Hunter brain had all the correct specs for an S4s, I checked them before they started the job. I didn't have any adjustments carried out, just the check because I feel KwikFit is not the best place for that, they're more 'get it in, get it out' merchants. Perhaps you should give it one last try just to underline how inaccurate those infernal lasers are, though. In any case, they should have 100% repeatability, which gives a baseline.

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Margate Exotics.

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From memory they didn’t have S1 specs in the system, so they tried to used S3. This was also incorrect and they had to manually overwrite the database figures. I had to calculate a conversion from mm to degrees for each wheel. I still maintain the string method is every bit as good and easily applied. Its still heavily used in racing. In fact in guildford there is a specialist who only uses the string method. His main business is racing car set up. The cx500 split rim wheel and the wolfrace design don’t lend them selves to having targets fitted. Care must be taken when you fit and remove them. The other issue is grease. My S1 was mint until on its first MOT an operative got into it and put a nasty grease mark on the bright orange carpet!  To say I was gutted is an understatement. Now I hate having the conversation about fitting a seat cover and overshoes when I visit. They just don’t appreciate how many thousands of hours these cars have taken to build. Nearly every time I interact with a garage I end up doing remedial work. When I changed the tyres on my split rims I ended up having to dismantle one and rebuild the whole wheel because the chap didn’t use any sugar soap and was trying to seat the tyre using air pressure, as you do on modern wheels. When I heard the tyre slap I dashed in and stopped him but it was too late. The tyre wouldn’t seal because he had damaged my sikaflex seal. It took ages to dismantle, clean and reseal. When I went back I got the manger to put the tyre on and had to explain exactly how to do it with no more than 40 psi and lots of sugar soap. All hassle you don’t need!

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17 hours ago, Lotusfab said:

From memory they didn’t have S1 specs in the system, so they tried to used S3. This was also incorrect and they had to manually overwrite the database figures. I had to calculate a conversion from mm to degrees for each wheel. I still maintain the string method is every bit as good and easily applied. Its still heavily used in racing. In fact in guildford there is a specialist who only uses the string method. His main business is racing car set up. The cx500 split rim wheel and the wolfrace design don’t lend them selves to having targets fitted. Care must be taken when you fit and remove them. The other issue is grease. My S1 was mint until on its first MOT an operative got into it and put a nasty grease mark on the bright orange carpet!  To say I was gutted is an understatement. Now I hate having the conversation about fitting a seat cover and overshoes when I visit. They just don’t appreciate how many thousands of hours these cars have taken to build. Nearly every time I interact with a garage I end up doing remedial work. When I changed the tyres on my split rims I ended up having to dismantle one and rebuild the whole wheel because the chap didn’t use any sugar soap and was trying to seat the tyre using air pressure, as you do on modern wheels. When I heard the tyre slap I dashed in and stopped him but it was too late. The tyre wouldn’t seal because he had damaged my sikaflex seal. It took ages to dismantle, clean and reseal. When I went back I got the manger to put the tyre on and had to explain exactly how to do it with no more than 40 psi and lots of sugar soap. All hassle you don’t need!


Good grief! From this day on, you shall now be known as “Unlucky Alf”.

Margate Exotics.

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I hate taking my cars anywhere to get work done. I remember an episode when I owned a Ferrari 328. HR Owen were having an open day at their service centre in Park Royal and offering free laser alignment checks. Whats not to like, so I signed up.

They ended up dragging an air hose over one of the front wings which scratched it. They (correctly) loaded the car with water-filled containers on the seats before checking, which made the interior dirty. Then, they made the check which showed red (out of spec) on most of the settings. When I examined it later I found the Hunter machine had the wrong settings for the car, it was using the settings for a non-ABS earlier 328 which has different suspension. I phoned them and had a moan, even though it was all a completely free "service".

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Sadly, in my recent experience this kind of ineptitude extends to most services and trades I’ve paid for, be it automotive or house related. Too many times I’ve discovered too late that I seem to know more about how a job should be done properly than the ‘expert’ I’ve employed to do it.

Sometimes I worry that it makes me seem like some kind of pedantic know it all but honestly I’m not. I can just see when something is glaringly wrong, or something I’ve paid an expert trade to do ends up worse than I could have done myself.

It seems there are plenty of people out there passing themselves off as skilled trades when they just aren’t. Perhaps it’s the modern way.

Don’t even start me on people not turning up for appointments or to buy and collect things they say they want...😡

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Not worth starting anything now...🍺

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9 hours ago, eeyoreish said:

Sadly, in my recent experience this kind of ineptitude extends to most services and trades I’ve paid for, be it automotive or house related. Too many times I’ve discovered too late that I seem to know more about how a job should be done properly than the ‘expert’ I’ve employed to do it.

Sometimes I worry that it makes me seem like some kind of pedantic know it all but honestly I’m not. I can just see when something is glaringly wrong, or something I’ve paid an expert trade to do ends up worse than I could have done myself.

It seems there are plenty of people out there passing themselves off as skilled trades when they just aren’t. Perhaps it’s the modern way.

Don’t even start me on people not turning up for appointments or to buy and collect things they say they want...😡

Thats it a a nutshell. I also really don’t like telling people how to do their job, but it seems nearly every time you let them get on with something unsupervised it ends up with a problem that you end up fixing yourself. More disturbingly no one seems to know what they are doing! I find it really frustrating, as in my profession you get checked out every six months and need to be up to date and current with a massive amount of information. If your not you won’t be employed for very long!

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You need to just select your specialists with more care Fab. I'm sure if you took your cars to the place I got my suspension geometry set up it'll be far improved.

I just used your parallel method to get the alignment in shape and to help quantify what was needed still to be done. They took 5 hours and I was there throughout. They worked none stop. The result was perfect, with a spot on thrust line to boot.

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Sounds good. Where I live there is no one who knows these cars. All the specialists seem to be Northampton way. If you added up all the hours I have done sorting the suspension it would probably add up to weeks. I have a Gunson Trackrite camber gauge. I had this car measured using a laser system some time ago. They tried to set the rear camber and front toe. No measurements were in their data base. They spent ages and still managed to set the toe wrong. I had to reset it with a Trackace system I have at home. My camber gauge is very simple and gives consistent readings, but it must be calibrated carefully before use. I stopped using the Trackace and made many measurements and adjustments to the toe using the Lotus method. I used two dowels over two metres long sitting on jacks set to mid wheel height at the front and rear with equally spaced markings. Then two fishing lines one end tied and the other connected to a weight which sits over the dowel. These are adjusted equidistant from each wheel hub to create a rectangle. The measurements are taken with a steel rule. I reckon the accuracy is within 1/2 mm. Which is within the Lotus error spec. In fact they probably wrote the tolerance around the parallel steel bar measurements they used to align the suspension in the factory. The Trackrite camber gauge can also be used to measure caster angle using a little bit of maths. There are lots of guides on youtube so I won’t elaborate. All I will say is my readings both came out within 15 secs before and after shimming with three shims, which is pretty remarkable. Its far easier if you can find a specialist who knows what they are doing and puts some effort in, but I would guess the end result is comparable. I know now my suspension is factory correct. I would not trust any of the companies I have used so far for anything to do with a Lotus suspension. There are a few specialists out there I can think of that could have built my Turbo to my spec and more quickly probably without having to repeat jobs due to their experience. The problem is the cost would have made it totally impractical to build this car. I can imagine how much they would have charged to produce working ski racks! Doing it nearly all myself the restoration costs dwarf that of my S1 and are almost double the cost of  the average Turbo on the market at the moment. That doesn’t include the over 4000 man hours it has taken to construct.

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On 03/01/2021 at 11:35, Lotusfab said:

I did that with the S1. The main stream companies know nothing about aligning an Esprit chassis. I got them to measure it and then took it away and shimmed it myself and brought it back for a final check.

I had an align check done on this, but the same problem they haven't got a clue what they are doing. I trust my own readings more than theirs. Plus I don’t damage the wheels buy strapping on laser targets. 

 

Have a look at this - the Hunter does not damage your wheels -

Here at Lakeside Engineering we are fortunate to have access to the very latest Geometry equipment, it is the Hunter DSP600 which costs in excess of twenty thousand pounds. It is an incredible accurate machine, so much so on windy days we have to work with the door shut to insure consistent reading. it allows us to measure very small adjust so insuring very consistent result. The equipment clamps to the tyres and uses nylon posts to align the equipment to the wheel so insuring the wheels are not chipped or scratched unlike many systems that clamp directly to the wheels with metal brackets.

 

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Margate Exotics.

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The thing is Fabian, you don't seem to have weighed the car. This alone took about 45-60 minutes, with me sat in the car checking my emails. This was before the professional alignment was undertaken.

For me, this is fundamental for obtaining a good geometric set up, when fitting adjustable suspension (ProTechs in my case).

I would suggest you seek out a reputable racing specialist. They often are located at or near to racetracks. Track Torque Racing near York do all the race cars at Croft, my local circuit. They could dial in the figures for my car using the information in the workshop manual.

I'd agree about professional restorers, who naturally will charge a premium to rebuild a car as they have to cover labour costs and make a profit. I would personally charge £20,000 to fully restore an S1 from the ground up just for my labour, based on the time it took me. As you say, doing this once means progress is slower as there is a learning curve on a number of intricate things. Counter to that, I see some professionally restored cars which have missed or have overlooked details. They certainly would not have spent the time on the ski racks. Not in the UK anyway 😆

Based on my costs to rebuild the S1, which I documented to the penny, I shudder to think what your Turbo Esprit has cost if you say it's double the market rate. And if you haven't accounted for all the sundries as I did, spray cans, wet and dry, adhesives etc can account for £3,000 on a full rebuild. It's amazing how much those things add up!

I know the Wolfrace wheels are different from the comps, but given @Chillidoggy comment here's a photo of the wheel alignment devices used when attached to my car.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B7Tq6teB2N9/?igshid=g2ea7jyf0xwk

Edited by Fridge
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Not all the alignment system use those sort of wheel targets. The problems come through carelessness when for example they accidentally bash the wheel whilst fitting them! Not sure why you weigh the car? My s1 readings and Turbo were both taken with me sitting in it when I used the electronic system. Have you ever seen Kwik Fit use the weights to load the suspension?  They do have them (containers filled will water) and also laptops for use with hunter. In fact the start screen tells them to plug the laptop in for some vehicle types. They delete the screen and carry on. The weights and laptops are usually piled up in the corner! 
I am pretty certain you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the two setups on our S1s.  I expect the Turbo will be no different. 

Adverts always sound great. All I can say I my experience whenever anyone else has been involved it has cost a lot of money and resulted in me doing it all again or I haven’t  been happy  - apart from the trimming on the car, which I have to say is perfect and was done by Steve Fulcher. 
 I do intend to let Northampton motor sport tune it on a rolling road. I have reached the limit of what I can do with my equipment. Its so much better than before, but still not good enough.
 

I should add there are some marks on my Cx500 wheel centres as a result of my last trip to the garage from the laser align. I as have marks from where they changed the tyres. The lips were professionally polished and now have scuffs! 

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I was thinking I should have published the cost of this as I went along. I think it would discourage quite a few from restoring. It is frightening how quickly costs escalate. 

My advice is buy the best possible one you can and just enjoy driving it knowing exactly how much you have paid. 

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