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jcslocum

My First Turbo Esprit and the Recommissioning of "Vivian"

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Stop the PRESSES!!  An Esprit with Electrickery problems?!?

 

My engine bay wiring harness is all hacked up with 50% of the wires cut and taped or spliced with crimp connectors. I have been trying to sort it out but it's a real mess:

 

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Well, you get the idea!

 

I have found a used wiring harness here in the USA and it's 100% complete!!  All connectors are present and there has been no splices to it at all. A crap picture but I promise, more to come :-)

 

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Jon - 1984 Esprit Turbo

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I dry fitted the wiring harnesses today and they both are perfect and answered so many questions. With the hacking that had gone on by previous owners/mechanics I had no way to tell what went where and was really scratching my head. So, with the carbs and other bits also dry fitted, I installed the harness to make sure I understood where everything would go. 

All wiring striied out og the engine bay except for the red and black from the Pertronix in the distributor

 

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Nice and clean down in there!!

 

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Some items were a real mystery since I got the car with the engine top end disassembled and most parts just dumped in a box. The new harness cleared up everything. Some of these parts I'm sure could be USA/Federal car unique...

 

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The green circle has vacuum solenoids (Emissions and maybe USA only)   on it and mounts UNDER the plenum not on top. To see how it all wired up, I just placed it up there and everything looks really good. The thermal switch wiring is one of the wires on this vacuum plate, so that was 1 big mystery solved.

 

There are 2 sets of relays in the trunk/coil area. 1 set is fro the engine bay fan and the other for more USA emissions stuff. This area was all chopped up.

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I have them mounted to a piece of plywood for now as I sort it all out as well as have the room to move around while doing a first start. I didn't was the trunk section blocking my view!

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The battery is on the charger overnight and it might just get placed in there today if all goes well!! I hope I don't let the "smoke" out  :-)

 

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Jon - 1984 Esprit Turbo

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Jon, this is incredible work. I remember when this car was on Craigslist (since I am forever 'in the market' to buy an Esprit, but also forever a coward). I look forward to following the rebuild, and then, since I have a brother near DC and work brings me to the area every month or two, you MUST let us know when this beast will be seen in public - cars & coffee, car shows etc. I would drive up from Raleigh for no other reason that to see it in person. Keep it up!

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Well done Jon,  good progress and keep the pictures coming :)


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Thanks for the king words. It has been nearly a year since  I started this project! Hard to believe. But things are still moving forward slowly. I have been away for 3 out of 4 weeks so far this year and that has really slowed me down. Today I was able to get to the shop for a few hours and did the following:

Ran vent lines to both tanks over the rear window. 

Cleaned and added new o ring to speedo drive. 

Reseal rear plate of trans. 

Flush trans case with fresh oil until it ran clean. Filled with new oil and installed speedo drive. 

Cleaned up gear oil mess ?

Cleaned up and installed muffler on freshly powder coated back plate. 

 

Next is to fully install exhaust and turbo. Fabricate hear shield for wastegate. Fabricate pressure tube from turbo to wastegate. 

 

If if I get that done this week, I will be quite happy. No decent pics this weekend. 

Edited by jcslocum

Jon - 1984 Esprit Turbo

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As anyone who has done this, glacial seems to be the pace but even small things seem like BIG accomplishments. I works at the shop for about 4 hours yesterday on Vivian and got a few things finished up.

 

First was to install the speedo cable and make sure the trans was filled properly. That went quickly but was another task checked off the list!!

 

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Then on to relace the rear brake flex lines. Not a hard job but made easier by the fact that the exhaust is off the car. Hard lines are in excellent shape!

 

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Now on to the exhaust. We installed the header system from Alunox a few months ago, and those pics are in an earlier post. We wanted to do an upgrade to the exhaust, se we bought 2-1/2" pipe and my daughter built the full exhaust from Turbo to muffler. Nothing sweeter for a dad than to install and exhaust system fabricated by his daughter. Ultimate bragging rights, right there!!  :-)

 

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Allie installed a V-Band clamp after the flex as well as a O2 sensor bung too. We have a wide band O2 setup with data logging. This will help tune the carbs once running. I already use it on my other cars and it works a treat!!

 

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O2 bung just before the V-Band.

 

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Exhaust system all installed and tightened up. No on to some other small victories.

 

Installed filler neck rings with gaskets underneath and stainless screws.

 

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Like I said, small things feel so good to finally have done.

 

Now on to the shifter slop-removal project. I have never driven this car BUT know that the interaction between the driver and the gearbox is so important. The involvement of shifting a sports car for me is critical to the overall enjoyment. So fist thing was to replace all the plastic/rubber bushings, easy right??  Yeah, until you find that the pivot shaft for the  rocker thingy is worn out and all kinds of wobbly. I don't know how much this would affect the shifting experience, but I have it apart and the mount was easy to take out when I did the motor mounts.

 

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New bushing in Oilite bronze that is slightly large than the old thin sleeve in there.

 

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You can see the range of slop/motion in these 2 pics

 

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The new bush was a wee bit tight on the shaft, so I chucked up some emery paper and honed the ID a bit for the pefect fit. ZERO slop.

 

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That was my Saturday projects, not it's Sunday morning and I'm off to the shop for a few hours. More to come .

 

 

 

Edited by jcslocum
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Jon - 1984 Esprit Turbo

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Sunday didn't turn out the way I planned. Missus Better 7/8ths tempted me into going out for a bit and we didn't return home until late in the day. So, no work on Vivian last Sunday :-( but my Better 7/8ths was quite happy with me so there is always upside to these adventures. 

 

The new distributor has arrived this week. I had done a refresh on the original distributor but didn't like the way it went back together or how it felt once assembled. As I neared the time to start up and get her running, i was worrying about it being an issue. I decided to follow some advice and get a new 123 distributor and I returned home today to find it waiting for me. It's a very nice piece of equipment, made carefully and of very nice materials. I will get it installed this weekend and may be able to get her started up.

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I will have to change the gear on the bottom to the Lotus drive.

 

 

 

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Jon - 1984 Esprit Turbo

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Haha,  Not sure which is harder as reading and following all these restoration threads, the hardest part always seems to be getting time in the garage with the car resto and yet trying to keep the wife happy at the same time :lol:  

Great work on the car by the way Jon :)


A

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Thanks for the encouragement Dan. Yes, the balance of hobby and life can be hard to keep but after 40 years of Missus Better 7/8ths putting up with me, I know the signs... :-)

I travel a bit in the beginning of the year, every year to some industry symposiums and that keeps me away for all but 5 days in January and the first week of Feb. All projects get backed up this time of year and my personal ones like the Lotus really come to a top. It helps with my sanity to keep my hobby moving along. I will get there today and get the new distributor installed. This is a biggie because it allows final fit of the full intake system and that will lead to cranking over and maybe a start for the first time in about 12 years.

 

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Jon - 1984 Esprit Turbo

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12 Years holy cow !   Engine first starts are always awesome,  The strange mixed feelings of worry and excitement rolled into one. :)


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New bushing installed in engine mount bracket. The old bush was quite thin and worn. I chose a larger bushing this time and had to drill the mount oversize.

 

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The shifter linkage bushings were replaced too, none to soon!

 

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Jon - 1984 Esprit Turbo

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Well done Jon,  It is always the smallest of jobs that you think will take five minutes on a lotus that are always the ones that still have you grafting for hours in the garage :)


A

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That is an adaptor off of a V6 ford engine that turns the filter location 90 degrees, so you can remove it easier without spilling oil all over.  The oil filter changes to a different number for the FORD. Quite easy to install and I think I found it on eBay for 20$. 


Jon - 1984 Esprit Turbo

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Some really nice work Jon, good mod on the oil filter also ,  Always nice to see decent quality braided fuel line too :thumbup:


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Sunday:

 

Well......
 
I got the new distributor on Friday and that set me to work at a mad pace Friday night and Saturday to get to the point of firing it up. Today was the day but there were more loose ends to finish; fill cooling system, finish of fuel return line, fit wiring harness, etc....
 
Well I got all that done, installed a battery and and kept a close eye out for smoke. ?   ?  ?  No smoke seen so I attached my remote starter button,  and cranked her to get some oil pumped around. After a bit of cranking, I turned the key on and cranked for real. 
 
It started up as soon as I cranked it for just a few revolutions!!!   It would not run on all 4 cylinders yet and bumbled along on 2-3 and maybe 1 at times. Then it flooded out and I discovered a fuel leak and the battery was getting weak, etc, etc, etc.....
 
So, I have a mostly running Esprit but not running long enough to make a difference or eat any heat into it. The battery is on charge overnight, I have to pull the tops off the carbs to check float height. I set fuel pressure at 5 psi on a 75 psi gauge. Not a good way to do this. I have to find my 10 psi pressure gauge to make sure I get the 4 psi it's supposed to be at.
 
So, more work tomorrow night! 
 
Monday:
 
 
Installed new NGK plugs. Pulled the ones from Sunday and they were wet. I would say black too but there was so little running that I would not say that with confidence.
 
Carbs are new from Dellorto. I have them built like the ROW carbs. 
 
I pulled the tops off last night and checked the float levels. Both carb floats were out of spec too high. That would contribute to the flooding I'm sure. I did not pull the jets yet, but will do so tonight. Set them to 15mm.
 
The spark seems to be weak. Orange at the plug, not a nice blue spark. I will change the coil tonight and see if that makes and improvement. The existing coil is new and a 3.0 ohm flame thrower
 
It is odd that it will start easily isle (rough though) but will not build RPM no matter how much throttle it's given. It won't stall immediately and seems to try to speed up but might/maybe/could be adding maybe 50 rpm just off close throttle. Adjusting the mixture screw make no diff. Adding choke does nothing.
 
What kind of vacuum reading should I be seeing at idle??  I saw maybe -12 to -14 inches of vac. The idle is about 700-850 rpm (maybe) and the turbo is running so there is some blow as well as suck. I would like to see better vac but I have no idea who the turbo effects this.
 
Tonight I will do the following:
 
I think I plugged in the old Lucas rev limiter. I will check that and unplug if plugged in.
Swap in new coil
reset fuel pressure with better gauge.
Test run to see if any improvement.
If no improvement, pull carb tops and check all jets.
 
If this doesn't solve my problems....  Lets not got here.

Jon - 1984 Esprit Turbo

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Hey John, Thanks for the input! I did set TDC and then Static. The distributor is a new 123 ignition where all of the timing setting is done via laptop. 

 

That wasn't the issue though; the LUCAS rev limiter we plugged in!!!  This was interfering with the new ignition. She runs perfectly now after unplugging the little black box on top of the right fuel tank. This is all on me as I reinstalled the rev limiter after refitting the tank. and I plugged it in. I have no idea why since I never intended to use a lucas ignition module again. 

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Jon - 1984 Esprit Turbo

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We have done a lot of work and next week is the goal to have her on the road. I have an oil leak to track down yet and finish up some other small tasks.

 

 

Video of her starting up and running

 

Edited by jcslocum
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Jon - 1984 Esprit Turbo

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OK folks, time for a more complete update of the progress as some things have been happening.

 

First of all, I'm a safety 3rd or at least top 10 mind of guy, and have installed a quick disconnect on the neg battery cable, just in case some smoke wants to come out of the electrical system. This will be the first time a battery has been connected in 12 years and the car is a complete unknown to me.

 

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New distributor installed and ready to be fully wired up. You can see the thing under the intake and the wires coming out. I had to connect a vacuum line to it. The 123ignition distributor is fully electronic, no mechanical or vacuum advance but it want to see what vacuum or boost is being made by the engine. I went to find the piece of vacuum tubing that came off and I find a small bulge in the tube.

 

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The bulge was interesting and not extremely noticeable. But once cut open it reveals a screw jammed FAR down the tube. See the phillips head screw peeking out? How could anyone working in the engine bay recognize this and hope to ever tune/diagnose/fix something going on. WHO does this???

 

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Here is a shot of the rev limiter that was messing up the new ignition and keeping the engine from developing any revs above idle. My OCD made me plug it in when I put the tank back in. Lesson learned...

 

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So after struggling with the no-rev condition and not remembering or considering that the old rev-limiter was plugged in, I pulled the carb tops to check float levels and found them to be set high, way off of the 14.5mm spec. I set them to the proper spec and put the tops back on.

 

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New plugs ready to be gapped and installed.

 

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Soooo start her up and let her get hot and make sure the coolant is getting circulated. After I put the car up on the lift, I see a nice BIG pool of OIL on the floor. The 90* oil filter mount was leaking and now needed to find a fix.

 

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the first thing I see is that the o-ring on the center bolt is very flat and square. Not a good way for it to be sealing.

 

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New seal installed and standing much higher than the old one.

 

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The o-ring for the flat plate to seal on is the actual leak. When I checked this, i could not see any gap between the 2 plates so I think this seal had also gone "flat" and allowed the leak.

 

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I found that an oil filter seal/o-ring fit into the groove perfectly and would allow it to seal just like an oil filter. I installed it into the 90* plate and then put it on the engine and tightenend it up tight. You can see that the 2 pieces do not meet and keep the pressure on the seal. NO more leak!!

 

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Another update to come tomorrow.

 

 

Edited by jcslocum
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Jon - 1984 Esprit Turbo

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