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1977 S1 project Cheese Wedge - Esprit 'Project & Restoration' Room - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
brad2274

1977 S1 project Cheese Wedge

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Wow! Thats a valuable car. Well it will be in the right hands!

I bet that turbo has a weeks worth of lag when it comes in! ;-)

buddsy


 

"Belief is the enemy of knowing" - Crrow777

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Just added engine room pic to main post. To give more context on this ill explain backstory

I purchased this from the 2nd owner, who's had it since 1980, he bought it with about 25 or 26k miles on it from lotus in south FL, i have the receipts. Currently its at 27 something k.

He then put on about a 1000 miles before deciding it was too slow. So then he made an adapter for a weber carb, and then he decided to turbo it. It appears he made a custom manifold and then had some 3 inch stainless welded for downpiping. This connected to a Callaway Systems turbo he bought in 1981, i have the receipt, he paid a LOT for it. This was somehow connected to the weber. He ran it like that for a little bit but wanted a better setup. So next he added a huge oil cooler from a helicopter with stainless braided hoses and a baby intercooler. two scoops were added to the rear and have additional ducting to funnel air through both coolers. Scoop on the right side was made to funnel through a second radiator. Some sort of high performance head gasket was added, along with new timing bits. I'm assuming this is when he added the front spoiler from a turbo esprit, currently owner is looking for original fiberglass bits.

Im not sure if it was run much with this setup, but at some point or the same time, he tried to convert to fuel injection. He took an entire mechanical/electrical system from a VW Sirocco and tried to adapt it to work. this included a custom welded aluminum intake you see in the picture. He told me that he never got it to run quite right on that setup, so the car was pushed aside in probably 1984(plate says 85 for registration in tampa). he said he tuns it over every year and tried to keep it covered, an ill-get-to-it-some-day project. his HOA was making him clear his open sideyard, had to sell his boats n car. Looking at the system, its pretty confusing and doesnt seem complete, not suprised it didnt run well.

Any whoo, i bought it a month or so ago on impulse after selling my E30, popped up on local craigslist and i was the first to get there. Car has been sitting some decades in garage and then side yard. Car is complete aside from body mods, one crack in front fender, i have all original engine bits minus airbox. Frame is solid, only surface rust, bolts arent all frozen. trans shifts into gear but crossgate cable frozen. Interior is complete but water leaked in through windshield edge and rusted a few things, sun faded the cloth.

All in all it's quite the mess but im working through it, everyone told me "oh i bet he blew the engine and parked it" but i was able to jump the solenoid and check. 160 or 165+ psi all 4. So right now ive removed the VW stuff and im working on getting a weber on it this week for ease of starting, and ill go from there.

 

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Braddock,

This is awesome!  I was looking at the photos and thinking I was going to tell you how it will not be too hard to return it to stock.  Don't do that!  Keep that period Turbo and the NACA vents and find a way to make it work.  If someone ever wants to go back to stock, it could be done later, but this too cool not to make it work.  SJ Sportscars can give you an airbox (not sure how it will fit with the aftermarket turbo).

Good luck with the project.  It will be amazing.

Jim

 


Jim McLeskey Richmond, VA USA

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Well before you going to do any thing you are going to have to change the cam belt even before trying to start the engine. Dont even try to turn it over on an old belt.

You are going to have to rebuild the carbs and change plenty of gaskets so I would junk all the extra crap and put it back to original.

Unless you want to spend lots of extra money

buddsy


 

"Belief is the enemy of knowing" - Crrow777

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Love a new project thread. Keep the pics coming!

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There is a chap in the USA who is an S1 specialist. He could give you some advice on how to proceed to get this beauty back in good working condition. @Tony K

buddsy


 

"Belief is the enemy of knowing" - Crrow777

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19 hours ago, 910Esprit said:

That's a hell of a big turbo....  Does it still run?

seems they were used on 80s construction equipment hahah, no not yet!

18 hours ago, Buddsy said:

Wow! Thats a valuable car. Well it will be in the right hands!

I bet that turbo has a weeks worth of lag when it comes in! ;-)

buddsy

i know it would be better if original, but at least the parts are all there!

18 hours ago, dueporte said:

wow very nice color!

wow very nice color!

thanks! i read that only like 7-9 orange esprits came over, cant confirm that though

12 hours ago, jtmco said:

Braddock,

This is awesome!  I was looking at the photos and thinking I was going to tell you how it will not be too hard to return it to stock.  Don't do that!  Keep that period Turbo and the NACA vents and find a way to make it work.  If someone ever wants to go back to stock, it could be done later, but this too cool not to make it work.  SJ Sportscars can give you an airbox (not sure how it will fit with the aftermarket turbo).

Good luck with the project.  It will be amazing.

Jim

 

I'm thinking the same thing, ill paint the vents black, i think the front end would be a pain to convert to orginal. im just going to improve upon the mods done. maybe megasquirt and fuel injection later? who knows

9 hours ago, Buddsy said:

Well before you going to do any thing you are going to have to change the cam belt even before trying to start the engine. Dont even try to turn it over on an old belt.

You are going to have to rebuild the carbs and change plenty of gaskets so I would junk all the extra crap and put it back to original.

Unless you want to spend lots of extra money

buddsy

well im glad it didnt snap during the test, trying to source one now. I rebuilt the original carb already but im going with a single weber/holley 2 barrel for now. i have most of the VW bosch injection system removed now, and orignal manifold mounted with new gaskets. 

2 hours ago, Rolls said:

Love a new project thread. Keep the pics coming!

thanks, ill do my best

1 hour ago, Buddsy said:

There is a chap in the USA who is an S1 specialist. He could give you some advice on how to proceed to get this beauty back in good working condition. @Tony K

buddsy

awesome, ill need some help figuring out how this cooling system is routed from factory, mine is modified a lot

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Welcome to TLF Braddock. :welcome:

Bit of work ahead of you, but looks like it will go well.

You should duck  over to the Introductions area and say hi in there as well. :) 


All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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Braddock,

I would certainly listen to Tony K. KNows his stuff. :) 


All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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On 6/14/2017 at 01:22, Tony K said:

Hi Braddock,  welcome to TLF!

I envy you, as I could not call the seller fast enough.  I would have bought that car sight unseen in a heartbeat. 

There were about six or seven Federal orange S1s sold new in North America, and IIRC four of them were gelcoat cars.  Yours, 126H, is one of them.  Super early car (for a U.S. model), possibly the most desirable color (maybe even more than white?).    As crazy and awesome as those "period modifications" are, if I had that car, I would put it all back to original;  aside from the looks, the engine mounts won't be able to take all that power, and the heat has nowhere to go -- fine in Maine, but not in Florida!

I am happy to provide tech help, etc., as you go about sorting the car.  PM me for my email and phone.

Thanks, @Buddsy for the mention!   :) 

- Tony K. 

yeah i was over there the day after he posted, he was flooded with calls and not very tech savy. Thats good to know, i detail boats part time, t's definitely original gelcoat. the full vin is 77010126H if it helps at all. Im guessing interior type and AC are not part of vin? I will probably not alter the fiberglass mods for now, im sure itd be best to source a front clip from a rusted overseas car, but i agree i wish it was original. i did get the engine cover, cargo cover and original front splitter/spoiler from the previous owner yesterday though.

 

On 6/13/2017 at 19:13, ramjet said:

Welcome to TLF Braddock. :welcome:

Bit of work ahead of you, but looks like it will go well.

You should duck  over to the Introductions area and say hi in there as well. :) 

thanks i will do that!

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Braddock,

Good luck with this - it will be a very worthy project! You live in the town of my birth (I grew up just north of there, in Merritt Island). I hope to see this orange beauty tooling around next time I'm in town!

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Hey Braddock I've a huge attack of the green eyed monster. Def the coolest S1 colour and to find something with interesting period mechanical mods! Don't listen to anyone only yourself (and me) do whatever you want, you seem to have your head screwed on anyway. That heavy looking front bib is the only thing that needs sorting. The S1 is the lightest looking Esprit and has a sort of youthful mischievousness. Everything else on your car is period goodness. You owe it to yourself to test the turbo setup and see how it runs. So cool!

Some convert to Euro bumpers and springs (smaller/lower respectively) but that's all a matter of taste. And at the end of the day like you say, it can all be put back if the notion took.

Good luck with it.

George

PS. I found your car searching for something else on Reddit. You've done a great job on the bodywork compared to before, you should post a couple of the "as was" pics!

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Hi Braddock, just came across your posting - very lucky find and an original tartan interior too !  I'm with @Tony K on reverting to stock engine and fuel system - the S1 is hopelessly under-cooled from a engine ventilation and water cooling perspective. You will have a serious struggle getting it to run with a monster turbo in your climate. Even if you can, it will be a nasty place to sit in traffic.  I love the work the previous owner did, but you will be adding significant value putting it back to standard given the cars rarity.

Great colour, but then I'm biased B-)

Jon. 

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