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1986.5 Lotus Esprit Turbo HC


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Hi All,

I am considering buying a 1986.5 (Manufactured June '86) Lotus Esprit Turbo HC and would like some input on what to watch for.

Some background about me: I have a 1973 MG BGT that I have been restoring and daily driving for about 3 years now, and I will start my first year of college this fall in pursuit of a mechanical engineering degree. My first job was an apprenticeship at a restoration shop for old Alfas, Ferraris, Bugattis, and F1/2/ sports racers with Cosworth DFV, FV, BD, and Ferrari engines. Currently, I work for an electric car startup in Menlo Park, California.

I was riding my bicycle to work (rebuilding MG brakes and differential), and took a side street as a shortcut, and parked in front of someone's house was an Esprit. I went over to look at it, and on the dash was a for sale sign. It said $20,000 or best offer, and being parked on a side street, only 2 other people looked at it. I called the seller and we arranged to meet.

The car appeared to be in excellent condition, with 45,600 miles and a near-perfect pearl white paint job, decent blue leather interior, and no crash history. However, the seller had only driven it 300 miles in 14 years of ownership, and didn't fill it with gas before we met, so the car did not start. The seller didn't have it worked on often, as shown in the paperwork. 2003 fix of entire shift linkage at Lotus dealer for $1300 or so. Other than oil changes, it doesn't seem to have been maintained. He is having a baby and does not want to keep the car. Today he texted me and said that it did start when he put gas in it, and I will drive it tomorrow.

What Esprit-specific issues should I look for? What bargaining points do I have? I noticed that the car could use new tires and maybe some other rubber components. The stereo was unoriginal and I noticed a funky heat shield for a tube in the engine bay that may or may not be original. I will be working on the car myself and would like to have a good idea of the work that I can expect. What parts are not available?

Any replies would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

Zack

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Hi All, I am considering buying a 1986.5 (Manufactured June '86) Lotus Esprit Turbo HC and would like some input on what to watch for. Some background about me: I have a 1973 MG BGT that I h

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Hi welcome to the forum.

 

The car looks great. Correct colour for an HC although I think the bumpers would have been painted same as body colour.

Cam belt should be changed every 2 years regardless of mileage. I wouldnt want to even start the engine until a new belt has been put on.

I would think with no servicing or so little driving over 14 years it might not be the best drive anyway?

Still as long as the owner had no major problems with the car should be a case of servicing a whole lot of the moving parts. How you know this with out starting and driving the car though could be difficult. 

buddsy

 

"Belief is the enemy of knowing" - Crrow777

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Great car to own and with all the perks of the classic turbo esprit looks but with the later much improved engine,  The HC engine is very well sought after. 

Good luck with the purchase and if it turns out to be a decent car i would snap this one up pronto :thumbup:

A

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Little rocker switch on mine under the dash is for the electric aerial.

An 1985+ MY should have body coloured bumpers, however it has the normal Lotus badge, so maybe an earlier car.

As Buddsy says - do not start the engine until the cam belt has been changed. The cars benefit from being driven. Sitting around will not have done it any good.

 

 

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Welcome to TLF Zack. :welcome:

Looks like a great car, but it may well have some underlying issues from not having been driven, 300 miles in 14 years works out to 0.4 miles per week. I can't understand why he would not have driven it in that time. Can't have been having a baby for 14 years I wouldn't have thought. Like others have said, the cam belt for starters. If you decide to drive it without getting the owner to get that done, it would be a gamble. And it could be an expensive one.

Any questions or issues with using the forums, feel free to ask one of us mods. We're here to help . :)  

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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Welcome Zack, truly awesome car and appreciating classic!

Anything you need please don't hesitate to ask!

 

Possibly save your life. Check out this website.
http://everyman-campaign.org/

 

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

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Thanks for all the replies! The car was driven last week with no issues. So do I have to pull the motor to change the timing belt? Assuming that it's at the front like a Jensen Healey. And is it Bosch K-Jet? What vendors sell parts for this car?

Thanks,

Zack

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Zack thats lovely and cheap as well. You will get all the help you will need on here, not from me I am just good at telling you it's lovely and ahem cheap. 

But as everyone says THE BELTS 

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Belt's, Belt's, Belt's. Regardless if the current owner took a chance driving her last week. Nice find and a bargain, but Belts, Belt's, Belt's.

Take out full membership on the forum and you will be able to download the manual's. And as said, the guys on here have done it, worn the "T" shirt and know how to fix it so you are in the right place for starters.

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9 hours ago, Dan E said:

John the belts mention the belts 

Dam, did I forget to mention the belt's. Thanks for the reminder Dan. Change the belts first.

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Believe it is a Bosch K jet - similar system to a golf gti mk2 16 valve I think. It has a non standard exhaust on it by the look of the back box (single tail pipe instead of twin) - first thing to do as everyone says is change the belts - this can be done in situ - also worth checking fuel tanks for corrosion and change lots of the rubber bits (especially the fuel hoses). If it is a K-jet system, I would also change any sensors.  

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IIRC   Bosch k Jetronic was on the MK1 golf GT1  and was made up of that horrible fuel metreing bowl with all the fuel lines coming out of the top,  Sadly when it went wrong it was an absolute bugger to sort :)

A

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On 20/07/2017 at 17:38, zack73gt said:

Assuming that it's at the front like a Jensen Healey. And is it Bosch K-Jet? What vendors sell parts for this car?

Well the belt is at the front of the engine but as the engine is behind the driver its not so easy.

http://www.lotusespritturbo.com/Lotus_Esprit_Essex_Engine.jpg

Can be done in situ though and is not too bad to DIY.

This forum sells parts and so does SJ Sports car, Lotus Bits and PNM Engineering all in the UK. In the US a lot of people use JAE Parts I believe.

 

buddsy 

 

"Belief is the enemy of knowing" - Crrow777

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I think someone on here ? @Changes posted on how to do the timing belt and to set up verniers on these engines. If you search the forum you are bound to find it. 

I think the rule of thumb is if you only have to do the timing belt, do it in situ, if you have one or two other big jobs in the engine bay, the clutch for example, take it out. 

Normally Aspirated - and lovin' it!

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Hi All,

I test drove the car today. It was a bit reluctant to start with old gas, but eventually cleared its throat after a minute or two of idling once it got new gas. Drove surprisingly well; it had a comfortable ride yet was completely agile. Had a couple of issues though: broken horn, headlights stuck down, reverse gear a bit finicky, and I barely fit in it (6'5", 155lb). Any other tall guys drive Lotus Esprits? Once I buy it I will immediately change the timing belt and tires. Exciting day!

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Zack,  Glad the test drive went ok,  seriously though, i would not run the engine again until the belts are changed, it will be pushing your luck and will end up been very expensive to repair.   But pleased the test drive went well,  6.5 in the old esprits is pushing it height wise but you could always look at new more compact seats to fit and store the old ones.   I think elise seats would give more room from some posts i have seen. 

But hopefully some other more taller g esprit owners will chime in with their recomendations as its not a problem i have ever had as i am a sprite who can crawl into the esprit engine bay lol.

 

A

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