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95 S4S

95 S4S...Should I buy? Please Advise

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95 S4S    0

Hi Guys,

Im rather new to thr Lotus brand and mid engine but not new to car.

Im looking at a 95 S4S Esprit not far from me. Ive already viewed it once in person. Beautiful machine.

Car is low miles, new pads/rotors, tires, new clutch, new exhaust, and misc other performed this year. However, I have some concerns.

When I got in it there was a wire harness hanging down on passenger side by feet. Recent service noted major electric problem, all shut off in motion!! Codes said 51 and 26 or something. One means excessive vibration in steering column and 51 meant it was in an accident. No accident, I dont think and per carfax, just a bug in the electronic system, which never good but Lotus claims is now fixed. Suspect this related to hanging wire harness.. 

The AC also broken and we know what it needs but current owner elected not to fix when he spent thousands to fix xyz other. Strange but ok.

Carfax clean but new owner bought it this year and now selling this year. Worried more wrong??

The gear shift feels knotted. Not excited about this either. Does it feel better when car on/in motion and is it easier to find gears. Little foot space also terrible for me, over 6ft tall but will manage.

Last concern apart from above is what else should I worry about and does this model year have a bad problem with "snap oversteer"? The 91 Toyota MR2 Turbo is most dangerous car ever built bc of its mid engine snap oversteer problem. Just making sure Lotus is well balanced here. Should I buy it...its flawless otherwise.

Thanks!!

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The Pits    2,649

Welcome to TLF, car doesn't sound great in your description! I might see what others are for sale for comparison.

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Barrykearley    2,836

It all depends on price.

the hanging cable bit is the diagnostic port - and it's normally just tucked away - simple fix that. 

The aircon not working - again dead common in the uk - more of an issue in the states.... check looking through the front valance that the aircon rad isn't deformed as these sag and rot out in the uk.

dont compare these cars to an mr2 - utterly different animal. To spin an esprit you have to be driving badly or on old tyres.

knotted gearshift I would be concerned about - but could be as simple as loose bolts of knackered bearings on the external linkages. 

Good luck - you guys seem to have a lot more choice than us over here with esprits 

 

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ramjet    613

Welcome to TLF Trev. :welcome:

Wait to see what some other people say about the car. Have you asked the owner why he is selling it so quickly?

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

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Barrykearley    2,836
54 minutes ago, ramjet said:

. Have you asked the owner why he is selling it so quickly?

He's probably used a specialist garage and is desperate to sell to stop the foreclosure on his house ...

  • Haha 2

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franjipane    208

Try and drive a few to compare, you'll soon find out which is worth it. Have fun :)

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silverfrost    984

As said by others Trev,   The US has a much better choice of esprits on the market than the UK,    The esprits looks can sometimes make you go into impulse purchases.   Resist the temptation to purchase the first one you look at,  shop around and get a feel for them as Steve says.  

This way you may up with a much nicer car which will help you into a happier start into esprit ownership and may even save you save you a few bucks on the purchase price,  plenty more fish in the sea, especially stateside lol. :thumbup:

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Escape    333

Welcome Trev!

Where did you get the explanation for the error codes? I'm asking because the workshop manual list code 26 as quad drivers (relays, injectors, solenoids) and 51 as a Memcal error (engine ECM). 26 is quite common, though sometimes hard to trace not really a big concern. 51 is serious, if the ECM is malfunctioning this can cause the engine to shut off. But more likely a simple electrical fault, for example a bad ground.

If you're willing (and able) to do some work yourself (a lot of help to found on the forum!) and the car looks good, it could make a good deal if the price is right. It will give a lot of satisfaction to sort it and then enjoy it. But if you're dependent on 'professionals', I agree you need to find one that is in the best possible shape or you're in for some unpleasant surprises.

The gearshift is not the Esprit's strong point, but with good linkage (rebuild is easy and cheap) and properly adjusted, it will be good. As the gearbox oil warms up, shifting gets easier. Old and cold oil will make things worse.

Greetz,

Filip

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qwerty123    54

The oversteer thing can be exacerbated by worn or old rear tyres (not in your case they're new) and poor alignment. Just be cautious of the often cited experience of exiting a roundabout (plenty of camber and direction changes) particularly in the wet and then putting your foot down (big slug of turbo coming in all of a sudden). Worth visiting a skidpan and looking at lift-off oversteer if you are unfamiliar. The Esprit handles superbly, it's a Lotus!

Sounds like a lot of the big mechanicals have been sorted but the finesse stuff like the gearchange mechanism can really make the car annoying to drive if not spot on. Aircon? You probably need it more than me.

Worth getting a tech one tool to read the codes via the dangling obd wire thing you mentioned in the passenger footwell.

Edited by qwerty123

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Kimbers    712

Hi and welcome. You won't ever regret buying an S4S. One of the best Lotus's ever madde IMHO.

But with that sort of work you need it at the right price. My Aircon never held it's gas but I was too much of a cheapskate to have it replaced (Condenser I think) and living in the UK you only need it for 2 weeks a year :)

My recommendation is get it checked fully by a mechanic who knows REAL mechanics (not just a tecnician) and give the guy the list and make a "reasonable offer" based on the cost to repair.

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95 S4S    0

Thanks everyone for the kind and informative feedback. I wish I lived in UK because where I currently reside it reaches 125+ degrees in the Summer!! So A/C and good intercooler are both a must in my area (southern california desert...very fun fast roads!!). Best roads in the world I might add.;)

Ok gents. Here is where Im at with the S4S. The consignment salesman never called me back. Car still for sale and I hope it finds a good owner who will fix and take care of it, and drive it. The car IMO was one of the sexiest automobiles Ive ever seen. Ive seen em all. I wish I could have driven it too, looked like fun. However, this S4S was not worth 35K and foot space a little too bunched up for my big feet. It has under 20k miles but a lot of problems or potential for same. I know car and that car is not up to code nor would I pay more than 10k for it bc unless you get it perfect...wont sell again just bc of the history (accident and severe vibration codes tripped etc). Even if a glitch, not good to have in history.

So, I went back to my first choice. First, know Ive owned most cars and cheap or expensive...I like em all. Well, I just found a rare diamond in the rough and Im so excited. Been searching for 2 years for a decent running model and year. A longgggg story short, a 1996 Dodge Stealth R/T Twin Turbo just went up for sale and I bought it!!

Now for those of you just recovering from a heart attack, haha, let me explain. Dodge Stealth and Mitsubishi 3000GT essentially same car...just minor cosmetic changes. Both cars had a 3.0L V6, Twin Turbo, All wheel drive, All wheel steering, active aero front/rear spoilers on GT model only, electronic exhaust baffle, electronic shock dampeners, Mcpherson struts and swaybars front/rear...list goes on and on. All from tge factory. 0-60 in 5. Top 155mph. Decent brakes, good suspension, incredible handling, safe to drive fast in turns, a bit heavy which not good but ok. 

3000GT built '90-'99 and sold around the world. Stealth built '91-'96 and only sold in USA and Canada and overall less of these made vs 3000GT. Out of the 3000GT models, the most rare is the Spyder VR4 model with only 800+ units sold globally. But out of the Steath, the 96 model, ONLY 57 RT TWIN TURBO UNITS WERE BUILT THAT YEAR AND IT WAS THE LAST YEAR PRODUCTION!! VERY VERY VERY RARE, BUT IT GETS BETTER.

MINE IS #54 OF 57. ONLY ABOUT HALF STILL ACCOUNTED FOR AND OUT OF THOSE 75% RUNNING. SO MY STEALTH IS MAYBE 1 OF 10 IN MY COLOR LEFT IN THE WORLD. GETS BETTER..

THE 96 MODEL YEAR WAS A 1 OFF YEAR. NO OTHER MODEL YEAR STEALTH BUILT BEFORE 96 IS LIKE THE 96. ONLY THE 96 MODELS DODNT HAVE ELECTRONIC DAMPENERS/EXHAUST/4 WHEEL STEERING etc. it did still have all wheel drive and twin turbo v6. They also made a few cosmetic improvements giving it an even lower drag coeficient (around .32-.33 drag, very good number). 96 didnt have tech driven AC system either. The 96 only has what you need and still very nice. Most folks disconnect their 4 wheel steering system or constantly repairing a problem associated with any of the features deleted on the 96 model. 

 

The car I found is in spectacular condition for 22 years old. Under 100k miles. Full service history, spoke with previius 2 owners, car checks out. Clean history. And man what a steal!! I highly suggest buying either of these cars as fast as you can guys. No disrespect to the Lotis, its in a league of its own and highly respected in my book!! But for the value, comfort, style, function and what all comes with it...get one! If you find a 96 stealth turbo...buy it asap!! Cost now 10-30k. Cost in 20 years projected to reach 50-100k. A sleeper coming back to haunt the RX7, SUPRA, AND NSX who all stole its glory.

All my best to all of you. Take care gents!!

 

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