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Esprit S2. To cover or not to cover? that is the question - Esprit Chat - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
OSMojo

Esprit S2. To cover or not to cover? that is the question

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Dear Esprionati 

The car is on my drive open to the elements, no cover, would the weather start to affect the car in any way? we know the body wont rust, but do spider cracks appear etc? I get a lot of condensation as it is in the cockpit mainly on the windscreen (then it drips down), I have one of those dehumidifier bags in there which helps to some degree.

I have garage, but to get my car into it would be tricky, and would mean I wont use it as much, and I use it for small trips about 4 times per week,  so I'd rather keep it on my drive. If it is the considered opinion however to garage it then I will, as much as i like to use it I don't want it to degrade under my ownership.

My preferred route for the moment is an outdoor cover, good idea ? bad? can anyone recommend any good ones?

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Covers have a habit of wearing the paintwork on the edges and can trap moisture which could cause micro blisters. I guess a really high quality one which is tailored to fit may be acceptable but I have no direct experience so cant really recommend anything. I do have experience of a cheap cover wearing the paint though! :) 

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maybe a car port of some sorts will keep the worst off perhaps? Or maybe one of those temporary jobs?

 

buddsy

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Hi Darren, good on ya for using it on a regular basis, I know what you mean about the garage thing, if you feel like a quick blast down to the shops it's easier to take the car in front of the garage that the one that's in it.

Your car will certainly be mechanically more reliable if used on a regular basis, but the condensation that's forming on the windows will also be forming on all the cold surfaces inside the car that you can't see or wipe, the back of the gauges, metal contacts in the looms, all the steel cross members and braces ect ect. In my experience, a lot of condensation points to water getting in somehow such as a leaking sunroof, perished window or door seals or blocked drainage channels causing overflow into the cabin, or even leaking heater matrix or pipes. This is something that you need to address if you intend to leave the car outside without a cover, having said that outside covers are just as much of a plan in the are as getting in and out of the garage.

As previously said, a carport is one solution, of have you considered a 'carcoon'. 

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TAR, Buddsy and Steve V8, thanks for the advice. I think I might just garage it then for winter hibernation, the covers don't sound like they help the condensation problem. A car port would be a good idea, but it would look too weird on the drive way. 

 

 

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56 minutes ago, OSMojo said:

A car port would be a good idea, but it would look too weird on the drive way. 

Yes they dont always look right if the rest of the street is uniform etc.

I like the carcoon things but thought they had to be inside a garage?

This is the type I was thinking of. I've seen a few on peoples drives.

buddsy

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Buddsy,   

  Carcoon can be used outside,   just looks a little strange on the drive lol,   Rob on these forums used one outside on his white esprit g v8 and just ran an extension lead out to it,  :)

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Thanks Buddsy, I couldn't do it, it would just look too wrong, I guess I'll just have to garage it. There's a car storage place, but then that;s another £130+ VAt per month. PLus as I say I like driving it, I just drove it now to the gym, it's always great fun.

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Garage it Darren. It keeps it dry and that is very important as stated by the guys above. I have an outdoor cover bought many years ago from Specialised Car Covers when the Esprit used to live outside. It is a tailored fit and is breathable but it still let's water through after a heavy downpour. You need to see where your leak is and fix it. An outdoor cover will then help to keep the worst of the rain out if you really don't want to use the garage. I only had one issue with paint bubbling but that was from a poor prep job in the first place which was rectified and that sorted it. Garage it in the winter and cover it outside in the summer.

Pete

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Cheers peteyg, will do pretty much that. I found a classic car storage place, so I will store it there for Jan, feb and March then keep it on the drive until December next year when I'l put it away again. 

 

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Love to garage mine although the Esprit is a big car for many a 'standard' garage here. I have one of those Specialised Fitted covers as well Pete but I added a plasticised waterproof Tarpaulin over the top of that to be sure its dry. You do need to watch those though as they deteriorate with age so water can get in when the split (and they will with age.)

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Thank Nello yes it's a reasonably wide car. So now that i'm going to store it I wont use it for the next three months :-( but anyway it's not the best car in gloomy weather.

 

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Be warned about outdoor carcoons - the outer surface only lasts about 3 years and then has to be replaced at a cost of about £250. The silver outer skin will yellow due to the sun and it will then start to leak. The carbon filters also have to be replaced every year although at about £30 that's not the end of the world. They stand up to wind pretty well but don't like snow for obvious reasons!

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Darren,

I can attest to the validity of the points made by Steve M. in that my S2 has revealed several points of failure to seal out water. It is likely your windscreen sealant does not prevent water from entering via the screws that pierce the body beneath the upper screen, screws which are employed to fasten the wooden strip to which the LED clock and sunvisors are fixed. My strip of wood displayed a measure of mould discolouration, and a mate told me of how his S2, back when nearly new, would slosh water side to side in the visor area when cornering, the resultant drips not found to be pleasant.

Further area of concern is around the doorseal flange perimeter of the body. Cracks in the flange gelcoat or in that of the body joint near the door catch will form capillary tracks through which water will migrate to the interior bypassing the otherwise sound seals. This may rot things out, including the firewall plywood, if left damp over time.

In summary it's great that your car is used regularly as stated by others but you want to be certain the interior is purged of humidity as much as possible. In my view it's imperative that an Esprit should be stored under some form of shelter but also be afforded some effective method of drying the interior at the same time. Consider placing a small electric heater within the cabin when parked at home with windows slightly opened for circulation in addition to a shelter. A cover is alright enough for the purpose of keeping her clean overnight before a showing but not what's needed for the sort of protection called for here.

Cheers

Steve

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I found a dehumidifier in the garage really useful as well, especially if it's not heated. I use a Meaco DD8L which works well in a double garage as long as you fit the siphon tube otherwise you're constantly emptying the collector.

Pete

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Thanks Steve and Pete

My garage is at the back of my garden, the path and the tight angle to enter would make it too difficult, I managed to get a beach buggy in there once, but I didn't really care if that got scratched, so I wont use my garage. I have found a place to store it, there's already a restored S1 in there with a breathable cover, good enough for an s1 then good enough for an s2. I will keep the dehumidifier bags in the cabin. 

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