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martynw

'85 Esprit Turbo Restoration

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I am just starting off a 1985 Turbo Esprit Restoration.  The previous owner has already done a fair bit of work and it looks great - he has clearly had the body off the chassis, completely restored and repainted the chassis including renewing the suspension on all four wheels.  Brake pipes have been refitted along the chassis as well.  I also know from his very detailed notes that he has gone through the engine and given that a thorough overhaul too.

The body has then been refitted to the chassis - but in reality it is not much more than resting on the chassis, with just 4 bolts holding it on currently.  The interior is completely stripped out and I am i the process of restoring it.

Similarly, the engine and gearbox are sitting in the right place, but only held in by a few bolts on the mounts. There are no driveshafts, pipework, electrics, gear linkages etc connected, so they are pretty much just resting in the right place.  (The engine is lacking the turbo unit which needs a look at/possible rebuild, the cambelt and various ancillaries.)

It is therefore very little work to remove the engine, which I expected to do to fit the cambelt/turbo etc.  But it is also very little work to lift the body off again, especially as I have a two post lift.

So asking for a bit of advice from those who have done this before on the best way to go forward.  Just an engine out job, or a body back off? What are the pros and cons when you have done it.

Thanks in advance.

Martyn

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Never had the body off but if its held on with just 4 bolts and youve got a lift then I would take it off no question.  Sort the engine and mount correctly do as much as possible with the body off.  Bear in mind ive done engine and gearbox removals a few times now with the body on.

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Any photos to share Martyn - everybody loves photos:thumbup:

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Will take some photos now and upload later this evening. Its not looking its best, but it will be good to have some to show where I started.

Thanks for the advice Phil - I was leaning that way, but thought I'd have to work out just how much can be done before the body goes back on.   Some detailed manual reading ahead I suspect.

Martyn

 

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Is this by any chance the red car that Stocks Coachworks had for sale a couple of months back?

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Looks like a fantastic project Martin :thumbup:   

I presume this was from Mark at stocks coachworks ?   A really great base for a project and will make a fantastic car by the looks of things. 

As others have said,  you can do the engine and gearbox fairly easily with the body on,  but personally as your shell is just sat on the chassis and not bolted down i would advise to remove it if you have the space to store it.

  That way you can also take the time to not only work on the engine,gearbox and chassis easily, but also you can go over all the fittings such as suspension bolts, brake line unions etc.

  The previous owner looks like he has done a fantastic job,  but i would personally always check everything again fitting wise as things could be missing/left loose which is easily done during a project, even more so when the body has been popped back on in a hurry :)

Look forward to updates on this project and really pleased this car has found a good home, I know a few folks on the forum that had considered this car ( if it was the stocks one that is )  but some had been concerned about bits missing as it was all just in boxes.  

Well done for saving this car,  I was worried it was going to get parted out :thumbup:

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Yes, I thought long and hard about this one but in the end I just considered it was too big a risk. With the amount of work involved and the risk of a few expensive parts being either missing or u/s I was concerned that costs could rise to the point where I would have been better buying something that I at least knew was 100% complete.

The best of luck with it though. I'll look forward to seeing how you get along with it!

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Looks brilliant amd lookimg forward to seeing the car progress. Keep posting the photos and thanks for the ones posted so farB-)

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Hi Martyn.You will have a fantastic car when done .Leather looks fab .very smart .Mike

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Hi Martyn,

Re the turbo studs; I have tried to remove with all sorts of releasing fluids and heat etc. but just recently had great success with a small Oxy Acetylene kit, candle wax and stilsons................. the results were amazing!!!!!

Good luck!

Mark

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Mark. Can you enlighten me on the candle wax bit?

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Hi Martyn,

 

There is some stuff on YouTube but basically heat the bolts until they go cherry red then hold the candle wax against the bolts.

Candle wax melts in extreme heat and the hotter it gets the more it lubricates.

Very effective!!

Cheers

Mark

 

 

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Well, I've got 5 of the 6 the bolts off - using a mix of stilsons, PBlaster and patience and very carefully cutting/grinding/breaking out the fixing plates from under the bolts.  The sixth and most awkward one to get a grip on is still in but as I have removed the fixing plate from below it, the turbine housing should pull off the bearing case anyway, and then I can get a socket on it to get it out.

Therein lies a problem though - I cannot get any movement on the turbine housing, so back to the soaking.

I have to confess though, as I have read more about balancing the turbo shaft, I have started to tend towards getting it done professionally anyway.  Anyone had success with a rebuilder they would recommend?  I've found a few online, but prefer to go with known good ones.

In the meantime, I've moved onto refurbishing the carbs...

 

 

DSC_0608.JPG

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Carbs finished, so onto the turbo/wastegate assembly.

In the boxes that came with the car i have found two wastegates, which always suggests at least one is knackered.  In the end, both were seized, came apart and I now hope to build one from the two.  One was spring-less, and the two alloy spacers are of very different sizes - one about 17mm the other 25mm.

The biggest problem though is the valves themselves - both stems are heavily worn, and both valve guides heavily corroded.  I have tried my local engine builders but they say the valves and guides (about 9.5mm) are pretty specialist and they don't know where to source them.  Anyone on here had one of these reconditioned?

 

DSC_0610.JPG

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Speak to Pete at PNM Engineering - he reconditioned mine.

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Can't help you with UK refurbishment, but I've heard that some owners have smoothed the poppet valve's worn areas, and fitted a bush to make it seal properly.  I noticed some wear on my valve stem when I had my WG apart to replace the diaphragm but its still working fine 15K miles later. "Course I like to do some full-throttle, high RPM running at least weekly, to prevent any binding. :P Yeah, THAT'S why I do it.

 

I'd go with the thicker spring-shim.  (Just be sure you don't bypass the 1.0 Bar over-boost control.  That's ASKING for expen$ive trouble...)  Post pictures of the ID plates on the side of the diaphragm housings.

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Thanks for the replies, Pete thinks it will be OK - better a bit loose than a bit tight was his recommendation. I'll clean up some of the corrosion and add a good copper grease I think and see how it goes. He is going to sort my water pump and probably rear brake calipers though, which I fear have gone oval with corrosion between the cast iron and alloy.

Next stage for me is removing all the sheared.bits of bolt left inside the wastegate manifold.

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Exciting looking package arrived today - the new carpets Steve V8 has made for me.  Resisted the temptation to open the whole lot as he'd wrapped them up so well, and having split the body/chassis I won't be fitting them for a while.  However, the couple of bits i did unwrap looking great.  Posher carpet than the original too (not because I have better taste than Colin Chapman, just because the colour match was better on the wool ones).  Now in storage with the rest of the interior while I move onto brake/clutch cylinders etc.

DSC_0628.JPG

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On 3/12/2018 at 11:22, CarBuff said:

I'd go with the thicker spring-shim. 

 :X I just realized after looking at this Topic again, I meant to use the THINNER spring, which increases boost pressure.

As they say,  "Pobody's Nerfect".

 

In any case, you want it to open between 7.5 (spec) and 10.0 PSI  (or whatever that is in BAR).

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Thanks Atwell, I was going to check the opening pressure anyway with each one anyway (if I can ever fit the wastegate to the adaptor which still has sheered bolts stuck in there at the minute soaking away in penetrating fluid.)

Plenty of other bits to work on though - but latest is the distributor.  Looks in very good condition, but doesn't have a vacuum advance and instead seem to have a blanking plate fitted where the vacuum would go.  Can't find reference to that in my service notes - am I missing something or is it the wrong one?

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