Sold.. but I'll keep the pictures
|September 2007 - 1700mi Sussex
to "Deal's Gap" a.k.a. Rt 129 a.k.a. the Tail of the Dragon (North
-- Pics by Killboy.com
More pics of the car in motion can be found at Killboy's site:
(hit continue when entering the site)
Pics were taken during the RX8 Brotherhood run Sept/2007.
What's a Seven?
Zetec vs. X-Flow
Conversion to Zetec
|1984 Lotus Turbo Esprit USA spec Turbo 210HP/200ftlbs
1976 - 1988
Original design by
Wisconsin from Boston-MA - Fall 2002
|Classic Italian Lines
|Classic Giugiaro lines and edges
roads, for driving
words about this car..
I really do appreciate reliability, to be able to jump in the car and go to where-ever and back. Yet, in 2002 I finally broke with the mold of consumerism expectation and decided that between the 7 and another British made vehicle I should be able to get around. Since I do not mind carrying tools around, a Lotus and another "Lotus-that-Colin-didn't-want" should work well.
In 2001 I was looking for an upgrade for the Crossflow engine for the 7 and located a Lotus TwinCam engine somewhere in Boston. Someone had an Elan 2+2, a very clean Giugiaro Esprit and... a TC engine. I flew out to look at what he had (this was Sept 9, 2001), and the 2+2 had already been sold. The Esprit and the TC were still there. The low mileage Esprit was very clean but needed mechanical TLC (I think all Loti probably do). The TC was in bits, but also a Stromberg version, where the 1+2 and 3+4 intake manifold channels are paired and part of the head casting. In a high(er) performance engine this results in charge stealing of the 2+3 or the 1+4 cylinders during exhaust/intake overlap. With individual chokes, as offered by the Weber DCOE's this issue is resolved. The DCOE TC's are the sought after engines, although supposedly they have more charisma than reliability. I left the TC in it's boxes, but they did offer me to test drive the Esprit. Compared to the newer Peter Stevens cars, the Giugiaro cars have several nice design elements, such as the original rear suspension layout with the gearbox mounted disc brakes. This design functions without requiring a rear anti roll bar. The drive was impressive, in fact the car really surprised me. I had been told that the Esprit was just a large Europa, but it's clearly a lot more than that. This car is powerful and nible and comfortable to drive. It sounds good, has sharp steering, free of a power assist, and it brakes very well.
There were issues and we couldn't agree on a price. Then 9/11 happened and I lost interest in car shopping. A year later I called and they still had it.... the rest is in the picture page below!
The original Esprit was not a design Colin Chapman was closely involved with, supposedly the Lotus engineering team "owned" this one. In it's original S1 form it was intended to compete with the Ferrari 308 and Porsche 924. With the early S1's 2.0ltr / 160 BHP, performance was good, but not sufficient for that class.
The addition of the Turbo and added displacement (2.2ltr) changed all that. The small Turbo and the novel blow through carb design offered very good performance with minimal turbo lag. The 45dg left banked short stroke engine design itself is very robust and smooth with great attention given to cooling and lubrication! This all-Alu engine with it's 16V DOHC head is very well engineered. The temperature of each individual head section is separately maintained with considerable cooling (coolant and oil) capacity by means of an array of three blowers and radiators that nearly span the width of the front of the car. They lay nearly flat and with spoiler ducting provide top down cooling while maintaining a low nose profile.
Personally I appreciate the styling, which was Giugiaro's opportunity to compete with Bertone and Pininfarina. The Peter Stevens models have rounded edges and loose "the edge" (again, in my opinion) of the original design. I call it the "Origami car" - (Japanese paper art).
Driving the car:
The handling and balance of this car are outstanding. When "loading" the turbo (early application of throttle in the turn), it's easy to provoke the rear in wet conditions, but the balance is such that it comes back instantly with lift throttle. Power is good, and really good at speed. No need to downshift. Floor it in 5th gear at 3000rpm, and power is there, making freeway passing effortless. Yes, there is wind noise, esp. around the air intakes, but there is also a very nice engine note. The 4cyl Turbo sounds sonore at low rpms and builds a nice wail with throttle applied! On upshifts there is the characteristic gurgling noise from the right side intake duct. I drive it with the passenger window open whenever I can, just for that sound!
Long trips work well. There's room in the back for a couple softbags, or a medium size roller, tools and laptop and camera gear. There's room in the front compartment as well, next to the spare tire.
|Flew out to Boston with my wife Lia and
it back to Wisconsin, a 1400 mile journey.
The owner had the battery and engine oil
in preparation for our trip.
Thanks, Geri and Alan S. !
|A true Lotus experience. At speed this car is magical...
Around Toledo, the temp guage starts to climb... we slow down, but it keeps climbing.... goes to 140C (#@$!). Yet, the engine sounds and feels fine. At a gas stop, we carefully check the coolant, which is ok too. Then, the T-Gauge settles back to 85C and the journey continues.
Lucas effect ?
(PS: this turned out to be a bad "regulator" for the fuel and temp guages.
Believe it or not, this non-documented bi-metal item is burried in the console.... replaced it with a conventional 3-pin regulator - all is well)
|Fuel smell in interior
|Found the Lotus
Factfile website.. this is an invaluable and critical resource
replaced the fuel vapor line between the left and right fuel tanks.
|gear crunching when warm
|replaced "red hose" clutchline with braided stainless steel line from David Bean Eng.
|brake rubbling, heavy vibration in steering. Probably from standing for the past two years.
|replace front brake rotors. David Bean had them in stock. Not bad parts availability for an '84 car!
|tires unround - sitting for 2 yrs...
|195/60-15 and 235/60/15 Michelin Pilot's all-season version. These are excellent in the wet and dry.
|Heater does not work
|reattached vacuum hoses under dash
|Odd noises when accellerating and decelerating in lower gears
|Replaced left front motor mount (rubber melted) - common Turbo Esprit issue
|it's dirty again...
still does not work (sitting too long..)
was all that was needed. Been fine since.
|Exhaust header leak somewhere
locate and fix mission...Turned
out to be one of the 8 air-injection feedtubes
had rotted through. Tied it off and plugged the port entry - fixed. In
2005, removed the air injection system and it still passed emissions!
|Engine bay fan no longer comes on
|Fuse holder cracked - replaced.
|Right (front) trunnion nearly seized, causing steering pull
trunnion (to protect tread) and replaced (used Mobil synth W75-90)
belt looks suspect
along with all other belts.
Done with engine in the car. Not easy but doable.
Vacuum pump is tricky. Need contorted 3/8" allen wrench(es) - I cut & bend 2.
|Bottom view. I
marked the belt position before removal, and locked auxiliary
and both cam shaft pulleys with ty-raps.
It's close quarters, but lots of light and mirrors (no smoke) work. Crank pulley and thermostat pipe (the curved one on top) must be removed first. After locking the 3 pulleys, the tensioner is removed. Check the ground strap, replace if suspect. This is important to bleed off static, which otherwise attracts dust onto the belt and increases wear.
Transfer belt pencil marks to the new belt to ensure position and thus timing.
Ty-rap assembly before removal,
otherwise parts may fly everywhere.
Note ground strap.
steering, pulls to one
side under breaking
front trunnion has seized
- replaced, problem solved. At the same time, replaced both balljoints
oil filler hole
Fresh Top Ball joints
running, some wind noise, right side
collectors plates as it's now 21 years old, and it still passed
Emissions! The latter being a WI requirement before applying for
Classic / Collector status for the car.
|Nov 2006, 54,000
|Runs like a top. Need more
door still sagging, strike plate bolts not tight.
September '07 we made a nice 1700mi trip to and from Route
129 ( Rt 129 ) ...
|Less driving this year, but no troubles.
master and slave cylinders, issue resolved
|November 2010, 66,700
front brake rotors and pads
Mraz upgrade the A/C R12 to R34 fittings, to be compliant.
to polish the rims
|June 19,2012, 72,400
|Sold - time for something different