Derricks Lotus Pages

Lotus Intro
General Repairs
Replace Gearbox

Electric Pump



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The story so far

May 2005
Chip is in and it fires up. Need some time to check all the wastegate adjustments and brakes. Initial run showed how particular the ECU seems to be to having the wastegate set correctly. Not sure if I had it previously set too low or it got re-installed at too low a setting. Terrible misfire under boost until I increased the unassisted opening pressure of the wastegate. The Lotus recommendation is 0.65 bar, mine was 0.55 - 0.60 approx. Looked on the ever helpful forums and found posts from Marcus at PUK who produced the chips, suggesting higher is better than lower and above Lotus recomendation nearer 0.70. If testing of brakes and suspension goes well then I should get a few days driving in before holiday and track day in July.
Test drive was good but a small pull to the right under braking and brakes are a little noisy on one side. Examination showed no real problems so time to re-bleed the system as most likely cause.

April 2005
Finally finished all the planned work, well almost. Waiting for chip to be soldered into the memcal by a friend of a friend. HID's also not fitted yet. There are some pictures in my webshots album Pictures

January 2005
Start of a new year and time to prepare the girl for the coming events. There are a number of items to get fixed in this spring fix up. The recent MOT highlighted a few issues, nothing major.
On the list is:
New brake discs all round and pads,
Rear crank seal has been weeping for some time,
Check and paint up suspension,
Clean up engine bay,
Turbo to manifold gasket leaking,
New HID dip lights to fit,
Finally install PUK supplied ECU Chip.

August 30th 2004
On my way around Suffolk on a nice drive to a motor show near Lavenham when changing gear started to become a problem. Started to take it easy on the way home when suddenly after exiting a roundabout no drive to the wheels despite being in gear. RAC called for a tow back home.
Got gearbox away from engine in record time about 2.5 hours. Culprit is the centre of the friction plate has sheared away Picture.

August 2004
Not many updates in the last year. Lots of real life work keeping me away from fixing various items.
Primary in last few months has been the exhaust manifold cracked. Due to holiday and expense it had to wait a few months, then it took the supplier over 7 weeks to get it to me, not happy at that. Finally all back together plus made a few changes whilst waiting.
Painted calipers red, plus the front grill and suspension springs. Looks good but really need to repaint as it didn't go on as well as I would like.

December 2003
On run with some fellow Esprit owners down south and started to hear some strange noise from passenger rear on way home. On a test run about 100m from a garage the rear end seemed to lock up and slide me along road. Luckily only going few mile an hour. Bolt on rear radius arm had broken, resulting in it trailing and pulling hand brake cable on. Took month to replace and repair due to weather and awkward bolts.

November 2003
With the cold weather coming along decided to finally look at getting the heating sorted. Turns out that the vacuum pump in the rear is blowing more than sucking. All the flaps that direct air through the car, change the temperature and let fresh air in, are all vacuum controlled and supplied by this pump.
In best Lotus fashion the pump is no longer available direct and after a few questions on the Yahoo Groups an alternative part number for AC Delco was brought up. An emissions vacuum pump on a Cadillac Deville ???? This unfortunately wasn't the right part so sent of to PNM Engineering to hopefully repair or recondition.

After having some drilled vented front brake discs supplied by PUK Esprit I have finally fitted them along with Goodridge hoses and EBC Green stuff pads. This should prevent the brake fade I experienced on the Midlands Lotus run a few months ago.

October 2003
As with all things it can feel like I spoke too soon. Coming out of junction dropped the clutch and took off, noticed a small clunk when depressing clutch again and couldn't get second. Parked up and after a few checks and pumping clutch pedal got feel back and managed to get home.
Thought it was possible that clutch had gone or a slave cylinder problem. Ordered a full repair kit for slave and master clutch cylinders and started to take it all apart in the hope it was one or other. No loss of clutch fluid except a small amount near slave didn't bode well.
On taking apart master cylinder found that a return spring had snapped. Replacements are not available on their own and requires purchase of complete cylinder. Lotus price requires bank loan so down to local motor factors who where of great help an managed to find a similar unit for a Triumph TR6. Only the screw thread for the hydraulics is different. Damn expensive way to get a spring but cheaper than Lotus part.

September 2003
Took the gearbox out once more and got all of the seals repaired. Was going to put the original Lotus box back in but the case cracked trying to get filler plug out.
After a good run in and finding that the guide tube on the Renault box was 1/4" too short for the Lotus bell housing (cause of oil leak), It is performing perfectly. The clutch slip has disappeared over time and now can give it full throttle with no ill side effects, well except for wheel spin yeeha!!!
Changed all of the V-belts and Cam-belt whilst working on the car, plus changed plugs for champion platinum versions.

August 20th
After the change for the Renault gearbox the car has been fine for awhile but in the last few weeks I have noticed increasing clutch slip in higher gears under full throttle. Didn't always slip and only in higher gears. After adjusting clutch and bleeding hydraulics still does it. My thoughts are that either the clutch is damaged or oil contaminated, or the Renault gearbox input shaft is not aligning with the clutch correctly. Under heavy loads the splines could be slipping on the clutch plates. Looks like a gearbox change back to the Lotus box in the next week.
Also ordered a cam belt and other parts to do my own A service and replace the timing belt. Asking around it isn't that difficult just a little time and attention to detail. Seems silly to £300+ to get a £50 belt fitted. Will write up how it goes ?.

August 10th
Trimmed up the S300 rubber lib as it looked a bit shark nosed (Details in Modifications)
A couple of pictures add to home page for Vince.

August 2003
Purchased alloy gear knob and handbrake sleeve for S350. Looks good with the sills and fitted the gear stick surround supplied by UKLotusEsprit Yahoo group member.
Spent a bucket on getting a new alarm system fitted, went ok except somehow they managed to unhitch one of the cable ends from the gear translator. Was not very pleased when I picked it up. Their excuse 'the engineer just thought it was difficult and something only I knew how to do'. yeah right. 20 minutes a few tools and a jack and it was all back together.
Fitted front rubber lip spoiler from S300. Looks a lot better than the broken bits of plastic, that should be gold seeing how much they cost ?

July 27th
Enjoyable day out with some guys from the Midlands Lotus Owner Club (MLOC).
The driving was, lets say spirited. Trying to keep up with all the Elise's really pushed the car, it didn't falter and held up to the challenge well. Worming a 6'2" wide car through some of the gaps and small roads had me holding my breath at times but will not be beaten...

July 2003
Happy chappy once again the car is back on the road.
To sate my self during the time it was off the road I did a few repairs and modifications.
SS sill plates, SS sports exhaust.

May 2003
Disaster Strikes !!!!.
Well it felt that way, out one night around St Ives giving someone a lift back in the car and letting the car have it's head to a degree. Go around a couple of round about's and on the exit of the third, change to second, press the throttle and engine revs but no motion to go with it. Change to third and all is ok. Happened without a bang, or any noticeable grinding, just no 2nd gear. Not a happy chappy since the car was running very nicely at the time and looking forward to some good weekends.
Full story in replace gearbox section, but briefly, took ages to find someone to look at gearbox, got delayed so eventually did a lot of the work myself. The car was off the road for about 6 weeks, until end of June. During that time bought the little Fiesta as a run about.

April 2003
The start of fixing the minor issues with the car and customising to my taste.
Installed a K&N Air filter, replaced impeller on Charge Cooler pump, Installed BOV, Ordered Upgraded ECU Chip.

April 2003
Into Orchard for it's first service, everything basically ok at this time, but rear brakes needed replacing. The parts costs where a little much through Orchard as they just quote standard Lotus RRP. £200 for a set of rear pads seem a little OTT to me !!!
Placed an order with SJ Sportscars for some rear EBC pads £33, that's more like it. The rear discs themselves needed to be replaced as well, not cheap at £220 the pair.
Took a couple of weeks to get the parts and fitted etc. Starting to get used to the fact that these things will take time on occasion.
All seemed ok until a bolt holding a rear brake caliper in position sheared, whilst taking Gwyn out for a spin. Luckily was only a problem when in reverse but still damn annoying at the time. Orchard where very helpful, got the car into the workshop that next morning at 8 on a Saturday. Seems it was a failure in a brand new bolt not loose etc. All bolts replaced no charge and made me happy once again.

March 2003
Purchased car end of march, like a big kid with a new toy. Very happy with it, it is another goal achieved and certainly not something I would ever have dreamed about 10 or so years ago. The