Sunday, May 16, 2010

Resurfacing the S1 Lotus Esprit Rear Brake Rotors

My rear brake rotors were close to the maximum thickness, so they had virtually zero wear other than rust and other deposits that had accumulated over time. Instead of replacing them and since the rear brake rotors for the S1 Esprit are unique (that also means expensive!!), I decided to have them resurfaced. The job was relatively cheap ($40 USD) and there were many local shops capable of doing it. I blasted the surface rust off the center of the rotors and then repainted them, and the ring plate which goes between the brake rotor and the gearbox mounting plate was yellow zinc plated.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Re-fabricating the S1 Lotus Esprit Aluminum Cooling Pipes

Two aluminum cooling pipes run through the chassis to feed water from the radiator (located in the front of the car) to the engine, which are aided by two external elbow pipes. The pipes through the chassis are pretty long (5-6 feet) and have a 90 degree bend on the side mating to the radiator. The pipes on my car were corroded and needed to be replaced, so I simply had a local shop re-fabricate them. It wasn’t cheap but it was more cost effective than having the pipes shipped from England. Since it’s impossible to find the rubber grommets which secure the pipes through the chassis, I had to special order them as well.

All of my cooling pipes looked like this. Obviously time to replace!

One of the new cooling pipes ready to go back into the car and through the chassis.

One of the new fabricated elbow pipes ready to install.

New rubber grommets help secure the pipes through the chassis.

Preparing the Lotus Esprit S1 Engine Mounts

The engine mounts on a S1 Lotus Esprit are the same as a Bedford van. I picked them up on eBay UK for relatively cheap, but the downside is that they don’t have the locating tabs which lock the motor mounts in place. The solution was to purchase four set screws that have roughly the same diameter face as the locating tabs (I made sure they weren’t soft metal wood screws). Then I marked where the tabs should be on the new motor mounts, drilled the holes, tapped the holes so the set screws could go in, and then anchored in the set screws. The only thing I had to be careful of was drilling too large a hole (then the set screw wouldn’t be able to go in tight), or drill too far into the rubber. Otherwise, it’s a pretty easy job.

I marked the spot where the screw should go in on the new motor mount.

Then I drilled, tapped, and anchored the screw into the motor mount.

The new motor mount attached to the powder coated chassis bracket, ready to go!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Restoring the S1 Lotus Esprit Gearbox and Suspension Mounts

Two aluminum mounts help connect the gearbox to the chassis, as well as the vertical uprights which attach to the lower suspension links. Restoring them is easy as long as you have access to a 12 ton shop press to remove the old bushings. The mounts take on a lot of stress so it's not surprising that the bushings were literally welded in place. Once those were removed, the inside of the bores needed to be taken down with fine emery to eliminate some of the heavy scratches. After that, the new bushings went in without problems, although a press is still required to get the center metal bushing anchored.

The gearbox mount after removing the old bushings. Some of the
deep scratches are obvious and need to be cleaned up.

The old bushings after being removed. The smaller bushings aren't
available anymore so they need to be replaced with polyurethane.

The new bushings ready to install.

The bushings pressed in and ready to mount!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Refurbishing the S1 Lotus Esprit Crossgate and Shift Linkage

Overhauling the crossgate assembly and all the linkage was pretty straightforward. The job required removing the shift arms (there are 4 of them), the crossgate cable, and the actual crossgate mechanism that bolts into the chassis. I powder coated the arms and re-installed new rubber/plastic bushings. I debated on purchasing a new crossgate cable since mine was a little old looking but decided against that. They are expensive and mine was in great working condition, so I simply re-used it. Once the engine and gearbox are installed, I’ll be able to connect the cables and be ready to go.

What the crossgate assembly looked like before removing it from the car.

The connector arms before being removed from the car. Not in the best

The crossgate assembly after a good clean and with the plated parts.

Powder coated shift arms ready for the new rubber/plastic bushings.

The connector arms ready to go (one bolts to the gearbox and one bolts to
the inside of the chassis.

Yellow zinc plated bolts and new rubber/plastic bushings.

Job done!