DIY Sealing of a leaky Esprit boot!
by Colin Mant, 1989 Turbo
Just thought I'd share this with you - I know it's a cheap cheat and not to everyone's taste, but I don't like being ripped off. I use my 89 Turbo everyday and whenever it rains, the boot gets flooded. I've tried all sorts of things, including glassing in better drainage holes, but it still kept flooding. So eventually, I decided that the only solution was to replace the tailgate rubber. Then I found out it would cost me well over £100, so began to think again. I don't mind spending good money on my Lotus, as long as the benefit or improvements live up to the amount spent. I can think of better things to put £100 to, an alloy header tank for a start!
Time taken: About 30 mins, all in - mostly taken up by glue removal.
You will need the following parts:
Rubber Foam Weatherstrip x3
You will need the following tools:
A stanley knife – to remove old glue from tailgate after pulling off the original rubber.
So, I decided to cheat. Instead of spending over £100 for the official replacement rubber, I went to my local DIY store and paid £14.97 for 3 packs of self adhesive weather seal strip (pic 01). I removed the old rubber from the tailgate (pic 02) and then made sure that the lip of the boot and the edge under the tailgate were both clean (pic 03).
The rubber strip is about 3 metre long, with a sticky side (pic 04). So, it was just a case of pealing off the backing from the rubber strip as I went, keeping it in line with the edge of the boot (pic 05). One pack is long enough to along the back and reach up both sides. I then used a second pack on the underside of the tailgate, making sure it sits face-to-face on the lower rubber when the tailgate is closed. Although it wasn't necessary (it seemed to have stopped the leak), I decided to finish it off with a third pack, to bridge the gap across the top of both the boot and tailgate.
I cannot guarantee it will work for everyone, but I can report that this has worked a treat on my car, it's finally stopped the leaks! The weather strip I used has contours, like little trenches, running along its facing surface. I occasionally see some water sitting in the outer contours, but it never seems to make it over the first 2.
At first, without the original rubber, the boot wasn't as bouncy and so it didn't pop up as before when the release cable is pulled. Some extra rubber on the corners, or even some springs if you're feeling clever, sort this out without too much pain. That said, even without this final tweak, the boot was still easy enough to open providing you got a finger under it before letting go the release cable. I for one would prefer that little inconvenience, to having a boot full of water of £100+ hole in my wallet.
This maintenance was performed by Colin Mant on his 1989 Turbo
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