Alloy Gear Surround
Although the last Esprit V8 update was lacking in any real content. Most of it's updates are easily copied and most are covered on Lotus Esprit World. This guide show you how to add the alloy gear surround from the latest Esprit (also found on the Sport 350). This mod really looks best with a GT3/350/V8 02' Alloy Gearknob. Be warned, the Lotus Alloy Gear Surround is over £150, so don't read the rest of this article if that's too much, cause you'll want one after you see the difference it makes.
The installation below covers the later Esprit's with the new console (1998-2003). A guide for eariler Esprit's will follow. You should be able to carry out this mod on earlier cars without too much trouble.
Be warned, this mod involves some drilling of your centre console.
You will need the following parts:
Gear Surround (£134.64)
You will need the following tools:
Part supplied by:
Remove rubber grommet marked A and two screws marked B. (pic1) Lift of the small rubber casing that sits over the fuel cap release marked C. (pic1) Undo the two nuts marked E and pull towards rear of car, slide out switch marked F after first disconnecting it from its connector marked D. (pic2)
You can now lift the centre console over the fuel release button marked C. You will see six bolts that secure the gear gaiter to the centre console marked G. Remove these and you can then remove the centre console and the gear gaiter. (pic3) You now have to drill the centre console in order to fit the gear surround. Place the gear surround over the centre console and mark your holes. The gear surround is a poor fit as it sits over a lip on the centre console which makes marking and drilling the holes difficult. The best way that I found to do this is mark and drill one hole at a time and fit a bolt and nut each time you drill a hole, this helps to keep the surround in place when marking and drilling.
Once you have drilled and fitted the bolts(leave slack) if you were to fit the gaiter with its metal frame it would be impossible as the hole positions of the gear surround are such that the bolts would hit the gaiter frame. It is therefore necessary to remove the metal frame from the gaiter. Once you have done this you can proceed to refit the console. In order to secure the gaiter, place in between the console and the gear surround, then tighten the bolts securing the gear surround to the console. Once you have done this you can continue the installation in the reverse order to removal.
Before and After. Should take you around 2 hours to complete this modification.
Points to note: The gear surround is a poor fit and particular care needs to be taken when marking and drilling the centre console.
Only for cosmetic purposes, the change isnt big but I think it's a marked improvement over the early models. Makes the interior more modern. I would only really do this upgrade as a pair with the Alloy gearknob from the GT3/350/V8 02'. As it would look a little weird with an older gearknob. The Lotus gear surround is very expensive for what it is and that's the only problem with this conversion. It's not really worth the money. But that's really for you to decide, but I again think only the genuine part should be used (although expensive and not particularly worth the cash) until someone makes a good enough pattern part.
This mod was performed & supplied by Chris sabbatinell on his GT3.
If you try this, feel free to e-mail me with your Verdict at firstname.lastname@example.org