Darrin Alker's 1985
Darrin Alker from Portsmouth. Hampshire, UK owns a 1985 Turbo Esprit in Pearlesant White, with Grey Full Leather, Blue Trim interior.
Turbo Esprit Year: 1985 Colour: Pearlesant White Interior: Grey Full Leather, Blue Trim Driving Style: Fast (Where Legal of course) Miles per year: 1,000 - 2,000 Owned Since: 27th October 1995 Purchase from: Private, Mansfield Nr Nottingham Serviced at: Other Cars: Nissan 200sx, Nissan Silvia Turbo, Ford Escort
(This was my cheep run about prior to the 200sx & is soon to go)
Previous Lotus': None Why an Esprit: James Bond, Julia Roberts Pretty Woman, Sharon Stone Basic Instinct. It was, over all, when I watched that S1 dive in to the water all those years ago, that like for so many others, who have been drawn in to the world of the Esprit. Upgrades: See below Problems: Currently, My Heater Fans packed up, though have now got them working on two settings I am getting a few other electricle overloading problems when they are on setting 3 with Cooling fans on.? I have my Electricle expert by trade (Mate) working on this. Watch this space we have a plan ?? photo to follow soon. Info:
This car has only let me down once in the 8 years of ownership. She blew a cooling hose in the engine bay on the M5 Plymouth - Wales, 1997. Lucky I spotted the steam in my Rear view mirror. As I was close to Paul Matty I was able to get a new hose fitted & was soon on my way again. But I did think £60 was a bit over the Top just to fit a hose & add some coolant.
Dispite the many problems that I ve had over the years, some I've had done by speacailists, some I've sorted my self, esp as I gained more confidence in dealing with them. This car still brings a smile to my face every time I drive her.
Thats the only reason I havn't sold it yet.
By Privious Owner: Full Engine rebuild at 52,000. I believe due to a Head Gasket blowing.
By Self: Clifford Alarm, Sony Ice System, Upgraded Gear Linkage from SJ Sportscars fitted with replacement of Cross gate Cables. New Lotus Srings & Shocks, Exhaust Manifold, New Water Pump, Cam Covers & Plemun Camber painted back to original black. (These had been powder coated in red when the Engine was rebult) This was done along with quite a few other essentail jobs & checks, as you do, when the engine was out for the ex-manifold.
Driver Side Fuel Tank replaced(Alluminium fm SJ), New Steering Rack, now on my third, previous two were in fact re-cons Tip top tip, dont bother with these ones. SJ can offer you brand new ones at a reasonable price. New Rear Brake Discs/Pads with recon Callipers & Braded brake hoses. Upgraded Radiator (FM PNM), All cooling hoses replaced as well as S/S Hose clips. New Fiberglass Cooling Fan houseing (FM SJ). This is much stronger & cheeper than Lotus original (FM SJ). Tip Regarding the Otter Switch Located Drivers side front Wheel Arch. In its location it is very exposed to the elements, so over a sort time the fragile connecters become even more brittle. I have greased these & made up a rubber cover for this.
Mesh Grill Fitted to Front lower Air Intakes. When I replaced the Rad. I found so much debry lodged inbetween the Cooling, Air Con Rad & Oil Cooler its no wonder my car was running a little warm. The Original Lotus Grill I found wasn't really up to stopping much from going into the Rad area. Plus I think this looks cool as well.
The above shot is from Gosport Classic & Vintage car show. Nr Portsmouth. This is held every August Bank Holiday and seams to be getting bigger every year (One to note for your Diary's). We were the only two Esprits there, in fact we were the only Lotus's there unless you count the Lotus Cortina. So we couldn't resist doing a bit of a Bond theme. Note the life size print figure of old Pearce Brosnan. Roger Moore figures proved hard to get hold of for some reason. My friend with his bronze Dry sump esprit even strapped a couple of pairs of skis to the back of his car.
This is me giving her a blast round Castle Combe a couple of years ago. I remember this day well as I nearly didn't get to go on the track. As I pulled up for the pre-track inspection the fuel pump decided to stop working. I had to push her out of the garage area. lucky for me it was found to be only a corroded connection on the fuel pump, a quick clean up later and as you can see I made it on to the track.
I bought the car mainly on the strength of the engine rebuild and thankfully it has held together for just over 20,000 miles. The Gear Box was also stripped and inspected. Though However she still hasn't been with other problems as already mentioned. When it was rebuilt as you can see the cam covers etc were painted in red powder coating. This soon started to crack and flake off, and didn't seam to look quite right either. So, when the engine was out for the Ex manifold I had it restorded back to black by PNM.
Less than a week after the engine was out for the new Exhaust manifold I discovered the drivers side fuel tank was leaking. A problem that I have later discovered has become quite common on esprits. What a job this proved to be. Getting the replacement Alloy tank from SJ was the easy part. I decided to also remove the other tank for inspection. Thankfully this proved to be in good condition so I treated this with plenty of rust proofing. I took out all the engine panelling and had them recovered with new heat foil. If i recall, though fiddley, the drivers side came out and went back in with no problem. For The Passenger side I had to Jack the bodywork up slightly so in effect the engine was lowered with in the engine bay. I also had to remove the Cam covers, It was only an inch or so but proved just enough to squeeze the tanks in & out. My advice to anyone is if you ever have your engine out for what ever reason then at least inspect the fuel tanks. I also replaced all the fuel lines, most with braided lines.
My current problem is with my Heater Fans & Rad Cooling fans. Cooling fans switch off too soon when AC is running. Fuse for this circuit, which is also connected to the Heater fans gets very hot when either are running. My mate, who just happens to be an electrician by trade, assisted me in trying to track this down fault after the heater fans failed all together. No sooner did we find one problem it just lead to another. It turns out that there is too much current/Amps, what ever, is running through one fuse & overloading it. Both the heater & Rad cooling fans aswell as some relays etc. are all being fed through one fuse to the ignition on line.(Located in Glove box, bottom row of fuses second fuse from back) Many modern cars would have many fuses to cover a similar network of appliances. Common set up apparently with S3 Esprit Turbo esp with AC option. Ageing fan motors also major contribution. Solution, so far, is to rewire circuit from ignition so separate fuse coves main power draws. namely Heater fans and cooling fans. This is next job for when weather improves. I am open to suggestions if any one has come across this and has a better solution. I am also looking for new heater fans which are proving hard to find.