Mark Mazman's 2000
Mark Mazman from Downers Grove, USA owns a 2000 V8 in Sliver, with a Black interior.
V8 Year: 2000 Colour: Silver Interior: Black Driving Style: Careful Miles per year: 2,000 - 8,000 Owned Since: Nov 2012 Purchase from: dealership Serviced at: Fox Valley Other Cars: Ford Ranger Previous Lotus': See below Why an Esprit: it is the best car Upgrades:
Problems: see below Info: –
I've gone and done it again...
After 6 years with a lovely and completely reliable Exige (picture 1) I had gotten to the point of finding myself unwilling to live with the "focus...?" on driving (ingress, egress, etc) it demanded. I looked at the Evora and came away unmoved, and finally decided to venture forth yet again into the void and buy another Esprit.
I found a MY 2000 (silver on black) with 14,000 on the clock. It had its belts done a few years ago, but was represented as a sound and "flawless" example... (more on that later)
The market for Exiges is good in the States and I found a buyer. The seller of the Esprit was a dealership that specializes in different marques and the entire transaction worked out.
The car shipped to me the week after Thanksgiving and upon a brief examination i found that it would essentially need recommissioning. The Axle seals are wet. Pretty much every cooling line weeps. One of the turbo's is drippy, and, best of all, they used a jump box to get it on the truck, destroying the alternator.
My impression of the Esprit after some time away from them is that it still pretty much fits me perfectly. I love the lines. I was used to the car in about 3 blocks. More to follow...
14,000 on the clock. It had a belt service 4 years ago (due again...). Coolant weeps at almost every fitting. Flat battery. A loose wheel bearing, motor mount, (time for a tighten all the loose stuff party...) and a wet gearbox seam but overall a good car.
The alternated short was dealt with by Stan Chaffin at SCC automotive. He was the tech that brought my 98 back from the dead. I will split the service between him and TJ Waszak, both friends, and excellent techs.
It has the Ap brakes which sounds odd for a 2000. It was imported 1 September of that year and has exchanged owners several times in its life.
I intend to replace the radiator with a larger aluminum unit. I suppose the muffler will go at some point as well, but otherwise it's pretty perfect for me.
When I got in it after 6 years in an Exige I thought, "my god, this thing is so big..." The assisted steering confounded me as well. I was wondering how people drove these things quickly.
After 3 blocks I was comfortable. Lotuses feel like Lotuses, and while I believe on a tight track the Exige would be much easier to do a good lap in, it's heritage is unmistakable to me.
My Old Esprit
Mark Mazman's 1998
Mark Mazman from Downers Grove, USA used to own a 1998 V8 in Red, with a Tan interior.
V8 Year: 1998 Colour: Red Interior: Tan Driving Style: Careful Miles per year: 2,000 - 8,000 Owned Since: Jan 2003 Purchase from: Fox Valley Serviced at: Fox Valley Other Cars: Ford Ranger Previous Lotus': None Why an Esprit: it is the best car Upgrades:
2000 ecu , open exhaust , k&n air filters
i am beginning to spend ! i had the front brakes done , a spark plug and wire change done , rear transmission seals , rear suspension bushings, drivers side window seal replaced , and some touch up work on the black trim bits where somebody chipped the paint with a pressure washer .
Problems: have replaced the brakes all around, going to porterfield pads. i will have replaced the axle seals. i have replaced the cats as i had an o2 sensor blow out. i replaced the coolant return lines due to a leak. i spun the tach so 7000 is straight up. i re-connected an exhaust tip. Info: I now consider myself a true british car guy, as i live in constant fear of what will fall off of my esprit next. but it would be unthinkable to sell it...
snaps above are of me at blackhawk farms trying to keep the pointy end first..
snaps above are from the gingerman track day. no spins, but a somewhat nasty overheating situation i am still trying to resolve. The vette that is co-featured is my brother. he drives it like a car thief...
In addition, to the track days i enjoyed, I rebuilt my car's transmission. I found the prices and labor at my local specialist to be nonsense, so I enlisted the help of the local club members. The flywheel was salvageable, but the clutch was shot, as was 2nd gear and the synchros. The slave cylinder was damaged by the dealership so that was replaced as well.
Now that the work has been done I can honestly say that I'm pretty sure that the clutch was pretty well shot before i owned the car, because it has a totally different feel to it, and the performance is better than any time since i have owned the car.
The next project is to remove the radiator and have it re-cored. that is the root, i believe, of a somewhat annoying overheating problem.
I should point out that two of the best things about being a lotus owner are:
1. the factory support you recieve, even on used cars, and
2. the support of the club members. without those things it would be a lot rougher to run an esprit.
well, there i was at blackhawk farms again last week with the lotus corps. i drew a fantastic pair of instructors, and left the track a much better driver than i arrived. the car ran well until the end of the day when we got a little hot, but all in all i was pleased with that end of things. it is amazing how well some of the other esprit owners have things sorted.
Rod Bearing Thrown!
i seem to have thrown a rod bearing. i am looking into getting the car either sorted, or parted out. needless to say, it is a massive letdown after all of the other aggrivation i have been faced with.
The rod bearing is in the connection between the crank and the rod. it ruined the piston, the crank, and the rod. when they failed, it totally contiminated my turbo's and oil coolers which are now ruined. to fix it i am to totally break down the engine and essentially completely rebuild it. the quotes are on the low end $14,000 all the way up to $22,000. lotus has no rebuilt engines to offer.
They are claiming that it looked like the oil has never been changed, but on my watch (11,000 miles) it was done four times, so i am fearing that it was a "previous owner" problem. I was sold a rotten car by an unscrupulious factory dealership. there is a reason to trust no one when you are buying an exotic!
I have always minded the revs, even on the track. and i am more than a little miffed that this happened to me.
as you can see from above and below, there are a lot of moving parts to clean inside an esprit when it is being rebuilt. it'll be nice to get rid of the gearbox leak as well. as clean as i have kept the car, it is shocking to see how much dirt is missed. hopefully it will be back together this week. i am kind of running out of good weather to make the trip back to chicago.
on getting it back: it still isn't quite sorted. i have a couple of drivibality issues we are working on resolving. the tab in the states for a rebuild came in a whisker under $16,000. we never really understood what failed on it in the first place. anyway, it has gone almost straight into storage as it is salty and snowy in the windy city now.
Spent the weekend at road america. it is probably the best time i have had in my esprit. the weather was perfect, the car ran faultlessly, and I was quicker out each session.
the car blew the engine a second time. it was the result of an install error. the tech at mid rivers lotus in saint louis left slop in the timing belt ruining my heads, and failed to put the rings in correctly. he also ruined the shift cables by dragging them, and the body of the car had some damage from whatever they did there.when we got it apart this time, the contamination was so bad that it left the turbo's unusable. so after getting that sorted, and running the thing in,(again), it seems to be working. i had to replace the cats again, and while i had it up, put in a griffon radiator which is mega! the car now has an s4s(euro) steering wheel, and 5 point harnesses, pics coming shortly. i am on ebc pads which work well only after they are warm, and dunlop tyres, which i very much like.
next up is a clutch(the pedal is getting heavy), shocks, and bushings, and correcting the body damage from mid-rivers.