Gonna do it. Lotus Esprit SBF.

#82
Quick update here fellas. As usual, progress is slow but moving forward.

The stainless 2.5" exhaust system is coming together. For about $400 bucks I bought a kit comprised of 304 stainless 45's, 90's and 180's, along with some 3/8th 3-bolt flanges and various extras (02 sensor bungs, ball/socket flange for the manifold, etc.). The muffler is a Magnaflow x-pipe designed to take corresponding inlets at both ends.

I'm trying to get some (equal) length into the system, hence the 180 bends and such. I expect this will be pretty loud but what the heck, it's not the businessmobile.

I'm just MIG tack welding it with 309L stainless. I'll take the pieces to a good welding shop so they can TIG weld it nicely. After all, it's going to get looked at...may as well have nice (and strong/sealed) welds.

Once the exhaust is set then the next job will be working on the rear brakes. My Lotus (1988) had inboard brakes....but that doesn't work with the audi 016 so I have to mount outboard calipers.

I'll keep plugging along.
 

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#85
Making some slow progress. The custom 304 stainless exhaust system is nearing completion. Need to finish fabricating the downpipes from the exhaust manifold into the rest of the system.

Just got in the new injection manifold. I'll add the appropriate sensors here too - TPS, air flow, etc. Will be using the FAST 2.0 system.

I'm pretty impressed with the injection manifold. Pretty economically priced, nicely built, good quality product. The throttle bodies are well made - good casting and decent machine work. The manifold is equally nice. Some thoughtful touches - common vacuum plenum with single port/connection, good adjustability of the throttles, etc. You do need to do your own QC here however - several of the bolts were loose and the butterflies on one side needed a bunch of adjusting to synchronize. But overall, very nice.
 

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#86
Incidentally, I'm stainless MIG welding the system with 309L. My stainless MIG skills are improving....thank god.

I took the system to a welding shop for finish TIG welding but they wanted $700 bucks. Seriously? For welding 6 joints? That's like $20 bucks an inch. Three welders sitting there on their thumbs with nothing to do. I said "OK, how about $400?" Nope.

Fine. I'll do it myself and improve my welding skills.
 

Randy V

Member
Admin
Lifetime Supporter
#87
Good looking intake.
Good luck with the FAST 2.0 system. We have one in a box that we're trying to figure out what to do with.
 
#88
Cliff, I've owned 7 Esprits over the years, including a 2003 3.5L biturbo V8. That factory V8 Esprit handled the power and extra weight fine, although I could sense the extra engine weight (probably close to what your 331 setup weighs, given the twin turbos, plumbing, etc) behind me when I drove it.

I think you have a great project there, and you will be happy with the result.


Jack
 
#89
Hi Fellas, quick update here.

So I finished installing the EFI and the ignition - pics from a couple weeks ago during the process.

Last Saturday it came time to try to start her up. I cranked her with the plugs out and ignition disconnected in order to build a little oil pressure then installed the plugs and hooked up the ignition. I ran the set up routine on the EFI control unit.

Now, I had taken an extreme amount of care installing the EFI and ignition systems - probably have 40-50 hours in those systems alone. Basically, had to completely disassemble the EFI mechanicals and QC the whole system - new fasteners, seals, etc. etc.

So, with all this preparation I was hoping the start up wouldn't be too problematic. To my surprise, the engine fired on the second turn of the key and settled down to a lumpy idle. I balanced the throttle body flow at idle with my air meter and then ran her through a few rpm cycles (less than 2,500 rpm). All the readings were good - AFR, water temp, inlet air temp, fuel pressure, oil pressure, etc.

After 20 minutes or so the engine smoothed out and seemed to idle and rev really, really well. I was both surprised, and impressed. I can't take the car for a drive just yet - need to bleed the clutch and a few other things. Just wanted to pass along that this Frankenlotus might actually get on the road and drive one day.
 

Terry Oxandale

Skinny Man
GT40s Supporter
#92
Have you got any plans to shield the the cooler on the passenger side from the headers and engine area radiant heat? It's gonna be hot back there, and even with fresh air coming in from the hidden side, that metal (cooler) is going to get hot even without the added heat from the oil, and I'm guessing it will negate much of the benefit of its installation.
 
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#95
Have you got any plans to shield the the cooler on the passenger side from the headers and engine area radiant heat? It's gonna be hot back there, and even with fresh air coming in from the hidden side, that metal (cooler) is going to get hot even without the added heat from the oil, and I'm guessing it will negate much of the benefit of its installation.
Yup, absolutely Terry. Was thinking the same thing. Thought I would add a heat shield there. Maybe even try something exotic like face it with gold foil or ?? Planning on ceramic coating the headers too. You're right, it's definitely an issue to craft a fix for. I have two 5 inch spal sucker fans I was going to mount on the inboard side of the cooler to keep cool air flowing as well.
 
#99
Very nice Cliff. Looks like a quality job. Has anyone installed a small block Ford in a Lotus before ? I think you just made history. Keep up the good work.
Hi Walt, not that I know of. That's kind of half the reason I'm doing this really....

Other V8 swaps have included an audi 4.2, chevy LS, Buick 3.5, and Caddy Northstar. Would be kind of cool to have the only SBF "hybrid" Lotus.....
 
I'm alllliiiiivvvee!!! Frankenlotus lives.

OK, now I just need to fix the rear brakes, tidy up the EFI, relocate the battery, install the rear hatch, re-do the transaxle with better ratios........

Installed some very nice adjustable rear upper links this past weekend. Should allow for some healthy camber adjustments as-needed.
 

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