The website has been quiet for a few years and there have
been some distractions from work on the project - but - things
have been going on, albeit slowly...
The front and rear suspension is all disassembled and, once I've removed the old rubber bushes (ready for Polyurethane ones), they'll be sent off for powder coating. I've also been aquiring some lovley new parts. New top of the range fully adjustable suspension springs and dampers have been sourced
Also, brakes capable of stopping the car with the sort of power and performance expected from the engine....
HiSpec 6 pot calipers for the front and 4 pot calipers for the rear, with drilled and vented discs... the largest that will fit in the OZ wheel rims
The OZ Futura wheels have also been completely refurbished - new rim bolts and new tyres fitted
Not a functional thing but something that needed doing, as there's a space on the intercooler just waiting for it... a bit of artwork on a name plate - It will look nice through the tailgate louvres one day :)
AT LAST! Project M71Revival is revived!
The chassis, suspension, wheels and engine are all in a new garage, where I can build the rolling shell and ft the engine, with a view to getting the exhaust manifolds fabricated in situ...
There's not been a great deal I can do with everything in
storage - but I have got the V-band exhaust adapters for the
turbo outlets and some 3 inch stainless tubing, which will be
sufficient for dyno testing
Here's a turbo in something like what will be it's new position, when manifolds have been fabricated...
I could've mentioned this about 18 months ago - but I was keeping quiet on it as some might think it goes against the goals of PM71... As I've now gone public on PistonHeads though (my PH garage is here) I'll spill the beans on the other car - a 480 bhp Noble M12, bought ready tuned & running... a nice change for me and meaning there's no detraction from this project! http://www.noble.ukgo.com/
Yes Project M71 still lives! OK only in storage for the moment (as the photos show when the "donor" chassis & car were spirited away to a new home and the new V8 engine & chassis were put into storage this Summer) but the cash-flow situation from work is good - so it will soon be time to get the exhaust manifolds fabricated for the big turbos.... and then it's off to the dyno!
For shots with those doing the lifting, pushing & driving - click here for the commitee section
No real progress now for nearly 18 months I'm afraid! Nothing to report other than regular trips to the garage to turn the engine over. It's "cash flow" restricting things now really... I have bought a new digital camera - but the only photo here is of the V8 still with the plenum and chargecooler removed for the aborted 5th Gear collaboration... think they'll come & help me put them back on?!
Well after nearly a year the final installment of the 5th Gear TV 200 Mph Esprit project has just aired and it looks like they won't be helping Project M71 much after all. .... Guess it's all down to me again! Details in 5th Gear section
Here's an unplanned update - I'm now working with the makers of 5th Gear program on their 200 Mph Esprit feature... I'm hoping we can co-develop our engines, starting with getting specialist turbo manifolds fabricated - Click the icon for the whole story!
Oh Dear, what did we say Lotus stood for (click here) it's a case of "Hethel, we have a problem" with the new turbos - Click the icon for all the gory details!
The new turbos are purchased and look very sexy! After many hours of deliberation over matching graphs, A/R ratios, spool up times etc. I decided to use two GT28RS turbos (called the "Disco Potato" in Fast & Furious circles!), but with non standard .64 A/R ratio turbines. These should spool up as quick as the old T25s but have enough flow for more than 300 Bhp each. Just one concern - will they fit!i
Good progress on the engine - the chargecooler is now fitted and I'm very pleased with the results - the way it mates up with the GT1 plenum throttle bodies is spot on and the pipework from the turbo compressors is really neat.
Quite an impressive sight now and looking much more like the full GT2 Esprit engine than a standard V8 (check out the "Engine" section, under "Design", I've put a photo of my engine next one of the GT2 engine bay)
The chargecooler fabrication has all been done and, as the photos show, it's an excellent job - should really mate up with the GT1 plenum beautifully
The engine building is complete - and doesn't she look wonderful!
After some issues with getting the
correct new main and big end bearing shells, the V8 has now
all come together with the new pistons, ported heads and GT1
plenum. The next job is to have the Lotus Carlton double chargecooler and inlet pipework
fabricated - this should end up neat and tidy, with as short a
distance from the turbos to the
plenum/throttle bodies as is possible
Here's me with the V8 during the final stages of the build - it's hard not to grin!
Once the chargecooler
installation is done, it'll be time to source the ECU and then
it's off to the dyno - where the
real fun of engine mapping starts and measuring the BHP
output, of course :) It may be that the standard T25 turbos will not be quite up to job -
so an upgrade to T28s is planned.
The engine building is just about to start in earnest and it looks like I'll be using a plenum from the Le Mans GT1 racer - the throttle bodies are much larger than the standard and the inlet pipework will be very neat and tidy now, if we use a Lotus Carlton twin chargecooler, so I'll swap my 2 SE units for 1 of these!
The rear suspension has finally been sourced and is in my garage! - photos to come. It's a while since I updated "Progress" - quite a bit of planning and real work has been going on with the engine. I decided that although I intend to use more boost than standard, it's well worth having the cylinder heads ported and gas-flowed. Happily I've been able to use a craftsman who's already done the research on re-shaping etc on the flow bench. I've also decided to replace the standard pistons (perhaps the only weak link in the engine) with forged Mahle items. Also, to give extra thermal protection for increased boost (although intercooling will also help), I'm having the pistons treated with a high temperature ceramic coating called Keronite.
The cylinder head porting and polishing is now done and looks wonderful! I'm a great admirer of these skills, having spent many hours years ago labouring over a BL A series head with nothing more than rapidly wearing grind stones on an old drill and flexible drive! The quality of finish here looks lovely - and it's so pleasing to see 2 heads for a V8!
The Mahle pistons have now also had their Keronite coating done. The ceramic layer on the piston crowns seems incredibly tough - the company says it's as hard as steel and it certainly seems to be.... even if to try to scratch it with the point of a compass, you can't!
The new type 918 V8 engine is purchased! It might need a rebuild (the planning for which is under way) but it's the heart of the whole project, of course! I've part exchanged the old 4 cylinder type 910 - so there's no turning back now!
Other progress on the Esprit is really good, with major parts arriving in my garage...... New V8 Chassis (notice the differing rear tubes curvature to earlier variants, for the exhausts from each bank!). Front suspension/hubs/Brembo brakes - Probably won't be using these disc/calipers eventually (see Design section) but they are more than adequate to get the chassis rolling!
I suppose it might seem early days to be acquiring finishing touches like wheels and tyres - but you have to grab things when they become available! They are certainly a requirement to fit over the much larger brakes and, anyway, they will add to the final look of the car and already sit well in the garage: OZ Futura Wheels/Tyres - 235/40 ZR 17 fronts and 285/35 ZR 18 rears
So the new fronts are as wider section as the old rears! The new rears will look pretty much how Giugiaro originally designed the Esprit (with extremely wide rear tyres). Now we'll have the power to warrant their use!