5th gear, 200 mph.

5th gear, 200 mph.

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Discussion

DanL

Original Poster:

4,346 posts

236 months

Tuesday 30th November 2004
quotequote all
Don't know if anyone here saw 5th gear last night, but the've got a project on. They're trying to make a car go 200 mph (with a few mods), and have picked a V8 GT to do it with.

Here's a question for you though (based on last nights programme) - they kept on harping on about the gearbox being a 'weak point'. I know from my research that the box is generally regarded as being a bit nasty, but weak?

The reason I ask is they claim to have driven the car 50 miles before the gearbox "went". Is this likely?

I'm dreaming of getting an Esprit 'one day', and seeing this was a bit off-putting!

Dan

Autocross7

524 posts

221 months

Tuesday 30th November 2004
quotequote all
Well, I did not get the show, but I doubt seriously that they lost the gear box after 50 miles... True, the gear box does not seem to be the Esprit's strog point, but I would not call it "weak"... I certainly would not expect an issue after 50 miles or so, even if the box had 50,000miles on it when starting out.

Like I aid, I have not seen the show, but if it has host like some of the other shows I watch (Overhaulin etc...), then I put money on somebody trying to speed shift the Esprit like a Mazda or something. That will def not be good for the Esprit. It has been my experience that these cars have to be shifted clean and deliberate. No speed shifting...

Just my thoughts...
Drive topless!!!
Cameron
88' Turbo

996gt3rs

27 posts

206 months

Tuesday 30th November 2004
quotequote all
It was off-putting for me to mate.

I have seen that there is a stronger gear box available but the whole thing makes me nervous about the potential cost of ownership.

Especially because that car had just under gone 6000 worth of work to make sure it was in top shape.

Looks like the 1992 Excel (toyota running gear and gear box) or a new 111s are the only reliable Lotus's.

The sad thing was that Lotus's reputation was already mentioned before they bought the car. Lot Of Trouble Usually Serious.

GKP

15,099 posts

212 months

Tuesday 30th November 2004
quotequote all
Saw the show. It was up to it's usual journalistic standards (cough).

The gearbox "failure" highlighted on the show looked suspisciously like a cable failure rather than the whole box letting go 10 minutes after buying the car. But that would make very dull telly if it were true. They mentioned they were concerned about the Renault box when they discussed the project earlier (or later, I didn't do the editing of the programme...!) and seemed quite keen to use this as an excuse to replace it with something else.

A taller final drive and a small boost in horsepower and there's no reason why the V8 shouldn't do 200mph.

gary_tholl

1,013 posts

241 months

Tuesday 30th November 2004
quotequote all
www.extremeesprit.com if you want to make an esprit go 200mph.

The Renault tranny *is* the weak point of the car, that said, with any sense of mechanical sympathy, it will be fine for street driving. If they grenaded a tranny within 50 miles, it's the drivers fault, not the cars (IMHO).

All that said, Johan (from extremeesprit) did pile up his renault tranny at around 200mph, but he has ~550hp. He has gone to a Porsche G-50 tranny.

I certainly wouldn't let any of their 'reporting' turn you off getting an Esprit!! I've driven an '89 (first year of renault gearbox) hard, and it was fine.

Drive one and see for yourself.

Gary

craigw

12,248 posts

253 months

Tuesday 30th November 2004
quotequote all
I'm no expert but I reckon they're gonna have to spend a bloody fortune & get a very very very long road to get it to a "real" not speedo 200mph

DanL

Original Poster:

4,346 posts

236 months

Tuesday 30th November 2004
quotequote all
Thanks guys. I did think it was a bit 'conveniant' that the gearbox went, and they claimed that all gears were lost (I think). Sounds more like a cable going to me, too.

Ah well - it'll be interesting to see if they do it.

Dan

unity1

271 posts

223 months

Tuesday 30th November 2004
quotequote all
Did not see it myself but its on again tonight at 7:30 CH5.

I would not worry about the gear box as a potential owner unless you are going to chip, overboost and do sloppy gear changes. I've had mine for 6 years and now over 100k miles. I've have some problems with the cable linkages which oddly I fixed last Sunday but touch wood thats it.

Looking at the numbers I cant see that an Esprit couldnt reach 200mph and will make interesting viewing. Would also calm the 'not possible, dump from a plane' comments seen on other forums.

I think the choice of an Espirit is also interesting. As an owner I know it doent have the street standing of say a Lamo, Ferrari and oftern under appreciated by the general public. Seems the achievement will be a surprise to many but no so to thoes who already own one.

LotusSE89

314 posts

251 months

Tuesday 30th November 2004
quotequote all
gary_tholl said:
www.extremeesprit.com if you want to make an esprit go 200mph.

The Renault tranny *is* the weak point of the car, that said, with any sense of mechanical sympathy, it will be fine for street driving. If they grenaded a tranny within 50 miles, it's the drivers fault, not the cars (IMHO).

All that said, Johan (from extremeesprit) did pile up his renault tranny at around 200mph, but he has ~550hp. He has gone to a Porsche G-50 tranny.

I certainly wouldn't let any of their 'reporting' turn you off getting an Esprit!! I've driven an '89 (first year of renault gearbox) hard, and it was fine.

Drive one and see for yourself.

Gary


Johan is still using his original Esprit tranny. It was rebuilt after loosing 5th at around 211mph on the Bonneville salt flats. He lost all drive at 210.8ish, coasted down to 160ish, and then the car slid sideways one way and then the other before Johan recovered at around 110mph and coasted to a stop. He sent it off to be rebuilt and used a loaner Delorean tranny for a while. He recently was able to do 201 avg, both ways, and wasn't happy about a minor problem with wastegate bleed.

Johan's tranny was regeared for a higher top speed. You won't be doing more than 179mph with the stock V8 gearing and redline.

I think the Stock Esprit tranny will have a problem with heat during sustained high speeds. A tranny cooler (oil jetting) and possibly Justin Bell's upgrade would be a good thing to do.

Travis
Vulcan Grey 89SE
www.lotuscolorado.com/vulcangrey/

gary_tholl

1,013 posts

241 months

Tuesday 30th November 2004
quotequote all
Thanks for that Travis, I haven't been keeping quite as up to date with the Esprit list lately. Last I had heard, which was just after his salt flat 'experience' @ 160mph, he was planning on going to the Porsche box.

In the 'it's a small world' department, I nearly bought your old red '89SE from Dan Curry a couple years back, just before I got my Europa.

I would suggest that Johan would be the guy to talk to about doing this, seeing as he's been there, done that. Lots of great Esprit ideas floating around in his head, I'm sure!

Gary

country

78 posts

206 months

Wednesday 1st December 2004
quotequote all
what channel is 5 th gear does it play in united states cable?

lotusse89

314 posts

251 months

Wednesday 1st December 2004
quotequote all
country said:
what channel is 5 th gear does it play in united states cable?


5th gear is on the Speed network

country

78 posts

206 months

Wednesday 1st December 2004
quotequote all
thanks lotus would you kindly know what days they air the show?
thanks
adam

tacoboy

202 posts

232 months

Wednesday 1st December 2004
quotequote all
What was the name of the episode ?

5th gear is on Speed TV (USA),
at 7:00AM (west coast time)

DanL

Original Poster:

4,346 posts

236 months

Wednesday 1st December 2004
quotequote all
tacoboy said:
What was the name of the episode ?

5th gear is on Speed TV (USA),
at 7:00AM (west coast time)
I've no idea, to be honest - I'm watching the latest series here in the UK. Not sure when they air in the US.

Dan

rob.e

2,855 posts

249 months

Wednesday 1st December 2004
quotequote all
It was actually the fifth gear that failed (ironically). This is not the first esprit box to fail this way, but its not 'common'.

Details of the way the box fails are here:
www.lotusespritworld.com/EModifications/Gearbox.html

Derek Bell's upgrade addresses this issue. I've already passed Dereks details on to the tv show.

BTW my 98 V8-GT has 80,000 hard driven miles on it - no gearbox issues at all (touching wood as i type this though.. lol).

Rob

Paula&Marcus

317 posts

245 months

Wednesday 1st December 2004
quotequote all
Hi Rob, Hi All,
It depends on the driver ... you can drive the Esprit really hard if you know how to do (Rob, apparently you seem to know how to do ;o) ... but you also can easily wreck/grenade the Esprit-gearbox within 5 minutes if you treat it like a "stoned monkey on fire" ... seems like these 5th-gear-guys are not the correct potential Esprit-users/owners ...

Please dont get me wrong ... the Esprit-gearbox definitely is a weak point, but it isn t that weak that you will loose it within the first 50 miles. If this happens then its time to visit a doctor ...

Cheers
Marcus (www.PUKesprit.de)
V8GT with stock gearbox, 450HP, 22000km




>> Edited by Paula&Marcus on Wednesday 1st December 13:42

rob.e

2,855 posts

249 months

Wednesday 1st December 2004
quotequote all
Paula&Marcus said:
Hi Rob, Hi All,
It depends on the driver ... you can drive the Esprit really hard if you know how to do (Rob, apparently you seem to know how to do ;o) ...



Lol... watch me break it now this weekend..

karmavore

696 posts

226 months

Wednesday 1st December 2004
quotequote all
They must have some idea what they are going to do, they didn't pick this project with out thinking it through. Any guesses on what'll happen? I thought about the quaife box at first, but on second listen they did say they wanted it to be cheap...

Luke.

PS, go here for all your Top and 5th Gear needs:

http://gear.viper007bond.com/

LotusSE89

314 posts

251 months

Wednesday 1st December 2004
quotequote all
country said:
thanks lotus would you kindly know what days they air the show?
thanks
adam


Here is the 5th gear on Speed times listing
www.speedtv.com/programs/218/

Travis
Vulcan Grey 89SE
www.lotuscolorado.com/vulcangrey/