Kind of long- but it’s a kick off for the project and a little introduction as well-
I should have posted this over here in the beginning of this project! I didn’t realize there was a conversion forum and the folks on the lotus forums aren’t too crazy about an LS in an English car… so here is the project:
Taking a 1988 Lotus Esprit Turbo and putting a LS1 5.3 (to start with as it is cheap and there is one sitting here) with the help of Caral Motorsports in the UK for the fab parts. Simon over there has put together a kit for this and this is the perfect donor car. He makes the mounts and intricate little parts so there isn’t the cutting and welding required – more bolt-in kit. There are some difficult parts and odd things, but I must say, he has been quite a resource in steering me in the right direction on everything!
So the car- ill add some photobucket links below… it sat outside for a while and I actually got it to run! I think there was a clutch issue and it was parked and then there is some story about money problems and blah, blah- not interesting but its cleared up with the title. I dropped my $3500 bucks and loaded it up. Everything was there and it was in surprisingly good condition – with a few exceptions. The gas tanks were junk but pretty much everything else is good- little items like the headlight and window motors are junk and will be re-conditioned.
I have removed the motor, transaxle, exhaust, intake, turbo, harness and the tanks and most will be sold off to fund the project….
The recipe calls for an Audi 6spd Transaxle so the specific parts that Simon at Caral makes will work as bolt ins with no modifications. So I picked up an 01X from Lithuania and a 5.3 out of a Tahoe that a friend had from intake to exhaust. I tend to turbo everthing I own, so I am making things easy to turbo when the time comes, but the 1st pass will be NA… and truthfully- I want to hear it run and start before spending the big money on the custom parts- like drive shafts and the adapter plate/ flywheel/ Clutch. I will also build a 6.0 or something a little lighter and more special once she rolls on her own.
Current State of Affairs: Lotus motor and trans are out, LS1 is awaiting the LS2 oil pickup, dipstick, windage try to fit my LS2 oil pan on with. I have picked up some turbo forward/up facing headers that will be mounted backward with V-bands to allow for a simple exhaust setup prior to turbos.
Motor Mounts are on the way from Caral and the trans mounts and crossbar are being fabricated by caral for delivery next month or so.
Engine wiring harness is being built by a local guy that specializes in LS swapped stuff
I am trying to figure out the cooling system as it relates to the front mount radiator and has two 1 ¼ pipes presenting in the engine bay and I also am working on an LS3 water pump that the outlet is turned 90deg as I run out of space on the top of the fire wall (it mimics the seats and closes up as it goes up) the harmonic balancer is still up in the air – ill decide that when the motor goes in and we asses space.
I’ve built some BMW’s and a lot of bikes, so I hate to say it, but the LS is a little foreign to me. Its pretty simple but I try to have a plan before fitting stuff up! Flexible coolant hoses from Silicon Intakes will probably be incorporated along with some –AN fittings.
I have to get some tanks made- order the $2500 adapter plate and clutch/flywheel package, along with the $1200 half shafts… the tanks will be about $750. Oh, and Ill need to paint it and all the other Lotus stuff that I haven’t even gotten to yet!
It’ll be expensive, I’m sure… but I am hoping to end up with something that remain light, has more power than originally and is now actually reliable!
Please feel free to provide any input or suggestions as I love hearing from those with experience! and if you are really bored- drop by Atlanta, ill provide the beer!
Looking forward to the input and hopefully helping someone out with this on their next swap!
Pics of the starting point! http://s828.photobucket.com/user/phi...Esprit%20Turbo