View Full Version : Lotus Esprit V8TT Build-up

02-26-2010, 06:28 PM
Currently rebuilding the engine in my '97 Lotus Esprit V8 twin turbo, had a turbocharger come apart on the road course which lead to some nasty piston damage. Thought some beyonders would be interested in the rebuild thread, along with some of the modifications being done.

Engine Build:
JE forged pistons set 9.0:1 SCR (up from factory 8.0:1)
ARP head stud set
Factory gasket set c/w MLS head gaskets
New racing rod bearings custom made (factory ones are too soft)
Ported cylinder heads c/w multi-angle valve job

Turbochargers being upgraded from T25 sleeve bearing units to GT25 ball bearing CHRA's with factory compressor and turbine housings machined to match.

Engine management is the factory ECU with stage 3 chip, adding a AEM FIC-8 piggyback controller to manage the larger injectors and allow two fuel/timing/boost maps to be run depending on if the water/meth injection is functioning. This setup is used very effectively in the well publicized HPF E46 M3 turbo systems. (not the FIC but the map for meth)

Larger injectors will be run as well as a custom water to air intercooler system. These cars come from the factory with no intercooling as they run modest boost levels and the factory ECU's are super restrictive. The main reason is the transmissions and driveshafts are not up to the task. This will be addressed next with some major upgrades.

The ultimate goal is to be competitive on the road course with the likes of a F430. Tall order.

Some pictures of the build to date:

Flat plain crankshaft

Cylinders look new

Factory intake ports before porting

Factory exhaust port before porting

Exhaust to manifold ports before porting

AEM FIC-8 wired into the factory harness

Factory piston vs JE high compression forged

Should be a fun build

02-26-2010, 09:16 PM
Looks like a sweet setup. I'll need to get in on a ride along in that monster. Although I hardly fit in it from what I remember.

02-27-2010, 07:26 PM
I envy you lotus esprits are on my list of favourite cars just absolutely bitchin styling. I had a run in with one when i had my Silvia. We were side by side till 180km but good luck with the build looking forward to seeing more

02-27-2010, 07:29 PM
Pics of the car??? Lotus Esprit's are pretty rare and it'd be nice to see some pics of this beast.

02-27-2010, 08:04 PM

Interesting car, one of six painted Juvarra Ivory. Only one in North America. Three were RHD and three were LHD. One was used as the Geneva Auto show car in 1996.

Always like the Esprit, especially the V8 twin turbo ones. Handles amazing, very balanced and very unlike most mid engine cars I've driven. I've had this one full lock sideways on the race track only to catch it and carry on without spinning. The transmission and shifter get much bad press, but they are not that bad.

Fairly rare in Calgary compared to Ferraris and usually gets mistaken for one...

02-27-2010, 08:12 PM


GT-R rated
02-27-2010, 08:17 PM
giggity. :thumbsup:

02-27-2010, 08:57 PM
Finished up ported one of the cylinder heads, tons of work and sucks to have another one to do...lol

Here's some pictures

Stock exhaust port

Ported exhaust port - significantly opened up towards the transition to the manifold.

Stock intake port

Ported intake port

Stock combustion chamber side

Ported combustion chamber side

Hard to see from the pictures but significant work was done, dyno will tell if it was worth the effort.

Once completed it's off to the machine shop for a multi angle valve job.

02-27-2010, 09:27 PM
That is one sexy automobile. Wow!! Definitely something I hope to see with my own eyes at some point.

02-28-2010, 12:56 AM
Nice Car, love the sexyness

03-03-2010, 05:34 PM
Awesome Paul keep it up!

03-03-2010, 08:02 PM
:thumbsup: One of the prettiest cars ever built imo,have fun with it!

03-03-2010, 08:12 PM
One of my favs, can't believe theres one in Calgary in that colour. Man some real ballerz on Beyond. wow

03-03-2010, 09:48 PM
I think I saw one of these at Timmys on southland and Elbow last week?? Couldnt figure out what the hell it was. was a whitish yellow color

03-03-2010, 09:58 PM

03-08-2010, 07:03 PM
Saw a white one last weekend as well, had to point it out to the fiance, and even she knew it was a Lotus!

03-15-2010, 03:44 PM
I just spotted a silver one on barlow, being tailgated by some rusty ass nissan s12 with a fart can. I felt bad for the guy to have to put up with that shit.

To OP: Nice car and even nicer build! Pretty awesome to do a build on a much more rare car.

03-15-2010, 04:30 PM
There's one for sale that the owner parked in a store inside Cross Iron Mills. I think it's an S4. I've always had a thing for the Esprit. :love:

05-10-2010, 06:58 PM
Small update, just got my new turbos from Alamo. Custom GT2560RS ball bearing units mounted in the factory compressor and turbine housings. Alamo did an awesome job, can't wait to get the engine running with these bad boys. Should be good for 330hp each :D


Original compressor wheel


New compressor wheel

05-10-2010, 07:47 PM
Very cool Paul!

05-10-2010, 10:53 PM
That's insane Paul. :drool:

05-11-2010, 07:06 AM
Just occured to me, there is a distinct trend developing in your garage, and I think the GMW is destined for twin turbos....

05-11-2010, 07:50 AM
Originally posted by racerocco
Just occured to me, there is a distinct trend developing in your garage, and I think the GMW is destined for twin turbos....

No room in the GMW for TTs but the R32 GTR fits the requirements, with an LSx engine of course...

05-11-2010, 07:56 AM
Well aware, now get those suspension parts over here and we will load it all up on the hoist and get it rolling...