Lotus Turbo Esprit Fact Respository for the 1981-1987 Lotus Turbo Esprit (the Giugiaro cars.)

Custom Lotus parts, guides and facts for the Lotus Turbo Esprit. 2.2 Liter Lotus engine with turbo. Guides for tires, wheels, engine, transmission as well as custom carbon fiber, aluminum and fiberglass parts for the Lotus Turbo Esprit. As well as an adjustable suspension for the front of the car.

Facts for both the US and UK Lotus Turbo Esprit, including spring rates, engine info, parts, modifications, specifications (specs), pictures, users, owners and vital information for the Lotus.

Some information might be valid for non turbo cars and other Esprits as well, some custom parts may be usable on non turbo version of the car and other parts may work on the later Esprits. And suspension adjustment and springs, coilovers coil overs and other stuff.

Turbo Esprits have the 2.2 liter lotus engine and 210 horsepower, we have custom fiberglass, aluminum and carbon fiber parts being developed along with a multitude of facts on the lotus cars.

We will have replacement OEM parts as well as custom unique parts for the esprits made from fiberglass, carbon fiber and aluminum.

We are interested in hearing from other lotus owners including S1 owners, S2 esprit owners and S3 n/a lotuses. We have a variety of owners.

Website designed by: DrieStone Design


PerformanceCookbook

Esprit.PerformanceCookbook History

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May 29, 2012, at 07:41 PM by 75.134.210.95
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Cam #,Duration,Lift,Overlap
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Cam#: Duration,Lift,Overlap
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May 29, 2012, at 07:35 PM by 75.134.210.95
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Cam Timing

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Cams
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Cams

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The stock heads can be ported almost 1/4" and allow much better flow. If nothing else, the head should be port matched. The extreme would be to port the head, intake and exhaust manifolds. Along with this, You may want to do a 3-angle grind done to the valves and added bronze/silicone valve guides and thin wall higher lift springs (especially if you are going to the higher lift cam.)
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The stock heads can be ported almost 1/4" and allow much better flow. If nothing else, the head should be port matched. The extreme would be to port the head, intake and exhaust manifolds. Along with this, you may want to do a 3-angle grind done to the valves and added bronze/silicone valve guides and thin wall higher lift springs (especially if you are going to the higher lift cam.)
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Even better, replace the rotor and cap distributor with an electronic one.
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Even better, replace the rotor and cap distributor with an electronic one, like Pertronix.
May 29, 2012, at 07:26 PM by 75.134.210.95
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Since the Esprit's handling really can't be improved dramatically (your best bet is sticky low profile tires on larger wheels,) this cookbook is for horsepower and torque.
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Esprit handling can be improved by replacing anti-roll bar (ARB) bushings with polyurethane, installing stiffer frt springs with adjustable shocks.
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Horsepower and torque.
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Although the Esprit is equipped with a Dump Valve, properly installing a Blow Off Valve should reduce turbo lag between gear changes as well as reduce stress on the turbo (thereby increasing life.) Not to mention this "upgrade" actually increases the reliability of your turbo.
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Although the Esprit is equipped with a Air Bypass Valve, properly installing a Blow Off Valve should reduce turbo lag between gear changes as well as reduce stress on the turbo (thereby increasing its life.) Not to mention this "upgrade" actually increases the reliability of your turbo. On Bosch CIS Injected cars, the BOV must vent back to the duct between AFM and compressor intake. Any leaks will cause engine running problems.
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If you have to open up the engine anyway, you should invest in a set of JE pistons to replace the OEM pistons. The JE pistons will increase your compression ratio to 8.5:1. The JE pistons are custom pistons, but companies like JAE usually have a number on hand. The set of four should run around $750. It has been suggested by a few owners that ceramic coating the pistons, however the folks at JAE say that ceramic coating doesn't really gain anything for you (the assumption is that there are many weaker links than the pistons). Lotus engines can safely make 350HP+ without ceramic coating.
to:
If you have to open up the engine anyway, you should invest in a set of JE pistons to replace the OEM pistons. The JE pistons will increase your compression ratio to 8.5:1. The JE pistons are custom pistons, but companies like JAE usually have a number on hand. The set of four should run around $750. It has been suggested by a few owners that ceramic coating be applied to the pistons (folks at JAE say that ceramic coating doesn't really gain anything for you,the assumption is that there are many weaker links than the pistons).
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You could replace the cast piston liners with the newer HC liners, but the cost of the new liners is about $1000 (per liner). The alternative is to hone the cast liners and coat the skirts with a wettable dry lubricant (molybednum disulphide) to increase oil carrying capacity. Although the HC liners are certainly good insurance, the "upgrade" if very cost prohibitive.
to:
You could replace the cast piston liners with the newer HC liners, but the cost of the new liners is about $1000 (per liner). The alternative is to hone the cast liners and coat the skirts with a wettable dry lubricant (molybednum disulphide) to increase oil carrying capacity. Although the HC liners are certainly good insurance, the "upgrade" is very cost prohibitive.
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There two valve head sizes available. The first is 36.8mm: which is the largest valve that will fit on the standard valve seat insert. Alternatively, it is possible to have 38mm valves; which is the size used in the ultra big valve heads of the "works" Lotus Sunbeams. These valve sizes will require the cylinder head to be fitted with oversize inlet valve seat inserts; but offer the ultimate in airflow.Both size valves have the stock 9/32" (7.14mm) valve stem size. Both also feature an undercut stem in the area that protrudes into the port - this assists air flow at low lift and lightens the valve a little. These valves are ideal for a tuned naturally aspirated 2.0L or 2.2l engine; the cost is less than a standard OEM valve and changing to the larger valves gives a significant gain in air flow; even without any gas flow work; although obviously the valve seat will require re-cutting to suit the larger valve. The 36.8mm valves would also work in a tuned turbo engine; Lotus used a 36.5mm valve in the S300 and S4s engines; these valves are a fraction larger than the S300 valves and the valve head shape flows better too.

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Cams
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Heads

June 12, 2005, at 01:40 PM by 64.252.79.11
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Even better, replace the rotor and cap distributor with an electronic one.
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Even better, replace the rotor and cap distributor with an electronic one.
June 12, 2005, at 07:35 AM by 64.252.79.11
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Most cars come from the manufacturer tuned so that all it's components are matched. This means that if you want to change one thing in the name of performance, you may have to make ten other chances to take full advantage of any modification.
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Most cars come from the manufacturer tuned so that all its components are matched. This means that if you want to change one thing in the name of performance, you may have to make ten other chances to take full advantage of any modification.
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The stock short block is pretty strong and you shouldn't need to "upgrade" beyond many the OEM parts. Ceramic coated JE pistons is a worthwhile investment (especially if you need to do a rebuild anyway.) This will increase your compression ratio to 8.5:1. JE pistons are not off the shelf for this application so you will have to have them custom made. You can work with the folks at JAE to get the right pistons. Piston cost is about $750 plus another $150 for the ceramic coating (for the set of four.) You could replace the cast piston liners with the newer HC liners, but the cost of the new liners is about $1000. The alternative is to hone the cast liners and coat the skirts with a wettable dry lubricant (molybednum disulphide) to increase oil carrying capacity. Although the HC liners are certainly good insurance, the "upgrade" if fairly cost prohibitive. Lastly, you should balance and lighten many internal components as possible. The crankshaft and the connecting rods are very robust and are many times larger/stronger than needed. A good machinist should be able to dramatically reduce the weight of these items.
to:
The stock short block is pretty strong and you shouldn't need to "upgrade" beyond many the OEM parts.

If you have to open up the engine anyway, you should invest in a set of JE pistons to replace the OEM pistons. The JE pistons will increase your compression ratio to 8.5:1. The JE pistons are custom pistons, but companies like JAE usually have a number on hand. The set of four should run around $750. It has been suggested by a few owners that ceramic coating the pistons, however the folks at JAE say that ceramic coating doesn't really gain anything for you (the assumption is that there are many weaker links than the pistons). Lotus engines can safely make 350HP+ without ceramic coating.

You could replace the cast piston liners with the newer HC liners, but the cost of the new liners is about $1000 (per liner). The alternative is to hone the cast liners and coat the skirts with a wettable dry lubricant (molybednum disulphide) to increase oil carrying capacity. Although the HC liners are certainly good insurance, the "upgrade" if very cost prohibitive.

Lastly, you should balance and lighten many internal components as possible. The crankshaft and the connecting rods are very robust and are many times larger/stronger than needed. A good machinist should be able to dramatically reduce the weight of these items.
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Even better, replace the rotor and cap distributor with an electronic one.
June 10, 2005, at 11:51 AM by JS
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July 04, 2004, at 11:57 AM by JS
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The stock short block is pretty strong and you shouldn't need to "upgrade" beyond many the OEM parts. Ceramic coated JE pistons is a worthwhile investment (especially if you need to do a rebuild anyway.) This will increase your compression ratio to 8.5:1. JE pistons are not off the shelf for this application so you will have to have them custom made. You can work with the folks at JAE to get the right pistons. Piston cost is about $750 plus another $150 for the ceramic coating. You could replace the cast piston liners with the newer HC liners, but the cost of the new liners is about $1000. The alternative is to hone the cast liners and coat the skirts with a wettable dry lubricant (molybednum disulphide) to increase oil carrying capacity. Although the HC liners are certainly good insurance, the "upgrade" if fairly cost prohibitive. Lastly, you should balance and lighten many internal components as possible. The crankshaft and the connecting rods are very robust and are many times larger/stronger than needed. A good machinist should be able to dramatically reduce the weight of these items.
to:
The stock short block is pretty strong and you shouldn't need to "upgrade" beyond many the OEM parts. Ceramic coated JE pistons is a worthwhile investment (especially if you need to do a rebuild anyway.) This will increase your compression ratio to 8.5:1. JE pistons are not off the shelf for this application so you will have to have them custom made. You can work with the folks at JAE to get the right pistons. Piston cost is about $750 plus another $150 for the ceramic coating (for the set of four.) You could replace the cast piston liners with the newer HC liners, but the cost of the new liners is about $1000. The alternative is to hone the cast liners and coat the skirts with a wettable dry lubricant (molybednum disulphide) to increase oil carrying capacity. Although the HC liners are certainly good insurance, the "upgrade" if fairly cost prohibitive. Lastly, you should balance and lighten many internal components as possible. The crankshaft and the connecting rods are very robust and are many times larger/stronger than needed. A good machinist should be able to dramatically reduce the weight of these items.
July 04, 2004, at 11:56 AM by JS
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You should rebuild both carbs replacing the needle valve and seat, accelerator pump diaphragm, springs and all gaskets. You might also rejet your idle jets from the stock 52's to 62's (which helps with the 3k RPM transition.)
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You should rebuild both carbs replacing the needle valve and seat, accelerator pump diaphragm, springs and all gaskets. You might also rejet your idle jets from the stock 52's to something larger (as much as 62's) which helps with the 3k RPM transition.
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If you still need to pass emissions, make sure you keep those 52's on hand, you might be too rich to pass emissions on 62's.
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If you still need to pass emissions, make sure you keep those 52's on hand, you might be too rich to pass emissions on the larger idle jets.
Changed line 25 from:
The stock short block is pretty strong and you shouldn't need to "upgrade" beyond many the OEM parts. Ceramic coated JE pistons is a worthwhile investment (especially if you need to do a rebuild anyway.) This will increase your compression ratio to 8.5:1. Also you can coat the skirts with a wettable dry lubricant (molybednum disulphide) to increase oil carrying capacity. Lastly, you should balance and lighten many internal components as possible.
to:
The stock short block is pretty strong and you shouldn't need to "upgrade" beyond many the OEM parts. Ceramic coated JE pistons is a worthwhile investment (especially if you need to do a rebuild anyway.) This will increase your compression ratio to 8.5:1. JE pistons are not off the shelf for this application so you will have to have them custom made. You can work with the folks at JAE to get the right pistons. Piston cost is about $750 plus another $150 for the ceramic coating. You could replace the cast piston liners with the newer HC liners, but the cost of the new liners is about $1000. The alternative is to hone the cast liners and coat the skirts with a wettable dry lubricant (molybednum disulphide) to increase oil carrying capacity. Although the HC liners are certainly good insurance, the "upgrade" if fairly cost prohibitive. Lastly, you should balance and lighten many internal components as possible. The crankshaft and the connecting rods are very robust and are many times larger/stronger than needed. A good machinist should be able to dramatically reduce the weight of these items.
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The stock heads can be ported almost 1/4" and allow much better flow. Along with this, You may want to do a 3-angle grind done to the valves and added bronze/silicone valve guides and thin wall higher lift springs.
to:
The stock heads can be ported almost 1/4" and allow much better flow. If nothing else, the head should be port matched. The extreme would be to port the head, intake and exhaust manifolds. Along with this, You may want to do a 3-angle grind done to the valves and added bronze/silicone valve guides and thin wall higher lift springs (especially if you are going to the higher lift cam.)
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Some owners have opted to remove the A/C and use the A/C radiator and lines for IC.
June 02, 2004, at 03:41 PM by JS
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A rebuild kit from http://www.dellorto.co.uk/ will cost about $175.

April 01, 2004, at 05:27 PM by JS
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Although the Esprit is equipped with a Dump Valve, properly [[Esprit.installingABOV installing a Blow Off Valve]] should reduce turbo lag between gear changes as well as reduce stress on the turbo (thereby increasing life.) Not to mention this "upgrade" actually increases the reliability of your turbo.
to:
Although the Esprit is equipped with a Dump Valve, properly installing a Blow Off Valve should reduce turbo lag between gear changes as well as reduce stress on the turbo (thereby increasing life.) Not to mention this "upgrade" actually increases the reliability of your turbo.
April 01, 2004, at 05:27 PM by JS
Changed line 13 from:
Although the Esprit is equipped with a Dump Valve, properly [[installingABOV installing a Blow Off Valve]] should reduce turbo lag between gear changes as well as reduce stress on the turbo (thereby increasing life.) Not to mention this "upgrade" actually increases the reliability of your turbo.
to:
Although the Esprit is equipped with a Dump Valve, properly [[Esprit.installingABOV installing a Blow Off Valve]] should reduce turbo lag between gear changes as well as reduce stress on the turbo (thereby increasing life.) Not to mention this "upgrade" actually increases the reliability of your turbo.
April 01, 2004, at 05:27 PM by JS
Changed line 13 from:
Although the Esprit is equipped with a Dump Valve, properly installing a Blow Off Valve? should reduce turbo lag between gear changes as well as reduce stress on the turbo (thereby increasing life.)
to:
Although the Esprit is equipped with a Dump Valve, properly [[installingABOV installing a Blow Off Valve]] should reduce turbo lag between gear changes as well as reduce stress on the turbo (thereby increasing life.) Not to mention this "upgrade" actually increases the reliability of your turbo.
April 01, 2004, at 04:34 PM by JS
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Blow Off Valve

Although the Esprit is equipped with a Dump Valve, properly installing a Blow Off Valve? should reduce turbo lag between gear changes as well as reduce stress on the turbo (thereby increasing life.)

March 30, 2004, at 09:57 PM by JH
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March 25, 2004, at 06:06 PM by 66.212.205.166
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March 25, 2004, at 05:58 PM by 66.212.205.166
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March 25, 2004, at 05:52 PM by 66.212.205.166
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March 25, 2004, at 05:51 PM by 66.212.205.166
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March 25, 2004, at 05:46 PM by 66.212.205.166
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March 25, 2004, at 08:55 AM by 65.75.16.52
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If you still need to pass emissions, make sure you keep those 52's on hand, you might be too rich to pass emissions on 62's.

March 25, 2004, at 07:23 AM by 65.75.16.52
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March 25, 2004, at 07:21 AM by 65.75.16.52
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There's a lot more to performance than just making more horsepower, and there is a lot more to making more horsepower than just "turning up" the boost. Remember that the Lotus shines at handling, if you want straight line speed there are better cars to be modifying (and they are cheaper to modify too.) That said, getting a little more kick in the pants is a drive that some of us can't shut off.
to:
There's a lot more to performance than just making more horsepower, and there is a lot more to making more horsepower than just "turning up" the boost. Remember that the Lotus shines at handling, if you want straight line speed there are better cars to be modifying (and they are cheaper to modify too.) That said, getting a little more kick in the pants is part of the reason we own these cars.
Changed line 7 from:
Most cars come from the manufacturer tunes so that all it's components are matched. This means that if you want to chance one thing in the name of performance, you may have to make ten other chances to take full advantage of any modification.
to:
Most cars come from the manufacturer tuned so that all it's components are matched. This means that if you want to change one thing in the name of performance, you may have to make ten other chances to take full advantage of any modification.
Changed line 15 from:
The stock short block is pretty strong and you shouldn't need to "upgrade" beyond the OEM parts with the exception of pistons and rings. Ceramic coated JE pistons is a worthwhile investment (especially if you need to do a rebuild anyway.) This will increase your compression ratio to 8.5:1. Also you can coat the skirts with a wettable dry lubricant (molybednum disulphide) to increase oil carrying capacity. Lastly, you should balance and lighten many internal components as possible.
to:
The stock short block is pretty strong and you shouldn't need to "upgrade" beyond many the OEM parts. Ceramic coated JE pistons is a worthwhile investment (especially if you need to do a rebuild anyway.) This will increase your compression ratio to 8.5:1. Also you can coat the skirts with a wettable dry lubricant (molybednum disulphide) to increase oil carrying capacity. Lastly, you should balance and lighten many internal components as possible.
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Intercooling is vital above 10psi boost, but there is no easy way to add intercooling to a mid-engined car. Lotus opted for a liquid-to-air intercooler (i.e. the chargecooler,) but you may also want to investigate an air-to-air intercooler (which is actually a bit more efficient.)
to:
Intercooling is vital above 10psi boost, but there is no easy way to add intercooling to a mid-engined car. Lotus opted for a liquid-to-air intercooler (i.e. the chargecooler,) but you may also want to investigate an air-to-air intercooler (which is actually a bit more efficient but has it's own pitfalls.)
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Your biggest danger in increasing boost is detonation. The biggest component to detonation is hot air (and not enough fuel.) The 910 Engine is a very capable platform which can exceed 300HP with the right components.
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Your biggest danger in increasing boost is detonation. With the right components you can run 10psi on pump gas without intercooling. The 910 Engine is a very capable platform which can exceed 300HP with the right components.
March 25, 2004, at 07:17 AM by 65.75.16.52
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March 25, 2004, at 07:17 AM by 65.75.16.52
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March 25, 2004, at 07:16 AM by 65.75.16.52
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Carburetors

You should rebuild both carbs replacing the needle valve and seat, accelerator pump diaphragm, springs and all gaskets. You might also rejet your idle jets from the stock 52's to 62's (which helps with the 3k RPM transition.)

Changed lines 15-39 from:
The stock short block is pretty strong and you shouldn't need to "upgrade" beyond the OEM parts with the exception of pistons and rings. Ceramic coated JE pistons is a worthwhile investment (especially if you need to do a rebuild anyway.) This will increase your compression ratio to 8.5:1 and allow you to run more boost without breaking things (it also reduces the mass of moving parts.)
to:

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The stock heads can be ported almost 1/4" and allow much better flow.
to:
Take advantage of the user groups and forums online. There are a number of people who have explored this ground before and can help guide your choices.
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(more to come...)
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March 24, 2004, at 09:10 PM by 66.212.205.166
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Describe PerformanceCookbook here.
to:

Peformance Cookbook

There's a lot more to performance than just making more horsepower, and there is a lot more to making more horsepower than just "turning up" the boost. Remember that the Lotus shines at handling, if you want straight line speed there are better cars to be modifying (and they are cheaper to modify too.) That said, getting a little more kick in the pants is a drive that some of us can't shut off.

Since the Esprit's handling really can't be improved dramatically (your best bet is sticky low profile tires on larger wheels,) this cookbook is for horsepower and torque.

Most cars come from the manufacturer tunes so that all it's components are matched. This means that if you want to chance one thing in the name of performance, you may have to make ten other chances to take full advantage of any modification.

Engine internals

The stock short block is pretty strong and you shouldn't need to "upgrade" beyond the OEM parts with the exception of pistons and rings. Ceramic coated JE pistons is a worthwhile investment (especially if you need to do a rebuild anyway.) This will increase your compression ratio to 8.5:1 and allow you to run more boost without breaking things (it also reduces the mass of moving parts.)

The stock heads can be ported almost 1/4" and allow much better flow.

(more to come...)
Page last modified on May 29, 2012, at 07:41 PM