Knucklehead EngineeringIf you live in the South East (anywhere within a 400 mile radius of Jacksonville, FL), aren't in a rush to get your Esprit serviced, want someone who is qualified to work on your car and knows what they're doing, has the right tools and contacts to do the job properly, and want to SAVE TONS OF CASH, then I've got the place for you!
My friends Gene Troutman and Mike Costley have decided to start an official side business working on our cars. Both have been involved with Esprits for over 15 years and are true enthusiasts. In fact, if you ever hear me talk about our yearly pilgrimages to the Mecca (LCU), they are part of our core group. They have traveled in their Esprits to Atlanta for the Walter Mitty in April, British Car Day in May, and HSR in September every year for over 6 years.
Gene and Mike started working on their cars many years ago and started helping fellow Esprit owners with their repairs as well. After doing this for several people, they decided to get incorporated and start a side business just to make it worth their while. You won't pay a pretty penny with these guys, but the job you get will be top-notch.
Prior to our last trip for the Atlanta 2002 HSR, I had already decided to have Gene & Mike change my timing belt and hoses upon our return. Since my clutch release bearing decided to disintegrate on the track, I figured, why not tow the car to Jacksonville and have them do this work as well. I'm glad I did! Not only was I able to help in pulling out the gearbox and doing some of the work, but a lot of this work has now been demystified and I am no longer afraid. Gene & Mike are very meticulous in their work and take their time to make sure things are just right. In fact, on several occasions we even rolled my car out to pressure wash the engine and/or transmission to make sure everything looked good and clean. This attention to detail is not normally found in dealerships which usually just want to get the job done and charge you a fortune in the process. As a matter of fact, we know of at least two people in Central Florida (who shall remain nameless) who have had very similar work done to their Esprits at the dealer and wound up paying over 10 TIMES as much as I did!
In the end, we replaced the timing belt, tensioner pulley, all V-belts, all major cooling hoses, coolant header tank, clutch throwout bearing, and pressure plate. We also had the clutch relined, removed a seized gearbox fill plug, changed the gearbox oil (MT-90), and flushed the cooling system. I had so much fun helping with this work that I have vowed to help with other cars that they get in for service. Granted, I can't go all the time since they live about 3 hours away (175 miles), but when I get the chance, I will be there. So, who knows, you may even have that weird Esprit Fact File nut working on your car!
You can call Gene and Mike at (904) 781-7027 or (904) 771-6981 and tell them that I referred you. You won't regret it.