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iain Nicholson

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Posts posted by iain Nicholson

  1. Hi All.

    Fitted a brand new Ignition Amplifier inside the Lucas AB14 box as another possible culprit to this frustrating problem, (only £20.00 from a very helpfull motor factors,) Guess what?? still no spark!!! As I have either replaced or checked every part of the ignition system, I am now running out of ideas what to check.

    Maybe the Meta M36T Immobiliser fitted to the car could be at fault? it appears to be working ok, as the car engine wont turn over until the normal sequence of inserting the fob into the fob slot and the flashing red LED extinguishes. but there is a fine red wire that goes to the negative terminal of the coil, and a braided uninsulated earth lead that terminates at the coil mounting plate these wires are in the wiring loom that goes into the coil box, but these wires dont appear to be illustrated in my workshop manual wiring diagram!!

    According to the manual there are 2 wires from the ignition amplifier to the coil, (white, and white with a slate line) and the same colour wires from the wiring loom to the coil,but no mention of this red wire and earth wire.

    Could these wires be part of a circuit that has broken down from the immobiliser? Or are they present on all 1984 Esprit Turbo's?

    Just exploring all crazy avenues :-(


  2. Hi Guys,

    Bought new coil but still no spark!!! GRRRRR..........There is voltage to the coil, I have confirmed this by carrying out a simple bulb test, however the bulb only lights if I place contact between the positive or neg terminal on the coil and the coil body itself, it doesnt light if I place contact between the pos and neg terminals on the coil. Would I still get some sort of weak spark at the end of the coil HT lead even if the ignition amp has failed? Where else can i look for clues?


  3. Hi Guys,

    My 1984 S3 Turbo has suddenly decided not to produce a spark at the plug.

    The car has always started up instantly and has run perfectly for years, but last week it started to splutter under load and became difficult to start, once started, it would rev freely stationary, but again, once driven as I reached approx 4000rpm, it would misfire and gain no further power.

    I ran a few obvious checks,but everything looked fine. I then checked out the ignition side of things, and discovered only a weak spark was being generated at the end of the coil lead, but when connect back to the dizzy there was no spark at all at the spark plugs.

    The Magnecor performance HT leads are only a couple of years (or 4000 odd miles old) as is the spark plugs,battery,dizzy cap, Rotor arm, Pick up in the dizzy and the lead from the pick up that goes to the Ignition amplifier, that leaves only the coil or the Lucas AB14 Ignition Amplifier as potential component suspects.

    Steve from SJ Sportscars says its highly unlikely to be the Ignition Amp as he has never known one fail in his 30 years Lotus experience.

    The symptons have presented themselves as a component gradually breaking down, as opposed to instant failure.

    Im guessing then, my instinct says the coil, but If anyone could help with any suggestions to this annoying problem I would be most grateful.

    Kind Regards.

    Iain Nicholson.

  4. Hi mate,

    When the bleed screw is released water is gushing out, but it is only warm, (warmer than the output hose though) but the imput hose is almost too hot to touch. its almost like the water is not circulating through the radiator. Which way does the water pump make the coolant flow?

  5. Further to my previous post (re: rad fans staying on,) I completely reflushed my cooling system again. this time with the heater in the hot position. I am alas still left with the same situation as last time, with the nearside radiator output hose being cold, and the offside imput otter switch hose/pipe being hot!! I spent quite some time flushing all the hoses and the radiator with a hose pipe before filling again with no restrictions evident at all. But no matter how many times I have bled the system, the radiator output hose still remains cold, consequently the rad fans remain on when the activation temp is reached, they then dont switch off at all. (Obviouslybecause there seems to be no circulation of cooler water going past the otter switch.) Only when I switch the engine off and wait one to two minutes for the coolant to lower in temp do they eventually turn off. the strange thing is that the temp gauge reaches the normal reading and does not fluctuate at all. You would think if there was a blockage, or poor circulation, or a jammed shut thermostat this would cause the car to overheat, but even taking the car on a long run,the gauge does'nt rise above normal. What do you think is the reason for this problem? Do you think I have a dodgy thermostat?

    Forgot to mention i have ruled out the water pump as there is a large propulsion of coolant ejecting from the header tank return hose when the engine is reved

  6. Thanks for your imput guys. Appologies, I made the error of stating the offside, when I meant the nearside (passenger side) radiator hose was the cool one! Is it essential to bleed the system with the heater in the hot position? because I may not have done this. In response to the suggestion that there could be a blockage, surely this would cause the car to overheat,? resulting in a higher temp gauge reading,? but this is not the case, the car reaches the same reading on the gauge as before the system was flushed, and doesnt fluctuate from the normal position even after a 20 mile run! Im sure the fan switch and relays are fine as the fans operate only when the car reaches the working temp, they do not come on from cold, and as I mentioned in my post when I turn the engine off they stay on for a minute or so then they turn off when the coolant temp has lowered! I will try and bleed the system again with the heater in the hot position.

  7. I recently flushed and replaced the antifreeze in my cooling system. Whilst I was doing this I also inverted the alluminium pipe that the otter switch is mounted to, as mine, an 84 Turbo, was facing upwards, (pointing downwards prevents potential air locks.) After bleeding the system several times (burping the Esprit article very helpfull!)) I took the car for a run, everything was fine, temp gauge read normal throughout the journey, but on returning whilst ticking over, I noticed the rad fans were not switching off, I checked coolant level in the header tank, all fine circulating properly, released the rad bleed screw. again all fine no air trapped, just coolant spilling out as you would expect if the system was bled properly, however I noticed that the bottom radiater hose (off side)was not even warm, where the upper rad pipe (Otter switch near side) was very hot is this normal? Im assuming that a stationary car even with the rad fans on, wouldnt be sufficient to cool water that effectively? plus the rad fans always worked normally switching on and off before the system was flushed. I was certain there were no blockages in the radiator as I flushed this through with a hose pipe before refilling with coolant. The rad fans eventually switch off with the engine switched off, but with the ignition left on, so no thermostatic problem their, plus when I rev the engine with the header tank cap off, there is a healthy flow of water coming out of the return pipe, proving the water pump is fine. Any clues guys??

  8. Hi All,

    I am about to change my cambelt on my 84 Turbo, and was considering changing the tensioner in the process. by all accounts the later eccentric type is a better design and simpler to fit than my spring/plunger set up.Can the later type be fitted without major surgery??!!! If not, would it be advisable to fit a new tensioner whatever?

    Kind Regards

    Iain Nicholson

  9. I have an annoying small oil leak on my S3 Turbo, which I suspect is coming from where the exhaust cam housing mates to the cylinder head. When hot every few minutes a tiny drip of oil lands on top of the exhaust manifold and obviously smoking occurs.

    I don't think its a very serious leak, but experience tells me that it will probably get worse and it needs sorting.

    As my cam belt is due for renewal I was wondering wether it is feasible to lift off the exhaust cam housing and reseal the two mating surfaces with a suitable silicone gasket?

    Is there sufficient clearance between the cam housing and the glassfibre sidewalls of the engine bay to remove the housing and perform this task without major surgery??!!!


    Iain Nicholson.

  10. I recently had my tatty header tank refurbished on my 1984 S3 turbo.When I disconnected the hose that fits to the bottom of the tank I used a synthetic wine bottle cork as a bung to prevent any coolant escaping from the hose and softly clamped the two thinner air bleed and overflow top hoses for the same reason. On reassembly I simply connected the three hoses and refilled the header tank to a couple of inches from the top. (no problem easy peasy.)

    However, I had returned from a 60 or so mile drive keeping a close look at the temp gauge (which remained at the usual temp throughout the journey) the car was sat on my drive ticking over nicely when "whoosh" several litres of coolant was gushing from behind the O/S/F wheel. I quickly turned the engine off, and on inspection saw that the otter (fan switch) had blown off the elbow pipe. firstly thank god this happened on my drive, but the real mystery, is that the coolant in the header tank had not moved from the original level when it was refilled (2 inches from the top). Surely with such a large amount of coolant loss from the front of the car, this would have disappeared or reduced significantly? Even after leaving the car a day, gravity should have reduced the level? I disconnected the top bleed pipe and blew down it, this resulted in a gurgling coming from the elbow pipe where the otter switch was still removed, so I guess that rules out a blockage on that route, but could there be a blockage somewhere else in the system? which is preventing the header tank coolant from falling? I figure after the refitting of the header tank there must have been some kind of air lock for the otter switch to be blown out,but I never thought it necessary to bleed the system, plus I have never had any cooling problems for the past three years I have owned the car, but I'm more concerned that the water pump or the thermostat may have packed in by coincidence. Does anyone have any clues to diagnosing the header tank coolant level situation?? or things to check out before I flush,refill and bleed the cooling system?

    Kind Regards


  11. Thanks for the advice guys, after much discussion with the esprit experts, they too have short listed the crank angle sensor, but peter at PNM told me to short the terminals a&b on the diagnostic link plug in the engine bay relay box, this then gives a series of flashes via the check engine light on the dash,which translates to the fault codes the ecu has stored.after this excercise is complete I have a code 12 and 22. Does anyone have any answers to these two code numbers?

  12. Wonder if anyone can give me some clues to why my 1991 Esprit SE has suddenly developed a running problem? After experiencing no previous running problems whatsoever I was driving the car the other day when after 20 minutes into the journey the car started to misfire badly I continued as best I could (wouldnt rev) but about a mile later the car broke down completely! When the breakdown guy came approx an hour and a half later to put it on the truck to my amazement it started fine!? Not convinced this was just a one off fault that had cured itself, once back at my place of work, I left it running, and low and behold the car cut out after ticking over for about 10 minutes. I removed one of the ht leads and put a spare spark plug on the end to which there was no spark once the engine was cranked over. But there was power to the coil pack. after numerous plug/relay /sensor/ connection checking, the car still wouldnt start, but if left for about two hours it would start and run fine again. I think it would be safe to say this must be an electrical problem? does anyone have a clue what it might be ? I was told to check the crank angle sensor? Is something breaking down due to heat or load?

    Regards Iain.

  13. I also have very small trace of oil weeping from the exhaust side of the cylinder head gasket on my 1984 turbo. Whilst the engine runs perfectly (other than one or two oil drops burning off the exhaust manifold when first started) the coolant has no water/oil contamination, and a recent oil change showed absolutely no water present.I'm obviosly a bit nervous of the possible consequences,the engine was fully rebuilt 4500 miles ago so the head gasket is relatively new, have I a cause for concern here? or am I over reacting? has anyone else had this problem?


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