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Tim Jones

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About Tim Jones

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  • Name
    Tim Jones
  • Car
    1979 Lotus Eclat 521 & Jaguar XJ 3.0D Portfolio
  • Location
    Flintshire, North Wales

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  1. Hi Dunc - I think it is a 12V coil but it was done by Mike at Lotusbits who was fully aware of any ballast resister issues
  2. Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond. It's much appreciated and quite a few different things to consider there. I don't think it's the blocked breather pipe to the fuel tank (mostly because I can't see that this would sync with slowing from cruising speed to slow speed) but propose to run with a temporary fuel cap which will be drilled to vent it just to rule it out. With regards to the perennial issue of bad earths, I'm considering having temporary secondary earths run from all key components straight to the battery, probably terminating in a cluster of bullet connectors so I can enable/disable the secondary earths on a per component basis to try to isolate which one (if any) may be faulty. The way I look at it, if the fault still exists after that, it probably isn't a bad earth and I'll remove the temporary earthing wires. I'm thinking fuel pump, coil, electronic ignition and fuel cut-off solenoid (I don't even know where the latter is) The coil is only a few hundred miles old (indeed, everything ignition wise is only a few hundred miles old) but I am considering fitting a spare coil in a disconnected state so if the fault occurs, I can swap the connectors from the original coil to the spare coil - if it starts, then at least I can focus on the coil (but why is it failing is a different question) I personally don't think this is under-bonnet temperature issue - it was relatively early in the day - it wasn't warm and only seconds had passed between running perfectly fine on a dual carriageway and it failing as I hit a roundabout at the bottom of the exit ramp - temperatures couldn't vary that much that quickly. That makes me think it isn't fuel vapourisation (but what do I know) Cheers all Tim
  3. Good effort Danny - having put up with him for 35 years, I think I'll hang on in there
  4. My 1979 Eclat (which I’ve owned for 25 years) dumped me at the side of the road again this Sunday I will try to describe what happened in as much detail as possible to see if it puts any light bulbs on your end.There is some similarity with what happened on a previous run. Let's start with that previous run. I took it out for a run on a local motorway. The car cruised well at 70mph, I was in 5th most of the time but occasionally would drop it to 4th to let the engine have a few moments at higher revs. Ran well, pulled well, no hesitation at those sorts of speeds. After about 23 or so miles, I ran out of Motorway so took an exit to do a U-turn and come home. As I hit the roundabout at the bottom of the exit, the car fluffed and almost died - I gave it some throttle and it reluctantly came back and then recovered and drove without issue on the Motorway until I left it to reach my house. It started to run poorly in the last mile (I live within a mile of the exit from the dual carriageway) and felt like it was running on 3 cylinders by the time I got home. Assume running rich and fouling plugs. I took it out on Sunday just gone. I'm on a dual carriageway, cruising at 70mph. Car running sweet as a nut. At one point, I had to drop to 50 to go through a restricted speed area in a town but still no problems. Dropped to 4th. Out the other side, and picked up to 70 again. No hesitation, no issues at all. Done about 46 miles, Temperature, Oil pressure and Volts all good. Now, that road is mostly uninterrupted with conventional exit ramps but there are two occasions when there are roundabouts. As I hit the first roundabout, into 4th, into 3rd, as I tried to pull away, it fluffed (but then there is a massive mid-range flat-spot which needs looking at. Gave it some throttle and it came back. Put it down to the flat spot. Back to cruising nicely at motorway speeds. Reached a second roundabout - hit 4th, hit 3rd - it died and I couldn't catch it. Stationary at side of road. Tried to restart it repeatedly but not a sniff. It took the RAC a little over an hour to reach me, by which time, it has started again. I wondered about trying to drive it home but felt in my bones it would fail again and ended up being recovered. So - what happened? I can't help thinking that the fact that 3 times, it hasn't liked dropping from motorway speeds to roundabout speeds has to be relevant, does it not? It has, for many, many years, had an intermittent fault where it would cut out but then start later when it had cooled down but I thought Lotusbits had got to the bottom of that when they changed the electronic ignition from Lumenition Optronic to Lucas (I seem to recall they also did something with the coil / ballast resister). So I'd like to think it's not that again. But because of the above, I've always thought this is an intermittent electrical failure, but why would it get arsey when I stop cruising at motorway speeds and hit a roundabout? Isn't that more likely to be a fuel issue? . Some sort of fuel surge? (but I didn’t brake hard – everything was super gentle) Could it have instantaneously flooded and fouled its plugs as I hit the roundabout? I find that hard to believe but it would fit the timing of events. Would those plugs have dried themselves in the hour it was standing? Very dispiriting. Any ideas out there?
  5. I'll do that Roland - thanks for the suggestion. I was hoping it's not a head gasket because the temperature is very stable and there doesn't appear to be any coolant in the oil I changed but I just googled other symptoms of a failed CHG and noted that a fail between cylinders wouldn't exhibit either of these (what I had thought to be classic) traits. Bugger. I've just read about testing coolant for C02 which looks interesting but (as ever) is not definitive. I suppose no-one ever said owning a car close to 40 years old would be simple I'll keep you posted Cheers
  6. Hi again Roland - thanks for coming back to me - your input is much appreciated wet, worst on cylinder 3 - I have wondered about worn rings on that cylinder but this trait is relatively new - don't THINK it's oil and it wasn't happening the last long run 2 years ago and its only done a few hundred miles since, so if the rings weren't worn then, are they now? My current thoughts (possibly clutching at the least worst option) is some carb setting not being right at low speeds (but I can't then explain why it doesn't affect more than one cylinder)
  7. Thanks Chris - of course you are right - the most reliable time it ever had was when it was my only car and was used every day. Yours looks beautiful, although I don't fancy cleaning those wheels - mine are much more straightforward :-)
  8. Much appreciated Roland - you've made my day
  9. Hi there - some of you regulars may have bumped into "Linford" , my 1979 Eclat before Linford had quite a lot of work done at Lotusbits two years ago - didn't get used last year, and has just been out for a couple of inaugural runs this year. He's running well at motorway speeds, pulls well and without hesitation. There is a quite significant flat spot on a light throttle but that disappears if you give it some welly - but I digress. He seems to be fouling his plugs at low speed, so whilst he ran well for 95% on a 60 mile run, he was running on 3 as i did the last mile to home. If I take the plugs out and clean them, I'm sure he'll be OK for another run but how can I stop it happening? Whilst I used to do a lot of work on cars when I was a kid, I never did get the hang of carbs and I'm too old to start now. On that subject, can anyone recommend someone in the Chester/North Wales area who knows their onions with carbs? I did have a recommendation in the area (which I won't name) but he pissed me off by telling me someone had fitted "hooligan jets" which were "never going to work". Well, Linford might not have been running well at the time, but I've owned this car for 32 years and those jets were fitted by Vegantune as part of a 200bhp engine in 1985 and they worked perfectly well for decades, thank you very much. Hope you can help Ciao
  10. Hi Mark - I'm hoping to get a carpet set from Coverdale for my very good friend Linford (below) which I've owned since 1985 How did they end up? Did you solve the puzzle? Bit concerned about the inner sill bit not reaching the back of the footwell
  11. Ah, that's a shame - hate to see them disappear one by one. Don't really understand why they are all so low in value - I think they're ageing rather well myself.
  12. Hi all - you all probably know that it's almost impossible to see whether the indicators are on or not in an Eclat, particularly in bright sunlight and I hate it when people leave their indicators on for ages. I was wondering whether I could add an audible reminder by tapping onto the indicator relay - is it easy to get at and where is it? Cheers Tim ps - I was reminded yesterday how much reflection there is off the top of the dash onto the windscreen - really difficult in some conditions - bless!
  13. Anyone know if there are any plans for a 'get-together' of cars for the 40th Anniversary?
  14. Hi all - in September, I will have owned "Lindford" for 30 years and he is on his way back to regular use after too many years under a dust cover in the garage. Mike Taylor at Lotusbits did a great job last autumn with an intermittent electrical failure which plagued me for decades. Anyway - the point of this post. Took Lindford out for a good run yesterday - it has a serious hesitation /fluff in mid range revs (2500-4000) on a light throttle. Put the foot down and this hesitation is not there and it pulls cleanly and strongly to the red line. Because I've owned the car for so long, I know that it only ever really came alive above 5000rpm and that there never was any mid-range torque. But, when driving through town or following another vehicle, you can't use full bore throttle to clear flat spots and hesitation, so what is going on here? Without fully understanding it, I wondered whether this was a vacuum advance issue (because it clears with a heavier boot, the advanced timing is more appropriate) - does this mean the timing needs adjusting? But if the timing was advanced, wouldn't that then mean that it might be too advanced under full bore...can I actually get the best of both worlds or accept that it has been set up for 'spirited' driving and be done with it? FYI: Carbs have been completely disassembled, cleaned and re-assembled summer of 2011. Pics here: ps - watch this space for pics associated with a Gliptone Scuffmaster kit and my seats
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