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ELISE S2 - Flat, flat battery and alternator feels warm with battery on charge


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Not having much luck with the Elise suddenly - went out to fuel it on Monday night and all seemed fine - rained ever since so left the car out with its shower cap on until tonight, Thursday when it was nice, sunny and dry for a change.

Thought I'd take the Elise out but it had different plans - car was absolutely, I mean absolutely flat like I'd left the headlights on for days (which I hadn't).

Connected my decent mains battery charger and set it on low but after returning to the car and checking round it, my alternator seemed slightly warm. I've never noticed this before on a car but then maybe haven't felt the alternator when the battery was on charge  - I just felt it to make sure the belt was intact.

I've disconnected the earth lead and will continue to charge the battery but wondered if any of you wise Lotus folk know what would cause total battery failure, like full drain in three days (never happened before), and a warm alternator when charging the battery with a mains charger.

Hoping it's just battery failure but when with a Lotus is it just a simple thing?

Any help or recommendation greatly received - hoping for a drive before it pours down again!

Thanks

Simon

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  • Gold FFM

An alternator can fail with a short to ground, through a failed diode in the regulator for example. The current drain would make the alternator warm to the touch and will drain the battery. If you can, measure current to the alternator (with a clamp meter) with the battery connected but engine and ignition off. It should be zero, otherwise there is a fault in the alternator.

  • Thanks 1

I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.

 

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Thanks for coming back to me guys 

As suspected I’m not happy there’s an easy solution. 
Having charged the battery overnight I connected everything up again and tried to start it. 
It fired up immediately but now showing a charging circuit warning light and an EML light (which it never shows once running)

Checking the alternator it appeared to be smoking so I shut everything down and disconnected the battery. 

I’ve a new battery ordered (perhaps prematurely) but I’ve not ordered a replacement alternator. They seem to vary from eighty quid delivered to about £300 plus vat plus delivery and neither feels right. 
Not sure what a bi**h of a job replacing an alternator on this car is but it’s certainly less accessible than the one on my Elite!!

Was hoping to get some use out of the car before the nights draw in - damn!!

Any guidance on a credible supplier and how much of a job it is to fit one?

Thanks again
 

 

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https://www.eliseparts.com/shop/engine-components/alternators-starter-motors/new-alternator-s2-k-series/

It's a standard K-Series alternator so you could purchase from a few places, it's a fairly well used engine in many cars. You could also try having yours refurbed and a heat shield when refitting is a good idea.

https://www.eliseparts.com/shop/cooling/heat-insulation-protection/alternator-heat-shield/ 

 

88 Esprit NA, 89 Esprit Turbo SE, Evora, Evora S, Evora IPS, Evora S IPS, Evora S IPS SR, Evora 400, Elise S1, Elise S1 111s, Evora GT410 Sport

Evora NA

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  • Gold FFM

If you can find a place to rebuild your alternator locally, that would be my choice. I pay around £100 for a rebuild, they always look like new and come with a one year warranty.

The new battery will probably not be necessary, but won't hurt.

At least you've found the problem!

Filip

I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.

 

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11 hours ago, madmax said:

As suspected I’m not happy there’s an easy solution. 

 

I'd be very happy there was an easy solution

Go with Bibs' recommendations. And then refurb. your old one as Filip has mentioned. Then you have a spare for your shelf or you could sell it on to offset the cost of the new one

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Back to school question from me here guys - do we know if the alternator on our cars is identical to the MG/Rover K Series product being offered ? I can't yet get to mine to see a part number  but it strikes me that a less specialised make supplier may be able or willing to provide a more cost-effective solution.

If as Bibs says, it's just a standard K-Series alternator, why should we pay a premium of some four times to get one from say, Elise Parts?

Just asking...................don't want to make a mistake!!

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4 hours ago, madmax said:

If as Bibs says, it's just a standard K-Series alternator..

Why don't you believe/trust Bibs? I do, and he has a helluva lot of experience and knowledge throughout the Lotus range

Just get your credit card out 😕

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Oh, I absolutely do trust Bibs and if he says it’s just a K Series alternator then that’s what I’ll find. I just don’t really understand why  Elise Parts want about £260 for one delivered when they can be had for less than a hundred quid delivered. 
Even eBay apparently have genuine Rover items at less than £130. 
I have four classic Lotus cars and have to be careful with my restoration spend😀

Undertray comes off tomorrow night 👍

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  • Gold FFM

£200 for a new alternator from a reputable supplier doesn't seem that expensive. There's always a premium if you want OEM/quality instead of budget parts. Certainly not excessive compared to what some brands charge for generic parts put in a box with the 'right' logo.

 

I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.

 

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