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1984 Turbo Esprit overheating after 48 hours of ownership! Seriously worried!


Go to solution Solved by GreenGoddess,

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7 minutes ago, Gis said:

That’s where the temp sensor sits in an 83. Probably same in yours. The otter (fan) trigger switch is behind the coolant radiator, below, front right hand side

4829A9FF-E5A0-43A4-958F-CE5BD15BBEE7.jpeg

Perfect! Thank you so much. I haven't even looked for the radiator or the cooling fans yet!

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From the collecting cars auction on your car;

SERVICE HISTORY

Between March 2021 and January 2022 at 48,500 miles, technicians at Ellisons Garage carried out a full engine rebuild, including pistons, rings, connecting rods and cylinder liners. The cylinder head and turbo were reconditioned, while the valves, guides, cam belt, tensioner, clutch, thrust bearing, radiator, thermostat and coolant hoses were replaced.

Around six months ago, the carburettors were rebuilt and the turbo wastegate was replaced.

The front brake callipers have also recently been replaced.                 

Prior to this, the car was serviced in March 2019, where technicians replaced the engine oil, filters and front shock absorbers.

During the vendor’s ownership, the rear shock absorbers and gear selector linkage have also been replaced, while the air conditioning has been repaired.

Save to say it's had a lot of attention in recent times, which should give you some peace of mind.

 

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Mine is similar to the others - I clearly remember my first journey in stop/start London rush hour traffic watching the needle edge up and up and wondering if/when the fans would come on, and whether that would happen before smoke erupted! Thankfully they came on somewhere around Elephant and Castle, and do so somewhere over 90 and before the next intermediate (115?) mark as well, so I think it's fairly normal to be going over the 90/100 region. As per Chris, in traffic mine tends to bounce between ~80 and 110, and at steady speed tends to hold at around 80.

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7 minutes ago, paulbrown22 said:

Thankfully they came on somewhere around Elephant and Castle, 

I was so expecting a temperature not a place :hrhr:

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Cheers,

John W

http://jonwatkins.co.uk

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42 minutes ago, obi-nu said:

From the collecting cars auction on your car;

SERVICE HISTORY

Between March 2021 and January 2022 at 48,500 miles, technicians at Ellisons Garage carried out a full engine rebuild, including pistons, rings, connecting rods and cylinder liners. The cylinder head and turbo were reconditioned, while the valves, guides, cam belt, tensioner, clutch, thrust bearing, radiator, thermostat and coolant hoses were replaced.

Around six months ago, the carburettors were rebuilt and the turbo wastegate was replaced.

The front brake callipers have also recently been replaced.                 

Prior to this, the car was serviced in March 2019, where technicians replaced the engine oil, filters and front shock absorbers.

During the vendor’s ownership, the rear shock absorbers and gear selector linkage have also been replaced, while the air conditioning has been repaired.

Save to say it's had a lot of attention in recent times, which should give you some peace of mind.

 

Yes, that’s the main reason I bought it. I was hoping the car would be trouble free and ready to drive. Doesn’t quite look that way unfortunately. The engine does seem to be in fantastic fettle. I just need to make sure it is not overheating before I dare go for another drive. 

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1 hour ago, obi-nu said:

Esprits run hot. The thermostat doesn't kick in until something like 82c so if you were 2-3mm over the 90 mark I doubt you have anything to worry about. Trust me, if you experienced an S1 running, you'd really know how hot they can get!

This was the gauge AFTER I’d turned the engine off, removed the engine cover and let it stand for 10 minutes. 😳

E8B3BE1A-2573-445F-8EF3-46EB8B1889F7.jpeg

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Check your fans are coming on - you will hear them if the engine is idling.

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the voltage regulator could also affect gauge. Does fuel gauge change too? Both gauges rely on a 10V regulator feed. I am assuming esprit is same as elite of course.

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1 hour ago, Clive59 said:

the voltage regulator could also affect gauge. Does fuel gauge change too? Both gauges rely on a 10V regulator feed. I am assuming esprit is same as elite of course.

Fuel gauge seems to be OK. 

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This evening I let the car idle for half an hour in my garage. The hottest the temperature gauge got to was bang on the 90 degree mark and obviously no fans came on.

I then decided it to take it on a 15 minute drive and carefully watched the temperature gauge all the way. It sat nicely just below the 90 degree mark continuously. 

Is there any other way I can test to see if the fans are working? Just letting the car sit idling is not getting it hot enough apparently.

Do the fans get their signal from the coolant temp sensor? If so, could I remove the coolant temp sensor and heat it up with a heat gun to get it to trigger the fans?

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Short out the two connections on the otter switch (it's at he front in one of the rad pipes).   That will test the fans (do they also spin easily by hand and are there 3 fitted?!)   

As the car didn't boil over, I suspect it wasn't actually as hot as indicated.   (Think you mentioned checking with an IR thermometer previously?)

Mine also appears to get very hot on that gauge before the fans kick in.   As others have said, probably nothing to worry about.   However, worth checking that the radiator fins are in good order and not blocked.

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30 minutes ago, 910Esprit said:

Short out the two connections on the otter switch (it's at he front in one of the rad pipes).   That will test the fans (do they also spin easily by hand and are there 3 fitted?!)   

As the car didn't boil over, I suspect it wasn't actually as hot as indicated.   (Think you mentioned checking with an IR thermometer previously?)

Mine also appears to get very hot on that gauge before the fans kick in.   As others have said, probably nothing to worry about.   However, worth checking that the radiator fins are in good order and not blocked.

Thank you. I haven't even worked out how to access the radiator or the fans yet but I will do some research. I am off work on Friday so I will be giving the car a good look over.
I got a cheap IR thermometer off Amazon today but it was completely useless. It said the coolant pipe was 40 degrees so I went to touch it and it nearly took my skin off 😂. I shall be returning that piece of garbage.

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If you don't find the Switches and sensors as described, they wandered about the car over the years. On my '85 USA car the temp sensor is in the back of the water pump housing, and the Otter switch is low on the J pipe below the alternator.

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My Otter switch is on the right hand side accessed via the front wheel arch.

If you upgrade to a Full Forum Member, you get access to the full parts manual - which shows you where everything is (or should be)

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The water thermostat switch that operates the fans can be linked out and all 3 should run full tilt. The otter switch is a thermal trip that protects the fan wiring. If the fans run too long because the temp can’t be pulled down the otter will trip and a fan fail tell tail will appear on the dash. 
The water temperature looks fine to me. New ownership nerves. 
wayne

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Suspension, brakes, chipped, chargecooler rad and pump,injectors,ignition coils and leads, BOV, highflow cat and zorst, Translator and tie rods, Head lights, LEDs to tail lights and interior,Polybushes to entire front end, Rad fans, rad grill, front end refurb with aluminium spreaderplates and galvanised bolts. Ram air, uprated fuel pump, silicone hoses through out, wheels refurbed and powder coated,much more, all maintenance.

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On 24/08/2022 at 21:28, 910Esprit said:

Short out the two connections on the otter switch (it's at he front in one of the rad pipes).   That will test the fans (do they also spin easily by hand and are there 3 fitted?!)   

As the car didn't boil over, I suspect it wasn't actually as hot as indicated.   (Think you mentioned checking with an IR thermometer previously?)

Mine also appears to get very hot on that gauge before the fans kick in.   As others have said, probably nothing to worry about.   However, worth checking that the radiator fins are in good order and not blocked.

As mentioned by Steve check the Otto switch, in the front driver's side wheel arch. No need to jack the car up just turn the wheel to one side and you can see it.

 http://www.lotusespritworld.com/EGuides/EMaintenance/OTTERSwitch.html

Just by pass it with a bit of wire and the fans should kick in with the ignition on. I had the same issue a few weekends back. Once I got the fans to kick in with the bypass, it was a matter of bit of detective work. My issue was a loose fuse housing in the glove box   

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Thanks again guys. I am going to have a look at the otter switch today. Assuming my fans are working OK when I bridge the wires, how do I test the otter switch itself? Is the only way to do it by letting the car sit idling until the coolant temp rises? (I already tried that and the car would not get hotter than 90 degree just sitting).

Or is there a way of testing the otter switch when it's off the car by heating it up (with a heat gun for example) and checking the terminals with a circuit tester? 

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I have done some investigating today. 
The good news is that it looks like the car has a brand new radiator fitted! It is all shiny and new looking. It is also perfectly clean (no leaves or debris in sight). 
I also checked the fans by bridging the wires at the otter switch. All 3 fans fired up perfectly. 

I also removed the otter switch, dipped it in boiling water and checked the terminals with a continuity tester. Unfortunately I couldn’t get it to trigger.

Next, I removed the coolant temp sensor, dipped it in boiling water and watched the temperature gauge rise. It only rose to about 60 degrees so I may as well replace that with a new one just to be safe. 

Finally, I ran the engine for a few seconds with the coolant sensor removed just to check that coolant would spit out of the hole. That should confirm that the water pump is actually doing its job. 

I must admit that I was surprised that no coolant came out when I removed the otter switch. (My otter switch is on the top of the radiator pipe under the wheel arch). This made me wonder if there is a possible air lock somewhere which might have caused the high temperature reading in the first place.

So, I have three questions for you experts:

1. Do any of you know what temperature the otter switch is supposed to trigger at?

2. How do I make sure there is not an airlock in the coolant system?

3. What should the coolant level actually be? My car has the black metal cylindrical shaped header tank. 
 

Photos of otter switch attached for reference. 

22028346-A71C-4763-917D-6512344BEEEE.jpeg

512393CA-12CF-45E2-A499-1CFC7FD36B05.jpeg

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1. Dunno

2. Slacken the plastic bleed screw under the big rubber grommet under the front hatch (it will/should spurt out water when thermostat is open

3. Mine stabilizes at around 3/4 full in the black cylindrical header tank  

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2 things that will bring down your normal operating temperature. 1 is synthetic engine oil which you may already be using, and the second is a product called "Water Wetter" by RedLine.

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=red+line+water+wetter&ia=web

This product works and I always use in in Aluminum engines as they are more sensitive to heat and overheating is something you definitely want to avoid.

But sounds like your fans are not functioning when they are suppose to. 

atb,

Richard

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You should not use fully synthetic oil this close to your rngine rebuild, I used semi-synthetic for 10k miles on both my cars, as recommended by Gerald (of GST), who rebuilt both.

3 hours ago, Bazza 907 said:

If you blip the throttle a few times whilst the car is stationary you'll soon get it passed idle temp.

This.

2 hours ago, 910Esprit said:

3. Mine stabilizes at around 3/4 full in the black cylindrical header tank  

Same for me - when cold

 

Make sure that your heater works, In stop-start traffic I have it running - quite effective at taking heat out of the engine, also improves circulation round the block.

Gerald also advised to raise the engine revs to around 1000, to give the water pump some extra help.

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