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psteinb

Electrical Problems - gremlins in the electrics

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I just took delivery of my first ever 'classic' car last week. A 1980 Lotus Turbo Esprit. Great Condition! Drives like a racing car and really well maintained. However there are some minor issues that have 'apparently' surfaced whilst the car was in transit (by truck) from Perth - across the Nullarbor Plain - to Melbourne (3000km+ journey). The dealer 'assures' me all the following were working prior to the car leaving his showroom...

  1. Horn
  2. Passenger window
  3. L-R side mirrors
  4. Reverse lights

I have tested all the fuses (the 8 in front of the gearstick?) with a multi-meter and all are fine - although a diagram of the fuse arrangement (inc. amperage) would probably be useful to ensure they are in correct order.

Also i am unsure as to how to raise (and lower) the radio aerial. Is there a switch for it?

Any suggestions for my next step would be greatly appreciated...

Regards,

Paul

Edited by paul steinberg

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Hi Paul,

Welcome to Esprit ownership!

I hate electrics and I might be stating the obvious but it sounds a bit strange that these things have 'occurred' in transit!

I'd start by checking the earths then follow up the leads to the bits that aren't working. Likelyhood is corrosion on the connections or their just not plugged in if the fuses are fine!

The reverse light could be a sticky switch or poor connection on the switch which is open to the elements. It screws into the back of the gearbox and is fairly obvious.

Not a great deal of help I know, but somewhere to start.

Pete


Pete '79 S2

LEW Miss September 2009

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I just took delivery of my first ever 'classic' car last week. A 1980 Lotus Turbo Esprit. Great Condition! Drives like a racing car and really well maintained. However there are some minor issues that have 'apparently' surfaced whilst the car was in transit (by truck) from Perth - across the Nullarbor Plain - to Melbourne (3000km+ journey). The dealer 'assures' me all the following were working prior to the car leaving his showroom...

  1. Horn
  2. Passenger window
  3. L-R side mirrors
  4. Reverse lights

I have tested all the fuses (the 8 in front of the gearstick?) with a multi-meter and all are fine - although a diagram of the fuse arrangement (inc. amperage) would probably be useful to ensure they are in correct order.

Also i am unsure as to how to raise (and lower) the radio aerial. Is there a switch for it?

Any suggestions for my next step would be greatly appreciated...

Regards,

Paul

Hi Paul,

Yes, usually just bad connections with earth or corrosion in the connectors.

I had similar problems when I had mine delivered from Adelaide...wouldn't start. Lots of corroded contacts.

Feel along under the dash for a switch for the aerial.

Cheers,

Robert


Robert Costa
1984 Turbo Esprit
Very Black!
2004 Lotus Elise
Quite Green! gone :-(

1977 S1 Esprit, in bits

1998 Lotus Elise S1, Azure Blue
Sydney, Australia

“The parts falling from this car are examples of the finest British craftsmanship”

Recommended procedure before taking on a repair of Lucas equipment: Check the position of the stars,kill a chicken and walk three times clockwise around your car chanting:" Oh mighty Prince of Darkness protect your unworthy servant.."

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Robert,

Not much is surprising me anymore with the Esprit - still loving it though...

Aerial switch under the dash ?!? Hilarious! I can't think of a more appropriate spot whilst i'm driving at 110kmh along the Hume Highway. :o Any idea where under the dash? To the left or of steering wheel? (although mine might be a little different because I have the 'Essex' radio on the ceiling).

Where is the horn located? (yes i know it's a stupid question)

Thanks for the help so far fellas - appreciate all the feedback i can get...

Perhaps i need a workshop manual(service notes) - any suggestions where i might find one at a reasonable price?

(even 2nd hand or a download would suffice)

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Robert,

Not much is surprising me anymore with the Esprit - still loving it though...

Aerial switch under the dash ?!? Hilarious! I can't think of a more appropriate spot whilst i'm driving at 110kmh along the Hume Highway. :o Any idea where under the dash? To the left or of steering wheel? (although mine might be a little different because I have the 'Essex' radio on the ceiling).

Where is the horn located? (yes i know it's a stupid question)

Thanks for the help so far fellas - appreciate all the feedback i can get...

Perhaps i need a workshop manual(service notes) - any suggestions where i might find one at a reasonable price?

(even 2nd hand or a download would suffice)

My aerial switch never worked and someone installed a manual aerial anyway. Its a toggle switch ...really quite obvious, just as the padding rolls under the dash near the steering column. Can't remember which side! I think to the left of the steering column.


Robert Costa
1984 Turbo Esprit
Very Black!
2004 Lotus Elise
Quite Green! gone :-(

1977 S1 Esprit, in bits

1998 Lotus Elise S1, Azure Blue
Sydney, Australia

“The parts falling from this car are examples of the finest British craftsmanship”

Recommended procedure before taking on a repair of Lucas equipment: Check the position of the stars,kill a chicken and walk three times clockwise around your car chanting:" Oh mighty Prince of Darkness protect your unworthy servant.."

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The horn is the left turn signal (on my U.S. car) and you push it in from the end towards the steering wheel.

Thanks Max,

I meant where is the unit where the actual noise comes out of... :o

Regards,

Paul

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where under the dash? To the left or of steering wheel? (although mine might be a little different because I have the 'Essex' radio on the ceiling).

Hi Paul,

the switch for the aerial should be close to the steering column. Your radio unit is supposed to control the aerial, but I find it quite handy to keep the antenna retracted while cruising at >240km/h and listening to CDs... B)

If your reverse lights are out of order, check the connectors at the switch - as mentioned, the switch is fixed to the rear of the gearbox. If the switch itself is faulty, it's a citroen 2CV part :o

Don't you have additional fuses in the glovebox?


Ciao,

JB

'88 Excel SE - monaco white

'99 Elise 111 - azure blue �

'87 TurboEsprit - calypso red

'02 BMW 325ci convertible - diamond black

wwwlotusexceldebannernew300eu5.jpg

http://excelregister.lotusexcel.de

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Guest Troy Halliday

Invest in a power probe when trying to sort out electrical gremlins on an Esprit. As most people have pointed put it may well be the earths as unlike a metal car a wire has to be run for all earth connections.

Reverse lamp

Check the bulb is ok

Check power is getting to the bulb holder

Then on the back of the gearbox casing there is the reverse switch and check for continiuity while in gear.

Horn

Check power is getting to the horn compressor (behind water bottle just inside the innner arch)

Check relay

If all ok but still no horn then more than likely a faulty horn compressor (an after market horn will fit in there just fine and cost about

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Many thanks all!

I've got Sunday morning free so i'll get cracking having a play around with my multimeter...

Regards

Paul

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