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Ignition missing in Heavy rain


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Just picked up this Esprit from a guy, and during the transaction the car started miss firing right before I went to pick it up. He said it happened to him a month prior, and each time he took it in, it would run fine & they could not find anything wrong.. We put two & two together & realized each time this missing out happened, it was right after he ran it through a car wash that sprayed water from under neath & right into the engine vent.

SO, I have heard these cars are not friendly with water, and last night I took the car out, and got caught in heavy rain, and right after I rolled through some deep water in the road, it started missing out again a few minutes later. Gas was fine, and I let the car sit for a few hours, came back, it started (but wasnt running perfect). I noticed black smoke from the exhaust (meaning its getting gas, but not burning it).. I took it down the road & 10 block later, it just finally died all together.. I left it in a parking lot over night (10 hours. and was raining all night), and came back & would not start.. Finally called a tow truck & brought it home & parked it.. I have a fan on the engine bay & charging the battery up....

My question is, is this a common problem with these cars, or should this not be happenening.. I am not even 100% sure this is the problem yet since I havent tried to start it since I brought it home...

Seems pretty ironic though, and my gut tells me its water on the electronics (my hunch was right about the clutch going out 10 DAYS AFTER I BOUGHT IT. and took me 30 days to fix it, and this happened 30 HOURS after I finished it..haha) and was wondering of anyone else has had similar issues?

Chris

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Chris, I haven't had any problems with rain, but it really hasn't seem much. I have had water from car wash get in to spark plug wells and cause miss fire until the water dried up.

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IMO it's not a good idea to go through a carwash with an esprit and especially one that does an underbody flush. Check to see if your fuel tanks are rusting by looking through the access hole on the right side underneath, there is a drain bolt on the bottom of the tank.

Does your car have the removable panel mounted under the engine? Regarding water getting in, there are many connectors around the engine that could have loose gaskets and there are the coil packs mounted below the airbox that could have loose connections or allow water to interfere. You could probably try pulling them out/putting them back one at a time and look for water or evidence of corrosion.

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Water in the sparkplug ducts!

The engine cover is supposed to prevent that, but can not help it when you use underbody flush....

So best thing is to stuff some cotton towel down the duchts before you do.

Otherwise just use pressure air to blow out......

Or wait till it dries ;-)

Olaf S400 project www.esprits4.de

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Definitely water in the spark plug wells. I always carry a small, long stick in the boot with some cloth on the tip of it, in order to dry the area where the sparks are sitting.

Ciao,

JB

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Got home from work, and turned the key, and nothing.. Almost sounded like she wanted to fire for a brief second, but 95% no response.. Stuck a light down where the plugs go into the motor, and didnt see any standing water (unless I'm not looking in the right spot)... I sure melled gas after I started cranking though, so it is leaning on ignition...

Dont have much to give you guys, so i will get a timing light on the wires before getting to carried away & make sure we are getting power to the plugs first...

C

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Spark plug wires are probably shot as well, and leaking current.

I would test the leads, look for arcing to the block.

Also, use di-electric grease in each end of each spark plug wire to prevent current leakage, moisture, and to make them easier to remove without damage. Everyone should do this step.

I also put di-electric grease in each connector in the engine bay to prevent corrosion and water.

Travis

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Well, its running better.. Was hic-uping this afternoon, but this evening she didnt want to start for about 3 seconds, but when she did, ran like a champ... Yea, I think its water... Gonna go ahead & pull the plugs, check the wires & get some Di grease in there.... Nothing is more embarassing than than pushing your exotic sports car in your night clothes while your date is painting her toes nails not wanting to get out of the car in the rain (some of these girls I date are more high maintenance than my CAR!)... GOD, and I laughed at that guy in Vegas when his Ferrari broke down on the strip!...LOL

C

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  • 3 years later...

Well, its running better.. Was hic-uping this afternoon, but this evening she didnt want to start for about 3 seconds, but when she did, ran like a champ... Yea, I think its water... Gonna go ahead & pull the plugs, check the wires & get some Di grease in there.... Nothing is more embarassing than than pushing your exotic sports car in your night clothes while your date is painting her toes nails not wanting to get out of the car in the rain (some of these girls I date are more high maintenance than my CAR!)... GOD, and I laughed at that guy in Vegas when his Ferrari broke down on the strip!...LOL

C

Yes this happened to me last night, my car died right in the middle of an intersection as I was waiting to make a left turn. At that point I had been driving for about 3 miles after noticing my headlights basically went out and my ABS and SIR lights lit up...then the car started bucking. I was so close to home I decided to try to make it, but I got about 1 mile from home and I let the RPM drop too much and it died.

Before leaving to go home the car was wet from a short hard rain...this is probably the second time the car has seen rain, since it's black and difficult to keep clean. It went about 12 miles before showing symptoms. I have just installed a refurbished alternator, but the belt was still tight. The battery seemed to be completely drained so it seems either the alternator died or something was shorting. I let it sit for about 1/2 hour and limped it home...it died just as I was pulling into my driveway. I also noticed a vacuum leak, a vacuum cap for my BOV tee fell off.

I do have dielectric grease in the wire connections and the wires are almost brand new. I'm assuming water got in the connectors somehow, on either end. I am running with both the engine cover and the bottom plate and I don't remember hitting any large puddles.

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