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Hi, Folks.

I own an 80' Esprit and note that engine fires seem to be quite common in the earlier models and I'm just after info as to what alterations / improvements I can do to prevent this happening. ( I assume most of these fires are caused by fuel leaks?)

Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Paul.

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Hi Paul, welcome to the forum.

The fires are, as you noted, due to fuel leaks (generally), the main points are, check / replace fuel lines to the carbs, service the carbs ( kits of seals gaskets etc available form lots of sources), and ensure you use the original filter case (you can use K&N or other filters) , just not the foam type that do away with the air box.

The Dellortos have a tendency to spit fuel backwards occasionally so you don't want anywhere that's open to a spark to be able to trap that fuel, the alternator is just below the carbs, so try and keep the fuel off it, ditto the starter and solenoid, definitely the dissy. That's the most common causes of fire in the engine bay, but others could include items getting onto the exhaust and manifold, including brake/ clutch fluid, but it's less common (brake/ clutch fluid is more combustible though).

On a related note, the thread is probably better placed in the G Body technical section, but I'm sure a mod will move it soon.

And please drop a post in to introduce yourself, and your car, I'm sure there are some local members around if you want to meet up.

Andy

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Hi Paul :) , important topic this as most Esprits don't survive a fire :(

I had a look in the 'search' feature for 'Fire' and found some recent topics of interest, and further links to other topics contained within the post. Good stuff to consider.

http://www.lotusespritforum.com/forums/ind...170&hl=fire

I had a dashboard smoke-up from a shorted wire, but a fuel-induced fire in the engine bay is to be avoided at all costs. It seems good maintenance is the key - stay on top of inspecting hoses etc.

Welcome to LEF by the way. As a fellow S2 owner <_< , great to see another in Oz.

Iain :(

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Welcome to the forum, Paul.

I heard that the original tee piece in the fuel line to split it to the two carburetors was plastic. This goes brittle with age and heat. Make sure you have one made of metal. If you have any suspicion about the condition of the hoses, replace them. Check all clamps and connections are tight such as where the pipes fit to the carburetors (these can work loose), the tee piece, the fuel filter and the shut-off valve.

S4 Elan, Elan +2S, Federal-spec, World Championship Edition S2 Esprit #42, S1 Elise, Excel SE

 

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Something worth checking monthly is the fibre washers used on the banjos for the fuel lines.

These have a tendantcy to compress with age and hence cause the banjo the become loose and seeing as the fuel is at 4 psi this is not good <_<

Hilly

1981 S3 4.2 V8 6 speed (The Mutant)

Mutant V8 Conversion Thread

Knowledge is power .................... apparently.

 

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I'll stick my usual proselytising effort in...change the hoses when you change the cambelt..that's every two years, right? Slightly more nausea and expense, but no more engine fires. My carb hoses (proper stainless Goodridge ones) split once..they looked perfect, but the rubber inner had perished and the resulting fire was quite exciting (especially as the car was on stands in a tent at the time!) I was hugely lucky that the engine covers were off and I spotted the flames in the rear view mirror..also there was very little fuel in the tanks and I managed to extinguish the small puddle of burning petrol under the distributor with the bucket of water I had been using whilst rubbing down the paintwork. NOT doing that again....

Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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Okay, my .02: In addition to everything said above, at least twice a year visually inspect the undersides of the carbs with a small telescoping mirror. The diaphragms on the underside of the carbs are often the first things to leak. <_<

Tony K. :)

 

Esprit S1s #355H & 454H

Esprit S2.2  #324J

1991 Esprit SE

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Hi there. just thought that I would add my penny worth.

My one car, the 84 turbo had the entire induction system stolen. Possibly sold for scrap metal. I had throttle bodies made to replace the Dell'Ortos and used an aftermarket EFI called a TBO to fire the injectors which also had a built in ignition system. I always believed that this was what Lotus wanted to do at the outset, but the cost of installing injection was prohibitive for the home market.

I must say that I drive much happier knowing that this is not such a fire hazard as my carbed 84 Turbo, but I still carry a large fire extinguisher in both of my Esprits. I am a great believer in that if you have it available you will never need it.

Happy motoring.

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The previous owner of my Esprit had made a little drip tray from baking foil and placed it ontop of the distributor to catch the dripping fuel from the carbs???????? :rolleyes:

With that and the continuous flow of oil onto the exhaust manifold made my car the luckiest Esprit still alive....!!

Chunky Lover

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YE GODS, Simon.....you must live right!!! Isn't it amazing the solutions some people adopt?!

Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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Hi there. just thought that I would add my penny worth.

My one car, the 84 turbo had the entire induction system stolen. Possibly sold for scrap metal. I had throttle bodies made to replace the Dell'Ortos and used an aftermarket EFI called a TBO to fire the injectors which also had a built in ignition system. I always believed that this was what Lotus wanted to do at the outset, but the cost of installing injection was prohibitive for the home market.

I must say that I drive much happier knowing that this is not such a fire hazard as my carbed 84 Turbo, but I still carry a large fire extinguisher in both of my Esprits. I am a great believer in that if you have it available you will never need it.

Happy motoring.

Don't forget that, while you've removed the main cause of Lotus fires (not just in the Esprit but also in the Elite and Eclat and the twincam Elan, +2 and Europa models), you haven't eliminated all fire risks as fuel injection systems use much higher fuel pressures than carburetor-engined cars. This means that the fuel lines are under more stress and, if they do leak, the fuel gets sprayed further and may thus find a source of ignition. Hopefully such a source will not be somewhere that will lead to the flames burning through the fuel lines like on a carb model

You are very sensible to continue to carry a large extinguisher. With regular checks of your fuel lines yo should never need it but better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

S4 Elan, Elan +2S, Federal-spec, World Championship Edition S2 Esprit #42, S1 Elise, Excel SE

 

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I'd been thinking for a while to use one of those plumbed in extinguisher systems...any one done that?

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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I've been looking into this, more for the Elite than the Esprit, but here is a DIY installation of the FlexiTec system using trace tubing on an Esprit. Personally I wonder if there is a neater solution to the routing but you get the idea. CAr and reg look familiar too, anyone on here?

IMAG2419.JPG

imag2415.JPG

http:/www.flameskill.co.uk

Quoted price is

In the garage no-one can hear you scream 

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That looks like Teflon pipe which would melt if there were a fire so all the extinguishant would come out of the bit that was left by the back of the engine cover.

Are V8's as prone to fires? I wouldn't think so.

For the 4-cylinder I think you want to spray the exhaust manifold (in case of an oil fire on it) and the distributor/carburetors. You should be able to plumb something in very easily with some bundy pipe, the stuff that's used for brake pipes. You could be a cheapskate and crush the open ends of the pipe leaving a small hole for the spray or do something a bit more professional with fittings. You will need a flaring tool for the fitting that joins it to the extinguisher itself. You could probably get away without a pipe bender as long as you are careful and don't try to bend it round too tight a corner, less than 3" radius, say, as bundy pipe is easy to bend. It's also cheap so, if you made a mistake, you could throw it away and start afresh.

You could rig up an automatic system to set off the extinguisher if you wanted. You would have to rig it up so a string over the engine stopped the extinguisher from firing. That way, in case of fire, the string would burn through and set off the extinguisher. Otherwise, for a manual system, run a long choke cable connected to the extinguisher to somewhere convenient in the cockpit.

S4 Elan, Elan +2S, Federal-spec, World Championship Edition S2 Esprit #42, S1 Elise, Excel SE

 

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