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mutski

Tapping noise

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I acquired a 1983 Turbo Esprit yesterday with good service history and maintenance records.

I've done a couple of hundred miles and felt all was well so went for a more spirited drive this evening. Since then, the car has developed a pronounced tapping noise.

It's not quite as noticeable when idling, but as soon as you put the engine under load the noise becomes quite pronounced.

Any ideas?

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I have some ideas, but they range from simple virtually no cost to the sort of thing a new owner does not want mentioned. Grab a long screwdriver, put it to your skull near your ear and to the engine with it running, try and locate the source. I'm not going to post some possible causes, as there are two schools of thought, "It could be only..." and "better to think the worst at least then...". I don't know which option you prefer, and a tapping noise is such a general symptom it would be unlikely to guess right first time.

If you need physical assistance, post up in the local region to yourself and I'm sure somebody will pop over and see you / you can pop and see them and get an accurate diagnosis. For regional groups, look here.

http://www.lotusespritforum.com/forums/ind...hp?showforum=53

Andy

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Thanks Andy,

A couple of other things I didn't mention because I didn't think them to be connected are a tendecy to pop from the exhaust on run down at low speed - in fact it properly back-fired a couple of times yesterday... and, being unused to the car, I thumped over a speed hump a little too briskly today - might I have damaged the manifold and this be causing the problems???

Also, if I locate the source of the sound, how should I proceed - can I still drive the car without fear of damaging it further.

Incidentally, I think the car should be in good shape because it was (I think) the subject of a rebuild by this forum not too long ago. YTO 80Y ring any bells???

Mark

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Welcome to the forum, Mark.

Did you buy the car from a used car dealer? If so, I would take it back there first and get them to look it over and give you a diagnosis. They may have it covered by a warranty. After all, you only bought it yesterday.

If they can't help, whereabouts do you live? You may be able to get one of the more mechanically able members to have a listen and offer some idea of what the noise is.

In the meantime, I think I would avoid driving the car anymore than you have to in case you do damage something. It may be something as simple as an exhaust leak to something as bad as a broken piston. As the car was OK on the first day, I agree that your over-enthusiastic approach to a speed bump may have damaged the exhaust and cause the noise.


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

 

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Incidentally, I think the car should be in good shape because it was (I think) the subject of a rebuild by this forum not too long ago. YTO 80Y ring any bells???

Mark

Isn't that the 'Bigsi' project ? There's plenty of information in the forum archives about the car, maybe a good read through might be a good place to start. I'm sure that there are plenty of members who are familiar with the car's history that may be able to offer some advice. It looked good in the ads I saw on the internet.

I hope you find the problem isn't too serious and you can have some fun in the car soon.


Too many Toys are never enough !

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Might be an exhaust leak. Backfire on deceleration usually point to this. Check for cracks in the header or leakage around the exhaust flange.

Best,

jeff


www.espritturbo.com

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Thanks for all the advice - car was bought 'as seen' I'm afraid so no come back...

This morning, started her as noise was very noticeable, as was whitish pale smoke from the left of the engine bay as you look at it. A feel under that side also reveals it's quite oiler under the lefthand side of the left camtower.

I am worried about keeping it running in case I cause any further damage.

And yes, I think it is the 'Bigsi' project, which would suggest the engine was virtually completely rebuilt only about a year ago?

Mark

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Hey Mark

The Bigsi project was a couple of years ago in the middle of 2007. Unfortunately the benefactor of our goodwill, Simon, turned out to be a bit of a wally and not the best recipient of our efforts. Aside from that, he didn't maintain the car that well and is now your DPO (Dreaded Previous Owner).

Sounds like a manifold perhaps, does it get quieter or go entirely when the engine is warmed up?


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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Hi Mark

As Bibs said above!

Just for your info, the car had new SE pistons and rings fitted in the original iron liners (which were a little worn but we had no money for replacements), new big end bearings, main bearings and a complete regasket, the liners were held in place during all the work by BigSi's 'homemade' liner clamps which were pretty poor, although hopefully did the job ok and you shouldn't get any liner sealing issues, they would have surfaced by now I would have thought.

The exhaust manifold was not in the best of shapes and BigSi had the faces remachined flat in order to be able to get a bit more useful life out of it, however you may well have just used up its last few miles.

Simon also took the head off I believe and had that re surfaced after our rebuild as the gasket went, most probably due to the fact the wastegate diagphram let go ad the car was overboosting for quite some time apparently before he sorted the issues out.

It may well be the case that he didn't reseal the cam towers correctly following his rebuild and hence the oil leak onto the exhaust manifold.

He also had the head fully rebuilt before the project started so should serve you good for a fair few trouble free miles.

Simon liked cleaning and painting alot, this however doesn't keep the car running as well as a regular thorough check over and I feel the car suffered somewhat for this reason.

Oh the carbs were rebuilt with a new gasket set as well, not sure is Simon did this himself or if we did it, although I cant remember it happening in my garage!

I hope she's not too bad to fix up and if you need any history or info there is loads on here and in our personal photo collections, I have no doubt, from when we did all the work.

Oh and I'll let you keep my battery LOL

Simon


Chunky Lover

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There's also no such thing as 'Sold as Seen' from a dealer in the UK. If a fault develops within the first few months it would be assumed that it was there at the point of sale.

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Given the car's background, I think it unlikely that there is any nasty internal fault....much more possible is the exhaust manifold leak, as previously mentioned. I had precisely that happen to mine on her first trip to France..I was sure that a little end was knocking...so much so that, on getting home again, I stripped the engine only to find there was nothing wrong with it...when I took the manifold off, you could see where it had been leaking at No.4 cylinder...but at that point, the only sensible thing was to continue the stripdown just in case it WAS something more sinister. So....tapping noises can well be exhaust leaks, and it does sound as if that's what you have. After all the engine work done by the Forum, shouldn't be anything lurking in the innards.


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

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Just a little more useless info...

Heres everyone working on her....

100_0977.jpg

Heres the fist time she turned a wheel.....

f009.jpg

Heres me and Punky driving her around Castle Coombe...

lotus26507parade368jpg.jpg

And heres a photo of some of those who made it all happen....

PICT1093.jpg

I have nothing but the fondest of memories for the time I spent working on your new girl and made better friends than I ever thought imaginable.

Treat her well and I'm sure she'll return the favour!


Chunky Lover

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Thank you everyone for your replies - I had some idea that the car had a 'past' on the forum, nice to here some of the stories. There is no come back with the dealer as it was taken as part of a private swap with the firm's director for my old V12 Jag and as such didn't go through the books and was mutually agreed to have no guarantees - so c'est la vie !

I eventually got the AA out and they inspected the car using a stethoscope and the noise appears to be undetectable in the cam towers, slightly detectable at the bottom end and very noticeable in the manifold. We also noticed that the cylindrical ancillary connected to the manifold (something to do with the turbo ??? - excuse my ignorance) is not joined flush to the manifold. Hopefully then a manifold issue, although I am amazed how 'metallic' the noise is if caused by this.

Anyway, to be on the safe side they agreed to recover the vehicle to Sportomotive in Salisbury - I'll keep you posted as to what they say. An ex-Elite owner friend of mine did warn me that Lotus ownership might be a rocky road. Thanks for all the input - Mark

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Say hi to Cos and Dave at Sporto, they're an excellent outfit.

The big thing attached to the manifold is a wastegate adapter. You may be in luck and it just needs securing correctly but if it's gone the part is obsolete at Lotus however we (LEF) are having a batch made up :doc:


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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See pic.

Manifold.jpg

The Manifold is obsolete & Bibs/Lotus etc are trying to get replacements made.

The Wastegate Adapter is available from SouthWest Lotus but its mega

Edited by Simon350S

Chunky Lover

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Sportomotive have just got back to me and have suggested that initial impressions suggest that the noise is too major for the manifold and a piston has maybe gone :s The steering rack is also making a horrendous noise on full lock - beginning to wish I'd walked away... I was warned ! lol

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The wheels do skip on full lock, it's due to the anti-ackerman steering.


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

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators

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Please inform them that it has the SE pistons which are VERY strong (they will know that last bit), not the early cast pistons from the LC turbo which were known to go very easily.

Unless you were seriously overboosting I can't see how the piston could have got damaged.

As said the bottom end of the engine looked (past tense!) to be in good condition, crank/rods etc.... appart from the lightly worn liners.

Hope its nothing too serious.

As said, the steering skips and bangs on full lock, I thought something was wrong with mine but I've checked it over thoroughly and there was nothing wrong at all.


Chunky Lover

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Feeling less worried about the steering now, thanks - did feel very odd to jump along like that on full lock.

Gauge did not suggest any overboost and oil pressure has been just fine. I did point out to Sportomotive that SE pistons had been fitted, but they still seemed adamant that the noise was too serious for a manifold fault. I have told them to investigate this thoroughly to rule it out first though - fingers crossed.

Also, I'd just like to say how impressed I am about how proactive and helpful this forum is - having belonged to a Jag one that you were lucky to get a response from this is a real breath of fresh air.

Thanks again to all - Mark

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So you had a V12 Jaguar and now you have an Esprit. The previous owner had the Esprit and swapped it for a Jaguar which then gave him trouble.

Still if you had a V12 Jaguar, you will have no problems with the accessibility of the Esprit engine bay. I assume you've heard of how to check you've refitted everything after an engine swap on a V12? You pour a bicket of water over it and, if any comes out the bottom of the engine bay, you've left something off.


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

 

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Any news on this Mark?


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

For forum issues, please contact the Moderators

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The guys at Sportomotive haven't got round to stripping the car as they are backed up with work from the Bank Holiday.

Initial impressions from an inspection with a stethoscope are that the noise is coming from the bottom centre of the block and is rotational - so little or big end maybe. Manifold and dump valve have been tightened up and are fine. Left cam tower is leaking oil. And they did comment that from their past experience the use of instant gasketing compound is a bad sign - apparently when is squiges on compression and spews out the sides (as you can see on the outside) it also does this on the inside... and if little bits of this then break off and get into the system, they can clog things up and lead to oil starvation and then... tap, tap, tap :(

The suspension at the back is also apparently set up incorrectly and this is why the car is chewing the shoulders of the rear tyres.

Anyway, we won't really no for sure until they actually open the block - either way I'm starring down the barrel of about 40 hours labour to strip and rebuild the engine alone :harhar:

Thanks for the continued interest - will keep you posted - Mark

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I was just thinking to myself. I remember the thread were this car went to the dealer and how many on the forum were annoyed that no opportunity was given for anyone here to take the car off the PO's hands. But would you look at that. It is back and with someone who looks like they are prepared to get it sorted. Unfortunately, it looks like it has travelled through the hands of a shonky dealer, not once but twice. First time where the PO got stitched up, but lets hope that Mark fares better.

Hope it gets fixed without to much grief Mark and hope you get to enjoy it as it should be enjoyed.


All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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Hi Mate

Your exactly right on the sealant side of things and I'm sure your DPO used copious amounts of it when he rebuilt his head after we'd done our business on it so maybe that is the cause. :(

As far as the suspension goes, I was there at the factory when they said it was all set up within spec so I can only assume that something has gone amiss since returning from the factory, no doubt probably at some point in time when it got stripped and cleaned..... It had all new poly bushes and lower link pins so hopefully none of that should cause you any great issues.

Hope its not too bad for you mate but from what you've said its not looking great.


Chunky Lover

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For anyone interested in following this, I visited YTO 80Y (or rather a pile of stripped parts) this morning.

I was showed the nature of the piston failure - rings that had overheated due to oil starvation and begun to melt, then scoring the liner. The head had also become burnt and damaged - though not irrepairably. The cause of the oil starvation was, as anticipated, a clogged oil strainer - it looked like it had dredged the Thames, full of blue hylomar, instant gasketing (used in addition to the gaskets ???), and red paint - no doubt from painting the cam covers.

Incidentally, the technician told me that these were not, in fact, SE pistons and liners. I am no expert, but from the technical diagrams he showed me in the service manuals, he appears to be correct. Whether they were sourced and fitted having believed to be SE ones I don't know???

Also, the rear suspension geometry problems seem to stem from the shims either side having been omitted when it was all put back together - thus making correct adjustment impossible, and explaining the chewed rear tyres.

At the front end, all appears well bar a missing fan.

So then... biting the bullet and letting them get on with the repair and rebuild... the only choice realistically from this point I suppose, and they may as well stick a new clutch in as well while they are at it - I await the quote for the work nervously...

I am also surprised to learn that Sportomotive has been fielding phonecalls from others regarding the car. No doubt the personal investment many put into it inspires interest - perhaps it will be running again soon in the not too distant future.

Cheers, Mark

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