free hit
Help required - Engine/Ancilliaries - The Lotus Forums #ForTheOwners Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I have a problem with my Esprit , there is no oil pressure.

I was out in the car a couple of days ago and travelled about thirty miles , the sun was shining and the roads were dry so I was giving it some stick.

The following morning I started the car and waited the usual 5 or 6 seconds , with the car on idle , for the pressure gauge to burst into life ,15 - 20 seconds go by and no response , stop the engine.

I got out and checked the oil level and that the filter was tight , both ok , looked under the car for signs of oil , looked OK.

Tries the car again , blips the throttle this time to about 2000rpm , nothing.

Push the car into garage.

My initial reaction is that there is something wrong with the gauges and I go back in the house to look through the manual to see if there is a possibility of a blown fuse or knackered relay.

I manage to glean from that , the oil pressure switch and gauge are effectively different circuits (not good news) with the switch having some kind of delayed start after engine start up.

Tried cleaning engine earth , no difference.

My next thoughts are that something catastrophic has happened to the oil pump drive , broken shaft , woodruffe key or pressure relief valve stuck/not seating correctly , it seems strange that the oil pressure is OK one day and zero the next.

I have removed the plenum /throttle body / inlet manifold assy. to gain access to the oil pump , on removing the oil pump housing I can see some signs of wear on the housing body , the auxiliary housing body and on the rotor.

I am not convinced this is the problem as I think you would see a steady drop of pressure as the pump wears.

I have checked the oil pressure sender by disconnecting it , earthing the sender body , setting my air line to 3 bar and pressing it against the sender , there was a response on the oil pressure gauge inside the car so assume that is OK.

I have removed the oil sump and found that the oil strainer is in bits , the end cap for the strainer was lying at the bottom of the sump and the strainer itself had some crap in it , at one side only and not enough to block it I think.

I am thinking of removing the auxiliary oil housing now to check that the oil pick up pipe is connected , although that is a bigger job and I thought I would post this before starting (plus it gives me a chance to have a beer).



Link to post
Share on other sites

Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.
  • Replies 7
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Did you check for oil pressure with a mechanical gauge? If not get one and screw it in where the pressure sensor is located( also make sure that there are no restrictions where the oil pressure sensor screws into) I've seen cars that show no or low oil pressure only to find out that the oil passage that the sensor screws into is gunked up.

Link to post
Share on other sites

nigel. if the bits of the strainer are distributed in the sump, then some of it (the mesh) has gone round the oil pump i reckon.

seen this on my road car , oil light on, and the oil pump was ok when running, but wouldnt pick up oil when restarted from cold. seen a similar thing b4 as well on a sunbeam lotus race car engine, debris through the pump, not gonna pick up oil. also the olive that seals the pick up pipe, is prone to being replaced instead of being reknewed.

also same thing on my cavalier road car. someone dropped a tappet shim follower thing down the sump, wore through the strainer mesh, bits of mesh went round the pump, oil light on at idle. turned it off, never regained pressure. pump full of mesh bits. new pump time.

Edited by pitstoppete
Link to post
Share on other sites

As someone else mentioned, check it with an mechanical gauge before you start tearing into everything - may save yourself some time and money!

Paddle Faster, I hear Banjos!
Link to post
Share on other sites


I couldn't get oil pressure after a engine rebuild.

It turned out to be a non-return valve that was stuck in a open position.

The valve is (apparently) located in the housing by the oil filter. (Could check with my mechanic)

If this happened your oil would have run down into the sump and the pump will not pick it up without being packed in petrolium jelly and primed.

Maybe this helps.

Good luck. I know how frustrating it is to pin point the problem.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry I have not kept you up to date but I do not have internet access at home and I have been off my work for the last week and a half.

Thanks for all your advice , I was needing some advice and support , I thought an engine rebuild was a distinct possibility.

To cut a very long story short , the engine oil pressure is now normal and I do not appear to have done any damage.If I had been driving the car at the time it may well have been a different matter.

Anyways here's the long story , it might save someone hassle in the future.

To continue from my last post , I removed the auxiliary oil housing which involves more dismantling of ancilliaries (V belts , V belt pulley , alternator and timing belt).

This is all work I had not done before (on this car) and I learnt a lot in the process.

I wasn't too sure of the connection from the oil pick up pipe to the pump and didn't know how it mechanically fitted together.I unscrewed the union (using a 19mm wheel nut jammed into a socket)at the top of the oil pick up and looked down the hole , couldn't see the condition of the nylon washer.In hindsight I should have disconnected the oil pick up pipe when I had the sump off and examined the olive from there.

I then put some instant gasket round the top of the oil pick up pipe and screwed the union back in and removed the excess.I got some stick from Steve at SJ sportscars for doing this ("w<>kers way to do things" , "is it a Lotus Esprit or a dumper truck") although I knew I had to take it apart again to replace the oil pick up pipe and by that time I would have a new nylon olive.

Tried turning the engine over again on the starter , plug leads and fuel pump fuse disconnected , stiil no joy.I had the turbo feed pipe disconnected to look for oil.

I think it's time for a new oil pump so this is when I phoned Steve at SJ's.

I asked Steve a question about the spring that fits between the oil pump and the chargecooler pump which is supposed to be for pump end float , "is it for end float on the chargecooler or oil pump as I have fitted an electric pump and the spring is now doing nothing?"

To this he replied "I'll bet you twenty pounds I know what's wrong with your car , the blanking plug you have used for the chargecooler pump is drawing air"

I took the blanking plug out and noticed the 'o' ring had a flat on it like it had been damaged when I had installed it.

I packed the oil pump with grease to prime it (more Steve SJ advice) and refitted the cc pump after removing the impellor and after about 40secs. cranking I had oil coming out of the turbo feed pipe (cue run round garage with T shirt over head).

Started the motor this morning for about 3 mins. and it sounded OK , although the oil did not get a chance to heat up.

I had to stop it as I had a fuel leak coming from a pipe which is attached to one end of the fuel rail , don't know what it does yet will have to investigate further.

I changed the cc pump about two months ago.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thats definetely one to watch out for. Not knowing it was on the vacuum side, I never would have thought of that!!

I want to sing Steve @ SJ's praises as well- phoned him for a lambda sensor 4pm on monday afternoon, arrived tuesday morning at 10am. Hows that for service!! Thanks Steve and Dermot for persuading me to by the sensor!

Glyn (now coming to Donnington)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...