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1st breakdown


RV_ABZ

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It had to arrive I suppose...

Yesterday evening, at the entrance of a roundabout just after taking the exit of a dual carriageway following a 40miles drive, I heard an awful noise of slipping/breaking belt in the engine bay. I crossed the roundabout and stopped right afterwards on the edge of the road in a big cloud of white smoke coming from the rear. When I got out of the car, there was a strong smell of hot/burning rubber.

I opened the the engine bay and I was relieved to see the cambelt in its place and turning quite happily. The other belt on the right was also in its place and turning happily.

I drove another 100m to stop in a suitable parking space and right before I stopped, the coolant warning lit on the dashboard and the T° gauge went all the way to the right. Ok, so I must have lost the water pump belt. I switched off the engine and got out of the car to find the coolant fluid dripping out of the rear of the car on the left side.

My wife was following us in her car so we were not left stranded on the road side, but the S4s had to be left where it was. Naturally, this had to happen on a Saturday night!

Well, I guess trailing to the lotus specialist will have to be arranged on Monday. I was vey lucky to find one about 15miles from home, through the Club lotus France!

I'm quite cheesed off with (the infamous?) Mr Clugston who had claimed all the belts had been changed when he serviced the car less than 3k miles ago. I'm sure a water pump belt does last more than 3000 miles. I'll have to have a few words with him...

I just hope it's nothing more serious than the water pump belt to replace and a renewal of coolant fluid. However, I fear that P. Clugston is not to be trusted with anything he says and that a complete change of fluids + belts is now in order to be on the safe side of things.

I'm afraid I find at my own expense that what was said about the owner of UK Sports Cars is true: cowboy, not to be trusted.

Cheers

Hervé

Edited by RV_ABZ

1980 Peugeot 504 Coupé V6Ti

2000 Peugeot 406 Coupé V6SE

1996 Lotus Esprit S4s

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There's an expansion bottle with pressure cap in the rear left of the car, the pipe which it vents through exits the water under the car behind that wheel so don't worry about that.

Well done on getting the belts changed. The waterpump isn't the end of the world so long as the car doesn't overheat and it's easy to change along with the others that are all accessable from under the car. They're tight to get back on but I'm sure your mechanic will be fine.

I've got a cambelt in stock and can get all the others for you at 10% off as your a full member. Let me know if you'd like me to get them sent out to you :)

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. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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Another happy customer...

Infamous is about right...the problem is HE serviced the car. The prob is the car's they get in are probably not shit, its when they fiddle with them the problems start.

Seriously I would get on his case and get him to sort this out - clearly dont get him to do the work but replace the parts at least.

FWIW the waterpump belt is also the powersteering pump so that might help diagnose - as Bibs says it's a fairly easy job.

I feel your pain man, I really do. The last thing you want is to buy a car like this a TOP premium and then have to worry your ass off about whether a MAJOR part like the cam belt is about to go.

Seriously something needs to be done, I've never heard of anyone who's had a car from that lot and been happy or at least content - pisses me off and it's fkin out of order :angry:

Edited by Jonathan

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Thanks for confirming what I thought Jon: when I heard the belt noise, I immediately felt heavy steering and I thought I had lost the power steering belt. I did not know it was also controlling the water pump, but that became clear quite rapidly!

I think it'll be an easy fix.

1980 Peugeot 504 Coupé V6Ti

2000 Peugeot 406 Coupé V6SE

1996 Lotus Esprit S4s

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It might be one of the two pumps has seized as well causing the belt to fail.

One of 3, it could be the belt was shite to start with and he didn't replace it at all - the belt was fine but one of the pullys seized (Water or Powersteering) - of the fitting was wrong, poorly adjusted belts can cause the pullys to seize as the loading is too high.

Still got the belt ? got any pictures ?

I'd definatly check the roation of the pullies - hope there is nothing more sinister to this ie pump seized, but you have to look at the example if something fails, why did it fail.

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I concur - if it's overheat, burning rubber and loss of power steering, then it's probably a seized pump. My money's on power steering. Could well have been a new belt, properly adjusted. Too early to tell where the blame lies! I eagerly await news...

British Fart to Florida, Nude to New York, Dunce to Denmark, Numpty to Newfoundland.  And Shitfaced Silly Sod to Sweden.

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Good news about the cam belt, for which you can feel suitable relieved.

Isn't it too early to start a blame-fest on this one?

There seem to be three possible conditions arising from your description of events:-

1. Siezed power steering pump = lots of belt friction + reduced/no water pump rotation = overheat & smell & tough steering

2. Siezed water pump = lots of belt friction + no water pump rotation = overheat & smell & tough steering

3. Broken belt = no water pump or powersteering pump rotation = overheat + tough steering origin of smell from a source other than belt friction.

The onset and development of condition 1 and 2 could have been difficult to spot 3000 miles ago. (for example, how do you predict the failure of a ball joint when it is an on-condition item which is only replaced when it gets sloppy?)

If you do not have an undertray fitted, a sharp piece of grit may have bounced up from the road, caused a knick in the belt and set up a premature failure situation. (not very likely, but not impossible either).

Do you know that the belt is broken? You don't say whether you had been able to see it in place, or bits of it in the engine bay, or a complete lack of it in position.

At the moment you are angry at the failure, relieved that it wasn't a cambelt and looking for a cause.

If it is not the fault of an individual/company, will you be apologising to them when you get to the bottom of your problem ?

Good luck with finding a resolution. We eagerly await an outcome.....

In theory there is no difference between theory and practice.<br />

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In practice, there is!

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You're right Wookie, I do not know the exact cause and source of failure yet, so I spoke against UKSC out of anger and upset. This breakdown happened after I found out a couple of cheap & nasty repairs done by them on the car for which I am trying to keep philosophical, but when this sort of things happens, it's difficult to stay calm.

I'm hoping to get the car on a trailer to my Lotus specialist today and then, he'll find out what it was.

1980 Peugeot 504 Coupé V6Ti

2000 Peugeot 406 Coupé V6SE

1996 Lotus Esprit S4s

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Well, it turned out to be a small thing: a crew/bolt went loose on the water pump. When it fell, it blocked the water pump and the belt which simply ruptured. My little local Lotus specialist repaired that in the space of 1hr! Nothing needed replacement other than the belt and the coolant fluid.

Back on the road for under 100€. :thumbsup:

1980 Peugeot 504 Coupé V6Ti

2000 Peugeot 406 Coupé V6SE

1996 Lotus Esprit S4s

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Excellent news. Don't forget to get those belts changed at some point too :)

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. I will aim to respond to emails/PM's Mon-Fri 9-6 GMT. 

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My little local Lotus specialist repaired that in the space of 1hr!

May I ask where about is this Lotus independent ? For decades there has never been any Lotus dealer in the west of France, the recent franchise in Tours is the nearest we have ever had IIRC... and like most others, they probably aren't any good and will give up their Lotus franchise soon.

So if you found a Lotus independent in Brittany or about, would be nice to share your findings ! :wink:

What town i she established in ? Does he have a website I could look at for details ?

Thanks...

Edited by USAndretti42
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Garage Thierry Julien, named after its owner. Based in Brest, Brittany.

It's a small general mechanical outfit (not a dealership and no web site I'm afraid) but the owner is a Lotus lover who has specialised in servicing, repairing and restoring Lotus cars. He owns 2 Excel (a white 1982 model awaiting restoration and a 1992 green SE model currently being restored) as well as a Cat 7. He previously owned an Esprit S3 Turbo. He was highly recommended to me by several long term members of the Club Lotus France and happened to be 15miles away from my home!!! I could not believe my luck.

His garage has also become the hanging place for local Lotus owners (most of them members of the Club Lotus France, which I've joined) who own Excel, Cat 7, Elise or Esprit.

It was a very nice surprise to hear of Thiery's garage, so close by and with half a dozen fellow Lotus owners meeting there once or twice a week.

Edited by RV_ABZ

1980 Peugeot 504 Coupé V6Ti

2000 Peugeot 406 Coupé V6SE

1996 Lotus Esprit S4s

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Garage Thierry Julien

9 rue de la France Combattante

29200 Brest

Tel: 02 98 02 22 17

It's a bit far from Angers but definitely a place to recommend for all French far westerners.

1980 Peugeot 504 Coupé V6Ti

2000 Peugeot 406 Coupé V6SE

1996 Lotus Esprit S4s

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