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Engine bay noise - help - (cause = Bulkhead loose)


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Hello

Can anyway help , your maybe shed some light on this subject.

I've got a lotus esprit GT3, and when going over bumps, humps and lumbs in the road there is a horrible ratlling noise coming from the engine bay (it doesn't do it all the time, just when going over bumps etc).

I've checked for any lose cooling pipes, belts etc (Nothing)

I think the engine mounts could be on the way out, but surly the engine wouldn't move that much (would it). Does this sound farmiliar, has anybody else experienced this.

Anyway idea's would be most welcome

Cheers John (norwich)

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LOADS of things it could be - need to see / hear it tbh.

Mounts shouldn't have gone yet but possible, could be body (think Carl C is about to post something along those lines) heat shields, loose bolt, suspension, exhaust etc you name it.

Does it make the noise static or when it's rolling - ie try pushing the car down on the suspension then you can start to isolate the prob.

Edited by Jonathan

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I was Jon, but then I had second thoughts because as you say it could be loads of things ! :):)

Body mounts didnt 'rattle' as such but I would throw in to check the wastegate actuator capsule. This rattle and can be quite noisey when off throttle and can sound like a loose heat shield. However it is not really effected by bumps.

Can you better describe the noise ?

Is it a rattle thats metal on metal or more of a bump when you go over things ?

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Sounds half familiar to me!

I get a horrible noise coming from what seems to be between the passenger compartment and the engine. It only happens on uneven surfaces / bumps. It's not a metalic sound, more a kind of "bump" noise! I checked everything I could, and couldn't find the source.

Anyway, I asked my local Lotus specialist about this, and he told me that this is a known and common thing on an Esprit. He tells me that it's to do with the wooden firewall that flexes as the chassis gets pushed hard.

Now, I half-happily accepted this explanation. What worries me is that no-one on this thread has mentioned this yet :)

... have I been fobbed off???... or is this really a known thing?

If it's known, then perhaps it's your noise as well Jonh :)

Rob S
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Sounds half familiar to me!

I get a horrible noise coming from what seems to be between the passenger compartment and the engine. It only happens on uneven surfaces / bumps. It's not a metalic sound, more a kind of "bump" noise! I checked everything I could, and couldn't find the source.

Anyway, I asked my local Lotus specialist about this, and he told me that this is a known and common thing on an Esprit. He tells me that it's to do with the wooden firewall that flexes as the chassis gets pushed hard.

Now, I half-happily accepted this explanation. What worries me is that no-one on this thread has mentioned this yet :)

... have I been fobbed off???... or is this really a known thing?

If it's known, then perhaps it's your noise as well Jonh :)

I've got exactly the same problem. I'd say it is fairly likely that it is from the four firewall<>chassis bolts. They're behind the seats under the carpet. (i think it has been mentioned here before). but its was discussed several times on the old pistonheads forum.

see here : http://www.pistonheads.co.uk/gassing/topic.asp?t=260659

(there are several other old threads on pistonheads esprit section if you search for "bulkhead"

Will

Edited by williamives
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I've got exactly the same problem. I'd say it is fairly likely that it is from the four firewall<>chassis bolts. They're behind the seats under the carpet. (i think it has been mentioned here before). but its was discussed several times on the old pistonheads forum.

see here : http://www.pistonheads.co.uk/gassing/topic.asp?t=260659

(there are several other old threads on pistonheads esprit section if you search for "bulkhead"

Will

Sorry John, don't want to hijack the thread (although maybe this is relevant for you?)

Thanks Will - Anyone got anymore detail on this?

The Pistonheads link is interesting, but the links to the piccies don't work anymore.

I've searched this thread but can't find anything.

Can anyone provide any more details?

Thanks, Rob

Sorry John!

Rob S
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Sorry John, don't want to hijack the thread (although maybe this is relevant for you?)

Thanks Will - Anyone got anymore detail on this?

The Pistonheads link is interesting, but the links to the piccies don't work anymore.

I've searched this thread but can't find anything.

Can anyone provide any more details?

Thanks, Rob

Sorry John!

It sounds like the bulkhead is coming loose from the car!!! I had this exact problem and sounded like the car was going to break in half. It ended up being the 4 bulkhead attachment bolts, they are as stated behind the drivers and passengers seats behind the carpet. They are a bear to get to the engine side so a friend may be useful to tighten them. I solved the problem by using large flat fender washers and new nylon nuts with lots of loctite and also used a second nylon nut for a jam nut to prevent the nuts from loosening as it happened 2x in 6 months.

Artie

89 White Esprit SE

...a few little upgrades....

93 RX7.....Silverstone

....slightly modded...Muahaha...

New Addition:

1990 300ZX TT......Hmmm

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Sorry John, don't want to hijack the thread (although maybe this is relevant for you?)

Thanks Will - Anyone got anymore detail on this?

The Pistonheads link is interesting, but the links to the piccies don't work anymore.

I've searched this thread but can't find anything.

Can anyone provide any more details?

Thanks, Rob

Sorry John!

I'm going to sort mine at the weekend. I'll make an effort to photograph it and post here.... and I'll send them to kato as well for LEW...

Will

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My suggestion would be the firewall bolts, my S3T is doing the same. Someone on here has already done this and posted some photos somewhere.

Seem to remember them saying they had felt for the bolt heads through the carpet behind the seats and cut a flap which could be pushed back in place after they'd been tightened.

A tricky job as it will require some one in the car and someone in the engine bay as the nuts are not captive.

Chunky Lover

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My suggestion would be the firewall bolts, my S3T is doing the same. Someone on here has already done this and posted some photos somewhere.

Seem to remember them saying they had felt for the bolt heads through the carpet behind the seats and cut a flap which could be pushed back in place after they'd been tightened.

A tricky job as it will require some one in the car and someone in the engine bay as the nuts are not captive.

Can be done solo, just need to gingerly place the engine side wrench against a steadfast object and make sure it's secure, then tighten, would be easier with 2 blokes but 1 can work if no one else is around.

Artie

89 White Esprit SE

...a few little upgrades....

93 RX7.....Silverstone

....slightly modded...Muahaha...

New Addition:

1990 300ZX TT......Hmmm

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The people and knowledge on this forum are really great :P

As the weather was pretty bad today, I decided to follow the advice given on the forum and tighten the bulkhead/firewall bolts.

Wow! What a difference it has made! The horrible clunking sound has now gone, and the car feels totally solid, even on very rough roads ;)

Have to say, this even gives a greater feeling of confidence, as the car no longer sounds like it's gonna fall apart when going over bumps :D:o

Anyway, many thanks to all those who contributed on this (including Marcus, who contributed via email).

.... and for those who haven't done it yet, here's some piccies to help you out:

First one is the passengers side (with seat removed) to show the location of the famous little "window" that you need to cut in the carpet to get at the bracket:

Bracket-Location.jpg

After removing the braket (undoing the two bolts from the engine bay side, and unscrewing the six screws from the passenger compartment side), it should look like this:

Original-Bracket.jpg

Note that the bolts on my braket were welded in place. Made it easy to undo the nuts (it's all relative, of course!), but made it a little trickier to do the next step:

Cut-Bracket.jpg

Cut about 4mm off the end of each sleeve that surrounds the bolt. I'm not a great mechanical engineer, so I just used a hack saw :P

Then, just reassemble, and make sure the bolts are done up tight! Don't forget to do the driver's side as well :(

Hope this helps anyone wanting to do the job. If you need any more details, PM me

Rob S
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NIce pictures and perhaps this should be made a Sticky? Mods/admins. I thought my car was toast after a few weeks of driving before I figured this problem out. Wish the older Stevens models had the bracket welded on like yours Swiss. I had to buy some thick fender washers and disassemble the things then I still bent the washers tightening it down.

Artie

89 White Esprit SE

...a few little upgrades....

93 RX7.....Silverstone

....slightly modded...Muahaha...

New Addition:

1990 300ZX TT......Hmmm

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NIce pictures and perhaps this should be made a Sticky? Mods/admins.

Excellent photos. :D

No real need to make sticky as it has the right title (Engine bay noise),

and the tread has the work 'Bulkhead' in it, so it contains enough key

words to be found by someone seaching the forum data base.

However, i have taken the liberty of putting the eventual

cause on the title of this thread, so when it shows on a search

then the threads title will show it's content and solution. Ok?

:o

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Excellent photos. :P

No real need to make sticky as it has the right title (Engine bay noise),

and the tread has the work 'Bulkhead' in it, so it contains enough key

words to be found by someone seaching the forum data base.

However, i have taken the liberty of putting the eventual

cause on the title of this thread, so when it shows on a search

then the threads title will show it's content and solution. Ok?

:D

:o

Jolly Good! I like that, it seems there are lots of commonly occurring problems, ie Loose bulkhead bolts, worn steering racks, stuck window motors etc, most of these cars experience at some point or another in their lives, so I thought a page of that sort may be a nice help instead of searching thru pages of "hopefully" relevant material.

Artie

89 White Esprit SE

...a few little upgrades....

93 RX7.....Silverstone

....slightly modded...Muahaha...

New Addition:

1990 300ZX TT......Hmmm

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:D

Jolly Good! I like that, it seems there are lots of commonly occurring problems, ie Loose bulkhead bolts, worn steering racks, stuck window motors etc, most of these cars experience at some point or another in their lives, so I thought a page of that sort may be a nice help instead of searching thru pages of "hopefully" relevant material.

Artie

Ta,

Is worth noting that everyone can edit their own posts, so if you post a topic

and a solution is found, it's always an idea to go back to your first post and

alter the title or subtitle. Topic titles appear as search results, so the more

info in the title the better for the forum and anyone searching it, as you say,

this will help limit searching too much.

B)

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Ta,

Is worth noting that everyone can edit their own posts, so if you post a topic

and a solution is found, it's always an idea to go back to your first post and

alter the title or subtitle. Topic titles appear as search results, so the more

info in the title the better for the forum and anyone searching it, as you say,

this will help limit searching too much.

B)

OIC! I just remember searching for days for information on a couple of items only to end up no further than when I started.... BUT I did learn a lot reading all of the dead end threads anyway! Good point, thanks. That's why you are admin and I'm not, who knew!

Artie

89 White Esprit SE

...a few little upgrades....

93 RX7.....Silverstone

....slightly modded...Muahaha...

New Addition:

1990 300ZX TT......Hmmm

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Well, I'm glad you all like the pictures, and I hope it will be useful to people in future.

As it seems to be a common issue, I also dropped a mail to Kato incase he's interested in adding a How To guide on LEW.

Regarding the renaming of the thread - now I feel bad :D ... it wasn't my thread! I really hope this is actually the problem that John had in the first place!!

John - talk to us - is the info in this thread helpful to you??

Rob S
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  • 8 months later...

I had exactly the same clunking recently, so I searched the forums and found this excellent post so I decided I would try this with the bulkhead bolts. I gotta say that the repair was very simple and just like previous posters have said, WHAT A DIFFERENCE! Its like night and day, the car feels incredibly tight & solid. I am so pleased with the result that I had to post a "Thank You" to Swiss V8 & the rest of the community for providing such valuable information. I would never have guessed that this noise was coming from the firewall, nor would I been able to locate and identify the guilty fasteners very easily.

Thanks again!

PS The only thing I did differently than Swiss V8 was that I used a high speed Dremel rotary tool equipped with a 2" cut off saw to shorten the tubes rather than a hacksaw and I must say it worked very nicely.

Also on the passenger side of the car (due to the child seat anchor points), I was required to have a socket on both the engine side and the passenger side compartments (Bolts were not welded to the bracket) so what I did was, on the engine compartment side, I used a long torque wrench fitted with a deep 10mm socket and gently propped it up against the engine for the moment. Due to the length of the torque wrench I was able to reach into the engine compartment and hold the torque wrench firmly in place while simultaneously tightening the head of the bolt in the passenger compartement with a 2nd socket wrench. Seemed to work very well that way, so it is possible to perform this job solo.

Total Cost = $2.99 for rotary cutoff saw blades & 2.5 hrs of my labour

Edited by martiy
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I had exactly the same clunking recently, so I searched the forums and found this excellent post so I decided I would try this with the bulkhead bolts. I gotta say that the repair was very simple and just like previous posters have said, WHAT A DIFFERENCE! Its like night and day, the car feels incredibly tight & solid. I am so pleased with the result that I had to post a "Thank You" to Swiss V8 & the rest of the community for providing such valuable information. I would never have guessed that this noise was coming from the firewall, nor would I been able to locate and identify the guilty fasteners very easily.

Thanks again!

PS The only thing I did differently than Swiss V8 was that I used a high speed Dremel rotary tool equipped with a 2" cut off saw to shorten the tubes rather than a hacksaw and I must say it worked very nicely.

Also on the passenger side of the car (due to the child seat anchor points), I was required to have a socket on both the engine side and the passenger side compartments (Bolts were not welded to the bracket) so what I did was, on the engine compartment side, I used a long torque wrench fitted with a deep 10mm socket and gently propped it up against the engine for the moment. Due to the length of the torque wrench I was able to reach into the engine compartment and hold the torque wrench firmly in place while simultaneously tightening the head of the bolt in the passenger compartement with a 2nd socket wrench. Seemed to work very well that way, so it is possible to perform this job solo.

Total Cost = $2.99 for rotary cutoff saw blades & 2.5 hrs of my labour

Yeah, I thought my car was going to break in half for the first few weeks I owned it... The retarded shop that had done some work on the car told me it was an engine mount... I checked this by simply rocking the engine back and forth. Total difference when I got it tightened up. Used some jam nuts to tighten the nuts against the bulkhead and has stayed tight now for almost a year!

Artie

89 White Esprit SE

...a few little upgrades....

93 RX7.....Silverstone

....slightly modded...Muahaha...

New Addition:

1990 300ZX TT......Hmmm

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Doncha just HATE bangs and rattles! I had a similar clunking when I bought Lottie back and found the bulkhead bolt fix on LEW so told my local garage to tighten them whilst doing other jobs.

Didn't make much difference, but DID help us identify that one of the rear body/chassis mounting points had broken (the one by the right rear inner wheelarch in the engine bay). On bumps the whole body was lifting off the chassis! Luckily found there's a fix via LEW to that too!

Proud recipient of the LEF 'Car of the Month Award' February 2008

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: "Wow, what a ride!!"

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