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Lots of smoke under hard acceleration

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Hi lads, been a while (fortunately) I knew I’d be back.

Just took my 84 turbo out for a spin and after about 5 miles I gave it a boot as I went passed some cyclists. I looked in my mirror and all I could see was white smoke. Oh eck I thought. Cyclists must of thought serves you rite flash basxxrd.

I nursed the car back home but as I went along everything seemed fine and I thought oh maybe it was just clearing its’ self out as it hadn’t had a run for a few months.

So when I got to a hill near home I  gave it a little boot again and same thing happened again (without the cyclists) so more nursing to get home.

So now I'm wondering what it could be and how much.

Any suggestions, ideas all gratefully received.

 

 

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I believe white smoke = water  (as opposed to blue being oil ). Did you check your water level and then compression in each cylinder?

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I will check my water level but I don’t know much about engines and a compression check

Is something I’ve never done.

I have a friend at work who will have the knowhow.

Thanks for that

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If water is getting into the combustion chambers (as evidenced by white smoke which is in fact steam) it's getting past your head gasket. You could also try a pressure test of the cooling system, if it doesn't hold the pressure it's leaking out somewhere.

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I’ve had a look at the water level and it’s ok.

When I said white smoke I’m not sure if it would have been steam as the cloud left behind the car

seemed to linger around for a while and I’d of thought steam would disburse quickly ?

Also I’m sure it was blasted out of the exhaust

I know that as I drove without hard acceleration everything was fine and engine temp was ok.

Maybe it was oil, it’s strange how the mind works when you think you’ve just blown up your pride and joy.

Thanks again.

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You'd expect white smoke/ steam to last only a short distance past the pipe, so I suspect it's blue/grey and just a bit light in colour. On a sunny day it may appear to be white if you see the sun reflected in it, in which case it will  be oil. If it's hard acceleration then suspect rings, if it's after having been idling or having been standing then suspect valve guides.

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I think that could be more likely I’m going to have to get someone

Have a proper look at it as this is starting to sound expensive.

I can pass on all this info to them.

Can anyone recommend a good garage in Cumbria or Lancashire you would trust with your car?

I’m in Barrow-in-Furness.

Thanks for the suggestions

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Just a thought but you might want to check your brake servo - if you are pulling brake fluid through into the inlet manifold (under hard acceleration) this can give the white smoke you describe - not sure if this is a common problem with the Esprit but certainly is with the Elan with a remote servo once that has started to leak.

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With hard acceleration you have the throttles wide open and you have a very low vacuum relative to the levels normally experienced, so at that point you're less likely to pull anything through from the servo.

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Pull a spark plug and see what condition it is in. If its very oily then likely to be a compression problem with oil getting burnt under load. Could also be a head gasket gone. You say you have checked the water level and all ok but what about oil level, does it look contaminated in any way.

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Hi, I’ve looked at the oil and it looks clean, the level wasn’t too bad.

I wasn’t able to remove a spark plug however what I did find was that one of the leads was barely connected and just resting on top of the plug also there seems to be a small oil leak coming from top of the cam cover I suspect one of the screws. I’ll have to run it to be surer.

As I’ve said I don’t know much about engines but what effect would that loose lead have when the car was pushed? I had noticed the odd misfire but had put it down to age and not being run often.

Now I’ve wrote this I can see age shouldn’t matter and I should run the car more often.

Thanks.

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One very likely issue and the very thing that happened to me was the turbo seals gone.

Off boost it was 100% fine, as soon as the boost kicked in the smoke billowed out.

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Thanks for that but now I’ve had chance to have a closer look at the engine bay I can see my cam covers seem to be weeping oil when sat running. So I’m not sure if this is the problem yet as I imagine maybe oil is squirting out worse when being driven hard and maybe dripping on the hot manifold. So I think the first thing I need to do is replace the cam cover gaskets before I investigate the turbo seals. I’ve had a quick look online for cam cover gaskets but the ones I’ve seen don’t look rite. I can see three screws in the top of my cam cover and the ones I’ve seen have six holes in them ? Thank for any info.

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If you sign up for a full forum member account, you get a free download of the parts manual, that'll tell you what gaskets you need :)

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Shouldn't squirt out as its not under any pressure unless your breather is blocked.

Also oil in the manifold tends to be quite noticeable when you warm the car up whilst stationary as the smoke comes up through the engine lid louvers

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It could well be the turbo seals and I did have smoke coming up through the engine last night. I have got a service manual in the attic and also some exploded engine diagrams. I’ll need to dig it out for the gaskets and also I’ve spoke to a friend who said about the turbo seals and how to check the turbo. I’ll be letting him do that when I get to that stage. I need to do the cam gaskets first then find out about the turbo seals. Thanks

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Turbo seals aren't the things one normally thinks of as seals...metal circles with rubber lips touching the shaft. Turbo seals a labyrinth seals, which rely on the shaft rotating to seal at all. Have a look at this website.... 

 

http://gpopshop.com/

 

 

That'll give you loads of detail about turbos and seals and rebuilding them. They'll sell you the parts as well, and are incredibly helpful. My old thread..

 

http://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/topic/1939-bridge-to-engine-room-make-more-smoke/?hl=%2Bbridge+%2Bto+%2Bengine+%2Broom

 

 

Tells the tale of when I dealt with a similar problem....

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I had a look at the links you gave and it’s all helpful. It was uncanny what had happened to your car as it sounds just the same as mine. I haven’t had time to read the full history of your encounter yet as it looks quite indepth.

But will do, I’ll keep posting my progress although it will be very slow as it’s holiday time and busy at work.

It’s rite what they say a problem shared!

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Had this before when the waste gate jammed, did you notice if boost gauge needle stopped? 

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Hi, no not sure about the boost gauge , what’s the waste gate? As I've said I don’t know much about engines (not a good thing when owning a Lotus!) I think the needle on the boost was still moving.

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A waste gate is a way of governing the output of a turbocharger. Left to themselves, the turbine spins up the compressor which blows more air into the engine, combining with more fuel to produce more power...and more exhaust gas, which spins the turbine faster and the whole thing keeps on getting faster and faster until it goes BANG! very loudly. To stop this, there is a valve on the exhaust input to the turbine...this is operated at a predetermined compressor output pressure, and when this pressure reaches that figure the valve opens and dumps the waste exhaust gases (hence the name!) and thus limits the amount of boost that the engine gets. This stops it blowing up....! If the waste gate stops working, then there is nothing to limit the boost and the engine readily gets overstressed and you get a brief, but very exciting, drive.

 

Will...if you are going to work on an Esprit yourself, you are signing up for a lifechanging learning experience...!

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Thanks for that, I’m currently in the diagnostic stage of finding out what’s gone wrong with the car.

I won’t be taking the life changing learning experience as I like my car to much to let a novice like myself loose on it. 

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