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G4RTHV8

Car Just Stopped!

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Hi Guys,

 

So I set out this morning at about 6:30 AM on my usual once weekly trip to Derby (about 113 miles) each way and the car was growling along very satisfyingly. About half way into my journey, the car starts to run very slightly less smoothly than normal so I move over to the left hand lane and have a listen whilst driving.  About another mile up the motorway and the car coughs and splutters and them comes to a gentle halt?? I was able to coast into the hard shoulder get out and check the vital signs. No loss of oil, water or fuel, no steam or smoke and the  all the fuses seem to be intact.

 

After the inspection I jump back into the car and turn the key it turns over and vaguely sparks but it just won’t fire up. My first thought is one or more of the relays have gone, my second thought is the HT circuit has a fault, my third thought is timing has thrown out. Anyway there was nothing I could do but call the recovery service and wait. Just prior to the recovery vehicle arriving I flick the key and the car almost starts and then it dawned on me…Fuel!! I think the damn thing might be flooding?

 

When I get back I will check the timing, check for a spark and make sure that the fuels getting through, however, if anybody out there has had a similar problem and resolved it, or an idea as to the route cause, please let me know.

 

Many thanks

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Hi there,

 

Is your car parked outside or was it raining heavily this morning? If so then check the plug wells, they may be full of water and shorting the leads/ plugs. The early V8's don't have a drain hole for the water to run away, so they fill up!

 

 

Regards,

 

 

 

David Walters

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I have heard of that happening on a V8 recently in the States.  Turned out it was the cam belt had broken on the bank with the cam sensor...  Hope that is not your problem!


Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

My Lotus Photo and Projects Album

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Would have thought there would be tell tale signs of a belt failing such as bangings and knockings!

 

Buddsy


 

"Belief is the enemy of knowing" - Crrow777

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The owner who had that happen had no idea it was a timing belt.  Engine just stopped running and then wouldn't restart.

http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f164/v8-died-wont-restart-help-128849/


Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

My Lotus Photo and Projects Album

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Since the engine was not running smoothly before it stopped I would guess it is not a cam belt. I suggest checking for fuel delivery first.

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Hi Guys,

 

Thanks for all your replies,

 

I still get the fuel pump priming at key position one and the car turns over fine on the battery but won’t fire up.  Timings fine, fuel pressures fine, I’ve got a good spark from all eight leads, and all the plugs are fine. When I removed the fuses B3 and B4 (primary fuel pump and injectors and secondary fuel pump) and flicked it over on the key it started and ran for a few seconds, which leads me to believe it’s flooding due to a worn primary injector (particularly as I have had a smell of fuel recently). I only changed the cam belts a few weeks ago but I will do a second check on the timing tomorrow and report back. I’ve been there before with the shredded timing belt and when the belt let go the engine stopped and would no longer crank over. The one thing I have not yet done is inspect each chamber with my borescope I will do that tomorrow also.

 

Keep the help and advice coming TTFN.  

Edited by G4RTHV8

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on your first 'engine fault' with the shreded belt, do you have carefully inspected all internal parts of the engine there ?  ..so can you say for sure that you have all valves working as those should, with good compression as result and therefore a good combustion. 

 

..do the catalysts look clean on booth sides of the engine bank (look from the backside towards the engine, use a small light into the rear o2-sensor hole, to visually inspect at least the rear cores for sure)   ..undo the front o2 sensor as well, to look after the condition of it, are there any irritations on the surface of the sensor tip ? (does the car burn to much oil ?)

 

Your ignition spark is there, if you test it manually on the cold engine, ok -but how is the condition of the coils on the surface of the engine block ..is there rust, are all four screws into place ?

 

on 'prime' and WOT both pumps have to run -and fuel pressure after 'prime' should be notable above 3.5bar  ..and stay there for minutes after you turn off the key.

 

is the small black pipe in contact with the plenum and the fuel-pressure regulator valve ?

Edited by Günter

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to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

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Hi Guys,

 

Well I’ve re checked the timing and the news is not good. The casting which secures the passenger side cam belt tensioner to the head has broken off (see PDF). So the passenger side head is coming off (it was the driver’s side last time out and I had to replace half the valves). This time I will have a go at removing the head with the engine installed. Has anyone ever heard of this happening before and more importantly why? The fix is strait forward enough but I would still like to understand the problem.

 

BRKN CASTING 2.pdf

 

Regards

Edited by G4RTHV8

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When Sparky changed the cambelt on mine a few years ago the tensioner assembly fractured and came apart in his hands when he took it off. The casting damage looked a lot like your pictures . It seems the bearing had all but seized on mine and the belt was polishing itself on the bearing surface and getting the whole assembly really hot. May be something similar has happened on your  V8?


Normally Aspirated - and lovin' it!

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Hi Colin,

 

The bearing is fine and running freely, when I cranked it over by hand to check the timing it seemed ok. After reading Travis’s reply yesterday I thought I would carry out a more in depth inspection and as I removed the passenger side belt cover the casting came apart. This is why I am so curious as to the cause, at least if the bearing was seized it would make some kind of sense? Logic would suggest that there was either axial movement or continuous load in the location of the fracture.

 

I will remove the head tomorrow and inspect the damage then get it welded up in the week whilst I’m waiting for parts.

 

Regards,

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who changed your timing belts -and how tight was the bearing/tensioner screw fitted there into the alloy?

 

..maybe there allready was a fracture in the cast caused by overtighening and over time (heat cycles of the engine ) the alloy expanded to often and just fellt appart.

 

 

Other point could be the small production number, and the process of cast on our engines

 

-not sure how good the quality inspection was there at ZAP  (where the alloy cast was done, according to the workshopbook/press release information and manufacture labels)

 

If you could offer refined pictures with higher resolution we could see if there allready was an crack line  ..as for now some areas look darker, with a notable longer exposion time and oxids build up, whereas other positions on the brocken section look like fresh brocken up material   -so my guess is there was an older damage allready there

 

..something more to carefully inspect on the 20.000km 'check-ups' every two years 

 

*as a sidenote -think you can imagine how precise it needs to be done, if you find someone to weld it on ..as the bearing should run 'in straight plane' to the main system ..or the timing belt will run off from the bearing and even more damage happens   :huh:

Edited by Günter

*********************************************************************

to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

*********************************************************************

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Hi Gunter,

 

When I got the car at 28,000 miles I checked both belts over and they looked really good so I wrote the date and mileage on both with an ultra violet pen.  As a precaution at 30,000 miles I decided to have them changed by a “Lotus Specialist” based in Berkshire, a few days after which the driver’s side belt let go.  When I took off what was left of the damaged belt and checked the other side with my UV torch I found that only the passenger side belt had been changed.  I should have been twice shy, as when I previously had the clutch done by the same “specialist” the exhaust came apart within 30 miles of the drive home and I had to reassemble it on the roadside ; so I’ve been doing everything including the belts myself ever since (now at 72,000 miles). The bolt was tightened to 20Nm +/-  as I am careful to follow all of the torque and tensioning instructions (including the updates) in the service notes and even go so far as to re-check the tensioning on the belts at 20, 50 and 100 miles after fitting (a few bent valves will make you sensitive to such an issue).

 

Regards

Edited by G4RTHV8

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Hi Garth,

 

Really sorry to hear the news, that's really bad luck. Sounds a little strange though... the events leading up to this. You say when the specialist changed the belts they only did the passenger side - but you have to first take the drivers side off first so why did they put the old belt back on - guessed you've asked yourself that? You mentioned you changed the belts from 30K on, did you also change the tensioners and idlers at each belt change too? - out of interest did you do this with the engine in or out? My car under the previous owner suffered cam failure. The tensioner seized and came away. The resulting damage was so severe it was more economical to replace the whole engine. 

 

Wish you good luck with the repair and please keep us all updated with your progress.

 

Cheers

 

Julian


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Hi Julian,

 

With regard to the drivers side cam belt scenario; I have asked myself the same question repeatedly, particularly as I had the timing belts changed out of choice and not necessity. Always wanting to think the best of people, maybe as both belts looked so good, it was a genuine mistake and the driver's side belt was inadvertently re-fitted, which is part of the reason I've always marked them with the date and mileage. Though on reflection without the benefit of a U V pen those marks would have been of no use to a 3rd party. However since then I've done two belt changes (soon to be three, I guess I'm still a little paranoid) always with the engine in, always checked and re-checked the tensioners, and on one occasion I did replace one of the intermediate (idler) shaft cam drive pulleys.

 

The good news is that there are only minor abrasions on two of the pistons and I only have to replace four of the valves. to be on the safe side I may well replace the valve guides too.

 

Thank you all for your support.

 

Regards,

Garth

Edited by G4RTHV8

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out of the line

 

..how do your timing-wheels (the toothed ones) look like  -any notes of pitting on the anodized alloy ?   


*********************************************************************

to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

*********************************************************************

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Hi Gunter,

 

Besides the fracture on the casting there are no other visible signs of damage, which is what makes the whole issue so puzzling for me.

 

Regards

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you know that you can see if it is an 'fresh' or old crack ..even on alloy ?=

 

..what I mean is, on steel parts there are several issues and indication marks who can tell you the type of stress/cause of failure -and on an alloy part like yours, you can at least see if there are old 'oxides' and dark grey sections on the outer ends -followed by a more fresh (shiny) area of exposed material   ..if it looks like this I would say that the cast already had an older crack/imperfection and the head just failed now as for being not able to compensate the normal stress loads on the bearing (*stress loads* caused by the naturally imperfect engine cycle of any reciprocating combustion engine)

Edited by Günter

*********************************************************************

to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

*********************************************************************

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As usual Gunter your right, there are three small areas where there is obvious oxidisation due to lengthy atmospheric exposure. So a word to the wise; if you have your passenger side head off at the moment. Take the time to clean it up and look for hairline cracks or other imperfections as it could save you a much bigger job.

 

Regards,

Edited by G4RTHV8

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