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Paul Coleman

Hot starting problems

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I've heard that starting a hot Esprit is not easy and I have now experienced this first hand in the petrol station much to the annoyance of those waiting behind me! So what's the secret?


Lotus Esprit [meaning] a 1:1 scale Airfix kit with a propensity to catch fire

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Simple answer.either ! finger salute or blow them a kiss as that gets smile and let her start when she is ready, people forget that it is an old car and needs time. My esprit likes about quarter throttle, three, four turns and away she goes.

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Think it was bad luck at a petrol station. It usually takes around 15 mins for mine to gain problems. So a petrol stop usually presents no issue.

 

I'm still on the look out for a spark protected purge pump to plumb in though.....


"Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them." Albert Einstein

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See if you can get a dead one from Lotusbits  then fit a new motor from maplin for £5-7.   When you fit it add a timer relay ( instructions on excel.net) otherwise your  new one will burn out like the old one.

 

I THINK!!!!  The hot start routine I think is sloooooooooooooooow press of the accelerator to the floor to open the carbs up fully then crank to clear any fuel laden air and it should  fire it up.  The slow press avoids jetting fuel in and adding to the fuel laden air  problem.  I think there was an instruction like this in the owners manual for my 88 n/a , will have a look tomorrow and post it up if I find anything.

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Hi Malcolm, 

I tried to access the instructions on excel net but it seemed to require a login.

Can you access it?


"Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them." Albert Einstein

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Paul. If its hot I don't touch the accellerator at all, just turn the key and she starts. If I happen to flood it (very easy when hot if you press the pedal even a little bit), then the trick is to hold the pedal to the floor and turn it over, it should catch in 10s or so and run roughly until the fuel is expelled then runs fine - as Malcolm said.

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http://www.lotusexcel.net/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=4853is the page for the pump overhaul.

 

http://www.lotusexcel.net/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=5270for the timer relay which is a must have. 

 

If you didnt have a purge pump from the factory there will be some other gubins ( technical term) need like another otterswitch in the curved ally tube over the alternator to get it to turn on when the ignition is turned off and the temp at the correct level.

 

 

Sorry I have tried to copy and paste it but it wont allow it. Its well worth registering ( you wont have to hand over your tlf passport or get a visa!!)  as there are lots of photos on both threads with good descriptions etc.

 

Once spilt the purge pump doesnt look much more than a glorified washer pump motor.

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Think it was bad luck at a petrol station. It usually takes around 15 mins for mine to gain problems. So a petrol stop usually presents no issue.

 

I would agree with the above. For a short stop of under 5 mins from hot I push the pedal down about 1/4 and starts fine.

 

If its been sitting after running for upto about 1 1/2 hour so the heat from the engine has heated up the carbs I have found pushing the pedal all the way down and crank for maybe 5 or 10 seconds and it soon comes to life.

 

After 1 1/2 hours its usually ok as its then cooled back down again.

 

Buddsy

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"Belief is the enemy of knowing" - Crrow777

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This is a scan from the handbook for a stevens 88 car. Hot start is middle left  sorry its not the sharpest pic.

 

The timer relay was not cheap but without it the pump will run until the temp in the coolant has dropped to a set level rather than the vapour has cleared from the air box.   I cant remember how long the timer is set for as  you have to order it for a set delay on period. Will try and  find out if anyone needs to know. 

post-1261-0-10159100-1436599351.jpg

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Thanks all for the replies/info. I'm not exactly sure what the problem is with the warm start... is it the fact that the fuel in the carbs has evapourated?


Lotus Esprit [meaning] a 1:1 scale Airfix kit with a propensity to catch fire

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I think its as the carbs get hot the fuel inside looses octane.

 

Buddsy


 

"Belief is the enemy of knowing" - Crrow777

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Is this just an NA issue or do the turbos get it too?


"Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them." Albert Einstein

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Not an issue with my turbo - does have fuel injection though.....


Only here once

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My turbo...carbs....responds to cranking whilst gently opening the throttle. Only ever takes a couple of seconds, no matter how hot she is....


Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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I've always had to slowly push down on the pedal whilst cranking after a stop of more than 10mins or so.

 

Works every time.

 

Pete

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Pete '79 S2

LEW Miss September 2009

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My car exhibits the same hot start issue as others have noted. Stops of short duration, like filling with petrol, are usually no issue, but a longer stop of 15-30 minutes typically results in what I believe is heat-soaking of the carbs and fuel vaporisation (also known as vapour-lock https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vapor_lock) which makes the car difficult to start.

I usually have to flood clear it by depressing the accelerator pedal to the floor and cranking for about 10 seconds where she splutters into life and needs a good rev to clear all the plugs.  Then it takes about 5-10 minutes of driving before the drives 'normally' again. I put this down to the carbs consuming the hot fuel in the float chamber and being replenished with fresh cool(er) fuel from the tanks.  Lotus clearly recognised an issue when they designed in the cooling 'ears' on the later cars and introduced the secondary air-box to suck cooler air away from the engine bay. My car has neither of these mods being an early S1.

Regular petrol in the UK now contains something like 5% - 10% ethanol which makes the vaporisation problem even worse than it was in the 1970's with leaded petrol and no ethanol.

Aviation piston engines can suffer from this phenomenon if run on regular petrol and inadequate fuel system cooling and for this reason most use 100LL (low lead content 100 octane) or 98UL (98 octane unleaded) is becoming more  readily available. I might try filling the Esprit with a tank of 100LL next time I'm at an airfield and see if it makes any difference.. 

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I always use 98 octane as it doesn't have the ethanol content or at last much lower. Been blasting around the Alps this week in a vintage car and all the petrol station now have 95 labelled as E10.

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Pete '79 S2

LEW Miss September 2009

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