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Running After 10 years!!


kehoeautomotive

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Hi guys!

 

I am not a mechanic but I do work at an automotive shop. I have a 1987 Lotus Esprit (belongs to a friend) and I just got it running after 10 years of sitting up. My buddy said it would just not start one day, called around New Orleans and found no one to work on it. I told him I would work on it for free because I wanted to learn about the cars (I have a 89).

I put fresh fluids and fuel in it along with a new battery and quickly found that it had no ignition fire. I put a petronix pickup in it I got from JAE and it started right up and ran!!!! YEAH!!

It is running lean I think. When I try to rev up the motor it revs very slowly and pops out of the intake. If I push the CIS Sensor Plate down a tiny bit and give it gas at the same time, it revs right up and sounds great with no lean pops. 

Here is what I've done to try to fix this problem. I ran a fuel pressure test at the inlet line to the fuel distributor. It has 95 pounds of fuel pressure at idle (Thought perhaps low fuel pressure). I checked the timing and vacuum advance (I thought if the timing was out it could cause lean pops) and I smoked the intake system to check for vacuum leaks (thought if there was a vacuum leak air would not pull the sensor plate down.) I put a small wheel weight on the sensor plate so i dont have to push it in and out of the garage. How's that for lazy!

I thought perhaps the lower injector seals might be torn on the bottom rings but not the top ones and I would not see a vacuum leak but still have one.

I'm not sure what testing I should do next. I would like to do more tests and have access to fuel injection testing equipment but I don't which direction to go it. A volume test where the injectors lines screw in? Any suggestions? Am I barking up the right tree?

 

Thanks so much!!!

Thomas

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Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.

Everything else is immaterial...CHANGE THE BELTS.....NOW!!!!!

 

If the cambelt snaps, you will have an anchor. Not a motor. And they do.......

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

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image.jpegI am trying to check control pressure hot then cold. Did I hook this up on the wrong side of the wur? All I get here is line pressure. I hear what you guys are saying about the timing belt. If I can't get the car running then I don't want to invest time into replacing the timing belt. The belt was new right before it was laid up. If it breaks during fuel testing then you can say "I told you so all you want". Thanks! 

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There isnt going to be much knowledge of the KJet system here as only USA cars used it (as far as I know).

But speaking from Ferrari knowledge:

You can test the control pressure without the engine running. If you remove the interlock plug on the top of the FD the fuel pump should run when the ignition is on. The control pressure should gradually increase from cold to around 3 bar when the WUR is internally warm from its heater.

If the control pressure is too high it will cause lean running as you are seeing and also cause the metering flap not to go down. Cant really see for sure but the picture does seem to show that you are measuring at the right place.

Checking the control pressure is the right thing to do first and if its incorrect you can investigate this, maybe the WUR needs to come apart. These are relatively easy to check out internally.

Why not change the belt though because there is no reason why the car cant be got running properly so the time wont be wasted.

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Thomas, everyone is saying to change the belt as the recommended interval is 2 years or 10k, whichever is sooner. It's an interference engine so if it goes, you'll be looking at a lot of valves and pistons. 

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

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For your fuel issue, I  would suggest you check the duty cycle on the frequency valve, this is what controls the mixture. I have yet to see a fuel pressure problem on these systems. The frequency valve is probably trying to lean your mixture getting an input from the oxygen sensor, but then again it should be out of the loop when cold, maybe the system sees the engine warm, you could test your temp sensors.

I wouldn't touch it but worse case, to keep it running you can adjust the CO screw by a knowned value (1/8 of a turn at a time) to richen the mixture.

I kind of agree with you to keep the current belt until it runs but inspect it and don't rev it until you do change it.

What is your idle value when cold?

Maybe one of the multiple idle controls is bad.

Also test your thermotime switch, make it provides power to your warmup regulator, you can jump the connector and start it to see if it improves anything. 

Good luck.

 

Something I learned about cars or planes, it all works until it doesn't anymore...sometime there is no way around it!

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I will find out what the frequency is. I have already started down the fuel pressure testing tunnel so i figure that I will finish that testing first. I will of course test the frequency valve as soon as I figure out how to do that (the manual will tell me I'm sure). I have all the fuel system fittings and think I have those tests figured out. Looks like there are 3 different tests I need to run there. Will do that this weekend.

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On 2/5/2016 at 17:11, Andyww said:

Why not change the belt though because there is no reason why the car cant be got running properly so the time wont be wasted.

Because if I can't get it running right myself, no one else I know of can fix it so then the vehicle will be scrapped. It's not like I can pick up the phone and call the local antique Lotus garage mechanic and tell him to fix it up. I have to figure it out for myself. Also opening new can of worms up during diagnostics is never a good idea. "Cant find the fuel problem.... did I get the intake cam off a tooth? Sigh....

If I ruin the engine I promise I will let everyone tell me I told you so!

:-)

Thanks for the useful knowledge. Glad to know I can check it running.

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If you have the Bosch fuel injection manual, they refer to our system as the K-lambda, an evolution of the K-Jetronic before they ended up with the KE-Jetronic.

Now Lotus messed with it a bit for turbocharging.

Maybe you have this book already but this is the bible:

http://www.textbooks.com/Bosch-Fuel-Injection-and-Engine-Management-Handbook/9780837603001/Charles-O-Probst.php

 

Try the CO screw, it might just be that your injectors are gummed up from not running. If you still own that GTI, you probably have the allen wrench required to adjust it.

 

Edited by Mesprit87
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Something I learned about cars or planes, it all works until it doesn't anymore...sometime there is no way around it!

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On 12/02/2016 at 15:15, kehoeautomotive said:

Because if I can't get it running right myself, no one else I know of can fix it so then the vehicle will be scrapped. It's not like I can pick up the phone and call the local antique Lotus garage mechanic and tell him to fix it up. I have to figure it out for myself. Also opening new can of worms up during diagnostics is never a good idea. "Cant find the fuel problem.... did I get the intake cam off a tooth? Sigh....

If I ruin the engine I promise I will let everyone tell me I told you so!

:-)

Thanks for the useful knowledge. Glad to know I can check it running.

This really isn't the right place to talk about scrapping a vehicle such as this for such a puerile reason. Unbelievable!!! Why don't you do what everyone has told you is the only sensible thing to do, and change the cambelt?? I had the cambelt on mine snap a week after I bought it...back in 1988 there was no internet to give sage advice, and I was on my own for sure. Luckily...very luckily...the engine survived; but I wish to wotsits I had had someone to tell me that the very first thing you do when buying or restoring one of these cars to use is to change the cambelt. We aren't joking...and if you end up with an anchor because  you revved the bejasus out of it and snapped the aged belt, then we have lost another of these increasingly rare beasts. The arrogance of proclaiming that, because you can't get it to work, nobody else can, and you'll scrap a working example astounds me. 

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

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2 hours ago, molemot said:

This really isn't the right place to talk about scrapping a vehicle such as this for such a puerile reason. Unbelievable!!! Why don't you do what everyone has told you is the only sensible thing to do, and change the cambelt?? I had the cambelt on mine snap a week after I bought it...back in 1988 there was no internet to give sage advice, and I was on my own for sure. Luckily...very luckily...the engine survived; but I wish to wotsits I had had someone to tell me that the very first thing you do when buying or restoring one of these cars to use is to change the cambelt. We aren't joking...and if you end up with an anchor because  you revved the bejasus out of it and snapped the aged belt, then we have lost another of these increasingly rare beasts. The arrogance of proclaiming that, because you can't get it to work, nobody else can, and you'll scrap a working example astounds me. 

All I am saying is that no shops that I can find around New Orleans is willing to work on it. New Orleans is a small town. That's why I have to fix it myself , not syaing that there are not experts on these cars.... like the guys on this site. That's why I had to ask questions. I hear your advice. 

 

Section LF in the service manual has become my life these days! 

I found "warm control pressure" is way too high (I am below sea level here). Not sure how to adjust or fix it but I am working on that. Making progress!

Now that I am getting more confident that I can fix this, I will change the timing belt. I see that the current timing belt on the car is the updated Nitrile Belt. That's what JAE told me anyway so I am going to use another one of those.

Anxious to fix the warm control pressure problem to see if it makes the car run any better. If I do not have any improvement for the fuel system pressures testing results then I will move on to the frequency valve testing. Thanks for all of the useful advice on the fuel system!

 

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These beasts take you to your limits...be it driving or mechanicking...mine has been doing that to me for 27 years, and it still is.... I suppose there has to be something of the masochist in all of us! Glad to hear that your morale has improved...stick at it...once you get it out on the street going properly, then the fun begins! Barry's right...it's only a car...a bunch of Norfolk types made it; you can fix it!!!! You have the same problem that I had when I first got mine...nobody knew anything about it, and it was all working in the dark. In the end, it will be YOU that's the expert....all the esoteric knowledge will be at your fingertips and you will have the immense satisfaction that only comes from personal achievement. I think you and the car will be having a good summer.....

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

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27 years John, that's what? 14 belts? We do count ownership time in number of timing belts (unfortunately!)

And that reminds me that mine is due... again.

Thomas, if you are sure you are running lean, you can just try disconnecting your warmup regulator, it will prevent it from heating and keep it from leaning the mixture.Did you see any pressure difference as it warms up?

By experience, these rarely go bad though.

By the way once you are done, make sure you fit a new filter these systems like to run clean.

Edited by Mesprit87
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Something I learned about cars or planes, it all works until it doesn't anymore...sometime there is no way around it!

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I do have quite a collection of cambelts...there was a period of several years whilst I was doing the paint, never changed the belt during that...waited until she got mobile again. Still have the belt that snapped...now I use that as part of my calibration rig for the belt tension gauge, formed loops in the ends of the belt...hang it up, hang weights on the other end, check tension reading on gauge. Nothing thrown away, it's all going to be useful at some point.... There are a few intact but time expired belts hanging up in one corner of the shop, too...along with a collection of pistons and liners and bits of gearbox.... One does tend to find oneself surrounded by mechanical and engineering detritus as the years go by. A late lamented chum of mine was in the same boat..he said that, having spent his life in engineering and electronics, his house was full of bits and pieces. If he had to do it all over again, he said he'd go into accountancy...then he might have ended up surrounded by money, instead..... (!)

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

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