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1982 S3 Esprit cutting out when hot


S31982

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I have just got the Esprit back on the road after being virtually unused for 9 years. She starts first turn of the key and drives superb, but just recently she is cutting out when at 90 degreesC, but only when I come to a halt. Trouble is it is not all the time. Today even in standing traffic she was fine. But travelling home and luckily just about 200 yards from home she cut out and would not restart!!!!

This is so frustrating and really embarrassing having to push her on to the drive today!!! Give it an hour and she starts first time. Does anybody have any idea's how I can get rid this?

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Regards..................Gary

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Hi Gary,

Welcome to the forum...same car as me!

let's have some pics and a bit more detail on the problem if poss? Is she pumping fuel ok, have you rebuilt the carbs? Etc...

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Gary,

An engine needs fuel and a spark. So what you have is problems with the carbs, or problems with the ignition system.

Cutting out when hot.... I bet you should start with renewing all ignition parts. Those are not that expensive. First the rotor and cap., second you should look for a new coil. A bad coil, that gets hot will stall the engine. After cooling down it will work again. I would suggest a set of new sparkplugs and sparkcables. Does the car have a lumenition or other system?

Geert

 

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Hi Geert and thank you for the response. I have just ordered new plugs and leads and will fit at weekend. I will remove and clean the coil, check the dizzy cap condition and generally clean up around the lumenition system. I won't get much chance to drive her this weekend, however when I do I will let you know the outcome.

 

Regards.......................Gary

 

 

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Hi Davey and thank you for the response.

I have just ordered new plugs & leads and will fit them at the weekend. I'll remove the coil & clean, check the dizzy cap condition and carry out a general clean around the lumenition system. As soon as I can get out again, I will let you know how she performs.

I will send photos later.

Cheers.....................Gary

 

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Could it be the mechanical fuel pump?

You could give a gentle tap with a piece of wood and this sometimes gets it going again - you will hear a clicking noise as fuel is pumped through and the clicking noise will slow gradually to a stop. 

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Hi Bazzer,

Definitely not the fuel pump, the pump is working fine, plenty of fuel in filter and arriving at the carbs. My first train of thought was too much fuel, as there is a smell of petrol in the engine bay. It seems as if she runs perfectly once some of the fuel has evaporated? I will whip out the plugs tomorrow evening to check the condition. They are the 4 prong Bosh plugs that are in and only about 3,000 miles of use - however they are 9 years old!! I will try all ideas that have kindly been offered and let you know how I get on.

Cheers..................Gary

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  • Gold FFM

Hi Gary,, my Esprit is fuel injected,  but I have a lot of experience with multi carbed high performance motorcycles, so this may be worth a try.

As your car has been stood up for a while, the evaporation of fuel in pipes and carbs can leave a sticky residue, causing floats and float needles to stick in unusual positions. Leaking float needle valves would cause the symptoms you are having, ie, flooding at tickover, and fuel smell in the engine bay.I would suggest stripping the carb float bowls and giving them a good clean with carb cleaner. Also replace the fuel filter as dissolved gum in the fuel lines can cause restricted flow there.

 

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  • Gold FFM

Good luck, as most have said. Coil first, once it heats your car will simply shut down, but be ok when it has cooled down, you cant clean them, just replace. Carbs could well have varnish on the jets and needles, strip and clean bud dont disturb the float heights, plug leads do breakdown after time, change them. Fuel hose, change them ,dont wait as I know this one at my cost, fires are expensive. timing belt, after 9 years, have you changed it, if not, get it done the rubber only has a shelf life of 6 years regardless of miles.

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If you change sparkplugs and cables, please do change rotor and dizzycap also.

The cost is next to nothing. You often can not detect the problem unless you have a trained eye. In the past ,a worn dizzy cap caused serious problems with my 1970 Opel GT and also my esprit did hesitate some months ago, Solved by a new dizzycap and rotor.

The thing is. Most ignition parts are not that expensive and changing them are one of the most straightforward simple jobs on a car. So rule out all and start here. 

The fact that your car stalls not on a regular basis and mosttly if not always when hot assures me it is something in the ignition system. ( dont forget the coil ) . What happens fe when you let the car idle for some time after a ride?  Does the coil become really hot?

 

Geert

 

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Hi Geert,

I have decided to bite the bullet and take the advice that everybody has offered.

I will buy a new coil, dizzy cap and rotor arm. Looking on Ebay there are several to go for. The Lucas gold sports coil is favourite so far, would this be OK?

Also several dizzy caps, which would the best to buy?

Thank you to all for your time and suggestions.

Regards......................Gary

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  • Gold FFM

When buying the coil, check and see that its the correct one as you get ballasted and un ballasted coils. It does make a difference. As for dizzy cap etc, go for a well known brand like Motorcraft or similar.

 

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On 14/10/2016 at 21:02, S31982 said:

The Lucas gold sports coil is favourite so far, would this be OK?

Also several dizzy caps, which would the best to buy?

If you're not sure then why no go to one of the specialists like sjsportscar where you can tell them exactly what you want & stand a pretty good chance of getting it. :thumbup:

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Cheers,

John W

http://jonwatkins.co.uk

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  • 2 weeks later...

Agreeing with Jon...give Steve a call and explain. Be succinct, though, he's a busy chap!! Of course, they could fix it for you.....but no fun in that, is there?

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

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Rotor arm, whatever you do, do not purchase one that has a metal rivet to secure the metal to the plastic. There is known problem that these crack the plastic (internally, so you cannot see it) and then give a path to ground via the dissy centre post.

In fact, a car that's been standing could well have that problem, but it's difficult to diagnose without parts to swap in/out and it's a PITA to replace the rotor arm, so just do it with the leads and cap and if those things combine to solve the problem then just throw the old ones and don't bother to find out which part was bad.

 

 

I've had a couple of those rotor arms fail, one gave problems only when hot, but the same could be expected of coils, or of an internal break in a plug lead, hence I'm not saying they are the problem.

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Yes, a misfiring when hot problem leading to a full "no spark" situation (and a night spent sleeping at a motorway services) was due to one of those Lucas rotor arms with the rivet. It was running badly when hot for months and I replaced all the Lumenition system and wires and plugs etc, but not that pesky rotor arm. Although I did check it before and it looked fine with no burning or tracking marks which is why I didn't replace it then. You can get better arms with no rivet from the Distributor Doctor (they are red) and since I have fitted it my car has had no misfiring whatsever hot or cold.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Guys,

My 1982 S3 N/A Esprit has now suddenly decided not to produce a spark at the plugs.

The car has always started up instantly and has run perfectly for 16 years, but it has now decided not to start.

I ran a few obvious checks but everything looked fine. I then checked out the ignition side of things, cleaned the surprisingly large rotor arm, checked & cleaned the dizzy cap, checked all the leads for integrity, all connections were clean & tight, carried out continuity checks on all the earth leads I could get at, the plug leads are only about 2,000 miles old and seem in good order, a decent spark was being generated at the end of the coil lead, but when connect back to the dizzy there was no spark at all at the spark plugs. The RAC were contacted and the engineer  kindly brought a new (although different from mine) rotor arm, which made no difference what so he ever eventually diagnosed the Lumenition module to be faulty.

I have just fitted the new Lumenition module, fitted new plugs (Bosch) and replaced the coil with a Lucas gold performance, but still no start - HELP!!!!!!

Regards...........................Gary

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Is the coil lead definitely giving a spark, such that if you connect it to a spark plug with the plug earthed it sparks? But nothing on the actual plug leads? If so there is not much it can be.

There are two types of the Lumenition modules which use different sensors, I think if the wrong one is fitted it might work backwards in which case might spark when the rotor arm is not lined up with a contact but this would not explain the initial problem. 

If the toothed wheel had turned on the shaft it would fire out of phase too but this seems unlikely.

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