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Suspected V8 seizure - Oh no


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Well, I've had a very enjoyable 6 weeks since picking up my V8 but I think it has thrown a paddy.  Driving today the car just cut out on me.  All temps were ok, no warning lights on dash etc.  I came to a corner, geared down, went around the corner and when I put my foot on the accelerator it went to the floor but nothing happened.  That's when I noticed it had cut out.

 

once I came to a stop I tried to start it but it just clicks on the starter motor.  Waited 4 hours for the RAC who tested the battery etc and put a jump pack on and still the same, just the starter trying to fire but it just clunks.  If it had not cut out on me before I would think starter but I'm sure it must be connected.  RAC man seems to think that the engine is seized.

 

anyone any ideas?  Car was running absolutely perfect prior to this, no strange noises or anything.  A friend behind me says he saw a small puff of smoke from the exhaust before I stopped.  Upon stopping there was a small amount of light smoke from the air filter housing by the side windows.  All oil on the dipstick is clear and water level is fine.  Engine was rebuilt 2800 miles ago at a cost of £13000 for the previous owner including the turbos reconditioning.

 

im thinking of stripping off the starter, alternator belt and seeing if I can turn the engine by hand.  I'm guessing the bottom pulley is accessed from underneath the car?

 

any help really appreciated.  The other half is not,very happy 🙈

 

 

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If the engine had just seized as you were driving, I would fully expect you to hear something. If it was running completely ok and then has just stopped, I would be looking at something else. It could possibly have dropped a valve, but again, I would expect a noise.

When you try to start it, is the engine turning over or is the starter just throwing in and then nothing? If it is just throwing in, don't hold it in for long as you will burn out the relay.

Did your friend that was following, happen to say which side the puff of smoke was from?

Before trying to turn it over, I would possibly pull the plugs and then purchase/hire one of those camera thingies and have a look in each cylinder to see if there may be anything mechanical on the top end first.

If there isn't, then proceed from there.

And yes, the easiest way to get to the pulley is underneath. If you still have the bottom tray underneath on the car, that has to come out first.

Hope it isn't seized. Was there any change once it had cooled down? Ring seizure can happen and then release once the engine cools.

Did you happen to notice your oil pressure at the time?

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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  • Gold FFM

Hi hopefully it won't be serious, did you see smoke at both airbox's or just on one side, and are you sure the smoke was coming from the airbox as it could be an oil leak onto the exhaust manifold which is just under the airbox. 

One of the first things to look at would be the cambelts, the V8 is notoriously weak around the intermediate shaft, shedding a belt is not unheard of, but I'm sure you would have heard a clattering noise prior to engine failure. 

I would take a look at the plugs, inspect each one for damage at the electrode before turning the engine, with the plugs out the engine will turn more easily by the crankshaft pully. 

If the engine had seized I'm sure you would have felt or heard it go. So let's hope for an electrical fault. Keep us posted.

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  • Gold FFM

Hope that’s an electrical issue chap I really do.

bad earths are common on all esprits. And clicking starters I’ve experienced twice when it occurs. I’ve never had a car cut out like that though - they normally just won’t start.

get in that engine bay - and pull the cam belt covers off. You need to know they are still in there and not lobbed off. You’d have heard a whole shit fest kicking off for sure if they had gone south

Only here once

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Thanks for the replies.  Hopefully the car is been recovered today so I have a couple of hours tomorrow after work to have a look at everything.  I’m guessing the boot floor is removable too to gain more access ?

 

yes, really strange.  Even if the belt had gone I would have thought the engine would try to turn even without compression and anything like a valve dropping in I would have expected Armaggeden out the back of the car.

 

the only thing I have seen upon looking in the engine bay is a hose coming out from the middle of the V about 20mm diameter that isn’t fastened to anything.  To be fair it may just be a vent pipe

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The boot floor is removable, but I would not think you need to do that yet. As Barry has inferred above, hopefully @mike_sekinger will bump into this topic.

And Mike S beat me by one minute. :) 

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

For forum issues, please contact one of us Moderators.

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1 hour ago, Mightymetro said:

the only thing I have seen upon looking in the engine bay is a hose coming out from the middle of the V about 20mm diameter that isn’t fastened to anything.  To be fair it may just be a vent pipe

Doesn't sound like the culprit, but at 20mm that sounds like your IAC hose ????  Check the top of your right hand compressor duct and see if there is a open connection.

IAC hose.png

  • Like 1

1996 Esprit V8, 1998 Esprit V8 GT, 1999 Esprit S350 #002 (Esprit GT1 replica project), 1996 Esprit V8 GT1 (chassis 114-001), 1992 Lotus Omega (927E), 1999 Esprit V8SE, 1999 Esprit S350 #032, 1995 Esprit S4s, 1999 Esprit V8 GT (ex-5th Gear project), 1999 Esprit V8SE ('02 rear)

1999 S350 #002 Esprit GT1 replica

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I can't imagine though that the car would be running smoothly as described if that was open to atmosphere?

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

For forum issues, please contact one of us Moderators.

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3 minutes ago, ramjet said:

I can't imagine though that the car would be running smoothly as described if that was open to atmosphere?

I completely agree.... but I'm struggling to imagine another hose there at that diameter.

1996 Esprit V8, 1998 Esprit V8 GT, 1999 Esprit S350 #002 (Esprit GT1 replica project), 1996 Esprit V8 GT1 (chassis 114-001), 1992 Lotus Omega (927E), 1999 Esprit V8SE, 1999 Esprit S350 #032, 1995 Esprit S4s, 1999 Esprit V8 GT (ex-5th Gear project), 1999 Esprit V8SE ('02 rear)

1999 S350 #002 Esprit GT1 replica

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My gut feeling is with Barry and Mike - I bet you have lost an earth braid. That would cause a cut out (I have tales of woe regarding crappy earths causing problems on my V8) and not enough return path for the amps required to turn the engine over.

If you want the full horror of a cam belt going AWOL (no, you really don't) or other V8 mechanical mayhem then @Alex Carter can probably give you some reassurance that it is unlikely in your case.

I tempted fate...now my Esprit V8 IS in bits...(sob)

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Before you strip the starter out - which is a real pain - lean over the back of the engine and take the tops of the cam belt covers off. If the belts don’t feel too slack, then remove all eight spark plugs and check if they all look the same. If the belts and the plugs look fine, (its best to check the top end first, if you just try to turn it over you might end up causing more damage) then try turning the engine over manually. It is far easier to access the pulley from the bottom. Once you’ve been through those, then check through the rest.

I do agree with everyone else, you would probably remember hearing a haunting death noise if something really bad had happened!

The last time my S2 dropped a valve, you really knew about it! If you get stuck with anything, drop us a PM and I can give you a phone number to call.

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Hi everyone, the car was dropped back to me just now and is awaiting some help trying to push it up the drive to the garage so I can get it jacked up.  Will probably be tomorrow when I can get enough people as the drive is on an incline.  The car needs more lightness adding 🙈

 

Ive had a look and the hose was the one you highlighted Mike .  I couldn't see the part it went to,as there were cables running over it.  The jubilee clip is still hanging around the joint.  I wonder if this caused the initial stall and smoke if it has blown off ?

 

Ill update you tomorrow afternoon and let you know how I get on.  I'm going to pull the spark plugs before trying to turn and I'll post photos.  It doesn't look like the car has the undertray fitted.  

IMG_4113.JPG

Here she is awaiting a push 

FullSizeRender.jpg

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Well that is the IAC hose which should be connected to the RH compressor duct. 

There is no undertray on the V8, so you`re not missing anything.  

Good luck tomorrow and do keep us posted on your findings.

1996 Esprit V8, 1998 Esprit V8 GT, 1999 Esprit S350 #002 (Esprit GT1 replica project), 1996 Esprit V8 GT1 (chassis 114-001), 1992 Lotus Omega (927E), 1999 Esprit V8SE, 1999 Esprit S350 #032, 1995 Esprit S4s, 1999 Esprit V8 GT (ex-5th Gear project), 1999 Esprit V8SE ('02 rear)

1999 S350 #002 Esprit GT1 replica

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  • Gold FFM

Just have a quick look at the battery terminals too, only breakdown I've had was a broken earth clamp, symptoms clicking starter relay and light pods popping up and down. 

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  • Gold FFM

I thought you could still turn it over even if that has tripped, however it is at the very back of the engine bay on the right hand side. If memory serves me correctly (it popped on me once at the Nurburgring and I thought I'd stuffed my ECU that day and had fun taking it 100km to test on another Esprit - Doh!), the switch will have popped up and will click down into place if its tripped.

Sorry this is the best picture I could find while away. It's next to the boost control solenoid.

cheers

-Chris

1446135900_cutoffswitch.thumb.jpg.18e24a398f0a4ee8d6b63e15595c8ffd.jpg

 

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