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Old 01-14-2013, 04:01 PM   #61 (permalink)
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I am not an expert on the S4 or the S4s but they both use the same engine management system so I am assuming they used the same speedometer. Very easy to figure out if you have a mechanical speedometer. You should see a big, fat tube running up to the back of the speedometer. To repeat, if the mechanical speedometer is not reading 0 at rest it has a problem and if it is bouncing when you are moving it is probably the cable. The electronic speedo should never have any unusual readings except when the ignition key is off. If it does weird things when on (bouncing, stuck, etc) it could be a bad electrical connection, low system voltage or (least likely) a bad speedometer.
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:29 PM   #62 (permalink)
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David,

They all use the same engine management from 89SE to S4s, Sport 300, X180-R, & GT3 (even the 89non-SE is similar), though they do vary in the use of a mechanical speedo or electrical speedo as others have said. They all have a wheel speed sensor at the right rear wheel for the ECU's speed reading. So an 89SE with a mechanical speedo can easily be converted to use an electrical speedo. The S4s, GT3, X180-R and Sport 300 use an electrical speedo, the others use a mechanical.

A bouncing speedo and erratic speed reading does not necessarily mean a broken or rubbing cable, however that is also something to check before rebuilding the speedo. The magnet inside the speedo can come loose and move closer to the needle thus dragging the speed reading higher. The fix is to press the magnet to the hard stop and glue it down. Then the reading should remain where it was calibrated.

The mechanical speedo never reads 0mph btw, it only goes down to 10mph, and even a broken one will read zero because while it is not spinning, it will not magnetically drag the needle above rest (@10mph).





Mine would actually fix itself if I slammed on the brakes, which caused the magnet to slide away from the face of the gauge and therefore wasn't causing the needle to read 140mph at 40mph real speed.
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:32 PM   #63 (permalink)
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Sanj - Confirmed as you suspected. I found the answer in the service manual, Esprit Model History pages:

January '95:
- S4 non-USA
- S4s USA
- S4s non-USA
As previous with the following principal changes:
- Caerbont instruments with 100mm speedo and tacho, analogue clock. Oil temp gauge and ice detection deleted.
- Revised trim stitching
- Walnut veneer replaces 'carbon fiber' instrument panel and door finishers
- S4s: 285bhp engine with revised turbo, inlet valves and ECM. Uprated clutch cover.


In addition, the transmission section section says:

...and all cars '95 M.Y. onwards use an electronic speedo which receives signals from a sensor mounted on the RH rear hub carrier in conjunction with a toothed ring on the driveshaft. This data is also used by the engine management system.
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:19 PM   #64 (permalink)
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According to the first text, my car being made in sept94, and being USA, should be the vdo mechanical.

Then the second part, talking about the transmission, states all cars 95 my, which my car is.

Since it is a vdo, and not the caerbont, it certainly must be mechanical.
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:51 PM   #65 (permalink)
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Ah yes, the ambiguous land of Lotus! Welcome, make yourself comfy. It's a long ride! Lol! And Travis, to clarify additionally to the MFPI non chargecooled cars also use the mechanical speedo, BUT it uses an earlier GM ECM and it too has the same VSS wheel speed sensor.
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:21 PM   #66 (permalink)
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Yeah Artie, i was including the 89 non SE. As you know, the engine management is very similar, but with some differences.
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:26 PM   #67 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bharper View Post
According to the first text, my car being made in sept94, and being USA, should be the vdo mechanical.

Then the second part, talking about the transmission, states all cars 95 my, which my car is.

Since it is a vdo, and not the caerbont, it certainly must be mechanical.
Harper - I believe at the time Lotus cars for non-US were made on a calendar year basis. The transmission section refers to Euro model/calendar years. For example the Model History page also refers to the June '94 introduction of Brembo brakes on S4 models, from Non-USA R 1443, and USA S 1391. R = 1994 model year, S-1995 model year, both made at the same time.

Of course, its also possible and likely that one side of the company did not know what the other side was doing...
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:01 AM   #68 (permalink)
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Between the Brit's version of English, and the Lotus twist, I wonder how we ever get by.

My need of the Speedo in both of the above would equate to -

I really do not need the speedo to work to tell how fast I am going, but how fast I am not going.

In our english -

With a broken speedo, its hard to tell if you are speeding.

Makes perfect sense, right?

Brian

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Old 01-16-2013, 10:39 AM   #69 (permalink)
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Here we go again...

Back on the job, and pulled the right door panel this morning, to take a look at the passenger window problem....





The part is cheap, about 5 bucks from JAE, the time to change it, probably way too much, the entire regulator may have to come out if the part does not snap in the rail, and may have to come out anyway.

My biggest concern is the root of the problem, the grease. Outdoors here today the high will be 37 degrees. The garage is non heated, but well insulated, and I expect it is close to 50 degrees. The grease at that temp feels like some cheap grease mixed with horse glue and honey. The broken plastic parts do not 'slide', only moving with a bunch of pressure, and would guess that is what caused the block to be pulled apart. That is probably what could have also perhaps caused excessive wear in the ball socket of the plastic block, but have not verified that there is actually wear there until it is out. The grease must be at least causing a 4x current draw on the lift motors.

These types of problems really irk me. The factory, or whoever built the lift assembly used a grease that either does not age well, or is not intended for any kind of cold weather. It would be better suited to be an adhesive. Maybe they were trying to make it sticky to help reduce rattles, who knows, but I am not the least impressed that Lotus Engineering failed so bad in this case of grease selection.

It is so bad, guess I will also be pulling down the drivers side door too, and striping the grease out of the window and secondary rails and replacing it with mobil 1 synthetic grease. Maybe then the window lift motors will continue to survive. No wonder so many motors, switches, relays and such fail. I would bet this grease deal causes at lest 80% of all window related problems.

I would expect this problem also presents itself on many, if not all esprits, and am sure I am not the first to discover it.

It does not take a few ounces of pressure to move the plastic block parts, but quite a bit of force.

Errrrrrr.....

Brian

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Old 01-16-2013, 11:03 AM   #70 (permalink)
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If anything like my experience replacing those on other cars (Porsche, Nissan, Ford, Audi, etc., etc.) which looked similar to that in design will have to remove to get the new wheel in.

I always used marine grease in them after cleaning the old gunk out. Put it from one end to the other of the channel, not too much mind you...
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:28 PM   #71 (permalink)
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Thanks Z...

Looking like regulator may stay where it is, will need to pull the window frame and glass on each side to replace the plastic blocks, and the secondary rail for the block there.

Since this block was destroyed by the sticky grease syndrome I expect, others may be cracked, or at least stressed, so will probably replace all 6 with new ones and be done with it. With the time it will take, spending $30 for all new ones is the only rational thing to do.

Changing to the synthetic grease will probably keep it going for a bunch of years past my time.

Brian

There is a small secondary cover I removed, and I can see the end of the window channel, so should not have to pull the window frame. But may have to loosen it tomorrow, the window has a big wedgy - is off the frame on the side toward the back.

Done with the cold garage for today.

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Old 01-17-2013, 05:13 AM   #72 (permalink)
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I admire your persistence in "un-Lotus-ing" some of the poor things they did from the factory...
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:01 AM   #73 (permalink)
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Guess that depends on if the grease is indeed the root of the problem 91MR2.

I was hoping to get responses from some others that have also had window experience to support my "guess" that the extremely sticky grease when cold could cause this.

I also hope I have not already bored everyone with this thread, I'm on an adventure (at least to me) restoring this lotus and thought some others may also enjoy the trip. It seems that something of this nature or length is perhaps not the norm around here, and if this is not entertaining for all, I will go it alone and not waste your time.

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Old 01-17-2013, 07:53 AM   #74 (permalink)
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Brian, I personally love your thread...not bored at all! This is very valuable info. that you are posting up. Just pleased to see someone going about an Esprit restoration the RIGHT way, and not cutting corners, leading all of our cars to the very low resale point they are currently at...but that is another subject altogether...

On topic, I have not *gulp* had any issue with my power windows, so not sure what direction to point you in there...sorry man...

PM me with your phone # if you want to talk further re. everything you're doing...sounds like you got a lot figured out (a lot more than me), but I'm always happy to talk Esprits...
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:43 AM   #75 (permalink)
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As a new owner myself, this is a great thread! I am learning how to fix all the little stuff in one thread!
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:05 AM   #76 (permalink)
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Grease is oil mixed with soap to thicken it. As it ages it gets thicker as the oil dries out and you are left with more and more soap. It also gets dirty which can make it thicker. The only fix is to clean all of the old grease away and regrease with fresh grease.

As to what was used on a Lotus and when, it is very difficult to know exactly what and when Lotus made running changes. You must be intimately familiar with each year, production run, and model. My best guesses seem to always turn out wrong because as much as I think I know the V-8's it does not transfer well to any previous models. This doesn't mean I won't stop trying!
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:43 AM   #77 (permalink)
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Thanks for the support guys!

Not doing much today, garage just too cold. Expect a day or two of help this weekend, and to make some more progress.

Brian
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:02 PM   #78 (permalink)
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Brian,

Replacing the roller is an easy job, no need to remove the regulator. It just slides in from the end IIRC. The hardest part is probably snapping the ball on the arm back in the hole of the roller. It's a common wear part so it was probably due to be replaced anyway.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:27 PM   #79 (permalink)
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Hi Jim,

Car has < 18k miles, I would not expect much wear there, unless that was increased by the stiction of the grease. Breaking in half I do blame on the grease. The grease is bad, bad, bad. Probably was made at a glue factory.

I was thinking on replacing all three each side, that in its own may be more of an adventure than I need, I ordered 6. I'll see if I can get the two pieces out here in a little while, they may tell more of what happened on closer inspection. Or tell nothing, which is more likely.

Still a bit concerned on unsticking the glass wedgy. Going to try and loosen up the rear window frame and see if that will help get the tension off. First reaction was a small piece of wood, and tap that with a hammer straight down, but see cleaning up a lot of glass if I try that.

I hope the photo's of the messy garage did not gross you out too bad Jim!

Brian
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:53 PM   #80 (permalink)
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I had a similar issue on my 89 when I first bought it. I did not document any of the process, but it was nearly 7 years ago. I recal using lot's of brake cleaner to strip the old hard grease/wax. I then used Mobil 1 grease, and a very moderate amount, eliminating the clumping I was experiencing. I didn't have issues with the regulator or the window coming off the frame, but there was a frame that had come loose from it's poor junction weld. IIRC I used 3M panel bonding adhesive to repair the joint and greased the rails. My main problem was that the windows took FOREVER to go up! This solved the problem and has worked since. Good luck and thanks for posting your work. There are always new buyers coming on board and every experience with these cars is helpful in sorting problems!
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