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Old 01-14-2013, 01:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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New owner and have a few bits i need to sort, Help please!!

Hi everyone and thanks for viewing,

I have just bought a Lotus esprit 88 PS model. It is a great car and love it but I have got 4 problems that I need to sort and need some help!

1. HEADLIGHT CONTROL MODULE- Where is it located as it dosn't appear to be obviously in the front bonnet bay anywhere? Lights not popping up on demand so want to look at module to see if I can fix (I 'was' an electronics engineer many moons ago)

2. Exhaust manifold has got a small hole in it so noisey (I can see the hole through the wheel arch and put a gloved finger on it stops the noise). Can you do anything about this such as liquid metal, weld or even gum gum as a short term fix. Where is a cheap place to source a new/old one? Any ideas?

3. SUSPECTED FUEL TANK LEAK. When i collected the car I noticed NO leaks (It was a dry day and parked on a tarmac drive, the next day after my 250 mile drive I noticed petrol dripping out from drivers sill. It has been parked up for 2 days now and it still dripping.
The owner said he had always used the passenger fuel tank and never been a problem. BUT don't they have a balancing pipe between them so how come?

Where is the balancing pipe running in the engine bay (would love a link to a photo if poss) as I want to block it off to use only the passenger side for a short term fix until spring and the better weather (no garage free) and then I will remove the leaking tank and have it repaired.

4. The GEAR LINKAGE is VERY stiff to move across the gate, especially tricky to get to reverse (2 hand job) I read that there is a cable. Where do i get access to it to try and spray grease down it?

Apart from these 4 sortable bits the car is great and am looking forward to a long ownership!

I just want to be able to drive the bloomin' thing!!

Thanks for any suggestions and help in advance on any of the above points

Tony
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I just want to be able to drive the bloomin' thing!!

Don't we all my friend, dont we all..




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Old 01-14-2013, 05:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I have an extra exhaust manifold from my 89 Turbo. It is perfect and has a heat coating on it. It was removed when Al B. installed the first AL B. prototype header on the car.
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have an extra exhaust manifold from my 89 Turbo. It is perfect and has a heat coating on it. It was removed when Al B. installed the first AL B. prototype header on the car.
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I hope you got the car for a good price because now you are going to be spending $$$. The module is supposed to be in the front bonnet. If you can't find it, it is probably because it is not there. On the left behind the headlight pod. You should see two plugs. Small black box.

You might be able to weld up the manifold or replace it

If they removed the balance pipes the left tank probably started leaking so they used the right one and now it is leaking. Now figure BOTH tanks have to be pulled and repaired or replaced.

The transmission is the most worrysome of all. This could mean the input shaft is screwing itself into the crank because the thrust ring that holds the input shaft in place is gone.

Since you have to pull the tanks it makes things so much easier if you pull the motor and transmission out. Then you can separate the motor and trans and fix the clip.

I am sure once you start driving the car you will find plenty of other things to play with, err, work on.
David Teitelbaum
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:12 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I hope you got the car for a good price because now you are going to be spending $$$. The module is supposed to be in the front bonnet. If you can't find it, it is probably because it is not there. On the left behind the headlight pod. You should see two plugs. Small black box.

You might be able to weld up the manifold or replace it

If they removed the balance pipes the left tank probably started leaking so they used the right one and now it is leaking. Now figure BOTH tanks have to be pulled and repaired or replaced.

The transmission is the most worrysome of all. This could mean the input shaft is screwing itself into the crank because the thrust ring that holds the input shaft in place is gone.

Since you have to pull the tanks it makes things so much easier if you pull the motor and transmission out. Then you can separate the motor and trans and fix the clip.

I am sure once you start driving the car you will find plenty of other things to play with, err, work on.
David Teitelbaum
The balance pipe is intacked and not been touched. I plan on removing it and running off the passenger side tank, however after looking underneath it looks like the fuel pump (which looks new) runs off the suspected rusty tank!

I have been told and read that the gear linkage is just a cable seizing up as it selects and moves freely forward and back. This is mentioned in many posts but I wanted to check where to access it (above in cockpit or below)?

I can see no light control module or an area where it was (if removed as suggested) no plugs hanging around.

Can anyone pippoint where it is on a 215 bhp 1988 car?
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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On my car it is mounted on the fron left on the side almost opposite of the front marker. You may have to remove the washer tank to access it.

If your car is non turbo, I doubt my exhaust manifold will work for you.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:04 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jtrealty View Post
I hope you got the car for a good price because now you are going to be spending $$$. [snip]

The transmission is the most worrysome of all. This could mean the input shaft is screwing itself into the crank because the thrust ring that holds the input shaft in place is gone.[snip]
Congratulations - I have an 88 that I've been daily-driving since Oct 2011. You are on a true adventure with high and low points. Click on my garage if you want to see details of what you may experience on your journey.

Make sure you have lots of money

David is correct on all points.

And here's the thread on the thrust ring (circlip) he mentions:

FYI there is a headlight module on eBay for sale - I believe the seller is Sanj (on this forum).



Please give us some details - mileage, where purchased, pictures, etc. There are supposedly only 384 Federal 88 Esprits so it may be a familiar one to others on the site.
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:25 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I had a similar problem with my exhaust manifold, it had a small hole in the valley between cylinders 2 and 3. There is a company called Cotronics based in Brooklyn, NY that sells specialty chemicals and adheasives.

They sell a 'putty' for $80. (I purchased mine about six years ago) and the stuff works great. What I did was take a carbide burr bit and clean the hole to bare metal the best I could. I ground down a woodruff key to fit in the valley to divert the exhaust pressure. The compound is a two part, measure out the parts and mix together. Spread the compound in the valley over the woodruff key, don't press too hard as to push the compound into the manifold because you don't want it going through the turbo impeller but just enough to seal the key in. Then just let it cure.

This repair has held up for me about seven years now and has not failed. The compound is good for 2300 degrees and even takes a glowing orange manifold. If your interested let me know and I'll look up the information.

Pulling the manifold off in car is a real PITA plus you have to deal with rusty nuts/studs. This will fix an annoying problem without much hassel and a lot cheaper than buying a manifold.

Robert
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:30 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks Robert,

I will have to look in to what the stuff is called. I actually live in Norfolk, England. 2 miles from Hethal where Lotus makes the cars. I will look around at products here and see if I can find it. You can't remember what it was called can you?

Cheers
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:04 AM   #12 (permalink)
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found my Light control relay, cheers LANTANATX

Is there a way of metering what should be happening in there. Anyone know the pin diagram? Is there a relay that controls power to this box? If so which one is it please. Where should I see power via switch, anyone know?
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:51 AM   #13 (permalink)
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The expert on the headlight control module is Sanj and you can reach him through this forum. I just went through this exercise (getting the light control module functioning). Here's what I learned:

1. The claim that you can use the various alternative GM modules (Corvette, Buick, etc.) is not true. Although they look identical and you can plug them in they do not work in an Esprit.
2. They can in many cases be repaired - usually they have a burned out transistor.
3. They are not available from Lotus as replacement parts any longer but via JAE you can have them repaired by Lotus. Apparently Lotus sends them off to somebody to fix them. I was told by Jay at JAE the cost is expensive and not fast either. As you can see from the one currently listed on eBay it is an expensive part to replace.
4. Sanj may be able to repair your module for a reasonable price you should contact him via the messaging function of the Esprit forum.. It depends on what's wrong. In my experience bilateral failure of the lights is unusual for the module (usually just one side goes out) so it may not even be the module. It would have to be bench tested first.

As far as drivability, I assume you know that you can crank the lights into their "open" position manually so you can drive the car even if the headlight control system fails.

As far as fuel tanks - this is a universal issue with Esprits. Ultimately there is no long term fix except to repair or replace. I have done a number of Esprits late 80's and early 90's and in every case the tanks were rusted and in almost all cases perforated and leaking. In your car the fuel pump is located inside the passenger side tank, so if you want to block the crossover pipe you can isolate the drive side tank and run off the passenger tank, but not vice-versa. If you block off the driver's side tank you will lose the fuel gauge function because the sender unit for fuel level is located in that tank. There are no safe. cheap options. We had one car in our shop where a guy had bypassed the entire fuel system by tearing out the boot, gluing a fuel cell on to the rear cross-member, and running an external fuel pump to the injectors. Yes it worked. Fortunately for him he was never rear-ended because if he had been both he and his Esprit would have been a molten mass created by a large fireball ignited by throwing a huge volume of gas on his hot engine. It would make the Pinto seem like a haven of safety in comparison.

As review of many threads on fuel will show, the tanks can be replaced "in situ" but it is a challenge. It is much easier if the engine is pulled. For most novice or home garage mechanics with real limited experience this is something pretty daunting. If you want to do it yourself it is best to get some help and advice from an experienced person. You can also have fuel tanks fabricated to replace your old ones (which is what we do) if they are far gone or you can have them renovated by a professional service. The cost is about the same for either choice. My own preference is to have tanks fabricated (I prefer aluminum) and we have the custom tanks shrunk down by 1" in width to make it a lot easier to get them in and out.

We have dealt with exhaust manifold holes/cracks by having them welded. We have not ever tried any epoxy-type compound. Getting a cast iron manifold properly welded is not cheap, so you might want to try the epoxy route and see if it works. If it is truly a "hole" and not a crack I think the chances of a patch are better. If it is a crack then I think you will inevitable have to get it welded.

As far as shift linkage, it could be the cables, could be the shifter mechanism in the cabin, or it could be the translator. I would recommend a careful examination and cleaning/lubrication first to see if things improve. There are rebuild kits available for the shifter and the translator which are not expensive. The cable are not cheap (about $200 each) but replacement is not too bad a job.

You will find a lot of helpful people on this forum with a lot of knowledge and experience. Welcome!
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:24 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Wow Tom, thanks for your response. I wonder if its the control module also? Is there anything else in the system? IE a relay or is it just the relay in the module? The previous owner said he had to tap the 'relay' to make it work?

Re Tanks: I have now looked at the tanks and it appears rusty one side and like new the other.

So I will try this just to get me going: there is a metal balancing pipe that runs through the Chasis, a 1" metal pipe. I am going to attach a fuel pipe from there to the electric fuel pump at 3/8" via a metal reducer. Thereby just using the one tank. It has an electric fuel pump under the vehicle so I think this will work fine. During the summer I will replace the rusty tank and connect balancing pipe back up. I will block up the rusty tank.

Is there really an electric pump in the actual fuel tank? If so why is there one just under car by the same tank! It appears that the balancing pipe negates the need for a pump between the two.

Thanks again

tony
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:25 AM   #15 (permalink)
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It looks like the engine just feeds off one tank.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:38 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Tony: please be aware that there may be significant differences between a 1988 Esprit Turbo for the UK market verses the North American market. The may be vast differences in the fuel injection and gearbox. The 1988 NA cars still had the Bosch CIS injection and the Citroen gearbox with it's inboard rear brakes. The 1988 cars for UK and Europe were supposed to have the later Delco EFI and the Renault gearbox with the outboard brakes.

Can you confirm your 1988 UK car has these changes or not?
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:49 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Didn't some of the 88 - 89 Esprits still use carbs?
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:54 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I thought that was for the normally aspirated cars rather than the Turbo cars. I could be wrong though. That is why I am asking Tony these questions.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:10 PM   #19 (permalink)
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The UK (AUS as well) had a carbed Stevens Esprit Turbo into 1990.

All of the 88's were either turbo BOSCH K-jetronic CIS, or carbed turbo, or carbed NA. Production of the GMP4 electronic injection '89's started in Oct '88, but they are '89 MY cars.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:18 PM   #20 (permalink)
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OK, so Tony's 1988 UK car should have the blow through Dellortos then.
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