Valve clatter? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community

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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
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Valve clatter?

I've just landed a truly nice '94 S4 with 24,700 miles on the clock. Timing belt was done at 10,800 miles in 2007. Period invoices indicate that the head was surfaced at the time (?) which tells me that the valve clearances had to be set upon reassembly.

I'm new to the Lotus 2.2L motor; is the valve 'clatter' normal for these engines? Despite the passage of 10 years, 12,000 miles seems like a short period of time for the clearances to be addressed.

I plan on doing a timing belt shortly along with a few other 'updates' as 10 years is too long for my taste, but the issue of clatter has me seeking the input from the group.

Thanks,
Bob
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 07:17 PM
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Sure its not the EFI? I dont know that I have ever heard valve noise in my 88.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 07:32 PM
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If it sounds like my late 88, it's the vacuum pump (do S4 Esprits have vacuum pumps?)


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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
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If it sounds like my late 88, it's the vacuum pump (do S4 Esprits have vacuum pumps?)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVuKlMOOEWU
Eddie,
Yes and no, the S4 only uses a small electric vacuum pump for the hvac system flaps, it uses an electric booster pump for the brakes.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 07:49 PM
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intake valve noise can be heard through a leak in the intake manifold, from either the MAP sensor port, the Tee to the fuel pressure regulator and the crank-case breather, or the charcoal canister port near the thermostat.

Checking the valve clearances is easy, changing them involves removing the cam towers and replacing shims.

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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 07:56 PM
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Bob,
Something doesn't add up. You don't pull the head to do a timing belt, MY SUSPICION is that the timing belt broke, then the head comes off as valves get real intimate with Pistons at that point. Even then there shouldn't be a need to surface the head, so it could also have been a HGF? Surfacing the head can present a whole new set of problems with the esprit if not done correctly, the valve timing can be altered by removing too much material, if this is the case then adjustable cam pulleys are required. Having said all of that the esprit can be a little noisy at the top end, does it diminish as it gets hot? It's also possible that they were set at the loose end of the range, which is preferred as no noise is an indicator of too tight a clearance and results in burnt valves. It's a very easy procedure to check the valve clearances, I would start there , sooner rather than later.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-08-2017, 08:28 PM
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At 10K miles it is due for a valve clearance check. These are not like modern hydraulic valve cars, you will get used to the clicking. If you are doing the belt then this is a great time to check clearances and add shims (if needed). It isn't a hard job, just take your time...

Best- Jeff
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 05:13 AM
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For sure, check the valves (if only to help you sleep). Then, if you need to replace the shims to re-gap them, you can do it while the timing belt is off.


There is a wealth of information regards the engine (including a timing belt remove/replace procedure) on the TurboEsprit mail-list site on Yahoo.

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...s/tech/engine/

Atwell Haines
'88 Esprit
Succasunna, NJ USA


"Not all angels have wings." - Turbo R
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 07:08 AM
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Nice! Another Calypso Red 1994 like mine!

Kenny; Dallas Tx
==============================
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Test pipe, Ramspott & Brandt center exit exhaust, 2002 center exhaust valance, Alunox performance exhaust manifold, Spax coilovers with Eibach front springs, Elise steering wheel
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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The service was done at Park Place in Bellvue, Wash. The notation on the invoice noted a coolant lead from the head gasket, hence the head resurface. Belt, water pump were done at the same time. It slightly diminishes as it warms; I'm also wondering if its an exhaust manifold. Runs great, though....

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Bob,
Something doesn't add up. You don't pull the head to do a timing belt, MY SUSPICION is that the timing belt broke, then the head comes off as valves get real intimate with Pistons at that point. Even then there shouldn't be a need to surface the head, so it could also have been a HGF? Surfacing the head can present a whole new set of problems with the esprit if not done correctly, the valve timing can be altered by removing too much material, if this is the case then adjustable cam pulleys are required. Having said all of that the esprit can be a little noisy at the top end, does it diminish as it gets hot? It's also possible that they were set at the loose end of the range, which is preferred as no noise is an indicator of too tight a clearance and results in burnt valves. It's a very easy procedure to check the valve clearances, I would start there , sooner rather than later.
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Great color. I agree, Kenny! Plus, I note that you were a former 928S4 owner. I just sold an '89 5-speed to make room for the S4.


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Nice! Another Calypso Red 1994 like mine!
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Atwell. I was wondering where all the DIY guidance was buried...



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For sure, check the valves (if only to help you sleep). Then, if you need to replace the shims to re-gap them, you can do it while the timing belt is off.


There is a wealth of information regards the engine (including a timing belt remove/replace procedure) on the TurboEsprit mail-list site on Yahoo.

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...s/tech/engine/
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 07:03 PM
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i had the same-ish noise at idle only. it would clack. is yours at idle only? it was one of the cam sprockets (i think the intake) that had developed a worn keyway (maybe belt was too tight for too long). the cam belt tension varies as the engine turns and the valves actuate. at idle the cam would get pulled to close one valve then slap back. had to buy a new pulley to cure it.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmm....how did you determine that the keyway was worn? Need to get a better handle on when the clatter occurs and disappears.


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i had the same-ish noise at idle only. it would clack. is yours at idle only? it was one of the cam sprockets (i think the intake) that had developed a worn keyway (maybe belt was too tight for too long). the cam belt tension varies as the engine turns and the valves actuate. at idle the cam would get pulled to close one valve then slap back. had to buy a new pulley to cure it.
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-10-2017, 06:02 AM
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Start with a valve clearance check. It could just be a valve or 2 with a little extra clearance and as the motor warms up it closes and the noise diminishes. As they say in medical schools, when you hear hoofbeats you don't start looking for Zebras. Check out the usual suspects first. If all of the clearances check out then it is time to look for other causes.
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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 12:30 PM
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When you do the valve check, look for worn buckets (lifters) as well. My 88 had a couple buckets worn that would rock in the cam towers and clatter. Sounded exactly like a valve tick, but the valves were in spec. Just like a piston, the buckets have skirts, and they are pretty thin. My skirts were a smaller diameter than the crown of the buckets, making them rock. We will call that bucket slap... A new set of buckets from JAE and my tick disappeared. At such low mileage though chances are it is just a valve out of spec. Not too hard to check the valves, total PITA to adjust them.

1988 Lotus Esprit Turbo
2002 Lotus Esprit V8 25th Anniversary #008
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 01:46 PM
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Hmmm....how did you determine that the keyway was worn? Need to get a better handle on when the clatter occurs and disappears.
valves make more of a ticking noise, this was a clack. it went away at higher rpm instead of getting worse. was independent of hot or cold engine. but it was when i removed the cam tower and had assy in my hand that i felt it.
originally i thought maybe a belt hitting a loose bolt. anythings possible.
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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone. Diving into valve clearance check this weekend. Talk to Matt at Lotus Western NY (where I bought the car) and Matt claims that from his experience, you'll always hear some valve noise on 2.2L's.
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 06:38 AM
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Matt S is a good guy. Difficult to hear though, or diagnose on the internet.

If you want, you could compare with another Esprit in your area (I'm thinking @Pete Inno)


BTW, I sent you a PM.

Atwell Haines
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Succasunna, NJ USA


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Last edited by carbuff; 02-16-2017 at 06:44 AM.
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carbuff View Post
Matt S is a good guy. Difficult to hear though, or diagnose on the internet.

If you want, you could compare with another Esprit in your area (I'm thinking @Pete Inno)


BTW, I sent you a PM.
Atwell, I have been chatting with Bob a bit. I've got some valve noise as well, I'm thinking it's a leak in the manifold as I checked valve clearances about a year or so ago. I'll be pulling off the chargecooler in the next few weeks to check that air line that goes to the fuel regulator. If I find anything I'll let Bob know. Eventually we'll hook up to compare cars, he's not that far away.
BTW, Bob's S4 is the same color as mine!

Pete
94 S4

Pete
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