1986-88 Bosch CIS K-Jetronic injected Esprit specific items - Page 9 - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #161 of 258 (permalink) Old 07-18-2015, 01:01 PM
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Why is the outermost groove so big?

Sanj's Esprit Turbo SE pages are missing -- PM me if you need ALDL cables, Tech-1's or memcal services.
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post #162 of 258 (permalink) Old 07-20-2015, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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Larger diameter crank* pulley makes the alternator reach its full potential much earlier in the rpm range and keeps the belt away from the 17mm dia head of the bolt serving as a pivot for the alternator adjustment rail.

When the belt wears a little bit, it gets loose and enters a longitudinal oscillation state rubbing against lower end of the rail/ bolt head.

Jan Hoel had a different idea. His water pump and alternator is driven off a single cog belt, see picture. If you don't want to retain A/C, that's a good way to utilize an empty space. His engine has a dry sump pump instead.
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Last edited by MRDANGERUS; 08-12-2015 at 06:23 AM. Reason: * word added for clarity
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post #163 of 258 (permalink) Old 08-01-2015, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Sharing Diagnosis Information of 1987 HCPI Not Always Starting
Thu Jul 30, 2015 2:47 pm (PDT) .
Posted by: "John Arkwright" lotusesprit87

Hi All

I have received a lot of great help from everyone over the years so I wanted to share a recent problem I debugged in the hope that it will help someone. I have a 1987 Lotus Esprit HCPI with the Bosch fuel injection.

For months now I have had an intermittent issue with the Lotus not always starting. The problem would most likely show up on colder days and when the car hasn’t run in a while.

The issue was the fuel pumps wouldn’t always come on during cranking. So the first things I looked into were the fuel pump and RPM relays. I saw the RPM relay wasn’t providing the 12 volts at times to the fuel pump relay. So I replaced the RPM relay with no change. I then looked into the over-speed module and saw at times during cranking it was not providing the ground to the fuel pump relays. So I now had the RPM relay and the over-speed module not providing the power and ground to the fuel pump at times during cranking. But when power and ground were missing it wasn’t always at the same time. So at this point it looked like I had a duel failure. So for the next step I ensured the power and ground to the RPM and over-speed module were good during cranking. My thought was possibly a voltage drop was present at these modules during cranking. But this was not the case. The only common required inputs for these modules were the ignition pulse from the
negative side of the ignition coil and power and ground. Since power and ground were verified, I then dug into the ignition.

To do this I purchased an 8 channel digital scope to help diagnose the issue. It is a cheap Chinese made PC scope made by Hantek and will operate reliably on an older operating system. The scope is only $100 USD and I also bought a used Windows XP laptop for $100 USD. So the cost wasn’t too bad. The problem was very frustrating to diagnose. I would have the car fully instrumented for weeks at a time. But it seems every time I instrumented the car, the car would always start.

I tapped into the pick-up coil voltage from the distributor along with other points such as fuel pump voltage and the primary and secondary of the ignition coil.
Figure 1 in the attached file shows the voltage from the pick-up coil. It measure about 0.7 volts peak to peak. The waveform also shows the amplitude sometime being high enough at times to allow the ignition amp to fire the ignition. Also once the car started, the pick-up coil voltage increases to a few volts. Since the amplitude of the pick-up coil was irregular I took the distributor cap off and looked at the pick-up coil. This is rather difficult since the distributor is buried underneath the intake manifold. I could see the pick-up coil was loose. But the 2 mounting screws were tight.

This was due to the threads of the screws that hold the coil plate down don’t go all the way to the plate (Figure 2). I had to use a fiber optic camera to see this with the distributor in the car. So I installed brass lock washers to take up the non-threaded area.

After fastening down the coil, the pick-up coil now produces a steady 2 volt peak to peak level during cranking (Figure 3). And now, the car starts the instant the key is turned. This makes total sense. On warmer days the oil is thinner and the engine cranks faster. So when the magnet spins across coil faster, a higher voltage is produced and triggers the ignition amp to allow the car to start. This also explains why once the car was started, there wasn’t an issue running. Also some days the coil was probably in the correct position, allowing the car to start.

One note - when the ignition input was missing from the over-speed module, it would not provide the ground to the fuel pump relays. So in a way it acted like an RPM relay. I also dug into the design of the RPM relay. It is based on a LM555 timer chip popular in the 80s. I hope this information becomes useful to someone.

John
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
COMMENT:

One more reason to replace OE ignition with a modern system.
For example, Pertronix has a very compact and effective one. There are no bulky boxes, all chips are packaged inside of the pick up unit. Wiring is also v. simple.

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post #164 of 258 (permalink) Old 08-02-2015, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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Post #122
Exhaust reversion on turbo cars could be a real problem, because back pressure caused by a "small" turbine (earlier Esprit Turbos) is significantly higher than on N/A cars.
We are going to state this very clearly...Back-pressure does not increase horsepower! Period.

REVERSION is the secondary pressure wave that travels back up the primary pipes and enters into the cylinder on valve overlap. As this pressure wave travels back up the pipe, it brings with it all the residual gases still left in the pipe. This is what contaminates the fresh intake charge. Stepped headers and ANTI-REVERSION chambers, placed at strategic locations in the primary pipes are employed to tune the arrival of the exhaust wave and to diminish the effects of the high pressure in the pipes. The results are higher volumetric efficiency and more power.

To prevent it, Cyclone and Black Jack products feature a larger sized chamber close to the exhaust port in the primary tube of the header which functions like a step. It's designed to keep the exhaust gasses from flowing backwards into the cylinder before the exhaust valve closes. This helps ensuring that the cylinder gets filled with the freshest intake charge that isn't contaminated with back-flowing exhaust gasses.Like fluid, it's harder for the exhaust gases to travel backwards and upwards over a step than it would be if it was a simple round tube with no steps.

Custom racing headers fabricator USA (perhaps better/cheaper than Alunox): about us

*
NOTE: No matter how "mis-mached" it looks, never try to enlarge the head exhaust ports to match the header flange. They don't match due to an anti-reversal step, which is there INTENTIONALLY!

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post #165 of 258 (permalink) Old 08-08-2015, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Exhaust reversion on turbo cars could be a real problem, because back pressure caused by a "small" turbine (earlier Esprit Turbos) is significantly higher than on N/A cars.
We are going to state this very clearly...Back-pressure does not increase horsepower! Period.

REVERSION is the secondary pressure wave that travels back up the primary pipes and enters into the cylinder on valve overlap. As this pressure wave travels back up the pipe, it brings with it all the residual gases still left in the pipe. This is what contaminates the fresh intake charge. Stepped headers and ANTI-REVERSION chambers, placed at strategic locations in the primary pipes are employed to tune the arrival of the exhaust wave and to diminish the effects of the high pressure in the pipes. The results are higher volumetric efficiency and more power.

To prevent it, Cyclone and Black Jack products feature a larger sized chamber close to the exhaust port in the primary tube of the header which functions like a step. It's designed to keep the exhaust gasses from flowing backwards into the cylinder before the exhaust valve closes. This helps ensuring that the cylinder gets filled with the freshest intake charge that isn't contaminated with back-flowing exhaust gasses.Like fluid, it's harder for the exhaust gases to travel backwards and upwards over a step than it would be if it was a simple round tube with no steps.

Custom racing headers fabricator USA (perhaps better/cheaper than Alunox): about us

*
See post #122 of this thread for details.

DO NOT match the exhaust port to the header. Leave the exhaust port slightly smaller (~.050") from the inside edge of the header. This is an anti-reversionary tactic. It helps cancel inert exhaust gas reversion into the CC and contaminating the fresh mixture. It is more effective when on the inside of the curve (slow velocity side).
DO NOT go hog wild on the ports for FI either. Air isn't 'forced' in, as many believe. The compressor (hint-hint) increases the density of the air in the plenum. The increased velocity, that some attribute to a 'forced induced' action, is a result of the increased pressure gradient.

David Vizard's book, "How to Build and Tune Cars for Performance With Economy", ISBN # 978-0931472091 , devotes 2 pages to Cyclone and Blackjack Headers which were selling AR units in the early eighties. They were helping a radical cammed engines pull strongly from much lower revs, slightly better power through the entire range and the ability to use a bigger diameter for top end power without compromising the lower RPM range.

Also, Read "Scientific Design of Exhaust & Intake Systems" by Smith & Morrison, ISBN# 978037603094. In pages 94-97 of the third edition (1971), he refers to a self or harmonic induction diesel engine invented 30 years prior using stepped pipes in the exhaust. So long as the larger pipe does not terminate on the flange then there is no cone per se.


FYI: Custom headers fabricator: http://www.hytechexhaust.com/home.html

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post #166 of 258 (permalink) Old 08-08-2015, 12:30 PM
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Larger diameter pulley makes the alternator reach its full potential much earlier in the rpm range and keeps the belt away from the 17mm head of the bolt holding the alternator adjustment rail.
I could be wrong, or misunderstanding what you are describing, but sounds to me like the logic is off here...if you increase the pulley diameter on the alternator you are slowing the alternator down in relation to engine speed....aka under drive pulleys so common in the mustang/camaro circles.

Might be good for a fraction of a horsepower, but at the expense of generating juice.

Jeff

Jeff
1990 Esprit SE
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post #167 of 258 (permalink) Old 08-08-2015, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry, I was trying to address questions pertaining to pictures in post #160.

Got sloppy and I was not precise in formulating the description.

It should read "Largrer diameter crank pulley..."

Miller Mule's pulley measures 130mm dia vs. OE=110mm

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post #168 of 258 (permalink) Old 08-14-2015, 08:10 PM Thread Starter
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Smile FILLING THE (digital) GAP. STEP ONE: Individual Cylinder Knock Control Processor

Today, my custom tailored S&J Safeguard Vampire has arrived.

For details, go there: J&S Vampire

All pre-89' Turbos are missing several key engine management systems, like reliable boost controller, ECU, electronic spark management and anti-knock protection. Consequences of that may be dire, see my post #68 and #72 . All of that, including a crude anti-knock processor was implemented in 1989 MY, when Delco Engine Management system/ECU was introduced.

On 84-88 Esprit turbos equipped with OE Lucas Hi-Energy Ignition, a single channel Vampire should work fine, but to be on the safe (modern) side, an upgrade to Pertronix Ignitor pick-up and Flame Thrower Coil would be a prudent precaution.

If one decides to graft-in a Megajolt-E and Ford EDIS (wasted spark, dual coil) ignition system, the Dual Channel processor is required. Megajolt/E | Autosport Labs

Normally, the Vampire is disabled below 1750 RPM, because Ford ECU fires triple spark(s) below this rpm threshold and confuses the processor.
Since you’ll be using Pertronix or Megajolt-E, the Vampire should be modified to enable detection at 1250 RPM and sensitivity should be amplified a little bit for our engines . Parts needed: 8mm ID Bosch"doughnut" knock sensor and a 15 ft sensor cable, gauge with 5 ft cable; all included in the kit. John at J&S will take a good care of that.

In addition, one needs to make an aluminum “boss” with M8 threaded hole and epoxy it to the block between cyl 3 & 4, just above the oil sender unit, at the same location where the later SE car Delco ECU listens to the engine knock.

Delco ECU retards all cylinders upon detecting a knock in any one cylinder, therefore robbing the power from other cylinders.
The SafeGuard Vampire controls the timing of each individual cylinder in proportion to the degree of detonation occurring, thus maximizing performance and preventing engine damage.

Vampire has a dual mode switch and retards only the individual knocking suspect, or “retard all”. Also, it has a 2° and 4° Nitrous Retard setting/switch.
MSD coil PN 8241 can be safely used in place of the OEM EDIS coil with excellent results. Avoid any aftermarket "hi performance" coils which look like fluted factory chimney stacks (junk!).

Using a single knock sensor, Vampire detects the onset of detonation and retards the timing on a "per cylinder basis", up to a total of ten increments.
A mode switch lets you select a maximum of either ten degrees or twenty degrees of knock retard.
In the ten degree range, each increment is one degree; double that for the twenty degree range.

When knock is detected, software determines knock intensity and decides how many increments to retard this cylinder the next time it fires.
The software retards in proportion to the knock event, up to a maximum of seven steps with one knock event.

The system is always trying to re-advance to stock timing. In the ten degree mode, it re-advances at the rate of one degree every twenty revolutions; double that in the twenty degree mode.

The system does not need a cam or crankshaft reference sensor to determine which cylinder to retard. The unit is programmed to "know" that the knocking cylinder is the one that just fired, and that it won't fire again for two more revolutions. When the knocking cylinder comes around to fire again, software dials in the retard amount for that cylinder. It does this as each cylinder goes by, building up a different retard amount for each cylinder.
The detection algorithm employs a "knock window" to listen for knock at the appropriate time in the combustion cycle.


Details to follow...
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post #169 of 258 (permalink) Old 08-15-2015, 06:15 AM
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Today, my custom tailored S&J Safeguard Vampire has arrived.

J&S Vampire
I've had a J&S on my PowerWorks supercharged Focus for eight years, and while many may decry its use as being "overkill", I can say that it has pulled timing--due to my own ridiculousness, of course --spectacularly in the past, saving my engine (at least, I feel it did so), once after filling up my tank at a fueling station with either incorrect octane (requires 91+) or some other contaminant (I ended up draining off the entire tank), as well as once when I (again...stupidity) ended up with water in my spark plug wells, causing quite the ruckus in my engine. Never wash an engine without fully covering up and taping down the spark plug holes

Just as a side note, if you search the Focaljet Forums Forced Induction threads (where I am also greentengu) you'll note that nearly every person with FI maintains, as do I, that the standard, OEM Ford Coil Packs are all but indestructible (the fault point is the coil pack pigtail harness, which tends to fray and crack, mandating replacement), and there is really no actual need for any aftermarket units such as MSD units to be used.

A nice insurance policy, relatively easy to install!

Cheers,

Scott

1986 Turbo Esprit HCi

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post #170 of 258 (permalink) Old 08-16-2015, 07:51 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, it may be considered an "overkill", but when your engine grenades... it turns into a "road kill".
LOL

In CIS K-Jetronic equipped cars (mechanical injectors !), it is extremely important to have well balanced fuel flow to each cylinder.
Unless all cylinders receive the same (within 5%) amount of fuel, it may run too lean and fail catastrophically.
The flow should not exceed a 5% between each injector, lower the number = better.

How do you "tune" CIS (mechanical) injectors?
Well, you can't!
They are not adjustable, no duty cycle to adjust; they are just spray nozzles, squirt-ers!
BUT, you can flow test a bunch of them and try to pick 4 that are within 3-5% of each other.
Send your injectors to a reputable injection specialist. They will check, clean and flow match them. On high mileage cars the spring inside the injector may get weak. There is no fix for this-you'll need to replace the whole thing.
When you’ll get them back, hook them up to your fuel lines and perform the on-car whole system flow-match test.
Flow testing: CIS injector flow testing - Pelican Parts Technical BBS

If your clean (or install new) injectors and they don’t flow within 5%, the problem may exist within your FDH (fuel distributor head). The only FHD adjustment could be performed by tweaking small, 3mm screws at the top of your FDH by each port.
Meter head flow adjustment procedure: Meter head flow adjustment question?? - Pelican Parts Technical BBS
Adjust screws at the fuel distributor head screws until you get the same amount of fuel across all 4 graduated cylinders. The Service Notes manual does not indicate how the fuel distributor ports are adjusted, it only says to replace them if the flow rates are out of spec.
On the top of the distributor there are four 3mm Allen screw caps next to each port. Under the caps are 2.5mm adjustment screws. These screws adjust the spring pressure against the differential pressure valve diaphragms, and thus adjust the differential pressures, and thus the fuel flows. I found by testing with the delivery apparatus that a 1/4 turn “in” leaned the mixture on that particular circuit about 5%. By testing and adjusting a half-dozen times, I got the flow rates within 5%. I would do the test at part throttle; test again at half throttle, and again at full throttle, if they are all the same across all throttle positions, then happy days ahead.

If the above balancing procedure does not yield satisfactory results, your fuel distributor needs to be rebuilt. It can can be done by:
Fuel Head rebuilder, here
Email: [email protected]
Address:19225 County Road 13, Fairhope, Alabama 36532
Phone: (251) 929.3771

FYI: Your Lotus car Bosch Distributor part number is 0 438 100 144.

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post #171 of 258 (permalink) Old 08-18-2015, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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OK, let’s see what happens when we go into "OPEN LOOP" at WOT.

At WOT more air is drawn into the engine (air flow is max-ed out), therefore more fuel is required to meet 14.7:1 ratio. For the purpose of illustration, let’s assume 10% enrichment at WOT is presumed necessary.

At cruising speed, "prior" to WOT (still in closed loop)...we have the following:
a) Injector #1 =100cc; # 2=100cc; #3 =100cc; #4 =100cc; Total Fueling = 400cc

At WOT the air flow increases to the max, engine goes into the "open loop", O2 sensor readings are ignored, and the Lambda Controller Box (sorry,but this is not a real ECU ! ), adds the pre-set amount of fuel across all injectors, equally and simultaneously, and we should get:
b) Injector #1 =110cc; #2 =110cc; #3 =110cc; #4 =110cc; Total Fueling = 440cc

Extra fuel had been added, all oxygen burnt, HP is maintained and engine temperature stays within limits.
Now...let's look at what happens if two injectors are partially clogged. Remember: when system goes "open loop", no O2 sensor is used, and the fueling is "base mapped", which added a 10% across the board.

c) Injector #1 =100cc; #2 =100cc; #3 =110cc; #4 =110cc; Total Fueling = 420cc. 20cc short!

Injectors #1 and #2 are under-fueled, even with the 10% additional fuel. Cylinders #1 and #2 are lean, detonating and overheating, which results in burnt exhaust valves or burnt pistons. Engine hand grenades!

This example illustrates why the air/fuel delivery to each cylinder has to be tested and balanced, injectors cleaned (CIS Fuel Distributor cylinder-to-cylinder calibration, if necessary). Every cylinder must receive the same exact amount of air/fuel mix. If there is a cylinder-to- cylinder imbalance, the O2 sensor cannot detect it and “ECU” can not compensate flow to the individual injectors (drawback of the CIS injection system).

Therefore, periodically, all CIS injectors have to be tested individually on a flow bench, ultrasonically cleaned and matched to within 5% flow. Only then O2 sensor/ECU readings can be trusted. In case something goes wrong, “Vampire” individual cylinder anti-knock controller is the best safety measure money can buy.
.

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post #172 of 258 (permalink) Old 08-21-2015, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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OE sensor on 89+ cars is screwed into a boss just above the oil pressure sender, pic 1.
All pre-89 blocks don't have the boss, just 3 cross-crossing ribs.

Here is how to add an extra boss.
Use clay to make an imprint of the ribs, take measurements and transfer them to the 2"x2"x0.7" block of aluminum.
Mill the grooves mimicking the grooves pattern. Round off all inner corners and edges to maximize the interface surface area w/block and ribs.
Drill and tap a hole for M8 dia Heli-Coil.
Install Heli-Coil with red ultra-strong Loctite.
Bond the boss to the ribs/block with hi-temperature epoxy, like Click Bond CB394-43. Also, I had pretty good results with JB Kwick, which refused to let go whilst TIG welding parts together (other side of .100 thick sheet of aluminum)!

If you'd rather use ready-made boss/bushing, here are several different styles available Bushings & Inserts Products - Click Bond, Inc.

Note: If you decide to eliminate the distributor (switch to MegaJolt) - you'll be fine clearance wise, but if you keep the OE distributor and ignition, you have to check tower-to sensor clearance and reduce the height of the boss, or move it slightly to the rear.
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post #173 of 258 (permalink) Old 08-26-2015, 06:36 AM Thread Starter
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post #174 of 258 (permalink) Old 09-13-2015, 06:53 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MRDANGERUS View Post
Sorry, I was trying to address questions pertaining to pictures in post #160.

Got sloppy and I was not precise in formulating the description.

It should read "Largrer diameter crank pulley..."

Miller Mule's pulley measures 130mm dia vs. OE=110mm
The pulley ratio with 110mm at the crank and 2.375" alternator pulley
is 1:1.83
whilst the 130mm pulley 1:2.16

Looking at the power curve, it'll give me 30 Amp vs. 77 Amp at idle.
I'd rather have 77 A.
Note: each alternator brand/type curve is different.
It takes approx 50 Amp to idle our cars comfortably without draining the battery.
Too "small" alternator causes frequent drain-charge cycling, which kills the battery at no time. The answer to this problem is either a hi-amp alternator or deep-cycle (marine) battery.
In my opinion it is counterproductive installing expensive shallow-cycle (automotive) battery without upgrading the alternator. Your battery will go bad anyway.

Marine/RV "dual purpose" batteries are a compromise between a car and deep cycle battery and are designed for starting and prolonged discharges at lower amperage that typically consumes between 20% and 50% of the battery's capacity. The plates are thicker than in starting batteries, but thinner than in deep cycle batteries. Motive and stationary deep cycle batteries have much thicker (up to .25 inch or 6.35 mm) plates, thicker grids, more lead, and weight more than car batteries with the same physical case size; hence, few plates. They also tend to have a slightly higher Specific Gravity and are normally discharged between 20% and 80% Depth-of-Discharge at a lower amperage than a starting battery. Deep cycle batteries will typically outlast two to ten car batteries in a deep cycle application.


For more info, go here:
BATTERY GROUP SIZES http://www.rtpnet.org/teaa/bcigroup.html



.
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post #176 of 258 (permalink) Old 09-18-2015, 05:36 PM
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Changing pulleys to spin the alternator faster at low RPM's is a great idea BUT. If you spin it too fast, as the motor gets faster and faster so does the alternator. If you over-sized the pulleys too much you will overspeed the alternator and it will explode. That will be a big mess to clean up! The logic of the alternator not charging a lot at low RPM's is that the battery will carry the system load for the short period of time the engine is at low RPM's, like waiting at a traffic light. Then there are the times you are running at night with the A/C on and you are stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. That is why you should test the battery at least once a year and if it has lost more than 1/2 it's capacity or it is 5 years old, it should be replaced.

On the subject of balancing injectors, if you run them through a cleaner/tester you can usually clean them up so they are within 5%. Not only is flow important but so is opening pressure. You really shouldn't be trying to adjust the mixture unit to balance the injectors, that adjustment is to balance the mixture unit. To really match up a set of injectors you should ideally have a bunch that you can test and hand select them in groups like parts matching but it does take a whole lot of them. I can understand the need to try to adjust the mixture unit to get things balanced. BTW, you should also do compression and leak-down tests so all of the cylinders are also balanced. A vacuum leak will lean out the cylinder closest to the leak. Smoke test the induction system to find and fix vacuum leaks. You always have to run rich enough so the leanest cylinder won't run lean. That's wasteful and unbalanced. Forced induction only magnifies any imbalance.
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post #177 of 258 (permalink) Old 09-19-2015, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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No worries, I got it tested on the high quality test bench. It held the 18,000 rpm very well.

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post #178 of 258 (permalink) Old 09-27-2015, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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OEM 90 Amp Valeo alternator for Lotus Esprit, A910E6604F

Advantages of replacing the old OE Valeo with the modern HO alternator are many.
One of them is a remote voltage sensing capability, which allows the alternator to compensate for increased system demand as more accessories are turned on.
As more and more devices are switched on, a voltage drop will occur at the main bus bar. With remote voltage sensing, the alternator sees this drop caused by the extra demand, and automatically increases output to compensate.
Remember voltage is the "electrical pressure" difference between two points and that voltage is related to current flow and resistance. In the diagram above - as system demands draw more and more current, so the voltage at the bus bar (starter lug on Esprit) will drop. However, if we take our voltage sensing directly from the alternator output, we will only be reading alternator output not system voltage, despite the fact that the #2 wire connects to the bus bar - the current is flowing from the alternator output to the bus bar, not the other way around, and it is "losing pressure" as it goes. If we just jumper the #2 wire to the voltage sensing terminal, we are reading the "pressure" at the beginning of its journey, and yet we know it decreases as it goes. On the other hand, the advantage to the #10 voltage sensing wire is that very, very little current flows through it, and this doesn't vary with system demand (i.e. when we switch more stuff on) AND it is sensing the voltage at the END (or at least the middle) of its journey, which is what is important to us.
Also, note that connecting the remote voltage sensing terminal to the battery will only result in the alternator being a good battery charger - it still won't compensate for voltage drop in the system caused by wiring to the main distribution point and increasing electrical demand as more components are powered on.
Also note that this "main distribution point" system only works properly when the “battery charging wire” connects from the main distribution point to the battery (as seen in the diagrams above).

There should never be a wire connected from the alternator directly to the battery.
This is because, the voltage regulator can only "sense" and "respond to" one voltage - in this case the voltage at the main distribution point. If we also ran a heavy gauge charging wire from the alternator directly to the battery, we risk dangerously overcharging the battery as the alternator adjusts output to maintain the main distribution point at 14.0 volts. That's why the battery must also take its charge from the main distribution point - so the system is in equilibrium and we don't risk sending 16.0 volts directly to a battery because that's what the alternator is outputting to keep the main distribution point at 14.0 volts.
Voltage sensing input wire is marked "S" at the alternator four terminal plug (not on Valeo though!).

TIP: if we rev the engine, we increase alternator speed and output, and if as a result the light gets dimmer it means the alternator output was weak (it must be increased by revving the engine to try and equalize the voltage across the lamp).

If, however, the lamp gets brighter when we rev the engine, it means the battery voltage is low. This is because battery voltage does not vary with RPM. Therefore, if an RPM increase causes an increase in lamp brightness, it can only be because the increasing alternator output is getting even higher than the battery voltage. With a healthy battery, this won't happen - battery voltage will match alternator output. But if the battery is unable to take or hold a full charge, the more we increase the alternator output the more it exceeds the weak battery voltage and the brighter the lamp will glow.

In summary, we can say that:

Any time the alternator warning lamp is on, there is a voltage difference between alternator output and battery voltage.
The light should come on bright when the ignition is on but the engine is not running [battery voltage ~ 12.6V / Alternator output 0V]. If it does not, or is only dim - suspect either:
Burned out lamp
A problem with the field current supply (low battery voltage or switch/wiring problem)
A problem with the alternator ground.

If the light comes on when the engine is running, either the alternator is failing/has failed or the battery voltage is dropping. Try revving the engine and observe the intensity of the tell-tale light:
If the lamp gets brighter, suspect a bad battery
If the lamp gets dimmer, suspect a bad alternator






.

Last edited by MRDANGERUS; 10-02-2015 at 07:07 PM.
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post #179 of 258 (permalink) Old 10-02-2015, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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On fiber glass body car the reliable grounding is critical.

For example, Pertronix Ignitor pick-up requires a good ground connection through its base and/or strap. Bad ground causes module to "fry".

Here is another example.
88 Esprit owner Paul from Canada provided this information:

Finally got that emissions problem solved. After 2 years of headache I finally found the man for the job. Took a while for him to figure it out but he did it. Turns out the alternator either through a ground fault or due to dust build up was channeling a current through the frame of the car. This was leading to the Fuel Control loop and causing a rich condition at anything above idle. So all is good. Finally a perfect running machine. What a blast!

The above sparked up my curiosity and I have measured the resistance between the battery negative bus and several points of the chassis.
0.5 ohm was the highest value noticed.

To avoid any future "surprises", I run a 10 GA wire from the main negative bus (M8 screw welded to the chassis upper rail next to the fuel distributor), to the tanks grounding straps and the alternator pivot bolt.
I've added several star washers and Nikal compound to every connection.
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post #180 of 258 (permalink) Old 10-04-2015, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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