1997 Esprit Fuel pump replacement - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-21-2019, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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1997 Esprit Fuel pump replacement

I have a 1997 Esprit V8. The car became noticeably harder to start in the last month or so.
A few days ago it idle for a short time and it would not start anymore. i suspect the fuel pump is bad.

Is there a procedure to check the fuel pump operation?
Does my car have one or two pumps?
Are the pumps accessible without removal of major components (engine)?
Is there a procedure on the removal of the pump(s)?

This car sits at home/garage for long periods of time.
thank you for any advice you can provide.

RG
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post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-21-2019, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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I google fuel pump for this vehicle and "fuel cut-off switch" popped.
Is it possible/likely this device is faulty?
The car has 23k miles.
Thank you
RG
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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-21-2019, 09:12 PM
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That would be an all or nothing failure, but you had a worsening situation. So I don't think it would be the fuel cut off switch.
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post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 04:07 AM
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I'm sure that @jtrealty will respond, he had a hot hard-start issue and it was the injectors.

If the fuel cut off (inertia switch) is suspect, just set and reset it.

Atwell Haines
'88 Esprit
Succasunna, NJ USA


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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 06:14 AM
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How old is your battery? Do you use a battery tender? Do the headlight pods move when you try to start? If the battery gets too low the car won't start. If the battery is over 5 years old it should be replaced. My problem was bad injectors but I had trouble starting the car when it got hot. Started right up cold. With a weak battery the voltage is too low for the computer and ignition system and it cranks too slow. As for the fuel pump, there is a way to test for pressure. The pumps live inside the R/H fuel tank. You can get to them without removing the motor. It is possible you have a bad hose in the fuel pump assembly reducing the fuel pressure.
David Teitelbaum
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post #6 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Mr. Teitelbaum,
I suspected the battery being weak. Had it tested (out if the car)and replaced. When I installed the new battery, the headlights popped up and down once.
The car cranked but it seemed it would start only once. The car cranked only.
How does the fuel cutoff switch get reset?
I will try to get to the r/h tank and check the hose(s).
How could I test for fuel pressure?
Thank you for your help.
RG
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post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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Mr. Teiltelbaum, when you say a bad hose.
Do you mean a hose inside the fuel tank, attached to the fuel pump? or outside the tank?
Thank you
RG
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post #8 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 04:41 PM
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hes talking about hoses inside the Tank

You test for fuel pressure using a gauge that connects to the schrader fitting on the fuel rail.

If you want to try and DIY this I think you will need to buy the service manual and subscribe to TLF so you can get the parts manual (its free when you subscribe).

The V8 TT motors are a complex and expensive piece of machinery that will require quite a bit of study and patience to work on successfully. A small error could be costly.

I may be wrong but the type of questions you are asking make me think you may not be a seasoned back yard mechanic. You can do this and folks here will help but you may need to invest in tools and time to research and get familiar with the systems.

Just dont get frustrated and break something or make the problem worse.

94 Esprit S4 - Silver
Previous - lots of hot rod Air Cooled 911s
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post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-22-2019, 06:08 PM
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You don't have to be so formal. If it still won't start after replacing the battery you *could* have a fuel problem. You need a fuel pressure gauge that you can attach to the port on the fuel rail. Once you can confirm that there is a problem with the pressure you then remove the fuel pump assembly from the tank. I doubt there is a problem with the inertia switch but it can't hurt to check it to make sure it didn't pop. Your Owner's Manual should show you the location and how to reset it. The hose I refer to is inside the tank and part of the fuel pump assembly. If it ruptures you won't get enough pressure to run the motor. There are actually 2 fuel pumps in the assembly. The second pump is exercised during start-up and kicks in during boost. I also suggest replacing the fuel filter if it hasn't been done for a long time or you just don't know if it was ever done or when. You say the car sits for long periods of time. How fresh is the fuel? Does it still smell like fuel?
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post #10 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 08:02 AM
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RG,

One easy thing to check in regards to the pump: If you turn the key on to the "run" position (but not the "start" position), should should hear both pumps run for a couple of seconds to prime the fuel system. That can at least tell you if the electrics are working. From behind the RH seat, you should hear one hum, followed by a second, and then both will stop as it runs the primary and secondary pump.

The in-tank hoses are connected via a Y, so if you get a rupture in those hoses, you should show a massive drop in fuel pressure. When that happened to me, the car had 0 pressure and there was no chance of it starting because the pumps were just putting all my fuel pressure back into the gas tank.

Before you go pulling the pump, you can rent a fuel pressure gauge for free from the parts stores. Just screw this on to the RH fuel rail and turn the key on a couple times without starting to make the pumps run. If you are getting much less than 55 psi, you've got a problem with the fuel pressure. (Section EMM.3, page 10 in the manual)

If you have to remove the pumps for repair, you just remove the RH carpet panel adjacent to the engine bay, wedge yourself in there, curse many times, unplug the electrics, remove the retaining ring, curse, and then pull the pumps out. Installation is in reverse with a little more cursing added. No need to remove the engine or anything other major component.

Obviously, you are dealing with fuel under pressure, so the usual warnings about gasoline, ventilation, heat, and fire all apply.

Jake in St. Louis
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post #11 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 09:28 AM
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I don't know if the V8 fuel pump has the same issue as the S4 cars, but I know that the non-OEM fuel pumps S4 fuel pump (e.g., BOSCH 69218) has a pulse damper that needs to be removed from the pump before you install it. Otherwise the engine will experience loss of power around 4000 RPM and start bucking.


Perhaps another V8 owner can chime in to confirm if this is an issue or not?

Jim S.
1995 Esprit S4s
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post #12 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 12:52 PM
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If you get the fuel pump (if you need it) from the usual Lotus vendors, they will get you one that will work (or at least tell you how to modify it). As for the order to test things, the sound test is useful, it will tell you that the pumps at least run. It can't tell you if you have enough pressure to run, for that you will need a pressure gauge. Since you said this problem was progressive" ie, it seemed to get worse, not happening all of a sudden, my suspicion is that the hose ruptured. Electrical problems tend to happen all at once, not progressively. On or off kind of thing. Anyway easy test. If you don't hear the pumps running no need to test for pressure! BTW, we are all assuming you are not out of gas!
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post #13 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-23-2019, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for sharing your knowledge.
I will locate the fuel rail and get a pressure tester. I have done that to my daily driver in the past.
I just haven't worked on a mid-engine car ever.

I just have no idea about where the fuel rail is for the Lotus. Do I have to remove any of the valve covers or is it in plain sight once the engine black plastic cover is removed?

I do have the owner's manual.I glanced through multiple sections of it and I couldn't find information on the fuel pumps.
I will look for section EMM. I hope it is in the binders that came with the car.

The car does have fuel, it gauge indicates over 1/4 tank.
Yes this condition has been getting worse over time. I try to run the car at least once a week and I could tell it was getting worse.

In case I have to get to the pumps, does the passenger seat have to come out to remove the carpet panel?
Does the panel unbolt/unscrew? I would anticipate a metal panel behind the carpet.

Thank you very much!
Raul
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post #14 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 04:17 AM
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Raul,

The carpeted panel near the RH rear quarter window comes out with 5 Phillips screws, then you simply (?) twist and maneuver it back & forth to get it out. (Sometimes it is easier to prop up the hatch and remove the gas support) The fuel pump is inside the RH tank and bolts in from the top.

You don't need to remove anything in the interior to access it.


+++++++++++

I'm a 4 cylinder guy but you might need to remove the V8 plenum top access the fuel rail. Other owners can confirm or deny.

Atwell Haines
'88 Esprit
Succasunna, NJ USA


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post #15 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 06:51 AM
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RG,

I'm not trying to discourage you, but based on the questions you are asking, you are going to be in over your head pretty quickly. It's still not that difficult, but you'll really need to familiarize yourself with the car and the location of the components, which can be done by reading the service manual.

- Section EMM is in the service manual (which you need if you are going to work on it), not the owners manual

- There is no need to remove anything on the engine to get to the fuel rail service valve. The V8 has two fuel rails (because it's a V), but the one you care about is behind the plenum on the RH side of the engine. You will need to remove the black engine cover to absolutely anything to the engine.

- All of the items we mentioned are either on the engine, or in compartments adjacent to the engine. You'll not need anything in the interior other than turning the key.

I hope that helps.

Jake
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post #16 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 02:48 PM
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Most likely it is the injectors bleeding down. An easy assessment is to turn the key to on (not start) where you can hear the fuel pump come on. Do this a couple of times to get pressure in the fuel rail. Then go to start it. If it seems to fire quicker than before I would look at replacing the injectors.
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post #17 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 04:30 PM
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Not as likely that the rubber hose (no pulsation damper on the V8), that connects the pump(s) to the fuel pump assembly tubing, has split and is causing a loss of pressure. That rubber hose submersed in fuel doesn't last forever. If you replace it make sure you get fuel submersible rated rubber hose!

read this
https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f16...cement-292665/

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post #18 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-26-2019, 09:15 AM
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I would say it is worth at least pulling the injectors and checking the flow and spray patterns. Then give them an ultrasonic bath and retest again before putting them back in.

Jim S.
1995 Esprit S4s
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post #19 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-26-2019, 06:34 PM
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Not easy to properly test the injectors without a flow bench set up to test them. You could send them out for testing but it isn't worth it. If you think the injectors are the problem the best thing to do is just replace them. I would not jump to that conclusion without at least checking the fuel pressure. At 23K miles the injectors should still be OK. Now if you said 45K or more then you could be thinking about replacing them.
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post #20 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-28-2019, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your comments.
1. I found the Schrader valve.
2. had someone turn the ignition to the on position without cranking the engine and can hear the pump hum.
3. Checked pressure at the Schrader valve - zero, when disconnecting the gauge, not even a drop of fuel.
4. removed the RH engine lid strut and removed the carpet panel.
5. Tried the ignition again and touch the top of the pump and felt it as it hum for a few seconds when the ignition was on. Yet no pressure at the fuel rail.

My car came with several books: Service Parts List, Service Notes 1993 Onwards and Braking System ABS 415. The second book (Service Notes), lists section EMM after sections ED and EMH. However sections EMH and EMM were not included.

I purchased a repair manual online (PDFs) when i got the car. The cover page shows a yellow Sprit with the labels;S4 and V8.
It has a diagram of the fuel pump on page 43.03A. However the title also indicated Esprit 93. It appears not to be the correct manual.

Questions:
1. One of your replies mentions two pumps. Are there 2 pumps? One in each tank?
2. One reply mentions a hose that connects the tanks that may have split and therefore there is no pressure in the system. If such a hose broke, wouldn't there be fuel on the floor below the car? There is not a drop under the car. The gauge indicates over 1/4 tank.

3. I was not able to find a replacement online. JAE doesn't list one on their website either. Who else can carry a fuel pump?

4. Modifications to the pump(s) were mentioned as well. Is this correct, I have to modify a new pump to make it work?

5. There is a black plastic box above the pump held onto the firewall with 4 screws. Will this box have to come out to clear a path for the pump to come out?

6. The pump is held by a metal ring. I have seen this on my other car, but had enough room to tap it with a screwdriver and a hammer to rotate it. In the Lotus, it appears not to be enough room for the screwdriver/hammer. Is there a special tool needed to remove the ring?

7. Where could I get a copy of section EMM?

Thank you for your help. I appreciate it.
Raul
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