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Esprits run really hot on the exhaust side (wheel well radiating alot of heat)?

Filling up the Esprit wearing shorts (just got back from the gym) and I notice immediately the flood of hot air washing over my leg. I know there's a prominent heat shield on rear driver side wheel well, but was surprise how HOT it was. Never noticed it when wearing pants.

It was a 10-12 mile drive home from work (70% surface streets,30% freeway) and no apparent mechanical issues - just normally hot?

Maybe it's the cold California temp (low 60s) that made it obvious. But for a second, I thought something was on fire :panic:

 

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So the big question is whether you just had a breeze blowing normal heat from the wheel well at you, or whether the cat is getting too hot.
Too hot cats have been known to cause catastrophic fires.
It may be time to check it for integrity and flow.
 

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Go for a spirited drive at night and then stop and quickly open the hatch and observe the exhaust manifold, turbo and cat. The manifold and turbo could very well be glowing orange which is normal but the cat should not be. If it is, you have a problem. You could also temporarily remove the heat shield in the wheel well to be able to see it better.

This isn't necessarily a 100% diagnosis but an overly rich mixture or partially clogged cat will get hot enough to glow.
 

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sounds like a clogged cat. as an 88 it's about time, mine is an 87 and the cat is clogged real bad so i'm going to remove it and go straight pipe. they give off LOTS of heat!
are you experiencing back pressure?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I was thinking the cat as other threads mentioned it. But I just passed stringent CA smog test about 1 month ago and if the car was running rich, it would have shown up.

Of course, maybe the Bosch fuel plunger got stuck since that smog test and am running rich. Will check tonight when I get home and see if it's still hot again.

Thanks for the feedback.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, took the same path back home and immediately checked the turbo/exhaust/cat - zero glowing, but also noticed the radiant heat from the wheel well was lower than last night.

I'll test it again with a more spirited run tomorrow morning; these intermittent symptom are always the tough ones to track down.
 

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sounds like a clogged cat. [snip]are you experiencing back pressure?
No changes to the performance near as I can tell. I do still have the EBPV (?) that makes the car run like a dog when stone cold. It seems to be opening just fine when I get to 70-80C.
 

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I wouldn't worry about exhaust heat unless the trunk carpet looked singed. :rolleyes:



In theory, the cat-con will "correct", emissions-wise, for a rich condition or lean misfire. It will run hotter if it has more than usual unburned hydrocarbons to process.

Yes, it is normal for the manifold to glow red after spirited driving. I can say that I pulled and inspected my Cat-Con at 72K miles and it was fine.

The best course of action would be to monitor the enrichment via the duty-cycle of the mixture control. You can do this at the test plug in the relay box or the connector on the frequency valve. It should be a 45% to 55% duty cycle.

But, I bet it's fine...TADTS
 

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Discussion Starter #10
[snip]
In theory, the cat-con will "correct", emissions-wise, for a rich condition or lean misfire. It will run hotter if it has more than usual unburned hydrocarbons to process.[snip]

But, I bet it's fine...TADTS
I drove to Sacramento yesterday from San Jose (around 120 miles one way).
On return trip, I immediately checked engine - zero glowing. The car ran just fine - nothing unusual at all.

Even after 120 miles, the heat wafting from the wheel well was subjectively lower than that night at the gas station after only a 12 mile work commute.

I'll keep monitoring it - it seems to be an intermittent problem :huh:

Or, as you say :tadts:
 

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I have one of those point and shoot infrared thermometers. It would be a lot better than using your legs to check temps. They aren't very expensive and have lots of uses.
 

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I have one of those point and shoot infrared thermometers. It would be a lot better than using your legs to check temps. They aren't very expensive and have lots of uses.
Yuck yuck - my legs are pretty freaking good temp sensors but an infrared thermometer is a good idea. rotfl
 
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