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TRB57
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hope that I am posting this in the correct place. This new format is very confusing.

Been chipping away at the 88 Turbo Esprit with the bad fuel issues.

I had originally drained the fuel and changed the plugs. I pulled and cleaned injectors with degreaser as was suggested. This worked very well. Blow them out and reinstalled. Huge difference runs a little rough when cold but revs nicely when warmed up and very drivable. Not 100% as of yet but getting there. Next, I thought I should pull the injectors one more time as well as change the plus again.

This being my first Lotus was wondering if the following is normal; when first started it runs at 1500 rpm, after about 3 to 5 minutes the idle will drop to 1000 rpm and you can hear a much deeper exhaust note. It’s a very distinctive change. Is this normal?

Next will look at the timing belt, change all fluids and thinking the brake hoses. Also have a charging issue, when first started the voltmeter shows 10 to 11 volts, after about 10 -15 minutes its back up to 12 volts. Seems to be mainly at start up. I saw online that the voltage regulator can break down and leak on the AC unit. I see no evidence of this but thinking I should change the alternator as well.

Any thoughts on the above will be much appreciated.

Thanks,

TRB57 /Tim B.
 

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Super Moderator
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4,117 Posts
Welcome to the group!

FYI - while I understand you're doing initial power up, it's very risky to run with an unknown timing belt condition (3 years/36K miles is the max and conservative to observe it religiously).

That should your priority #1 to do.

I daily drove my late 88 Esprit Turbo 50K miles/49 months (2011-2015) before it met an untimely end in a commute accident.
I have a professional shop that is great at working on my Esprits - my current one is an 87 Turbo Esprit (Giugiaro body) that is mechanically similar to the 88 Bosch Citroen configuration.

The new forum format is a bit challenging - I had a 'garage' that listed all the maintenance, etc, but believe it lives elsewhere and I can't remember the name.

Here's a video of my late 88 dash operation that may be good to compare.

88 Esprit dash operation
 

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Super Moderator
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4,117 Posts
RE: idle - yes - it runs high and then should hover at 850 RPM (assuming you're Bosch CIS injection and not a Euro carburetor car). The 'deeper' exhaust is likely the opening of the EBPV (Exhaust Back Pressure Valve) - it stays closed during cold start and opens later (it's an emission part). While cold, the car runs like it's plugged up (which it is) and when open, sounds much healthier. I recommend keeping it if you have to meet California or similar smog requirements.

The Valeo alternator is an known weakness - I wouldn't make it #1 priority if it's not acting up, but something to put up there in the top ten.
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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6,237 Posts
Just to build on sleekgt's comments, the idle will drop to 'normal' when the oil temp sensor reaches ~ 75 F. (coolant needle just starting to move). Ignition timing is advanced during cold warmup, but don't ever set warm timing more than 15 - 18 degrees BTDC.

The stainless steel stock '88 has a very mellow sound, it is 3" diameter :cool: (newer cars were 2.5"). There is a lot of valve overlap so it will never idle as smoothly as a Toyota...

Warm idle of 1000 is fine, many owners will set it to that value due to the OEM Valeo alternator's low charging rate at lower RPMs. I'd agree that your alternator is on the way out, feel the rear bottom side of the alternator, you might get some black goo on your fingers even if it isn't yet dripping onto the A/C compressor.


GET THAT TIMING BELT REPLACED! Even with low miles, they should be replaced ~every 3 years for black timing belts, longer for the blue Gates Racing belts. You cannot tell visually when the TB is ready to 'let go'.
+++++++++++

If you pull the injectors again, replace the O-rings on them. The thin bottom ones are critical for sealing (look for streaks on the FI tip indicating leakage). The fat upper ones are centering o-rings only. JAE Parts sells just the o-ring kits.

++++++++++++

With this Esprit sub-forum selected, press FOLLOW on the upper RH corner of the page! Then you will get notifications in the proper area.
 

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To add to Atwell's comments you won't necessarily see or feel the "black goo" as the alternator starts to fail. I had the exact same symptoms as you have - low voltage at cold start-up then higher voltage as the engine warmed up. I discovered that happens when the goo starts to get on the brushes in the alternator and the brushes stick until the goo warms up. I saw no sign of the goo on the outside of my alternator even after I removed it. FWIW, I replaced my stock Valeo alternator with a more robust Bosch unit (the how to all well described here on various threads) and it's been a definite improvement all around.
 

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If you don't know when the TB belt was last changed you should make it a priority to replace it. Run a bottle of Techron through the fuel system on a full tank. You may need to have the fuel injectors cleaned anyway but try the Techron first. If you don't have the service history on the car you need to do a full "C" service and change ALL the fluids and filters and grease the front end. Check the date codes on the tires and battery. Replace the tires over 7 years old and the battery over 5. Replace the windscreen wiper blade. Check the output of the turbo (look inside the pipe) and see if there is any oil leaking. The low voltage on start-up can also be bad (dirty) connections and/or a tired battery. Clean the connections and have the battery tested (if less than 5 years old). If you aren't going to use the car regularly use a Battery Tender to keep the battery fully charged. If you have the Valeo alternator, consider replacing it eventually. Since the fuel was "bad" check the brake and clutch fluid. If it is dark and thick, flush and replace it but expect to soon rebuild the brake and clutch systems. I would also do a compression test for a baseline and check valve clearances. Start using the car but expect problems to develop because the car was sitting. Lotus's don't like being ignored.
David Teitelbaum
 

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TRB57
Joined
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Welcome to the group!

FYI - while I understand you're doing initial power up, it's very risky to run with an unknown timing belt condition (3 years/36K miles is the max and conservative to observe it religiously).

That should your priority #1 to do.

I daily drove my late 88 Esprit Turbo 50K miles/49 months (2011-2015) before it met an untimely end in a commute accident.
I have a professional shop that is great at working on my Esprits - my current one is an 87 Turbo Esprit (Giugiaro body) that is mechanically similar to the 88 Bosch Citroen configuration.

The new forum format is a bit challenging - I had a 'garage' that listed all the maintenance, etc, but believe it lives elsewhere and I can't remember the name.

Here's a video of my late 88 dash operation that may be good to compare.

88 Esprit dash operation
Thanks for the warning! I will make this my next priority, the car only has 19,000 miles but I'm quite sure that the belt has not been changed in 5 plus years.

Thanks Again!
Trb57 / Tim B.
 

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TRB57
Joined
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
To add to Atwell's comments you won't necessarily see or feel the "black goo" as the alternator starts to fail. I had the exact same symptoms as you have - low voltage at cold start-up then higher voltage as the engine warmed up. I discovered that happens when the goo starts to get on the brushes in the alternator and the brushes stick until the goo warms up. I saw no sign of the goo on the outside of my alternator even after I removed it. FWIW, I replaced my stock Valeo alternator with a more robust Bosch unit (the how to all well described here on various threads) and it's been a definite improvement all around.
Great info, thanks! The car gets parked and timing belt and alternator get done next.
Trb57 / Tim B.
 

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TRB57
Joined
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If you don't know when the TB belt was last changed you should make it a priority to replace it. Run a bottle of Techron through the fuel system on a full tank. You may need to have the fuel injectors cleaned anyway but try the Techron first. If you don't have the service history on the car you need to do a full "C" service and change ALL the fluids and filters and grease the front end. Check the date codes on the tires and battery. Replace the tires over 7 years old and the battery over 5. Replace the windscreen wiper blade. Check the output of the turbo (look inside the pipe) and see if there is any oil leaking. The low voltage on start-up can also be bad (dirty) connections and/or a tired battery. Clean the connections and have the battery tested (if less than 5 years old). If you aren't going to use the car regularly use a Battery Tender to keep the battery fully charged. If you have the Valeo alternator, consider replacing it eventually. Since the fuel was "bad" check the brake and clutch fluid. If it is dark and thick, flush and replace it but expect to soon rebuild the brake and clutch systems. I would also do a compression test for a baseline and check valve clearances. Start using the car but expect problems to develop because the car was sitting. Lotus's don't like being ignored.
David Teitelbaum
The car has only been driven about 20 miles a year for the last 10 and may no miles in the last two.
The car is parked for the winter and I will be changing all fluids this winter, along with the timing belt and alternator.
Thanks,
trb57 / Tim B.
 

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TRB57
Joined
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If you don't know when the TB belt was last changed you should make it a priority to replace it. Run a bottle of Techron through the fuel system on a full tank. You may need to have the fuel injectors cleaned anyway but try the Techron first. If you don't have the service history on the car you need to do a full "C" service and change ALL the fluids and filters and grease the front end. Check the date codes on the tires and battery. Replace the tires over 7 years old and the battery over 5. Replace the windscreen wiper blade. Check the output of the turbo (look inside the pipe) and see if there is any oil leaking. The low voltage on start-up can also be bad (dirty) connections and/or a tired battery. Clean the connections and have the battery tested (if less than 5 years old). If you aren't going to use the car regularly use a Battery Tender to keep the battery fully charged. If you have the Valeo alternator, consider replacing it eventually. Since the fuel was "bad" check the brake and clutch fluid. If it is dark and thick, flush and replace it but expect to soon rebuild the brake and clutch systems. I would also do a compression test for a baseline and check valve clearances. Start using the car but expect problems to develop because the car was sitting. Lotus's don't like being ignored.
David Teitelbaum
To add to Atwell's comments you won't necessarily see or feel the "black goo" as the alternator starts to fail. I had the
Welcome to the group!

FYI - while I understand you're doing initial power up, it's very risky to run with an unknown timing belt condition (3 years/36K miles is the max and conservative to observe it religiously).

That should your priority #1 to do.

I daily drove my late 88 Esprit Turbo 50K miles/49 months (2011-2015) before it met an untimely end in a commute accident.
I have a professional shop that is great at working on my Esprits - my current one is an 87 Turbo Esprit (Giugiaro body) that is mechanically similar to the 88 Bosch Citroen configuration.

The new forum format is a bit challenging - I had a 'garage' that listed all the maintenance, etc, but believe it lives elsewhere and I can't remember the name.

Here's a video of my late 88 dash operation that may be good to compare.

88 Esprit dash operation
Thanks for the video. it did help!
Trb57 / Tim B.

exact same symptoms as you have - low voltage at cold start-up then higher voltage as the engine warmed up. I discovered that happens when the goo starts to get on the brushes in the alternator and the brushes stick until the goo warms up. I saw no sign of the goo on the outside of my alternator even after I removed it. FWIW, I replaced my stock Valeo alternator with a more robust Bosch unit (the how to all well described here on various threads) and it's been a definite improvement all around.
 

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Fairly new owner here—same car. I’ve noticed three intervals of RPMs through warmup. The initial speed, then it lowers after less than a minute, then lowers again after a few minutes. I quickly learned that If I try to go anywhere before it is fully warm, it can stutter going up my sloped drive (which really isn’t that sloped). As others have noted, totally normal.



I hope that I am posting this in the correct place. This new format is very confusing.

Been chipping away at the 88 Turbo Esprit with the bad fuel issues.

I had originally drained the fuel and changed the plugs. I pulled and cleaned injectors with degreaser as was suggested. This worked very well. Blow them out and reinstalled. Huge difference runs a little rough when cold but revs nicely when warmed up and very drivable. Not 100% as of yet but getting there. Next, I thought I should pull the injectors one more time as well as change the plus again.

This being my first Lotus was wondering if the following is normal; when first started it runs at 1500 rpm, after about 3 to 5 minutes the idle will drop to 1000 rpm and you can hear a much deeper exhaust note. It’s a very distinctive change. Is this normal?

Next will look at the timing belt, change all fluids and thinking the brake hoses. Also have a charging issue, when first started the voltmeter shows 10 to 11 volts, after about 10 -15 minutes its back up to 12 volts. Seems to be mainly at start up. I saw online that the voltage regulator can break down and leak on the AC unit. I see no evidence of this but thinking I should change the alternator as well.

Any thoughts on the above will be much appreciated.

Thanks,

TRB57 /Tim B.
 

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Super Moderator
Joined
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[snip] I quickly learned that If I try to go anywhere before it is fully warm, it can stutter going up my sloped drive (which really isn’t that sloped). As others have noted, totally normal.
Not sure I agree here. When an 88 Bosch CIS Esprit is dead cold , the engine should run smoothly and never stutter regardless of inclination.

The EBPV (Exhaust Back Pressure Valve (?)) - remains closed while warming up. While the power output is constrained, it should NEVER stutter (misfire or anything abnormal). It may feel like lack of power but pushing the throttle hard should result in minimal acceleration, but never anything that I would consider a stutter.

When I daily drove my late 88 Bosch Esprit, when stone cold, it would smoothly rev to 3K RPM and not go any higher. No stutter, no misfire - just felt like the 3K RPM hard redline that held power at that level. Once the EBPV opened, the RPMs went to redline smoothly.

You can temporarily tie open the EBPV with wire to see how it operates stone cold but open. But if you're stuttering - either spark or ignition issue - I'd check the usual components first - cap, rotor, timing setting.
 
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