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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, so I registered my car for "supercarsonstatest" here in Harrisburg PA this past week, I got it out of the garage, washed it, took it for a quick spin. All of a sudden the car had no power are all, it had this odd sound to it, it almost sounded like a Subaru WRX boxer engine does, I limped home with the flashers on, not realizing how hot the car was getting. When I got home the car's exhaust was red hot and started to actually set the carpet in the trunk on fire, I have no clue what happened, its too hot now to even touch it. As im waiting for it to cool down.
 

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Usually unburnt fuel would keep things a little cooler and leave a real sooty appearance around the exhaust tip in my experience. My guess would be a real lean condition or severely advanced timing, both of which will get the exhaust manifold glowing cherry red. Reading the plugs should tell you which one it is for sure, sooty black meaning rich, white meaning lean, "speckles" meaning detonation from advanced timing.
 

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did the engine overheated or just a cherry red exhaust system?
usually if unburned gas, it should be a little cooler (rich)
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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OK, it seems to me that Mark's Meltdown was the result of an overheated catalytic converter. That's the area corresponding to the gooey carpet.

Tied in with your other recent Topic?
 

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Not too familiar with the esprit but the plug wires into head may have gotten water in them from wash. This will cause arcing and mifires causing cat to overheat. Pull plug wires and check for brown spots. Dry then get some magnacor kv85's. If it sounded like a subie then a cylinder is not firing. Could also be injector harness got wet!
 

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Usually unburnt fuel would keep things a little cooler and leave a real sooty appearance around the exhaust tip in my experience. My guess would be a real lean condition or severely advanced timing, both of which will get the exhaust manifold glowing cherry red. Reading the plugs should tell you which one it is for sure, sooty black meaning rich, white meaning lean, "speckles" meaning detonation from advanced timing.
A rich mixture would lower exhaust gas temps, but unburnt fuel going into the cat and igniting, will cause heat and fires there. Or flames out the rear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think I might of gotten to the bottom of a couple of things since the smoke cleared, I only had spark to one cylinder when I got home (unburnt fuel). And I also found a burnt up holder next to the relays (that usually burn up) that go to the fuel pumps.

I think my distributor cap or the pertronix ignitor is the culprit.

What does this distributor cap cross to? MG, Triumph?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
It was my distributor cap cracked. Autozone sells it for $11.99, part LU922, luckily there is a Autozone warehouse store near me, aside from a burnt smell in my trunk, a small burnt ring around my tailpipe valance. The car is fixed.

I also had to repair the burnt wiring to the reverse light switch, the burnt vacuum tube that used to go to the doughnut valve at the muffler.

Oh yeah, and I saw someone before post a how to remove the clips on the distributor cap, proper tool pictured below, a sacrificed harbor freight screwdriver.

Thanks for all the suggestions, I never had anything like happen on any car I owned ever. Luckily all my wrists are already pre-flexibile from previous Lotus repairs, to fit in all the Lotus positions necessary to replace the distributor cap
 

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Was the cap the original? What was the brand if PO may have replaced?i

I had my original replaced in 2011 at my Service C and kept the cap in a plastic jar with some other metal parts as test spares. Was surprised tô see it cracked after minor handling in a plastic bin. None of my non-Lotus cars have caps that fragile.
 

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While you may have a cracked cap that may not be the cause. When this happens on a Delorean, the catalytic convertor getting red hot, it usually means an excess of fuel and is caused by a sticking fuel plunger in the fuel distributor. Press on the air sensor and see if there is any resistance with the fuel pump running. If none, the plunger is stuck.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm sure the cap was my issue, however I've already decided to replace the cat in the near future, it was red hot, I could not believe how hot the exhaust got.

I made it to the car show, it was a blast. I don't go to many shows as my Saturdays are usually filled with projects. We don't usually see many exotic cars where I live. There were no other Esprits present, but a few exiges, and an Evora showed up.
 

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Wingless Wonder
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I'm sure the cap was my issue, however I've already decided to replace the cat in the near future, it was red hot, I could not believe how hot the exhaust got.
On the '88 you can remove the OE cat and shine a light through the honeycomb matrix.

No light = meltdown.


That's assuming the matrix is in one piece. If it's falling apart, replace it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thats a great point, I completely forgot what the cat looked like inside when I had it off the car for a short while.
 
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