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Discussion Starter #1
So I test drove a V8 Esprit yesterday. It was the first time I've ever got up close to an Esprit, never mind driven one and OMG what a car. It really hard to get an impression of the vehicle looks like in person from photo's so it was great to finally get a closer look.

Overall the car I drove felt really good, clean shifting, no clutch issues, handled very nicely and was very clean. The one issue I noted though was that it seemed to be running hot, of course I'm in Phoenix but it wasn't that hot (97).

I drove for around twenty minutes, I had the AC on and the temperature rose to I'd say 110 and kind of stayed between 105 and 110. When I got back I let the car just sit and idle for another ten minutes, keeping a close eye on things and it didn't go higher but it also didn't go lower. So I'm just trying to get some idea of what is typical etc. From what I've read it normal for the car to run kind of hot but most folks seem to say more like 90-100, 110 seems a little high to me. It would be nice to hear some input from some of the Phoenix guys or anyone that has run their car in 95 plus temperatures (as in weather temp) and what they see a normal operating temperatures. Trying to determine if there a potential radiator issue with the car I looked at.

Thx in advance and thx for all the folks that have responded to my questions over the past few days, its really great to have this resource :)

Jerry
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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OK Jerry, this is where you need to learn some SEARCH skills. :p

Don't limit your looking to this Forum, there is valuable information on Lotus Esprit World, The Lotus Forums, and the Esprit Fact File. (Google is your friend, you know) I only type with one finger so have mercy...:panic:



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

That said, the short answer is that V8 Esprits are sensitive to proper cooling system performance. It must be determined if proper coolant bleeding has been performed, if the radiator has collected debris, and if the cooling system is indeed full. All/some of these factors could result in the observations you describe.


Your Where's Waldo? Q of the day: Where is the coolant reservoir/overflow tank located on V8s? :D rotfl
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi carbuff,

I did do some searching prior to posting and my search skills are not bad I think, lol. I'm a computer geek my profession, lol, so not unfamiliar to me. The reason I posted the question was that I found many conflicting answers so just wanted to hear from a few more owners and especially those that live in warmer climates. Trying to determine if this should be a concern or a major red flag, at the very least its a concern to me right now.

All the points you made are valid and it would probably take some more investigation to see whats going on but i'd have to rely on the seller to do that.

Thx

Jerry
 

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I don't know about warmer climates (I'm in CT), but that does sound a little on the high side. Could be normal in high temp areas, or could be a slow thermostat or clogged cooling system.

I replaced my entire radiator because it was pretty gummed up, even though it wasn't overheating.

Did you hear any gurgling sounds? The Esprit's system can get air bound pretty easily, but recently someone had posted the ultimate (simple) fix:

Good luck!
 

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The V-8's do run hot normally but too hot is bad. 110 C would be OK since the cooling system operates at 21 psi which raises the boiling point considerably. Since the cooling system is working so hard it is critical that it works perfectly. You MUST have the proper ratio of good anti-freeze and soft water, the radiator must be clean, all of the ducting must be in place, and all of the air bled out of the system. One of the biggest problem areas is debris collecting in the air side of the radiator. Since the inlet to the radiator is so close to the ground you suck up a lot of road dirt and it gets caught in the fins. Difficult to see and impossible to clean without dropping the radiator. A big job which has to all be done from underneath. Since you have no experience with any V-8 it is difficult for you to compare and know if the one you drove is OK. Anyone unfamiliar with a Lotus V-8 will be impressed with one even if it is not working as it should. The cooling system is not usually a big problem area. When the car is cool take the pressure cap off and look at and smell the anti-freeze. Make sure the header tank is full to the top (WHEN COLD!) and the overflow bottle is at the cold mark. It may just be the temperature gauge is a little out of calibration. Check with a thermometer.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thx David for the input. Yeah its definitely an issue with not having much experience of the car, literally yesterday was the first time I've ever driven one, lol, so yes I don't have much to compare to. Unfortunately it might be one of those things that I might not be able to determine until I actually owned the vehicle in question so its kind of a gut check, lol. I guess that's one of the advantages of a local car, you can actually see these things, not sure that I was really thinking of asking folks how hot their car runs until I took this test drive. Wish things were easier but its a process and i'm learning along the way :)
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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Yeah -- I didn't mean to sound mean, LOL. It's just that so many V8s run hotter than owners like.


Lotus should have fitted one of those "dampened" temp gauges as many other cars have.


That way it would read "normal" until the head gaskets blew out....-eek-


Anyway, the temp gauge reading you observed is not really out of line...a marginal car would reach that temp sooner and not drop away when the car is moving.

There are several Topics here showing clogged radiators intakes (I have some pics of that, myself).
 

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When I went looking for one I went to any and every car nearby to learn as much as I could. Thought I knew enough to buy one but after getting it and having it I now realize I knew NOTHING compared to now. Wound up buying a car in CA, having it inspected at Viking and shipped to New Jersey. I did enjoy seeing a bunch of cars though. Find some local owners and look at their cars. Not a representative example though, owners enthusiastic enough to have a Lotus AND be a club member usually take better care of their cars. The loners tend to let them get neglected.
David Teitelbaum
 

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I live in S. Florida and the temp gauge on my Esprit sometimes goes to 100 if I've been sitting in traffic for a few minutes. I drops right back to 80 when I start moving and air is passing over the radiator. This happens with or without the AC at full blast. I wouldn't be too concerned.
 

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What temperature do the fans kick in on a four banger?
 

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^^^ Unless the A/C compressor is on...then the fans are on by default.

A good Esprit thermostat opens at 82C.
Unless the battery voltage is below a threshold, then the fans won't turn on ;)

I forgot to mention that those temps I quoted from the manual are 89+ GM MP4 injected Esprits. I have no idea about the 88 BOSCH and earlier Esprits.
 

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What temperature do the fans kick in on a four banger?
Come on Mike!!! If it's older than 97 it may be a turbo, an SE, a GT3, an S4, an S4S...a few other variations....but never....ever....is it a "four banger"! "Four banger" is a term that's used to identify vehicles such as a mustang that should have have a V8 but only has a "four banger". "Four banger" in my mind is synonymous with "piece of sh*t". "My Iron Duke camaro has a four banger"...

Ok, let's get back on track here...
 

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Come on Mike!!! If it's older than 97 it may be a turbo, an SE, a GT3, an S4, an S4S...a few other variations....but never....ever....is it a "four banger"! "Four banger" is a term that's used to identify vehicles such as a mustang that should have have a V8 but only has a "four banger". "Four banger" in my mind is synonymous with "piece of sh*t". "My Iron Duke camaro has a four banger"...

Ok, let's get back on track here...
Lol..and a bit more.:D
Thanks man.
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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Unless the battery voltage is below a threshold, then the fans won't turn on ;)

I forgot to mention that those temps I quoted from the manual are 89+ GM MP4 injected Esprits. I have no idea about the 88 BOSCH and earlier Esprits.
Right, Travis, I was just trying to point out that turning on the A/C should also turn on the fans, which can then be observed to make sure all are running. (A good diagnostic procedure) EG, If ONE of the THREE isn't working (off or slow), the effects would be subtle from the driver's seat. (You would still hear the fans, but cool-down would take a lot longer)

The fan actuation temps on a Bosch or older car (77 - 88) are controlled by the "Otter" switches on the aluminum J-pipe. GM MP4 cars (89 - up) rely on other temp sensors don't they? Plus, the gauge sender is different than the one the ECU uses, right?

At least, on the older cars, a low battery would not affect fan operation...unless the battery was totally discharged. :up: :UK:
 

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Unless the battery voltage is below a threshold, then the fans won't turn on ;)

I forgot to mention that those temps I quoted from the manual are 89+ GM MP4 injected Esprits. I have no idea about the 88 BOSCH and earlier Esprits.
My 88 temp behavior is 100% as you quoted since my radiator was converted back to the original OEM factory-installed unit. When i bought it in 2011, i upgraded to an aftermarket aluminum radiator to cope with California summers (40% làrger capacity). The average freeway temp remained the same as expected and the city temp was about 3-5C cooler. It suffered premature cracking/leaks and converted back in 2014.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Docl,

My concern was not so much that it got up to 100, in fact 110, but that I was test driving this in the middle of the day, there was little traffic and I was on roads with few stops so air was flowing but it still ran hot and didn't cool down. I think most fols have said the same that yes, its totally normal for the temp to rise but that it comes back down once your driving or fans are on, but that's the behavior I wasn't seeing. Its possible the gauge was bad. Its enough though to make me a little concerned especially since this a car that has not been driven much in the past 7 years. Certainly a PPI would be in order if I wanted to move forward with it, which is good practice anyhow.
 

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Docl,
My concern was not so much that it got up to 100, in fact 110, but that I was test driving this in the middle of the day, there was little traffic and I was on roads with few stops so air was flowing but it still ran hot and didn't cool down. [snip]
Its enough though to make me a little concerned especially since this a car that has not been driven much in the past 7 years. Certainly a PPI would be in order if I wanted to move forward with it, which is good practice anyhow.
(from earlier email):
> The one issue I noted though was that it seemed to be running hot, of course I'm in Phoenix but it wasn't that hot (97).
The quickest PPI you can do for the radiator is to see if it's EXTERNALLY clogged - I believe it does require either removing a panel or possibly a 'snake cam' can verify.

Here's Atwell's old post that shows what we're talking about:

http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f164/aluminum-radiators-v8-99625/index3.html#post1749386

*****************8

My 88 (4 cyl - not sure how applicable to V8) was 23 years old in 2011 - I assumed the cooling system was likely to be INTERNALLY clogged and I was correct. Only AFTER I bought the car (which ran limited distance with normal temps) did I have the cooling system taken apart - new hoses, new water pump, new thermostat, and had the radiator checked for flow.

The OEM brass radiator was about ~40% blocked. While the car ran OK, it also was short trip (testing before buying and relative cool temps 70s July 2011). The radiator guy who rodded and cored the original radiator said it look like the radiator had never been flushed in its 23 years. Yet it still ran 'cool enough' for weekend use. It would have worked for my daily driving routine.

So assume a 7 year old V8 may not have been flushed - you may be looking at a partially clogged radiator.
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Your comment that '..Phoenix but it wasn't that hot (97)' - for an Esprit, ambient outside temp of 97F is HOT.

While my 4 cyl is not a V8, in San Jose with ambient temps at 95F last week, my commute temp (avg speed 14 MPH crawling) can reach 97-98C.

The fans USED to kick in at 92C and drop to 82C (running the aftermarket aluminum radiator with 40% more capacity).

For some reason, my switch back to factory OEM original brass radiator (40% smaller) the fans appear to kick in at 95C and drop to about 85C.
This only happens during commute; freeway is a constant 82C even in 90F weather.
 
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