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Discussion Starter #1
Problems:
Water hose somewhere lost water, causing hot water vapor to spew out the back of the car, causing engine to overheat immediately, so turned off engine and coasted to a stop; refilled with water and engine ran fine but did not rev it up. After a while the oil temp started to spike, and eventually caused smoking oil to appear, though engine temp did NOT rise, but stayed normal. Killed engine and coasted to a stop.

REPAIRS:
1. OIL LEAKS repaired with gray silicon on cam covers, new vacuum pump;
2. Blue intake cam sprocket swapped for green dot oil pump sprocket;
3. Blue timing belt installed, though old one was still good for another 5-10K;
4. Replaced burst water hose under intake manifold, at front center of engine, added antifreeze and water (radiator was empty, so why didn't temp. gauge work?)
5. New pulley belts installed;

Problem:
1. Engine fires but floods out and refuses to crank (injectors installed by prior owner are "one size larger" than OEM;
2. disconnecting injectors, the engine fires and tries to crank, but re-connecting injectors leads to flooding and no firing, though plugs do fire (correct new 4 electrode bosch plugs).
3. timing is correct, but DID the replacement of the sprocket make the larger injectors send too much fuel to cylinders? (Need to install OEM injectors?)
4. Is there some sort of switch tripped?
5. Out of abundance of caution will check compression in each cylinder tomorrow.

HELP, please. Any educated suggestions welcomed. My mechanic is GM certified, but has no experience on Lotuses. No experienced Lotus mechanics within 300 miles to my knowledge. Thank you very, very much.:UK:
 

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You need to say what year and model car you have!

Sounds like you probably also blew the head gasket when you lost your coolant. Do the compression check.

The temp gauge probably didn't work sine the thermostat housing had no coolant due to the burst hose. Or if you are referring to now after the repair, then the mechanic probably knocked the green wire off the brass sensor on the thermostat housing.
 

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Temp sensor only works when in contact with coolant, once you lost coolant sensor was exposed only to hot air, will not register correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Good points, guys. Thanks. This looks like it is getting very expensive. Already more than $3,000, parts and labor.
 

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More basic information necessary. Start with what year is your car? Did the car run normally previous to this incident? If so, was it running normally with the injectors you described as having been changed by the PO?

The list of repairs - did you do these repairs in response to the event or are you describing a list of things you did in general. For example, why would you change the vacuum pump if the problem was a burst hose? Why did you decide to change the cam pulley at this time? Why did you decide to seal the cam covers with silicon? Did you determine where the leaking oil was coming from?

Would you consider yourself a pretty good mechanic with a pretty good understanding of the car? Be cautious in what you do to try and figure out your problem(s).

It sounds like the short hose from the water pump to the intake manifold burst. You said that the radiator was empty. You also said that the oil temperature spiked. Both of these things are signs of a potential catastrophic failure. Be very careful of your next steps unless you really know what you are doing or you could do more damage to the engine. You need to determine if the overheating warped the head and you need to determine if the internal engine parts were possibly damaged either by oil starvation, coolant and oil being mixed together, or some other issue. Your temperature gauge may not have shown any temperature rise the second time you started car because you had lost so much coolant that the sensor was no longer immersed in the coolant stream. Of equal concern is the rapid rise in oil temperature. Once you detect overheating it is the best practice to just shut the car down and tow it to wherever it needs to go. Running the engine with a compromised cooling system has a lot of hazards.

If you're not really confidant in your mechanical skills at this stage it might be wise to get an experienced person to sit down with you and evaluate what happened and what you need to do. You don't want to do anything to cause more problems and what you have described is a pretty serious situation.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Tom:
I am NOT a mechanic. 1990 Esprit Turbo/chargecooler. The car ran fine till the water hose blew. The mechanic will do the compression test, and I will pass on the info from this site. I had the car towed after the oil temp rose. Could be catastrophic failure; don't know yet. C'est la vie. It is what it is. Trying to figure out "what" it is. Might need a new head, new engine, or might have a new boat anchor. Must be a rainbow in here somewhere? Maybe not.
 

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From the post I had the impression you were doing the work. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

Keep us posted on what you find out. Hopefully not too bad!
 

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At least your car is not 88 or older, you'd be better off towing it to a Volkswagen dealer if it was. 90 is at least GM FI, sorry for your troubles, but as someone else said, once the car loses antifreeze the temp gauge will not read coolant temp correctly as there is no coolant to measure temp from. Hoping it got shutoff before too much damage occurred.
 

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I would guess you have a blown head gasket and therefore don't have full compression on one or more cylinders. This is obviously going to make it hard to start, and she won't run properly. If you keep trying to run the engine you'll do more damage where the gasket is blown.

If it is a blown head gasket then you should check the head and block are flat. You may need to skim the head to get it flat so as to hold the new gasket.

Start with compression, then look at ignition and fuel.
 

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Sorry to hear.

+1 on high probability of blown head gasket. For quick reference, look for oil in coolant and coolant in oil (oil will be milky or baby-poop brown). You may also notice a rise in the oil level or sludgy grey/brown condensate on the bottom of the oil fill cap. The compression test will tell the tale.

Unrelated to the problem but double-check that your oil leak in the valve covers isn't actually in the cam towers or front/rear cam seals, they are prone to leaking and probably a more likely culprit. I have a feeling that you'll be removing the head soon anyway. Assuming you do, you'll want to check/set the valve clearances (shims) as part of the process (which may include some machine work if anything is warped) and reseal everything.
Don't forget that your O2 sensor is probably toast too, most people overlook this.
Finally, if there's any chance coolant got mixed in with your oil, it's critical to make sure it's completely removed. Glycol contamination can be really destructive. Start with clean oil after the repairs and do a couple of oil changes very soon after it's running again or have the system flushed.

Good luck, keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
1990 Esprit problems

I'll keep you guys posted.In the meantime, if you don't already have a child, I am putting myself up for adoption, though it will be a hard sale at age 69+. Any takers, apply to:
Obama Lotus Care
Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, D.C.

Be sure and inform them that this is good for foreign relations with the British, especially since we so rudely spurned King George. Barry will undoubtedly send me a lot of money along with the adoption papers.:UK:
 

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Based on your description of the incident you burst one of the three major hoses coming off the water pump, the one under the intake manifold. You lost a bunch of fluid, then you "refilled with water" and drove the car gently!

You did not mention fixing the hose(no small task) so that tells me that the car had no antifreeze circulating as it would just get pumped overboard.

Then you noticed the oil temp spiking and "smoking oil appeared"!!!!!!

WHERE??.

That tells me that the oil was way hot and unfortunately the boiling point of oil is way higher than that of water.

It is actually more important to watch your oil temp than your water temp.
All those old Porsche 911s are oil cooled motors.

So it is clear that you had a major overheat event.

The procedure to determine damage would start with the innards. Can the motor be turned freely by hand, if so then check compression, only then would you begin to change belts, vacuum pumps and the like. Your mechanic is doing it backwards.

As to the description of your engine firing but refusing to crank. Not sure what you mean.
Most use the word 'crank' to describe what the starter does. You then get a cylinder to fire, but the engine won't "turn over". That is the term describing the engine continuing to rotate(run) on its own.

Let us know what the compression shows.

We are in Florida which is not crazy far. We have extra engines, cars and repair facilities. So if it gets to that point let us know if you need a hand. You already spent $3000, that isn't too far from a rebuilt motor, or a car swap.

Randy
 

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I suspect the mechanic got the cam timing wrong when he changed the timing belt and pulley.

It only has to be out one tooth and it wont run worth a damn.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks, Wayne. I can't say what has happened, but he didn't get to the compression test yet-says he will do it the first thing tomorrow. The car cranked and ran well every time I tried to crank it BEFORE the repair tear-down, so I'm thinking the head gasket may not be damaged after all-but won't know till comp. check. The timing looked to be exactly correct, at TDC on the crank and the sprocket dots are correctly aligned. It must be something simple-unless the head gasket is bad. We'll see....
 

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Often, but not always, a bad head gasket will make a greenish mayonnaise form under your oil cap. Sometime on the dip stick, but this is not a good test as simply being n the cold air can produce this on the dip stick...

Cameron
 

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Discussion Starter #17
It's all in the dots....

I believe I-the nonmechanic - might have solved the riddle. Because of all of the above, I suspected a simple solution. Here, I believe, it IS:

The dots on the sprockets tell the tale. The intake cam must have a RED (110 degree) dot, the Exhaust must have a blue (100 degree) (U.S.) dot or a Green (104 degree)(European) dot. But, I believe my mechanic took the GREEN dotted sprocket off the oil pump and put it on the INTAKE cam instead of putting it on the exhaust cam. So, the dots are blue and green, not red (I) and green(E). He has the blue 104 degree sprocket where the 110 degree intake sprocket should be, making it 6 degrees off, and the 100 degree sprocket where the 104 degree cam should be, making it 4 more degrees off, or a total of 10 degrees off; hence, no firing. The 100 degree blue dot sprocket should be on the oil pump where the dot makes no difference.
Is this the likely cause of my problems (assuming, arguendo, that the head gasket is not blown)? I have instructed the mechanic to double-check the colors of the sprockets to make damn sure.
What say you mechanics?
 

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I believe I-the nonmechanic - might have solved the riddle. Because of all of the above, I suspected a simple solution. Here, I believe, it IS:

The dots on the sprockets tell the tale. The intake cam must have a RED (110 degree) dot, the Exhaust must have a blue (100 degree) (U.S.) dot or a Green (104 degree)(European) dot. But, I believe my mechanic took the GREEN dotted sprocket off the oil pump and put it on the INTAKE cam instead of putting it on the exhaust cam. So, the dots are blue and green, not red (I) and green(E). He has the blue 104 degree sprocket where the 110 degree intake sprocket should be, making it 6 degrees off, and the 100 degree sprocket where the 104 degree cam should be, making it 4 more degrees off, or a total of 10 degrees off; hence, no firing. The 100 degree blue dot sprocket should be on the oil pump where the dot makes no difference.
Is this the likely cause of my problems (assuming, arguendo, that the head gasket is not blown)? I have instructed the mechanic to double-check the colors of the sprockets to make damn sure.
What say you mechanics?
Remember that the dots and the I / E are actually to be viewed from the FRONT of the engine, so it's reversed when you stand at the rear and check the timing alignment.
 

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Regie, if you say that the car cranked and ran AFTER the overheat event, but before any repairs, then that does change the story quite a bit. That WOULD point to something getting screwed up on the repairs.
The compression test still needs to be done as these motors will run with a bad cylinder, and you still need to be looking for gasket leaks.

As to the sprockets, most people put the green pulley on the intake, and leave the exhaust alone unless they buy a green dot and put them on both. But the green will work on either.

Your description of the sprockets is confusing. The color determines the degrees. There is an IN and an EX on both sides of the pulley. So depending on which side you are mounting to tells you which way to flip the pulley. So it is possible the pulley is flipped or that you are aligning the dots from the wrong side.

Randy
 
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