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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gents - NO worries. NO ranting or hissey fits :)

I was set to take my car out to the shop today for a few odds and ends and to fill her up with fuel for winter storage. I cranked her and she aint starting. Same exact symptoms as when my duma$$ left that fuel pump wire off except this time I CHECKED that wire and its fine :D

I checked a few obvious things, still no start. Crank, crank, crank. Certainly a no fuel condition, me thinks. I called my shop and he agrees that its very possibly thr pumps. He says they will go lots of times on that restart after they start acting up. Im lucky I got home....much longer of a trip and I may not have.

Here is the story:

On my last drive, I was on the highway cruising at about 65mph and 3K rpm. All had been well to that point after several previous drives. Out of nowhere, I felt the car "buck" and "stutter" for a second and then was normal again. Few more miles, few more random bucks and pops. Car never felt like it wanted to die but it DID feel for those few seconds during the bucking that it was fuel starved. I was able to get the car back home but even during idle when I sit there and let the turbo cool down, it was idling rougher than Esprits usually do. I had a feeling something was not right.

The ignition components on my car are in pretty good nic so thats probably not it although all that stuff is getting changed out this off season anyways.

My questions are:

1) Where do I get reasonably priced replacement fuel pumps if they exist? Im going to do both and they aint cheap! Ive looked at some cross reference sheets and sadly the Delco ones(part # ep386 for the primary pump) that they claim will work for my car will NOT work. Is it just JAE or SJ sportscars and suck it up? Thats OK.... but cheaper is better :)

2) Is verifying the pumps simply the same tests we did back when I had that wire issue? Just try and power them directly and if they wont turn on or the car still wont start when powered directly then we know its them, right?

3) Does my analysis and diagnosis make sense? It seems to - the data points to the pumps, me thinks.

The good news is that my mechanic is going to come over and do the fuel pumps here and a few other things too. Thats great - I just want to know if that all make sense.

Thanks....and Im employing a NO-RANT gaurantee so please reply in confidence. :nanner:
 

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2007 Lotus Exige S
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Sounds like you know how to test the fuel pumps, I would do that again. It could also be a filter issue or an issue somewhere in the delivery system. Not sure how easy it is to install a fuel pressure gauge inline to check that. I understand the desire to have it running prior to storing it for the winter, but if you plan on not driving it for months do you really need to install new fuel pumps before that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sounds like you know how to test the fuel pumps, I would do that again. It could also be a filter issue or an issue somewhere in the delivery system. Not sure how easy it is to install a fuel pressure gauge inline to check that. I understand the desire to have it running prior to storing it for the winter, but if you plan on not driving it for months do you really need to install new fuel pumps before that?
I know - why not just wait until spring but Ive never put her away unsorted before. Interestingly, replacing the fule filter was one of the things I was going to ahve the shop do today.

We'll figure it out, I just would like to find the pumps at a reasonable cost, if thats even possible.
 

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Fuel pumps always seem to cost more than I think they should, especially when universal inline pumps seem to have a reasonable price. I’ve installed non stock fitment fuel pumps on some of my prior cars, not exactly the simple and less expensive process I was hoping for.
 

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Just putting it out there that I've had a similar situation (with another car). I would be holding the gas pedal steady and all if a sudden it would feel like I had let off of the throttle. Then it would buck back and forth a bit.

Turned out to be one of the O2 sensors.

But as always, some proper testing is the best way to go before just swapping parts. Good luck and keep us posted!
 

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Do what we did when we first started on your car last time:

1. Take off the air box and spray some starting fluid into the mixture unit. If it fires up, it is a fuel problem.

2. If it is a fuel problem, hook one pump at a time directly to that spare battery you have. You'll be listening for the sound of the pump running.
 

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If a fuel pump is bad, good chance the failure is caused by rust in the tank. If so a new pump will fail quickly. When you remove the pumps for replacement, look inside with a lighted scope.
 

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If a fuel pump is bad, good chance the failure is caused by rust in the tank. If so a new pump will fail quickly. When you remove the pumps for replacement, look inside with a lighted scope.
The pumps on the 87 are external :)
 

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Mike,

Understood in the external pump, I did not know that, but still check for rust that could be sucked into the pump. Do the HCi cars have a filter ahead of the pump?
 

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Agreed on checking for tank rust. Down by the passenger side tank are the pumps, and the fuel accumulator. I do not believe that there is a pre-pump filter; just the post pump filter.
 

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Indeed one of the things I do not understand exactly is that the HCI cars have the fuel filter behind the pumps. So Tank --> pumps 1 --> pump 2 --> filter...

Anyways, simple test, although not conclusive, for rust in the pumps.

With the car running, listen to the pumps from various places with a stethoscope. You can get them at any auto parts store for $15ish. You should hear an whir, some mechanical noise, and a hum that alternates in frequency just a little.

If you hear a grinding sound or anything that sound "crunchy"... you got rust. And... if you hear it, it is prob accumulating in your filter.


Cameron
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Gents - probably going to chse spark now as the culprit. Heres why: The car only needs one fuel pump to start and run at low rpms. Just like my last problem, it is HIGHLY unlikely that both went at the same time. Of course, Ill check that they power up and all that but I aint diggin into the fuel system until we verify spark since spark is easier to verify and may make sense in this case.

There is a pesky wire that apparently breaks in the distributor and causes my symptoms. It also tends to go not immediately but with some prior bad behavior like my stutter and hiccup. Me/delomike/my mechanic will investigate. I wanted to replace a bunch of those parts anyways so they have to come off and be inspected.

Heres the path forward:

1) Check for basic spark with plug insert tester
2) If spark great then verify some fuel stuff.
3) If Spark not great or missing.... time to check distirbutor wire and other ignition stuff.

Ill let ya know. Its gonna be a busy winter... :)
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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Mike,

Did you pull a spark plug as I suggested, before attempting another start???


Dry tip = fuel problem

Wet tip = spark problem




Post a pic of the sparkplug.

With your luck, the high-tension coil wire fell off the distributor cap!
 

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Jumper the pump at the relay sockets. Lie down and listen to pumps w/the stethoscope per advice above. If you find a "silent" pump, give it a whack with a plastic hammer, or brass hammer @check valve.

You should remove both pumps and bench test them. Thoroughly drain all fuel before applying power.
Healthy pump should be able to run smoothly forward and /or back on the bench. If you hear any grinding, power it "Backwards" (+ to - and - to +) pressure flushing it with kerosene, simultaneously.
Replace filter. Open the old one to see what crap tanks output. If red rust, perform dynamic flush of the tanks before putting everything back together. Pawn your kidney or start saving for the set of new alloy tanks, now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Mike,

Did you pull a spark plug as I suggested, before attempting another start???


Dry tip = fuel problem

Wet tip = spark problem




Post a pic of the sparkplug.

With your luck, the high-tension coil wire fell off the distributor cap!
Mike D is coming Wednesday and we are going to check that and do a spark test. Then, well go from there. Just been cold and havent felt like it. Tomorrow is going to be the warmest day of the week.

Jumper the pump at the relay sockets. Lie down and listen to pumps w/the stethoscope per advice above. If you find a "silent" pump, give it a whack with a plastic hammer, or brass hammer @check valve.

You should remove both pumps and bench test them. Thoroughly drain all fuel before applying power.
Healthy pump should be able to run smoothly forward and /or back on the bench. If you hear any grinding, power it "Backwards" (+ to - and - to +) pressure flushing it with kerosene, simultaneously.
Replace filter. Open the old one to see what crap tanks output. If red rust, perform dynamic flush of the tanks before putting everything back together. Pawn your kidney or start saving for the set of new alloy tanks, now.
Thank you for the info. If and when we get back to chasing a fuel issue, this will all be taken into consideration. :)
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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BUMP for the outcome...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
BUMP for the outcome...
Right - except we havent done anything yet ;)

Chickened out this weekend and last Wednesday didnt happen. Lack of motivation - even if it ends up being simple then we still have the issue of cold temps & crappy weather. I have to fill the fuel tanks too and will have to do that via 5-gallon cans since the car cant be driven. Its about half full now and I always stuff it full before storage.

Delomike and I have this wednesday or thursday set aside since its supposed to be high 50's low 60's on those days.

Just not sure that I want to plunge into the abyss of troubleshooting this late in the year. I know, its "probably" something simple but if its not... you've just started a possibly major project on a car in November and Im not that hardcore to be out in the garage when its 30 degrees. Plus, if you get it running and its 25 degrees and ssnowing....you cant test it anyways. Bleh.

IF me and Mike find its truly something simple then Ill sort it within the next week but if we get through the basic tests then Im going to see if my shop wants the car over the winter so they can "play" with it. I had a list for them anyways so they can take care of it over the winter if they are willing to store it there all winter that is. If they dont want to do that then she'll likely just sit until Spring and then Ill deal with the headache.

Just been a tough go of it the last month or so. Im still mentally recovering from the last session and dont knwo if I can handle another fiasco. rotfl

I will post results should we get any but if thread drops off the main page you know we threw in the towel and will revisit in 4 months ;)
 
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