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Discussion Starter #1
I got a 1998 Esprit V8 and I'm learning many things from this machine. I have a couple of problems:
  • When the car hits a bump or bounces a little, the engine cuts off, the engine light flashes as if there's a lose wire, and the engine sputters from the cut off. I think it may be the fuel pump shorting out.
  • The other issue is that the steering is so sensitive, that I literally grab the wheel as hard as I can ,because I feel that I may lose control of the car as speed increases. It "dances" all over the highway, as if the wind is pushing in all directions. I did the 4 wheel alignment, but the problem is still there.
Thanks for the input.
 

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How many Miles?

Sounds like a worn out component in the front suspension. Any decent alignment shop would check that before doing an alignment, but alas there are very few honest enough to send you away with sloppy worn parts and turn down the alignment money. Especially if they are un-sure if they can even get the parts for such a non standard car that they might be nervous about working on.

If you can carefully jack up and support the front of the car and grab each tire and shake side to side and top to bottom you can probably see what is sloppy. Tie rods (outer or inner) steering rack mounts, Ball joints and suspension bushings are areas to look at. Also top and bottom shock mounts
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Erik
The car has 34k miles, and the suspension on all 4 wheels has been upgraded to urethane with adjustable shocks. The previous owner did the alignment just a few weeks ago and I didn't believe him, so I took it to a tire franchise, and the driving feeling was the same. I'll jack it up and take a closer look. Cheers
 

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1988 Esprit Turbo
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Your 'dancing' issue might be what we call 'tramlining' here. IIRC different brands of tires exhibit this effect to various degrees.



There are also topics here about the need to change alignment parameters because of the urethane bushings, because they have a lot less 'give' than the original rubber ones. Bottom line there: as the suspension runs over the road, wheel deflection affects toe. The specs take this into account, but you don't get that with poly.

PS: Best to check for suspension 'slop' with the wheels on the ground, first. Sometimes having the control arms 'hanging' off the ground can mask loose components.

++++++++++

The engine cut on bumps MIGHT be the fuel pump (the wiring is under the carpeted panel by the right-side quarter window, easy enough to remove the panel and wiggle the wires while the engine is running), but ISTR issues with the engine knock sensor could be contributing. Best to start by seeing if that engine light set an OBDII code..

Post back.
 
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Check the date codes on your tires and the pressures. If the tires are over 7 years old they should be replaced. Inspect for any worn, loose, missing, or damaged parts in the suspension. Check the play in the front wheel bearings. Pull them and regrease them. Grease the front suspension. The engine "cutting out" can be anything. Try to figure out if it is fuel or spark to at least narrow down the system having the problems. Electrical problems are not uncommon but that can affect spark AND fuel systems. The car should feel solid to the road when driving it unless you are really going fast so something is very wrong.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The alignment is as follows:
L/F camber -0.6 , caster 1.8 , toe -0.11
R/F camber -0.4 , caster 3.7 , toe -0.10
Total toe front: -0.21 , steer ahead: -0.01

L/R camber -1.4 , toe 0.16
R/R camber -0.9 , toe -0.10
Total toe: 0.06

Tire pressure 34 psi all around, tires made in 2017, polyurethane bushings on 4 wheels,no play on wheels when car is on jack,nor any worn out parts (tie rods,etc.). You can turn the wheels easily with your hands when the car is on the jack. When on the highway,if the pavement is uneven, you can lose control of the car if driving fast. It feels exactly like when a train rides on uneven rail and shakes the wagon left and right. Any possibility that I can also have an issue with the steering rack?
 

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I guess you would of noticed slop in the steering wheel when sitting at a stand still with car running and turning the wheel back and forth?

Sounds like mounts that hold the rack to the chassis are letting the rack move back and forth a little. Are the bushings that hold the rack something that can be changed out with one of urethane kits? Maybe the bolts backed out after the PO changed them?
 

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From the manual the alignment specs for the V-8 are;
Camber -0.25"
Castor +3.2
Toe 1.5 mm out
Tire pressure 29 (more if you are going very fast)
Get the car properly aligned and lower your tire pressures. That should make it drive MUCH better.
David Teitelbaum
 

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I agree the tire presures are way too high. 29 is good. I prefer a little less in the rear, usually 27. The rear tires aren't going to last long anyway so losing a couple PSI in the interest of a good ride doesn't really matter.

The is caster way wrong on one front corner. Caster creates the force that brings the steering wheel back to center. The shop probably didn't change it because doing so requires shims. You might be able to move them front to back of the ball joint if the existing shim pack allows for it.

A proper alignment on an Esprit can take half a day or more because anything other than toe requires disassembly and ordering parts, often doing it multiple times with re-measuring to get it just right. You can't order the parts in advance because you don't know the alignment or existing shim measurement. The service manual spells it out. This isn't difficult but the tolerances are much smaller than you will see on most other vehicles so you need a shop that will be fussy about getting it right.

The shop can't leave your car on the rack for days waiting for a shim. The shims are easily made by a local machine shop at little cost. Its less expensive than setting up the rack and opening up the ball joints twice. I always planned on 4 to 6 hours for an Esprit we had not aligned before, especially if you have to change the rear toe.

I saw a car where a previous shop took a shortcut by removing one of the caster shims without inserting a match on the other end. That causes all kinds of havoc, don't let that happen!

Once aligned properly they tend to stay that way. One good thing about a system that requires a shim change is that unless there is damage the alignment doesn't change.

Sounds like you got a $99 alignment, and all they did was adjust the front toe. We don't do a lot of Esprit work for customers these days but when we did an alignment was purely by the hour. This is one thing you don't want done for a fixed price.
 
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