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Discussion Starter #1
First to fill everyone in on my adventures so far. When last I posted, I was debating selling the Esprit rather than shipping it to Portland Oregon with my move. Can you blame me? I drove the car a total of 4 days since last June and spent $6,000 or repairs.

Listening to my heart and not my wallet I decided to keep the car and ship it out west. After all it was running beautifully when I finally got it back from the shop.

It arrived, and... well you guessed it PROBLEMS. Internal so I can't blame the carrier. First the AC belt shredded (I had the compressor replaced last June ...the start of all my woes), and I figure since it wasn't a lotus shop they messed up the belt. No big deal.

The BIG deal is the thunk I now hear when I let off the gas fast. I thought it might be my clutch because I tend to release the gas when I push in the clutch, but in my diagnostics, I tried just removing my foot from the gas after a hard acceleration without pushing in the clutch and I got the same sound (less loud though). It happen at low speed and high speeds so I don't think its the turbo. It directly correlates to how fast the engine goes from getting gas, to not getting gas. Its a single thunk each time.

Any idea what it could be? Other than that it runs great, accelerates fine, turbo kicks in nicely, everything, except the thunk. If I am careful with letting off the gas slowly every time, there is no thunk.
Thanks
Rob
 

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Strange, have you checked the engine and gearbox mounts?

Can you feel it or just hear it in the cabin?
 

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How was it transported? Did you see how it was tied down ? First I would check the engine mounts, in particular the exhaust side. Have you been able to look underneath to see why the A/C belt failed? I believe you have to support the engine and remove the intake side engine mount and mount bracket to block in order to gain access to the A/C mounting frame, if anything there was left loose that would give you the thunk as the torque from the motor going from loaded to unloaded will rotate the whole assembly.
 

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Could be a suspension element - a bushing which is loose will cause a thunk when the suspension piece moves. I had an issue like this on my car when I had a polyurethane bushing which had prematurely failed. Take a look at all your bushing and see if there is any notable wear.
 

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Rob,
If you had the compressor work done then the A/C belt shredded and your getting a 'thunk' sounds to me something was left loose. Curious to know how the belt shredded, installation is pretty straight forward and simple.

Good thing it didn't get tangled up in your timing belt! Glad you decided to keep the car, they truly are very special. Please keep us informed to what is found.

Robert
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks all, thinking about it more it does sound like a mount issue. A " friend" had the AC repaired for me, long story but I would not be surprised if the place he took it to botched the job. Thus I'm not too concerned about the belt failing. Also I used the car for a few days before the belt went and at the time there was no thunks. I don't think it's a suspension element since the I specifically went over bumps to see if that caused the noise. It did not, the car was very smooth riding over them (well for an Esprit lol). I don't have any equipment at my new house yet so I'll take it to a shop and have them look at the mounts. I wanted to give them an idea where to look before I brought it in.
 

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+1 On the engine and trans mounts

If it's not the mounts, it'll likely be something that was left loose or came loose after the AC repair. I once had a vacuum pump come loose after I had the waterpump done many moons ago. That was interesting, especially with the brakes.

BTW, it bugs me that all this didn't happen until after it was transported. Was it a reputable company? Do you think that perhaps they drove the car? Hopefully not, but just a thought.

Roy
 

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If I remember you had your gas tanks pulled for repair a few months ago. I don't think PH pulls the engine to get at them but they probably loosened the engine/tranny mounts to wiggle the tanks out. So mounts are likely the problem. And glad to hear you decided to keep the car. Good luck. Ken
 

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I am so glad to see how supportive everyone is here. Great suggestions so far. Keep the car - you will get it figured out with the help here. And drive the damn thing...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
If I remember you had your gas tanks pulled for repair a few months ago. I don't think PH pulls the engine to get at them but they probably loosened the engine/tranny mounts to wiggle the tanks out. So mounts are likely the problem. And glad to hear you decided to keep the car. Good luck. Ken
Thanks, but the car drove fine on the way home from PH and a short trip I took after that. The problem did not start until after I got the car back from the transport company.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
BTW, it bugs me that all this didn't happen until after it was transported. Was it a reputable company? Do you think that perhaps they drove the car? Hopefully not, but just a thought.
Yeah it also bugs me that it happened RIGHT after they unloaded the car. I have no idea if it was a reputable company. I must have screened about a dozen companies and this one had the best reviews. I wish I noted the milage before I shipped it, but I didn't. However, even driving the car, I can't see how they could have wrecked the AC belt (it actually came off a short while after I had the car back as I was idling it in my driveway), or the engine mounts (if that is the problem).
Rob
 

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Could a poorly placed tie down strap have damaged (or persuaded a loose one from the AC repair) a motor mount? If they cranked on a strap in the wrong place and the car bounced in the truck/trailer the whole way, I could see this causing a mount to fail.

Just a thought. Doesn't help the repair but it's piece of mind.
 

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If the motor mounts were loosened for the tank R&R, but not fully tightened, they could be moving around now that you are driving the car again.

I'd check the hardware at the front motor mounts Just Because.

I've seen (and heard of) the three front motor mount bolts coming loose where they bolt onto the engine block. Make sure you check those too....
 

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As long as you are checking things there are some bolts that go through the plywood firewall that loosen up. Check all of the body bolts too. It could be a coincidence that you noticed the noise just after having the car transported. You will figure it out when you find the source and it is probably unrelated. Could also be a cracked motor (or transaxle) mount. See if there is a lot of play in the C/V joints. If they used the half-shafts to secure the car they may have messed them up.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks, I found a shop to take it to and it goes there tomorrow. I don't even have a jack here to lift the car yet (as my stuff does not get moved here until July).

The place also thinks it mounts, so we will see. I still find it awfully strange that I drive the car for about 50 miles, with no issue. Load it on a car transport, unload it (BTW, off a different transport!) and this noise appears... right away. I mean literally the first minute of driving it. I would have heard/noticed this noise before too. It's not like I didn't notice it before, you can't not notice it!
 

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IMHO the more than one transporter + clunk = NOT a coincidence
 

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One thing is for sure, the older I get, the more I have realized that when the appearance or timing of a new automotive symptom coincides with an event, they are more often than not, related in some way.

Regardless of the reason, wishing you good luck when you bring her in tomorrow. Most likely, the source of the thunk will be easy to pinpoint once they get her up on a lift. If not, then it could very well be that those firewall bolts have loosened up, although I am thinking it could more likely be a result of improperly routed tie-down straps.

Hopefully, it will be something simple and minor. :)

Roy
 

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Discussion Starter #20
So the issue is two-fold. First the engine mounting bolt by the AC compressor fell out and the belt somehow rested on the mount and shredded. No big deal. Obviously someone screwed up either in the AC replacement or the tank replacement. Since it was two different shops I have no idea who to blame.

The second issue is that the transmission brace was sheared off. Again I suspect it had something to do with the carrier, but it will be impossible to prove.

Anyone know where to get a new one (transmission brace)?
 
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