Lotus M100 Not Starting

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Lotus M100 Not Starting

Postby MaccaMcB » Mon 16.11.2020, 22:48

Hi

I hope this is the right place to post this question as I am new to this forum.

I have a 1992 Elan SE Turbo which I brought back from France last month. It has not started in 10 years and needed a new fuel pump. I sourced this and fitted it last week and is working well. BUT....it won't start. I am getting a spark at the plugs but the engine is not firing. I put some petrol down the ports and it did start (although for a short time and stuttering)

It feels like fuel isn't getting to the ports - but any ideas? And is there an easy way of testing that fuel is getting to the injectors? I assume that I wouldn't have four injectors not working and the car turns over fine but there is just no sign of life. I haven't checked the fuel filter....but is that likely to stop the petrol flow to the engine?

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated

Cheers MaccaMcB
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Re: Lotus M100 Not Starting

Postby alan e » Tue 17.11.2020, 09:46

Welcome to LEC try removing a spark plug to see if there is any fuel on it after turning the engine over for some time when it won't start.
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Re: Lotus M100 Not Starting

Postby lotustonybassplayer » Tue 17.11.2020, 10:46

Can you hear the fuel pump load up when you first turn the key ? If not there is a fuel pump relay by the battery with a plunger this needs to be in up position normally. it is easily pushed down when say changing the battery I would check that first.
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Re: Lotus M100 Not Starting

Postby alan e » Tue 17.11.2020, 10:55

lotustonybassplayer wrote:Can you hear the fuel pump load up when you first turn the key ? If not there is a fuel pump relay by the battery with a plunger this needs to be in up position normally. it is easily pushed down when say changing the battery I would check that first.


Hi lotusbassplayer in he's post he did say that the pump is working well.
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Re: Lotus M100 Not Starting

Postby dapinky » Tue 17.11.2020, 11:12

If you suspect that fuel (or lack of) is the primary issue, then there are a set of steps worth taking in the right order.

Starting with the really simple bits, check that fuel is being pumped from the tank.

In order for this, there needs to be 12V at the pump.... so the things to check are:- fuse, relay, inertia switch and wiring. When you first turn the key to position 2 (light on dashboard) you should hear the fuel pump 'whirr' for a second or two before turning off - this is building up the pressure in the fuel rail. If you don't hear the 'whir', then the issue is almost certainly in the list above - simplest to check is the inertia switch next to the battery - ensure that the knob is pushed down. If that is fine, and so is the fuse (fuse #3 in the passenger footwell - 7.5A rating), then the relay is identical to the unused one next to it - so a quick swap over should show if that is the issue.

Assuming that you get to the point that the pump is priming, then the issue is likely to be in the engine bay..... quite likely as you say the new pump is working well.

Open the bonnet but don't start the engine - whilst sticking your head over the engine, get an assistant to turn the ignition on (but not start the car!) - you should hear each of the 4 injectors 'click' as they energise and de-energise as part of the ECU setting process, the click is simply the ball-bearing moving as the coil is energised.

If you don't hear all 4 (in sequence), then the issue is further into the wiring - if just one doesn't click, it is an injector stuck - and a tap with a small screwdriver may free it. Unlikely that just one is stuck though, as it should still run on 3 cylinders.

If it is a 'pair' not working, it could be the ECU signal - most likely an issue with the multi-pin plug just under the coolant header tank. (and the same if all 4 are not working.... but 2 plugs!).

In that case, try wiggling the wires to see if you can get the magic clicking sound. (If so, you will ideally undo and clean the connectors before too long!)

If you are getting all 4 'clicks' then there is either insufficient pressure in the fuel rail (seized fuel pressure regulator??) or mechanical blockage of the injectors.

You may need to remove the injectors and either clean or replace them.

All of the processes are described in the various manuals (except for listening for the click from the injectors!), which can be downloaded from the link at the top of each page just under the site header.... but you can only get the link if you are logged into the site, not as a visitor.
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Re: Lotus M100 Not Starting

Postby Fredjohn » Tue 17.11.2020, 11:36

Welcome to LEC, hope you get it going.Good tips from dapinky above. I'd need his analysis skills too if it were mine!

However a gentle warning. The cambelt should be changed every 5 years, so you take a bit of a risk trying to run it. Your call.

Also put your location in your profile. You may find one of us is close to you and could help.....covid permitting of course!
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Re: Lotus M100 Not Starting

Postby MaccaMcB » Tue 17.11.2020, 12:20

Hi all
Thank you so much for your quick replies. You have definitely given me some good things to try next.
I know the fuel pump is working (I installed a new one as the old one was U/S) as I can hear it and I also removed the fuel line from the top of the tank to make sure it was pumping fuel. But I'll check the injectors for clicking and try the other things listed.
I really appreciate your quick replies
Best Regards MaccaMcB
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