Ian's first foray into Lotus ownership - AHJ

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Re: Ian's first foray into Lotus ownership - AHJ

Postby HJ2 » Wed 30.07.2014, 08:42

Good job so far!
It's going to run better than new :-)

One word of advice: be careful with using flammable liquids in an ultrasonic cleaner! Use only a small amount in a glass container that you put in the regulary cleaning fluid (water based) (obviously without mixing them :bonk: )

I have good results on the water based fluid. My BMW injectors came out nicely. Since my cleaner heats to 50 deg. celsius, give them a blow with compressed air when they get out, they will be almost instantly dry.

2 days ago i cleaned my old Elan ones. Perhaps somewhere next week i can post the results as i will be using them on another friends car for troubleshooting :-D
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Re: Ian's first foray into Lotus ownership - AHJ

Postby Ian T » Sun 10.08.2014, 00:53

Busy week this week, but I have spent some time on the Elan and while waiting for the injectors to arrive from Rock Auto, thought I'd have a go at some less important jobs.

Fuel filter replaced (in advance of the new injectors, to assure clean fuel when they go in... The pile of paper I got with the car suggested the fuel filter had been replaced recently, but when I got the hatch open to see it, I think not...
fuelfilter1.jpg
A recent filter? I think not...

fuelfilter3.jpg
Wonder if it is original to the car - don't often see AC branded stuff and this is a different can to the replacement

And look what came out of the filter with the fuel - similar material to what was in the old injectors before I cleaned them out. Yuk!
fuelfilter4.jpg
This is the fuel that came out of the filter as I removed it... The inner cartridge felt loose and rattled

New filter fitted and hatch about to go back on. I took the opportunity to clean out the hood stowage well and got rid of 24 years worth of dust, debris and after-market cabling for CD players etc.
fuelfilter2.jpg
That's better - at least I know the new injectors will see clean fuel.


Next I had a quick go at the hood as it looks scruffy with the bottom lip sticking up unevenly around the back. I pulled the offending bits back and used EVO-STIK contact adhesive as per the excellent wiki. I may go back and do it again later as I only did the bits that had peeled and while it looks lots better, I could have had it right by doing the lot in one go.
hood2.jpg
Canvas peeling up under the lip fails to keep it in tension, so it sticks up

hood3.jpg
More scruff

hood5.jpg
The culprit - or one of them...

hood4.jpg
The solution (at least for now)

hood7.jpg
Looking better

hood8.jpg
Much better, but not perfect
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Re: Ian's first foray into Lotus ownership - AHJ

Postby Ian T » Sun 10.08.2014, 01:00

When the car came to me, it had a loosely fitted Panasonic radio/CD player, so I resolved to at least sort out the fit of it and discovered why it was flapping around in the dash. The dash is built in layers, in order from surface to back (at the radio position) there is the vinyl top skin, then a compressed fibre layer and behind that a steel sheet that provides some stiffness around the radio aperture and goes up around the top vents as well. The steel plate had become detached from the back of the dash and consequently the radio aperture was a bit damaged from trying to support a heavy radio without the steel stiffener plate.
dash2.jpg
Dash without stiffener plate isn't strong enough to hold a radio

dash1.jpg
This side was much worse - no support at all, just the vinyl skin really


Out it all came, I cleaned off all the old glue from the stiffener plate and then masked up the radio and vent holes so that I wouldn't get glue all over them during the difficult bit - putting contact adhesive on the plate was easy of course, but getting it all around the radio and vent holes and along the length of the stepped bit of dash between them was a challenge. In the end I used an Allen key as a right-angled spatula to encourage the glue along the mating surfaces, which worked quite well. Putting the stiffener plate back in wasn't too difficult but it only will rotate round from one orientation as it goes through the hole, so rehearse this before gluing, because as soon as the two bits of glue see each other it's love at first sight and they won't be parted. ;)
I'm quite happy with this as a fix, the dash is a bit ropey really and will need a lot of TLC (or a better replacement). With the Panasonic radio out, I remembered I failed to sell one I bought for a previous car and kept when the car was sold - so now the Lotus has DAB and Bluetooth / USB etc. The radio mounting now inspires a bit of confidence and I've just got to find a spot for the phone microphone (doubt I will actually use it, but might as well fit it) and get and wire in a DAB/FM combiner (or dash aerial) before I push the radio all the way back in. A previous owner seems to have gone round the car trying to use up the remaining Sikaflex in a tube after fixing something, as there are bits of it all over - the vents were held in with it for example. It peeled off easily enough and they are back in the dash with just 'Lotus good luck' (no glue).
dash3.jpg
Masked up to keep glue off the front

dash5.jpg
Stiffener plate, straightened up and glue applied

dash6.jpg
All done, bound up with PVC tape under tension to keep it together until the glue completely cures


Next I had a go at the radio aerial, I will have to look and see if I have a 'before' photo, but what was there was a conventional looking base with a broken screw-in mast covered in black Gaffa tape. The offensive tape peeled off showed the mast itself was probably aftermarket, but the base looks original and I remember reading on here that the standard mast thread is different to the modern ones. Mine isn't any more. Looking at the base, there is a brass centre, drilled and tapped to something like M3 or M4 - mine was manky and had glue in it, so I drilled it out to 4mm and then used a M5x0.8 tap to put a thread into it so that it now accepts a standard, ubiquitous and cheap Vauxhall mast. It screws on just fine and looks tidy - a couple of photos here in case the base is indeed original and anyone else wants to replicate this.
aerial2.jpg
Aerial base - is this original to the car? Drilled out, it now accepts a standard Vauxhall mast (M5x0.8 thread)

aerial1.jpg
Vauxhall (Astra H) mast fitted, as that's what I had lying about after upgrading that car to DAB


Oh, and a parcel arrived...
injectors1.jpg
Injectors from RockAuto - 4 for me, 4 for maz-r


That's enough for now - I will carry on typing tomorrow...
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Re: Ian's first foray into Lotus ownership - AHJ

Postby Jamie N » Sun 10.08.2014, 09:35

Some good work going on there Ian!, did you get much fuel spillage when changing the filter?.
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Re: Ian's first foray into Lotus ownership - AHJ

Postby Ian T » Sun 10.08.2014, 09:50

A bit, but fortunately where it goes doesn't seem to have much consequence, you will see a rag in the 'done' picture that was there to collect any fuel that fell out as I withdrew the filter from its hole. Also quite a bit fell behind there and presumably over the chassis before reaching the ground. All despite running the car until it died and then restarting it several times with the deceleration fuel cutoff switch disabled.

Pouring with rain here today, so I'm glad I got the smelly bits done last night as we might get some cleaner jobs done in the garage today instead. Probably more opportunities to donate blood, lucky it is red. ;)

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Re: Ian's first foray into Lotus ownership - AHJ

Postby Jamie N » Sun 10.08.2014, 10:40

Pouring here as well, yeah you will be donating even more blood when you start making those seals Ian, along with some sweat and tears :D .
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Re: Ian's first foray into Lotus ownership - AHJ

Postby Ian T » Sun 10.08.2014, 11:51

So... The list adds another item, the headlamps don't seem to work reliably. Reading up on here, i wiggled the wires and now they do, or did for a while. Looks like I will need to have the module to bits and inspect it for dry joints as the connections themselves look to be in great condition.

I'll add a Wanted post in a bit as I need the little striker loop and bracket that is used to hold the glovebox closed. I'd have a whole glovebox as well since at some point a previous owner lost the striker and then resorted to putting a couple of screws through the lid instead, resulting in a poor fit and obvious damage, although I think that if no spares come up I can make the bracket and loop and repair my glovebox acceptably for now.

I have also fitted the new injectors, which are slightly different in appearance to the stock ones, starting is better but not right and I haven't had chance to test drive the car to see what other differences there are. Suspecting coil pack as the prime cause now but will do some tests first to be sure as it is an expensive part to buy without being fairly sure. I think the tests I need to do are to measure volts between the earth and battery earth with the engine running, then strip it all down and check for poor connections, contamination etc. I'm not sure how I can test for breakdown in the secondaries, nor how to verify the the switching pack is functioning correctly. For reference, the reason I suspect this is because the car appears to initially run on two cylinders on startup, more pronounced since the injector change, before settling down to run on all 4. There is now some occasional misfiring at idle while cold, but as it is pretty rare, I can't easily replicate it as to confirm it using the 'pull spark plug' test. Thinking about it more, perhaps I can make it more repeatable would be to adjust the mixture richer so that presumably it will hold off the spark more and result in a rhythmic misfire.

With (I think) complete confidence that the fuel system is now working properly, compression is good, that really leaves spark and timing as the obvious culprits. Base timing was checked and was correct, so am I safe to rule out CAS assembly and timing from the list?

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Re: Ian's first foray into Lotus ownership - AHJ

Postby Ian T » Mon 11.08.2014, 19:51

Another day, another scan log. :)

here: http://www.abs-zero.com/lotus/20140811_ ... ectors.ecu

Changed since last time - lots I suppose, mostly:

New injectors are fitted
New thermostat fitted (88 degree onen- I'm aware that the OE temperature was 82C)
Idle bleed screw adjusted to 0.75 turns out from fully-in (following Service Mode adjustment of revs to 950rpm)

I can see that the new thermostat is functioning correctly. It didn't have the jiggle valve, so I drilled a 2mm hole to allow some minor coolant bleed past the stat and the behaviour of the warmup curve looks to be sensible (i.e. enough flow got past to register).

I also did a spark test oif sorts and will post the YouTube link to a brief video I took of probably the second best result of the lot, I am tempted to suggest I also had a weak spark condition as well as the injectors failing to close properly, the injectors perhaps being only part of the problem.

It still smells rich, with more water vapour than before and I'd say that no3 spark was slightly stronger than the others, possibly linking up well with the previous findings of a cleaner plug on no3 after a good run.

I need to understand better the difference between a weak and a good spark, as I've seen written descriptions but not really any good pictorial ones, I'll Google again I guess. I'd say that the maximum distance that my sparks would jump was approx. 10mm to 17mm depending which plug I tried. There isn't any obvious evidence of lead breakdown and the leads were new less than two years ago IIRC, and seem to be of OE quality, supple silicone types.

Comments and advice very welcome as always. :)

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Re: Ian's first foray into Lotus ownership - AHJ

Postby Ian T » Mon 11.08.2014, 19:59

And the youtube link - as per my comments in the video, I'm not convinced my test is scientific enough, but welcome comments or suggestions as to how to improve it.

http://youtu.be/YXejeDPpI_s

The brighter sparks between the plug body and throttle cable mount were yellowish while fairly close (is that down to the metals involved?) and blue when getting to the extremes of their leap length. With the plug body well grounded, the spark seen between electrode and ground return arm were generally blueish with occasional brighter white ones. For info, I had just used some P1000 wet and dry paper on electrode and arm to ensure they were both free of any previous fouling.

Cheers,

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Re: Ian's first foray into Lotus ownership - AHJ

Postby Ian T » Thu 14.08.2014, 23:58

Excuses, excuses... ;)

Perhaps I should explain: Well, this car purchase definitely deserves a bit thank you... from the gaps in my test equipment / tool collection!

Today I took delivery of some more bits, namely a replacement for the faulty Gunson Gastester and a new spark tester made by Laser, which will vastly improve the quality and control of my spark test evaluations by providing a better connection to ground and (safer) control of the spark length. And did I say ‘Safer’? Last time I did manage to give myself a couple of shocks, and that was with me being ‘careful’.
New_toys.jpg
New toys... :)


No point really in testing the exhaust gas at the moment as I can smell the results (full of hydrocarbons, probably no oxygen), but as soon as I have found the rogue fault, I can proceed neatly through to getting the idle mixture set correctly and should ‘suddenly’ have a very healthy motor.

One of my neighbours works in the car trade and is extremely unsympathetic to me working on my cars at home, particularly if he can hear it. Effectively he would like to ‘ban’ use of things like compressors, grinders, hammers and anything to do with paint. Even an idling engine is a problem now so I can’t do much after leaving work without upsetting him. The irony is the chap the other side is, like me, a petrolhead and comes out to join in / lend a hand / have a natter.

The other things that arrived today were the components to make my alarm for this car - I have considered going down the Cat1 route, having just removed one from the car, but after considering simply fitting another similar alarm with a constrained function set, or a poor aftermarket one with inconcievably basic defeat options, I leave myself once again feeling the best way forward is to build a combined alarm and immobiliser to a higher spec and use that.

A few of the components are shown below; I used to be keen enough to lay out and make my own printed circuit boards, but I have to confess that with the cheap cost of perfectly usable, ready made modules, project boards etc available now, it is something of a no-brainer to use those and simply avoid the effort. The relays used are in pairs deliberately - that has more to do with the design I've come up with, which I guess would not be sensible to publish in detail on here. My insurer doesn't offer much discount for a Cat1 system on classic insurance and I know that what I am fitting will be at least as secure as a modern OEM system, plus give me some flexibility about how it works, how the immobiliser operates and how the remote controls behave.
Alarm_components.jpg
Some of the alarm components.

More alarm components.jpg
More alarm components hooked up for testing and programming indoors.

New_ignition_keys.jpg
New ignition keys - just need cutting.


The bit I wanted out of this was an integrated key and remote, so I shall be using the common Vauxhall setup, slightly modified to drive the Lotus central locking. Many will realise that the key profile for the ignition lock is a standard Astra type (careful as there are two profiles) and that allows the use of the standard remote and receiver modules, which are inherently of good quality and secure from the perspective of having the anti-grab rolling code 'encryption' used by modern security systems.

The broken mirror bits I need are shown below - I have put up a thread in the Wanted area and it looks like I might have found sources of the bits I need, which is an appreciated step closer to a more complete and less-bodged car.
2014-07-31 22.23.18 (Small).jpg
Mirror pin and pivot piece - I need 4 pins and both pivots. :(


As for plans for this weekend, perhaps I will have time to do some more fault tracing, but I also need to spend a bit of time cleaning the outside and making it passably tidy for this weekend's trip to Brands Hatch for the Lotus Festival. Still can't quite believe that we have free tickets courtesy of the lovely people at LOTRDC and the prospect of driving a parade lap around the track behind the pace car.

More shortly, as there is more to say on the much more important diagnosis front. :)

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Re: Ian's first foray into Lotus ownership - AHJ

Postby Ian T » Sat 16.08.2014, 22:18

OK, I said I'd post up a bit more on diagnosis, so here it comes...

Given I now have confidence in the fuel system, base timing and compression, there isn't much more to be wrong than either spark or the inlet manifold leaking, so here goes the theory:

Starting up with the throttle closed, it cranks for ages, then runs on 1-2 cylinders for a short while before running on 3-4. Left idling it seems to drop a cylinder every now and then, but as it is intermittent it isn't identifiable by pulling an injector plug off. Starting in 'clear flood' mode is much quicker (weaker mixture) and while it still seems to start on 2 it is quick to get to 4, still dropping one every now and then as it idles.

It doesn't seem to miss a beat while accelerating though, and never while the turbo is providing boost.

Obviously it is still running rich while idling, but I'm not convinced the mixture is wrong while accelerating (I could do with a wideband lambda gauge really to find out). The problem seems to be at idle and while starting.

Spark - I guess it could be weak on two cylinders. Hopefully I should be able to run that to ground tomorrow as Geoff is bringing his spare coil pack with him and I can find out by substitution whether that will improve things.

Inlet tract - The more I think about this the more I expect to find a leak in the bottom of the gasket on either the inlet plenum to inector carrier, or between that and the head. I need to rule out the spark first and then order up the gaskets so I can have the plenum off. If anyone has already done it, are there any hints as to what needs to come off before undoing the plenum bolts, and what will stay attached and come away with it? My theory is that if there is a leak, air will be drawn pretty much directly into cylinder no 3, while the air coming through the IACV and bypass will be shared 4 ways, effectively cylinder 3 will run much leaner and the others will be markedly richer. It would only be really apparent at idle and while decelerating as the throttle butterfly is closed and the symptoms should (again, in my small brain) go away completely while the engine is enjoying some boosy, as the air leak will be out of, rather than into the inlet. Remember my idle bypass screw adjustment is half what seems to be the correct value on other people's cars.

I bought an inspection camera that I have been wanting for a long time, hopefully I might be able to find a way to confirm a leak in the inlet.

I have spent a little while today putting bits of trim back together and making some attempt at cleaning the car so it doesn't embarrass the club too much tomorrow. Some parts I can't do much about (seals are awful and wheels look to have been refurbished by Stevie Wonder while short of paint), but it is at least clean and will show those attending that I have some work to do... ;)

A couple of gratuitous photos..

20140816_firstwash1.jpg
AHJ - washed

20140816_firstwash2.jpg
AHJ - clean enough?

20140816_firstwash3.jpg
AHJ - roof - How do I strip off whatever proofer that is before putting Renovo on?


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Re: Ian's first foray into Lotus ownership - AHJ

Postby Ian T » Sat 16.08.2014, 22:29

Small things eh?

Seals have to be much higher up my repair list after today's dalliance with only a little water. I am sure that many other M100 owners with rotten seals will know what I mean when I say that the amount of water that got into the car was pretty distressing really. Of course I minimised it by pressing against the side window glass while any water went past it, but it would be a real shame to leave this car outside in the rain as it is.

I have read a lot about hood adjustment, pretty much all of it saying 'don't touch' or 'leave it to the professionals'. I couldn't leave mine alone today as I was struggling to close it. It was essentially closing too far over to the passenger side, meaning that I had to pull it sideways into position before attempting to lock the latches. A bit of inspection showed that the drivers side hinge point above the middle of the side window drooped down as though the B pillar was leaning too far forward, so I had a go at some adjustment and have improved it a lot. I didn't attempt to finish it today, but the main thing I did was adjust the 10mm (limit adjusting) bolt seen through the well above the battery. The roof now closes pretty centrally and provided the windows or doors are open, it is a straightforward job to open and close it.

I can take photos if they would help anyone.

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Re: Ian's first foray into Lotus ownership - AHJ

Postby GeoffSmith » Sun 17.08.2014, 00:23

Catching up with your thread Ian - your last scan looks decent except the spark advance has quite a wide range compared to the only one I have on this laptop, so it may be an SE/S2 closed loop feature.

If you read this before you set out to Brands, could you bring an Avo/DMM along tomorrow?
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Re: Ian's first foray into Lotus ownership - AHJ

Postby Ian T » Sun 17.08.2014, 00:36

Already got two in the boot. :)

One will do 'scope functions of a sort. Also have a timing light and a few tools, just in case anyone has any good ideas. ;)

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Re: Ian's first foray into Lotus ownership - AHJ

Postby cliff » Sun 07.09.2014, 23:51

Ian, you are doing a great job so far. Mine was a cheap ebay buy, never even driven an Elan before, it has been quite a learning curve.

I have been lucky that my engine has been running well but my hood has separated exactly where yours did. It's not leaking but tends to flare out a bit at speed (autobahn speed :D ) Time for some glue.

One thing I found with my windows during some torrential rain was that a stationary leak could be cured by moving the window up or down a bit. Once on the move it would have to be tweaked again..

Very interesting about the fuel filter, I was about to change mine but saw the state of the unions and as I had to make a ferry the next day, decided against it.

Like the alarm idea as well. I had mine fitted "professionally" but having spent a lot of time replacing solder joints and tape (why?) with aviation grade inline splices and heatshrink and rewired the total bodge that was the boot alarm, I wonder why I bothered! I also removed the Lotus alarm (an amazingly well designed plug and play system) plus some other alarm immobiliser wiring. There are a lot of cowboys who call themselves car electricians, most of whom I wouldn't trust to wire a plug.

I replaced my antenna recently. There is a connector near the battery and I used the original 12v supply to the powered antenna.

P6200790.jpg


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Re: Ian's first foray into Lotus ownership - AHJ

Postby Ian T » Mon 08.09.2014, 00:30

Thanks Cliff, I've been a little quiet as work has been getting in the way, that time of year.

I did take it out to Westerham last Sunday to meet with one of the Vauxhall clubs I'm a member of (took the Lotus to give it a test really).

I cut my fuel filter in half yesterday and can confirm that it was completely non-functional, I thought it odd that there was a mass inside it that rattled when the filter was shaken. After cutting it in half I saw why - the end of the internal filter is supposed to be glued to the outlet union and mine had become detached. That basically means that fuel was bypassing it (passing around the outside of the filter and then straight into the outlet pipe). If yours is overdue a change, don't delay. Mine wasn't hard to get at and the unions were fine - easy to remove as they are low torque fittings.

As to my diagnosis, I have now ruled out the ignition coils / driver from being the cause of my poor starting issues, thanks to Geoff loaning me his spare set. I just need to drop in on him next time I'm over in Bristol with work to return it. ;)

My no3 plug lead and the post on the coil pack were both corroded. No idea why and they cleaned up easily enough, but with no change to running.

What's interesting (reading the engine management manual) is how the ignition system works. Below 800rpm the ignition timing is triggered directly from the ESC on the CAS, then control switches over to the engine ECU at higher revs. I can't help but wonder if that is part of my problem for starting, but can't see quite how to check it functionally.

My next line of examination (as posted earlier) remains the removal of the inlet system to see if there is a failure in the gaskets between the head and injector housing, or between that and the inlet plenum. I've been talking about it for long enough and not using the car as a consequence, so I really need to crack on and have it to bits to find out. I have the gaskets now, courtesy of SJS, whose super quick postage and reasonable price was appreciated.

In other news I have begun the task of replacing the seals, starting with the drivers A-pillar one. I suspect that many cars have failed the way mine did with the seal carrier rail becoming unsealed from the windscreen frame, letting water through without putting up much resistance. The fact that the seal itself was goosed on mine only made it worse. Now I have the delights of needing to refit my seal rail in a more useful position to get a good seal against the glass. The one I'm using is one of Jamie's folding lip seals - I am impressed with the seal and when I get some time to finish tinkering I should be able to finish fitting it and have no leaks in that particular part. The header seal is going to be more of a pain though! The A-pillar seals on my car are mainly a pain to do because previous owners have resorted to the black stuff (tiger seal / sikaflex) to help out, but unfortunately not got a seal and instead managed to effectively weld everything together with impossible-to-remove black gunk. It's time consuming but not as impossible as I'm making out. ;)

Brakes: Yes, I know that I need to think about this. Mine are for now serviceable but don't inspire much confidence, even compared to my Mk2 Astra, which shares the exact same discs as the Elan. The Delco calipers (the same type was fitted to early mk2 Astras) were poorly regarded on the Vauxhalls for long term reliability / condition and I suppose once rebuilt they might be fine. I have had a couple sieze the piston in the bore, which doesn't give poor brakes in terms of stopping the car, just brakes that don't release when you want to go again. I looked at the stand (forgot who it was now) selling brake kits at Brands but made my mind up to sort the engine first, then start on the rest.

I also worked out that I have enough pins left on the PIC I'm using for the alarm to add electric window nudging to do the automatic re-seating of the glass when opening and closing the doors. I know Geoff is working on something similar also. Also on hold until the engine works correctly as the Japanese man intended.

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Re: Ian's first foray into Lotus ownership - AHJ

Postby norman lovie » Mon 08.09.2014, 10:40

stick your hand over the plenum inlet - i.e. block off air supply when engine is running and see how it responds - if it dies quickly and evenly = good gasket, if it takes its time and splutters out = leak

maybe the valve that holds half the throttle plates closed on vacuum is not working/ leaking vacuum hose to it ?- no idea if your symptoms can be caused by this - but worth checking anyway since your delving into this area
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Re: Ian's first foray into Lotus ownership - AHJ

Postby Ian T » Mon 08.09.2014, 19:12

Hello Norman, thanks for the post, it does give a worthwhile (and easy!) way to justify the work to remove the inlet manifold. A variation on that I might have a go at would perhaps be to have the engine filing with the idle control solenoid at a predictable setting and then unplug it (so it can no longer be used by the ECU to compensate) before adjusting the bypass screw on the throttle body to slowly strangle the engine and see what happens. If the gasket has failed, I'd expect it should quickly develop a rhythmic misfire before finally dying out. I'd like to think I'd be able to hear the hiss of air being drawn in, but with a running engine this hasn't been the case so far.

An interesting point there might be that it will also force the spark control to switch to ESC control as the revs fall below 800rpm if I understand the engine management manual correctly.

Nice thinking, thanks again. :)

Ian.
Ex-happy owner of no 117, built 1st May 1990. :)
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Re: Ian's first foray into Lotus ownership - AHJ

Postby Ian T » Mon 04.05.2015, 00:44

I've replaced the inlet manifold gaskets, it's still a git to start, but I haven't revisited the throttle bleed screw setting, so it's possible it doesn't get enough starting air while cranking.

Instructions for removing the manifolds are here:

http://www.abs-zero.com/how-to-guides/h ... -manifold/
Ex-happy owner of no 117, built 1st May 1990. :)
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Re: Ian's first foray into Lotus ownership - AHJ

Postby Ian T » Sun 10.05.2015, 17:06

It doesn't look as though the inlet manifold had any effect, so I'm still looking for reasons why it isn't right.

I looked into the idle air jets and they all looked immaculately clean, so I didn't do any more, but I have to say I have two ongoing questions.

1) could 3 out of the 4 be blocked?
2) is the PCV valve (and rest of the breather system) operating correctly?
3) is there anywhere else I should be looking?

I've run it up at idle and checked the effects of removing the vacuum pipes one by one. While the revs only marginally increase for the ones at the back of the plenum, there are no leaks from each pipe (when disconnected and checked separately) and the engine doesn't falter or cough when I plug the connections at the plenum.

I did another elanscan run from cold at idle and spent some time looking at the injection pulse duration during cranking. As I now routinely start it in anti-flood mode, the throttle is wide open and the injection duration is huuuuge for the first couple of seconds of cranking, then it drops right down a little while before it starts. No wonder it stinks of fuel when starting.

I can't help but think it is simply due to an idle air fault as starting from stone cold when it has been left for a few days is nearly always instant. If it's been run in the last 24 hours it's a PITA.

I have removed the Positive Crankcase Ventilation valve (from the timing belt end of the cam cover. Blowing on the pipe end of it seals it shut easily, but sucking it's wide open and unobstructed. I don't think that's my recollection of how it should work - meaning I thought it should be closed while on boost (as it is), closed at idle (vacuum) and open in between those two conditions. Can anyone correct me?

Either way, I will replace it as SJS have them in stock - just hope I can also get the grommet as it's old and hard, and isn't going to give a good seal.

To recap, my idle bleed screw is still only 0.5 turns out from fully in, whereas the cars that are running properly seem to have it set to 1.5 turns out from fully in. Also, cylinder no3 seems to run lean at idle but fine when driven. All the power seems to be there, but at idle it's running really rich on the other three pots and smells like it too.

Is anyone else going through a similar diagnostic process? I posted a load of stuff into another members problem thread, but I don't know if it helped, or whether they have a different fault.

Another thing I'd like to do is get hold of the stock memcal data image, so I can download mine and compare it (I have an EPROM programmer etc). My firmware version is 9930, which I assume to be the updated version.

Suggestions welcome. :)

Ian.
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