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Esprit turbo startup issues


kwandokun

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Hi all,

Tried starting the car today after it's been sitting for a while at another location due to covid. 

It's a new battery and I left the positive disconnected whilst the car was in storage.

Today I hooked up the battery to the CTEK and had it trickle charge - all good.

Connected the positive to the car, got a solid 13ish Volt. Cool.

But as soon as I turn the key to ignition, all power cuts out. As soon as I release the key back to position 2, power comes back on and voltage is steady.

What could I be dealing with here?

Could the battery have degraded during this time even though it wasn't hooked up? CTEK charger would indicate its healthy.

Bad battery terminals/earth issues? 

Any other recommendations for what to look for appreciated.

Cheers.

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38 minutes ago, semi42 said:

one was a crappy earth

other was a faulty ignition switch

That's the sort of thing I'd be looking for rather than suspecting the battery 😀

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Cheers,

John W

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Thanks guys. 

Re ignition switch, is there any sense in taking a look at it? Possible to repair? Or best just to replace?

For the bad earth, which one should I look at in particular? I'm assuming battery negative to ground?

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Don't know if this is it specifically, but there is a white wire with red trace that has a connector near the starter. (Look from above) That will prevent starting (but not with your specific symptom IIRC)

 

To test the earth, measure from engine block to battery negative.  Should be less than 0.5 ohm.

 

There is a ground braid on the RH engine mount, and a couple of earth wires (black) on the intake manifold, front & rear.  It is always Good Practice to loosen and tighten these every few years to help with connections.

 

Otherwise I'd go with the ignition switch. JAE or SJ Sportscars.

https://www.sjsportscars.com/parts-and-accessories.htm#searchresults

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Atwell Haines

'88 Esprit

Succasunna, NJ USA

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2 hours ago, CarBuff said:

Don't know if this is it specifically, but there is a white wire with red trace that has a connector near the starter. (Look from above) That will prevent starting (but not with your specific symptom IIRC)

 

To test the earth, measure from engine block to battery negative.  Should be less than 0.5 ohm.

 

There is a ground braid on the RH engine mount, and a couple of earth wires (black) on the intake manifold, front & rear.  It is always Good Practice to loosen and tighten these every few years to help with connections.

 

Otherwise I'd go with the ignition switch. JAE or SJ Sportscars.

https://www.sjsportscars.com/parts-and-accessories.htm#searchresults

Cheers Atwell, will check out these recommendations!

Took a video of the symptoms.

20221009_094721.mov

Looks like this is the ignition switch - https://www.sjsportscars.com/parts-and-accessories/SJ744.htm

Edited by kwandokun
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Sounds like a poor battery connection, I'd be looking at removing, cleaning & greasing the battery connections & the engine to chassis connections :thumbup:

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Cheers,

John W

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As jonwat says check battery first , any crud on the terminals will kill the connection ,

As well as the earth, also check that the main positive to the starter motor is secure, if it’s similar to my s2, there’s a lot of connectors feed off from there and can sometimes loosen.

 

 

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The loud 'click' in the video sounds like the starter solenoid. So it looks like it is trying to engage, but the starter motor wont turn. Multiple possible causes:

- bad earth or 12V connections, either at the battery or engine block (earth) / starter motor (12V)
- bad ignition switch or connection to the starter (white/red wire) not getting enough juice to the starter. I had that happen on both my Jaguar (bad switch) and Esprit (lose wiring). There is no starter relay on the 89 Turbo
- internal problem in the starter motor, not getting enough current to the motor windings
- engine seized (very unlikely, but not impossible)

Start with the easy checks, earth and 12V connections, then the white/red wire: you can use a lose wire to the starter motor spade terminal to try and bypass the ignition switch, just touch the battery positive and the starter motor should turn. Finally put the car in 5th and try to push it forward to turn the engine. But it's bound to be something far more simple. 😉

As an aside, it's better to disconnect the negative of the battery instead of the positive. You should always disconnect the negative first in any case. Both will have the same effect of opening all circuits, but as long as the negative is connected so is the engine and chassis. Not much of a risk on a plastic car, but I've seen sparks fly when someone accidentally touched a metal part while disconnecting the positive with negative still connected. He was unharmed but the spanner had good burn mark and some metal removed (spark erosion as used in electrical discharge machining)!

Filip

 

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I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.

 

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Thanks for posting the video.

 

What I'm seeing is a marginal battery (according to the dash gauge), less than 12V...but I know that our car reads 1.5V low.

 

Then when you try to start, the voltage is pulled down all the way to the red mark on the gauge (less than 8V).  To me this indicates a bad starter. So I agree with @Escape

3 hours ago, Escape said:

The loud 'click' in the video sounds like the starter solenoid. So it looks like it is trying to engage, but the starter motor wont turn.

There are replacement starters sold that are reduction-gear type...these draw less amperage than the direct type originally fitted.

Atwell Haines

'88 Esprit

Succasunna, NJ USA

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37 minutes ago, kwandokun said:

 

In going to try get a new battery as well just in case. This one has been in for a few years so may have lost CCA?

Check the electrolyte fluid. (Some batteries these days require removal of  a cover sticker...they call them Maintenance Free) 🙄  If the plates are above the electrolyte, you may need to replace.

 

If low, fill with distilled or de-mineralized water to the bottom of the tubes. Just cover the plates inside..

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Atwell Haines

'88 Esprit

Succasunna, NJ USA

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Starter could be jammed, engine could be jammed.  Easy to check the engine, just put it in (say) 3rd gear and try to move it a meter or so.  If you do the engine's not jammed.  Stuck starter sometimes responds to a gentle tap from a 16 thou adjuster (aka a hammer) but to check it really needs to come off which is a bit of a fag. 

To reduce load to the minimum you could remove the plugs and try the starter then - engine should spin, obviously wont fire.

Also...there's no immobiliser wired in is there??

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Loving Lionel and Eleanor......missing Charlie and Sonny

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7 hours ago, MPx said:

Also...there's no immobiliser wired in is there??

I did think about an immobiliser or similar. In the movie you clearly hear a loud click that sounds like the starter solenoid, so it seems it is getting some power, but not enough to spin the engine. An immobiliser would cut power completely.

I also considered sharing the advice about tapping the starter motor, but I never had good results with that. And it's just a way to get you home, not a permanent fix. Wont hurt to try I guess, especially in a car that has been sitting for a while.

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I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.

 

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I've tried giving the starter a few taps to no avail. Will try put power directly to it.

Before flooding the engine I did get the engine to turn over with a jump battery connected to the lead acid.

I don't have an immobiliser afaik Filip but that did cross my mind too.

I think considering I was able to get the engine turning over previously with extra juice would indicate to me that there's simply not enough amps to get things going now?

Thanks for all the tips guys. Will report back.

 

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That is something. As above though, a new/better battery can sometimes compensate for poor connections or a faulty starter motor, so do check all the wiring you can reach. If it is indeed the battery (a new one should come fully charged), every attempt to start should give less result than the previous one.

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I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.

 

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I'm still suspecting the starter motor, particularly as you heard the dreaded click.

I had a similar experience on my Evora and it turned out there was a parasitic drain from the starter taking all the juice from the old (and new) batteries 😕

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2 minutes ago, Escape said:

That is something. As above though, a new/better battery can sometimes compensate for poor connections or a faulty starter motor, so do check all the wiring you can reach. If it is indeed the battery (a new one should come fully charged), every attempt to start should give less result than the previous one.

The starter motor does look a bit crusty actually... 

I checked the power wiring going to the starter and the connections look ok on the starter side. I didn't get a chance to run a positive directly to check operation though. Will do that.

1 minute ago, Rambo said:

I'm still suspecting the starter motor, particularly as you heard the dreaded click.

I had a similar experience on my Evora and it turned out there was a parasitic drain from the starter taking all the juice from the old (and new) batteries 😕

Did you end up replacing the starter?

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On 09/10/2022 at 20:17, Escape said:

The loud 'click' in the video sounds like the starter solenoid. So it looks like it is trying to engage, but the starter motor wont turn. Multiple possible causes:

- bad earth or 12V connections, either at the battery or engine block (earth) / starter motor (12V)
- bad ignition switch or connection to the starter (white/red wire) not getting enough juice to the starter. I had that happen on both my Jaguar (bad switch) and Esprit (lose wiring). There is no starter relay on the 89 Turbo
- internal problem in the starter motor, not getting enough current to the motor windings
- engine seized (very unlikely, but not impossible)

Start with the easy checks, earth and 12V connections, then the white/red wire: you can use a lose wire to the starter motor spade terminal to try and bypass the ignition switch, just touch the battery positive and the starter motor should turn. Finally put the car in 5th and try to push it forward to turn the engine. But it's bound to be something far more simple. 😉

As an aside, it's better to disconnect the negative of the battery instead of the positive. You should always disconnect the negative first in any case. Both will have the same effect of opening all circuits, but as long as the negative is connected so is the engine and chassis. Not much of a risk on a plastic car, but I've seen sparks fly when someone accidentally touched a metal part while disconnecting the positive with negative still connected. He was unharmed but the spanner had good burn mark and some metal removed (spark erosion as used in electrical discharge machining)!

Filip

 

Filip is this the spade terminal on the starter I should touch to positive on battery to see if it turns?

Because I did and got nothing. Does this mean the starter is bad?

Red/white connections to it look like they're connected correctly. 

 

20221016_132627.jpg

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I can't really relate to the picture, but it's the spade terminal where the white/red wire goes. Modern starters typically only have one spade, older ones often have a second to bypass the ballast resistor to the coil or to start the start up enrichment on older injection systems.

If you put 12V to the spade for the white/red wire, the starter should turn over. 12V supply to the starter, the big cable in the picture, needs to be connected as well. And you need to make sure the bypass your making has good connections, the solenoid can draw a decent amount of current so you want a reasonably thick wire (like the white/red one) with a properly crimped female connector and put it firmly to the positive battery post.

If you were closer, I'd love to come over and help you out. I kinda like looking for electrical gremlins like this, especially if it's not on my own car. 😉

I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.

 

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23 minutes ago, Escape said:

I can't really relate to the picture, but it's the spade terminal where the white/red wire goes. Modern starters typically only have one spade, older ones often have a second to bypass the ballast resistor to the coil or to start the start up enrichment on older injection systems.

If you put 12V to the spade for the white/red wire, the starter should turn over. 12V supply to the starter, the big cable in the picture, needs to be connected as well. And you need to make sure the bypass your making has good connections, the solenoid can draw a decent amount of current so you want a reasonably thick wire (like the white/red one) with a properly crimped female connector and put it firmly to the positive battery post.

If you were closer, I'd love to come over and help you out. I kinda like looking for electrical gremlins like this, especially if it's not on my own car. 😉

Ah that's the spade terminal from the thick red 12V.

I couldn't see the spade from the red/white wire. Hard to see anything down there actually. Will give it another look. 

Have thick 400amp rated jump cables which should do the trick. 

Haha I wish you were closer too. Don't seem to be getting anywhere myself. 

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