Lotus Elan

My car hates me!

PostPost by: adigra » Tue Sep 23, 2014 5:10 pm

After all of the pains with the Elan the past couple of years, it seems to finally be pretty sorted. After setting it up at the rolling road last week, it felt better than ever. I thought to go for a drive today, pushed it out of the garage, turned the battery on, cranked it, and... a few weak cranks and nothing. My battery loses charge even while sitting disconnected, which I've been aware of, but this is the shortest time it's taken it to go. Time for a new one.

While I was messing around with jump leads I noticed a small puddle of oil on the floor where the car was parked... the cam cover is leaking towards the back, time for a new gasket.

I set off, and it starts to rain, I turn on the wipers and... the bloody driver's side wiper is missing! I retraced my steps thinking it flicked off when I turned it on, but no luck. Time for a new one.

I picked up my wife in the car and told her about all of this. It started raining again and got dark, so I popped the lights up, turned them on, and the F-ing nearside one burned out! The full beam works, but the dipped doesn't. Yes, time for a new light.

As we drove back home all we could do is laugh. :cry: :lol:
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PostPost by: pharriso » Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:05 pm

Sounds like the Lucas gods have turned against you :lol:

At least you don't have to pull the engine out again!
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PostPost by: adigra » Tue Sep 23, 2014 8:26 pm

Oh god, I know!

When I saw the oil I had a moment of dark thought, but my first guess was correct as I knew the gasket fitted to the cam cover the last time didn't seem to fit 100% properly.

Now I need to figure out if the headlight is the bulb, or something else. When I first switched it on, the full beam worked, but not the dipped, but after I tested it again earlier, the whole thing was out. I wonder if it could be the switch or the wiring.
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PostPost by: au-yt » Wed Sep 24, 2014 6:18 am

The workshop manual has some good tips on what causes what to not work electrical wise. The switches on the headlight pods caused me some grief and I got the answer from the manual..
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PostPost by: Pistacchio sprint 72 » Wed Sep 24, 2014 7:35 am

you need to sacrifice a virgin... :mrgreen:
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PostPost by: adigra » Wed Sep 24, 2014 12:48 pm

Phew, the light was just a blown bulb. Luckily, my lights were converted to take a regular bulb, and I had a spare, so there wasn't much trial and error.

Which makes me wonder: Do people with sealed beam units carry spares of those in the boot?
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PostPost by: oldchieft » Wed Sep 24, 2014 3:48 pm

Are new sealed beam units in existence?

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PostPost by: elanman999 » Wed Sep 24, 2014 4:06 pm

Jon,
Yes http://www.minispares.com/product/Class ... 0to%20shop

I don't think many people use them though. :lol:
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PostPost by: adigra » Thu Sep 25, 2014 12:06 am

I know that SJ also have them listed on their site.
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PostPost by: Plus 2 » Thu Sep 25, 2014 6:23 am

Hi adigra,

It may be worthwhile just checking for what is your aquiescent/parasitic battery drain level.

I laboured with intermittent battery drain and finally discovered it was only when the dip switch was placed and left on low beam when parked up.

As the Plus 2 has relays for the lights and my model a poor installation design I might add being installed upside down, the relay, as the seal had aged had partially filled with water.

Now we can't really blame Joseph for that. Albeit had I ventured out at night I would have realised my dip beams were not working. :mrgreen:

All my cars currently have sealed beams and years ago I used to pick up spares at parts fairs so have plenty of spares stock and yes I do carry spares in the car as it is a legal requirement in France.........not that it seems people always repair their lights as plenty of one eyed monsters often coming towards you.

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PostPost by: Lincoln62 » Wed Oct 01, 2014 3:29 am

For the last 5 years I have been using a smart charger (maintenance charger) on my Elan and would heartily recommend them. They have a lead with a plug that connects to the battery so you can plug and unplug them quickly.

It's only 1.25 amp but has a maintenance cycle that keeps the battery topped up. This should increase the life of the battery, some say up to 10 years.

I was getting 2-3 years out of a battery but the one in the Elan is now 4.5 years old and still going strong.

Cost me $45 for the charger so it has already paid for itself.

It's great to have that starter spin the engine to life every time you want to go for a drive.

This is the one I have but there are many others on the market.

http://www.batteriesdirect.com.au/image ... BFM012.jpg

Still a good idea to find and fix the drain problem first.

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PostPost by: adigra » Wed Oct 01, 2014 7:54 pm

I've been using the maintenance charger for a while, but sadly, this battery has always been questionable. I had it tested, and it needed replacing. But, unfortunately, the starting issue was down to the (brand new) starter. It's being investigated at the moment what caused it to fail.
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PostPost by: adigra » Thu Oct 16, 2014 1:56 pm

pharriso wrote: At least you don't have to pull the engine out again!


Guess what! Yep, the failed starter tore itself up and the ring gear with it, sending swarf all over, necessitating yet another engine removal. I took it to Spyder, as they fitted the starter, and they found there was a fault with it, which was confirmed by the manufacturer after they inspected it. Luckily, Spyder really came through and fixed everything without any charge to me.

It was a brand new starter motor from a well known manufacturer (plus a brand new ring gear), so, instead of the car hating me, I think it's cursed. :lol:

The good thing about it all is that I really decided to just be zen and not worry at all. Had a business trip to the US last week, and Spyder sorted it all out while I was away. In the spirit of at least making one step forward with each setback, they fitted a removable crossmember, which is something I've wanted to do for a long time.
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:45 pm

Wasn't a WOSP starter was it?

I was over at Bogg Bros yesterday in the S2, the Exon Q420 is wonderful...fingers crossed....
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PostPost by: adigra » Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:56 pm

It was.

My engine was magic after the recent sortout. Really fantastic. Sadly, the starter put an end to it. Can't pick the car up until next week, but am looking forward to it.

BTW, the Q420 absolutely loves the TTR fast road exhaust. It has really freed it up.
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