Lotus Elan

Elan S4 being awakened after 35 year slumber.

PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Sun Apr 18, 2021 8:25 am

Not too well thought out then Tim! The E type was no better. It did have three bolts to hold it in, but was in a position on the tank that if the level of coolant dropped just a little, the otter switch wouldn't be activated when the engine overheated!

Thanks for the link to the speaker plugs Steve. I will get one and see if they fit the turnolock.
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Sun Apr 18, 2021 7:54 pm

Looking really good; you've made much more progress than I have on the S4FHC!

Before I fitted a TT ally rad to my Sprint I had a near-death Otter switch experience! I had the engine warm and was buggering about with something or other with my head in that general area when the effing thing blew out with a bang, followed by a lot of hot water! Very scary.
As already suggested, I fashioned a wire retainer, using a copper wire from a 2.5 twin and earth cable.

Isn't it hard to push a newly-wired dash back into place? I was convinced that something was not going to work but somehow it did.

Cheers.
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Mon Apr 19, 2021 1:54 pm

I think the Otter with definitely be wired into place now Pete!

It took me about 3 hours to get the dash back in, having to fiddle bits of loom and control cables out of the way. In the end I found that the heater was not far enough into the bulkhead as the support bracket was a wee bit bent. Once sorted, the dash went back a treat, and now there is nearly an inch gap between the heater and the back of the ignition switch. They were very nearly touching when I took it apart, and I think it was probably like that from the factory.
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Mon Apr 19, 2021 5:30 pm

Might be worth sparking up the fan before the dash is finally fixed, just to make sure there is no excess foam 'gasket' touching the metal fan - don't ask me how I know.
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Mon Apr 19, 2021 8:15 pm

I did and there was Rob!
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Sat May 01, 2021 3:27 pm

I’ve had a fun-packed week cleaning up the cooling fan motor and blade, then playing with the otter switch, twisted copper wire, boiling water and a relay to make everything work. Like the headlamp flasher, it didn’t work at first due to a poor earth, but on the second go, the temperature gauge read just over 90C when the fan cut in, which dropped it down to 80C very quickly when it cut out again.

A success! Thanks to Phil Harrison who drew up the very clear diagram for the circuit which was much needed. Incidentally, the motor I’ve fitted is the one that was fitted to the car originally. I have a spare that has a 4 blade metal fan with connectors set into the body of the motor. Was one a replacement of the other, or is one not original to the car? Only a 5 minute job to swap over now, but just interested. The multi-blade plastic fan certainly provides a lot of puff.

The vacuum operation of the headlamps is less successful. They pop up straight away if the knob is pulled out when the engine is started, but stay up when the knob pushed in again. They twitch when the knob is pushed in and out a few times, slowly going down. It must be the valve in the knob I guess, and after only 51 years the rubber seal must have given up. They don’t make things to last any more!! I shall open it up and find some replacement for the rubber bits and see what that does.

The starter motor is going to have to come out as well as it is slow to turn the engine over sometimes, but speeds up when the mood takes it. 51 years old and 35 years sitting dormant may have something to do with it! There is an old fashioned electric motor overhaul business tucked away in the forest with all the right test kit so they should sort it out.

The tachometer is suffering from the same malady and is lifeless, so that will be sent over to Speedy Cables to have a look.

I still haven’t found any speaker cable plugs to the Turnolock, so have resorted to pulling apart a couple of standard audio plugs to retrieve the pins, and I’ll make something up from those. The Turnolock seems to have two earth cables…a black cable coming out alongside the live cable, and another on the shroud that covers the chassis, using one of the two screws that hold the shroud onto the chassis. The cable is blue in the photo below. Any ideas why that may be there?

The shelves are now almost empty of parts to put back on, with the only main bits left to overhaul being the brake callipers and servo. A few small fibreglass repairs and a bit of paint are needed after positioning the new petrol tank correctly, with very different holes underneath the boot.

Oh, and a hood and hood envelope to fit, once Sue Miller has them in stock.
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z50.JPG and
z50a.JPG and
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PostPost by: Pastapesto » Sat May 01, 2021 6:42 pm

Mark

Just a quicky, I hope you are all well there in the Forest of Dean.......

Try swapping the tube connections on the push pull switch ......inside the switch, one connection goes to an opening that lets the vacuum out, the other doesn't......worth a very quick try ....it may work and is easy to do......I took my switch apart to clean and restore and also to see how it works....simple but effective design but important the tubes are on the right way round.....hope that helps mate......

All the best

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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Sat May 01, 2021 9:17 pm

Hi Adam. I did try that and the lights still stayed up even when the switch was in or out. At least I think I swapped them over. They are in a tricky position as you know and by the time you've fiddled the second one off the mind can play tricks about which tube it came off!, Probably the best thing to do is to remove the switch from the dash then try swapping them around when they can be seen. I have read that a spot of WD40 inside can also do wonders! I have a spare one to have a play with and will try restoring one and fiddling with the other.
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Sat May 01, 2021 11:00 pm

Henry,

Bet that spare lead from the radio is to operate an electric antenna - but don’t ask me which.
Steve

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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Sun May 02, 2021 3:55 am

Here’s a picture of the back of my Pye radio which seems similar and the blue lead is the antenna lead, the unit is grounded, and the green wire is the fused power supply and the bit thicker black wire that goes into the unit is sheathed and it goes to the speakers, Gordon
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Sun May 02, 2021 7:30 am

The blue lead is screwed to the chassis, so it's definitely an earth! But why 2 earths?
I guess it was to earth another bit of kit on the car the radio was fitted to previously.
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PostPost by: pharriso » Sun May 02, 2021 11:54 am

Elanintheforest wrote:A success! Thanks to Phil Harrison who drew up the very clear diagram for the circuit which was much needed. Incidentally, the motor I’ve fitted is the one that was fitted to the car originally. I have a spare that has a 4 blade metal fan with connectors set into the body of the motor. Was one a replacement of the other, or is one not original to the car? Only a 5 minute job to swap over now, but just interested. The multi-blade plastic fan certainly provides a lot of puff.


Glad it was of help. I think the 4 bladed metal fan was used in warmer climes & was used on many US S4s & Sprints. The blade is substantial & will draw blood if interference occurs with body parts :roll:
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PostPost by: Pastapesto » Sun May 02, 2021 3:27 pm

Mark

Inside the push pull switch there are two holes which are the ends of the two connecting pipes. The rubber inside is a small square block with a hollow - like an upside down boat. With the switch pushed in it covers only the hole which connects to the vacuum source (the engine inlet). When you pull the switch out, it slides the block over both holes and makes a sealed circuit (the newly covered hole/pipe connection goes to the vacuum pods). When the knob is then pushed in, the block goes back to only covering the vacuum circuit hole and the now uncovered hole (the pods/lifters) connection is now uncovered releasing the vacuum and thus the lights go down again under the force of the return springs.......obviously this is all for a non fail-safe system. The push-pull switch body is not airtight and so the vacuum is lost as air refills the tube. There is a sprung steel clip that pushes on the rubble block to help keep the seal airtight. I think it may be unlikely that the thick rubber block is perished - a little wd40 or similar might help it all work a little better so worth a try........if you get the switch accessible and have the lights raised, pulling off both pipes should release the vacuum one way or another and drop the lights....if not, it's something else.....do the lights move nicely on their pivots by hand?.....obviously you've checked this but I was just saying, that's all....

Good luck Mark......she's looking mighty good! Well done.....an inspiration to us all....

Kind regards

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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Sun May 02, 2021 5:16 pm

Thanks Adam.
I checked the vacuum pods and the circuit out with a vacuum pump before trying it out on real vacuum, and it all worked fine. Except that I didn't check out the switch! I will try the switch on the pump to see what readings I get, then spray it liberally inside with WD40. That seems to work it's magic on most things, except eyes. I can vouch that it doesn't really make anything better straight away when squirted inadvertently in your eye, although when the redness and pain subsides, the lid does seem to work better!

The headlamp pods move freely on their bolts, so no issue there, and with the spring attached, they snap back in a very painful manner when you have your hand between the pod and the body! I must say that working at this end of the car, playing around endlessly to get the flashing headlamp feature going properly, quite a lot of pain and a bit of blood was involved.

It's a bit of a different restoration for me as I'm keeping the paint and seats / door cards all original rather than going for 100% perfection this time. I've restored a few cars to showroom condition, and then not wanted to use them much, or at least not leave them anywhere where someone can scratch the car. With this Elan, it will have it's original 51 year old patina all intact!
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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Sun May 02, 2021 6:30 pm

Great reading here and encouraging for mine that’s been off the road since 78 but just a thought that isn’t WD-40 as a petroleum product not so good for rubber, I’ve always used silicone sprays or gels for rubber pieces, thanks for all this Gordon
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