Lotus Elan

Elan S4 being awakened after 35 year slumber.

PostPost by: oldelanman » Sat Jul 25, 2020 10:24 am

Elanintheforest wrote:
I'd still like to know how to get the choke and heater cable outers off the dash though!!


Hi Mark
On my S4 the heater cable outer is secured with a bezel nut from the front .. the same as the headlamp vacuum valve. It's the original cable so yours may be the same. My choke cable is a replacement and is secured by a normal hex nut but the original may have been the same as the heater cable.. can't remember now.
IMG_20200725_100339_01.jpg and
Heater cable
Dash wiring 4.jpg and
Choke cable
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PostPost by: lotusfan » Sat Jul 25, 2020 10:47 am

Mark

Just to add to this - the retaining nuts are the same sort of thing as those retaining the toggle switches on your S3 etc. Pull the cables all the way out and there you are!!
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Sat Jul 25, 2020 5:44 pm

Thanks Roger and Mike. A quick look into the outer shell of the inner cable revealed a lot of dust and fluff stuck onto old greese where the cables had been lubricated. The little slots of the bezel nut were soon revealed and they were both off in seconds as they were both loose! Happily, both cables went back easily into their respective outer bits, and they will go again. Easy when you know how!

I now have one last question about the dashboard area of the S4 / Sprint. My car has the bonnet pull mounted on a bracket, which is mounted on the extreme right of the dash, underneath. I was a bit confused when taking it off that the bonnet pull seemed to have wires going to it, but they are going to a small switch, which looks the same as the anti-theft switch in the glove box. the switch is very well hidden away, and has two dark green cables and a light green with yellow tracer cable going to it.

It's certainly a factory fitting, but I can't think what it's for unless it's another security switch of some sort. Light green with yellow is described as being for the hazard warning switch to warning light, and dark green seems to be for most things when the ignition is on.

Can someone put me out of my misery, and if it is a security switch, how does it work in conjunction with the one in the glovebox?

Mark
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Sat Jul 25, 2020 5:47 pm

It's the hazard light switch.

IMG_20200725_184901.jpg and
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Sat Jul 25, 2020 6:08 pm

Thanks Roger. From the wires I have and the diagram that makes sense, but I only have the one flasher unit (for the standard indicators) and nowhere on the dash for the hazard tell-tail lamp.And no wires for the hazard flasher unit that I can see. I do have the lamp, along with the brake fail lamp, which have red plastic covers over them and are taped up out of the way!

I'm guessing that the hazard warning lamp was for some markets only, but incorporated into all of the later Sprints? If not I'm going to have to go back to the loom and have another study! My car is January 1970 by the way, too early to have any Sprint bits.

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PostPost by: lotusfan » Sat Jul 25, 2020 6:16 pm

Mark

I do hope you are going to get rid of the glovebox security switch, you won't regret it!!!
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Sat Jul 25, 2020 6:50 pm

Hi Mark,
My S4 did not have hazards fitted but the loom had all the wiring including warning lamp bulb holder, the switch and flasher unit were not fitted... yours sounds to be the same. None of the wires had connectors .. just bare cut ends!
I did a diagram when trying to figure out the wiring which might help.
I've since fitted an electronic flasher unit which does both indicators and hazards and used a modern rocker switch mounted below the dash in the same location as your original switch, used all the existing wiring.
IMG_20200725_193406__01.jpg and
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:08 pm

Thanks Roger. Mine does have the switch and the warning lamp but that's all! I thought it was strange that there was no mention of it in the owners handbook for the S4. The S4 / Sprint hand book mentions the hazard lamp for the North American market only, but doesn't mention where the switch is!

It's mounted in such a hidden location there is no way you could find it accidentally. Very odd, and a tiny switch as well.

Mike, I will probably get rid of the switch in the glovebox. It doesn't feel like the strongest bit of kit on the car!

What is the best way to address the issue?. Put in a different switch or just join the white cables for the coil, isolate the horn cable and have security another way?

Mark
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Sun Jul 26, 2020 6:51 am

Mark my 71 Sprint had the same hazard set up as you and worked too. I suspect the wiring is linked into your existing flasher unit somehow But I’m no electronics engineer. Bit like the flash facility which many find difficult to get working it’s down to some rather clever engineers from the period. Can’t imagine that Chapman would have wanted to add the cost and weight of another relay no matter how cheap and light.
Steve

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PostPost by: oldelanman » Sun Jul 26, 2020 7:04 am

The hazard switch and warning lamp are both shown on the dash layout drawing in my '72 edition of the workshop manual but there is no mention of it in the text. The anti-theft switch does get a whole paragraph however !
The switch is troublesome probably because it is not used frequently enough to keep the contacts clean and in my opinion it's useless as an anti- theft device anyway as it only works if you try to start the car with the ignition key .. far better to fit a modern Thatcham immobiliser if you're concerned about security. I would remove it, join together the two white wires and insulate the other two.
IMG_20200726_063508.jpg and
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PostPost by: lotusfan » Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:13 am

Hi Mark

Roger gives good advise about the glovebox switch. If you don't want Thatham type security measures a battery cut off switch is a good alternative. I have one in the boot which obviously can be locked but if someone wanted to steal the car a cut off switch won't deter a determined tea leaf.

Keep up the good work and don't forget to fit the heater water valve to the head before you go too much further.
Mike
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Sun Jul 26, 2020 12:35 pm

Thanks guys, I think the wiring is sorted (for now!).

The security switch will be left where it is but the coil wires joined up and the earth / horn wires removed and insulated. The hazard switch will stay as it is as well. I always put battery isolators on the older cars just in case! Not really worried about the car being pinched, but with the 'hot' wires that live in an Elan, an attack from Mr Mouse is more of a concern.

I had a further explore of the loom going to the back of the car, and found the additional pair of courtesy light cables, which can only be for the FHC lights on the rear roof pillar trims. From what you say Steve the Sprint is the same as well, so this loom fits the S4 and Sprint, the Domestic and Federal and the DHC and FHC models. That seems nice and simple!

I won't fit the heater valve just yet Mike as I haven't drilled and taped the chassis yet. I only got the dash out as I thought that it would have to be replaced anyway, and the wiring checked. Marking up through those two bobbins behind the dash is a lot easier with it gone.
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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Wed Oct 14, 2020 3:43 pm

It’s been a while since the last update and the old Elan is coming back together nicely now.

With the body mounted on the new rolling chassis, the positions of the holes to be drilled were marked up with appropriate transfer punches. These take the guesswork out of positioning the exact centre of the holes, and with the dash removed, all were marked up very easily.

With the body removed again for drilling and tapping, the engine bay was stripped out and painted, and a few fibreglass repairs made. I’ve still found no evidence of any previous repairs or body sections, and I’m pretty convinced that the car is still (mainly) in its original paint.

Now was the time to finish sorting out the wiring and get those main, dip and flasher relays sorted, which was very straightforward with the diagrams you guys provided. All the bullet connectors were disconnected in the front of the car, cleaned and new connectors fitted. A new dynamo circuit was built into the old loom, and the loom in the engine bay re-wrapped. The wiring is looking like new now!

The wiper motor and heater box were stripped down, and apart from cleaning the wiper rack and re-greasing, and replacing the heater matrix, little more was needed to be done to them.

The rotoflex couplings were popped on and the springs tied up so that they are not on maximum droop whist they have no weight on them.

The body went on very easily, and all the holes lined up straight away. It’s always a worrying moment checking out the alignment of this lot.

A couple of weeks back I thought that it was time to start to test out all the circuits. The dash is away until December, so the wiring is still hanging down in the dash area, but one by one I started to test out the circuits….with a 10 amp trip switch in the positive line just in case.

The first circuit to test was of course the lights. When the headlamp is raised with the lights switched off the lights come up flashing…or at least they should. I had nothing! When the side lights were switched on I had sidelights and back lights….some success. But dip and main were dead when that circuit was tried. With lots of head scratching, reference to circuit diagrams and re-checking all the connections, I was baffled….and that lot took a day. Restoration is often a case of taking 3 steps forward and 1 step back, but this was 3, or maybe even 4, steps back.

All became clear that evening with the aid of a glass or two of the red stuff….I hadn’t cleaned up the headlamp microswitches, and wasn’t getting an earth to the relays.

Next morning, the left hand microswitch was removed (that took an hour!), cleaned up, replaced and the headlamp lifted….it was flashing! What a relief. So I switched the headlamp switch to side lights, and the sidelights and tail lights came on but the headlamps were still flashing. That confused me for a while but of course, they would flash with the headlamps up, which they wouldn’t normally be when just the side lamps are on. Removing the pieces of wood holding the headlamps up, the sidelights worked with no flashing headlamps. Success! One circuit now worked….the rest would be easy.

The switch was set to headlamps, and nothing happened for either dip or main. What I hadn’t realised was that the left hand microswitch provides the earth for the flashing lights, and the right hand one the earth for the relays that control the headlamps. Obvious now! So the right hand microswitch came out, cleaned (again) and a new earth cable made. It all worked properly then.

The rest really was pretty straightforward and very pleasing. The wiper motor ran and parked, the heater motor worked on both speeds, the brake lights worked and the indicators worked…even the repeaters. I did have one Sparto and one Lucas repeater on the car, probably fitted when Spartos were hard to get in the 80s. It seemed a shame to replace the metal / chrome good quality Lucas item with a NOS Sparto I had….nasty little things that I wouldn’t fit on a trailer, but I suppose originality wins out.

A big surprise was that the original washer motor worked. After a lot of poking down the jets it even washed the windscreen!!

The last thing to look at was the door windows, but I really thought that I shouldn’t even bother to fit the switch as there was no way they would work. I had cleaned up the left side courtesy light microswitch previously, which also acts as an earth collection point for the door, the wiper motor and on to the chassis. Curiosity took over, and I fitted the door switch, and to my considerable surprise the window went up and down like a new car! So I tried the right side, and as I suspected for both of them, nothing happened, In cleaning up that side microswitch it was obvious that the earth from the window motor was absent, and it was found coiled up inside the door. Once connected, it worked perfectly as well.

It was a very good day!

I got the distributor back from the Distributor Doctor last week, along with coil, HT leads and plug caps. He has re-built it to Sprint spec (as per the rest of the engine) and has let a new collar in for the clamp to hold onto. Most of these seem to be split or cracked now, and he does a great job in sorting that out.

The reconditioned dash and a new fuel tank and sender won’t be with the car until December, so I’m not sure if I will try to get the car started before then by pinching bits from the S3, or wait and do the job properly and do it once. I’ve rebuilt the carburettors so they are ready to go on, so it may be too tempting! But in the meantime I’ve just received the final few bits I needed to finish off my other project, the 1600E from Zimbabwe, so that will occupy the next couple of weeks or so.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Wed Oct 14, 2020 3:52 pm

Nice work, Mark, well done!

Excellent to see it starting to come together and no doubt most satisfying.

Tim
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Wed Oct 14, 2020 4:12 pm

Great progress Mark!

Looking at your engine it reminds me I have “ one of those” ( same cam cover and colour) with a Weber head just sitting in its cradle, I really should start building a rolling chassis for it awaiting a donor car that needs everything mechanical.

Keep it up and you might motivate me :D

Well done, looking forward to seeing it run.
Kindest regards

Alan Thomas
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