Lotus Elan

Modernizing the wiring

PostPost by: carfixer24 » Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:45 pm

Hi All,

I'm currently in the process of replacing the Prince of Darkness's wiring in my father's Elan with a Painless Performance chassis harness and a few other bits and pieces. I plan to document this process here (at least if I remember to take pictures and such).

I'm an auto tech by trade, but by no means an old car or Lotus expert, so I may need to call on some expert help as well.
Attachments
img_20161120_104237063_hdr.jpg and
Current state of wiring on the back of the dashboard
img_20161120_103951201.jpg and
Some of the Lucas spaghetti already removed
fb_img_1479664944247.jpg and
Painless Performance chassis harness kit
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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:43 pm

Just be sure and make up a wiring diagram. I recently passed on a car that had been totally rewired in non-spec form figuring there's no way I could ever figure out what they did. As it was when I bought my +2 in 89 it had pretty much all red wiring and I started it all over with a new loom from British wiring and then could follow the diagram and go by the standard British code. Gordon Sauer
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:31 pm

I re-wired an Elan S4 with a Harness from British Wiring. My strong recoendation is to just buy their ready made harness and as mentioned have a wiring diagram handy. I made a copy of the wiring diagram enlarged to 3' x 2' so it was easy to trace the circuits.

Be patient and keep cold beer near by........
Glen
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PostPost by: carfixer24 » Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:22 pm

I've already begun on the Painless wiring harness. I actually enjoy doing this kind of work, I've just never done a whole car before.

And yes, I'm making diagrams as I go. I have software that'll allow me to make a professional looking diagram on my computer.

Right now my biggest concern is where to locate the fuse box, as it's considerably larger than stock. I'm thinking the passenger's footwell due to the proximity to most of the required connections.
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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:52 pm

The Esprit uses the left side panel of the glove box for two fuse boxes and I'm pretty sure there's room behind the glove box of the +2 (radio is immediately on left side I see you have) so you might put it on that backwall of the box with access from there as a possibility Gordon Sauer
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PostPost by: drtarkir » Sun Nov 27, 2016 2:03 am

I am thinking about making my own wiring loom also. What software are you using to make your diagram and how do you like it.

Dennis
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PostPost by: carfixer24 » Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:47 pm

I'm using Corel Designer X7 due to my familiarity with the program from my work. I'm still learning all the intricacies of the software (I'm a mechanic by trade after all), but I like how it works.
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PostPost by: RichC » Mon Nov 28, 2016 5:42 pm

have to say we decided to keep to the original wiring colour coding throughout and just replace the bullett connectors/ spade connectors and union pieces throughout . The only mod was to shrink wrap the connector /wire junctions and improve on the loom tape and loom harnessing especially behind the dashboard .... oh and replaced the horrid wiring on brand new +2 front sidelights ... far too short for standard loom .

Not sure if it's really necessary but decided to run a separate thick earth cable from the dash to the +ve battery terminal ( early +2) and avoided using the rear bumper as earth for number plate lights as I'm pretty sure the bumper & bolts suffered from electrolytic corrosion as a result of 12v passing through when wet / muddy/ salty .

I must say all the lights look so much brighter !
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PostPost by: carfixer24 » Mon Nov 28, 2016 6:25 pm

Loosely mounting the new fuse panel in the passengers' side footwell. Next step is lay out the wiring.
Attachments
img_20161128_131823849.jpg and
img_20161128_131836629.jpg and
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PostPost by: snowyelan » Mon Nov 28, 2016 7:45 pm

I'm contemplating doing the same but with a speedway harness and would be interested in the issues you find. Is your father a member of the Lotus club of Canada? I've been an on and off member for a while. They meet close to the 427/401.

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PostPost by: carfixer24 » Mon Nov 28, 2016 8:35 pm

snowyelan wrote:I'm contemplating doing the same but with a speedway harness and would be interested in the issues you find. Is your father a member of the Lotus club of Canada? I've been an on and off member for a while. They meet close to the 427/401.

Scott


I'm not sure, my father is from Ottawa, but he is responsible for the Eastern Canada Lotus Club newsletter. http://www.lotuscarclub.ca/eclc/welcome.html

He does have a friend who has started doing his car with the Speedway harness, but I think he's at about the same stage I am. If you want more detail than I post here, send me a message, I'm more than happy to show off my work.
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PostPost by: carfixer24 » Wed Nov 30, 2016 6:31 pm

Dashboard cleaned up with new grounds installed.
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img_20161130_131910453.jpg and
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PostPost by: carfixer24 » Wed Nov 30, 2016 7:21 pm

Now that the fuse box location is decided, I've started sorting out where all the wires will go... It still looks like colourful spaghetti though.
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img_20161130_134514077.jpg and
img_20161130_134454389.jpg and
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PostPost by: c.garde » Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:48 pm

Hi all,

When rebuilding the loom I used a very comprehensive layout from elannet 2010 ?.
Lots of fuses. anyway better than the two in the std layout..
I added a further modification:
all wirering connected to the back ( front ? ) of the dashboard was connected up on the workbench and fed to the opposite side of the car ( my car being lhd ,it went to the rh side . Here is sufficient room at the glovebox to turn it back in a nice sling connecting the wires to a multi connector or two as necessary.. In this way it is easy to make a very tidy wrap once the wire lenghts has been adjusted. There will be no surplus of extra lenghts necessary for connecting everything up behind ( in front ? ) of the dash during fitting
The wires from the front and rear looms are wrapped and fed to the opposite side ( lots of space now) where the dash loom is waiting with the multi connectors .
This makes working with the dash a treat. Everything can be tested beforehand , no swearing at the terminals out of sight and reach.
and everything looks so nice and tidy.
C.Garde
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PostPost by: carfixer24 » Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:54 pm

c.garde wrote:Hi all,

When rebuilding the loom I used a very comprehensive layout from elannet 2010 ?.
Lots of fuses. anyway better than the two in the std layout..
I added a further modification:
all wirering connected to the back ( front ? ) of the dashboard was connected up on the workbench and fed to the opposite side of the car ( my car being lhd ,it went to the rh side . Here is sufficient room at the glovebox to turn it back in a nice sling connecting the wires to a multi connector or two as necessary.. In this way it is easy to make a very tidy wrap once the wire lenghts has been adjusted. There will be no surplus of extra lenghts necessary for connecting everything up behind ( in front ? ) of the dash during fitting
The wires from the front and rear looms are wrapped and fed to the opposite side ( lots of space now) where the dash loom is waiting with the multi connectors .
This makes working with the dash a treat. Everything can be tested beforehand , no swearing at the terminals out of sight and reach.
and everything looks so nice and tidy.
C.Garde


That's basically what I want to do with the dash wiring, though I may use a couple of connectors, one for all the power inputs on the passenger side, and one on each side for the various switch outputs.
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