Lotus Elan

replacing dashboard

PostPost by: RotoFlexible » Fri Nov 27, 2009 12:41 pm

I don't know how much of this applies to the +2, but the heater motor on my Elan benefited from lubrication and the addition of a relay to the circuit. The old switch and connectors weren't handling the current required by the motor. I also cleaned a lot of accumulated detritus from the heater body around the fan. For years it was noisy and useless; now it works well and in relative silence.
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PostPost by: JJDraper » Fri Nov 27, 2009 12:49 pm

Don't let us put you off doing it yourself! It is easily within the means of most home mechs, but the point is that it is time consuming, hence the 12+ hours quote. As is the way of home done jobs, 12+ hours means a busy weekend...

Jeremy
PS I really mean it about the air hoses! The Heat & vent system is great when there are no air leaks..
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PostPost by: worzel » Fri Nov 27, 2009 1:15 pm

Hi

I recently had to remove the dash on my sprint to repair the heater. Remembering all of the problems associated with removing each dial/switch etc the last time I did it I decided to fit all of the connectors to multiplugs so that basically the dash unplugs complete. Took ages to do but now the panel comes out after around an hour or so work. The plugs are bulky so I lengthened the wiring to enable them to sit on top of the heater behind the radio panel. I don't have a radio so there was enough room in there. Pretty useful mod because it minimses the risk of damaging the panel accidentally. Cost- about ?20.

John
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PostPost by: alaric » Fri Nov 27, 2009 2:25 pm

Hi. The next big step in my restoration is fitting the dash. I have new bezels etc to fit to all the guages and new wiring looms to go in. I'm hoping to make a little progress on it this weekend. Starting is the worst I reckon - a mass of wires and a wiring loom that doesn't match the original. If it's only 12 hrs I'll be really pleased.

If you could take a few pics of how the underdash trim is fitted, and how the crashpad is fitted etc etc that'd be appreciated - bought my car in boxes so have never seen it all together. On the other hand if you want some pics of the dash out, and the heater etc then fine - I can get a set organised. On the bmw forum that I go to for help with that car people post 'how to' threads describing a job. I wonder if we could do something similar in our forum - after time we could have a set of procedures supported by first hand experience. Only a thought.

All the best.

Sean.
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Fri Nov 27, 2009 2:56 pm

Don't worry too much about the heater. Firstly they are standard Ford Cortina items so parts are available and the Smiths motors can be bought off the shelf if required.

However, it's not hard to recondition it all. There are various threads on the forum on the heater box. You'll find all the foam seals have disintegrated and it'll probably be a bit rusty but you can easily take it all apart and refurbish it. The box is held together by a mix of screws and pop rivets.

The motor can be taken apart and a bit of lubrication on the spindle does wonders to noise levels. New brushes are easily fitted too. Be careful when taking the fan off the motor spindle, they're easily damaged.

Some people have fitted uprated motors from various sources, have a search for threads if you're interested. I suspect that there's a more powerful motor available from the Smiths range too but I don't know.

Mike
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PostPost by: kstrutt11 » Fri Nov 27, 2009 10:55 pm

I did mine and I don't remember it being particularly difficult as long as you are methodical, you do need to drop the steering column and will probably find all the vac formed plastic inside the under dash trims dissentigrate, but spyder will only find the same and charge you for new ones anyway, 12 hours is probably reasonable but if you do it over a period of a week or two it is not to bad.
I bought the old one in and swapped all the parts over on the dining room table over a couple of evenings then took it back outside to refit, it looks great now.
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PostPost by: rdssdi » Sat Nov 28, 2009 1:51 pm

I needed a replacement heater motor on my +2. I found it at Transport Heater and Hose in the UK. I e-mailed them a photo of the motor. I believe the heater is a modified Ford Corsair unit.


The under dash trim is secured by small screws from the backside. I remember the screw heads covered with the back side vinyl. If my memory is correct they attached and then "finished" trim by gluing the vinyl over the screws and backside. The replacement dash may be "thicker" and would make the original trim impossible to fit. The original trim is upholstered metal channel that was bent to the dash contour.

As my new dash was thicker I had to make fiberglass reproduction channel and have it upholstered. It looks fine. If you check this first it would be possible to have the back edge of the dash milled to proper thickness. As my dash was completely assembled that was not an option. The fiberglass parts I made work quite well. I had them upholstered with more padding so they look better.

Bob
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PostPost by: richgilb » Sat Nov 28, 2009 3:18 pm

This is all really helpful stuff....and now I note that the new dashboard has a shift light on it but the old one does not.....any suggestions there? In particular, where can I get a yellow chrome surrounded part to fill the hole that says shift? Also my horn operates via a switch in a hole that says light...What did the original light switch look like?
I am now an ex-Elan owner but will drop by from time to time with some suitably inappropriate comments.
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Sat Nov 28, 2009 5:32 pm

Wow, good thread. Lots of little details.

Good tip to do all the dash trim, brackets, glove box, etc. first for ease of installation. I never thought of this, but that is how I did mine and it worked out well. Job kind of flows that way because you want all the stuff positioned and installed on the new dash prior to placing the loom as it goes over top of some of the attachments points.

You will probably need a supply of very small screws to hand, as the originals are so small and tight in there that they tend to get buggered on removal. Don't know if they are available easily in the UK, but Canadian made Robertson square head screws work very well for this; Phillips and conventional blade screws in these small sizes strip easily.

For the question on where to get wire in Lucas colours, here are some links. Have bought from all three suppliers and they are all very good. Note there is modern thin wall wire available, or the older standard stuff if you want to better match the stock loom for small repairs. For sure invest in a very good quality crimping tool for any repairs; far better than the hardware store variety. They also have a selection of connectors if you want to make extra connections to make future dash removal easy. I am going to do this when I install the dash. Second supplier is US based, and one orders by phone and has a $10 minimum, but ships well by mail and has good advice. Other two are Europe/UK and orders on 'net forms.

For those just repairing their original loom, I found the biggest difficulty was not necessarily the age condition of the wire & connections, but that the wire colours were faded so bad that it was very difficult to read the colours where the wire is exposed. Stripping the loom wrap exposes the original colours. I ended up replacing the entire loom in the end, mainly because of this issue. Note the loom tape is generally without sticky stuff to keep the wrapped loom flexible; new tape or various wraps/tubes etc. available from suppliers below.

http://www.vehicle-wiring-products.eu/V ... mepage.php

http://www.britishwiring.com/


http://www.autoelectricsupplies.co.uk/

Rich, having trouble visualizing the shift light you mention. Anyway, the first two suppliers above have push in dash warning lights that match the originals on my car in various colours and symbols. I bought all four required new so they would match and have new bulbs, and they have proper spade connectors rather than hard wired connections of stock warning lights. If I had an extra hole to fill, I would consider adding a low oil pressure light, which would be a very easy addition. I believe standard wire colour would be white/brown.

For the headlight switch, at least on my Federal car, it is a pull knob vacuum switch with two integrated micro switches for the electrical piece. Note this type of switch required flag connectors due to clearance issues with the heater box. Other arrangements appear to use micro-switches located in the nose of the car that are mechanically actuated by the movement of the pods. I haven't seen these ones, but think the vacuum switch in the dash does not have the electrical connections. In both systems the lights are controlled by relays under the bonnet.

The side lights are a spring loaded temporary make and break push on rocker, and use a relay, but I understand this is different on UK cars.

Due to differences in these switches and circuits you might have to post a pic and exact model details of your car if you need to fix/replace something in these as there are several subtle variants.

If you are repairing the heater box and fan, you might want to consider mod to provide additional clearance for a modern radio/head unit. This is discussed in archive threads, or I can post pic's of what I did. Note mine is not in the car yet, so hoping like heck it fits, but don't have personal experience yet.

Really like the idea above on making heater hose connections prior to installing heater box. My body is off, so will be able to do this prior to body install, but with the engine in place I don't think this connection is possible in a reliable fashion. I had missed this issue, so very helpful!
Last edited by stugilmour on Sat Nov 28, 2009 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Sat Nov 28, 2009 7:02 pm

Shift Light.
I fitted a brighter White light into the new Dash in my S4 along with other lights that had to replace the non-original Rev' counter which does not have the original warning lamps.
Demon Tweeks has a fair selection of lights to choose from.
Regarding fitting & in fear of teaching you to "suck Eggs"; to protect your shiny new Dash, stick some masking tape on the Dash where you want your new lamp positioned, use a new correctly sized "Wood" Drill & drill very slowly from the front of the Dash, this will prevent any damage to the Varnish or Veneer. Give the freshly drilled hole(s) a coat of paint to prevent moisture entering the Ply's.
Have fun & good luck.
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PostPost by: kstrutt11 » Sat Nov 28, 2009 8:33 pm

For my under dash trims I bought some thin alloy sheet and formed them out of this with rivets used at the joints and round the corners, recovered with the original vinyl it looks like new, also made a new centre console the same way.

Kevin
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PostPost by: pcarew » Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:16 pm

worzel wrote:Hi

I recently had to remove the dash on my sprint to repair the heater. Remembering all of the problems associated with removing each dial/switch etc the last time I did it I decided to fit all of the connectors to multiplugs so that basically the dash unplugs complete. Took ages to do but now the panel comes out after around an hour or so work. The plugs are bulky so I lengthened the wiring to enable them to sit on top of the heater behind the radio panel. I don't have a radio so there was enough room in there. Pretty useful mod because it minimses the risk of damaging the panel accidentally. Cost- about ?20.

John


Hello John,
I realize that it has been 9 years since you posted this, but I was wondering what type/make/model of multi-plug did you use?

Thanks
Paul.
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PostPost by: mbell » Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:10 am

I'm planning on using molex behind the dash when I re-wire mine.

https://www.mcmaster.com/#molex-connectors/=1cjl8sg
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PostPost by: pcarew » Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:33 am

mbell wrote:I'm planning on using molex behind the dash when I re-wire mine.

https://www.mcmaster.com/#molex-connectors/=1cjl8sg


Looks like a reasonable choice.

BTW, I notice that you're located right here in Austin. I'm at 45/Mopac, Central Austin.
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PostPost by: The Veg » Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:53 pm

I'm doing Molex as well. Two 15-pin plugs, oriented opposite to each other so that they can't be cross-connected. I've got them on the dashboard and will do the ones on the car's wiring soon.
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