Lotus Elan

Plus 2 Dashboard removal

PostPost by: The Veg » Sat Feb 27, 2016 12:58 pm

Robbie693 wrote:For the earth strap, it should attach to the bottom right dash mounting bolt - the one that goes through to the bracket on the centre tunnel/chassis spine. The wires may have just dropped off when you undid the bolt but yes, if not attached it would stop things working.

Robbie


The other end of the strap is attached to the bolt that fixes that same bracket to the tunnel. Is that correct? Seems a little pointless to connect from the bracket to the bolt that connects to the bracket.

EDIT: I was half-asleep when I read your reply Robbie. I think you're saying that other wires should meet the strap at the bolt, right?

The strap definitely wasn't fixed at eh bolt, as when I'd only got the dashboard loose enough to get a few inches of motion is when I saw the strap extended to the upper left, up in the wiring for the switches.
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PostPost by: Robbie693 » Mon Feb 29, 2016 12:29 am

Correct - Basically the lower dash mounting bracket is the earth point for all the earths behind the dash, as this bracket is attached to the chassis backbone this is your earth return. So if you find any black wires with ring terminals floating around they will most likely have come from there...

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PostPost by: The Veg » Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:07 am

Sorry to take so long with an update, things have been really busy lately with moving my office and other crazyness.

Anyway, tonight I finally got the dashboard loose from the car! Another stumbling-point in the process was all those old bullet connectors, which seemed to be stuck shut by by internal corrosion or something. A few days ago I gave them all a small shot of penetrating oil and tonight they came unstuck, though some required a good hard tug and I'm even more convinced now that I should upgrade to some sort of modern multi-pin connectors. Of course I labeled all the wires before disconnecting them. Not everything made sense though. There were a small few that were loose already from the flat connectors on switches and other things; with any luck those should be easy to sort during re-assembly. I noticed too that one of the thick wires connected to the ammeter shows some signs of heat- the insulation is OK, but the translucent cover on the connector is a bit melted. Anything to be concerned about regarding the load on this wire?

The veneer is in terrible shape, and on Monday I'm going to drag the thing down to a shop in the city where they may have or can get a nice piece that I can glue on.

Here are some pics:

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This one shows what I saw at first glance inside- the earth strap hanging free. Note however that the earth-wires that are supposed to meet it at the bolt are connected to the bolt into the bobbin on the tunnel:
Image

What is this thing on the RHS of the heater? I suspect that a couple of the loose wires are supposed to connect to it:
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And just for kicks, what is this thing on the LHS of the heater?
Image

More wires, a few labels in place:
Image

Paul was here:
Image

Image

Finally out:
Image

Image

Image
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Wed Mar 02, 2016 7:13 am

"And just for kicks, what is this thing on the LHS of the heater?"

that is the rheostat,drops the 12v to 6v for the slow speed of the heater fan.

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PostPost by: Robbie693 » Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:25 am

Now I see what you mean by Earth Strap, I've not seen one like that inside the cabin before. Could be a previous owner mod, my experience is with the S-130 model which could be different but I doubt it. I can't see why it is needed as the dash bracket is (or should be) bolted directly to the chassis through the fibreglass so that is all you need for an earth point. The strap has obviously been added to extend the earth attachment but for why I couldn't say.

The relay on the RHS of the heater is a previous owner mod by the looks of it but no idea what it was supposed to do...

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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:05 pm

While you've got access to the heater I'd strongly suggest overhauling the fan motor and flap seals....they're a PITA to do later..

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PostPost by: The Veg » Thu Mar 03, 2016 2:47 am

Robbie693 wrote:The relay on the RHS of the heater is a previous owner mod by the looks of it but no idea what it was supposed to do...


I'm not so sure- the wires that I think came off it -the only ones nearby that appear compatible in length and connector-style- come out of the tape-bound harness, look like the same type of wire as everything else, and have the same type of brass-finish flat connectors as everything else and these connectors appear to be the same age. Maybe it's something Federal-specific? I'll dig out the manual at some point but the diagrams in it are not very helpful.
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PostPost by: The Veg » Thu Mar 03, 2016 2:49 am

john.p.clegg wrote:While you've got access to the heater I'd strongly suggest overhauling the fan motor and flap seals....they're a PITA to do later..


Thanks for the tip John. The flap seals were on my radar but the motor wasn't. What does the motor typically need, and are the bits available?
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Thu Mar 03, 2016 7:22 am

On mine,I just dismantled it and cleaned the commutator and checked the brushes,also ran a little fine emery on the shaft to free the bushes...then oiled.

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PostPost by: vxah » Thu Mar 03, 2016 2:42 pm

I also had a tweak of the fan blades to make them more efficient! They are a pretty crude moulding and I could not find a better blade to fit so, I felt sure it could be improved with a bit of fettling to the blade edges.. No CAD job but it feels better... To me anyway :D
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Thu Mar 03, 2016 2:58 pm

Details?

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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Fri Mar 04, 2016 6:16 am

Not to interrupt the fan blade discussion, but while on the subject of having the heater box out, please make sure you disassemble the box (drill out rivets on one side) and remove the heater core. Take it to a reputable rad shop and have it cleaned out and pressure tested.

Mine was apparently quite heavy with sludge but thankfully was fully water and pressure tight. Last thing you want is something going wrong with the heater box once all is reinstalled (like a leak in the heater core). :shock:

Did the same as was suggested above to the motor, and of course the foam seals around the flaps and the thin layer of foam on the flaps will have long since disintegrated into powder. :mrgreen:

Great work, and great thread . . .

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PostPost by: vxah » Fri Mar 04, 2016 8:14 am

I also found that the outlet fittings for the face vents to be a pretty poor fit onto the casing with lots of gaps for air to leak out and reduce the heater output, refitted with extra rivets and sealer seemed to do the job!
The fan blades have a very blunt/fat leading edge which I cleaned up and sharpened which also added "curve" to the blades, I think it must help "blow" a bit more?
I did notice that the MG owners club do a more powerful motor for the MGB but it was a lot of money and I was not sure it would fit in the small space that the +2 has, there seems very little space between the back of the motor and the plenum.
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PostPost by: Robbie693 » Fri Mar 04, 2016 10:46 am

vxah wrote:I also found that the outlet fittings for the face vents to be a pretty poor fit onto the casing with lots of gaps for air to leak out and reduce the heater output, refitted with extra rivets and sealer seemed to do the job!


Me too. My heater rebuilding experiences:

http://www.lotuselan.net/forums/lotus-twincam-f39/heater-rebuild-t16068.html?hilit=heater

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PostPost by: stugilmour » Fri Mar 04, 2016 3:04 pm

Veg, as described above, the left side heater box component is for the two speed fan. When you are rebuilding the heater box, check this component with your voltmeter to make sure it is isolated from the heater box; I can't recall the details but mine was making contact with the heater box which was putting a voltage on the box.

The component on the right side of the heater is a standard Lucas Make and Break relay. It is used in a latching relay circuit to allow the side lights to operate using the intermittent rocker switch next to the vacuum headlight switch. A Bosch type relay can be substituted for the Lucas relay if you are rewiring the entire car and using modern relays.

The circuit is also latched by one of the light switch microswitches. The microswitches I am referring to are (in my Federal car) small rectangular units located integral to the headlight vacuum switch, not located at the headlight pod. Here is an Allied Electronics call-up for an exact replacement for the vacuum switch microswitches; the model number and brand have changed / superseded over time, but this one fits correctly with the stock mounting plates. The first thread link has pictures of the microswitches installed on the vacuum switch.

lotus-electrical-f38/vacuum-head-light-switch-valve-t30012.html

http://www.alliedelec.com/johnson-elect ... E12D18A442

This circuit can be a bit confusing to discuss as I expect there are variants by Plus 2 model that do not use the intermittent rocker switch and relay setup. Here is a post I prepared with a Powerpoint wiring diagram and the side light circuit description

lotus-electrical-f38/side-lights-t17589.html

I can't find it right now, but I think someone else here prepared a schematic style drawing of the same circuit if that floats your boat. :D

Not sure if you got an answer regarding the ground strap with the plastic covering. This strap is attached to a bolt on the rear of the stock radio to suppress static. IIRC the other end of it is grounded with all the other Black ring connectors at the right side dash bracket bolt.

During my rewiring project I actually used a ground strap (might have been that radio one?) to move all of the Black ground wires to a remote nut and bolt as a sort of ground bus. I figured this made it easier to do all of the ground connections and testing with the dash on the bench. As I was using a lot of relays and fuses in my revised wiring, I mounted relay and fuse blocks on the back wall of the glove box; all of the components can be accessed from inside the glove box where that stay nice and dry. With this setup it was very easy to test the entire loom outside of the car, and it minimizes the number of wires coming out of the dash.

Regarding the ammeter wire, I changed the ammeter to a voltmeter. My Plus 2 Workshop Manual actually includes a section for conversion, and says it should be changed if upgrading the car to an alternator. Electrically the ammeter wire carries all of the current other than the starter motor, whereas the voltmeter only requires a light gauge wire to monitor voltage with a very low current. If you go this route, I found it difficult to get a Smiths voltmeter with an exact matching bezel design. I ended up using the needle cover from my ammeter as a substitute for the round needle cover on the voltmeter i bought on eBay UK.

Plus one on rebuilding the heater. The foam seals will be completely gone, which makes the car unbearably hot in the summer. Not sure if explained already, but the Plus 2 (unlike the Elan) does not have a coolant valve in the heater circuit, so the heater core always has hot coolant circulating. Once the foam seals on the bottom flap have failed the heater leaks warm air in to the cabin constantly. I also added an in-line coolant valve to the heater circuit, but I would definitely start with a proper replacement of the foam on the flaps.

As you are probably going to launch in to the heater box job, might want to think about a popular mod to provide more mounting depth for the radio. I did a form of this mod, but was still not able to mount the single DIN head unit I bought. YMMV. Not an issue if you are using the stock or a period substitute radio, but worth consideration while you have the car apart.

HTH

Stu
Last edited by stugilmour on Fri Mar 04, 2016 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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