Lotus Elan

How to Keep Headlight Pods Up with No Vacuum?

PostPost by: Stevie-Heathie » Tue May 18, 2021 7:40 am

So I have a rusted through RHS headlight vacuum pod and the MoT test is looming in 3 weeks. Nobody has any stock of pods and I’d prefer not to go electric lift.

What is the preferred method for keeping the lights up in the absence of the vacuum system? (Obviously I have the non- failsafe system in my car).

I’m guessing some sort of spring arrangement, but how exactly? I’d eat my hat if there isn’t somebody on here who hasn’t already “been there, done that”.

The pods might take a few months to come back in stock, so this might mean a summer of headlights up motoring but so be it.

Thanks in advance!

Steve
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Tue May 18, 2021 8:04 am

Steve

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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Tue May 18, 2021 8:24 am

Maybe some quickie fiberglass repair? Nothing pretty, just functionality.
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PostPost by: Stevie-Heathie » Tue May 18, 2021 8:51 am

Thanks Elanfan and gjz.

I think +2 pods are slightly different I believe, plus that pod on eBay looks even more rusty than mine :-) , and good idea on the fibreglass repair I hadn’t thought of that.

Still looking for recommendations as to how to rig up a spring or bracket to keep the lights up.

TIA.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Tue May 18, 2021 9:29 am

I've done grp repair in the past with a very good result. Tested in Bucket of water with a very little Air pressure. No Bubbles. While you're there remove the other one too. Clean complet on outside and cover everywhere Top and Bottom. Finish with Tissue for nice smooth finish. Coat of paint and nobody will know.
What have you got to loose, try it.
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PostPost by: 2tmike » Tue May 18, 2021 10:14 am

IMG_3141.JPG and
IMG_3150.JPG and


Bet its not as rusty as this one !!!!
But fibreglass does work......
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PostPost by: Craven » Tue May 18, 2021 12:25 pm

Not done it but maybe use the stop screws or their bobbins.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Tue May 18, 2021 1:58 pm

Of course they keep the original fitting positions. It's the Domes that are glassed.
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PostPost by: snowyelan » Tue May 18, 2021 3:44 pm

Just use a few sturdy tie wraps (zip ties) to pull the spring ends on each pod closer together.
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Tue May 18, 2021 3:57 pm

+1 for GRP repair, it worked a treat for me and the pods are out of sight so only the obsessives need worry about the standard of the grp finish.
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PostPost by: Stevie-Heathie » Tue May 18, 2021 5:07 pm

Snowy Elan that is simplicity itself, thank you.

I’ll try the GRP repair as others have suggested and if it’s unsuccessful I have the cable tie workaround for the MoT.

I have a plan! Thank you gentlemen.
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PostPost by: Stevie-Heathie » Wed May 19, 2021 8:40 pm

UPDATE:

Turns out it's not the rusty hole in the top half of the pod which is the problem, it must be a split in the rubber diaphragm. Nothing t lose so I'm going t see if I can open it up and repair the rubber with a bicycle patch as others have reported on here before.

Bst
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PostPost by: Foxie » Wed May 19, 2021 10:36 pm

I made up this emergency headlamp lift aid from pencils and bits of perforated strip.

:)
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PostPost by: EPC 394J » Wed May 19, 2021 11:46 pm

Well I didn’t like to say, but in view of your last post, I’m prepared to admit I have stuck bits of folded card into the gap on dark nights when I’ve been desperate to continue driving! :roll: :lol:

That was forty years ago when the lotus was my daily driver and I was young and foolish! (Wife says age hasn’t solved that one!) :roll:
Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?

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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Fri May 21, 2021 9:51 pm

I jammed the pod up then drilled a 1/4” hole through the side of the pod recess and the pod itself and bolted the pod into position. Drill two or three inches in front of the pod centre pivot bolt. Easy enough to do if you take the grille out and can’t be seen once you get a new vacuum actuator and remove the bolt. Might need to slide a washer or two on the bolt between the pod and housing to stop it pulling the pod to one side, depends on the gaps you have around the pod. The car was known as Nelson by its previous owner as only one headlamp went up and down!
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