Lotus Elan

Update on electrical problem from hell.......

PostPost by: berni29 » Mon Jan 16, 2006 12:50 am

Hi Guys

I have pinned down my intermittent/slow window problem a bit more. The relay behind the dashboard has nothing to do with the electric windows in that they work with it removed. When not working it does click when the window switch or door contacts are operated. On the drivers side (UK car) if I grab the thick part of the loom behind the dashboard and move it a bit the interior light (with the door open) will go out. With the light out the windows almost always will not work (but strangely occasionally do). Also when the interior lighs go out the hazard warning light comes on. I have (via keyhole surgery) had the wires out from the back of the hazard lamp and they seem OK. The problem is elsewhere up the loom. If I grab the loom from the passenger side and wiggle it then nothing happens.

When working the windows are better than they were. Almost acceptable (bearing in mind we are talking about a +2) so all of the earth fixing etc has helped.

Any suggestions as to where the loose connection might be? (Yes, I know behind the dash!)

Thanks

Berni
Racing green +2s with green tints. See it at:

www.searchsmart.co.uk/lotus
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Mon Jan 16, 2006 6:47 am

Berni
It's got to be one of those pesky twenty year old bullet-type connectors lost it's spring tension or corroded.
Sorry cant be more help
John :wink:
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PostPost by: r.agnew » Mon Jan 16, 2006 11:52 am

I don't know much but I know one thing --- If lights are going on and off when the loom is wiggled about , you would want to carry a large fire extinguisher in the car with you at all times , or better still , two fire extinguishers !! You might also appreciate a master switch on the battery if the worst happens .
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PostPost by: simon.mitchell » Mon Jan 16, 2006 12:45 pm

Bernie,

Give hese people a call http://www.premierwiring.co.uk/UDP01.htm and buy a Lucas uniloom for ?100. Spend a weekend fitting it and then forget all about electrical problems. It comes with detailed instructions, a crimp tool, all the fittings you need and even the colours are correct.

I've fitted one myself and if I can do it I'm sure you can!

Cheers,
Simon
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PostPost by: M100 » Mon Jan 16, 2006 2:03 pm

A "universal wiring loom" sounds distinctly like a bodge.
Martin
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PostPost by: simon.mitchell » Mon Jan 16, 2006 3:07 pm

Not sure what you mean by that - can you please explain why you think that a correctly rated loom with a modern fusebox is a bodge?
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PostPost by: M100 » Mon Jan 16, 2006 5:05 pm

The Elan has so many oddities in its design like the earthing structure, the headlamp microswitches, the electric windows, separate fog and spotlight switching on the +2, the headlamp continuous flash arrangement (2 seaters only?), the capilliary engine temperature gauge on the 2 seat cars (meaning redundant wiring), the location of the headlamp relays and the dimming of dash lights on the early 2 seaters, the hazard light arrangement, the side markers on federal cars, plus a few others that any metal bodied car loom would have to be extensively rebuilt to accomodate all the changes.

I'm not saying that the existing loom cannot be improved but having designed and built from scratch many lightweight competition looms over the years I think for a road car i'd rather start from the existing loom and refine that which doesn't take that much work than adopt some off the shelf universal fits all setup.

I hope it's well documented for the next owner!
Martin
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PostPost by: simon.mitchell » Mon Jan 16, 2006 8:58 pm

All I can say to that is that the loom has fairly comprehensive instructions and can cater for all of the above. No extensive rebuilding neccessary as it's designed for fibreglass bodies cars and so has all the earths in place. Plus Alan, who makes the looms, will spend as much time as you need going through anything you're not sure about over the phone.

What does a 'standard' loom from Mattys cost - ?200? IMHO someone re-wiring their car for the first time will find the loom from Premier Wiring a lot easier than putting in a 'standard' one, at around half the price, and end up with something probably safer than the original due to the proper fusing arrangements.

Pay your money and make your choice - I've no connection, except as a satisfied customer!
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PostPost by: carrierdave » Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:43 pm

Berni,
It sounds to me like a bad earth or junction point for the earths. Looking at my manual there are only three earth points ? at the front uprights, behind the facia near the head light switch and at the back. There are however numerous points where these earth points are cascaded through the car via the loom.

I think you must have a tight cable or loos cable in one of these connectors.

Regards

David
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PostPost by: niallf » Mon Jan 16, 2006 11:05 pm

Hi all, firstly happy new Lotusing year,

It comes with detailed instructions, a crimp tool, all the fittings you need and even the colours are correct.


Simon, don't think this isn't quite true, some of the colour coding is close, but it's not identical

, plus a few others that any metal bodied car loom would have to be extensively rebuilt to accomodate all the changes.


M100, the Premier Loom was specifically designed for kit cars, the earthing arrangement is therefore designed for seperate wiring. It's a non-standard, but perfectly feasible solution.

I hope it's well documented for the next owner!


For this reason, I chose to re-wire my Zetec +2S to the original wiring diagram (well 95%), but moved the fuse & relay housing into the rear of the glovebox. I've scanned the original wiring diagram and edited on the few tweaks (fuse box fuses for the radio etc.) so my bodgery is clear.

I also ran a 25sqmm cable from the battery earth to each of the earth points through the car (boot chassis, dashboard base, front suspension bolts and finally engine), so the chassis's not the only earth path.

Back to the windows, the original wiring diagram and the loom on my +2S had a connector from 'ignition on' +12v to the windows, as well as permanent +12v. The original idea appeared to be that with the ignition off you could raise, but not lower the windows (to lower needed ign +12v). With both these wires connected to the window switches, my windows behaved very wierdly (as the 'polarity crossover' switches aren't right for this wiring). Removing a dark green wire to my window switches sorted all my wierdness out !! (well car wierdness, at least !!!)

Cheers,

Niall
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PostPost by: berni29 » Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:21 am

Hi

I will have a look for a green wire, and put the fire extinguisher back in the car. The whole dash was rewired by the previous owner, and I want to rewire this one like I want a hole in the head! Every other electrical thing on the car works. Its just this intermittent window thing. What colour are the wires to the switches (apart from the green one)?

Thanks again

Berni
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www.searchsmart.co.uk/lotus
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PostPost by: lotusanglia1965 » Tue Jan 17, 2006 10:35 am

Hi!
Our plus two had iffy wiring,try this, 11 o'clock at night,drizzle, wipers,lights on, come to roundabout at end of bypass,indicate,brake,---- car fills completely with smoke! :shock: help! get pregnant wife out of car,with intermittant faulty door handle,then disconnect battery.
wonder why it's being totally rebuilt?!I'm making a new loom from scratch, with proper, modern relays and fuses.It's what I do for a living.Luckily!
good luck,
Martin
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Monty Python's The Life Of Brian,best film ever.
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PostPost by: berni29 » Tue Jan 17, 2006 10:53 am

Hi

How do you fancy making two at the same time? Must be easier! Economies of scale and all that. I cannot beat that story, but I have had every light on the car go out while driving down a very windy slate lined road in the middle of the night/nowhere in North Wales. Every light except the interior light, which came on! That was bad I can tell you. The fault was with the toggle switch (+2 not an "s").

Berni
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www.searchsmart.co.uk/lotus
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PostPost by: simon.mitchell » Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:01 pm

Hi Niall,
M100, the Premier Loom was specifically designed for kit cars, the earthing arrangement is therefore designed for seperate wiring. It's a non-standard, but perfectly feasible solution.
Take you're point on the colour code, but having just seen the thread on the Paul Matty loom;
no connectors, no wiring diagram and the wires do not appear to match up. Some of the wires are just snipped off
The other problem is that the colours are often not exactly the same
.

Seems to me that it's no more non standard than the 'standard' looms available!
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PostPost by: carrierdave » Tue Jan 17, 2006 10:03 pm

Hi Berni,
Have you tried introducing a different earth point to the wiring loom? The door curtsey light switches tends to get a bit rusty along with the connections in the side panel as they come through into the car. I had great fun with these where one minute the lights worked and one minute they didn't.
It may be worth just running an earth lead (small cable) with a bullet connection from the battery to the two earth connections at each door just to be certain of your earth.

Then as a second stage run a live feed straight to the window motor to test them out.

Have you tried this?

Dave
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