Lotus Elan

BATTERY

PostPost by: martinbrowning » Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:15 pm

I dragged my Lotus out of hibernation last week,to prepare it for the MOT.Not surprisingly the battery didn't want to play and so I put it onto the CTEK charger for a week.Yesterday I tried to take the car for MOT but the battery still wasn't that great-needed to jump the car from my wife's daily runner.As a result,I was not sure about stopping the engine again and the test centre refused the test.....DEAD BATTERY.
Time for a new battery so.....anybody had experience of batteries from Knight or Burton?Are they worth the money or do I just buy off the shelf from a motor factor?
(I live in Northern Ireland so there are often carriage issues from the mainland).

Regards

Martin
Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.
72 Europa Special, 72 Sprint, 72 Plus 2
martinbrowning
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 326
Joined: 07 Jun 2007
Location: Belfast

PostPost by: elansprint » Sun Mar 15, 2009 4:42 pm

Martin you should leave the CTEK charger plugged in over winter to avoid the problem
Ian
elansprint
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 500
Joined: 12 Sep 2003

PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:28 am

This could be the start of an interesting thread as there must be some battery specialists amongst us.
Years ago it was said that average starter battery life was expected to be about 3 years.
With my everyday cars I've had no problems because the car was changed at latest after 12 months.
So here I am lacking in recent experience.
Prior to that I did have the occasional battery problem.
With my Elan, I finished a total rebuild in 2000 when a new (Supermarket) battery was fitted.
With the car basically being only used on "high days & Holidays" I invested in a "Battery Conditioner"; one of those little devices that charges & discharges the battery a bit , just to keep it active.
The car is always connected up to this when not being driven.
I've noticed in the past couple of years that starting after 3 to 4 months non-use in Winter is difficult to start the engine
(I refuse to start the engine without the possibility of running it up to temperature, so make no attemt in this period)
The battery shows signs of being on its last legs. However the engine usually spits into life after letting things rest for an hour or two & maybe drying out wetted plugs.
A nice little run to get the engine hot & pump some juice back into the battery sorts everything out for the rest of the Summer.
I am starting to think that I'm now tempting fate with a 10 year old battery.
So I'd like to add my question to this thread.
What is the battery life expectancy in a car used in this sort of way?
I think that using the "Conditioner" has helped in extending the life of my present battery :?

Cheers
John
Beware of the Illuminati


Editor: On Sunday morning, February 8th 2015, Derek "John" Pelly AKA GrumpyBodger passed away genuinely peacefully at Weston Hospicecare, Weston Super Mare. He will be missed.
User avatar
GrUmPyBoDgEr
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 3151
Joined: 29 Oct 2004
Location: Burnham-on-Mud

PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Mon Mar 16, 2009 1:04 pm

My Battery gave up the ghost last year. A Standard Halfords item purchased in - If I recall - 1999. I've never used a trickle charger, but also I don't fire the car up unless I'm going to use it properly (Apart from when I need to get into the garage loft :| ). Occasionally fully discharged after long idle periods, it would recharge fine using a normal Gunston charger.

I've now got another - standard - battery from my local factors for about ?48 - so let's see how we go. If it lasts 5 years that's still only ?10 per year.......

Richard
Richard
'72 Sprint
richardcox_lotus
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1152
Joined: 11 Jul 2004
Location: Kent

PostPost by: dgently » Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:14 pm

My battery is about five years old, was iffy last year and pretty useless this year. I need a new one, and am more concerned about anchoring it properly than anything else.

My battery is anchored in the boot with a flange that seats into a V-channel on the LHS base of the Exide battery. The RHS is just jammed with a bit of wood. Is this normal? Is there usually a strap/bar across the top?

I'm also looking to get one with the polarity reversed - ie posts to the rear of the battery and positive terminal to the right viewed from behind the car. This would save me rejigging the heavy cables. I understand Japanese batteries are normally reversed in this way. I have the DIY polarity reversal guide. Anyone done this?
68 +2 Carnival Red
dgently
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 74
Joined: 21 Apr 2008
Location: Meath, Ireland

PostPost by: martinbrowning » Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:57 pm

Just an update to my initial battery problem.........

I bought a new battery today but it still wouldn't start the car.However,when I
connected a much higher capacity battery from a V12 XJS with jump leads it spun over and started.
Thinking about the problems at the MOT centre,the car wouldn't spin and start after
I had switched it off but - 10 minutes later it did spin and start.

Do you think that this might be indicating a problem with the starter motor?

Regards

Martin B
Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.
72 Europa Special, 72 Sprint, 72 Plus 2
martinbrowning
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 326
Joined: 07 Jun 2007
Location: Belfast

PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Mon Mar 23, 2009 6:07 pm

Clean up your battery and engine earth points first of all, and check the connection to the starter.

Mark
User avatar
Elanintheforest
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 2878
Joined: 04 Oct 2005
Location: Forest Of Dean, Gloucestershire

PostPost by: elanmac » Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:50 pm

In answer to DGENTLY, my battery uses the moulding along the bottom ends of the battery to hold it in place. The rhs fits under a lip formed in the wheel arch, the lhs has a clamp shaped like a letter L lying on its side with a 5/16 hex screw into a bobbin in the floor. My battery also has the terminals at the rear with the Neg on the left or rear of the car.
Mac
elanmac
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 66
Joined: 04 Nov 2005
Location: Wolverhampton

PostPost by: dgently » Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:30 pm

Thanks for that Elanman, I'm still looking for a new Exide that fits the bill.
68 +2 Carnival Red
dgently
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 74
Joined: 21 Apr 2008
Location: Meath, Ireland

PostPost by: martinbrowning » Thu Mar 26, 2009 2:48 pm

Many thanks Mark/Elaninthe forest. Checked all earth connections and starter connections
etc- no problems.
However.....I have found that the positive connection post on the starter solenoid (the starter motor has the solenoid fixed to it externally) can be wriggled about.Do they all do that or might I have found the source of this annoying and intermittent starting problem?

Martin B
Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.
72 Europa Special, 72 Sprint, 72 Plus 2
martinbrowning
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 326
Joined: 07 Jun 2007
Location: Belfast

PostPost by: Frank Howard » Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:49 pm

Martin,

I think you've got it! :mrgreen:
Frank Howard
'71 S4 SE
Minnesota
Frank Howard
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 994
Joined: 30 Mar 2004

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests