Lotus Elan

Combo Gauge

PostPost by: Frank Howard » Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:15 am

I've searched the archives but have not found a definitive solution to repairing the water temperature part of the combo gauge other than sending it out. I sent mine out to Nisonger and they repaired it for $120. Unfortunately, the repair lasted 3-1/2 years. I called them and they told me that they now charge $155 to repair it. On the other hand, I can purchase a new one from them for $160 however the face might not be exactly the same. Humm....I think I'm beginning to figure out how they "repair" them.

The archives indicate that the bulb is filled with ether. Isn't ether starting fluid? Has anyone attempted to fill the bulb with starting fluid and then solder it back on to the tube with an electric soldering gun? If so, how much ether is needed?
Last edited by Frank Howard on Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: twincamman » Sun Mar 14, 2010 1:47 am

wait for the explosion when you try it -fooling with ether is tricky -I think it requires cooling the gas to a liquid and soldering the bulb with a hot non electric iron ------ I would just get the old one fixed--safer --ed
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Sun Mar 14, 2010 5:50 pm

Hi Frank,
http://www.ply33.com/Repair/tempgauge
Found this article on repairing a gauge which may be of interest. It describes grafting on the capillary and already ether filled bulb from a donor gauge not actually refilling the existing gauge. Not sure how practical it would be to repair and refill your old capillary and bulb so replacing is probably the best option. I had my gauge refurbished a year or so ago by Speedy Cables in the UK and it came back looking like new with a new capillary and bulb fitted, don't know if it works as the car isn't running yet. Cost was ?45 back then (about $70 ?) but not sure what it would be now.

Regards,
Attachments
Refurbished oil and water gauge 004.jpg and
Refurbished oil and water gauge 002.jpg and
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PostPost by: prezoom » Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:30 pm

Frank,
Skinned Knuckles restoration magazine has published several articles on how to restore a temp gauge. Not rocket science. I gave a breif look, but couldn't find the article, but my stack of old issures is quite deep. They have most back issues for sale. You can contact Neil Maken, publisher at:
SK Publishing
9837 Flamingo Ave
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
sk.publishing @yahoo.com

They have published the repair proceedure at least a couple of times. I looks fairly simple. This evening I'll go through the stack and try to find the latest issue detailing the repair.

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PostPost by: Chrisrich » Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:07 pm

I just happened to have that issue of Skinned Knuckles out-- it's Feb 2010, although the first part of the article might have been Jan '10.

I had mine rebuilt a few years ago at Mo-Ma guage repair 505-766-6661. Paid $165 for that.
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PostPost by: prloz » Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:39 am

Hi Roger,
Problem is - they rebuild the 60 psi. guage with the "square" fonts of the 100 psi. guage, not the "tall/narrow" fonts of the original 60 psi guage.
Regards,
Peter.
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:23 pm

Hi Peter,
Not quite sure what you mean - are you saying my gauge is wrong?
It is original to the car and I took pics of it before I sent it away and again when it came back. I can't detect any difference in the font between the two. Maybe you are talking about a replacement gauge rather than refurbing the original ? I believe that there were several versions of this gauge used - not just 60psi and 100psi oil pressure but also Farenheit and Centigrade scales as well but I didn't realize the font was also varied.

Regards,
Roger
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PostPost by: prloz » Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:43 am

Hi Roger,
Difficult to refurb these guages now as the 40 year old paint is flaking from the dials. You get a new guage back that's "not exactly the same". Not sure about the S4, but the earlier cars had 60 psi dials with tall/narrow fonts that seem to be unobtainable.
Seems the only choice available now is a 60 psi dial with a square font, or 100 psi dial with a tall/narrow font.
Regards,
Peter.
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