Lotus Elan

ignition switch gets very hot.

PostPost by: phatmendus » Sun Sep 18, 2005 6:35 pm

Can anyone offer advice to this problem..... when I turn over my engine to start my elan, if the engine doesnt fire quickly then the ignition switch in the engine bay attached to the bulkhead gets very hot to the point where it smokes if I was to carry on turning the engine over. The part that gets hot is the contact where the starter motor wire leaves the switch (so the part that is only live when spinning the starter)

Im not too sure whether to replace the switch or whether there is a more obvious problem? Just to add a point which may or may not be relivant is that there is a quick build op of rust/corrosion on the contact that gets hot, suggesting there is some kind of shorting issue or polarity problem.

Any Advice is good.


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PostPost by: ppnelan » Sun Sep 18, 2005 7:11 pm


I had a similar problem. It turned out to be the wire leading to the switch which had broken inside the insulation, right next to Lucar connector. I noticed that this area was more flexible that the rest of the wire, so I cut it off & soldered on a new connector further along - problem solved !
I took the switch apart (steering lock type) before I found the broken wire and cleaned the contacts which also helped to improve the starting capability no end...

Good luck,
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Sun Sep 18, 2005 9:56 pm

You need to re-make the termination on the end of the wire and clean the contacting surfaces of the connection.
Electric current through a resistance = heat, that's how an electric fire works! More resistance = more heat = "where is that extinguisher?"

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PostPost by: forfenderjazz » Tue Sep 20, 2005 9:43 pm

If it were mine I would double check that starter and make sure that it doesn't have a short in it. Most autoparts stores will test your starter for you for free. Its probably fine, but I wouldn't overlook anything a fire isn't what you need.
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