Lotus Elan

Electrical Problems

PostPost by: Galwaylotus » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:25 pm

First the good news. I'm driving the Elan a lot more recently - and loving it!!
Ok. I have the following electrical problems:

If I use the directional indicators, I immediately lose the tach and fuel gauge (as well as the dir ind). Even when I cancel the dir ind, the other gauges don't immediately start working again. The same thing happens if I try to turn on the heater fan.

My windows stopped working after a couple of winters outside. I took off the door panels and removed the switches to check connections and continuity. I found that the switches (each one) don't seem to have any continuity between either NG or NR and the black terminal. I even pried open one switch, cleaned it thoroughly and sprayed switch cleaner into each but the problem is still there. If I reverse the connections, the window will go down but not back up until I put the connections back to their original locations. It follows then that the problem is back at the switch rather than in the door motor or cabling.

I have the shop manual and the wiring diagram but I haven't solved the puzzles yet. If anyone has ideas on what to look at next, please let me know. Thanks.
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PostPost by: neilsjuke » Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:30 pm

check for dirty fuse to start with
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PostPost by: billwill » Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:22 pm

Window wiring has been mentioned recently on this forum, do a search.
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:35 pm

Sounds to me like an earthing problem.
The Symptoms you're describing are common on Elans & if you go around all of the earthing points & give them a good clean things should start to work properly again.

Good luck
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PostPost by: Galwaylotus » Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:59 pm

Thanks, John, but I had already done that. I opened each earth, wire brushed the components and reconnected each then smeared with an electrical-friendly grease (Permatex Super Lube - same stuff we used at assembly when I worked in an automotive industry). I just cleaned the fuses so I'll need to see if there's any improvement.
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:18 pm

Galwaylotus wrote:Thanks, John, but I had already done that. I opened each earth, wire brushed the components and reconnected each then smeared with an electrical-friendly grease (Permatex Super Lube - same stuff we used at assembly when I worked in an automotive industry). I just cleaned the fuses so I'll need to see if there's any improvement.


I should have known that, sorry!
My Elan's electrics were so bad I decided to pull the whole Car apart & start again.
I ended up with a Zetec + all the Bells & Whistles, yup turned out expensive & didn't quite solve some of the problems that old electrical components can throw at you.
In any case good luck, I can't help any further, not a Sparks me :)

John
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PostPost by: cliveyboy » Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:55 pm

Had similar symptoms.
Turned out to be fan belt loose so alternator not charging properly.
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PostPost by: carrot » Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:59 pm

Try running a jump lead from the Batt neg to a good earth and see if the problem is still there...
Try a known good battery.. and so on.
Process of elimination...
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:55 pm

As for the windows .... as your motors run OK in both directions when you swap the wires it sounds like the switch is the problem. Could it possibly be that the connections to the switch are incorrect ? The wiring diagram does not indicated where the connections go on the switch.

It's a double pole double throw switch modified to act as a changeover switch by the addition of external wires soldered between the diagonally opposite contacts. There are six connections but in this application only four are used. The +ve (N) and the earth (B) go to the two connections at one end of the switch while the two wires to the motor (NG and NR) go to the middle pair, the other two connections are not used. Thus when you operate the switch in one direction the NG wire is connected to +ve (N) and the NR wire is connected to earth (B), when you operate in the other direction the connections are reversed by the external crossover wires. I've not explained that very well but hopefully you see what I mean.

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PostPost by: Galwaylotus » Tue Apr 20, 2010 6:04 pm

neilsjuke wrote:check for dirty fuse to start with
Neil

Neil, great suggestion. I pulled both fuses and thoroughly cleaned the end caps. Now I can use the turn signals and the heater motor and I still don't lose the tach or fuel gauge! I love this forum - so much experience and such helpful people. Thanks again to all who replied.
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PostPost by: Galwaylotus » Tue Apr 20, 2010 6:16 pm

Roger,
Thanks for the reply. As it happens that's the same conclusion I reached. I had metered each switch for continuity and for some reason each one seems faulty on one of the lower terminals, hence the same symptom on each window. I had traced the cabling between each switch and its corresponding window so I knew the cabling was ok. Iin addition I swapped connections to prove it wasn't at the motor end. I can make each window go up or down but not both so that proves ther's a circuit in each direction and isolates the fault to the switch. Does anyone know where I can get good replacements? I suppose one other thing I can try is to remake the bridge between the upper and lower terminals on the switch in case the solder joints are bad - but it doesn't seem likely. :?
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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 7:38 am

Hi Bud, All....
You will probably know this but (on my car at least) the windows will go down with Ign sw off, but not back up! Have you tried raising them with the Ign sw off or on? If off.... There's your problem!

Alex B.... 8)
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PostPost by: neilsjuke » Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:30 am

Now you have done the fuse you will find that the feed to the ignition switched supplies are terminated in crimp push in nipple/bullet connectors behind the dash in groups of colours green white or brown (live non sw) so switch clean and scotch brite them if found to be at fault.
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When I changed the dash I replaced them with brass and soldered them even though I have the proper crimp tool I like to leave the wire long and run some solder in the end and cut off.
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PostPost by: Galwaylotus » Thu Apr 22, 2010 6:11 pm

alexblack13 wrote:Hi Bud, All....
You will probably know this but (on my car at least) the windows will go down with Ign sw off, but not back up! Have you tried raising them with the Ign sw off or on? If off.... There's your problem!

Alex B.... 8)

Alex,
Thanks for the tip but it didn't work on my S3. As I said earlier, I did meter the switches for continuity and I'm not getting any output on the terminal for the black cable so that seems to be my issue.
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PostPost by: Galwaylotus » Thu Apr 22, 2010 6:13 pm

neilsjuke wrote:Now you have done the fuse you will find that the feed to the ignition switched supplies are terminated in crimp push in nipple/bullet connectors behind the dash in groups of colours green white or brown (live non sw) so switch clean and scotch brite them if found to be at fault.
Neil
When I changed the dash I replaced them with brass and soldered them even though I have the proper crimp tool I like to leave the wire long and run some solder in the end and cut off.

Neil,
Thanks. That will be my next job. May not be able to check it out until the weekend.
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