Lotus Elan

New Dash and switches, bad electrics

PostPost by: collins_dan » Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:47 pm

I just replaced my dash and switches, but have developed an electrical problem. When I reconnect the battery, the electric fuel pump and ignition light come on. Its as if the car thinks the key has been turned. I dropped the steering column down a bit to get the dash in, but all connections to the ignition switch look OK. As you will notice from the attached pictures of the back of my federal dash, the new switches are slightly different from the old ones: old washer had 2 blades and new washer has 6, old wiper had 4 and new has 6, windows old and new have 6, old panel and interior both had 2 and new both have 6, old headlamps had 2 and new has 6, old fan had 3 and new has 4. I attached the wiring to the same positions and ignored the extra blades. Not sure if this is right. If anyone else has already installed these new switches and overcome this problem, I would appreciate the advice. My hypothesis is that either a brown or purple wire (both of which are always on) is powering green (fuel pump...) and white wires (ignition light...), but I can't figure out where it could be happening. If I unplug the green at the fuse box, it makes no difference, it is getting its power from somewhere else. A green wire runs from the washer to both window switches. If I disconnect the green wire from both window switches, then the problem seems to go away, but now the fan and wiper switches won't work. I am also have trouble with the headlamp and panel switches. Any advice appreciated. I'm going to go back and compare my wiring to the manual. I'm also going to check the main ground behind the dash, as that is a possible cause. Can someone point me in the right direction as to where it is behind the dash? I seem to have grounds located it both of the door switches, Are there other locations. Thanks for your help. Dan
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new switches.JPG and
old switches.JPG and
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PostPost by: memini55 » Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:56 am

Hi Dan,
Welcome to the world of electrics! They can be a real challenge. The switch replacements you discribe with six blades as you say are double pole double throw rocker switches and for the most part should only have extra blades and not present a problem for you in most cases.
The ground connection which I used in doing a 72 Sprint recently was a large loop terminal that bolted to the 9/16" chasis bolt on the right lower corner of the dash and tunnel.
The green wire is a switched power wire going thru the fuse box and normally feed by the ignition switch.
Brown and purple are normally direct feeds of power from the battery or off the voltage regulator. The white wires are normally switched power from the ignition switch or on the ignition circut.
I know that may not be much help but it would be best to start by tracing everthing down with the wiring diagram.
Since you have replaced everything dash related I would guess something has been crossed. All my manuals are in the shop but I can get them out if needed. I seem to remeber you have an S4 and there are many changes in that model from early cars.
Let me know if you need more help.
Mark
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PostPost by: gerrym » Mon Mar 28, 2011 11:59 am

Dan, sorry but electrics and hypotheses don't mix. You need to systematically test the function of each switch (continuity meter or multimeter will do) and compare old and new switch functions. I'm assuming you still have the old switches?

If you check out my posts, you can see I've posted a table of connectivity for all of the rocker switches used in the Plus 2. The rocker switches used for the Sprint should be pretty much the same so I've saved you some work.

Regards
Gerry
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PostPost by: collins_dan » Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:49 pm

I think that I have determined the problem. The green wire that was jumping from the window switches to the washer was powering all green connections all the time. Removing that and I have got everything working, but the wipers (and possibly the washer, since I don't have a washer, I can't be sure). I suspect my green wire from the fuse box that powers these two is bad and may explain the PO green jump wires. The problem with the lighting was the connection to the headlamp switch was pushed off when I installed the headlamp mechanism.

Gerry, You are correct it is an S4 federal, I should have stated that. I will try to find your connectivity table. The new wiper switch is 6 posts as compared to the old 4 post, so its possible my problem with that may be that I have made the wrong choice by using the 4 outside posts, ignoring the 2 middle posts.

Thanks. Dan
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PostPost by: vernon.taylor » Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:47 pm

Hello collins_dan

Are these replacement switches for the plus 2, as well?

If so, where did you get them and were they silly money?

Thanks

Vernon
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PostPost by: collins_dan » Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:27 pm

I got the switches from Ray at http://www.rdent.com/

Yes, they are for the Plus 2 also. Basically, $30 per switch. What you will notice from the picture of the back of the switches as that they are not identical to the old. I also think they are not at deep as the old, as I did not need a back reinforcement on the dash to raise the switches to be flush.

I'll ask Ray if he has any kind of wiring scheme for the new switches as compared to the old.

They do look great. My old switches worked fine, but were fading. I'll post a picture.

Dan
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PostPost by: gerrym » Mon Mar 28, 2011 5:20 pm

Dan, here's the link to an earlier posting with a spreadsheet for the switch functions. Yours will probably be different but at least you have a format to follow. I just used Excel soi easy to change. post125554.html#p125554

If your switches are the same as mine, there are tiny terminal numbers molded into the plastic for positive identification of which terminal you are connected to.

Regards

Gerry
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PostPost by: collins_dan » Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:36 pm

Gerry, Thanks.

Bob is sending the diagram for the new switches, so that I can see if they match.

Cheers, Dan
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:15 am

Dan

Here is a link I found helpful to sort out the wiper circuits. I assume your car has the two speed wipers. Your wire colours will be different than Lucas standard in the Triumph article, but wire functions should be the same. I have a diagram around somewhere that illustrates the wiper motor plug and the wire colours used in my Federal Plus 2; let me know if you would like it.

http://www.vtr.org/maintain/wiper-problem.shtml

For the window lifts, they are different to the Plus 2, but there have been several posts on the topic for the two seat Elan. Not sure for your car, but mine work all the time (purple).

HTH
Stu
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PostPost by: collins_dan » Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:56 pm

Thanks. I think I need to check the power source (green) that goes into the wiper motor plug. I'm thinking there is a problem with that wire and hence the jumper line the PO had run. Dan
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PostPost by: BillGates » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:38 am

where did you get your new dash and switches dude? Im looking for some good ones on many ads but still got nothing.
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PostPost by: sveris » Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:30 pm

Guys,

To echo what another member just stated, test the function of the new switches, because the internals may or may not be identical to OEM.

I can supply most of these rocker style switches, too. Mine are a little different than Ray's, because they don't have the jumper wires on the back, and I enlarge the holes on the mounting tabs so that you don't have trouble attaching them to the back of the dashboard.

Switches for the electric windows, the 3-position OFF-ON-ON one for the lamps, and the 2-position OFF-ON ones are no problem. The momentary OFF-ON one for the washer is in short supply, and the hazard switch for the US market is NLA.

I did a complete set a couple years ago for an S4 Sprint Coupe restoration. FWIW, a member of our Europa Yahoo Group has managed to restore the old OEM ones by polishing. If someone can instruct me EXACTLY how to post a photo on this forum, I would be happy to show everyone the results. Last time I managed to get photos up, it was completely by accident. HTH.

Steve in Ohio
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PostPost by: collins_dan » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:41 pm

Steve, it is as you stated. The internals of the new switches were a mirror image of the old. By switching the wires to match, all is good. Dan
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