Lotus Elan

Position and access to reverse light switch

PostPost by: jmp » Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:18 pm

Hi all. Looked at the rear lights on the elan today and with new earths and new cables have got all the lights working. ONE PROBLEM reversing light!!! It is always on. I'm assuming it is a problem with the switch but how do you access it? Does the transmission cover need to come off and how easy is this if it does?
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PostPost by: innesw » Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:47 pm

5 speed or 4 speed gearbox?

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PostPost by: RichC » Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:39 am

for 4 speed try checking out the wiring as it goes into top of switch which is on top of gearbox in right hand corner just b4 bellhousing. Mine was squashed together & shorted giving same problem which is why PO had disconnected wires at bulkhead fusebox . the switch was fine .
Maybe worth checking full length of wiring just in case it has fallen out of place and shorted out somewhere
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PostPost by: Craig Elliott » Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:57 am

You can just about access the 5 speed one by supporting the gearbox and undoing the rear gearbox mounting....

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PostPost by: jmp » Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:28 pm

Thanks for the replies. It is a 4 speed box but I've been told the switch is on the right of the gearbox. I'll have to get underneath the car to see if I can access the wires.
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PostPost by: crannyr » Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:40 pm

Unless yours if didderent from the other 6 or 8 I have worked on the swith will be in the top of the gear box just behind the bell housing. Can be reached from the top but not easy.
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Sat Aug 13, 2011 3:03 pm

jmp, the switch on the four speed is a round shaped unit located on the top of the box casing on the right side just behind bell housing seam with two wires. I have the stock four speed in the shed and can take a pic and a few measurements for you if it will help in locating. Can't recall how to access the switch with the box in the car though, but I believe it was tight. On mine the connections to the switch are crappy soldered connections, and I can see where they could be easily crushed together like Rich says. Switch threads in; can take wrench size for you if you need it as it may be hard to see.

Looking at the wiring diagram for my Federal model the wire colours to the switch are Green and Green/Brown, which would indicate in stock form the reverse lights are switched from the hot side rather than grounded thru the switch. This seems to be the diagram configuration on several other model Plus 2 diagrams I looked at. I believe I changed this on my re-wire to switch to ground. In any case, if yours is wired this way, look for the two wires shorting together or the switch jamming on like Rich suggests; if the Green or Green/Brown were shorting to ground somehow it would blow the fuse rather than leave the reverse lights on. Of course, keep in mind a previous owner could have changed the wiring from stock.

To check the switch & wiring easily, perhaps try isolating the Green/Brown at the bullet connectors under the dash before it goes thru the fire wall. If the Green/Brown is hot 12v with key on independent of shift lever position you know the fault is either the switch, switch wiring, or the switch actuation from inside the box. Mine is a LHD car, and these bullets were LHS of car; not sure if RHD.

HTH
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PostPost by: jmp » Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:51 pm

Thanks stu, this will help a great deal and hopefully I will have chance to look at it later tomorrow.
"jmp, the switch on the four speed is a round shaped unit located on the top of the box casing on the right side just behind bell housing seam with two wires. I have the stock four speed in the shed and can take a pic and a few measurements for you if it will help in locating. Can't recall how to access the switch with the box in the car though, but I believe it was tight. On mine the connections to the switch are crappy soldered connections, and I can see where they could be easily crushed together like Rich says. Switch threads in; can take wrench size for you if you need it as it may be hard to see.

Looking at the wiring diagram for my Federal model the wire colours to the switch are Green and Green/Brown, which would indicate in stock form the reverse lights are switched from the hot side rather than grounded thru the switch. This seems to be the diagram configuration on several other model Plus 2 diagrams I looked at. I believe I changed this on my re-wire to switch to ground. In any case, if yours is wired this way, look for the two wires shorting together or the switch jamming on like Rich suggests; if the Green or Green/Brown were shorting to ground somehow it would blow the fuse rather than leave the reverse lights on. Of course, keep in mind a previous owner could have changed the wiring from stock.

To check the switch & wiring easily, perhaps try isolating the Green/Brown at the bullet connectors under the dash before it goes thru the fire wall. If the Green/Brown is hot 12v with key on independent of shift lever position you know the fault is either the switch, switch wiring, or the switch actuation from inside the box. Mine is a LHD car, and these bullets were LHS of car; not sure if RHD.

HTH"
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PostPost by: jmp » Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:53 pm

Thanks everyone on the position of the switch. I should be on to it tomorrow evening.
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