Lotus Elan

Alternator Wiring

PostPost by: l10tus » Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:27 am

I did post an earlier question, but it seems to have stumpped everyone?

Or perhaps it wasn't understood?

However, perhaps someone would be able to confirm which Alternator plug terminal the large Brown / White wire, is connected to? (Lucas LRA 101 - with 3 pin plug).

Is it the centre (large) terminal, or the first (large) terminal ?

The Club Lotus i-Tec wiring diagram has it as the centre (large plug), but the jump lead purchased from P. matty, has it as the first large connection ?

Neither are open, so any help today would be appreciated!

Thanks,

Phil.

Tel: 07745514123 Shropshire ,UK
Philip.

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Sometimes my Lotus makes me cry.
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:32 am

Hi,
As far as I know the two large terminals are connected together so it would make no difference which one you used, the small one is for the warning light.
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PostPost by: Orsom Weels » Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:00 pm

Hi Phil,
I would agree the two large terminals are common & the smaller terminal is for the warning light, therefore it doesn't matter which one you use. The two common terminals are provided to allow for different manufacturers wiring styles, some use the spare to feed into the fuse box, where as Lotus feed the fuse box from the 'hot' side of the solenoid.
Hope that make sense :)
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PostPost by: l10tus » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:12 pm

Really do appreciate you both taking the time to reply, that's great, and answers my wiring question.
Whilst on a roll, do either of you know how best to wire a 60amp ammeter into my S4 circuitry please?

Best regards,

Phil.
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:55 pm

A lot of people prefer to fit a voltmeter rather then an ammeter which is associated with fire risks, the ammeter has to carry a heavy load behind the dash in a confined space with the chance of a short circuit.
A voltmeter only has the normal gauge + wire and an earth.
It is much easier to wire a voltmeter as with an ammeter you have to splice into the current carrying wire.
If you do want to fit an ammeter I think there would be posts on it in the archives but I would think seriously about chopping a hole in the dash for any gauge which IMHO is not really necessary.

http://www.egauges.com/ATM_Tips.asp?Tip ... mmeter.htm
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PostPost by: billwill » Sat Dec 31, 2011 2:25 am

l10tus wrote:Really do appreciate you both taking the time to reply, that's great, and answers my wiring question.
Whilst on a roll, do either of you know how best to wire a 60amp ammeter into my S4 circuitry please?

Best regards,

Phil.


An ammeter would be connected by connecting it into the thick brown wire that runs from the starter solenoid to the fuzebox.

i.e.
1. Disconnect main battery, in the boot.
2. disconnect thick brown wire from the fuze-box & reroute it from the starter solenoid, through the firewall to one terminal of the ammeter.
3. connect a fresh thick brown wire from the other terminal of the ammeter to the vacated terminal on the fuze-box.
4. reconnect the main battery

If it shows + (charging) with the engine off & headlight on, change over the terminals on the ammeter. (disconnect Main battery in the boot while doing this).
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PostPost by: l10tus » Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:34 am

Thanks to all for the replies, much appreciated.

As with so many well intentioned plans for jobs on the car, I had the refurbished (straight grain) dash, prepared with a 'balancing' hole to the left of the radio appature, ready to accept the Ammeter, prior to reading the many splendid links on the subject in the Forums.

Remember: MUST READ FORUMS FIRST (idiot!)

I note the general concensuss of opinion not to install the Ammeter, and will look for a Voltmeter instead - any source suggestions to match the other instruments?

The single bit of positive attribute I suppose, seems to be that the new hole position appears reasonably acceptable to most other owners?

I do applogise to the purists, and can confirm all other aspects of the rebuild are as 'original' as possible.

The car has been returned to it's original Pistastio Green colour (from it's resprayed Blue / White colour).

The Girling Powerstop servo was fully refurbishable, and refitted.

The Wing indicator repeaters, were the original small (non Lucas )type, and retained.

It has the original Silver front Digits on the black mesh grille. etc,

The car is approx 40 hrs. away from it's 'rebirth' and I'm desperate to finish it this year, to take part in the anniversary celebrations.

Best regards,

Phil.

'Sometimes, my Lotus makes me cry'
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PostPost by: rodlittle » Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:16 pm

With all due respect, I don't think a voltmeter is going to tell you anything useful!
12V lead acid batteries read 12V on a small insensitive voltmeter whether they are nearly fully charged or nearly flat.
When you're cranking the starter it will drop and if the battery is flat it will tell you by dropping a lot but you already knew that because the starter was hardly turning
likewise if you have the headlights on and the charge system isnt working the volts will eventually drop but again you already knew that because the lights were getting dim and the charge warning light was on.
just my thoughts
cheers
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PostPost by: billwill » Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:12 pm

Heh, heh.

The usual voltmeter for a car, often called a battery condition meter, actually has a range of about 9 volts to 16 volts, i.e. the bottom 9 volts are off the scale on the left.

This makes it more useful.

The important readings are what is the voltage before starting the car (should be about 12,6 volts I think) and what is the voltage when the engine is running at about 2000 rpm, i.e charging the battery, in which case it should be about 14.4 volts.

I've got a small LED version with green leds for normal range, yellow for low voltage and red for excess voltage. It plugs into the cigar lighter socket.
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Sun Jan 01, 2012 4:57 pm

l10tus wrote:...I note the general consensus of opinion not to install the Ammeter, and will look for a Voltmeter instead - any source suggestions to match the other instruments?...

Best regards,

Phil.

'Sometimes, my Lotus makes me cry'


I got one from eBay for my Plus 2. Searching on 'Smiths Voltmeter' or 'Smiths Battery Condition' should bring up some.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from= ... Categories

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R4 ... Categories

There are basically two types of needle covers to look at (with the needle mounted/pivoted from the top of the gauge).

This link shows the voltmeter shown in my Lotus Plus 2 Workshop Manual under a section for voltmeter conversion (recommended by Lotus when installing an alternator). The needle cover is rounded, which did not match my other Plus 2 gauges very well. This is the type I bought, although I swapped out the square shaped needle cover from my Ammeter to better match the other gauges.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/smiths-batter ... 20c0cab4f6

These links shows an alternative style that comes with the square needle cover. The gauge marking colours are a bit different in this style.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/smiths-batter ... 20c0cab4f6

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-Smith ... 35b5739c06

Several of the gauge sellers on eBay have links to their stores which may show some other available styles. Note there are a variety of chrome bezel styles on the gauges as well to consider when matching to your car.

As described above, the connection of the voltmeter is very straight forward with light wiring. Depending on your re-wiring configuration, you can consider connection to either hot in run - start - fused (Green) or hot in run - start - unfused (White). The White is preferable to avoid additional small voltage drops thru the fuse box whereas the Green provides fuse protection for the voltmeter wiring. There is probably a readily available White connection at the input to the voltage stabilizer, although the details of your Elan wiring may be a bit different than my Plus 2. In any case, best to try and minimize the number of connectors the voltmeter wires go thru.

HTH
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