Lotus Elan

Ignition Light Stays On - What Next?

PostPost by: AlfaLofa » Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:42 am

My ignition light refuses to go out.

This morning I have:

    Cleaned the regulator box points
    Cleaned the regulator box connectors
    Cleaned the connectors on the generator
    And checked the fan belt tension

And the light still stays on.

Presumably the brushes and the commutator in the generator must be gummed up - or is there anything else I need to look at?

Any advice would be most welcome.
Steve
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:13 pm

Hi Steve,
You've checked all the obvious things, my guess would be the brushes are worn out.........http://www.autoelectricsupplies.co.uk/p ... ategory/84
Roger
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PostPost by: m750rider » Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:20 pm

It sounds like you need to replace or repair the generator.
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PostPost by: Keith Scarfe » Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:53 pm

The information in the workshop manual is actually really good for fault finding and setting up these. You really need a multimeter to look at some resistance and voltage levels. Do you have the workshop manual?
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PostPost by: AlfaLofa » Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:40 pm

Hi Keith,

Yes I've got the manual and a multimeter - but a multimeter and me is not a natural pairing!

I'll remove the generator (perhaps tomorrow) and see what it looks like.

New brushes look a good idea - so I have just ordered some from the site recommended by oldelanman. (Thanks)
Steve
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PostPost by: Maulden7 » Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:32 pm

If the fault is more than just brushes and you need another generator, I have one sitting in my garage that was working fine before I removed it from my S2 Elan to fit an alternator, & I will happily send it to you (with a new set of brushes) for the cost of the postage only.
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PostPost by: AlfaLofa » Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:27 pm

Hi Maulden7

You're a star!

I'll see how I get on tomorrow.
Steve
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PostPost by: ricarbo » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:15 pm

Sounds like no output from the dynamo to me.
The quick and easy basic test for the dynamo is:-
Remove both wires from the dynamo.
connect the two terminals of the dynamo to each other, and one probe of a voltmeter to that point.
connect the other voltmeter probe to earth.
start the engine and let it idle. you should see perhaps 16 volts at about 1000 rpm. Don't rev the engine too much, but the voltage should vary with engine speed.

If there's no or very little output, the brushes would be the first thing to check, they may have worn down to the extent they are not being pressed onto the armature by the springs.

Regulator settings are quite fiddly to do.

Richard
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PostPost by: Galwaylotus » Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:37 pm

Last year on my Elan, I wasn't getting any charge so I removed the control box (regulator) and when I turned it over saw what appears to be a resistor, the connecting tab of which had rotted away. I chucked it in the bin and replaced the dynamo with an alternator. What a difference! I now had over 13V at idle and my dying battery is a thing of the past. If I were you, I'd check the control box first as it's the easiest and cheapest thing to do. :wink:
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PostPost by: bast0n » Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:29 pm

...................fit an alternator?

Never regreted it and with my double pulley system no water pump problems and max chat for the fan in very hot conditions.............

You know it makes sense. If C Chapman had had the knowledge of the way we use our cars today - that is those of us who do big mileages all the time in often very hot conditions - he would have fitted alternators and HUGE electric fans................

Like wot I have done :lol:
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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:43 pm

Number 3 or (4?) for Alternator fit... Do it! You will not regret it.

As above... It will keep things running when the Gennie would have let you down.

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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:41 am

bast0n wrote:...................fit an alternator?

Never regreted it and with my double pulley system no water pump problems and max chat for the fan in very hot conditions.............

You know it makes sense. If C Chapman had had the knowledge of the way we use our cars today - that is those of us who do big mileages all the time in often very hot conditions - he would have fitted alternators and HUGE electric fans................

Like wot I have done :lol:


I think Chunky would have fitted whatever was cheapest and could carry on until just after the warranty expired!

Regards,
Dan
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PostPost by: AlfaLofa » Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:55 am

If I get an alternator - what else will need changing?

Will the control box be up to the job?

And will the new (alternator) fan belt be suitable for my original 48 year old pulleys?

Any recommendations regarding which alternator to fit?
Steve
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PostPost by: alexblack13 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:25 am

Probably just the mounting bracketry, & you will possibly change from + to - earth if not already done so.. It's an easy change over but has BIG benefits. As David (above) says running biggish cooling fan(s) in hot weather can flatten batteries. Then you do have problems. Sometimes resulting in blown head gaskets or worse.

The drive belt I think is the same.

Change over. Many of the later cars left the factory fitted with Alternators..

The Forum here will answer any spec' questions you may have. My car came with one so I did not need to do it myself but it's not difficult..

Have fun...

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PostPost by: ElanSeries2 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:16 am

If you do a search on this site, there's loads of info (I just typed "fitting alternator" into the box top right. Try this for starters:

elan-f15/fitting-alternator-t14326.html

I think Brian Buckland covers this in his excellent book. I seem to remember that Paul Matty will sell you the relevant brackets, and you can pick up 45A alternators cheaply in many places - but again, Paul may sell one. Paul does sell the plug that you need to fit to get the wiring into the alternator. I think that's it?
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