Lotus Elan

Oil gauge back lighting

PostPost by: William2 » Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:20 pm

The oil/water gauge on my Elan S4 appears not to have a rear lamp. Instead it appears to have several slots in the sides of the case with opaque plastic lens material. Does this mean it is not a genuine Elan gauge?
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PostPost by: billwill » Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:33 pm

The fragility of the capllary tube means this instrument is often replaced.

At times they have been difficult to get hold of?

So there is quite a high probability that yours is not the original fitted.
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Sat Nov 09, 2013 9:06 pm

The early cars had some of the gauges that had "windows" in the side with a bracket also on the side that a bulb fitted into, it then shone into the gauge (in a fashion :roll: )
My S2 has at least one gauge with this system, I think the later gauges had the bulb fitted into the actual gauge. Maybe you have a gauge from an early car.
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:28 pm

And original Elan oil gauges only went to 60 psi. Many owners, me included, fitted high pressure kits to the engines (my Sprite had 60 psi, so why not the Elan too). This kit pegged the gauge on start-up, so the solution was to fit a gauge with a 100psi scale. My Elans have had 100psi gauges since 1974.

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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:29 pm

I had to replace the dual gauge during the rebuild of my S4.
For that I had to send off my original, which accommodated its own lamp holder & in return I got one with those plastic windows in it. Unfortunately that part of the rebuild got delayed & I noticed the difference way to late to expect the supplier to comply with sending my own gauge in reconditioned state back to me..............Grrrr that's the way it goes isn't it folks.

Anyway back to the scientific bit; unfortunately the thickness of the Elan's wooden dashboard effectively blanks off those "windows" so that if an external light source is available it would not illuminate the gauge.

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PostPost by: billwill » Mon Nov 11, 2013 4:44 pm

Holden have the gauges on their website, in 0-60 and 0-100 psi type and with either Centigrade or Farenheit on the water temp scale.

Pretty expensive though at over ?90
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PostPost by: Quart Meg Miles » Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:01 pm

GrUmPyBoDgEr wrote: unfortunately the thickness of the Elan's wooden dashboard effectively blanks off those "windows" so that if an external light source is available it would not illuminate the gauge.

Cheers John

Early dashboards were recessed at the back for an external bulb. In my case the bulb holder was part of the bracket holding the gauge in and the bulb pressed against the wood until I modified the holder.

In the S4 you would have to chisel or rout out a similar recess and make a bulb holder to take the existing bulb carrier in the loom.
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:35 pm

The cut-ways as noted in the above post, this dash is from a late S3.
Attachments
S3 DASH (rear) 006 (Copy).JPG and
S3 DASH (rear) 007 (Copy).JPG and
S3 DASH (rear) 008 (Copy).JPG and
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Mon Nov 11, 2013 7:43 pm

Aha, so the plot thickens; from those photos it would appear that all of the instrumentation in an S3 dashboard is illuminated by external, dash mounted lamps.
Or has that dashboard been modified to do that?? :?

My original S4 instruments all have a lamp holder for an internal illumination lamp, that is of coarse for the exception of that rogue replacement water/oil gauge that has non-functioning illumination "windows" as described in the original question.

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PostPost by: types26/36 » Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:03 pm

GrUmPyBoDgEr wrote: has that dashboard been modified to do that??[/u] :? John


No, it was the original dash. I cant remember if the new dash had the cut outs, I think it did but will see if I have any pictures of the new dash as I fitted it.
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