Lotus Elan

Digital Speedo Install - Lotus elan.

PostPost by: ceejay » Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:10 am

The original smiths speedometer as fitted to the elan
can, due to age, be a bit unreliable on the odo function,
or perhaps the speedometer, or vice versa, or,
it may not work at all, unless it has been repaired

But repairs to Smiths Speedos can be very costly,
And if wheel/tire diameters have been changed,
large error?s could also occur with readings.

Enter the install project of the $50.00 bicycle digital
speedometer into the lotus elan, which gives road
speed readings to almost 200KPH & highly accurate
at that.

After two years of totally reliable use, we thought
other elan owners also might like to know about it,
so we wrote a 20 page "How To" ebook.

Yes, many lotus 7s & motorcycles use this system, and
now the elan can be set up also.

You can get your complimentary ebook manual
at the link below, there's nothing to sign up for,
just click the link and download the zip file.
http://elantrikbits.com/lotus-elan-blog ... otus-elan/

Enjoy.
Col.

PS
The install process could also be applied to any other
type of car, with appropriate changes made where
required.
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PostPost by: gherlt » Tue Dec 23, 2014 7:18 am

Hello,
thank you for sharing ! Interesting bit, although I am not quite convinced about the location of the display.
Might be logical if this is your only speedo, as the display is small.

Does this have any kind of (back) ilumination for night driving ?
Regards

Guillermo
1964 S1 (engine ready, awainting body paint)
1967 S3 DHC (now adjusted by Brian Buckland, totally calm idle)
1969 S4 FHC (final interior stuff)
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PostPost by: ceejay » Tue Dec 23, 2014 7:45 am

Unfortunately no, but I rarely drive my elan at night, so it's not a problem. I believe there are digital bike speedos that do have back lighting, but not sure what brand.
Re display, it is plenty big enough and quite easy to read.
CJ.
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PostPost by: 69S4 » Tue Dec 23, 2014 7:52 am

I'm glad to see someone else likes those little bicycle speedos as well. I've been using them on my motorcycles for years - the oldest (a Sigma BC800 on my XR600 Honda) must be close to 15yrs old now and still working.

If you're careful with the calibration they can be absolutely accurate (compared to what a couple of GPSs give as speed and distance). The main reason why the calibration drifts is tyre wear (higher on a bike). Sigma is probably the best brand around and the only one I've found that goes into three figures. Most of the cheap ones stop at 99 but as that can be mph it's not such a problem on a small bike that'll only do 65-70 mph.

One of them (?4 from Lidl, so really cheap) is fine up to about 75mph but then starts giving random readings - probably due to a low quality magnetic sensor switch. I've tried a couple of the impressive looking (and cheap) Chinese ones on ebay but one failed after a week or so and the other I couldn't get working at all. Neither have I had much success with wireless ones. They may work on a bicycle but on a motorcycle (and almost certainly in a car) where there are things in the way the sender and the head unit don't make a consistant connection so readings are erratic.

I have considered fitting one to my Elan but it's where to site the display that's put it on hold. It doesn't look very 60's and my Smiths speedo, while not accurate, is fairly consistently innacurate so it's easy to apply a mental offset.
Stuart Holding
Thame UK / Alpe D'Huez France
69 S4 FHC
Honda GoldWing 1800
Honda CBX1000
Kawasaki H1 500
Yamaha XS2
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PostPost by: ceejay » Tue Dec 23, 2014 8:02 am

Stuart
Good to see you chime in there, you are obviously a convert.

The sigma is ideal for the elan speed wise, and while the position
on top of the steering column may not look 60s, it is the best spot
for it.... everything is covered in the free ebook at the blog link above.
Even down to the type of magnets to use...it's all there, worth the
read even if you don't want to do the conversion yet.

Col
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