Lotus Elan

Headlight flash to pass.

PostPost by: Grizzly » Fri Jun 26, 2015 3:41 pm

Sorry about this guys, i've searched lots of threads and not been able to find what i'm after.

Ok, I have a S4 Elan that has the Flash to pass set up fitted, i'm just wiring up the headlights and have come to the FTP which has thrown a decent size spanner in the works.

My understanding is that with all the headlights turned off you can pull the Vac switch to raise the light pods and the FTP will flash the lights via a relay, my problem is that they don't work like that and after looking at it a bit better the Yellow/Blue wire that goes from the Headlight switch to the FTP relay seems to only power up on Side lights?

I did think i had wired the switch incorrectly but what is confusing me is the Side,Dip and main beam work correctly so its just the Flash to pass (they only work with side lights on)

Does this sound like a faulty headlight switch? I did think about putting a power to the Relay and that works fine on dip beam but you can see the Dip beam flashing on high beam :roll:
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PostPost by: Craven » Fri Jun 26, 2015 4:23 pm

Hi,
This may help, the correct dash mounted headlight switch has a contact that is live when all other functions are off. This connection is the flash relay feed, this live feed goes when any other light function is in operation.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Fri Jun 26, 2015 4:48 pm

Are the side lights supposed to be on with the dip/Main beam too?

I definitely have the correct switch but i wouldn't like to say if its working correctly/i've wired it correctly. Unfortunately i didn't remove it from the dash and i wired as per the diagram the previous owner drew but i wouldn't bet my life on its right.
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PostPost by: Craven » Fri Jun 26, 2015 5:14 pm

Hi,
The side lights are wired along with the tail lights, they come on in the first position they stay on when the headlights are operated, you don?t want the rear/tail lights to go out.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Fri Jun 26, 2015 5:27 pm

Must be a faulty switch then, i'll take it out and have a better look at it.

Just to be 100%, does the Flash to pass work in the Off and Side light position or just Off? i ask because my FTP only works correctly in the side light position at the moment which would mean i have a bad connection on the Off position, it would get much more confusing if it is just the Off. (if any of that makes sense)
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PostPost by: Craven » Fri Jun 26, 2015 6:49 pm

Hi,
Unfortunately then, the headlight flash should only work in the OFF position. You run into all sorts of conflicts if you take a feed from elsewhere. Confirm you have the correct switch connections.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:27 pm

All fixed, took the switch back out and stripped it to find a burnt terminal. Gave it a good clean up and its all working :) it also works on the Off and Side lights.

Must have been like that for along time because after chatting to the previous owner he said the pods have always come up off.

TBH i was a bit surprised how simple they are.
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PostPost by: l10tus » Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:58 pm

The Lotus wiring diagram is incorrect - has been since day 1.

Correct operation is:- The side lights being switched on (only) will cause the H/lamps to flash when the pods are lifted.

Check Alex Black threads.

PM me if you have issues with the diagram.

Regs,

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PostPost by: Grizzly » Sat Jun 27, 2015 12:17 am

Phil, I've actually wire it up like this

Slide1.jpg and

I'm not sure where that picture came from but it's probably what your referring too?

I'm Happy now i have the correct fully functioning Flash to pass set up (as odd as it is) having taken the switch to bits i've seen that there is contacts for OFF and Side lights to power the FTP lights and after a bit of a clean up there all working, bit puzzled as to why they needed to flash in the first place but hey ho just another Lotus qwerk.
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PostPost by: Geoffers71 » Sat Jun 27, 2015 6:34 am

l10tus wrote:The Lotus wiring diagram is incorrect - has been since day 1.

Correct operation is:- The side lights being switched on (only) will cause the H/lamps to flash when the pods are lifted.

Phil


Can't comment on the correctness of the manual wiring diagram, but I can't agree with your second statement. Sorry! When I had my first Elan in the 60s there was no need to put the sidelights on before pulling the vacuum switch. The lights would then flash as designed ie they flash when switch is in the off position. Surely that would have been correct?
BTW I like the "flash to pass" label, in the 60s it was GOOTBW (get out of the b.....way) :lol: :lol:
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PostPost by: billwill » Sat Jun 27, 2015 8:51 am

Grizzly wrote:Phil, I've actually wire it up like this

Slide1.jpg

I'm not sure where that picture came from but it's probably what your referring too?

I'm Happy now i have the correct fully functioning Flash to pass set up (as odd as it is) having taken the switch to bits i've seen that there is contacts for OFF and Side lights to power the FTP lights and after a bit of a clean up there all working, bit puzzled as to why they needed to flash in the first place but hey ho just another Lotus qwerk.


I think the regulations changed (in the 70's ?) making such flashing illegal, so in many Elans the circuit has been removed, especially if any extensive re-wiring has been done.

But I agree with Geoffrs, when I had such a circuit it did not need the sidelights on to flash.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Sat Jun 27, 2015 10:54 am

I have to admit i'm tempted to sack the flasher relay, it works great now but don't know why it needs to flash.
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PostPost by: l10tus » Sat Jun 27, 2015 4:59 pm

Ok, maybe the lights don't have to be on at all - will check next time I'm with the car.

I just know that the wiring is not correct in the Lotus Workshop manual.

Alex Black found that the earth route wasn't drawn up correctly and advised to wire as you have it.

I think lots of people disconnected it because they couldn't get it to work, so instead of continuing to try to resolve the issue, just disconnected it, saying, Quote: " it's illegal now anyway" as a part 'closure'.

That wasn't good enough for me - it had to work as originally intended, even if I had to disconnect it afterwards ( same as you no doubt ?), so I searched for an answer.

I was advised about the possible use of 'Special' 6RA Relays, Flasher cans, and resistors, but ultimately found that the wiring was drawn up wrong in the wiring diagram, probably due to a technical editors error?

Why did Lotus fit it? - well these little cars were so superior in the day, producing double the performance, compared with most other cars on the road at that time, that Elan's would come upon people on roads quite quickly, using the H/ flash to politely ask them to 'shift' out of the way!

I recall faster vehicles doing that quite regularly, when in the overtaking lane behind slower cars on Motorways, although I believe its use is not condoned anymore, (not sure if it's illegal though?)

Don't forget, I believe that the standard of driving has declined in GB over the past few decades, we now have better brakes, better lights, multi pot power brakes, power steering, independent suspension, better tyres - but are pretty much reduced to max: 40/50 MPH on Managed ( 'slow you down' ) motorways, urban dual carriageways are being reduced to single track, speed bumps and maximum speed limits that cyclists can break !

Probably because the Driving Test is outdated,accident litigation and people just don't have driving 'feel' anymore.

However, well done for getting them working !!

Regards,
Phil.
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PostPost by: Quart Meg Miles » Sat Jun 27, 2015 10:32 pm

One of the few modifications I made, very early on, was to discard the GOOTFW feature and use the pod switch to activate the normal headlamp relay directly; why have to pull the vac knob AND press the switch to get the headlamps on?

I then used the second switch position for a manual reversing lamp using the wire already fitted but not used. Eventually I fitted a microswitch for that lamp and used the second switch position for a rear fog lamp though recently found it was intermittent, due to lack of use, so I'll have to dismantle it like Grizzly did.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Sat Jun 27, 2015 11:57 pm

Phil, After asking my boss who is a retired Traffic police officer earlier today and him talking at me for 30 mins :roll: this is the condensed version.

He said the main reason he was aware of why it was frowned upon was it resembled a police car too much to cars in-front of you (some thing to do with the consistently timed flashes), So if used incorrectly (I.e. left on to flash, not quickly flicked on and off) at night people could only see the flashing lights and would panic which often meant they would do unexpected things like slow down as you approached to overtake (also there where a few incidents where people pulled over on country lanes and where attacked) basically boils down to the police don't like anything that could be confused with one of there cars.

Frankly my opinion knowing the lights have to be off or on side lights to operate on an Elan, well in any sunlight short of dusk (when the lights should be on anyway) you can't see the lights flash more than 12" away so the actual raising of the headlights have a higher chance of being seen in sun light than the light being on.
Last edited by Grizzly on Sun Jun 28, 2015 9:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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