Lotus Elan

Headlight flash to pass.

PostPost by: Andy8421 » Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:12 am

I had always understood that if a feature was legal in period, then subsequent rule changes could not change this. I have a 1932 Standard 12 that on dip beam switches one headlight off, and physically moves the reflector in the other headlight. Not a great system, but legal at the time and as far as I have been able to find out, legal now. Is there a link to a definitive statement about the legality of the flash to pass feature on the Elan?
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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:38 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 have examined the 'S4' wiring diagram out of the official manual in some detail. Putting to one side the heresy of describing those dreadful 'barely work when new' interior light switches mounted on the headlight pods as 'micro switches', the circuit as drawn in the manual will work, as long as the flasher unit used will operate at low current.
I can't find the spec of the original flasher unit anywhere - maybe it was a special low current unit, or alternatively maybe the relay was designed with a very low coil resistance? A normal current sensitive flasher (typical of Lucas installations in period) won't work in the circuit as drawn as a normal 12V relay coil won't pass enough current to let the flasher unit operate.
Alex's diagram will work with a standard flasher but is putting far more current through the flasher than it was designed for. This will give an uneven flash on / off ratio and will also impact the service life of the flasher.

To be honest, Lucas based car wiring of the period was only just about serviceable in a car with body earth return. Grafting existing Lucas wiring practice onto a glassfibre car with questionable earthing provision was always asking for trouble. For safety critical systems like headlights, I would ditch the pod mounted 'micro switches' and flash to pass entirely.
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Sun Jun 28, 2015 9:19 am

l10tus wrote: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?)

Phil.


Everyday cars of the 1960's would struggle to top 80mph and would generally cruise between 40 - 50 mph taking an absolute age to get up to speed with common 0-60 times quoted as over 20 seconds and that's for new cars of the time such as the Ford Anglia and Ford Cortina, god only knows what the speed difference would seem like when coming up behind a 1950's or even pre WW2 saloon car, they must have seemed painfully slow and very easy to overtake.

My headlamps raise so slowly that I either have to be patient or resort to rude hand gestures, this can be interesting especially if you can't remember making a gesture and the guy in the car in front leaps out at the next set of lights as happened to me recently. I wondered what I had done to upset him, but he simply pulled his iPhone from his pocket and proceeded to take a couple of pictures of the car :D :D
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PostPost by: billwill » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:01 am

Andy8421 wrote:I had always understood that if a feature was legal in period, then subsequent rule changes could not change this. I have a 1932 Standard 12 that on dip beam switches one headlight off, and physically moves the reflector in the other headlight. Not a great system, but legal at the time and as far as I have been able to find out, legal now. Is there a link to a definitive statement about the legality of the flash to pass feature on the Elan?



Oh, methinks it would not be illegal to have the circiut WORKABLE on an Elan, just illegal (?) to USE it.
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PostPost by: DJ908 » Mon Jun 29, 2015 2:14 am

The flash to pass function is still working today exactly as it was set up when my car was delivered back in 1968. It works regardless of whether the ignition is switched on or not for by simply lifting the left hand headlamp by hand it will start to flash.

The factory carried out one slight modification to my vehicle wiring for I ordered the car with what was then the new Marchal QI system headlamps fitted which contain two bulbs and reflectors in the standard headlamp unit. The change in wiring allows the dip beam to remain on when the high beam is selected.

I do remember pottering down the M1, heading from Sheffield towards London early one evening in 1969, sitting in the right hand lane and thinking that I was getting a very clear run. It was only after I had travelled about 15 miles that I realised that although I had pulled the headlights on (and they had risen from the rest position) I had forgotten to turn them on so the headlamps had been happily flashing away??..! I was a bit embarrassed when I realised what I had done.

On a subsequent trip, with my headlights on and doing well in excess of 70mph in the right hand lane, there were a couple of flashes behind me and I pulled left into the centre lane to be passed by something red and very exotic looking which went by me as if I were standing still.

No speed cameras in those days.

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PostPost by: Geoffers71 » Mon Jun 29, 2015 7:04 am

Reminds me of driving my Elan in the late 60s on a motorway say and coming up behind a slower car. As my hand moved down towards the vacuum switch, my wife ( we'd only been married a short while) would say " Nooooo" and curl up in a ball, hiding her face as we swept by headlamps flashing furiously. Boy did we get some angry looks. I just couldn't do that now, too embarrassing I suppose :lol:
(Or maybe I'm a much nicer and less arrogant so and so than I was back then :mrgreen: )
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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Mon Jun 29, 2015 8:44 am

There are (probably apocryphal) stories that Jaguar would run their development E-Type up and down the newly opened (and limit free) M6 as they made tuning and body changes in an attempt to get the car up to 150MPH. I can only image what it would have been like plodding along at 60MPH in a Moggy Minor on the M6 and have a as yet un-announced E-Type fly past 90MPH faster. I would image the Moggy driver found it hard to get the stories believed in the pub later that evening.
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PostPost by: billwill » Mon Jun 29, 2015 11:28 am

I try to be politer nowadays and instead of flashing headlights I use my right hand indicator lights to indicate that I want to pass.

Since this is in the outer lane of a UK motorway and there is no way that there are any right-hand turns, the driver in front usually gets the message.
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PostPost by: billwill » Mon Jun 29, 2015 11:38 am

UK Highway code
106.
Police stopping procedures.
If the police want to stop your vehicle they will, where
possible, attract your attention by
?
flashing blue lights, headlights or sounding their siren or horn, usually from
behind
?
directing you to pull over to the side by pointing and/or using the left indicator.
You MUST
then pull over and stop as soon as it is safe to do so. Then switch off your engine.
Law RTA 1988 sect 163




110.
Flashing headlights.
Only flash your headlights to let other road users know that you
are there. Do not flash your headlights to convey any other message or intimidate other
road users.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Mon Jun 29, 2015 2:22 pm

Andy8421 wrote:There are (probably apocryphal) stories that Jaguar would run their development E-Type up and down the newly opened (and limit free) M6 as they made tuning and body changes in an attempt to get the car up to 150MPH. I can only image what it would have been like plodding along at 60MPH in a Moggy Minor on the M6 and have a as yet un-announced E-Type fly past 90MPH faster. I would image the Moggy driver found it hard to get the stories believed in the pub later that evening.

They all did it in the day, having owned an E-type and driven allot of them you would have to work hard to convince me you had done 150mph in one :)

I think it was the 1965 night time trip down the M1 by Jack Sears in the Cobra Coup? GT that grabbed attention, just imagine 185mph in the 1960's on a public road even if it was done in the early hours.
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PostPost by: oldchieft » Mon Jun 29, 2015 2:30 pm

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PostPost by: Grizzly » Mon Jun 29, 2015 2:36 pm

There was a story that they tested the Le-mans GT40 at excess of 185 mph on the M1 and Noel Edmond's reportedly ran his GT40 flat out down a Bypass, in Hertfordshire (don't Google that one, the horror of that event is some thing you will never be able to un-imagine)
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PostPost by: oldchieft » Mon Jun 29, 2015 8:37 pm

Giles june 1964.jpg and
Giles june 1964
Attachments
Lee June 1964.jpg and
Lee June 1964
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Mon Jun 29, 2015 11:03 pm

Class :)

Or this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yev4fZQglQ8 but imagine the other cars on the road are Moggie minors doing 40mph. See if you can spot his Flash to pass :)
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PostPost by: l10tus » Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:40 pm

Andy 8421,

That's exactly what I'm getting at, you can't trace the "special" flashers and relays - because there never was any!

When wired up (revised method) correctly - it works with standard flasher, 6 RA relay, wiring ,etc.

But not if you follow the Lotus Wiring Diagram - it's wrong!

Come on, Lotus would not of commissioned "special" electrical items, when off the shelf items would do would they!

Adjust your wiring - start flashing again, you know you'll like it!

Regards,
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