Lotus Elan

PLus 2 indicators

PostPost by: MikeBee » Wed Sep 02, 2015 8:20 am

Hi,
the indicators on my 1973 Plus 2 worked OK. Now when I try to use them they simply come on and stay on - no flashing.
According to the handbook the flasher unit is located " behind the fascia panel below the window operating switch on the driving side" Does this mean rooting about behind the dashboard to check this?
What options do I have?
I would appreciate any help or advice as MoT is looming!

Mike
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PostPost by: wotsisname » Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:41 am

Pretty much think you have to remove the trim on the driver side of the transmission tunnel. Should be able to see the flasher unit ; either use a mirror or adopt the "lotus position". Depends on how bad the spaghetti is... (try not to move too many wires about if the loom has been hacked about over the years)... worth giving everything a good look over.. last thing you want is a loose wire, poor insulation, etc under here.
This all sounds like Doom n gloom, but it honestly isn't that bad a job....
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:31 am

More likely to be an earthing issue I'd have thought??
Steve

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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Wed Sep 02, 2015 6:14 pm

These are the two flasher units with the turn signal one being Tridon 552 and the hazard being an unknown brand 35020, 12 V, 42 W and the hazard is the bigger barrel in the picture and yes both on the left-hand side of the dash on little u-shaped clips that holds the barrels but as you see in mine they're just loose. Both of them work this metallic strip that heats up and in both cases mine were rusted out and wouldn't move. Gordon Sauer
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PostPost by: pereirac » Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:45 pm

My indicators stopped flashing if the car ran at idle with the headlights and heater on. The flasher units are based around an electromechanical thermal switch and if the voltage drops due to too much load the unit is unable to switch. I fixed the problem by fitting an electronic flasher unit instead of the electromechanical unit. It could be a simple earthing issue (do either the left or right indicators flash) or something more. If you have a dynamo rather than an alternator it could be the load?
The only problem with the unit I fixed is that it's quieter than the old unit without the loud 'click' so I will probably fit a small buzzer in series.
For the MOT I would rev the engine to keep the indicators flashing :D
Carl

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PostPost by: PeterK » Thu Sep 03, 2015 7:42 am

IIRC, on late model Plus 2s, the indicator (& hazard) flasher units are located just below the choke in the dash.
Remove the tray that sits above your knees when driving (if still fitted), lie upside down in the footwell & pull the unit out of its clip & replace.

Peter
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:43 pm

pereirac wrote:The flasher units are based around an electromechanical thermal switch and if the voltage drops due to too much load the unit is unable to switch. I fixed the problem by fitting an electronic flasher unit instead of the electromechanical unit. It could be a simple earthing issue (do either the left or right indicators flash) or something more. If you have a dynamo rather than an alternator it could be the load?


This is a different aspect of a similar post I made on a recent thread. In both cases, the issue is that there is insufficient amperage flowing through the relay trip circuit to trip it. However, I now realize there are two potential causes and will repeat both here.
1. The one noted above. Amperage is reduced in most cases if the supply voltage falls below what the circuit expects. The related lights still operate under this condition, but are dimmer than normal.

2. Use of modern devices in the switched circuit that draw less current. Replacement of incandescent bulbs with modern LED counterparts will typically result in current draw being reduced to around 15% of the original circuit. While desirable for the health of your Lucas wiring, mods like this aren't necessarily compatible with current-sensing flashers.

On the Europa list a few years back, there was a post from a serious originality freak :shock: who had inserted an electronic replacement in the original relay can and offered pictures and specs.

Do note that not all auto parts store "electronic relays" use a separate timer circuit that is independent of circuit current load. I bought a few when I did my LED switchover that claimed to solve this problem but still used current sensing and therefore would not work with LEDs. My solution was to replace only the rear lamps (the ones I felt were critical for safety) with LEDs. This raised the current draw sufficiently to trip the original relays at a satisfactory interval.
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PostPost by: MikeBee » Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:42 pm

elanfan1 wrote:More likely to be an earthing issue I'd have thought??

That is something which I'll check.
Thanks.
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PostPost by: MikeBee » Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:45 pm

pereirac wrote:My indicators stopped flashing if the car ran at idle with the headlights and heater on. The flasher units are based around an electromechanical thermal switch and if the voltage drops due to too much load the unit is unable to switch. I fixed the problem by fitting an electronic flasher unit instead of the electromechanical unit. It could be a simple earthing issue (do either the left or right indicators flash) or something more. If you have a dynamo rather than an alternator it could be the load?
The only problem with the unit I fixed is that it's quieter than the old unit without the loud 'click' so I will probably fit a small buzzer in series.
For the MOT I would rev the engine to keep the indicators flashing :D

I'll check but my recollection is that nothing was different from earlier times when the flashers worked. No lights on etc.
Thanks
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PostPost by: MikeBee » Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:53 pm

PeterK wrote:IIRC, on late model Plus 2s, the indicator (& hazard) flasher units are located just below the choke in the dash.
Remove the tray that sits above your knees when driving (if still fitted), lie upside down in the footwell & pull the unit out of its clip & replace.

Peter

I've been away for a few days and just catching up. Your post caused me to remember that I have a spare dash so I went and looked at the reverse of it in case I could see screw holes etc. When I turned it over there were 2
components attached just where you have indicated (sorry, poor pun).
One is Lucas component and the other appears to be of American origin but I'll look more closely at the weekend.
Looks like the solution why is the handbook so vague I wonder?
Anyway, Many thanks
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PostPost by: MikeBee » Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:41 pm

Thanks for all of the help. I will be back with the car soon so will try it out.
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