Lotus Elan

Sprint Dash Replacement

PostPost by: Type28 » Sun Feb 14, 2016 6:44 pm

Hi Folks

I have decided to have a go at replacing my dash whilst I am waiting on my engine being returned to me.
I have stripped out the dash and there are a lot of unused spade terminals ?is this what you would normally expect?
See picture.
Image

There is also an unused electrical component screwed to the rear of the dash board- any ideas what it was for?
Image

I connected all the switches/gauges back up again as I removed them, so I have a big bunch of messy wiring.
Image

I have read in some old posts about cutting the loom and fitting connector blocks to allow everything to be mounted in the dash and the wiring easily clipped back together when the dash is re fitted- this sounds like a good way to go.
Can anyone give me some tips on the best place to do the cutting of the loom, the size and number of snap blocks needed or is there any easy way to refit the dash without scratching the lacquer?- what actions have people taken when refitting the dash to protect the finish?

Thanks in advance.

George
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PostPost by: billwill » Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:27 am

The component in the second picture is probably your voltage stabalizer.

It should be wired to provide stabalized 10 volts for your fuel gauge and temperature gauges.
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PostPost by: Type28 » Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:42 am

Thanks for the reply Bill.
Yes could be an old voltage stabiliser. The fuel gauge currently has one that attaches to the fixing bracket on the fuel gauge and the temperature gauge is mechanical.

Cheers
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PostPost by: worzel » Mon Feb 15, 2016 9:33 am

Hi George

I think you might be referring to a posting I made about fitting junction blocks/multiplugs.

Longwinded job but all you need is patience and a good soldering iron. I used a combination of two, four and six terminal blocks and started by loosening the dash and pulling it back as far as it would go (not very far in practice). I then extended each cable by about a foot- my thinking was that the extra "give" would enable the blocks to be spread around as there's not much space behind the dash and if you wanted to fit a radio you might have a problem if these (bulky) blocks are all jammed up to each other.
Working one at a time I cut the cables to leave around 6 inches on the facia panel side of things and extended the corresponding cable on the loom side of things. Ideally you need the same colour cable to match the existing wiring. Quite a bit is still available but where the correct colour isn't obtainable I soldered in a cable of the same type of core and then soldered a short run of the correct colour. Once sleeved in heatshrink you wouldn't know the difference.

I ended up with about 8 multiplugs (female side) that remained in the car with the panel removed that could be spread around the area behind the panel. The trick is to work out where you want these female plugs to be sited BEFORE you make up the male connectors because you'll need to have different lengths of cable on the male side to reach the spread out plugs (hope that explanation is clear).

How long to do- from memory it took me a couple of weeks putting in a few hours each day as and when time was available.

Worth it?- well the rear of the panel certainly looks a lot neater and when you pull out the panel the wires you leave behind don't look like a jumbled mess ( and my car had never been altered in the wiring dept so I wasn't correcting other peoples bodges)- as an auto electrician friend remarked the average rickshaw is better wired!

Cost- not a lot- I think I paid around ?70 all in for the cables, blocks, heatshrink, loom tape and solder. Incidentally since my car doesn't have a radio I simply sat the blocks on top of the heater. I'd already soundproofed the entire bulkhead once the dash was removed and to avoid rattles etc from the blocks moving around I glued soundproofing felt above the heater- although on reflection this probably isn't necessary.

One point- don't tape up the wires right up to the blocks- leave a few inches free otherwise they're difficult to bend once tightly taped together.

Happy wiring!


John
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PostPost by: Type28 » Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:45 am

Hi John,

Yes I think it was your original post I had read a while back.
Thanks for the tips.

Cheers
George
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Mon Feb 15, 2016 12:47 pm

Type28 wrote:There is also an unused electrical component screwed to the rear of the dash board- any ideas what it was for?
Image


That looks very much like a Flasher relay to me. Can't you take the part number off the back and Google it?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Lucas-SFB115- ... 1236032154

Won't be the voltage stabilizer as that's still plugged in (see red circle on pic)
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:13 pm

George, Don't you have the two terminal blocks in the passenger foot-well? When i got my Elan some one had removed the dash in the same way you have but i found it so much easier to assemble it on a table before putting it in the car.

Just two multi plugs / ten or so bullet connectors and a few things like Indicators and heater fan that would also need unplugging but it makes life so much easier.
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PostPost by: Type28 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:54 am

Hi Grizzly,

I don't have those terminal blocks, they look like they have been added?- that's what I intended to do- to enable the dash to be removed complete- When I restored my Lotus Cortina I fitted a new engine bay wiring loom and had to use those type of connector blocks behind the dash to join to the existing loom to the new, the existing bulk head connectors being used as decoration rather than a connector block.

Once again thanks every one for your help- I am still anxious about scratching the new dash during fitting- I suppose its plenty of old blankets, bubble wrap and masking tape, Oh and a French polishers telephone number :D

Cheers
George
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PostPost by: Type28 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:03 pm

Hi

This is not electrical related, but is connected to the dash replacement.

What is the correct paint finish for the ash tray, I attach a picture of how it is just now, but I think someone has tried to replicate the existing radio blanking plate finish.

Image

Cheers

George
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:25 pm

Type28 wrote:I don't have those terminal blocks, they look like they have been added?

Well i didn't think so because my +2 has the same plugs in the same place. I also asked the original owner who had no idea they were there (so i guess he didn't fit them either). They look old too like Bullet connector multi plugs.

Both my cars are 1971 and both factory converted to Sprint and S130 spec so maybe it was a S4 thing? so maybe it was only a short run or caused electrical issues??? Frankly i thought they were all like that.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:29 pm

Type28 wrote:Hi

This is not electrical related, but is connected to the dash replacement.

What is the correct paint finish for the ash tray, I attach a picture of how it is just now, but I think someone has tried to replicate the existing radio blanking plate finish.

Image

Cheers

George

Is it the same as mine above. If it is they are originally black vinyl wrapped (same finish and texture as the seats) your picture looks like some one has taken the vinyl off.
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PostPost by: 512BB » Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:40 pm

Black crackle paint is the correct finish for the ashtray and the first picture IS of a flasher unit.

Your ashtray has been covered by a previous owner Chris, not correct, but quite well done.

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PostPost by: Grizzly » Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:57 pm

After doing a bit of searching it seems the Ash tray could be one of three different types and there doesn't seem to be any rhyme nor reason to which goes in which model in typical Lotus Fashion.

Both my 71 ash trays are Vinyl wrapped (they both have the exposed screw chrome bases), My Sprint has defiantly not been covered by the previous owner, i'd say maybe the Dealer had done it but the cars came from different places.

Just to add the crazing on the OP's ash tray front looks more like the effect evo stick has on paint than Crinkle finish (but i could be wrong)
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Tue Feb 16, 2016 1:00 pm

Hmmmm...looks like he had a few cars...

2016_0216ashtray0001.jpg and


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PostPost by: stugilmour » Tue Feb 16, 2016 7:51 pm

Hi George.

I added connector blocks during my Plus 2 re-wire. As I was using a replacement aftermarket loom I was able to get enough wire length to sort out placement of the blocks, but similar to John I pretty much had to do the loom cutting in place to ensure the joins would all fit.

If you are lacking enough wire length, what about using two connector block sets (male and female), and just make up about a foot of wire between the pair of connectors? I found using a high quality crimper a lot easier and more reliable than soldering and heat shrinking. I bought block terminal sets like this and then just used what I needed as I went. The trick is to try to keep from having two similar connectors physically next to each other. :D

http://www.autoelectricsupplies.co.uk/p ... category/7

http://www.autoelectricsupplies.co.uk/p ... category/7

Wire was available either from AES or here by the meter:

http://www.vehicle-wiring-products.eu

Just a thought.

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