Lotus Elan

Inconsistent Indicators!!

PostPost by: Jimnic007 » Thu Mar 24, 2016 9:55 pm

Evening all,
I have recently acquired Cedric's lovely pistachio over white FHC Elan Sprint and am just getting to grips with my new steed.

One of the issues that I would like to clear up before I put it through its MOT is to sort out the indicators. They are inconsistent at best. The rear indicators seem to come on as a solid amber, rather than flashing, the side repeaters blink very fast or very slow and the front indicators seem to work better. Internally the bulb on the dash seems to flash most of the time.

Where do I start and is it all likely to be a diy job for someone not greatly electrically competent?

Is it likely that I need to replace the bulbs all round, replace the flasher unit (where are they located and how many are there?) or do I swap to led Amber bulbs.....

Any experience from the board would be greatly appreciated.

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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:04 pm

Check and clean all earths before worrying about bulbs. Include a check on the main earth leads from block; under the dash to the chassis bolt; and in the boot

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PostPost by: TroonSprint » Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:12 pm

Richard is right. Check the earths, especially the rear lamps. Try getting a length of wire and fixing a temporary extra earth from the light unit to a clean chassis point and see if the fault is cured. Earthing on older cars is always an issue, and on a fibreglass car is even more so! Have you looked to see what happens when you press the brake with the indicator on? If the earthing is poor the extra load can lead to strange behaviour too.

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PostPost by: bob_rich » Fri Mar 25, 2016 11:51 am

Hi James

I would not expect to get the problems you describe simultaneously. By that I cannot see how the rear indicators could come on full at the same as the others actually winked fast. Earths tend to be the weak link so as others say well worth checking. If the flasher unit is mounted similar to the +2 then it is on the rear of the dash below the tacho. You should be able to hear it flashing quite easily - assuming it does flash. Also check that there is not an intermittent short on the wiring or the bulb holders that may make the flasher erratic.

The ( original) flasher unit uses a bimetallic type system and the flashing rate is controlled by the current demand which in turn is effected by the bulb type so check that you have the correct bulbs.

I would'nt go for LED based replacements until the problem is sorted as to the get the flashing rate consistent resistors are required to load up the flasher unit to the correct current to get the flashing rate high. If you buy a full kit for LED some do provide the resistors and some kits offer a electronic flash rather than a bimetallic one. But if the wiring is at fault then an LED swop won't solve the issue.

hope this helps

best of luck

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PostPost by: billwill » Fri Mar 25, 2016 1:50 pm

As Bob says, you can't get solid on rear flashers and blinking front flashers unless there is a wiring error. It seems that the rear flashers are connected wrongly; possibly to the supply side of the flasher unit.

The fast blinking of the front bulbs woud be due to the missing current intended for the rear bulbs so when the wiring error is fixed the flash rate should return to normal.
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