Lotus Elan

+2 Power Windows Troubleshooting

PostPost by: gus » Wed Jul 13, 2016 9:40 pm

that is the proper operation of the lights

It still sounds like you have lost power to an unswitched fuse or fuses. The headlights are switched and they work, parking lights unswitched and they don't. Windows unswitched, don't work.

There is no reason to go into the doors
Put a meter on the main power feed at one of the relays and an independent ground. If it does not have 12 volts, move upstream towards the fusebox and repeat. If it does have power then it is the ground. Ground the relay and if it solves the problem you are done

wiggle the damn fuses.....................
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Thu Jul 14, 2016 2:19 pm

Excellent it is working David. As mentioned by others, you seem to have a relay ground issue or some kind of issue with the power supply to the window switches. I am guessing it is relay ground because of the description of the window operation working in one direction with the key off and both directions with the key on; this suggests two separate fuses are providing the power to the window switches, and it seems unlikely two things would fail simultaneously. Not definitive, just a directional suggestion to check the ground by jumping the relay black wire to a known good ground.

For the sidelights, yes, as Gus says, that is how they work. They should come on when the pull switch is pulled out though. The momentary rocker has to be pushed to turn them off. I tried to describe how this works electrically in the PowerPoint file. The description in the WSM is actually pretty good, but I had to read it several times to get it. :D

Here is a link to a thread that has some info on the circuit and how it works, with references to the WSM...

lotus-electrical-f38/side-lights-t17589.html

I made up a circuit diagram and description in a PowerPoint file.

The stock Burgess switch is NLA, but the one quoted from Allied Electric fits and works fine. From other threads, I believe the GB guys got replacement switches from Sue Miller? If you find a switch problem, just order two and replace both as the shipping is probably more than the switch. :D

This thread also discusses the circuit, and includes excellent pictures of the headlight pull switch with the microswitch mounting plates...

lotus-electrical-f38/vacuum-head-light-switch-valve-t30012.html

The Lucas Make and Break relay that makes this circuit all work was located on the right side of the heater box in my '69 Federal Plus 2. Yours may be located differently. To find the correct relay, note it has a jumper wire between the coil and relay switch terminals to provide the latching action; this is a pretty unique configuration and I don't think any of your other relays will have this.

Note that there is an earlier version of the circuit that located the microswitches at the left headlight pod, so can be a bit confusing. This thread describes a bit about that setup, included here only to prevent confusion...

lotus-electrical-f38/micro-switches-t19608.html

Assuming your side lights presently all come on when you hit the rocker switch but do not come on when the pull switch is pulled out, although the pods come up and the headlights come on? This suggests the side light microswitch is not closing electrically when the switch is pulled. I have had this issue several times by simple misalignment of the switch. I also had a damaged switch. At any case, this is probably a good place to start. Also suggests the latching relay is working correctly.

It is possible you inadvertently buggered something or the two problems are related. Basically suggest this only because your non-stock window relay setup uses red wires, and red is typically reserved for switched side light power supply. Still not 100% sure of the wiring diagram for your car, but I note some of the Plus 2S diagrams also use red for the runs to the actual lights at the corners of the car.

HTH

Stu
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sat Jul 16, 2016 10:33 am

David ,
i had this problem once on a 1970 +2S. I took a length of wire and soldered a sewing pin to each end. I then pushed a pin through the wire insulation either side of the door hinge . This proved that where the wire went through the door hinge it was broken internally but impossible to see just by looking. After doors have been opened and closed many times the core inside the wire breaks
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PostPost by: davidwinegar » Sat Jul 16, 2016 10:54 am

Went out again today to try to see if I could locate any grounding problems and just had no luck trying to trace anything. When the "hot" wire is hooked to the relays no power seems to be getting transmitted through them and out. Again, wondering if they are bad, or is it the ground that is just not completing the circuit? Could be either I guess.

What is the danger in bypassing the relays and running power straight to the windows? Is there anything I should really be concerned about? I am really reluctant to start pulling on a lot of wires, as for sure I will end up with something else very quickly not working. My car, before I bought it, had some kind of rewiring done, and there are bunches of wires all tapped together here and there, which just makes it impossible to even see what goes where and what color is what - then they replaces some wires with new ones, but of course they are not the same color. You start to get the idea of why I don't want to mess about with it. At the moment all is working in one way or another.

What is the thought about running without relays on the windows?

David
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Sat Jul 16, 2016 1:36 pm

David
If you were to post your location,if it was within 50 miles I'd come and sort it for you...

John :wink:

EDIT: woops,just noticed Helsinki in your first post....sorry.
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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Sat Jul 16, 2016 2:34 pm

john.p.clegg wrote:David
If you were to post your location,if it was within 50 miles I'd come and sort it for you...

John :wink:

EDIT: woops,just noticed Helsinki in your first post....sorry.

:lol:

1127 miles by air or 1880 miles by road...
At work today but very bored :roll:
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PostPost by: davidwinegar » Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:16 am

Yeah, I could use a +2 expert - sadly in Finland there are only 4 +2s that I know of in the entire country and less than 20 classic Lotus cars in total.

I did drive an Evora 400 about a month ago on my 50th birthday - Lotus just started selling cars here. What a nice drive that was, but the 100K + price is a little bit over budget :-) and to be honest, I don't think I would get as much enjoyment out of it as I get out of my +2. There is always that extra joy you get with the +2 when turning the key and it actually works!

David

https://goo.gl/photos/37fasLXJ2zfpzqZL8
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Mon Jul 18, 2016 1:40 pm

David, no big issue with running without the relays, as that was the stock configuration. I put relays in my car based on recommendations on the forum, and I was rewiring the car anyway. :D I figured the forty year old switches would benefit from the lower current of the relay trigger rather than the 10 to 15 amps of the lift motor.

Looking at the switches in more detail for this thread I guess we have two contact sets in there, so if the motor action starts to get a bit dodgy one could use the other switch contact set and maybe be good for another few decades. For me the biggest improvement in window lift performance was getting rebuilt motors (they are a very standard and widely available GM motor) and the new heavy gauge wire, proper blade fuses, and improved grounds.

All that said, it would drive me a bit crazy not knowing what is going on with the relays. Go ahead and buy a couple of replacement relays from your local auto parts store and give them a try. As mentioned, yours are wired (from your photo, check the terminal numbers though) so that they can be replaced with a very common four terminal make and break relay of any generic brand.

I may have lost the plot in the details, but were all four relays clicking when the switches are manipulated? If this is the case, and the motors can be manipulated by jumping from the always hot red supply wire at the relay to the motor leads at the relay, then the only thing left is the relay coil or contacts not fully making contact and allowing the large motor current to flow. Disconnect the motor leads and the always hot red wire and use your ohmmeter to check whether the relay contacts are closing when the thing clicks.

Did you get the side lights working OK?

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PostPost by: davidwinegar » Sat Jul 23, 2016 12:05 pm

Thanks again for the advice - sorry was away for a few days of holiday, so haven't been able to look any further at it.

I will probably get around to it this week and look things over again based on the advice here.

The thing that is bugging me the most now is the lights, although I seldom have them on here with our nearly 24 hours of sun in the summer - even by law I should have them on :-) But not sure will the MOT people complain if you have to pull one switch and then push another to have fully working lights.

Will update after I have had another look.

David
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PostPost by: davidwinegar » Sun Jul 24, 2016 12:07 pm

Got the windows up and running with the relays. Took another look at it today and when I opened the hood, there staring at me on the right carb side was a single "modern" fuse box with a couple of red wires and it dawned on me this must be the window fuses. Sure enough, the 30 amp fuse was in bad shape, looking like it was partially melted. Replaced it and now it is working as it should. Sometimes pays to take a few days break and look again - sometimes the solution just stares you in the face :D

For those interested, here is a picture of the tiny fuse box - obviously an "upgrade" from the previous owner.
https://goo.gl/photos/MEL5FEeWxxWrHDYs8

Still trying to track down the headlight problem. Again, tried today to swap some wires on the relay, as I still believe there is a good possibility that the wires got swapped when I was trying to track down the window problem. But no luck. As I mentioned, it is working this way - pull the vacuum switch and headlights go on, but no parking lights and no rear lights. Push the rocker switch and parking lights and rear lights on.

David
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PostPost by: gus » Sun Jul 24, 2016 12:43 pm

excellent you found the problem

microswitch on the headlight switch is either dead or not receiving/giving power. since the sidelight switch works, the rest of the circuit is functioning, you are down to 2 wires and the switch.
[edit]
I believe it is just 2 short wires from the microswitch to the sidelight switch right next to it, so it should all be right there. the switch itself is just a little sub mini microswitch available from industrial supply places
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Mon Jul 25, 2016 8:23 pm

Great progress, glad it worked out.

For the side lights, what Gus says. Or the microswitch located at the headlight vacuum switch has just become misaligned. There are two switches retained in place with some small diameter long screws and a couple of plates. The thread links above have great pictures of the switch and a wiring diagram for this circuit.

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