Lotus Elan

Fuse box location Plus 2

PostPost by: gearbox » Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:11 pm

Hi All;

Stupid question, but where is the fuse box located on a 1970 Plus 2? I just picked up yet another Lotus and the PO decided to hack up the electrical wiring. Everything was disconnected. I looked in the engine compartment and under the dash with no luck. Internet searches and the factory manual was not helpful. The car I have looked like it had the 3 ash trays if that helps. Pictures would be great. Thanks Allan
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Tue Jul 19, 2016 10:00 pm

Alan, if it is the same as my '69 Federal, the fuse box only accommodates two cylindrical glass fuses. I think it was located under the bonnet, left hand side of the car on the firewall adjacent to but outboard of the Control Box or Voltage Regulator.

If you open the Plus 2 parts manual on Ray's site at rdent.com, there is a pretty good illustration of the components under the Electrical / Components / Relays section.

The Federal wiring diagram in my WSM has hand written March '68 to March '69 near the title block, so your car may be different. That said, mine was registered as a '70 so I was confused on the correct diagram to use for quite a while. From what I can see in your pics it looks like a Federal car (four minor gauges, Strombergs, flat rocker switches, etc.). What is your VIN, as someone can probably confirm if it is a Federal car with the VIN 50/???? I think the Federal Plus 2 ran to about 50/2446, and then became Plus 2S with six minor gauges, more fuses, etc.

I found my car followed the Federal diagram completely, although it is a bit hard to follow at first. It is the only Plus 2 wiring diagram that shows the loom layout physically rather than a straight schematic representation and the wire colours as a numbered list.

Going from memory, the two fuses were split to handle the Purple - Hot at All a Times, fused and Green - Hot in Run or Start, fused circuits.

HTH

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PostPost by: drtarkir » Wed Jul 20, 2016 12:06 am

My car is a 72 +2s federal. Attached pics show location and a couple of closeups. The hole is for the pedal box.

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PostPost by: gearbox » Wed Jul 20, 2016 12:41 am

My car is numbered 50 1171 and registered as a 1970 Plus 2. So not sure if it has a build date of 69 or 70. Here a few pics of the engine compartment. On the 72 Plus 2 above, where is the location exactly? Is that panel mounted on the vertical engine firewall above the pedals or is it hanging upside down over the pedals? Too dark for me to go out and check, but let me know. Also, where is the Vin plate mounted inside the engine compartment? PO was haphazardly taking things off the car for reasons I still can not figure out. Thanks Allan
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Wed Jul 20, 2016 2:04 am

Alan 50/1170 is a pretty early car. Heck, negative ground came with 1087 and fail safe headlights were introduced with 1174. I guess yours are non fail safe as shown in the down position in your photo?

Anyway, your car would have had the simple two fuse box I described earlier. The other fuse box arrangement is from later cars. For reference, mine is 50/2181 and had I think a mid '69 build date. Andy Graham at Lotus archives may be able to look yours up for you.

All the best getting her going! If the wiring is truly completely compromised, I would recommend just replacing the whole loom.

HTH

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PostPost by: gearbox » Wed Jul 20, 2016 5:09 am

Thanks Stu, so where does one go for a new wiring loom? Any providers on this side of the world? I'm not opposed to rewiring the entire car. My biggest problem is to resist the temptation to fully restore this car as I have an Elan almost done and an Europa coming apart at the same time. Thanks again Allan
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PostPost by: gus » Wed Jul 20, 2016 11:45 am

What is the harness coming out of the firewall and heading behind the engine? I think it may just be hanging there and is supposed to go forward to the fusebox and then the relays
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PostPost by: gearbox » Wed Jul 20, 2016 2:35 pm

I have no clue what the PO was thinking or trying to accomplish. He did this 5 years ago before falling ill with Alzheimer's. His sister tells me that the car wasn't idling correctly before he started to take it apart. But from what I see, he pulled off most of the wiring, took the dash apart, cut a hole in the trans tunnel to access the starter, started to install a very old (1970's) electronic ignition system, pulled off most of the relays, and installed a second starter solenoid in the wiring to the starter in addition to the original, and pulled off one Stromberg carb. Why he did this all at once is a mystery. But now patching all back together and trying to find out what he was chasing is a challenge. I'm not sure if he was trying to modify the car somehow as I did find that antiquated ignition system and a gear reduction starter in the trunk. Not even sure if the starter was correct for this car. While the car had the original generator partially removed, I also found a Lucas ARC 15 alternator in the trunk. So I am thinking the best route would be to return the car back to original specs and go from there. I'm thinking about first back tracking the wires to the battery, sort out the starter and ignition system first and then worry about all the relays and gauges. But after the positive battery cable reaches the solenoid, or solenoids in this case, everything else is hanging loose. So just wanted to know the position of the fuse box and start attaching wires as I go. But I am having fun lol. Thanks Allan
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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Wed Jul 20, 2016 3:38 pm

Hi Allan,
My car is 50/1153 and its build date was November '68 so yours is probably early '69. Is that the original colour, if so it looks the same as my original colour.
The vin plate should be on the left hand inner wing just under the bonnet edge almost in line with the radiator, (you'll probably find four small holes where it was).
I made a colour coded wire list for my car, it's on a pdf. If you would think it might help, just let me know.
Good luck, looks like a worthwhile challenge.
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:55 pm

These guys are well regarded and NA based. I have only bought incidental small stuff from them though. I believe they are the same looms as branded / sold out of the U.K. Called Autosparks. There web site is a bit cranky for me today, but I think they also sell wire by the foot.

http://www.britishwiring.com/category-s/198.htm

Here is the Autosparks site:

http://www.autosparks.co.uk

As I understand it these are stock looms using thick wall wire in the correct colours. I did not go this route because I was frankly scared off with the shear number of Plus 2 wiring variants, and was afraid I would get the wrong model! I guess the cost of ~$800 was a factor as well. I also did not want any Lucas bullet connectors in my car, and intended to add relays for a bunch of high load stuff, so would have ended up hacking the loom up anyway.

I went a different route, and used a product called a Premier Wiring Lucas UniLoom, which is a sort of generic fibreglass kit car loom that uses modern thin wall cable in the standard British wire colours. I bought the loom from Spyder Engineering with a whole bunch of other stuff during a complete restoration. I believe Spyder uses this loom as a starting point for their Zetec Plus 2 builds. If you Google a bit you will find them pretty popular in the Caterham & LoCost community.

I just found Premier back active on eBay UK, but unfortunately they say they only post to UK:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LUCAS-UNILOOM ... 2037316643

Good to see the product back available; Spyder could probably supply, or maybe someone here could assist with shipping from UK. Looks pretty reasonable for cost as well.

It is a very good product if you are after a functioning reliable car that may depart from stock in the interests of reliability. Rather than providing a schematic, they have a connection list for all the wires, which for the most part are identical to the Lotus Plus 2 Federal diagram. Where it varies from Lotus practice, it follows the more comprehensive BS-AU7a 1983 Colour Code for Vehicle Wiring, which has tons of reference material on the 'net...

http://www.dimebank.com/LucasColours.html

The UniLoom is pretty easy to modify to suit the car details like gauge location, left or right hand drive, fuse box placement, etc. Some wires for the Plus 2 have to be added though; the interior lights, power window lifts, and specific details for the quirky Lotus side light circuit come to mind. It does include a modern bladed fuse box. Although I replaced the provided fuse box with a type that can be connected to additional relay and fuse boxes, in retrospect this was probably overkill and the loom could probably have been largely used as is. I ended up locating the fuse and relay boxes in the back wall of the glove box, which is a really great spot and never gets dirty or wet! The UniLoom also includes numerous centralized Black ground wire runs which is perfect in a fibreglass body application and are all gathered to the Plus 2 main ground location at the right side base of the dash.

One detail that needs attention is the turn signal & emergency flasher circuit; several relays are required to get it to work with the Plus 2 Federal simple dash switch. Can provide a lot more detail and guidance if you decide to go this route.

Any additional wire and stuff I typically got from these two suppliers other side of the pond...

http://www.autoelectricsupplies.co.uk

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

HTH. I agree the car looks very nice and should make a fine project.

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PostPost by: gus » Wed Jul 20, 2016 11:08 pm

There are really 3 variants to the +2 wiring.

2 fuse
3 fuse box
fuses in the dash

there are generator/alternator variants for the first two I believe
probably S and non S variants of the 2 fuse box

Yes there are a dozen damn wiring diagrams, but the variances are not significant

think it through
You have non S[2 fuse]
S[3 fusebox]
late[fuses in dash]

so if your car is before 2400, it should have a 2 fuse harness
after 2400 and has an amp gauge 3 fusebox harness
volt gauge should have late harness

yes there are others[are there volt gauges with 3 fusebox?]

I think yours was a 2 fuse originally
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Wed Jul 20, 2016 11:59 pm

gus wrote:are there volt gauges with 3 fusebox?

I think yours was a 2 fuse originally


Agree with Gus this was built as a two fuse model.

Voltmeter installation is I believe part of the alternator equipped variant. The WSM has a procedure for adding the voltmeter if the car is converted to alternator. Interesting factoid; the voltmeter bezel in the WSM illustrations is slightly different than the stock gauges in my car. I swapped for the ammeter bezel to make the gauges look the same.

Wiring a voltmeter is pretty trivial though; can't recall if the required wire was included in the UniLoom. UniLoom is set up for an alternator; forgot to mention that key issue.

< EDIT >

I think this is closer to the UniLoom version I got from Spyder, but still not quite correct. The earlier link appears to have two fuse boxes; this one looks like a single fuse box and some relays, which appear to be the type of relay plugs that can easily be added to. For sure check that the purchased loom version is for a fibreglass body and has the heavy gauge ground runs and various instrument grounds included in the loom. I don't think this one has the correct wire colours though. Looking over the instructions it does appear the voltmeter or ammeter wiring would have to be added.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DIN-EASY-LOOM ... 2059380550

Basically probably need to check with the manufacturer to get the correct one. Alan, let me know if you want me to follow up with Premier to see what they call the loom version I used. For reference, here is their web page with some contact info (that way or may not be current). There are several references on forums indicating they will customize the looms as required.

http://www.premierwiring.co.uk/about-us

Stu
Last edited by stugilmour on Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:10 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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PostPost by: gus » Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:07 am

I believe, tho I could be wrong, that the voltmeter was a chronological replacement., IOW, they went to voltmeters at a point in time, while the alternator was in and out, IOW they were making generator and alternator cars at the same time, and I am pretty sure there are alternator cars with amp gauges.

I would have to look through all the wiring diagrams, and have no patience for such

Volt meter is a very different harness, as it does not require the back and forth through the firewall to get to the gauge. 4 fuse in dash is the simplest, as they should be all volt meter
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PostPost by: The Veg » Thu Jul 21, 2016 8:49 pm

Wow, I go away for vacation and miss this discussion? :shock:

Anyway, your car looks like it has lots of potential to be great once it's put right! Pretty colour too!

Keep us posted as to your progress!
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PostPost by: drtarkir » Thu Jul 21, 2016 10:58 pm

Here is a pic of the VIN plate

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