Lotus Elan

Fuse box location Plus 2

PostPost by: gearbox » Mon Jul 25, 2016 9:53 pm

Ok, to verify, the fuse box is located here

y.jpg and


And the regulator is suppose to be here

z.jpg and


And is this the correct regulator for my car using the original Generator?

20160725_173025.jpg and
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PostPost by: gus » Mon Jul 25, 2016 9:59 pm

regulator looks right.

fusebox fits in that general vicinity, I was thinking about 1 1/2 inches south south west in the image, looks to be a hole there, no?

somewhere in there anyway
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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Mon Jul 25, 2016 10:18 pm

Voltage regulator goes on same surface as fuse box, definitely not on bulkhead. Mine was the taller one, can't remember the Lucas number. I got rid of it when I converted to alternator.
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PostPost by: gus » Mon Jul 25, 2016 10:30 pm

umm, no not on any cars that I have seen, right were he marked it, and he has the holes to prove it.

They are hand made, but I have not seen that setup

perhaps in rhd models....
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PostPost by: gus » Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:18 pm

rhdplus2.jpg and

yeah, must be a rhd thing
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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Tue Jul 26, 2016 10:21 am

Lucas wiring of this era was rubbish and contributed significantly to the poor reliability reputation of British cars. There is good reason that Lucas was referred to as 'the Prince of Darkness' in the US. Lucar (spade) terminals were just about OK as they maintained high contact pressures, but bullet connectors were the work of the devil. Low contact pressure, no environmental sealing, it was a miracle they worked as long as they did before packing up.
Put this substandard wiring in an environment without a body earth return (which doubled the number of connections) and it was a recipe for disaster.

In all the books I have read on Lotus, no one is ever credited (blamed) for the wiring. Has anyone ever been credited with the electrical design of the Elan?
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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Tue Jul 26, 2016 10:31 am

Andy8421 wrote:Has anyone ever been credited with the electrical design of the Elan?


And putting the fuse box and regulator (RHD :? ) right next to the exhaust manifold probably seemed liked a good idea to someone on LSD at the time :roll:
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PostPost by: gus » Tue Jul 26, 2016 11:22 am

I am pretty certain Lotus' input to the electrical system amounted to 'make it cheaper'
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PostPost by: gearbox » Tue Jul 26, 2016 10:25 pm

Did some searching today and found 3 holes on the firewall that perfectly matches up with the regulator mounts. One of the holes was being used for the choke cable, but I have to believe it was originally for the regulator.

1.jpg and


Seems like a vulnerable place when it rains, but does this look right?

2.jpg and


I looked all over the flat shelf next to the brake/clutch masters and found no holes, just a rivet installed from inside the car. Could this possibly be what held the fuse box?

3.jpg and


They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so does anyone have a late 60's early 70's Plus 2 running a generator showing the exact locations of these components? It would make it a lot easier. I will also need to know where all the nearby relays would be mounted, so should you come across any pics of those, please post as well. Thanks Allan
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PostPost by: draenog » Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:11 am

gearbox wrote:They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so does anyone have a late 60's early 70's Plus 2 running a generator showing the exact locations of these components? It would make it a lot easier. I will also need to know where all the nearby relays would be mounted, so should you come across any pics of those, please post as well. Thanks Allan


This topic came up a couple of months ago and I posted a picture of the fuse boxes on my RHD 1970 +2S - it also shows the regulator (on the firewall).

http://www.lotuselan.net/forums/lotus-electrical-f38/fuse-box-location-t36818.html#p252684

Hope it helps...
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PostPost by: gus » Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:56 am

plus2.jpg and
unfortunately I changed to a custom fusebox 30 years ago, couldn't deal with the wimpy contacts on the fuse

that hole must be the one or it looks like there is one close by
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PostPost by: Orsom Weels » Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:29 am

Andy8421 wrote:Lucas wiring of this era was rubbish and contributed significantly to the poor reliability reputation of British cars. There is good reason that Lucas was referred to as 'the Prince of Darkness' in the US. Lucar (spade) terminals were just about OK as they maintained high contact pressures, but bullet connectors were the work of the devil. Low contact pressure, no environmental sealing, it was a miracle they worked as long as they did before packing up.
Put this substandard wiring in an environment without a body earth return (which doubled the number of connections) and it was a recipe for disaster.

In all the books I have read on Lotus, no one is ever credited (blamed) for the wiring. Has anyone ever been credited with the electrical design of the Elan?



I think you're being a little harsh on Lucas wiring there :), There are still many cars from the 40's through to the 70's still running around with their original Lucas wiring in place & still doing it's job. I'll agree some weather protection would have been a good idea in exposed areas, but unexposed bullets are often as good as the day they were first plugged together, especially if they have been left undisturbed. It was more often other components that let the system down, poor (cheaper) switch gear creeping in being an example. I think the 'Prince of darkness' reputation was earned more on British motorcycles where they insisted on fitting a delicate voltage regulator to the rear mudguard, which amplified the vibration from the engine & shook the contacts to pieces in short order resulting in no charge at all or so much charge that it would simply blow all your bulbs as soon as you switched them on :shock: It will be interesting to see how many modern cars wiring lasts that long, electrical problems seem to be far more common on newer cars, & much more complicated to repair. I'm seeing lots of sub 10 year old cars with wire broken inside the insulation, multi-plug connectors with such tiny pins that they have completely corroded or burnt away, wire so thin that if you try to disconnect something, the wire breaks instead of the connector releasing & lighting units that are so flimsy that they get hot & melt,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, I could go on :evil:
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PostPost by: gus » Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:10 pm

While you are correct that many of the other components are more major failure points, the wire insulation is of poor quality, decaying from heat and oil exposure in ways I have not seen on other cars, the wire is often undersized for its use and many of the connectors are bare copper rather than tin plated. The bullet connectors under the dash are ok, but there are a lump of what, 20 of them together. Who does that? The horn grounding is a joke.

I actually don't think the generators and starters were as markedly worse in quality than their contemporaries as the wiring and connectors were. One must mention they continued to use a generator until 1980, a good 15 years after everyone had changed to alternators. One can deal with a wonky headlight, but when the battery is dead, the car is unreliable
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:29 pm

gus wrote:While you are correct that many of the other components are more major failure points, the wire insulation is of poor quality, decaying from heat and oil exposure in ways I have not seen on other cars, the wire is often undersized for its use and many of the connectors are bare copper rather than tin plated. The bullet connectors under the dash are ok, but there are a lump of what, 20 of them together. Who does that? The horn grounding is a joke.

I actually don't think the generators and starters were as markedly worse in quality than their contemporaries as the wiring and connectors were. One must mention they continued to use a generator until 1980, a good 15 years after everyone had changed to alternators. One can deal with a wonky headlight, but when the battery is dead, the car is unreliable



I agree there were many deficiencies of Lucas wiring and components compared to their contemporaries of the era and in addition the Lotus implementation was definitely on the cheapest side of how you can I use the Lucas bits.

Bosch starters, dizzys and alternators and coils of the era are far superior . The Lotus design of wire sizes versus fuses and switch loads and earthing and location of connectors was just very poor ( and cheap) detail design of the use of the standard Lucas wiring components.

Modern electrical systems also have deficiencies in many cars leading to electrical problems as the cars age and troubleshooting and repair is an order of magnitude more difficult with the computerized systems. However in comparison my 68 Elan which when 10 years old needed a total rewire to replace a loom that had melted or corroded in many places and replacement of most major components which had failed or were in the process of failing, my 17 year old Toyota has none of these problems so far. My 73 plus 2 electrical system is in much better condition and in pretty much original condition though I have replace some of the original Lucas components such as starter and alternator and I need to keep a close eye on the Lucas dizzy but the wiring and switching and fusing has held up well, maybe because it has not been played with much. My 78 Esprit is in totally original electrical condition and is still fine despite the fact that most people says the S1 Esprit electrics are terrible. The electrics are non Lucas mainly and have not been played with and have held up extremely well !

cheers
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PostPost by: gearbox » Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:53 pm

Everything gets old and everything eventually breaks. But I do recall vividly the reputation of the Prince of Darkness back in the day. Here in the States we had these independent shops with "Authorized" incorporated in their names and for some reason, that gave them the liberty to charge more. These imports back then were the black arts and parts were not so readily available nor the knowledge on how everything worked for that matter. As a result, a lot of these cars fell into disrepair. This was especially so for the E Types which was easy to buy, but horrendously expensive to maintain. These cars in the mid to late 70's fell to a couple of thousand to buy, and none of them ran correctly. But having worked on many of these cars back then, you have to admit, Lucas could have made things a bit better. And like the previous poster pointed out, weather protection was a big issue. Drive your TR4 or MGA through a puddle, and it immediately stalled. Then you are spending a good part of an hour taking the distributor cap off on the side of the road and drying off as much as you can and waiting for it to dry out. I recall having to seal the electronic components with Vaseline, and as long as it lasted, puddles and wet weather was uneventful. So yes and no, if we knew then what we know now, I think Lucas would have been fine. But as a side note, I had the wonderful opportunity to replace failed ignition switch in my daugthers 2003 Boxster which required me pulling out the dash pod. Easy enough and they had these great levered locking electrical connectors which made the job a breeze. But the 13 years took a toll on the plastic and no matter how careful you are, they broke. Ok, simple enough, buy new ones......... not so easy, you can't, you have to buy the complete wiring harness lol. And without the locks, the connector does not connect. So now I am gluing the parts back together and thinking about reverse engineering them and 3D printing new ones. So at this point, Lucas is looking pretty good to me these days.
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