Lotus Elan

Wiper Motor

PostPost by: mdf » Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:38 pm

My otherwise perfect S1 Elan has a windscreen wiper motor that does not work. There is power to the motor but it does not activate. My guess is that this same motor was used in a load of other British cars. Does anyone know what other cars used this motor?
-Michael Fatsi
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PostPost by: billwill » Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:39 am

Power flows through the motor and reaches Ground via a Park Switch which is open in the parked position, so you see power connected. The Run power goes to Ground by a route that misses out the park switch. That may be disconnected in your case; it comes from the wiper switch on the dash.

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PostPost by: tesprit » Fri Sep 22, 2017 5:57 pm

These early Elans had a Lucas DR3A part number 75501 installed. The wiper motor is similar to many early '60s British cars except most of them had a single speed motor instead of the two speed used in the Elan. Unfortunately when you cross reference the 75501 wiper motor you will find it is very specific to the Elan and the two speed motors are rather rare.

The usual cause of failure in the DR3A motors is when the wiper arms and or spindles get frozen in place from a lack of lubrication or corrosion and the wipers are turned on. This causes the windings inside the motor to overheat and burn up and it only takes a few seconds to happen. Trying to find a new or good used correct motor can be difficult and expensive. They can be rebuilt by a specialist but that is expensive as well. You need to determine what caused your motor to fail before you install a new or rebuilt one or there is a very good chance you will ruin the new one the first time you try to turn on the wipers.

I had the same problem as you and found burnt motor windings when I took my motor apart so I would suggest taking your motor apart to see if it is damaged or if you have a different problem. I was never able to get my old motor to run again even after replacing the commutator and field coil and eventually found a new old stock motor after a year or so that fixed the problem. The other problem is that no matter how I tried to bench test my old motor or the new motor I never could get either to run. I ended up having to test them in the car using the original rheostat wiper switch and wiring to make sure the old one was indeed still dead and the new one worked.

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PostPost by: mdf » Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:05 pm

Thanks for the info.
-Michael Fatsi
Richmond, Virginia
1963 S1 26/0111
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PostPost by: nigelrbfurness » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:00 am

My s1 had a single speed motor with a rheostat on the dashboard. Is that unusual?
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PostPost by: billwill » Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:43 am

nigelrbfurness wrote:My s1 had a single speed motor with a rheostat on the dashboard. Is that unusual?


No that is normal.

Mine was like that but the motor was replaced with a more modern 2-speed one.
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