Lotus Elan

Ambient temp gauge

PostPost by: Lotusdavid » Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:02 pm

Im sorting out the dash for my +2 restore. Everything coming together nicely, but there is a hole!
My ambient temp gauge was non functional, and very ugly. Plan "A" is to source a replacement.
Plan "B" would be alternate gauges. Perhaps an oil temp gauge. Maybe a more modern digital
ambient temp gauge.

Thoughts?
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PostPost by: JonB » Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:22 pm

"Dave. Stop what you're doing, Dave."

;)

Surely the ambient gauge can be repaired? A modern one would look out of place. If you are dead set on replacing it, stick some other period correct gauge in there instead. For example, vacuum gauge, ammeter, oil temperature.
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PostPost by: SimonH » Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:31 pm

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PostPost by: Robbie693 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:41 pm

I believe Speed cables can repair/refurbish it, they do capillary water temp gauges so why not air temp ones?

http://www.speedycables.com/index.html

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PostPost by: wotsisname » Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:07 pm

I have seen an article, either on this site or in Club Lotus News, within the last 12 months that details how to repair this guage. I seem to remember it was mainly focused on a repair to the capillary (and it's contents) with correct calibration - in case this is the fault with yours
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:13 pm

SimonH wrote:If you are feeling flush?


Very nice, even has the correct section bezel.
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PostPost by: Lotusdavid » Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:17 pm

My gauge is beyond repair/restoration!
The Kelsport is not a bad route for me...like many things on this restoration, throwing
money at it is the only good solution!
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PostPost by: prezoom » Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:45 pm

I would guess that many ambient temperature gauges are not functional, as a result of the capillary tube routing and the bulbs location in the nose. While this gauge appears to compliment the other gauges, I rather like my colorful original gauge, which is currently in need of a new capillary tube clear back to the gauge. One thing I have noticed, is that my P2 gauge's face plates are not a true black like most gauges, but rather have a grey tinge. This came to my attention when I replaced the original capillary oil pressure gauge with a 100 lb electric gauge. Cannot tell from the picture if this new ambient is black or of similar color to my original gauges, but the availability of this gauge is an option.
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PostPost by: vxah » Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:52 pm

If you take the gauges apart and carefully clean the glass and display face they come out quite Black again!
I found WD40 seemed to do a good job of removing the Grey for the facia without damaging the lettering.
You can get the correct replacement bezel as well..
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PostPost by: Robbie693 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:32 pm

I don't know if it's NOS or refurbished but the Kelsport gauge is an original part. Later Plus 2's had red pointers on the dials and square section bezels.

I rather like my colorful original gauge, which is currently in need of a new capillary tube clear back to the gauge


AFAIK ambient temp gauges were only fitted to S/130 models. I'm not sure what Rob's 'colorful' gauge looks like..?
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PostPost by: Lotusdavid » Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:32 pm

By "colorful", Im assuming a red/orange pointer. I freshened all of my other gauges with a very careful
cleaning with a cotton ball, and alcohol. Then I masked, and sprayed the faces with matte finish clear
coat. They went from grey, to near black. I also masked the gauge face, and sprayed the needles with
"dayglo" orange. The all look good as new....except the dead/broken ambient temp gauge!
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PostPost by: JonB » Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:21 pm

Mine is still working, qoddly enough. :shock:

Surprising as so much on my car has been neglected.
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:53 pm

JonB wrote:Mine is still working, qoddly enough. :shock:

Surprising as so much on my car has been neglected.


Probably why it is still working Jon.
It's not been faffed about with or disturbed.

I had heard it was not easy to restore them as the internal fluid used is considered
naughty these days.
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PostPost by: prezoom » Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:28 am

vxah, thanks for the hint. When time permits, the dash will come out for refurbishing. In the mean time, I can play with the removed 60 lb gauge. I also need a flat bezel for the new gauge. The problem is, I am having way too much fun driving the car with its new Zetec power.

My ambient temp gauge has bands of color to indicate temps along with degrees. A bit out of order with the other gauges, but I believe it is original, given the condition of the capillary tube and the bracket that secured the bulb to the body. You can't just buy that much corrosion. The tube itself was much longer than it need to be, and the excess was coiled in the nose. There are so many breaks in the tube, it would be impossible to repair. My 60 lb gauge in the S2 has also been patched up so many times, it is need of a transplant and the temporary replacement 100 lb gauge just does not look correct. Holywood3645 and I have put together a care package to be shipped to Speedycables for repair of our various non functioning gauges.
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PostPost by: Davefettback » Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:39 am

Try these guys
http://www.caigauge.com/automotive
There was no colourful gauge. It?s Grey faced with orange pointer. These guys make an exact electronic replacement. I priced repairing the original and it was about the same cost as this replacement, which will likely work a bit longer. The 1972 original is behind the wheel in the photo. It?s a federal 130/4.
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