Lotus Elan

Elan S4 light switch

PostPost by: pburgess000 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:35 pm

Is there an easy way to replace the main light rocker switch on an S4 Elan? Or does the wooden dashboard (facia) need to be removed?
Thank
Peter
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:58 pm

Why do you need to replace the switch.
On my Sprint there was a problem with the panel light switch and it just needed the tags on the back of the switch bending back into place. The tags had become unbent because of many years of using the switch.Get your head down in the footwell and try to have a look at the back of the switch. You may be able to tweek the tabs back into place.
Alan
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PostPost by: m750rider » Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:47 pm

If you are referring to the light switch next to the headlamp pull switch, you might be able to get to it if you remove the ashtray. Or by first removing the headlamp pull switch from its location by working from the side after removing the under dash trim piece. You'll need to be a contortionist to do it, not much room and the steering wheel is in the way if you don't remove it first.

If the switch really needs to be replaced, you'll likely need to remove the dashboard.

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PostPost by: pburgess000 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:56 pm

Nice idea Alan. I'll try that. The longer story is the headlights have become erratic, sometimes working, sometimes not. Unable to find an electrical specialist who knows Elans, I went to a local auto electrician, who has diagnosed the switch as the problem. I guess he could be right.....
The second issue is that I have lost all the dashboard lighting, including the warning lights. My man says he could tackle this better when the dashboard is off to replace the headlight switch. I hope I am not going up a blind alley!
Peter
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:09 pm

Peter

"The second issue is that I have lost all the dashboard lighting"

You've disturbed an earth connection.....my guess.

John :wink:
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:32 pm

Is there an earth near the headlamp switch to the bracket that holds the dashboard through the tunnel into the chassis :wink:
Alan
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:01 pm

Did your electrician check the microswitch on the headlamp pod and the relays in the engine bay ? Could be wrong but I think these are more likely to give trouble than the dash switch and are somewhat easier to get to. The headlights and the microswitch share an earth connection on the LH bonnet stay/radiator support bracket bolt ...worth cleaning that up too. You could also try squirting contact cleaner into the dash switch before resorting to pulling the dash out ........
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PostPost by: pburgess000 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:33 pm

Thanks Roger,

That certainly is a simpler route to try. I'll give it a squirt.

And here's a picture of my little Elan in the garage today!

Best wishes

Peter
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:57 pm

Definitely check the headlight relays. In the old days before I replaced everything I would sometime have to get the headlights working by banging on the relays. Also, the advice on the loss of a ground for the dash lights is good. As noted check/clean the ground on the bottom dash bolt (not sure which side for your UK car).

The wiring on the Headlights is different between Federal and UK cars so I wouldn't offer much advice as I have a Federal version and I see you have a RHD UK car.

I have spent numerous hours sorting out the differences for the headlights on my original Federal car and the various Elan wiring diagrams out there. Everything now works with the existing original vacuum switch, microswitches (replaced with new), and parking light toggle switch.

But, I did have to bypass the vacuum part of the switch and use a small vacuum solenoid connected to the microswitch to actuate the vacuum system. The existing h/l switch leaked(a common problem) and no way to really fix it. But the original switch is still in place to handle the electrical switching and solenoid actuation so it all looks original and unmodified. The headlights (failsafe) also now stay down indefinitely - no slow leaks.
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PostPost by: Orsom Weels » Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:15 am

Hi Peter,
When I first got my series 4 I had intermittent light issues which all turned out to be rocker switch related, both main & panel light switches. I tried in vain to remove them without removing the dash, but as they are held in place with screws from behind, there was just no way I could get to them with a decent screw driver. In desperation, I gave the switches a good squirt of WD40 from the front (using the little red tube supplied) & 'worked' them a few times & they both started to work perfectly. I knew I was going to have to remove the dash for a heater related issue at some point, so was just looking for a temporary repair, but they both carried on working fine for the best part of a year before I got the time to pull the dash & strip them down to clean their contacts properly. Might be worth a try ?

Regards, Tim
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PostPost by: pburgess000 » Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:49 pm

Thanks everyone for your invaluable advice. I tracked the problem down to the micro-switch for the headlamps. It was simply the earth lead onto this that needed cleaning up.
Cheers
Peter
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:10 am

Glad you got it sorted. Good job you didn't pull the dash out and replace the switch as suggested by your electrician eh ! :roll: Checking earth connections is always a good place to start with electrical issues in the Elan.
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