Lotus Elan

S3 Dash multi connector for wiring - any photos?

PostPost by: pcarew » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:30 am

Anyone able to share how they wired in a dash multi connector to facilitate subsequent dash removal?

A photo or two would be much appreciated.

I have two 15 circuit molex connectors that I'm considering putting to use here.

Cheers
Paul.
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:15 am

Paul,
I made a similar modification to my +2 many years ago. I used Molex connectors and I think I needed three to accommodate the number of conductors. Unfortunately I can't post a photo immediately but I am happy that I made the change, it certainly didn't introduce any problems.
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:22 am

I'll be following this.....
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:40 pm

I should have added that I made this modification while I was completely rewiring my +2. Simply cutting the existing harness and inserting Molex, or similar, connectors might introduce a couple of different problems. You will lose a bit of harness length when spreading the conductors out to fit the physical configuration of the connectors. Unfortunately there is no extra length in the harness. You might want to consider rewiring from the new connector to the components on the instrument panel and creating some extra length when doing so.
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PostPost by: The Veg » Sun Jun 03, 2018 3:43 am

I'm in the process of doing this, also using 15-circuit Molexes. For my Plus 2, only two are needed as my car is not an S. One thing I made a point to do is orient the connectors so that one is male on the dashboard-side of the connection and the other is male on the car-side of the connection, to prevent incorrect connections.

As for wire-length, I don't think it will be much issue in my car, as I was able to pull the dashboard away from its mounts a bit before things had to be disconnected, and I'm clipping the wires right at the edge of the bullets. Additionally, the connection-point won't be difficult to reach behind the dashboard.

Be sure to label the ever-loving snot out of each and every wire on both sides of the connections before you take anything apart, and have at least one good wiring-diagram to refer to. I have found that no single diagram from either the factory WSM or an aftermarket book exactly matches my car's wiring but the differences are minor. Not all connections are exactly like-to-like; pay close attention to any black rubber 'triple-bullet' connectors as some join all three but some keep them all electrically separate.

The Molex-crimping tool is definitely worth using, and you can get them fairly cheeply from sources such as Amazon, Parts Express, etc. I also recommend getting the pin-removal tool because sooner or later you WILL stick a pin in the wrong hole...D'OH!

Which brings me to another point: make a list of which wire goes on which pin in which connector, and spend a few minutes with a strong light and good magnifier to see which pinhole in the plugs bears which number, and make a good large diagram of these to refer to.

Mine isn't back in the car yet but if I stay on it, it may be fairly soon. Taking all the steps and precautions I've detailed, I expect minimal troubles once everything gets reconnected.

Good luck, have fun, you can do it!
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:54 am

Good points, Ben. Thanks!
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PostPost by: pharriso » Sun Jun 03, 2018 12:52 pm

The only picture I have is one that was posted by Greg Z!
mainharnessconnector_gregz.jpg and
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PostPost by: groucho » Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:36 pm

I'll be doing this within the next few weeks as I have ripped all the existing wiring out of my car and am rewiring from scratch, and want to be able to remove the dash easier in the future. I'm anticipating using waterproof connectors like this: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074LJ4NGJ

They come in all sorts of sizes (down to single wire) and I'm more concerned with functionality and reliability than originality. I am using all correct Lucas wiring colors but no bullets - marine-grade connectors with heatshrink and adhesive, modern fuse boxes, etc. I'll try to post some photos of the back of the dashboard when done if you're interested.
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PostPost by: pcarew » Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:55 pm

Thanks for the responses.

I'm going to go ahead and do this for my new S3 dash.

I'll post periodic photo updates.
Paul.
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:41 pm

If you want to peruse many of the options out there for multi-connectors you might want to look at:

https://www.waytekwire.com/products/1598/Connectors/

You need to take care to use a compatible system as the various options use different connectors/crimpers even from the same manufacturer.

No affiliation, just a customer.

I used them to supply all manner of wiring components when I rewired my 69 S4. A particular mod that I am happy I did is the installation of a RTMR Power Distribution module to add fuses.

https://www.waytekwire.com/item/46345/E ... Mini-Fuse/

Really cleans up the spaghetti on the firewall.

img_8721.jpg and


img_8452.jpg and


Also used weatherproof micro relay holders to replace/augment the original ones for headlights/horn. Again, using same connector system (Delphi).
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PostPost by: pcarew » Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:06 am

I have a question for those that have done this.

Did you lengthen the harness wires first?
If so, did you use a single colour or did you get reels of the various flavours of coloured wires first?

Pros / cons?
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PostPost by: groucho » Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:15 am

I can't speak to the need to lengthen the stock wiring, but if you do need wiring, I would do the right thing and get the correct wire colors. Since you're in the USA, best bet is probably britishwiring.com; they've got all the correct colors and are pretty inexpensive. I got all the wire for my entire harness for just under $100.

Obviously if you do lengthen it, do it right and use proper connectors; again, you want to make things better, not worse!
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PostPost by: pcarew » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:09 pm

Hello Jeff,
Yes I was leaning towards getting the colours, it's just a pain in the A... to have to order two dozen or so different colours (I've counted 23 different colour combinations in use on my car), all at short lengths.

I wish they sold a set.

By the way, what did you specifically mean by 'proper connectors'?
There has been liberal use of the blue bullet connectors by previous owners.
Paul Carew
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1967 Lotus Elan S3SE Right Hand Drive, FHC 36/7152 BOO 758F
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PostPost by: groucho » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:33 pm

I ordered a total of 28 different kinds of wire. :) (Plus a bunch of black wire from somewhere else!) I spent a LONG time ahead of time planning out just what I needed and figuring out the correct colors for things that weren't originally on the car, like the electric fan.

For connectors, I mainly mean not just twisting the wires together and throwing a little electrical tape on 'em, which is probably what I would have done 15 years ago! I'm trying to do it right now and bought this set: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01GXQMP66
It's all marine-grade connectors with heatshrink and adhesive. They sell just the butt connectors, too. I'll probably run out of connectors before I'm done and need more but still, I'm getting by for far less than a ready-built harness, I won't have any flaky, loose bullet connectors, I'll have lots of fuses, and it'll have wires for everything I want and nothing I don't. I'm just getting started but so far, it's going well and the connections should be super reliable.
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