Lotus Elan

Non-standard ignition / wiring / ignition keys

PostPost by: tomjones20194 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:06 pm

Folks -

I recently purchased a '67 Elan S3 DHC. I'm at least the fourth owner (currently working on tracking down its history) and needless to say, there have been various "modifications" done to it over the years. My initial question(s) are regarding the wiring, ignition system, etc. First this car has been fitted with two ignition switches. One on the dashboard (I believe to be original) and one underneath the dash on the driver side on the steering column. See pics. Someone suggested that this might be a steering lock like on the S4, but I can turn the steering wheel with or without the key in the switch underneath the dash. Anyone seen something like this before? Thoughts on what the PO was trying to do? Maybe dashboard switch went bad and new switch was added?

dashboardkey.jpg and


steeringcolumnkey.jpg and


Next question: There are a few pictures of the engine bay and ignition components. It appears an aftermarket unit was installed, see "piranha.jpg." It also looks like the ignition coil was moved/added to the air filter area (air filter box cover is missing). I believe that I read that some folks have converted from points to a normal distributor setup. Is that what was done here? Can someone explain the mods that were made and why?

enginebay1.jpg and


coilpack.jpg and


piranha.jpg and


dist.jpg and


Thanks for any/all thoughts, comments.

Regards,
Tom
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PostPost by: USA64 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:40 pm

My car, an S4, has been thoroughly mucked about and is nothing to go by but it has the coil in the same place. The reason I speak up is because I read that the coil should be upright. I don't know if that's true, or perhaps only true for some coils; mine was upright. I have (currently being restored) Luminition instead on points. I daily drove that setup for a couple of years. I'm looking forward to some knowledgeable input as much as you.
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PostPost by: Foxie » Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:13 am

USA64 wrote:My car, an S4, has been thoroughly mucked about and is nothing to go by but it has the coil in the same place. The reason I speak up is because I read that the coil should be upright. I don't know if that's true, or perhaps only true for some coils; mine was upright. I have (currently being restored) Luminition instead on points. I daily drove that setup for a couple of years. I'm looking forward to some knowledgeable input as much as you.


I've just had a new Lumenition MegaSpark coil delivered today !

Fitting Instructions: "Always mount upright with the connections on top. This will assist with cooling and avoid any problems with oil leakage"

:)
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PostPost by: tomjones20194 » Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:48 am

Thanks for info. I?ll look into vertical mounting options.

I was able to successfully get power to the car today. There was a corroded connection on the positive terminal cable. Cleaned that up and tested the ignition switches to see what?s up with those. It appears that the switch on the dashboard is disconnected and the switch on the steering column is the main one.

Any thoughts on that Piranha Ignition box?
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PostPost by: elancoupe » Tue Sep 25, 2018 2:03 am

I used a Piranha for many years, it was very dependable. It is a photocell unit, so nothing in the dizzy to wear out. The downside is the external module.
Mike
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Tue Sep 25, 2018 2:44 am

"There was a corroded connection on the positive terminal cable. "

Expect another corroded negative terminal cable from the battery to the chassis at the bottom of the trunk near the fuel tank. Also make sure the ground strap from the engine block to the chassis is still there with good continuity.

Regards,
Dan
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:36 am

tomjones20194 wrote:Thanks for info. I?ll look into vertical mounting options.

I was able to successfully get power to the car today. There was a corroded connection on the positive terminal cable. Cleaned that up and tested the ignition switches to see what?s up with those. It appears that the switch on the dashboard is disconnected and the switch on the steering column is the main one.

Any thoughts on that Piranha Ignition box?

No problem with "Piranha" good bit of kit. I have one on my TVR 3000M 3ltr V6 and it's been there for 20 Years.
I suggest you find and fit an Airbox like original with Trunking down to the front for cool air intake.
Looking at the photo under the Dash the Wiring is in bad condition and needs sorting out
Alan
ps. you can find Instructions for the "Piranha" on the net to print :wink:
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PostPost by: Donels » Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:55 pm

The lock on the steering column does appear to be a steering lock/ ignition switch. Looks identical to the one in my +2 and is an adjustable Triumph Spitfire column. 'Adjustable' is relative as there is a clamp bolt at the bottom of the column which you loosen to adjust and then tighten to a specific torque to give crash protection. If it's adjusted out of its range the locking pin in the switch will not engage with the locking slot in the column shaft and the steering will not lock which may be your problem.

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