Lotus Elan

Plus 2, what the ***k is it.

PostPost by: NYK » Wed Oct 03, 2018 2:39 pm

This is the question I have been asking myself all day, let me explain. A while ago a bought a Plus 2 for restoration. This is a full restoration and I?m a fair way through it now. I bought it not having done my model homework so subsequently discovered that the car is registered 1972, with a big valve engine and appropriate interior but the shell is a much earlier one, so no fog lights, side exhausts, boot handle/ lock etc.

Having done much body work repairs including a new front end I?m doing the final interior stripping prior to it going to the paint shop. So this week I have pulled the old dash board and have been carefully labelling up all the wires. So here is where it gets really confusing. I have the Lotus manual and if I read it correctly there were three basic looms for U.K. cars. The Plus 2, then the Plus 2S and finally the S130 loom.

My car has 6 small gauges and ONE fuse box of 4 fuses behind the dash, so according to the wiring diagrams this makes it the S130 loom The +S would also have 6 small gauges but it would have 3 fuse boxes. But and here is the big but, the speedo and tacho have various warning lamps in them and this clearly makes it an early Plus 2 loom which does not support 6 gauges or have a 4 fuse fuse box behind the dash.

Just to complicate matters, the wiring from my fuse box is certainly different to that of the 4 fuse S130 fuse box.

There are a few non standard wires floating around, but none of those modifications explain the above.

Not havining a wiring diagram is going to make it quite awkward putting it all back together. So as my posting subject says.... what the ***k is it?
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PostPost by: mbell » Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:25 pm

Sounds like a +2S130 that has had an early body fitted with the 130 interior and dash. Then the early +2 wiring modified to work with later dash.

I'd guess something like this would be done after an accident fairly early in it's life when getting a replacement body would be tricky (e.g pre Internet).
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: NYK » Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:39 pm

Yes, I agree with you as far as accident and body replacement but it still does not quite explain the loom as the obvious changes are pretty minor whereas 99% of the loom is clearly unmodified and apparently 'Factory. I guess I will never really know
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:12 pm

I?ve just replaced the dash on my early plus 2 November 67 vintage. Generally the wiring was as per the manual wiring diagram, but not completely. No fuse box behind the dash, no relay for the side lights, no glove box lamp or boot lamp and some additional spare wires in the rear harness.
Other differences were that on the ignition switch the auxiliary position is shown as having a green wire going to the radio, mine had a white wire that went to a four way fuse box in the engine compartment, while the diagram shows this wire coming from terminal 2 on the ignition switch which also has the red green wire that goes via the rev counter to the coil.
So small differences and I?ve made more by fitting an alternator, and a voltmeter instead of an ammeter, plus new relays and additional fuses for the lights etc.
I suspect there are many small variations developed over time and the wiring diagrams in the manual are snapshots in time that capture what was being made on a particular day. I?ve found that the correct colour wires were used in all cases in my car so it?s not too difficult to work out what connections should go to what where the three harnesses join together at the left hand side behind the dash. Note that some wire colour combinations are used in more than one place for different functions, the horn and interior lights being two that I noticed.
I agree with a couple of the comments above that you seem to have a later car that has had an earlier body put on it with a hybrid wiring system in it.
Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine!
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PostPost by: gus » Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:02 pm

Do not confuse later bastardization with variances at the factory. The cars are low volume but not random

There are no fewer than 7 diagrams in the manual, so I think they kept up pretty well

I cannot explain the OP's car, most likely a late dash and wiring harness put in an early car.

A VIN number would help.

So would pics of the wiring in the engine bay

The very late interior fusebox would eliminate a lot of through firewall wires, so It would make sense that it would not be difficult to retrofit.
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PostPost by: wotsisname » Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:28 pm

A potential explanation is that a PO has tried to present the car as a later model or put two cars together.
With a casual glance most people would see the 6 dial /rocker switch dash, plush interior and "big valve" camcover and assume 130 or 130/5... A harder look and you start to see bootlock, door handles, front screen trim, exhaust route, etc.

If you want ease of future maintenance and putting it all back together you might want to choose which you prefer +2 or +2S ? the front & rear looms may also give further clues as the direction to take

or - and this would be trickier , but is do-able.. work out your own wiring diagram ... a chance to modernise (connectors, fuses & relays) if that's a route you are wanting to take....
1968 Elan plus 2 - project
2007 Elise S2 [modified with a Hethel 70th sticker (yellow)]
2000 Elise S1 - Sold
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PostPost by: NYK » Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:18 pm

I?ve decided to put it back as a debadged early bodied 130S since it has a big valve engine and the interior is that spec. I?m sure the purists will object but when I?ve completed it, it will be a nicely presented Plus 2 having benefitted from a ?20K + rebuild.
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