Lotus Elan

Recommendations for wiring looms

PostPost by: Sploder90 » Sat Aug 03, 2019 1:01 am

Hi all

Have read a few older posts on this topic but just wondering if anyone has any recent experience of supply of replacement looms?
Looking to go through the whole car as the existing wiring looks to be getting quite brittle.
Should keep me busy while waiting for engine bits to come back from machining....

I have used autosparks in the past but not for Lotus and found them reasonable both in terms of fit and cost.

I see the usual suspects do them so would love to know from others which is worth further investigation.

Thanks

Mel
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Sat Aug 03, 2019 1:45 am

When I went through my wiring, relatively recently, a couple of years ago I looked at the various usual suppliers. What I found is that the looms supplied seemed to come from Autosparks regardless. This was true for both UK and US suppliers. If you look at their packaging they have Autosparks catalog numbers.

I then tried to order the looms from Autosparks directly but they didn?t have them in stock for my S4. I then ordered them through PM even though marginally more expensive, but they had them in stock.

The PM/Autosparks looms worked out OK given that there were some Federal differences that I had to accommodate. In any case, I wouldn?t view any loom as ?plug and play? . Best to understand all the circuits and consult the several versions of wiring diagrams out there, and posted on the Forum.

I would also consider revamping the wiring to incorporate more fuses and relays for safety and better electrical performance. There is a lot of info on here how to do that. The original 2 fuse setup is asking for trouble, if not already happened. On my original car there was a lot of melted insulation. Lucky the car didn?t go up in smoke during my 50 years of ownership.
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Sat Aug 03, 2019 7:18 am

+1 to comments.
The new looms dont have multiple block connectors - so if only doing partial replacement such as engine bay you'll need some bullets.
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PostPost by: Sploder90 » Sat Aug 03, 2019 8:56 am

Thanks. You have confirmed what I suspected 're Autosparks

Previous experience of their looms was on landrover lightweight / air portables and there was a bit of alteration to do there due to various minor differences.

I have also have a Dynamator which I am considering using mainly for the look, but still not ruled out going full alternator conversion & selling the Dyna...

Thing I liked with Autospark direct is the options list for alternator and electric fan additions. As long as wait time is not too long I will look there first. If not I will ring John at PM's.

Agree the 2 fuse is less than ideal & something else I altered on the Landy, tricky but there was finding somewhere discreet to hide it.. At least on the Elan I think I can hide it behind the dash.

Cheers

Mel
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PostPost by: William2 » Sat Aug 03, 2019 9:00 am

I rewired my S4 using Auto Sparks looms and found the quality to be good. The only thing that I would question is the gauge of some of the wires used when it comes to higher current circuits such as headlamps and horn. I think I would have used a wire size that was about 14/16 awg instead of what looks like 18/20 awg. Having said that I haven't had any problems.
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PostPost by: 2tmike » Sat Aug 03, 2019 8:42 pm

Also +1 on comments, wire gauge is thinner on new Auto sparks looms compared to the originals and I found a few of the crimped bullets pulled off quite easily. Otherwise decent quality and cable lengths correct compared to my old looms
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Sat Aug 03, 2019 10:40 pm

Just a few other comments:

1. You might want to invest in a proper bullet connector crimper. Especially if you find you need to fix or add some things. Get a supply of various size bullets and connectors. The proper crimper makes a hexagonal crimp on the neck of the bullet:
img_2646.jpg and


2. If you add/change wires, try to stay to some semblance of the wire color coding. You'll appreciate this years downstream (or for the next owner).

3. You can also ditch the sometimes problematic bullet connectors altogether and go with a more modern "bullet proof" (pun intended) connection system. I ended up making many of my electrical modifications using a modern Delphi system - much more secure and weatherproof. I even used an RTMR (Rear Terminal Mini Fuse and Relay) box for power distribution, making for a neat and compact installation.
img_8721.jpg and


4. Even if you order the Autosparks looms with options for an alternator, fan, etc. the end plug connector may not be compatible with what you are using (alternator, electric fan) so you will have to splice it anyway. If you can't get the additional options added, not that big of a deal to add these or modify the looms - observe color codes, especially on the alternator.

5. Consider using some kind of grease to weatherproof your bullet connectors. Some controversy whether "dielectric grease" is appropriate as it is a non-conductor. I used it but ensured that connections were solid metal-metal.

When I placed my order with Autosparks they came back to me with a 10-12 weeks delivery time. Hopefully, you will have better luck. I cancelled my order and went with PM.
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PostPost by: Sploder90 » Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:38 am

Great advice
Was just looking at an old regulator I have and considering gutting it and see if I can get a fuse rail in there.. If I stick with the dynamator this might give a neat installation.
Have got a proper bullet crimp took in one of my old tool boxes as used this on the Landies in the past. Anything else does not seen to grab effectively

Thanks all
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PostPost by: Higs » Sun Aug 04, 2019 10:22 am

When I replaced my looms I bought a PM one but then spent a long time modifying it. I added:

1 extra fuses and a fuse box in the glove box
2 Relays for headlights and windows
3 Multiplugs for the various connections between engine bay/dash/rear loom
4 Spare connections for later possible use: (electric fan, rev counter conversion, oil pressure light, electric fuel pump etc.)

It was quite a bit of work but relatively straight forward. I did lots of planning, drawing up connection diagrams etc. and set off. You definitely need the right crimpers - they save hours and make secure connections.

One advantage of the multiple fuses is that you can commission one circuit at a time - safer and easier.

Note that much of the reduced wire diameter is due to the industry moving to thin-walled wiring. The copper stays the same size but the insulation is thinner. You end up with smaller looms which is good.

Happy to share any of my details/drawings etc.

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PostPost by: Elanman68 » Sun Aug 04, 2019 12:58 pm

Would very much appreciate any info you have and are able to share. A rewire doing much the same is on my 'to do' list.
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PostPost by: RichardS » Sun Aug 04, 2019 5:33 pm

This old post of mine is still pertinent - touch wood the electrics haven?t let me down since I did the rewiring. I also soldered all the bullets, as well as crimping. I do also recommend plenty of earthing!


posting.php?mode=quote&f=19&p=92600

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PostPost by: Elanman68 » Mon Aug 05, 2019 10:02 am

Richard, thank you for the link to your thread, all very useful, I am hoping the previous poster (Higs, also Richard) will be able to provide copies of drawings.
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PostPost by: Chrispy » Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:14 am

I completely replaced my wiring loom with a aftermarket kit from EZ-wiring.

https://www.ezwiring.com/

All I had to add was some crimp terminals, additional earth wiring (obviously made for a metal bodied car) and some relays to improve reliability and lessen the load on the poor old switches.

Not something for those entering in Concours, but I'm very happy with the quality and the cost (about $220 Aussie pesos). Wiring is all labeled every 300mm which makes it easy. Took me about 2 days of stuffing about to install.
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PostPost by: Higs » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:32 pm

Here are my documents. They are for a 1968 Plus 2 with alternator conversion. PM me if you want any further explanation.

Spaghetti Junction - revised.doc
Listing of the various wiring looms used - spaghetti junction referring to the mess behind the dashboard going to the engine bay and rear.
(134.5 KiB) Downloaded 72 times

Relay and fuses layout.doc
General layout of the Relay/fuse box together with all the connection
(291 KiB) Downloaded 72 times

Elan Plus 2 wiring colours.doc
Standard wiring colours
(118.5 KiB) Downloaded 59 times

Elan Plus 2 wiring colours - revised.doc
Standard wiring colours modified in my car:
(119.5 KiB) Downloaded 49 times
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PostPost by: Elanman68 » Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:18 pm

Thanks very much for the info, much appreciated. Mines a '68 S4 FHC so many similarities but also some differences. Electrics are an area I'm not entirely confident with but am learning as I gather information. My plan is to rewire from scratch, making a loom and incorporating many of the things you have. So, more fuses and relays, modern thin wall cable and decent multi connectors to make the whole thing tidier and less prone to issues, learning as I go. I already have an alternator fitted and a high torque stater motor so can lose the engine bay solenoid if I wish.
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