Lotus Elan

OMG what have I done?? (New dashboard)

PostPost by: The Veg » Sun Sep 01, 2019 1:32 pm

Good on you Jon for labeling everything. Label the living snot out of everything and then label it some more. I found this particularly helpful since my dashboard ended up being out of the car and dis-assembled for a much longer time than expected!
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Sun Sep 01, 2019 1:58 pm

By the way Jon, getting dashboards out isn't the hard bit :)
I too like the labeller - far more 21st century than the tags on string that I used.
I imagine that you can do neat permanent marking quite easily too.
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PostPost by: JonB » Sun Sep 01, 2019 8:21 pm

Oh dear. What?s the hard bit, Mark?

Thanks for the vote of confidence Veg! The switches are labelled and have a mark to indicate orientation, then I used a logical system to label the wires. Example: ?hazard LM? = hazard switch, left middle connector as viewed from the rocker / front (ie the orientation it will be in when reconnected). I know the switch connectors are numbered but try reading them when you?re holding the dashboard with the switches fitted. Not gonna happen especially with my eyes..
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Sun Sep 01, 2019 9:05 pm

Just the usual chore of putting things back together taking much longer than removing them :)
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PostPost by: The Veg » Mon Sep 02, 2019 11:50 am

In my case I found that things didn't go back together as easily as expected. Over nearly 50 years everything takes a certain 'set,' and I disturbed all that and gave me some fight going back together, but then I also took things much more apart. Your labeling system sounds very similar to what I did.

While you're in there, if you're feeling courageous crack open the switches and give the contacts a good cleaning. Not that difficult really, although I found that some didn't want to crimp shut as securely as before I opened them.
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Mon Sep 02, 2019 1:09 pm

If breaking open switches, a top-tip is to do the operation within a small clear bag in case components launch themselves onto a dark carpet.
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PostPost by: JonB » Mon Sep 02, 2019 1:12 pm

I?m not touching the switches.. :)

I think I?ll measure them for resistance though!
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Mon Sep 02, 2019 1:16 pm

That's risky :D
Did they all work beforehand?
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PostPost by: The Veg » Mon Sep 02, 2019 1:32 pm

MarkDa wrote:That's risky :D
Did they all work beforehand?


None of the electrical system worked well enough to tell. Some switches, especially the window switches, had some carbon buildup on the contacts. And nothing launched either as the springs are tiny and well-contained. I quickly got the hang of doing the job and it went smoothly.
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Mon Sep 02, 2019 1:38 pm

Jon, can I suggest that measuring switches with a multimeter is not always useful due to the small current used. Sometimes a fraction of a milliamp.
In fact the old fashioned method of using a battery and lamp will give a better indication of the condition of the contacts. Aim for half to one Amp of current to be useful.
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Mon Sep 02, 2019 2:17 pm

I wasn't clear - I was teasing Jon about doing something that could lead to doing something more, particularly if there didn't seem to be a problem beforehand.

I'm glad to gear that disassembling and cleaning the switches is a do-able job.
My wiper switch is a bit iffy so I might consider doing it over the winter.

I agree with Eric about using a load to test switches.
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PostPost by: JonB » Mon Sep 02, 2019 2:35 pm

No worries. All my switches work fine, but I?m considering adding relays to the high current circuits (windows, wipers, washer, fan). Lights already done.

Hmm speaking of the wipers maybe I should turn the wheel box cogs round.
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PostPost by: JonB » Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:49 am

So while I wait for parts I?ve swapped red LEDs for orange in the radio?s control panel. Hopefully it will look a bit less modern, or rather match the dim orange instrument bulbs.

4e544fd6-9f22-4bd3-9d9d-941604d67f75.jpeg and



I still need to repair the display. Needs a new polarising filter as I stupidly removed the last one.. duh.
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PostPost by: JonB » Thu Sep 05, 2019 4:49 pm

I've fitted the glovebox and lid. What a PITA. The lid doesn't fit well and catches when opened even after a couple of hours fettling. To add injury to insult, I managed to scratch the glove box lid (no drama, it is almost invisible when polished) and drill all the way through the dash while putting in a pilot hole (this is a tiny hole that I hope I can fill with a bit of coloured wax). I'll be so happy when this is finished!

Question about the dashboard ferrules. These are the metal inserts that the dashboard screws go through. Whilst transferring them I found they are loose in the new dashboard. They'll need to be glued in, but what sort of glue should I use? I was thinking Araldite.
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Thu Sep 05, 2019 4:58 pm

If the ferrules are loose the you will need something gap filling.
I'd be inclined to use wood glue rather than the mega strength of araldite - and easier to wipe off the inevitable excess.

You're not finding putting the dash back harder than taking it out are you :D
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