Lotus Elan

Headlamp vacuum solenoid valve - 1973 +2s

PostPost by: dick+2130/5 » Wed May 20, 2020 4:53 pm

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Hi All,
Advice needed please. My headlights go down OK, but do not stay down for long with the engine off. I have checked the pipe connections and crossmember for leaks and all seem OK , and i have got a new non-return valve at the manifold end.
I have now dismantled the solenoid valve as found the parts inside as per photograph.

Can any member confirm if this is a complete set of bits please

I think it must work that the spring pushes the ball (in this case green plastic,8 mm diameter) against the right hand rubber washer and seals the system so the vacuum build up and the lights retract. When the solenoid operates the rod extends and pushes the ball off its seat which collapses the vacuum in the headlamp pod ,so the lights come up. I assume the idea is that immediately after the ball leaves the right hand seal the solenoid rod pushes it onto the left hand seal, so that the vacuum in the cross member is retained.

What bugs me is that I do not see how the slackish rod from the solenoid can successfully push square onto the ball to seat it on the LH O ring. So have a got a part missing ?

Any help will be gratefully received,

Thanks and Best wishes,

Dick
P1250624.JPG and
P1250627.JPG and
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PostPost by: mbell » Wed May 20, 2020 5:48 pm

I can't confirm but can you not test my just removing it?

Remove it and connect the two pipes together, run the engine to bring the lights down. Then see if they stay down. This should confirm if the solenoid is the issue it not.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: pharriso » Wed May 20, 2020 9:36 pm

You're aware that's not an original valve right?

The originals look like:
Plus2_HeadlightVacuumSolenoids_TedTaylor.JPG and


In fact this is Ted Taylors collection, which he has for sale at http://www.taylormadeclassiccars.com/partsselecttype/bodytypeparts.html
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Thu May 21, 2020 6:48 am

Have you bypassed the "T" that goes to the Chassis. Then tested again to prove that it's not a leak in the Chassis.
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PostPost by: c.garde » Thu May 21, 2020 8:55 am

Looks like a different valve system has been mated to the coil ass. fitted to the Elan.
The vacuum valve is also fitted to the 75. Elite.
I am sure that these can be found at Mike Taylors Lotusbits
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Thu May 21, 2020 9:05 am

It looks very similar to this one from a december 73 Elan +2S 130 pictured in a post here a few years ago... so maybe it is original and it looks like the OP's valve is complete.
Vacuum_Pod_Valve.JPG
Vacuum_Pod_Valve.JPG (90.32 KiB) Viewed 257 times
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Thu May 21, 2020 9:23 am

Hi Dick130/5,
i used to have an August 1973 +2S130 and i replaced it with a new vacuum valve with viton seals 100%.
I still have a new one which i could sell to you. Where do you live.
Alan
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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Thu May 21, 2020 5:22 pm

I’ve usually figured that if the lights stay down with the engine running then the vacuum stuff all works and so it’s a matter of vacuum not being retained. I pulled vacuum on my chassis crossmember—fine; I tested that the solenoid valve worked, and tested that the pulldown single canister unit worked and came to the conclusion that all I needed was a decent One-way valve which I bought from Moss, part number 367-000. I know there’s one at least built into the system but it wasn’t doing enough. Gordon Sauer
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PostPost by: dick+2130/5 » Fri Jun 05, 2020 9:17 pm

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`Dear mbell, Phil Harrison, Alan Barker, C.garde, Gordon Sauer.
Thanks gents for you very helpful replies.
I went though the tests as suggested and found that the main leak was at the T- piece into the front crossmember.
There is a very, very, slow leak through the solenoid valve but i think I can live with that.
I got fed up with waiting for the headlamps to move and put a vacuum gauge into the system to show any change in pressure,
I replaced the dud T-piece with 1/4 BSP Male to 5/16 barbed connector as photo. Bored out to 8 mm to fit the crossmember connection, and sealed onto it with a 1/4 BSP hose tail nut and 2 O-rings.
Pleased to see my vac valve original and complete.
Again , your assistance much appreciated.
Regards,
Dick
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