Lotus Elan

No High Beams

PostPost by: TheKid#99 » Mon Feb 01, 2021 3:07 am

Hi Everyone,

When it gets warmer outside I need to figure out some wiring problems on my Elan. The main one is that I have no high beams. When I pull back on the flasher, my low beams go off and the high beams do not come on. How was it wired up originally, and how does all of this work?

I have a 1970 Lotus Elan S4, possibly a Super Safety.

Thanks,
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PostPost by: George S L » Mon Feb 01, 2021 8:27 am

Hi the first thing i would check is the earth on each lamp,does the high beam warning light come on?,
look for a thermal cut out on my +2 these are mounted on the rear of the dashboard.Good luck.
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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Mon Feb 01, 2021 10:38 am

Assuming you have standard S4 wiring:

If the low beams are OK, you need to focus on what is specific to the high beam circuit.

The earths to the bulbs must be OK, or the low beam wouldn't work. The comedy 'microswitch' that detects that the lights are up must also be OK (or has been removed), as that is common to both low and high beam.

It could be the switch itself - as suggested above check the dim blue 'high beam' bulb is coming on when you select high beam. If it is, the switch is OK.

That would leave the high beam relay itself, or any of the 'high beam' wiring between the switch and the headlights. There are a number of bullet connectors along the path of the power to the headlights. These were never fit for purpose, didn't form a gas tight seal, and will fail eventually.

So, assuming the blue 'main' light comes on, I would check the relay first, then have a look the the corroded (and they will be...) bullet connectors. Getting a helper to listen for a 'click' from the relay will at least check the wiring from the switch to the relay - although the contacts in the relay could still be corroded. Start at the connectors behind the grill as they get the worst of the weather, then work backwards along the circuit.

Finally, its not unknown for both high beam filaments to fail in the bulbs. Worth checking the bulbs do actually work OK.
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Mon Feb 01, 2021 2:38 pm

Look at every connection point on the blue with white tracer wiring. You might pull the connections apart and replug them, to eliminate corroded connections.

Roger
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PostPost by: ncm » Mon Feb 01, 2021 9:09 pm

[quote][ When I pull back on the flasher, my low beams go off and the high beams do not come on. /quote]
Are you trying to switch from low beam to high beam by pulling the lever toward you? switching between high and low beams is achieved by moving the lever as you would for the indicator.
Brian.
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PostPost by: baileyman » Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:32 pm

My 55 year old switch turns of the lows just fine, but needs to settle in a special spot for the highs. A jiggle there works. i must give some attention to this...

John
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PostPost by: billwill » Tue Feb 02, 2021 2:23 pm

Step 1 buy a multimeter
https://www.google.com/search?q=anazon+multimeter

Step 2 trace the voltages.


Trying to sort out electrical problems without any means of measuring electricity is a fairly pointless exercise.
Bill Williams

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PostPost by: TheKid#99 » Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:40 pm

ncm wrote:
[ When I pull back on the flasher, my low beams go off and the high beams do not come on. /quote]
Are you trying to switch from low beam to high beam by pulling the lever toward you? switching between high and low beams is achieved by moving the lever as you would for the indicator.
Brian.


Well I read the manual and that was it... Seems that I have been driving with my high beams on all the time hahaha. Glad I don't have to do any wiring, fixed!

Note to self - Read the manual first
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