Lotus Elan

Instrument query?

PostPost by: nomad » Sat Jul 31, 2021 2:17 pm

I have a pile of dual gauges that have had the capillary tube cut and I have a few of them that are good. The Elan uses a female nut to attach to the head while all that I have use a male nut as most other British cars used. So, I can have a dual gauge made up with the correct nut or I can fit one with the male nut if I can get the right fitting into the head. Is that fitting available or do I have one made up. Ideas??

Similarly, I have several fuel gauges that appear correct but do I need a certain one for a S1 Elan?

P.S. [My car came as a basket case with the dash and instruments missing.]

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PostPost by: Billmack » Sat Jul 31, 2021 3:18 pm

Adaptors for the gauge sender are available. Maybe pegasus racing? Fuel and dual gauges are very similar to a bugeye or mk2 sprite. Speedo and tach are like others but I dont know of ones with the same face. In smith's.numbering system the number after the slash is the face style.
PS Nisonger instruments in Mamaroneck NY can put a new capillary tube on
Last edited by Billmack on Sat Jul 31, 2021 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Sat Jul 31, 2021 3:23 pm

Kurt,

I can’t comment on the dual gauges, but in the case of the fuel gauge, I had to replace the tank and the sender. Before installing the sender I connected it to the gauge, moved it through its range to check that the gauge followed the sender.

Hope this helps,

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PostPost by: billwill » Sat Jul 31, 2021 5:49 pm

My S3 has actually got a double ended MALE takeoff screwed into the block, which is why the end of the pressure gauge pipe is female. perhaps those other cars screw the gauge supply pipe pipe straight into the block.

I think the threads and fittings are the same as hydraulic brake fittings.
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PostPost by: nomad » Sat Jul 31, 2021 9:56 pm

Thanks folks. I have sourced the speedometer and tach and, as mentioned, I have the other gauges from many years of fooling with other Brit cars. Unfortuneatly no black bezels as are needed for a S1 but it sounds like just paint will cure that. Thought they might be anodized black but have been informed otherwise.

A quick conversation with Nisonger might be in order.

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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Sun Aug 01, 2021 4:09 am

billwill wrote:My S3 has actually got a double ended MALE takeoff screwed into the block, which is why the end of the pressure gauge pipe is female. perhaps those other cars screw the gauge supply pipe pipe straight into the block.

I think the threads and fittings are the same as hydraulic brake fittings.


The threads of the oil line fitting going into the block are British tapered pipe thread:
https://britishfasteners.com/threads-bstp
Different than US NPT. The other end for the tube fitting is straight threads with a compression olive and nut over the tubing. All the LBC(Little Brit Car) parts suppliers carry them because nearly everyone used Smiths Instruments.
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PostPost by: mbell » Sun Aug 01, 2021 1:19 pm

I thought block was npt, head was bsp/bstp. So coolant temp is bstp but oil pressure is npt.
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PostPost by: nomad » Sun Aug 01, 2021 2:45 pm

I have the instruments but not likely a line for the oil gauge that will work. Suppliers will I imagine.

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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Sun Aug 01, 2021 3:05 pm

mbell wrote:I thought block was npt, head was bsp/bstp. So coolant temp is bstp but oil pressure is npt.


That's what I thought originally. The difference is one thread per inch, so NPT will fit.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Aug 02, 2021 10:04 am

All ford iron castings in the Elan are NPT. All alloy Lotus castings are BSP

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PostPost by: jk952 » Mon Aug 02, 2021 12:47 pm

Kurt,
In case a picture is helpful: the adapter piece is on the white piece of paper. As you can see I swapped the position of the heater valve and tube end (as have many) which allows refitting, clocking, or tightening the heater valve without lifting the engine. I use teflon thread tape on everything which will allow (presumably the next guy) easier dismantling as the dissimilar materials like to seize in. :).


93A4E12B-A1D0-464F-A3C9-F69CFC307339.jpeg and


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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Mon Aug 02, 2021 7:10 pm

rgh0 wrote:All ford iron castings in the Elan are NPT. All alloy Lotus castings are BSP

cheers
Rohan


Thanks for the correction Rohan.
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PostPost by: nomad » Tue Aug 03, 2021 4:02 am

Thanks for the tip to swap locations, Jack.

I have the double male fitting and several dual gauges but none with the female nut at the bulb. Thought that the adapter used on the 1275 A series BMC engine might work but checked today and it does not. So it looks as if I will have to send off one of the several gauges I have collected over the years with severed capillary tubes to be repaired and fitted with the correct female nut. Seems the best option for now.

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PostPost by: lotusfan » Tue Aug 03, 2021 7:02 am

Kurt

Many of the dual gauges out there used on MGB’s etc have 0 - 100 psi oil pressure gauges whereas the Elan uses 0 - 60 psi.
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PostPost by: nomad » Thu Aug 05, 2021 7:33 am

lotusfan wrote:Kurt

Many of the dual gauges out there used on MGB’s etc have 0 - 100 psi oil pressure gauges whereas the Elan uses 0 - 60 psi.


I can get a new gauge for about the same price as rebuilding one but I like the side light of the originals as opposed to the internal light now offered. I have a similiar mismatch on another car and don't care for it.

Haven't noticed if the oil pressure scale is correct. If anyone has a original gauge that needs a rebuild, I'd be interested.
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