Lotus Elan

Headlight pod vacuum operation

PostPost by: hubrick » Sat Jul 31, 2021 6:09 pm

Hello All,
With Phil's help, I've modified my headlight controls so that the vacuum switch only makes the pods go up and down and the rocker switch turns the lights on and off. I installed my single vacuum cannister on Thursday, connected the vacuum tube to it, and I was pleasantly surprised when after starting the engine and it ran for a minute or so, the headlight pods went down. I pulled the vacuum switch, and the pods went up. I turned on the rocker switch and the headlights came on. Switch off, lights off. Vacuum switch pushed in, pods back down. So far so good.

However, after turning off the engine, after 5 minutes or so, the pods started going back up, so obviously a leak in the system. However they didn't go all the way up, the spring doesn't seem to have enough oomph to push them up all the way. A little manual help does the trick. I tried the whole operation again, and there seems to be some binding in the system close to the all the way closed and all the way open position of the pods. When I stand right by the pods when they're trying to go all the way closed, I hear a creaking sound like something needs to be lubricated.

Anybody had this problem, and know a good solution before I stick my hand in some grease and smear some around the pod mechanisms on each side in the blind?

Thanks,
Rick
70 Elan S4 (Federal) 45/0030K
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Thu Aug 05, 2021 7:19 pm

I’d disconnect the linkage from the pods and try each pod manually to ensure they both move full travel freely, if one or both bind then you know where to look.
Many years ago before I converted to electric motor operation I had a system with just one vacuum pod to operate both headlight pods in the failsafe mode that you have. I ended up using one vacuum pod but two of the springs to get reliable quick operation in the up direction. One vacuum pod was fine for pulling the headlamps down against two springs.
Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine!
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