Lotus Elan

Headlight Cut Out

PostPost by: Ramsden » Tue May 04, 2004 7:49 pm

I own a 73 plus 2 and have recently encountered total lighting failure whilst driving at night. This seems to occur when driving hard and is accompanied by a soft pop or ping. After ten minutes or so, normal service is returned and I can creep home.

It has been suggested to me that late cars had the headlight circuit wired directly to the dash switch instead of using relays to operate the headlights. To stop everything from bursting into flames a bi-metalic strip based cut out was added which cuts the power when things get a bit hot.

Frankly this seems a crazy system as it plunges you into complete darkness with no warning. I'm considering converting the car back to the original relay system but it occurred that I may just be misunderstanding the bi-metalic strip system. Does anyone know whether renewing the bi-metalic strip unit would solve the sudden darkness problem, or simply postpone it until the moment when the dash board starts smoking (just to add to the fun)? Are there any benefits to this system?


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PostPost by: tdafforn » Wed May 05, 2004 10:50 am

Hi Simon,
I have the same problem on my +2S 130, only occurs on full beam, so I have been driving around on dipped for the past year.
I did take a look at where the cutouts were behind the dash, and they seem to be pretty hard to get at. They are also fairly expensive if you can get hold to them.
I would be interested to hear what your solution will be.
1972 +2S130
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PostPost by: DrEntropy » Wed May 05, 2004 11:02 am

Just a thought:
Have you checked/cleaned the ground circuits to reduce any resistance?
Dr E--
mhm 17x1
'67 S-3 DHC
'69 +2
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'84 300D Turbo
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PostPost by: type36lotus » Thu May 06, 2004 11:16 am

Just guessing on my part, but you shuold be able to replace the cutouts with higher current rating circuit breakers. Just don't go too high, maybe 2 - 5 amps greater.
Mike Geiger
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