Lotus Elan

Three Lever Steering Column Switch

PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Mon Apr 26, 2010 2:49 pm

Hi,
on the TTR Steering wheel thread SADLOTUS posted the following:-
"also, on mine, I've a Triumph three lever column switch - indicator, dip/main, overdrive and I've converted the overdrive switch to air horn switch.....just a thought"
It caught my Eye because I've been looking for a way to switch a pair of additional Lights that I've fitted behind the Air Intake Grill on my S4.
That pair of Lights is presently wired into the Headlight Main Beam but that is not what I really wanted.
I'd like to have those Lights as quick response Flashers, the pop-up Headlights being too slow for that.
An additional switch on the Steering Column would maybe the answer to switching those Lights.
Is that switch available for purchase anywhere & what should I be asking for?
Does it need different plastic Column nacelles or can the normal Elan ones be modified to suit?
Do you have a Photo maybe SADLOTUS?

Cheers
John
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:32 am

John, can you post a pic of your column nacelles or describe? I did exactly what you are trying to do in my Plus 2, but not sure if your model uses the same nacelle.

Mine are the rounded shape nacelle that was also used in the Triumph Spitfire. The column switches appear to be available from Triumph suppliers, but are very dear. I bought one on eBay for modest cost. Another Plus 2 poster said his later Plus 2 already had the correct column switch installed. I believe the switch for the round nacelles with the flash feature came in the Spitfire Mark 2 or so.

In any case, modification of this type of switch is required to separate the flash function (pull main/dip stock toward the wheel) from acting on the main beam and making it act on the aux lighting. As the column switches are quite light duty, I used relays for the aux lighting and the stock headlights

HTH
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:53 am

John,

The foglights on my +2 are wired to only come on if the side lights or headlights are switched on, therefore for 'courtesy flashing' :oops: I simply leave the foglights switch on and control them to flash to say thanks etc by switching on the sidelights.

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Kindest regards

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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:16 pm

Thanks Guys,

I've given this a bit more thought & think I have a cunning solution. (to quote Baldrick)
On my S4 the Main/Dip Beam Switch on the Steering Column also has an (inactive) Flash Switch if you pull it towards the Steering Wheel.
Trouble is there is no +12V there to power my additional Lights.
However if I feed +12V to the Lights I can use the Flasher Switch to provide an Earth (-12V) to complete the Circuit & hence have a proper Light Flash System independent of any other Lighting Circuit.
Please shout back at me if my thinking is wrong here; me no "Sparks" just a Nuts & Bolts Man :roll:

Cheers
John
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PostPost by: SADLOTUS » Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:55 pm

Hi John
just noticed your post - I have to admit the column switch came with the car all those years ago, it was a well botched car then, all sorts of bits on it. I think originally the switch was an on/off switch rather than a toggle that it is now. It was redundent for years and I was going to make it a touch wipe switch but liked the idea of air horns. Cranley Classics have it listed:
http://www.canleyclassics.com/?xhtml=xh ... iagram.xsl
If you dont want to add another switch the pull flash facility sounds a good idea to convert, especially to keep it part of the 'lighting circuit', shouldn't be too difficult to work out the wiring.

Also just noticed in the parts diagram the switch is 'left handed'..... my indicators and 'horn' switch are on the right...mmm
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:52 am

As I have the dash out and all, I changed the orientation of the two stocks; having the turn signal at one's left hand is more conventional this side of the pond. Had to change the wires side to side on the stock switches as they are now upside down. Not a big deal if you prefer it this way.

John, sounds like you have the later dip stock with the flash to pass feature that was used on the Triumph. It requires mnor modification to do what you want. When you look at it carefully, you will see you are correct that it requires a purple hot at all times fused supply. Trouble is the pull switch will act on the main beam circuit dirrectly, which is not what you want. I just cut the connection of this terminal so it would power the added wire to the relay trigger of the driving lights, but not light the main beam. If you need, I can remove the nacelles and post a pic, as the column is not installed yet.

I may be missing something, but without modifying the flash to pass switch and attempting to connect it to ground you may create a dead short, so think it through carefully. That said, I have been tripped up before with differences between the Elan and Plus 2 wiring, and don't want to confuse the situation.

You could wire to switch the driving lights relay trigger through acground connection if you wish, but you will still have to modify the flash pull switch. You will also have to add a ground wire to this area; at least on the Plus 2 there is not a ground in this area other than the steering column ground for the horn button.

I found it easiest in my setup to run the extra purple, mod the switch, and have the relays triggered by 12 volts +ve. You will also require the 'non stock' additional wire to the driving light relay from the column area.
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:52 am

SADLOTUS wrote:Hi John
just noticed your post - I have to admit the column switch came with the car all those years ago, it was a well botched car then, all sorts of bits on it. I think originally the switch was an on/off switch rather than a toggle that it is now. It was redundent for years and I was going to make it a touch wipe switch but liked the idea of air horns. Cranley Classics have it listed:
http://www.canleyclassics.com/?xhtml=xh ... iagram.xsl
If you dont want to add another switch the pull flash facility sounds a good idea to convert, especially to keep it part of the 'lighting circuit', shouldn't be too difficult to work out the wiring.

Also just noticed in the parts diagram the switch is 'left handed'..... my indicators and 'horn' switch are on the right...mmm


Thanks for the pictures!
I'll find a way of getting the Headlamp flash function of the Dip/Main Beam Switch to work my auxiliary lights but I'll talk my Pet Sparks out of Hibernation to solve the problem.
I'd only end up with Smoke coming out of the Dashboard & frazzling his posh Wiring Loom. :roll:

Cheers
John
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:02 am

stugilmour wrote:As I have the dash out and all, I changed the orientation of the two stocks; having the turn signal at one's left hand is more conventional this side of the pond. Had to change the wires side to side on the stock switches as they are now upside down. Not a big deal if you prefer it this way.

John, sounds like you have the later dip stock with the flash to pass feature that was used on the Triumph. It requires mnor modification to do what you want. When you look at it carefully, you will see you are correct that it requires a purple hot at all times fused supply. Trouble is the pull switch will act on the main beam circuit dirrectly, which is not what you want. I just cut the connection of this terminal so it would power the added wire to the relay trigger of the driving lights, but not light the main beam. If you need, I can remove the nacelles and post a pic, as the column is not installed yet.

I may be missing something, but without modifying the flash to pass switch and attempting to connect it to ground you may create a dead short, so think it through carefully. That said, I have been tripped up before with differences between the Elan and Plus 2 wiring, and don't want to confuse the situation.

You could wire to switch the driving lights relay trigger through acground connection if you wish, but you will still have to modify the flash pull switch. You will also have to add a ground wire to this area; at least on the Plus 2 there is not a ground in this area other than the steering column ground for the horn button.

I found it easiest in my setup to run the extra purple, mod the switch, and have the relays triggered by 12 volts +ve. You will also require the 'non stock' additional wire to the driving light relay from the column area.


Thanks Stu,

yup I think that's the way to go. I've got bags of space for more Relays, I've used the 1/2 size Motorcycle ones for all of the existing Circuits, with the majority of them hanging off the back of the Alumin(i)um fabricated Glove Compartment where all of the Fuses, a whole row of them, are located.

Cheers
John
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Thu Apr 29, 2010 12:01 am

Excellent looking dash wiring job John! Is that with all the wires on or an 'in progress' shot? Mine ended up looking more like the back of a sixties pin ball machine. Used the same approach to mount the fuses & relays, cutting the back of the glove box so all accessible from within the box. Works great and nice and dry. Just finishing up the final checks of the side lights, new radio, and added door locks and I am done.

Cheers!
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:07 am

stugilmour wrote:Excellent looking dash wiring job John! Is that with all the wires on or an 'in progress' shot? Mine ended up looking more like the back of a sixties pin ball machine. Used the same approach to mount the fuses & relays, cutting the back of the glove box so all accessible from within the box. Works great and nice and dry. Just finishing up the final checks of the side lights, new radio, and added door locks and I am done.

Cheers!


That's about 90% finished, the unwired round Switches blank off unused holes in the dash & the rack of Relays underneath the fuses is not in place.
I hope your standard Glove Box will stand the load all those wires will place on it Stu.
I can't take any credit for the Wiring, my tame Sparks did the job for me.

Cheers
John

Cheers
John
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