Lotus Elan

Car start booster pack

PostPost by: martinbrowning » Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:59 am

Hi there, I am in the very fortunate position that my Loti are sunny weekend toys, not my every day car. As a result, they do not get as much use as they should and are difficult to start - need to jump them from another car because the batteries can't cope with the effort/time needed. I do not want to modify them with high torque starters,electric fuel pumps etc so wondered about buying one of those plug into the mains booster starting packs.

However, something at the very back of my mind says that you shouldn't use such a device - anybody got any thoughts/experience of them please?

Thanks

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PostPost by: DavidLB » Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:22 pm

I use those battery savers got three of them they work fine. batteries 10 8 and 4 years respectively also on a couple of motor bikes again batteries are yonks old if you want the name I go and look them up. swedish I think
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PostPost by: pharriso » Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:47 pm

They are perfectly OK on cars like the Elan with no modern computers etc.

I have seen warnings on other Forums about using them on much newer cars (e.g. Evora); apparently there's a danger of frying the ECU when jump starting.
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PostPost by: 661 » Fri Apr 10, 2015 3:03 pm

If you just want to keep the battery in good condition to crank when you need ( which you should really do anyway) then I've got all the toys plugged into CTEK's. I can't remember the model but it starts with a 5.
I have a large Clarke jump starter. Very effective. Very heavy. I would in future look to get an Antigravity starter. You could put them in the glove box and they could start a 5L V8
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PostPost by: cal44 » Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:24 pm

Buy one the Battery Tender type of devices. Trickle feed the battery is the best option. Car batteries are not made to go flat then re-charge then go flat again.............and again.

Also, if you are not driving the car that much, disconnect the neg side of the battery when not in use.
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PostPost by: mbell » Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:57 pm

cal44 wrote:Also, if you are not driving the car that much, disconnect the neg side of the battery when not in use.


And if that's too much effort you can buy remote control cut off "switches", search for batterybrain. These also make good security devices. Maybe a little expensive if you have a fleet of Loti thou.
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:49 pm

At the moment don't understand why..."disconnect the neg side of the battery" , as opposed to the positive side?

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PostPost by: billwill » Sat Apr 11, 2015 12:08 am

john.p.clegg wrote:At the moment don't understand why..."disconnect the neg side of the battery" , as opposed to the positive side?

John :wink:


Basically for safety you should always disconnect the Earthed side first and since you only need to disconnect one side for the given purpose...


Undoing Earth side first saves the risk of shorting the spanner in your hand (undoing the Live terminal holding bolt) to the metal bits of the car. :mrgreen:
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:05 am

Thanks Bill..

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PostPost by: martinbrowning » Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:29 am

Thank you to everybody for their replies and advice. All of the cars have CTEK trickle chargers connected but the Sprint takes ages to fire up but once going is fine for the rest of the day. (I believe the mechanical pump needs a lot of encouragement to fill the fuel lines). Strangly enough, the Europa - albeit with an Odyssey battery fitted- doesn't need too many spins to fire. (Of course the fuel tanks sit higher than the carbs). The other two sit somewhere in the middle of the "difficulty range".

Will look at booster packs.

Many thanks again to all,

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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:31 am

Another vote here for a battery conditioner. I use an Accumate. They come with a short lead you can leave attached to the battery and it is easy to snap the connectors together and take it on or off charge. If you order one speak to the manufacturers and get a few spare connectors that way you can leave a charging lead on all your cars and swap the. Accumate over from time to time. Great to ensure your daily driver is fully charged for those cold winter starts too.

See my post crossed yours Martin - if you have CTEKs fitted the batteries should be fully charged and easily cope with a morning cold start (i.e. Quite a few minutes of cranking). If your battery goes flat then there's something wrong with either the battery or the charger IMHO.
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Sat Apr 11, 2015 11:11 am

Ditto for the Accumate...plugged into the cigarette lighter..easy-peasey...

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PostPost by: cal44 » Sat Apr 11, 2015 12:36 pm

Martin,
R.D Enterprises sells a fuel pump that has small lever handle that will prime the pump and fill the bowl before starting the engine.

Or, since owning 356's for a while, we installed inline fuel bulbs on the fuel line to fill the carburetor bowls (like on an out board engine for a boat).
But, since the fuel line on a Elan is so thin, a new larger fuel line is needed...........should install a steel one anyway to replace the decades old line.
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