Lotus Elan

New +2, new problems

PostPost by: alanpearl » Wed May 27, 2015 4:35 pm

Dear all,
I am pleased to meet you all. I bought a 1968 +2 last weekend to tinker with and enjoy, and it has just a few "teething problems". I was wondering whether anyone could help with any or all of them (at least a pointer in the right direction). Overall, it's a fantastic car - it covered 160 miles non-stop on the way home, but just has a few rough edges:
(1) the steering column: if I pull on the wheel, I can pull the column around 1 inch towards me. I suspect it is not meant to do this. As a standard +2 (not an S), I don't think it has the adjustable column - could it be that I just need to tighten the pinch bolt at the other end of the column?
(2) the passenger door exterior handle worked at first, but now the button presses in to no avail. It still opened from the inside, at least initially. Unfortunately, I turned a little lever on the body of the lock (from up to down, I think) in an attempt to fix it and now it no longer opens from inside or out! Any suggestions?
(3) I think I have a dynamo. Again, it worked at first, but then about 20 miles into my trip, mysteriously the dynamo stopped charging and the indicators stopped working (at I think the same time). The belt is tight and I have fully charged the battery now. Any thoughts as to whether the two might be linked?
PS I already have a Rover P5B, so I'm fairly well versed with the mysterious ways of classics!
Many thanks
Al
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PostPost by: mbell » Wed May 27, 2015 8:15 pm

alanpearl wrote:(1) the steering column: if I pull on the wheel, I can pull the column around 1 inch towards me. I suspect it is not meant to do this. As a standard +2 (not an S), I don't think it has the adjustable column - could it be that I just need to tighten the pinch bolt at the other end of the column?


I'd check:
1) The steering wheel is tightened down
2) The joint between the steering column and the rack

The standard one has rubber pieces that could break down and cause some slop. A lot of people replace them with solid joint types, myself included, for improved life and steering feel.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: Robbie693 » Wed May 27, 2015 11:43 pm

Welcome Alan,

For the door lock, the inner and outer release mechanisms work via link rods to the door lock/catch. The 'little lever' you moved is probably one of the fixings that secure the rods into the catch or handle enabling the rod end to come adrift. If you take the door trim off it should all become clear. Just be careful not to bend the rods any as they are usually bent just so to make the system work.

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PostPost by: alanpearl » Thu May 28, 2015 5:53 am

Thanks to you both. On the steering wheel, I think it must be at the rack end, as I've had the wheel off (and on again) a few times already. With the door lock, I had success last night in re-opening from the inside. I studied the drivers lock, which also has a little lever on it - this appears to be some sort of child lock which disables the inside handle. So I poked a stick down the passenger door gap, pressed the lever down and hey presto. Now I can open it I will try lubricating the lock and see how I progress. Many thanks for the help.
Al
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PostPost by: alanpearl » Thu May 28, 2015 6:16 am

PS bout of early morning mending has largely sorted the lock - popped off the door trim, and found that a rod from the push button handle to the mechanism had come off. Put it back in and all ok. There are a couple of clips that seem to held the rod in the hole - struggling a bit with how those clip on, but pretty much there. Thanks!
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PostPost by: Robbie693 » Thu May 28, 2015 8:18 am

Glad you sorted it. The clips look like those below. They push into the hole of the catch or handle, the rod is pushed into the centre hole and they can be swivelled around to clamp over the rods.
rod clip.JPG
rod clip.JPG (52.4 KiB) Viewed 966 times


For the steering I would, as previously suggested, be looking first at the universal joint between the column and the rack.
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PostPost by: alanpearl » Thu May 28, 2015 8:24 am

Thanks a lot - great picture. Is it just one clip per end - if so, I seem to have a spare! Thanks very much for your help - much appreciated.
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PostPost by: billwill » Thu May 28, 2015 1:46 pm

I think those levers are for child locks.

Irellevant in a 2-door car, but the locks were probably originally designed for some other 4-door car.
Bill Williams

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PostPost by: gibbon » Thu May 28, 2015 2:12 pm

I too recently bought a '68 plus 2.

Which did you buy out of interest?

Good luck and congrats on the new purchase.
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PostPost by: alanpearl » Thu May 28, 2015 4:36 pm

Thanks for that. I bought it from eBay (I know!) from a very nice chap in Hassocks. It's not an S, just a regular one. You may have seen it on there - it has been resprayed in the white/green lotus cortina colours, its on webers and actually seems like a nice honest car. I will give it a lot of leeway after it brought me 160 miles home first go - I think it took my Rover four years and about ?12,000 to do that! Thanks for everyone's help - really kind of you. Now - any idea on the indicators!?
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PostPost by: Tournesol » Thu May 28, 2015 11:26 pm

Alan & Gibbon,

2 is company, 3 is a crowd... I too have recently (end of last year) bought a 68 +2 positive earth with dynamo.

Congrats on the purchase Alan!

I don't know much yet about it all but have you checked the grounding points are tight and "clean"? Could help with the recharging issue.

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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Fri May 29, 2015 1:37 pm

alanpearl wrote: Now - any idea on the indicators!?


The dynamo (we call them generators on this side of the pond) likely needs new brushes. Can't offer a good source as I kissed good-bye to the last car I had with a system like this ('69 Spitfire) circa-1979, but they are replacement items.

It's probably worth fixing it to put on the shelf for the Day of Historical Correctness, or to sell to others on this list who are into that kind of thing, but also a good time to consider changing to an alternator to banish other Lucas gremlins.

Your indicator issue is likely tied to the charging system and will fix itself when you fix that. Relays of the period trigger on current load (they heat up a bimetallic contact which opens, cools, and closes in a predictable cycle at the right current.) If you lower the load by, for example, lowering the voltage, they may not cycle. This is also why you need to be cautious in replacing all of those incandescent bulbs with more-reliable and lower-current LED counterparts.

You can confirm this by connecting a battery charger (providing somewhere around 13.8 volts) to the battery and confirming that the relays trigger properly. In service, the only relay that is expected to cycle when the generator is not active and therefore providing slightly higher voltage to the system than the battery alone is the Hazard system.

If you try to replace the relays with more modern electronic ones that claim not to be current-sensing, beware. I've not personally been successful in finding one that actually works as stated on the package. While better, they still seem to need more load than an LED will provide to trigger. My goal in switching to LEDs was to reduce load on old and under-engineered Lucas wiring, but I had to leave strategic incandescents in the circuit to get even the new relays to trigger.

Also confirm a good ground between the dynamo and the chassis.
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Fri May 29, 2015 5:54 pm

Welcome aboard Alan.

You can see an online version of the Parts manual at http://rdent.com/. Click on the Parts manual button upper left and select Plus 2. The exploded diagrams are particularly helpful for things like the door lock mechanism.

I have attached a picture of the door lock for reference. It is found under Body - Exterior - Door Latch. Think you have the late style handles like my car (shown top of the picture)? The adjustment of the interior handle can be a bit fussy to get it correctly and firmly located. Operation of the interior handle can be screwed up if your door latch is too snug to the door gasket.

The clips you asked about are (I think) part number 48? If so, the book calls up quantity 12, so six per side. Haven't been in there for a while so I don't recall the details. I find the toughest clip to keep fastened is the nylon block clip on the end of the inside handle rod.

HTH

Stu

PS As you work through any other issues best to ask individual questions in the forum sections below as they are set up to include both the Plus 2 and Elan models. Jeff will generally move the threads to the correct section. Suggest putting Plus 2 in your topic title as there are several differences by model. Welcome aboard and enjoy these fantastic cars.
Attachments
Section BK Plus 2 Parts Manual.gif and
From rdent.com parts manual.
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1969 Plus 2 Federal LHD
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PostPost by: alanpearl » Sun May 31, 2015 5:49 pm

Thanks very much everyone. I have poked around ineffectually with my voltmeter - no life showing so I think I will convert to an alternator. I don't suppose anyone has a view on dynamater/dynalite -v- regular alternator and brackets etc? I've read the old threads and it seems like there are some drawbacks with the dynamators.
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PostPost by: RichC » Sun May 31, 2015 6:05 pm

welcome Alan.
regarding dynamo problems ,have you checked to see if the contact brushes/ springs are stuck in their holders? it may well be that if the motor was off the road for a while they may have stuck . your driving for 20 or so miles will then have worn down the brushes to a point where they lost contact with the armature. maybe a light tap with hammer would suffice.... otherwise it's a dynamo dismantling job.
if that's alright & the wring is sound , then it may well be your control box. new ones are still available , just.
.
bear in mind if you're +ve earth you'll have to swap to -ve earth for alternator .... there's also the +ve earth tachometer which will have to be replaced... the radio, if it's original, will have a switch to the rear which will be required to put to -ve earth setting ...
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