Lotus Elan

Vacuum to electric headlight conversion

PostPost by: Johnny America » Fri Dec 22, 2023 7:41 pm

Spyder fan wrote:This is the switch I have on my +2 for the electric headlight conversion (it was the prototype)

Image

If I was designing it today I would probably go for something a little more original looking like this 3 position pull switch that the old headlight vacuum pull knob could be fitted to with a bit of fiddling.

Link to pull switch https://www.carbuilder.com/uk/black-headlamp-switch-push-pull?gad_source=1&gclid=CjwKCAiAhJWsBhAaEiwAmrNyq_DxZb_0OJh1k53xiIxvcF2e63ScVsQ1dtsaUUh_akf8omZ9mmpF9hoCGYYQAvD_BwE

Image
3 position Push Pull OFF-SIDE-HEAD

Screw terminals.
Fits in a 10mm hole.
Closed length 83mm.
Maximum open length 103mm. (knob side only 48mm max).
Max panel thickness 8mm.
B - Live into Switch.
58 - Sidelights (that stay on with headlights).
57 - Sidelights (that turn off when headlights on).
56 - Headlights.
30 - Live through switch (to feed another switch).


Thank you Spyder Fan. I agree lots of options using the pull switch. I find Car Builder Solutions a good source of specialised parts.
1969 Lotus Elan +2 4 speed - Barn find and currently undergoing recommissioning.
1979 Lancia V6 Group B Rally Car
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PostPost by: gus » Fri Dec 22, 2023 10:14 pm

My wiring diagrams are out in the garage but this:
https://lotusmarques.com/info/knowledge ... tor-wiring

confirms my memory. Both headlight relays have power always. The dash switch provides ground to both relays, enabling them. The stalk gives 12 volts to one or the other of the relays.
Thus to wire a motor with the factory wiring, one need only tap off the ground wire of the relays[they are jumped together] and provide 12 volt power to the motor[switched would be preferable, but it can be battery power]

As a result, when you pull the factory headlamp switch, it will provide ground to the motor, which already has 12 volts and the headlights will rise. The hi low beam is not important with this wiring scheme.

I found the Miata motor is a little fussy with voltage supply because unlike the GM type motors, it rotates 360 degrees and if it is not given proper power it may get confused and go down or up or whatever. IT prefers switched power which assumes the car is running with 14 volts, and if you switch on the ignition without starting the car, and operate the headlights it 'may' fail to run, so I ran a fresh battery line to the motor and it is happier. You may need to start the car to get alternator voltage and cycle the switch to get it to do its thing
Maybe it is just my used motor or my custom wiring harness, but that is my experience
In the end, should be no need for different switches
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PostPost by: nwbaxter66 » Fri Jan 19, 2024 7:57 pm

Most helpful as ever, the links to the pull switch is really helpful.
BTW, I have the Kelvedon kit, does anybody happen to have the wiring diagram, the kit has been sitting on a shelf for a while and now I cant find the wiring.
Thanks much
Nick
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PostPost by: seniorchristo » Sat Jan 20, 2024 6:28 pm

Veg
I have the Spyder kit installed on my Plus 2 restoration project. If raising and lowering the pods are controlled by sidelight operation (as suggested by Spyder), why would they retract when switching from high to low beam?
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PostPost by: The Veg » Mon Jan 22, 2024 1:37 am

seniorchristo wrote:Veg
I have the Spyder kit installed on my Plus 2 restoration project. If raising and lowering the pods are controlled by sidelight operation (as suggested by Spyder), why would they retract when switching from high to low beam?


Spyder's instructions may be different than what was provided in the kit I got from Kelvedon, so I don't know about that specifically- but I'd like to be able to run the sidelights by themselves as sometimes just that extra little bit of conspicuity is good to have without the need to go full-frogeye. And I'm not quite clever-enough to have realised the thing about providing earth rather than power, which in hindsight may save me having to manually switch the motor*. I'll have to experiment with that once I get some related electrical gremlins sorted.

*And of course freeing-up that switch on the dashboard means that I can use it for some other purpose later...maybe for some gadget that would make James Bond proud or envious? Any suggestions? :mrgreen:
1970 Elan Plus 2 (not S) 50/2036
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PostPost by: EPA » Mon Jan 22, 2024 9:44 am

I connected mine to a point physically to the left of the steering wheel, just under the dash but visible underneath where there are a some bullet connectors which made it fairly simple. If my memory is correct I connected to the supply to the headlamp dip/ full beam stalk on the steering column which means the headlights only raise when they are switched on.
My car is a 1968 and the loom may differ from later cars.
Incidentally I thought the instructions supplied by Spider left much to be desired!
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PostPost by: Ivan2023 » Tue Feb 06, 2024 8:45 am

My solution was to use the switch for the heated rear screen, as my car has the switch but not the wires on the rear glass.
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PostPost by: Johnny America » Wed Feb 07, 2024 6:31 pm

Thinking of fabricating my own system using a spare MX5 motor I already have. Can anyone share any photos of the metal work to 1. Mount the motor and 2. Connection to the pivot bar that lifts the headlight pods please.

Thanks in advance
1969 Lotus Elan +2 4 speed - Barn find and currently undergoing recommissioning.
1979 Lancia V6 Group B Rally Car
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PostPost by: mjbeanie » Thu Feb 15, 2024 4:20 am

Just finished installing the Spyder electric conversion kit on the Plus 2. It took a great deal of adjustment to sort but its working well. A good kit. I'm happy that I bought it, as I really wanted to expedite this task. However, the instruction set/technical guidance from Spyder left much to be desired. A real DIY kit for sure. A photo is attached. (It will right itself if you open the preview.)

Also struggled with the panel switch. I found a two position pull switch that just fit behind the dash, after bending the ground lug 90 degrees, and modifying the dash hole. It was fused and engineered for headlights. I swapped the knob with a simple chrome replacement. I think it almost passes for " period correctness". The switch will be wired with the positive feed to the electric motor control box for the half pull position, and headlights on, -for the full pull position. (with motor control box now powered off). (My sidelights have a separate dash switch and are not linked to the headlight mechanism or operation, as Veg mentions!) The headlight switch was an Amazon purchase, link copied here.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0BDH ... UTF8&psc=1

Cheers
Mike
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