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Ignition light not working


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I noticed the other day that, when I turned on the ignition, the only warning light that worked was for the choke. Checking showed that the turn signal warning lights and main beam lights were working but no handbrake, ignition or seat belt warning.

Today I took out the dash (I found it useful to loosely refit a couple of screws for the mask so I had somthing to pull the dash out with) and found, through checking with a multimeter and switching bulbs, that all the bulbs were ok. Removing and refitting the handbrake light was enough for it to work but no joy with the others. The handbrake light is getting 12V and the switch on the handbrake is working so, I presume, the earth is bad.

The ignition light is getting 12V with the ignition on but the other side does not connect to earth. The alternator works so I was wondering which is the warning lamp connector to the alternator. Is it the thin wire near the top or does it get its feed from somewhere else?

S4 Elan, Elan +2S, Federal-spec, World Championship Edition S2 Esprit #42, S1 Elise, Excel SE

 

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the other side should go to the alternator to provide current to the field winding, not to ground. If the light doesn't turn on when ignition is on, possibly have a faulty bulb. This will stop alternator from working immediately, but when revs get up there will probably be enough residual magnetism to start the charging, but not a reliable way to start the alternator.

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I did check the bulb with a multi-meter and switched it for one that I new worked.  With the ignition on, there is 12V both sides of the connector to the bulb, indicating continuity through the buld but no current flow.  So, I guess, witht the alternator not spinning, the bulb is earthed through the windings but, as the back emf builds up with alternator speed, the volts increase so the bulb goes out.  So I could have a faulty alternator.  I have noticed that, sometimes, I have to rev the engine to get the voltmeter to read 14V.

I think the next step must be to earth the connector to the alternator and see whether the bulb lights up to check the continuity from the bulb to the alternator.

S4 Elan, Elan +2S, Federal-spec, World Championship Edition S2 Esprit #42, S1 Elise, Excel SE

 

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11 hours ago, USAndretti42 said:

I have noticed that, sometimes, I have to rev the engine to get the voltmeter to read 14V.

that indicates the excitation of the field winding is not happening till residual magnetism and revs high enough to start the processs. check for continuity from bulb socket to the alternator, as you suggested. When ignition turned on I think about 60-100mA should flow, hence lighting bulb.

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Pulling the warning light connector off the alternator and refitting it got the light working but I measured the resistance between the case of the alternator and the engine block and it was over 100 Ohms so I spent some time cleaning up the alternator case and alternator bracket to try to reduce this.  This meant I had to remove the alternator and this meant removing the air cleaner housing.  This was oily so I started cleaning that and I found that it had some coating on it which I started to clean off and then it started getting dark so I haven't fitted the alternator yet.

Funny how one job leads to another.

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S4 Elan, Elan +2S, Federal-spec, World Championship Edition S2 Esprit #42, S1 Elise, Excel SE

 

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