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unsyncronised vacuum operated headlights.


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Does anyone know how to re sync the vacuum operated headlights?

Have changed over the solenoid actuators and the pipes from the vac tank but the n/s one operates faster. they stay in sync for about 10 seconds then operate at different speeds.

n/s was broken and fixed by me but works faster than the unbroken one and is starting to become annoying.

thanks 

 

 

 

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My understanding is that the solenoid valve in each headlamp pod simply dumps the vacuum in the actuator and the short piece of pipe to the valve. In this valve position, the valve closes the vacuum to the tank in the foot well, so when the lights are switched off, vacuum from the tank can drop the headlights quickly. 

If one light is slow to rise, that sounds like a blocked pipe or sticky valve. 

Tony 

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Thanks Tony- have taken out both headlights and solenoid valves pipes etc again. Cleaned inspected and returned to the vehicle but alas the same result as before. Unfortunately its back to the drawing board for another think.

 

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Are the springs still up to spec? 

If the nut on the bottom of the actuators will come loose, it's easy to switch the actuators between sides. See if the problem follows. 

 

But be careful with that M6 nut though!!!! If it shears the thread off the actuator, or tears the bottom of the actuator pod out (due to rust on the lower half), it's not an easy repair. Ask me how I know!!!!! 

Tony

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  • Gold FFM

As above, I'd look at the springs and the pivot points. It sounds more like a mechanical problem. If you can detach the actuators form the headlights, you can test both to make sure it's not vacuum related. With both lights held down and released simultaneously, you should see any difference in speed or if the stick somewhere.

Earlier cars like the Elan had a rod connecting both headlamps so they always move synchronised.

Filip

I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.

 

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Thanks for your input Guys. Have checked all the pipework actuators and bellows to try and diagnose the issue. Have done the manual headlight release and they are synchronised. Put it all back together only to find the lights only stay down for 10 mins, so checked everything again and did a little experiment with the bellows and a bowl of water.  Both watertight and now retaining a vacuum for 24 hours plus as before so relieved about that. Back to the original problem, had a thought that the first repair made the length of the actuator slightly longer and it was fractionally slower, but the other repairs made it slightly shorter and now works slightly quicker.(is this linked??) I suppose the moral of the story is not to break it in the first place!! As ever any ideas gratefully received ,or do I just get 1 from lotusbits?

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Is it too much trouble to make them both exactly the same length and see what happens?  I assume that altering the length of the actuating rod alters the "starting" volume inside the bellows - maybe this could be influencing them?

Pete

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  • Gold FFM

If the length of one or more arms in a pivoting mechanism is changed, the rotating speed will change as well. So yeah, you need to get both rods the same length to get the same movement.

I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.

 

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  • 5 weeks later...

Well not sorted the problem as such but putting a 0.7mm washer between the 2 broken parts slowed the headlight down and was slower than the other one instead of faster without it and then put a 0.4mm washer in the gap it was slower but nearly synched, so an even thinner washer or shortening the plunger might synch it.  

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