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Vacuum lights


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I went into my garage this afternoon to start my elite up ,I have noticed that the radiator fan doesn't work when you let the engine idle and warm up so that is something else I must sort out could be the heat sensor on the inlet manifold or the heat sensor on the fan? I will have to investigate The main reason I am posting this is the lights don't go up and down but if you let the engine idle for a few minutes and close the offside one by hand it stays shut until you switch the engine off then it pops up again the nearside one doesn't stay down when you manually close it 

Any thoughts please 

Roan

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You have a big leak in the off side pod actuator and a REALLY big leak in the near side actuator. 

If you can get them out in one piece, you may be able to lay some fibreglass around the lower parts of each actuator to help stop the leak. 

Tony 

 

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The switch on the radiator brings on the fan. If the engine is warm, either the stat is stuck, the pump is not circulating coolant, or the switch is faulty.

Test the switch by joining wires. Fans should run.

Test the pump / stat by feeling the radiator hose. It should be warm / hot.

 

6 minutes ago, hatters said:

Thanks Tony I will give it a try ,what about fitting some electric motors is that feasible 

 

Roan

Totally feasible and a good modification.

Excel or MX5 motors are the popular choices.

 

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On 11/08/2021 at 18:46, Tony D said:

You have a big leak in the off side pod actuator and a REALLY big leak in the near side actuator. 

You might be lucky and find the hoses have split where they push on to the actuators, in which case they'll fall off and leave an open circuit. 

You'll find various threads on design and fit of motors both here and on Excel net. A very popular mod. 

Tony 

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If they dont stay down at all with the engine running then its most likely the 1 way check valve isnt working or disconnected itself or disconnected hoses. Previously ive taken mine out and fibre glassed the bottom of each in order to improve the staying down time (as Tony D says above.) You have to be careful when unbolting the bolt at the bottom to release the actuators, one broke off completely and the other sheared in half on mine.  Currently have purchased MX5 motors but not fitted yet.

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This is one thing that even the Lotus factory changed later getting rid of the same basic system that they used since the Elan. This was never changed on the Elan that I know ( they worked  just the opposite from the second gen Elite...vacuum powered down and spring loaded up ....till they figured out you after you use all the power, like accelerating uphill, the old Elans headlamps would fall  back down as they were vacuum assisted in the up position. Not a good design for night time driving.

Older Fords had this system of vacuum powered wipers and one had to let off the throttle. for a second or two, to clean the windshield in a rain storm.

After owning my '74 Elite and getting tired of seeing my headlamps in the up postilion which would only say down for a max of 12 hours and that was after I worked hard getting all the leaks as best I could eliminated , I decided to modify them with electrics lifts like I had on my TR8. 

Mazda uses an electric system that also works well for this mod and they stay where you put them.

Well worth the time do so IMHO.

atb,

Richard

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On the grounds of practicality, I'd fully support the change to electric motor control of the headlights. 

I'm currently planning to stay with Vacuum on my 74 Elite restoration though, purely on the grounds of originality. 

(It's also a talking point as you stand around the car and there's a "creak" as one headlamp pops up a little to join the party. 😊). - Think I'll call it character. 

Tony 

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Just to add, on the (later) Elan +2 the vacuum headlamps are failsafe, like on the Elite/Eclat, with vacuum used to retract the pods. After I redid the vacuum hoses, the system has been working perfectly on my Elan. In fact, it's more reliable than the electric motors on my Excel. Those have a tendency to stay up, with the motors continuing to use power even with the ignition off and thus draining the battery. So I wouldn't consider that an upgrade, especially as the manual override knob is very awkward to reach. The electric motors on the Stevens Esprit are a lot better, but those suffer from wear in the mechanism... Seems there is no perfect solution, so I'd stick with what was originally fitted.

Interestingly, I've seen several other cars where both pods were linked, the downside being you could end up with no headlight instead of just one.

Filip

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

 

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