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Most lights not working


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I've just got my US spec '84 Turbo running after a 5 year 'slumber' in my garage.  It was an engine out major service, new fuel, coolant hoses etc, clutch, belt.  I've started it and its running so I checked all the electrics.

The following are working: Sidelights, horn, instrument lights, wiper, clock, mainbeam flash (no pop up though), heated rear window, door windows, blower motor, brake lights, number plate lights

The following are NOT working: Headlights, indicators, hazards, door lights (red in the door), interior light when the door opens, headlight flash pop up function.

I only removed and replaced the ground/earth cable from the engine to the chassis (via the engine mount).

I started going through some of the connections in the front, cleaning them and checking tightness etc, but no luck yet.  I checked fuses for the headlights and they were good.  I haven't checked the relays yet.

Any thoughts?  Electrics aren't my favourite to work on.  Any grounds/earths I can check?

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That’s an interesting mix non-working items. Probably a good time to study the electrics diagram.. I’d look to the fuses once more. Not sure about the 84’ US versions but you might still have the 2x4 fuse boxes and glass fuses in your car. Some of these fuses are cross linked and have multiple connections at the back. It’s quite possible that one of the connecting plugs at the back has come loose or is corroded. Indicators and hazards hang on the same circuit. Also, check all the glass fuses with a multimeter. It’s difficult to see if they are intact, visually. The interior lights are triggered with the 2 visible switches sitting just below the dashboard at the lower right and the left hand side. When the door closes, the button switch is pressed and that turns off the interior lights. The 2 switches hang on 2 additional glass fuses (one each side). These fuses are hidden below the dash somewhere closer to the centre console. Last but not least, check the connection of the stalks. Are the pods coming up when you switch on the headlights?

Pop up headlight relays sit in the frunk, indicator and hazard relays are usually below the dashboard, passenger side. This is for UK and ROW cars at least. Again, US cars might be different. Good luck with the recommissioning 👍

Ad initium

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It is always worth it, to verify the fitting of the dual-contact relays and the single contact relays. The two types of relay should NOT be swapped.

 

If you have replaced any of the dual-contact relays just as Good Practice, be aware that the commonly-available ones don't work the same (as indicated by the diagrams on the case).

Aside from buying direct from the UK, the Usual US Parts Suspects are your best source...they will give you the correct ones.

 

Here is a discussion of relays (from 2015) but unfortunately the links are no longer valid.

https://www.lotustalk.com/threads/calling-all-cis-experts-help-with-88-turbo-esprit.324305/#post-4331369

 

Atwell Haines

'88 Esprit

Succasunna, NJ USA

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Without looking at the wiring diagram and assuming the 84 is same as an 85:

Indicators and hazards wire though the same switch, which has been know to break internally (repairable) and use a nontypical (5?) pin electronic relay. Check to see if you have the correct one installed.

As Carbuff says start by swapping out headlight relays with known good ones of the right type (changeover or dual contact) Relay sockets might need cleaning / inspection.

Interior and door lights run off the doorjamb switches, which can be removed and cleaned if they aren't switching, and then to a (yellow) delay unit behind the glovebox. The interior light pivots to switch on/off/doors

84Flasher.JPG

IMG_0010.JPG

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Thanks for the input so far.  My car has the blade type fuse panel.  This evening I pulled out each relay in turn and all the spades are perfectly clean, no corrosion signs at all.  I am sure all the components are correct as everything worked when the car last ran.  After a bit of Googling my suspicion is with the light and hazard switch.  I have the service manual with the wiring details and it seems that the systems that are not working all go through those two switches.  

Apparently US spec cars had a lot of wiring and switching differences to UK/ROW cars so that adds to the mix.  I went to remove the instrument binnacle side panels that hold the light and hazard switch, but the rear side of each panel is pop riveted rather than screwed in place.....and I just lent my drill to someone today...

It seems that the hazard and light switch are prone to breaking and NLA so fingers crossed it may be dirty contacts in them and some electrical contact spray cleaner will work.

I'll report back when I get it all working.

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Most of the switches are now available again from SJ sportscars UK as reproductions. I replaced some of mine. Happy with the new ones, they look identical.  FYI.

Ad initium

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I think you'll find posts on lotustalk regarding the switch. They all have exposed copper contacts that could use a cleaning after almost 40 years, you might luck out with that. Easy to disassemble once they're out, but take care with the old brittle plastic.

I made a new rocker for my switch, but someone has a nylon printed replacement available on Shapeways.

There's a Land Rover switch with similar size and contacts that will work, but not look original. TR-7 has a switch that looks close to the same but the pins are different.

HazardRocker.JPG

ShapewaysRocker.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Good news. I cleaned the switches in the dash and everything is working.  I found out that the headlight flash pop up relay was bad too. 
I say everything, the red door lights aren’t working. I looked at the switches for those, but how to you get to them behind the lower crash pad?

Thanks for your inputs btw. 👍🏼

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Post a picture...if they are the same as a Stevens car, they are retained from the outside. In that case I have an article on removal, disassembly, and contact cleaning.

Atwell Haines

'88 Esprit

Succasunna, NJ USA

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Photo of the driver (LHD) door light and seatbelt switch as requested.

Oh, started the car up today and the indicators and hazards are working again and neither is the headlight pop up flash. (eyes rolling).  If I switch on the indicators I might get one flash then they stop, likewise hazards.  I will also check the relay I bought for the headlight flash.  Always something.

Door switch_01.jpg

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Thanks for the picture.

 

See the little slot visible on the lower switch? There is a U-shaped, flat blade screwdriver-type  tool that is designed to straddle the black push button. It is used to unscrew the tiny bezel on the switch.

 

That is the Theory...but in Practice it is usually just as easy to use two very small screwdrivers to unscrew it.

 

I've attached an article I wrote in 2006 about refurbishing the switches.  They are still working fine on our Esprit today, tho'  I have gone to LED interior bulbs now.

 

++++++++++++++

 

Regards the hazards and turn-signal indicators:  On older British cars, it is wise to actuate and de-actuate the Hazard switch 15 times, once a year, to 'clean' the contacts. Solves all sorts of electrical gremlins.

Door switch repair.pdf

Edited by CarBuff
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Atwell Haines

'88 Esprit

Succasunna, NJ USA

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18 hours ago, drdoom said:

Taking it further the hazard switch can be disassembled in order to thoroughly clean its contacts for good.

 

True, but the yearly 'exercise' strategy works 90% of the time. Easy, too.

 

Only problem is, I run out of fingers trying to count to 15. 🤪 (Can't tell you how many indicators start working, at around the 12 mark...)

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Atwell Haines

'88 Esprit

Succasunna, NJ USA

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My hazards stopped recently and the above procedure worked well as well as cleaning / fiddling with fuses in fuse holders (my dash lights had also stopped) this is all because I had not driven the car for a month so it was not happy with me... 

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You might find with the switches that you can start with contact cleaner spraying and working the switch back and forth and see how you do. Some of mine had quite blackened, corroded contacts and cleaned up with fine sand paper. When taking the switch apart, the main thing is the brittleness of the plastic, so lever part very carefully so as not so snap parts. 

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Another update. 

Headlights and pods are working fine.  High beams too.  New relay fitted to the headlight pop up flash and it seems to be working.  I need a second opinion on how the headlight flash should function.  If I pull the indicator stalk back towards me and immediately release the stalk the pods come up then go back down and the high beam does not come on.  If I pull back the stalk and hold it, then the pods stay up and the high beam stays on until I release the switch then the high beam goes out and the pods close.  Is this correct?  the drivers handbook doesn't even mention this feature.

Indicators/Hazards.  I think I have found the issue.  It seems to be the flasher unit to the right of the fuses.  If I turn on the hazards and they don't work, then wiggle the flasher unit and hold it's position, then the hazards work properly.  I have sprayed some contact cleaner into the flasher unit socket.  I have a new flasher unit on order, so I hoping this will sort it.  Otherwise it sounds like the flasher unit base is loose somehow.

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13 hours ago, Geeman said:

If I pull the indicator stalk back towards me and immediately release the stalk the pods come up then go back down and the high beam does not come on. 

Normal for our '88 Stevens car, as well...

 

The car needs time to determine if you SINCERELY want the car in front to MOVE OVER!😏😁

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Atwell Haines

'88 Esprit

Succasunna, NJ USA

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You may be able to get in the flasher socket with a jeweler's screwdriver and tighten up the metal connectors (just a little bit)  to get a better grip on the flasher blades. The connectors come out the back of the fuse block, but I've not been motivated enough yet to see what access is like back there.

Where did you find a new flasher? Those were hard to find last time I looked.

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12Volt Planet in the UK has been one of my go-to's for electrical bits lately, including electronic flasher relays although it was Del City in the U.S. where I found LED suitable flashers. Both vendors recommended.

Cheers

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