free hit
counters
Headlight stress! - Interior/Exterior/Lights/Glass/ICE/HVAC & Other - The Lotus Forums #ForTheOwners Jump to content


Recommended Posts

So the headlights are going down on engine fire, great looks fantastic vacuum works, but the buggers will not popup on dash switch?! Every other switch is working perfectly and all lights come on, I can see the main beam 'on' even though it is stuck in the light pod?

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.

This is from memory, as it is about 10 years since I worked on a vacuum car. The solenoids are in the nose. Follow the vacuum pipes backwards from the headlight vaccum units, and the first metal thing you come to is the 3 port valve/solenoid. One position shows it vacuum from the reservoir/manifold pressure, and the other vents to atmosphere. When the solenoid throws the 3 port valve open, the vacuum chamber sees no vacuum, and the spring causes it to rise. When the solenoid goes the other way (i think on +Ve voltage) it shows the bellows vacuum and sucks the lights down.

 

If its working, the 3 port valve and solenoid should give a loud "thunk" when you flash the lights.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Where is the solenoid?

Mine were in each lightpod housing, since removed to in car by the vacuum reservoir.

With no power, the solenoid is released and the vacuum reservoir and light operating mech are joined, vacuum wise, and the lights are held down.

When powered, eg lights on, the solenoid(s) (I only use 1, commoned between the 2 pods) block the link and vents the vacuum pipe serving the pods to the air, causing the vacuum to escape from the pods and thus rise, but preventing vacuum stored in the reservoir escaping. This allows the lights to quickly go down again when needed as there is still vacuum in the reservoir. Also has tiny bearing on fuel mixture when you think about it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've found it, what a mess in the pods, it's so hard to test things as well, connect wires, have to put the light lenses back in, try the switch nothing, then you have to disconnect and take it all a bloody part again! Doing my nut in!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Relocate them to somewhere more combenient, as I say, I put mine in car next to the vacuum reservoir.

Relocate them to somewhere more combenient, as I say, I put mine in car next to the vacuum reservoir.

Sorry for typos, on iPad

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

slightly off topic, but my 1979 eclat had only one solenoid in the right side pod, and a big yellow tube that went between the pods, the guy who sold it to me said if the pods don't go down you have to wiggle the yellow hose and they go down. and the left one was always slower than the right one!

 

I'm not sure if this is the original state, but I couldn't see any holes where a left side pod would be. I've now installed toyota motors from an excel SE. The vacuum pods and vacuum tank were really heavy, so might even be a weight saving(!)

 

So if you need one solenoid that (kind of) works, you can have mine for free if i can find it (assuming I haven't chucked it away).

 

Mat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

turn the dial to the section marked with an "A" (for amp). put one probe into the common hole, and the other into the V mA socket and disconnect the wire that you want to measure the current in and put attach 1 end to the common probe and the other to the other probe. the current passing through the wire will read on the display but only if current is flowing.

 

For a solenoid your better off measuring voltage since if it's getting volts and not switching then the solenoid is stuck and current will not flow. turn the dial to the "V" with a dotted line and a straight line next to it and hold 1 end to the solenoid terminal and the other to the chassis to measure the voltage on the terminals. if there's voltage on the terminals then the solenoid is stuck. Tap it as this may free it up. with voltage on the right terminals you will know that the wiring is o.k.

 

another neat thing with simple multimeters is the symbol that looks like a speaker or treble clef... since, by touching the probes together this will cause the meter to beep. therefore if you want to test a fuse then this function tells you if there is an electrical connection between the terminals. of course you can use this to check that the wiring is not broken over any length.

 

http://www.doctronics.co.uk/meter.htm

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had this problem a couple of months ago and it turned out that lotus did away with a diode in the headlight wiring and fitted a relay instead. They sent a service buletin to the dealers on how to alter the wiring. My relay was faulty after only 30 years. Replaced with new modern relay and hay presto popup lights again.

The relay is near the steering colum under the dash and easy to get to.

I have a copy of the buletin if i can work out how to send it. ( sorry not that bright with computers)

 

All the best Clive

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

"For a solenoid your better off measuring voltage since if it's getting volts and not switching then the solenoid is stuck and current will not flow. turn the dial to the "V" with a dotted line and a straight line next to it and hold 1 end to the solenoid terminal and the other to the chassis to measure the voltage on the terminals. if there's voltage on the terminals then the solenoid is stuck. Tap it as this may free it up. with voltage on the right terminals you will know that the wiring is o.k."

 

Sorry, but if the solenoid is just stuck then that won't affect the flow of current. Only an open circuit will prevent current flowing if there is voltage present..

 

 

http://www.doctronics.co.uk/meter.htm

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 weeks later...

Spoke to soon didn't I, just when I thought I was heading in the right direction. So everything was I say was working perfectly and I was hoping to book the elite in for an mot but I've just tried the headlights again and the pods are fauling again. The switch is operating the side and headlights but the friggin pods have decided not to popup! They were working perfectly less than a week ago and I haven't changed a thing. Every electrical switch in the car works, except for these bloody pods now. I've had the lights off and every connection is in good contact with it terminal, I'm clutching at straws cos' I can't see where it is failing. Any suggestions cos' this feels like a punch well below the belt, I really feel like smashing something to bits to release my frustration. Gutted, Charlie :-(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

aren't the pods on a spring so they fail safe? This shouldn't stop you getting and MOT since they should be up all the time! are they jammed on something... perhaps the tarmac! (I know that last bit wasn't helpful but I couldn't resist!)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Haha, I see where your logic is but as soon as I turn the engine on they drop, therefore the mot tester will not be able to raise them. The frustrating thing is they were working beautifully last week and I spent a good twenty minutes setting the levels of the beam, now I've had to get the lights out of the pods to check things. I can't wait to start driving this thing now, it's like it's just telling me who's boss before it finally let's me in, so to speak, ha. Really feel like I should just get rid of the vacuum system and go with those mx5 motors, I want to do that conversion anyway.

I'll check if they are jammed though, youbmight bevright cos' I just can't see any fault in the electrics.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...