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Mazda MX5 headlamp conversion. Working drawing for Elite 75? - Interior/Exterior/Lights/Glass/ICE/HVAC & Other - The Lotus Forums #ForTheOwners Jump to content


Mazda MX5 headlamp conversion. Working drawing for Elite 75?


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Hi Guys,

Somewhere on the forum I read about converting the headlamps on a 1975 Elite from vacuum to electric operation using Mazda MX5/Miata/Eunos lift motors.

This is a terrific convertion which I must do as the two vacuum pods are corroded excessively.

The MX5 convertion particularly appeals as I have read that they are the least sellable item on a MX5 owing to their bomb proof reliability.

I have search and searched but have failed to find the thread on Forum that mentions this conversion.

I am needing anyone who has successfully converted the lights using the Mazda parts to tell me:

How they did it,

What exact parts I require and hopefully supply a working drawing for the mountings.

Then help me with how to wire the same.

So guys please help it would be much appreciated.

Adrian

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Right my motors have a connector and another connector that went to the old car loom Motor connector ------- Loom Connector.--------- Desc Black------------------------black-------------------

Top work Michael.....!   ^^^^^ nomination for TLF member of the week ^^^^^^   I would also suspect the mx5 items will be lighter? - the Lucas pod motors are heavy items.

Stop The Press. Charlie, I did a bit of research after the above post and there are different generations of mx5 with different colours used on each. Your motors appear to be newer units so the sugg

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Mike,

 

Thanks for the inspirational lead.

Someting more specific to the Elite is what I am looking for.

I am sure I could figure it all out given time.

Unfortunately owing to all the other work on this car time is tight.

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I'm sorry - I don't recall ever seeing a thread on anyone having done this conversion on an elite or eclat, so can't offer much info, but what I did years ago on my first S1 was use glassfibre (P40) to seal up the bottoms of my rusted out headlight bellows. Worked well and cost nothing.

 

Maybe you could try it even as a temporary solution before converting to electric at a later date?

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I quite agree with the use of P40 it is magic stuff. I have used P40 on fuel tanks before now, It works a treat, I could repair the pods as you say but I do like the idea of electric pop ups as per the S2.

What I do not like on the S1 is the headlamps popping up when parked up.

Someone else must have seen the thread on the MX5  conversion.

What I recall is the discussion of lengthening of the operating arm to get the sweep and a mounting bracket.

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I'm so with you when you say "What I do not like on the S1 is the headlamps popping up when parked up." Really disrupts the line of the car. As soon as my interior is done, this conversion is on my to do list.

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Hopefully I will have had some advice on the mountings by then or I will have figured it out for myself.

 

Motors are on their way from Suffolk Mazda. Such incredibly nice people on the 'phone being really interested in what I was contemplating with the Elite. £20 inc vat and delivery for a pair of motors, links and a chunk of wiring incredible!

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Yes, I have fitted MX5 motors in place of the vacuuum pods. Like everyone else, it really annoyed me when the lamps would be up and invariably it was 1 up and 1 down which just got my ocd into meltdown mode.The MX5 motor is a great unit as the limit switches are all included in the gearbox so all you need to do is apply power to make it carry out 1 cycle.

At the time I had a spare quater front end which I used as the test rig to get the right bracket and link arm to have the lamp lifting and lowering correctly.

I spotted the request for information and I cannot find any images or information on my drive for the parts I used. However, I will break it down and get some photos which I will post in the next few days.

I can tell you that the bracket I made sat in place of the vacuum pod, to which the motor was mounted. The bracket also has a tab welded onto it to at as the buffer stop for the headlamp down position.

The crank arm on the motor was lengthened and slotted to give me adjustment on the stroke. The origional crossbar in the lamp pod was retained with a new collar fitted which is connected to the motor crank arm via a rod with M6 ball joint rod end.

From an electrical point of view, the supply for the vacuum solenoid now operates a relay which in turn operates both motors.

Next all the vacuum lines, both tanks, rubbish vacuum pods and take off point at the manifold is chucked out. 20Kgs in total!

I did this conversion way back in 2009 and it has never given a spot of bother since then. It is a most satisfying conversion.

Michael.

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This Forum and it's members are fantastic.

One has a problem and bingo someone comes to the rescue within days.

The info about the MX5 headlamp motor mounting and wiring will help both Coolhand and myself immensely.

Roll on with the photos and some sort of dimensions. I will gladly buy Micheal Black Eclat a drink if you are ever visiting UK I am on the route into England from the Holyhead ferry .

Regards,

Adrian

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Be sure to post more details guys since I brought MX5 motors last year to do just this but my chassis was in such a condition that my early plans with my elite got derailed somewhat. All the best.

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Ok, here we go.

I started breaking the LHS, nearside, lamp pod this evening to get the details you might require shouldyou wish to do this conversion.

I dont know how any one else has done it but this is my account and its in service since 2009 without issue.

The plan here is to strip apart and provide measurements and photos on every item of the conversion. If I leave out some details or you require other information, dont hesitate to ask.

 

First remove the lamp

zlwu4z.jpg

This is your first view of the motor, mounting bracket and control arm.

 

Next remove the pod. Remember the inner bolt also holds the radiator in place and has a locking nut that must be opened first.

16aqg6d.jpg

You will see that the original vacuum pod bar is retained for this conversion. There is a M6 ball joint rod end mounted on a collar that is connected to the control arm. The locking pin is removed to remove the ball joint from the pod.

 

This is what you see with he pod removed.

1222j5k.jpg

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The motor is mounted vertically on a bracket that is fabricated to fit on the original vacuum pod position. The motor is mounted vertically to allow a manual operation in the event of an electrical failure.

 

2yum846.jpg

Here I have a 18mm socket welded to a 1/4 drive extension bar which is used to operate the manual knob on the motor. This bar is kept in the engine bay on 2 spring clips.

 

2emj42h.jpg

This is an overhead view of the manual bar.

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Picture of control arm.

allr1g.jpg

 

Arm length is 210mm

2uog976.jpg

 

2chb6ab.jpg

 

So thats 6mm solid bar threaded to M6 both ends, fitted with M6 ball joint rod ends to a total overall length of 210mm.

The rod ends were sourced from http://ie.rs-online.com/web/p/ball-joint-linkages/7124986/

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Here is a photo of the motor bracket and the tab for the pod bump stop. The extended crank arm bracket is also visible.

 

n6sz84.jpg

 

And a view from the other side of the bracket.

 

15wld2f.jpg

 

I will get some dimensions of these tomorrow.

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Here are the freehand, not to scale, drawings for the mounting bracket.

 

2cdh8nl.jpg

 

316w4f4.jpg

 

5o731s.jpg

 

I have taken loads of photos of the bracket so if there are any items to be clarified, let me know and we can get the info posted here.

 

The other thing I notice is that the measurement are not critical for the crank arm is adjustable, the bump stop on the pod is adjustable and the control arm is adjustable, so dont panic if you are a bit out on the measurements as it can be adjusted to suit

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I also noticed that I spot welded the ball joint rod ends once I was happy with the setup.

 

i had a look at the wiring and it is fairly straight forward. The supply that originally was connected to the vacuum solenoid is now used to power a 5 pin relay  on connections 85 & 86.  Use a multimeter to determine which of the 2 cables is earth (in my case it was black)and connect that to terminal 86 with a piggy back crimp terminal. The other cable is connected to 85. A fused supply from the ignition circuit or the fuse box is connected to connection 30 using a piggy back crimp terminal.

 

The lamp motor requires a permanent 12V supply. This is achieved by connecting the red wire on the motor harness to the relay connection 30 by using the piggy back terminal. The black wire from the motor harness is connected to the relay connection 86 using the piggy back terminal.

 

There are only 2 more cables that need to be connected, an up signal and a down signal. On the harness, these are cables red with a white stripe and white with a red stripe. These are connected to relay connections 87 and 87a respectively. Dont worry if the pod operates in the reverse. Simply swap over these 2 cables to correct the operation.

 

And thats it.

 

The other pod is a copy of what I have described here. I used the same cables on 85, 86 and 30 to supply a second relay for that pod.

 

I hope this inspires you all to ditch the vacuum systems and carry out a useful upgrade.

 

Again, if anyone requires any detail on any items either post here or PM if you prefer. I will do my best to answer all queries.

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This is fantastic. Thanks for going to the trouble of reverse engineering your work to impart this knowledge to us all. What is the red thing that looks like a coil?

 

Respect due...

I totally agree with Mike. This is what the Lotus Forum is all about.

 

I think Mike Black Eclat has gone the extra mile here and deserves much praise.

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Mike, Black eclat - brilliant break down, as I have a pair of TR7 lift motors in the garage, bought from info supplied  by Dunc for Lotty after my lift motor issues, I think I might attempt this mod on Lenny using the TR7 motors, just a few tweeks needed to your design I think, something for when the weather improves. 

Many thanks for the info, i suspect a lot of Elite owners will be thinking of this now.

John

:rambo: hero.

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Mike, Black eclat - brilliant break down, as I have a pair of TR7 lift motors in the garage, bought from info supplied  by Dunc for Lotty after my lift motor issues, I think I might attempt this mod on Lenny using the TR7 motors, just a few tweeks needed to your design I think, something for when the weather improves. 

Many thanks for the info, i suspect a lot of Elite owners will be thinking of this now.

John

:rambo: hero.

Weather improves??  21 degrees across the country yesterday!

 

I must say Mike Black Eclat has shared a fundamental upgrade which is very easy to do.

I am sure it would be possible to use TR7 motors as they are used on the S2 but they are much more bulky and are made by the Prince of Darkness Lucas.

Personally I would put the TR7 ones on eBay and buy some MX5 ones from Suffolk Mazda. I paid £20 thinking I may need operating arms. Mikes design does not use them so it would be a measely cost of £15.99 for both motors inc post.

 

The result is:

TR7 ones would achieve a good price on eBay and you will have money in you pocket, a smaller neater installation and a 1000% more reliability.

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