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Wiring Diagram for Elan+2 Federal

PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:59 am
by ben35
Is there anybody who have a wiring Diagram for Elan+2 Federal, and it in very big size picture ?
Thank a lot

Re: Wiring Diagram for Elan+2 Federal

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:51 pm
by stugilmour
Ben, here is the Federal Diagram. You may have to print it on several letter sized sheets and tape them together. The original in the WSM is 11 x 17 size, and still is hard to read.

Note the date range of the Federal cars that follow this diagram, The dash is characterized by four small gauges, flat rocker switches, and the side light switch is a spring loaded momentary switch. The stock electrical system used a generator with control box and only two fuses. My car is VIN 50/2181, which is one of the later Federal cars to follow this diagram.

Note this diagram is a bit different than the schematic type diagram. It tries to show the loom location, which can make following the wire connections a bit difficult. I used the other schematic diagrams to reference the connections.

That said, once figured out I found my Federal Plus 2 followed this diagram pretty much exactly. The Veg has also found his Federal car follows this diagram as well. Usual cautions apply however; eg it can be difficult to be sure which side the switch and wiper motor plugs are viewed from so they may be the mirror image of what you expect.

The microswitch sub drawing is a bit confusing. My Federal car has the microswitches located on the dash mounted headlight vacuum switch, which is what the drawing is trying to show. This appears to be a running change. Pay particular attention to the wire colours sometimes changing at the firewall bullet connectors; I recall one of the wiper wires does this but there may be others.

Feel free to ask questions as it can be a bit daunting/confusing to follow this diagram at first. I printed several copies so I could mark up the circuit I was working on with coloured pens.

Also, unlike the other schematic diagrams, the wire colours are referenced by a numbered legend. The legend also indicates the wire size. Takes a while to get used to the common numbers.



Re: Wiring Diagram for Elan+2 Federal

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:24 pm
by ben35
My car is an Elan+2 (SE), build in 68/69 for US.

I have not a Control box and it is not an Elan+2 S

In the WSM there are many diagrams (for Elan+2 S, with Control Box). But which one is mine ?

Re: Wiring Diagram for Elan+2 Federal

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:45 pm
by stugilmour
Ben, can you post your VIN? The ID number on the plate, or if a Federal there should be a tag visible in the lower left corner of the windshield. The number should be 50/xxxx. Mine is 50/2181. Is that close to yours?

When you mention the car’s date, is that the registration date or build date? For purposes of vehicle ID the build date is more relevant. There are folks here who can tell you the appropriate build date from your VIN. Once you have the build date, I found it way better to update any reference to my car online to only this date; eg my car was constantly being confused with a Plus 2 S as it was registered way later than the build date, which was not uncommon in North American markets.

If yours is indeed a Federal ‘Non S’ Elan Plus 2 model it should have four small dash gauges and a flat spring loaded intermittent switch next to the pull on headlight switch, which is used to turn the sidelights on and off. Do you have these features? Rather, are your dash switches rattail style toggles rather than flat rockers?

I am not familiar with the SE designation being used for a Federal Plus 2. I know for my build year the Canadian dealership price list did not include an SE model, but it may have been different in the US market. The guys on here should be able to clear up based on your VIN.

There is a ton more model identification details here: ... /htmlview#


Your car could have been converted from a generator and control box to an alternator at some point in it’s life. This is/was a documented upgrade that could be performed by the dealer. The Electrical section in the WSM details the recommended changes.

At any rate, if your car is a Federal ‘Non S’ model, the diagram I posted should be the correct one. That said, you may find it helpful to reference the other diagrams due to their schematic format. Both Ben (The Veg) and I are pretty expert in the quirks of this Federal wiring diagram and can probably help you out to read the diagram. Both of our Federal cars matched the diagram very closely.

Hope this helps. Do you have a particular circuit or question you are working in now?



Re: Wiring Diagram for Elan+2 Federal

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:34 pm
by ben35
My VIN is 50/0665
It was sold by Lotus UK Factory in October 68
It was built in 68 (not easy to know the month)
Federal ... not Federal ... it isn't easy to know


Re: Wiring Diagram for Elan+2 Federal

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:22 pm
by stugilmour
Others more expert may weigh in, but my understanding is this type of car is not normally called a Federal model.

The Robinshaw and Ross book lists the Federal body Specification being introduced to all markets with 50/0929.

My understanding of what we refer to as a Federal model in North America included modifications specifically required for North American safety and emissions regulations. Canada generally followed US lead on these issues. Your car clearly does not have these features. We did get early cars over here prior to the regulations coming along. My understanding is we call these Early Cars like everyone else. I don’t believe they were particularly different than the rest of the world, but I can of course be educated/corrected.

We usually use the Lotus factory sales date as the Build Date, so good to go there.

So, I would suggest the wiring diagram(s) you want to use is one of the first two schematic style diagrams in the WSM that have the four small gauges (Non S). I have not studied the two diagrams carefully but I assume the differences are relatively minor and generally differ in the details of the control box.

If your control box is absent it is because the car was modified. All early Plus 2’s had generators with external control boxes.

You do appear to have some changes to the instruments.

Do you need scans of the two wiring diagrams? The files I have are too large to post, so would have to figure out how to shrink them if needed.

Here are the two diagrams I would recommend.



Re: Wiring Diagram for Elan+2 Federal

PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:43 pm
by ben35
" Your car clearly does not have these features" : can you explain me that.

I have looked your Excel document. I thought there were only 2 finitions and not 3 : Elan+2 Federal (for US) and Elan+2 UK. Now, it exists Elan+2 for non US ...
So, I am lost ...

For diagram, I have WSM and all diagrams. To know which diagram is good, I think it is necessary to be sure before, what is model of my car : federal or not ?

That is sure :
- date sold/left factory is : 3 october 1968 (invoice Lotus)

Built arround May 68

Re: Wiring Diagram for Elan+2 Federal

PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:59 pm
by stugilmour
Ben, it is not my Excel spreadsheet. It is authored by another member. Consider joining that thread to discuss it further. That is why I included the link to the other thread.

My understanding is the use of the Federal terminology came after your car was manufactured. The Federal terminology is not just the market a car was sold in. My understanding is it refers to a specific model introduced with VIN 50/0857 to the US and the body mold was extended to other markets with VIN 50/0929. Your VIN is somewhat lower/earlier, and therefore not a Federal model even if it was originally sold into the US or Canadian market.

We (as in folks in North America when these cars were new) did get the Lotus Plus 2 prior to the introduction of the Federal model. I have not seen these referred to as Federal. Rather, I have seen them called Early cars. Perhaps part of the problem is the older model does not get officially re-named when a new model is introduced, so really it was originally simply known as a Plus 2.

As I say, I could be wrong, the naming of Lotus models is not an exact science, but there you go. One thing for sure, if you refer to your car as Federal you will probably get some confusing answers. :D

The other thread can probably provide you a more complete list of Federal features. After all, that is part of what he is trying to construct. It isn’t easy, as most of us only have detailed experience with one Plus 2, or in rarer cases maybe a few cars from the same region or market.

Here are a few items present on my car that might help with identification. Check the Robinshaw & Ross list and you can see some were introduced as running changes over time.

  • Generally left hand drive.
  • Dash switches are flat rocker style.
  • Trunk/boot lid latch uses a remote cable.
  • Somewhat different door cards.
  • Revised window frames.
  • Different exhaust (with no pipe bends under the trunk).
  • Different pedal box.
  • New steering column.
  • Dual brake circuit front and rear with two brake boosters and a failure light.
  • Negative ground.
  • Fail safe headlights.
  • Stromberg carburetors with cross pipes to the heavy cast exhaust header.

Some modifications occurred as running changes. Whether these were applied to Federal, Domestic Market, or both I don’t know; that is the topic of the other thread and the reason the author is creating the spreadsheet. Rather than type out a further big list of running changes, check over in the other thread for a scan of the Robinshaw & Ross Plus 2 Production Milestones I posted and join in the conversation.

If you have the WSM, have the diagrams, and know which one applies to your car, I am sort of puzzled with your continued questions? If it is simply a mater of trying to confirm your model ID, the other thread will hopefully be helpful.



Re: Wiring Diagram for Elan+2 Federal

PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:05 am
by The Veg
I see that you are in France. But assuming that your dashboard is original, you have the early-type car that Stuff described so the 'federal' thing shouldn't apply.

My car is the true federal non-S type that Stuff described, so I do not know if the dashboard switch circuits will be the same for your car but even if they are different, they probably are similar enough for the diagrams to be helpful.