Lotus Elan

Gauge issues

PostPost by: disquek » Wed Jun 12, 2019 11:30 pm

When I got my car it had a replacement Smiths temp/pressure gauge in it.

That gauge quickly began to read low.

So I bought a new one from Nissinger.

That one never worked in the temperature side. It always read zero (or the bottom of the scale). After much debate with Nissonger it was replaced.

The replacement has been in the car a couple of weeks and less than 100 miles. It’s now reading low (120 when it’s really 180).

There is nothing unique here (other than the motor). I’ve checked that the bulb isn’t hitting anything. I’ve been so careful installing these things.

Is this a common issue?

Also, on this latest gauge, I think the pressure side is also an issue. It moves like a chronometric tach (jerky).
'70 S4 Elan - Cosworth BDP & Spyder Chassis
'62 S2 Super Seven Cosworth
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:17 am

Did you install as original where the temperature capillary tube is clipped to the heater valve and coiled? This helps to keep stress off the capillary/ bulb juncture potentially causing a leak.
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PostPost by: disquek » Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:40 pm

This Elan doesn’t have a twinc. It has a BDP. The capillary tube was neatly coiled and supported.

Kyle
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PostPost by: disquek » Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:25 pm

I spoke to Nisonger today. They told me that the recently made (~1.5 yrs) Smiths temperature gauges are the victim of government environmental regulations that restrict the use of proper lead solder. The solder they're using now fails easily. One can easily see that the environment benefits from making four of something without lead, rather than one with. :roll:

This applies to all Smiths mechanical gauges, not just the combo gauges.

-Kyle

PS: I should add that Nisonger is replacing the gauge. Let's see how long this one lasts.
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:16 pm

I also had a rapid failure of a new Smiths dual gauge purchased 1.5 years ago from Nisonger. It failed on the temperature side after 20 miles. I had opted for a new gauge because I wanted a 0-100 psi range instead if the original 0-60.

After speaking with Nisonger, I returned the faulty gauge for repair/replacement. Nisonger said they would call after inspection. No call. I called them after several weeks. They couldn’t find my gauge but said it had been received. They said they would look for it and call me back. No call.

Called them again after a week or more of silence. They said they had found my returned gauge. They told me that the gauge failure was my fault and “there was nothing they could do”. They said they could not ask Smiths (Caerbont) to replace it because it was a user installation problem.

I pointed out that my original gauge which I had removed and re-installed worked perfectly even though it was almost 50 years old. I further pointed out that as an engineer/physicist I had skillfully worked on every aspect of my car without problem and that I was very cognizant of the fragility of the temperature capillary and bulb.

Nisonger stuck to their position that the failure was my fault. They kept the faulty gauge.

I then contacted Caerbont directly. But, that is another (and continuing) story for another time.

It is highly interesting that Nisonger now admits that there is a problem caused by RoHS compliance (lead free solder). At least they are replacing your gauge unlike me where they told me to p*** off and I got nothing for my money.
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 6:19 pm

There's always Mo-Ma
https://momamanufacturing.com/
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:34 am

1owner69Elan wrote:I also had a rapid failure of a new Smiths dual gauge purchased 1.5 years ago from Nisonger. It failed on the temperature side after 20 miles. I had opted for a new gauge because I wanted a 0-100 psi range instead if the original 0-60.

After speaking with Nisonger, I returned the faulty gauge for repair/replacement. Nisonger said they would call after inspection. No call. I called them after several weeks. They couldn’t find my gauge but said it had been received. They said they would look for it and call me back. No call.

Called them again after a week or more of silence. They said they had found my returned gauge. They told me that the gauge failure was my fault and “there was nothing they could do”. They said they could not ask Smiths (Caerbont) to replace it because it was a user installation problem.

I pointed out that my original gauge which I had removed and re-installed worked perfectly even though it was almost 50 years old. I further pointed out that as an engineer/physicist I had skillfully worked on every aspect of my car without problem and that I was very cognizant of the fragility of the temperature capillary and bulb.

Nisonger stuck to their position that the failure was my fault. They kept the faulty gauge.

I then contacted Caerbont directly. But, that is another (and continuing) story for another time.

It is highly interesting that Nisonger now admits that there is a problem caused by RoHS compliance (lead free solder). At least they are replacing your gauge unlike me where they told me to p*** off and I got nothing for my money.


If you can be bothered shame them on social media Facebook etc, publicise the other issues they won’t like that very much. It really bugs me when companies won’t stand by their product.
Steve

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