Lotus Elan

1969 S4 - replacing old behind dash wiring (doh!)

PostPost by: SF69Elan » Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:45 pm

Hi folks - well, I've finally had time to start to tackle the wiring replacement task that I reached to out everyone for feedback and advice on back in November. Thanks again for all the great info that folks provided back then.

I have one follow up question as well as an update.

Question: Assuming I disconnect the wiring on the steering column can I just slide the outer column out and off, and then easily back on when the time comes? I've disconnected it from the mid point bracket that mounts to the chassis as well as the bracket that holds it to the dash. The outer part of the column moves up and down easily (at least the few inches I've tried) but I was reluctant to try to slide it all the way off the inner column in case it's complicated to get it back on for some reason. Thanks!

Regarding the dash removal, I started this weekend going back and reading threads about removing the dash - my goal was to remove the dash to have full access to the wiring, and from there assess whether I wanted to just replace the damaged wiring, or whether additional cleanup/replacement is warranted.

As of this afternoon, after bagging and tagging my way along, I've succeeded in getting the dash unfastened and laid flat in the car. Previous to the wiring damage, all the electrics were working (although I'm not sure about the heater, never tried to turn it on), and I can now see where the damaged wiring is and should be straightforward to replace that portion.. I don't think the previous owner was a stickler for following Lucas wiring color coding, but somehow it all was working.

After having taken a very brief initial look at the wiring, I think at a minimum I'll put in at least some molex type connectors to make it much easier the next time I, or the next owner, need to pull the dash. Still thinking about the level of rewiring I want to do above and beyond fixing the damaged wiring and putting some connectors inline.

Adding some pics that I hope may end up being useful for someone down the road, and to give folks a view of how the darkness behind this particular Elan's dash looks in the light of day.

Look forward to any feedback that you may have and I hope someone can assist with my question about the steering column.

Thanks!
Rich
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"What kind of a man are you? Don't you even like dolphins!?" - Zorba the Greek

69 Elan S4/SE DHC
66 Ford Mustang Conv. (289ci)
71 Cadillac Eldorado Conv. (8.2L)
65 Buick Wildcat Conv. (425ci)
And a pickup truck full of Miatas....
SF69Elan
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PostPost by: SF69Elan » Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:56 pm

And here is the dash after I managed to disconnect the Oil/Water temp gauge and feed it through the dash, the heater cable, the choke cable, steering column clamps (to chassis and dash) and a few other bits....
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"What kind of a man are you? Don't you even like dolphins!?" - Zorba the Greek

69 Elan S4/SE DHC
66 Ford Mustang Conv. (289ci)
71 Cadillac Eldorado Conv. (8.2L)
65 Buick Wildcat Conv. (425ci)
And a pickup truck full of Miatas....
SF69Elan
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 106
Joined: 27 Mar 2014
Location: Harlingen, TX

PostPost by: el-saturn » Thu Mar 28, 2019 6:27 am

rich - how the .......... can u move from the bay area to TX??? i used to live there and wonder why someone can move to TX! ...................... your lucky: usually you melt a bunch of wires together!, but your still looking at hrs of messing around with em! i just went thru the swiss mot and won't have to go back until 2026!!! oldtimer cars have to be perfect (i mean perfect!!) to get this status: not even a drop of oil!!! sandy (marin county)
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PostPost by: pharriso » Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:26 pm

SF69Elan wrote:After having taken a very brief initial look at the wiring, I think at a minimum I'll put in at least some molex type connectors to make it much easier the next time I, or the next owner, need to pull the dash. Still thinking about the level of rewiring I want to do above and beyond fixing the damaged wiring and putting some connectors inline.

Thanks!
Rich


Rich, take a look here ( http://www.lotuselan.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=30736&start= ) where I discuss the multi-pin connector between the dash harness & engine bay harness, rather than the multitude of individual connectors on earlier cars like yours.

I removed my dash to fix the heater motor, replace the crash pad & tidy up the wiring, one of the worst jobs I have done due to a couple of dpo bodges.

Here's a photo of my repaired dash wiring & the current state as I reconnect wiring & test systems.
img_0429.jpg and
There's a lot of wiring in a late federal dash!

You can see I aded a couple of P clips to take the strain of the main harness off individual wire connections.
img_0462.jpg and
Current state


Looks like your lucky escape was caused by two things since only that one wire was singed:
1.The brake light switch grounded the supply wire directly to ground, not to the other wire
2. Whatever fuse was meant to be protecting the accessory circuits didn't.

I would buy supplies from any of the suppliers that have been mentioned & test and /or repair each circuit, one at a time. Here's the wiring diagram that I use-
S4 electrical diagram color coded.pdf
I did not create this, props to the original author
(78.3 KiB) Downloaded 37 times

I have various other diagrams of the federal headlight wiring & seat belt warning wiring.

Assuming you have loosened the lower steering column clamp you should be able to pull the column straight out. There is a thread here (http://www.lotuselan.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=43990&start=) discussing aligning the column / indicator cancel clip when putting the assembly back together.
Phil Harrison
1972 Elan Sprint 0260K
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PostPost by: SF69Elan » Thu Mar 28, 2019 3:36 pm

Hi Phil - thanks very much for your reply, pics and diagram. I've printed out the diagram and plan to compare it to my dash today while I plan out next steps. It does indeed look like the damage is localized, which is certainly good news. I ordered some replacement parts from RD Ent - some I know need to be replaced and some just for good measure: starter solenoid, ignition switch, stop lamp switch and handbrake switch

I have some replacement wiring arriving from britishwiring.com today. They've been very responsive.

Regarding the steering column, thanks very much for the link to the previous forum discussion. I need to read through that a couple more times before I decide whether to go ahead and pull the steering wheel, but I've already moved it up and down and rotated it a bit, so I probably have to realign it properly anyway.

It's super helpful to see the backside of your dash - thanks for providing that.

I'll post some more pics and and an update once I've had a chance to decide on a game plan and make some more progress.

Thanks!
Rich
"What kind of a man are you? Don't you even like dolphins!?" - Zorba the Greek

69 Elan S4/SE DHC
66 Ford Mustang Conv. (289ci)
71 Cadillac Eldorado Conv. (8.2L)
65 Buick Wildcat Conv. (425ci)
And a pickup truck full of Miatas....
SF69Elan
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 106
Joined: 27 Mar 2014
Location: Harlingen, TX

PostPost by: SF69Elan » Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:20 am

Hi folks - just wanted to say thanks to everyone for all your help. After pulling the dash and surveying the situation, I decided not to do a complete rewire, but I did replace all the impacted wiring as well as some maintenance/replacing of wiring connections, ignition switch, stop light switch, and the emergency brake switch.

As of early this evening everything is back together except for reinstalling the seats. Replaced the plugs, topped off the fluids, started her up and she's purring like a kitten.

Life is good!

Thanks again,

Rich
Attachments
img_5405.jpeg and
img_5429.jpeg and
img_5432.jpeg and
"What kind of a man are you? Don't you even like dolphins!?" - Zorba the Greek

69 Elan S4/SE DHC
66 Ford Mustang Conv. (289ci)
71 Cadillac Eldorado Conv. (8.2L)
65 Buick Wildcat Conv. (425ci)
And a pickup truck full of Miatas....
SF69Elan
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 106
Joined: 27 Mar 2014
Location: Harlingen, TX
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