Wisp of smoke from dashboard and won't start

Moderators: theelanman, dapinky, Elanlover, muley, Enright, algirdas, clemo, nitroman, Specky, GeoffSmith, Nige, Dave Eds, Sy V, DaveT

Wisp of smoke from dashboard and won't start

Postby Redlotus » Sun 06.01.2019, 22:47

I am an old member of this forum. I have had my M100 for 20 ++ years but have not visited the forum for about 8 years and lost my login details. So I'm back with a different name.

Background
My battery was disconnected and I stored my M100 in a garage which got slightly flooded (water on the floor) when I was on holiday and was very damp for 3 weeks. Condensation was dripping off the roof etc when I returned and there was mould on the hood. The car was driven around once a week up to November last year and all was working 100%. It was stored in the damp garage for say 3-4 weeks without being used.

We hoovered the mould off the soft top and connected the battery expecting all to be normal as before

As soon as the battery was connected, the headlights lights popped up full beam (even though the light switch was off) and a wisp of smoke came out of the dash along with an electrical burning smell! The battery was disconnected quickly!

Anyway, you know what it's like - curiosity got the better of me and after 5 minutes I connected the battery again (fire extinguisher close by). No more smoke (but have not checked the fuses)

The lights still pop up - full beam, and now the car won't start. It turns over very quickly but I don't hear the fuel pump whirring away (like I think it did).

Any ideas what to look for and does any body have any idea how the dashboard comes apart? - I looked on You tube for Dashboard disassembly but found nothing. I am guessing the high humidity has not done much good but does anybody have any ideas where I should star looking?

Thanks!
Redlotus
Newbie
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun 06.01.2019, 22:29

Re: Wisp of smoke from dashboard and won't start

Postby Tuga2112 » Mon 07.01.2019, 00:57

since you were doing things around the battery.

i would double check the intertia switch. since it also stops the fuel pump when triggered.

finding whatever burned would be my first priority. the dashboard has a lot of electrical stuff in that area. checking all fuses and relays in there is a failry easy job to start from, but folowing from there i would be looking at the workshop manuals (as well as ask here) for help with removing the necessary bits to get a better view at whats behind the instrument cluster.
1991 elan se
1991 elan se project
91 MR2 Turbo (import) project
94 Celica GT4 (Import)
94 4Runner
98 Celica SR

too many projects. not enough sunny days :(
User avatar
Tuga2112
God
 
Posts: 1169
Joined: Fri 12.09.2014, 22:54
Location: Walsall

Re: Wisp of smoke from dashboard and won't start

Postby lotusrepair » Mon 07.01.2019, 02:47

Pull out the relays and check for moisture around the base. If you have moisture then that is the area to be concerned with if it is water related. What part of the dash had smoke? Radio, fuse cover, speedo, ect

Chris
User avatar
lotusrepair
Enthusiast
 
Posts: 168
Joined: Sat 27.12.2014, 01:58
Location: Maryland, USA

Re: Wisp of smoke from dashboard and won't start

Postby clemo » Mon 07.01.2019, 09:20

First point of call is the inertia switch as Tuga mentioned .
Is there any chance that a mouse way have got into the car ? this happened to me years ago .
Look on the floor for tiny shavings of wire .
Good luck.


SENT YOU A PM regarding immobiliser / alarm .
Jim Clark S2 - 1/12. The one with the Yellow spoke wheels . No 613 on dash (pushed in to factory in wrong order 615 on tub)
User avatar
clemo
LEC Administrator
 
Posts: 4776
Joined: Mon 21.04.2003, 23:24
Location: TORQUAY Devon. Cream first then Jam obviously.

Re: Wisp of smoke from dashboard and won't start

Postby dapinky » Mon 07.01.2019, 11:54

Whilst there is nothing wrong with the advice above, I would do a few other things first. (which you may have already addressed, but if not, worth thinking about).

There is obviously an electrical problem under the dash, so the thoughts on the inertia switch won't address this..... it needs sorting first.

There are some Maxi fuses behind the centre of the dash (access via radio hole) - one of them may have blown if they got damp. Also a selection of 'normal' fuses and relays under the cover on top of the instrument binacle.

You need to access both of these areas and ensure that there is no more water/moisture in there before trying anything remedial (for safety, and to prevent any further liklihood of further damage).

If you can't see any water, then I'd still give it a bit of a blast with a hairdryer or similar, and if you have the time, leave a few bags/sachets of silica gel in the areas for a day or 2 to absorb ambient water.

Are you sure the smoke wisp emminated from the dash and not the back of the engine bay?? I only ask as that is where the starter motor is situated (probably not that, but just a thought).
Dave

Just the one now, but this one's mine! - and it will be finished eventually.....

go on - click this link - you know you want to!
User avatar
dapinky
LEC Administrator
 
Posts: 8381
Joined: Sun 15.10.2006, 12:54
Location: As far west as you can get in West Wales before you become Irish (Pembroke Dock).

Re: Wisp of smoke from dashboard and won't start

Postby GeoffSmith » Mon 07.01.2019, 12:01

Remove the binnacle cover. You can see a lot of electrics from there.
Calypso Red S2 #417

USB ElanScan interfaces - £55 incl. P&P.
User avatar
GeoffSmith
Kitty Fiddler
 
Posts: 14624
Joined: Fri 03.02.2006, 21:57
Location: S2#417 in Tytherington, Gloucestershire

Re: Wisp of smoke from dashboard and won't start

Postby Redlotus » Mon 07.01.2019, 12:09

Thanks all . I tried the inertia switch just now and nothing. Lights still come on but no more smoke! No fuel pump noise

The smoke came out of the top of the dash above the instruments/speedo etc. There is a small arched gap between the speedo and the main dash covering that goes to the window - the smoke came out of that gap.

I'll dry out the car properly with a blow heater on a low setting. I can see there are 2 x screws on the arched bit above the speedo. It would be good to get into this area to have a look. I'll pull out the radio and I have a borescope so I'll have a look around in there!

Does anybody know of any YouTube videos on how to strip bits of the dash out? A video is so much easier than a workshop manual!

Thanks all again
Redlotus
Newbie
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun 06.01.2019, 22:29

Re: Wisp of smoke from dashboard and won't start

Postby GeoffSmith » Mon 07.01.2019, 12:32

Redlotus wrote:…I can see there are 2 x screws on the arched bit above the speedo.…

That's the binnacle cover!

Image
Calypso Red S2 #417

USB ElanScan interfaces - £55 incl. P&P.
User avatar
GeoffSmith
Kitty Fiddler
 
Posts: 14624
Joined: Fri 03.02.2006, 21:57
Location: S2#417 in Tytherington, Gloucestershire

Re: Wisp of smoke from dashboard and won't start

Postby Redlotus » Mon 07.01.2019, 13:46

Amazing! I have owed my M100 for 20 ++ years, rebuilt the head light motors, sorted out sliding windows, painted the rear suspension - all sorts but I never knew about the binnacle cover!

Does it just pop off?
Redlotus
Newbie
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun 06.01.2019, 22:29

Re: Wisp of smoke from dashboard and won't start

Postby HJ2 » Mon 07.01.2019, 14:19

remove screws and gently slide it to one side till the spring pops out on the other...
It may be necessary to lift the cover a little during this procedure.
Last edited by HJ2 on Mon 07.01.2019, 14:25, edited 1 time in total.
If you always do what you always did, you always get what you always got
User avatar
HJ2
God
 
Posts: 3722
Joined: Fri 06.06.2008, 10:54
Location: Delft, the Netherlands

Re: Wisp of smoke from dashboard and won't start

Postby Tuga2112 » Mon 07.01.2019, 14:19

Redlotus wrote:Amazing! I have owed my M100 for 20 ++ years, rebuilt the head light motors, sorted out sliding windows, painted the rear suspension - all sorts but I never knew about the binnacle cover!

Does it just pop off?

2 screws and slide it tohards the window, carefully
1991 elan se
1991 elan se project
91 MR2 Turbo (import) project
94 Celica GT4 (Import)
94 4Runner
98 Celica SR

too many projects. not enough sunny days :(
User avatar
Tuga2112
God
 
Posts: 1169
Joined: Fri 12.09.2014, 22:54
Location: Walsall

Re: Wisp of smoke from dashboard and won't start

Postby Brit-Car-Nut » Mon 07.01.2019, 14:21

Redlotus wrote:Thanks all . I tried the inertia switch just now and nothing. Lights still come on but no more smoke! No fuel pump noise

The Fuel Pump just runs for a brief moment to pressurize the system. Until the pressure is gone, it won't run again.
Redlotus wrote:I'll dry out the car properly with a blow heater on a low setting.

I would be looking for a decent dehumidifier to leave running until all moisture is gone.
Redlotus wrote:Does anybody know of any YouTube videos on how to strip bits of the dash out? A video is so much easier than a workshop manual!

Nope, too many variations (RHD/RHD/UK/US/ROW) and not easy to move around in the area. Get it dry, remove the binnacle, look at everything through the windscreen.
The Instrument and switch panel comes out in one piece...

Redlotus wrote:Thanks all again
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Brit-Car-Nut
God
 
Posts: 4414
Joined: Tue 03.07.2007, 17:07
Location: Charlotte, NC USA

Re: Wisp of smoke from dashboard and won't start

Postby Redlotus » Mon 07.01.2019, 15:02

Thank you all - a brilliant forum (as it has always been) - I will keep you posted!
Redlotus
Newbie
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun 06.01.2019, 22:29

Re: Wisp of smoke from dashboard and won't start

Postby Saltire » Mon 07.01.2019, 21:27

I have removed the part described in Brit-Car-Nut’s posting as the lnstrument and Switch Mounting Panel”. It isn’t difficult, but it is quite time-consuming. Took me about 2 hours the first time, rather less on subsequent occasions. Mine’s an RHD S2, so yours may differ. Disconnect the battery before you start, then:

    - adjust the steering column to its lowest setting
    - remove the steering wheel. This is secured by a nut at the top of the steering column. You may need a puller to get it off - I did with mine. Don’t try this at home if you have a Federal airbag wheel
    - remove the upper and lower column cowl
    - remove the indicator and wiper stalks by pressing in the tabs at top and bottom and withdrawing them from the column
    - one screw behind a plug at the bottom of the panel between the lighter and the switches
    - four screws under the binnacle cover already referred to
    - at this point, disconnect the three electrical connector blocks to LHS of and behind the binnacle cover
    - slacken the one wing nut to extreme RHS of binnacle cover (helps to be a left-handed twelve-year-old)
    - while you’re under the binnacle cover, disconnect the speedo cable. Push the tab at the bottom of the cable towards the speedo itself, and withdraw the cable
    - slacken the wing nut behind and to LHS of radio
    - two crosshead screws under the panel either side of the steering colum. These have captive nuts glued to the panel. Allegedly. Mine weren’t, and I needed to wangle a spanner through the radio aperture and down to hold the nuts steady
    - one 8mm nut at the bottom of the panel to the left of the column. Again, you can reach this through the radio aperture
    - you also need to disconnect the heater vacuum pipes (a single push-fit connector reachable through the radio aperture again), and the heater control rod. You might be able to reach this through the radio hole. If you can’t, you’ll need to pull the panel away gently and get at the rod by reaching in from the side and down.

I think that’s everything, but be alert for any I’ve missed.

Once you’ve undone all the fastenings, the panel should pull forward and up. There are only the three cable connectors - the rest of the wiring remains attached to the panel.

You MAY get away with leaving the main instrument pack attached to the panel - I did. If you need to remove it, it’s the two screws under plugs below the instrument pack, then rotate the pack backwards from the top and it should come free.

By the way, my lights always pop up and drop back down when I reconnect the battery, even when the light switch is off.

Good luck if you do need to take the panel off, but with a good torch and a mirror you should be able to see most of the other side by taking the binnacle cover off and removing the radio. Like the other folks, I would check the maxi fuses carefully.

And finally, the workshop manuals and electrical wiring diagrams are your friend. Brit-Car-Nut kindly hosts them on his site; see his signature for details.
Jonathan

1995 Elan S2 no 512, BRG/magnolia, last of 4 UK S2 to this spec
2010 Fiat Panda 100HP, bossanova white/grey (the rollerskate)
2017 BMW F48 X1 2.0D AWD, Mediterranean blue/magnolia (the workhorse)
User avatar
Saltire
God
 
Posts: 1320
Joined: Sun 05.04.2015, 22:27
Location: Left foot in Wiltshire, right foot in Gloucestershire, heart in Scotland

Re: Wisp of smoke from dashboard and won't start

Postby Redlotus » Sat 06.04.2019, 16:29

Hi everybody - update on this. I did nothing for months but as the sun came out I got working on it today and called in an Auto Engineer I know out who is great with electrics to help. He scratched his head for a while and he finally found out that the battery has reverse Polarity.

The battery even held it's (reverse) charge since I posted this months ago too! He has seen this once before in 20 years of working in the industry.

I can't see the Polarity could just flip so I'm guessing that when I asked a member of my (property maintenance) staff to charge the completely flat battery (not me honest), he managed to put the charger on back to front and reverse charge it................I didn't even know this was possible as I thought the battery chemistry prevented it. A quick Google reveals if the battery is completely flat, it is possible.

So the engineer thinks that smoke was probably from the Alternator diodes.........the original smoke was under the bonnet, the second wisp was under the dash When connecting a proper charged battery, the headlights went down - good start! The car cranked over, the fuel pump operated and I can smell fuel but it wouldn't start.

The Auto engineer took out my ECU and suggested I send it somewhere for testing. Any feedback welcome. Is the ECU polarity protected? All the dash warning lights came on OK when cranking which is a good sign. No fuses have blown.

So ECU testing is the next step but is there anything else I may have fried apart from the Radio! All feedback welcome.
Redlotus
Newbie
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun 06.01.2019, 22:29

Re: Wisp of smoke from dashboard and won't start

Postby matts1972 » Sun 07.04.2019, 07:00

You could put the ECU back in and try ElanScan. If the ECU talks, then it is probably fine.
Best regards
Matthias
User avatar
matts1972
Tinkerer
 
Posts: 82
Joined: Wed 10.03.2010, 19:44
Location: Heilbronn, Germany

Re: Wisp of smoke from dashboard and won't start

Postby HJ2 » Sun 07.04.2019, 07:03

Reverse charged...

I could not see THAT one coming....
If you always do what you always did, you always get what you always got
User avatar
HJ2
God
 
Posts: 3722
Joined: Fri 06.06.2008, 10:54
Location: Delft, the Netherlands

Re: Wisp of smoke from dashboard and won't start

Postby Redlotus » Sun 07.04.2019, 09:31

Yes good point about the ElanScan but I think mine is sitting in the GloveBox with the wrong connector for my laptop + I don't have the software + need a new battery and a bit short of time right now so I might send it off so it gets done.

I found a company called the ecudoctor.co.uk in Plymouth with lots of good reviews and they charge £ 35 for testing. If I don't fire up the Elanscan and decide to send it off does anybody have any other recommendations of who to use?
Redlotus
Newbie
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun 06.01.2019, 22:29

Re: Wisp of smoke from dashboard and won't start

Postby alan e » Sun 07.04.2019, 09:53

Where is the car at the moment and i don't mean in the garage before someone posts in the garage or on the drive. :D
Black 1992 M100
Austin 7 1932 box saloon
BMW X5
alan e
God
 
Posts: 826
Joined: Sun 19.02.2012, 20:43
Location: worthing west sussex

Re: Wisp of smoke from dashboard and won't start

Postby matts1972 » Sun 07.04.2019, 09:56

You could also try to blink error codes with a paper clip:
http://www.lotuselancentral.com/repair/aldl.htm
If your ECU confirms diagnostic mode, it cannot be entirely dead.
User avatar
matts1972
Tinkerer
 
Posts: 82
Joined: Wed 10.03.2010, 19:44
Location: Heilbronn, Germany

Next

Return to Electrical / Electronics / Stereo / Lights etc.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest