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Hey Martin, I just gave a buddy a hand with a '64 Bug today. It had already been converted to 12 volts and an alternator.

But the alternator wasn't charging, and the light didn't turn on when ignition on before start. The culprit? It was a bad bulb socket AND corrosion in the speedometer on the contact. Replaced the bulb holder(spring rotten) and cleaned the 12v contact on the speedometer.

Light comes on when ignition on now. Start the car, and what do you know, the light now goes out. It was charging at 14.2v(battery was a tad low). I'll wager it's fine now.

Well, I removed the scuttle and cleaned all the grounds up. Then checked the ignition bulb and found this b*****d.


Not sure how it could have worked for the PO before, unless it has some internal circuitry which has since failed. Anyway, I replaced it with standard filament bulb, fired the car up and immediately saw 14v on the meter. Job done.

I've ordered the rear bushes which I'll have to take to a local engineering shop because it apparently needs a 10ton press to push them out/in.

But it'll be dry tomorrow so may have to do an extended test drive to check the car is charging properly.  ;-)


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Here's the scuttle removed.



It was a right pain to get off (disconnecting the coolant overflow tank) but easy enough to put back.  On a tiny car everything's fiddly. Luckily I've got small hands (as the actress said to the Bishop).

The wiring was still surprisingly clean despite 9 years of potential dirt/dust settling.


The one risk was the fuel tank - you have to disconnect the fuel filler pipe to remove the scuttle. As you can see here I've fitted a glove to seal the tank - didn't want any petrol fumes causing problems!


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Well Martin, at least we now know how the car came to be offered for sale.

The former owner must have been reading the Lotus Owners Club web site when he found a thread about replacing his ignition light with a more modern and superior LED array.

Only after the unit arrived did he discover he’d have to dismantle half the car to replace the light, but it was too late to turn back. With the scuttle off, he decided to upgrade some of the wiring (may as well while he had access) and that’s when the petrol fire happened.

It was only after that was cleaned up, the new bulb installed, and the scuttle replaced that he discovered the bulb was draining his battery.

I think I would have sold it then, too.


Last edited by Sacto Mitch

Ok, calling all style aficionados.. I want to change my (rather bright) yellow ETB dials for something more in keeping with the era. I'm trying to keep the same units because

a) they work
b) they're British made and
c) I'd rather recycle than just buy new

(I'd most likely have to throw the old units away if I can't get the dial colour changed because I can't see me finding someone who likes yellow dials in this day and age..)

So, here's the original dash setup - yellow dial, black pointer, black bezel


Here's black dial, white pointer, chrome bezel   (forgive the bad photo editing)


Finally magnolia dial, black pointer, chrome bezel


The dash will stay black crackle finish. What's your preference and why?

Thanks guys

I like the vintage look of the magnolia. It reminds me of the slightly off-white lume color on the dial of my vintage watches.

Last edited by Robert M

This is the kind of electrics I like -

Regarding tyre pressures, the PO recommended 19-21 psi, but at that pressure I was getting reasonably bad wheel wobble above 60. So much so at one point I pulled over to check wheelnuts because I thought the wheel was coming loose - it was vibrating down to 45mph. Everything fine, I continued to my brother's where I bumped up the psi to 25 all round. The ride was harsher but no wheel vibration. So my question, especially to Spyder owners, is 'Can underinflated tires cause vibration?' and will getting wheels re-balanced at 20psi help?

Thanks as always

20211021_094939The tire's shape shouldn't change when unloaded as long as there is some air in the tire. But anything is worth a try.

My Spyder weighs 1500 pounds, with about 675(45%) on the front end. I run 22-24 pounds in the front.

I will add I just had the Vreds put on, and my local guy "balanced" the tires. I had to rebalance 3 out of the 4. Maybe try that, Martin. How old are the tires on the car? Tires do get hard as they age, and I replace them after 5 years. Sometimes my Audi tires would be imbalanced for the first ten minutes when cold.

I happen to have a Snap-on computer balancer from the 1980s, got it off Craigslist 10 years ago. I had to buy the centering adapters, and of course a wide5 adapter. And steel stick-ons. Now I just have him mount the tires, it's cheaper. The cool thing with the balancer, you hand spin it and it's pretty compact. It also runs on 12v DC, so could bring it to the track in case weights get thrown...

Martin, that diagram was funny!


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Last edited by DannyP

I just installed my Pirelli P4s back onto my steel wheels with two large flat head screwdrivers. It wasn't too bad. I've had more trouble installing down hill mountain bike tires. I probably wouldn't try a modern high performance tire though.

It might be time to take the summer tire wheels off and putting on the all seasons. I'll probably slide off the road in the first turn.

Nice score Danny.

I'm still laughing from that wiring diagram.  Looks like a lot of home-built cars out there.....

I had a heavy wheel vibration for years across two different sets of tires (Continentals and Michelins ) in the 65 - 70mph range (16" wheels) until I finally had my current set "Road Force Balanced" at a car dealer's shop.  That made a huge difference and now the vibration is pretty much gone.  IIRC, the cost was under $20 USD per wheel.

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

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