Binnacle removal - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-22-2017, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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Binnacle removal

1995 Esprit. I need to remove the cover on the binnacle. I've read multiple articles online about 2 bolts underneath. I've stood on my head for days trying to find those bolts. Looking for guidance in finding them, a diagram, or something else.

The lens fell off my clock. I'd glue it back on from the front but the clock itself fell back into the cluster. Should be easy with the cover removed.... if I could find the bolts!
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-22-2017, 07:52 PM
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Exclamation Hickory dickery dark...binnacle lighting

Hi,

I can't take credit for the solar light rope idea. I saw it somewhere on LT years ago. But it works very well under the dash. Good luck with your clock. This a useful item from Harbor Fright. Home Depot, etc.
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1990 Lotus Esprit SE


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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-23-2017, 03:06 AM
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Sanj's page didn't help? There is a picture of the 10mm bolts...

'90-'97 Esprit binnacle removal

I bet the dash vent trunking (hose) is blocking your view. The dizziness that results from the blood rushing to your head when you assume the 'Lotus Position' doesn't help, either.

Atwell Haines
'88 Esprit
Succasunna, NJ USA


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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-23-2017, 11:18 AM
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There is only one bolt, and two small screws. Pre-'90 cars had different arrangement.
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-24-2017, 02:02 PM
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Pre 90's cars have four bolts. The whole binnacle comes out as one piece. .

Tom Mieczkowski
1989 Esprit Turbo
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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-24-2017, 05:12 PM
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Unless your pre '90 car is not a Federal car, in which case the gauges come out of the binnacle from the front. On some of them. Not others. Your mileage may vary. They are all like that sir.

Mike

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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-26-2017, 07:34 PM
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My 1997 should be the same layout as the 1995. I followed Sanj's information and was able to get the binnacle off. Remove the two Phillips screws on the outside edge. I did have to stand on my head to find the bolt underneath the dash. Once I found it, I had someone grab my feet and pull me out. I have a 12 inch long extension that I use. Using my left hand, I was able to feel the bolt head and guide the socket into place (with the extension). Then I just cranked away on it. I was surprised how long the bolt is and how much of the threaded shaft is used. It takes a lot of turns to completely release the bolt.

Once the binnacle is no longer secured, it takes a lot of nerve to get the binnacle free. I can only assume the lads at the Lotus factory installed the binnacle BEFORE the windshield was installed. I followed Sanj's instructions, of pulling up one edge and rotating the binnacle, but it took a number of tries before I had it off. I was very worried that I was going to split or break the binnacle. It is a worrisome task.

I have the binnacle back in place now, but I haven't refitted the center bolt. I am wanting to install LED turn signals, so I need to replace the flasher relay. That is all delayed because the securing screws for the left front signal housing won't turn. I wish Lotus would have used stainless screws and bolts!

Sanj's instructions are good, but you need to have faith in your abilities to pull this off. Good luck.

Alan
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-26-2017, 11:26 PM
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Just pulled mine today. Fed car I guess 90 turbo SE. Speedo cable didnt want to free up even though its been off once. Dont pull any screws at leas I dont think you need to on a fed car. Just the 4 bolts as mike said. The cable clips can be undone on the top side. There was one extra black wire. I had to dig it out then unfasten the two quick connectors. That was the worst part asie from the speedo. Just FYI my speedo is dead so I am probably going digital.

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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-27-2017, 02:12 PM
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If your car has (or had) an airbag my instructions are correct. If you have a non-airbag car the 4-bolt version is correct.
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-27-2017, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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My car is a 95, and yes I saw Sanj's page. I'm looking for guidance in where the bolt is. I see in Sanj's picture its near a hose, but there are multiple hoses. Is it in the center, left, right? Toward the front, back? Where is it relative to the steering column? Can the bolt be seen from below, or is it hidden behind other pieces?

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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-27-2017, 06:42 PM
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It's pretty much in the center of the binnacle and can be seen from underneath. There is a mass of wires under there. As Alan said above, once you know where it is, it's fairly easy to get a 10mm socket with a long extension on it by feel...

Jim
1995 S4s

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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-27-2017, 10:54 PM
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I dunno about the different binnacle but You must ASSUME THE POSISTION. They are the only 10mm under the dash. As many have said It may be behind some hose. Just like in prison its time to lay on your back and get what was coming to you when you got into this. I think every owner will have to do it once. Just than god that you are not working on a triumph. I have some video of these bolts shot I can hurry up and post em to youtube if your really stuck.

1990 SE.

Mod's: BPV capsule & throttle jack delete with all the vac lines shortened to the source and capped.
Kida special straight through muff.
Knn washable filter.
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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-31-2017, 09:38 AM
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CarSalesman,

I have attached a photo. I am pointing right at the bolt with my left hand.

Alan
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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-31-2017, 10:33 AM
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It's a bit easier if you remove the seat.
David Teitelbaum
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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-31-2017, 10:48 AM
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It's even easier if you hire a 10 year old kid to do it...
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Atwell Haines
'88 Esprit
Succasunna, NJ USA


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post #16 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-31-2017, 12:15 PM
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I 2nd removing the seat... Much easier!

Travis
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post #17 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-31-2017, 12:55 PM
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Yes! That is probably not what CarSalesman wanted to see. Removing the seat will make the placement of the body (person) easier. As I mentioned earlier, I have removed the bolt but I have NOT replaced it yet. I need to remove the binnacle once more. While I was under there, I could not find the "tube" that the securing bolt goes into. I was going to mark the spot with yellow tape so you could see where the bolt should be.

The bolt does NOT go vertical, up and down, but more on the horizontal, from front to back (with the head of the bolt facing the front of the car).

I have attached an image of the bolt and another image of where it passes through the dash. Two things you have to be careful about 1) When refitting the binnacle, you have to make sure you do not pinch any of the wires where the windshield vent hose connects to the binnacle. Just before putting the binnacle back on, move the wires to below the lip of the panel that holds the hose in place. 2) There is a foam ring around the windshield vent hose, where the binnacle presses down. After 20 years (or so) that foam just falls apart. You might want to make a new foam ring. I think having a good seal there is important. I suspect any air that leaks out around that junction might cause condensation on the back of the instrument panel.

When I get another chance, I will go diving for that bolt holder again. I have to find it so I can re-secure the binnacle in the future.

Alan
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post #18 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-31-2017, 01:45 PM
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The seat is truly the only easy thing to remove in the Esprit. Four nuts and it pulls right up.

Jim S.
1995 Esprit S4s
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post #19 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-31-2017, 06:07 PM
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My dizzy spells are over so I took another dive under the dash for you CarSalesman. I found the tube that holds the securing bolt and put yellow tape on the end (so it is easier to see - at least on my car!) I also inserted the bolt in to the tube BUT I could not find the threads to fasten it - Egads, this is going to be another 5 minute job that takes an hour to do!!!

I have attached three photos. Remember, these are up-side-down!!! You have to stand on your head. Left is Right! (I certainly hope the fellow at the Lotus factory that installed this single bolt was given early retirement!!!)

If you are seated in the driver's seat, the retaining bolt is to the LEFT of the steering column. If you are on your head, in the driver's seat, with your feet poking through the sun roof, it is to the RIGHT of the steering column. I need a Gin and Tonic.

Alan
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post #20 of 34 (permalink) Old 09-01-2017, 03:10 AM
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Hints from my experience...

- after removing it paint the head with a bright color like yellow or what not to make it easier to see in the future.
- before putting the pod back on put the bolt in the hole from bottom, you will be able to see from looking through windshield. Use piece of electrical tape at the bolt heald to hold in place. That way when put pod back in viola it is already in place
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