The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Since I only drive my 97 Esprit V8 sporadically, I was having a problem keeping the battery charged. So I finally got myself a CTEK battery tender, which worked great, except I had to pop the engine cover every time I wanted to use it. All of us Esprit owners are wary of constantly popping open that cover for fear of snapping the release cable. A local Esprit owner showed me how he drilled a hole thru his rear plinth and the body behind it, and then moulded his battery tender connection thru the hole and into the rear plinth, then installed a fold-down license plate frame, so that he could just fold down his plate and connect his tender cable. Cool idea that got me thinking how to do this better.

So then I found out over on the Evora forums about this magnetic connector (Exterior Mounted 12V Magnetic Battery Charger Connector For Evoras) and how the guy installed it. But similar to some comments in the Evora post, I did not want to drill any holes into my Esprit. But member jon_bondy came to the rescue! He had 3D printed a license plate mount to use this magnetic connector on his Elise, and graciously agreed to work with me on a version for the Esprit. It took a couple of tries, but we ended up with a very nice custom part. It installs at the top of the license plate using the existing bolts. It is also mostly covered by the deck lid (a small part does stick out) so should stay relatively dry in the rain. And it doesn't cover up the license plate lights. When using this license plate mount, the connector cover actually needs to be installed upside down, due to clearance issues with the Esprit deck lid, and thus you will need to make a very small modification to that cover with a Dremel. I then ran the wires along the top of the license plate plinth, and then behind the right side taillight (under the seal) and into the engine bay. I needed to remove the plinth and completely loosen all the taillight screws to get enough room to fish the wires thru. No holes drilled anywhere! Note that because of the way the mount had to be designed, the connector ends up covering the very top of my license plate numbers, so I hope that doesn't become an issue with the cops moving forward.

If anyone else is interested in this install, you can purchase the magnetic connector from Hethel Sport at this link (HethelSport | Lotus Evora Specialty), and jon_bondy is willing to 3D print the license plate mount for a small production fee plus shipping. IMO it is well worth it to have a nice clean install like this without any permanent modification to the car, it would take me just 15 minutes to undo it, and more importantly I can now hook up my battery tender without popping open the engine cover every time.

The first two photos below are of the parts put together before I fitted it to the car. As mentioned above, I discovered after I took those photos that I would have to install the flip-cover upside down, which you can see on the final three pics of the completed install. (sorry, I did not take photos of the actual install process)

Thanks to jon_bondy who was very patient with me as I explained the adjustments that needed to be made with each iteration!


Battery Tender Mag Connector 1.JPG Battery Tender Mag Connector 2.JPG Battery Tender Mag Connector 3.JPG Battery Tender Mag Connector 5.JPG Battery Tender Mag Connector 4.JPG
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,848 Posts
Illegal if any part of your plate is obscured. I would't worry tho.
 

·
Car Adicted
Joined
·
245 Posts
While I had the back trunk tray out for work I was doing I noticed there was enough room to......fit a battery tender plug cord. I have the battery tender leads on my battery and I have the plug always plugged in to the tender and the tender is in the trunk by the battery. I put some inexpensive Velcro on the bottom of the tender and also on the carpet trunk floor. While the trunk floor was out, (It is not to hard to take out once you know where all the bolts and screws are) I was able to fish the plug thru the bottom and it sits in the piece that sits between the exhaust tips. I think it is to direct air, I just cant think of its proper name. The cord sticks out about 5 or 6 inches and I just push it in between the air foil while I drive....sometimes it comes down so I do have a short tail at times. The beauty of this is that all you need is an extension cord and you are always good. Similar to your fix I would say.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Similar to your fix I would say.
Similar but different. The key to my install is the magnetic connector. If I forget to unplug before I drive off, it simply breaks away and falls off. I drove off once before I had the mag connector and lucky I didn't do any damage to the car or charger as the cord got yanked apart.
 

·
Car Adicted
Joined
·
245 Posts
I would say yours is safer and I like it......and yes I have driven off without disconnecting it. Didn't hurt anything but my pride a bit. No one saw, so I was OK!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,379 Posts
On the '99's the right hand fuel door is sealed shut because there is only the left side fuel filler. I used a knife to cut the black glue and get that door to open. I cut a hole and put a plug in there wired to the battery through a fuse. Now I can open that little door and plug my Battery Tender to the car without opening the trunk. As for worrying about breaking the cable to open the engine cover (trunk), hook up some back-up (emergency) cables to each latch. Adjust the latches and anchor pins so the pins don't drag on the latches and you have 2 "pops", one for each latch, when you open the trunk. Lubricate the latches once in a while and inspect the cables for fraying. I use my Battery Tender every 2 weeks for 1 day if I don't use the car and if I remember, I plug it in the night before I drive the car to make it as easy as I can on the battery and the alternator. Seems to be working.
David Teitelbaum
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
My apologies for this topic swerve, I was going to ask this very question about the unused fuel door... Thanks David.

Are there any worries about water causing a problem? It seems that water seeping past the real fuel filler tube via a worn out gasket to the body is a concern for fuel tank what does the other side look like? The magnetic connector seems like a natural fit for that location.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,379 Posts
When you cut the hole and insert the plug you can silicone the plug in if you are worried about water. Because there is no filler pipe to the gas tank on that side, any water that gets in won't get to the tank anyway. Once you get that door open there is no hole cut, you must make a hole for a plug. I used a long razor blade and pried the door open just enough to get the blade under the door. Protect the paint with some masking tape. There are a couple of blobs of sealer that you must cut. The door does have hinges but no lock and no spring like the left side one. It will stay open or shut by itself, the hinges are stiff.
David Teitelbaum
 

·
Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
Joined
·
5,849 Posts
TOPIC DRIFT ALERT!!!! ?




Put down the silicone, and get back onto the topic at hand:

@glb and I fab'bed up these magnetic connectors on both his cars. They work great. (Understandable, how the enthusiasm for driving a Lotus can cause you to forget to to unplug a Tender!)?



On the Esprits, a handy place to mount the connector is in the RR wheel well. There is access to the engine bay there (next to the coolant overflow bottle on V8s). You can run the CTEK cable to the battery along the hot or ground main wires, the battery is close-by.
 

·
S4s
Joined
·
697 Posts
I had some previous thoughts about doing this because I'm afraid I would forget to disconnect. I ultimately decided to just open the rear deck lid and connect thereAn open deck lid is a good reminder to disconnect!

My original thinking was about a magnetic battery tender wire run to the outside by cutting and resealing a hole in the rear-deck drain hose. I was thought it would be very unlikely to create a circuit, even in a downpour. But what if I was wrong and suddenly I ended up in a different point in time?
1258987
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,379 Posts
If you are that worried about forgetting to disconnect, you can by a plug that will eject the connector. Used on ambulances and fire trucks. Start the motor and the plug is ejected/disconnected.I don't like a plug that close to the ground or in a wheel well where it can get full of dirt. Even if you don't get a short circuit, it will get wet and corrode. See it all the time in trailer plugs.
David Teitelbaum
 

·
Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
Joined
·
5,849 Posts
I don't like a plug that close to the ground or in a wheel well where it can get full of dirt.
The mag plug we are talking about has a cover, so if you remember to unplug it, you would also put the cover on (which has a lanyard so that it won't get lost).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
The mag plug we are talking about has a cover, so if you remember to unplug it, you would also put the cover on (which has a lanyard so that it won't get lost).
Even better, if you look at the first pic I posted, the supplied cover is spring-loaded! So if you drive away without disconnecting, the mag connection breaks away and then the cover will spring back into place and cover up the connection points! I just wish the entire connector assembly could be a little more "under" the deck lid so it wouldn't get dripped on at all, but I hardly ever drive my car in the rain anyway.
 

·
Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
Joined
·
5,849 Posts
OK, NOW I see the spring on the cover hinge. ?

Hardly Ever = Murphy's Law applies.... ? Acid Rain!!!!
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top