Lotus Elan

Door sill reinforcing truss- phase II

PostPost by: Howie97630 » Mon Jun 26, 2006 6:13 pm

I have cut out one lower sill member (mass of rust), and have been
going a little nuts trying to find materials for the "web" that will
work, plus figuring how to get the **%##@** seat belt mounting bolt
welded back into the curve. Have rebar bent to match the original
outside, but finding suitable "weldable" materials for the small
diameter steel framing here in remote Oregon has been difficult. Need
to know what to order from the outside world.

Oh yes, as from brice, at this point a prefab would be great!


Doug 65 S2
Howie97630
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Posts: 97
Joined: 02 Oct 2003

PostPost by: bill308 » Tue Jun 27, 2006 12:38 am

Doug,

Been there and done that on my 66 S2.

Fr the bottom rod, I used 3/8-inch mild steel rod IIRC, which needs to
be welded to the remaining stumps as will the pieces holding the seat
belt mounting boss.

I used a different technique for the balance of the diagonals. These
were nipped back to about 1/2-their length, where they were basically
sound and I cleaned them of surface rust with abrasive paper.

V-shaped piceces of rod, about 1/8-inch in diameter were bent and
trimmed to butt with the upper rod stumps. The V-s were then wrapped to
the new lower bar with stainless steel or monel wire at the apex.
Figure about 10-wraps. The joint was then saturated with epoxy to
solidify the structure and later burried in the floor repair polyester
resin. The upper and lower diagonals were then joined with mild steel
tubing, having a cross sectional steel area equivalent to or larger
than the stub V's cross sectionl area, and bonded with epoxy resin. The
tubes were just less than the longest stub in length so they could be
coated with epoxy resin, slide onto one of the stub diagonals fully,
and then onto its mate and centered.

I performed the described repair on the diagonals twice over the years,
initially with the factory lower rod and lower half of the diagonals in
place, but the lower rod continued to deteriorate. The diagonals lasted
at least 5-years and were still solid when I bit the bullet and
replaced the lower rod and redid the diagonals.

The thing is, except for the potential seat belt loads during an
accident, this truss is only challanged by the seat support loads,
indirectly, and jacking loads on the sill. This is why the lower rod
and seat belt location bosses must be welded, but the balance of the
diagonals can be bonded with care. The beauty of bonding is that there
is no heat and distortion and can be performed in your garage at your
leisure.

Bill


--- In ***@***.***, Doug Troutman <[email protected]> wrote:
I have cut out one lower sill member (mass of rust), and have been
going a little nuts trying to find materials for the "web" that will
work, plus figuring how to get the **%##@** seat belt mounting bolt
welded back into the curve. Have rebar bent to match the original
outside, but finding suitable "weldable" materials for the small
diameter steel framing here in remote Oregon has been difficult. Need
to know what to order from the outside world.

Oh yes, as from brice, at this point a prefab would be great!


Doug 65 S2
bill308
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 781
Joined: 27 May 2004
Location: Windsor, CT USA

PostPost by: "fbf_esq" » Sat Jul 01, 2006 4:02 pm

Thanks to Bill Sebestyen for the good advice... I have forwarded it to
my body man, a craftsman who was thinking along the same lines. Bert
Curtis of Curtis Unlimited had similar advice.

To avoid shear stress on the seat belt mounts, the eyes will be mounted
through the floor, with an angled plate under the floor and extending
into the wheel well.

Meanwhile, Tony Thompson offered me a pair of complete sill frames for
L295, but says it's an ugly job to replace the whole thing and
recommends replacing the entire body shell.

BTW, if anybody needs to haul a body shell around, a redtrailers.com
folding trailer with a 4x8 bed does a neat job.
"fbf_esq"
 

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