Lotus Elan

Restoration of 26/0086 unit 3067

PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:15 pm

Awesome casting, Rod, as Richard said.

Please share your system, materials, tips, etc.!!

Thanks,

Randy
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PostPost by: UNCbigM » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:10 pm

Wow! Great work you're doing! The new bonnet lock knob looks great!

I'm considering starting a full restoration on an S1 and wish I had someone with your skill and knowledge to direct me! Can't wait to see more, it'll serve as inspiration (or depression if I'm not doing well).
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PostPost by: rodlittle » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:05 am

Thanks for the kind comments guys
I used silicone rubber to make the mould and black gel coat resin for the castings
just stuff I had around really its not rocket science
rod
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PostPost by: SADLOTUS » Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:20 pm

Just love these threads.
Well done, so satisfying.
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PostPost by: rodlittle » Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:37 pm

At last Ive managed to get the dash in and all the electrickery works
Dash in.jpg and

Dash in2.jpg and

Looks even better with a steering wheel, almost driveable
Dash steering.jpg and

And now it has a glovebox as well
Dash with glovebox.jpg and

Doors and windows next I think
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PostPost by: Mr.Gale » Mon May 14, 2012 5:31 am

Hi Rod,
I've been following this thread with great interest as I have started much needed work on my S1. I'm going to remove the body using an engine hoist like your, my question is I can see in your photos where you attached the ropes behind the seats but where did you attach the two ropes in the engine bay?
Thanks for your input.
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PostPost by: rodlittle » Mon May 14, 2012 9:18 am

Hi Mr Gale
I used the fixing holes that are used to bolt the body to the suspension towers. If you put a bolt in these with about 1/2 inch sticking out they should be strong enough for you to loop your hoist ropes around them.
I would recommend lifting the front of the body first though to free it, I only put the weight of the body on mine Im not sure what would happen if the body was stuck to the chassis.
Also when replacing the body make sure theres no bolt sticking out the tower side of the body or that will stop the body going down. :) Obvious I know.
good luck
rod
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PostPost by: Mr.Gale » Tue May 15, 2012 8:04 pm

Thanks for your help Rod, I'll let you know how it goes.

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PostPost by: rodlittle » Sat Jun 23, 2012 3:55 pm

Easy job next, fitting the boot lid. I had the hinges rechromed and made new pins out of brass
boot hinges.jpg and

The boot stay bracket was missing but Ive folded one up out of stainless, it may not be the right shape but it works OK
boot stay.jpg and

Now to put the doors on, fairly easy to do, they dont fit very well but I guess thats normal for a Bourne bodyshell.
Door on.jpg and
Door on2.jpg and
Door on3.jpg and

drivers door.jpg and


I had no Door handles and didnt even know what they should look like until some of you helpful guys sent me some pictures. Obviously they should hav been chromed steel, but I cant fold steel that thick so I made a pair out of 1/8" ally
door handle blanks.jpg and
door handle folded.jpg and

and polished them looks ok to me almost like chrome.
door handle fitted.jpg and

Next job is the door surround trim, I did have a very decrepit sample to look at, when I stripped off the outer covering the original trim material was still there, a very strange thin plastic covering, like leathercloth but with no cloth and almost no graining. Brittle by now as well.
I decided to try making the surround trim out of the plastic corrugated board that signs are made from, its fairly rigid and of course waterproof.
Door surround rough.jpg and
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PostPost by: rodlittle » Sat Jun 23, 2012 4:22 pm

Cuts quite easily with a Stanley blade
Door surround.jpg and

Im not sure how its supposed to be fixed though, The outside edge is obvious, there are metal tabs welded to the door surround reinforcing frame and it must be screwed to them with cup washers and self tappers, but the inner edge is more of a mystery, there are the same tabs for the inner edge but it would make more sense to me it it were held on all round the edge with a piece of edge trim that went over both the fibreglass edge and the surround trim. Dunno about that at the moment.
Door trim next, bit of a problem here as I didnt have anything to go by, a previous owner had completely changed the door lock operating handle and the entire door trim. The bottom part looks fairly simple it obviously fits with trim clips to the holes in the door, so I made these panels out of 5mm exterior ply.
Door trim fixings.jpg and
Door trim fixed.jpg and

BUt the upper part is more of a mystery, I cant see how its supposed to fix to the door. Going by the fact that the window guide channels were originally chromed (I made new stainless ones) they must have been intended to have been visible, cant see Lotus paying for chrome that no one could see. So that means the trim panels must have fitted somehow so that the guides were visible. Theres no way my panels will fit between the guides and the window felts so I've made up some ally tabs and screwed them to the panel, with the panel cut to fit between the edges of the window guides these tabs fit easily between the guides and the felts. Maybe someone will be able to tell me how it ought to be done before its too late to change.
Door trim fixed2.jpg and
Door trim tabs2.jpg and
Door trim all in place.jpg and

Door trim from above.jpg and

Now the panels just need covering in leathercloth. I used a thin layer of foam first then the leathercloth stapled on from behind.
First door trim.jpg and
Two nice new handles from Austin Healey spares and they're finished
Two door trims.jpg and

Looks OK
Door trim fitted.jpg and
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PostPost by: rodlittle » Sat Jul 14, 2012 4:40 pm

Cant add more than 10 pictures to one post so heres the next lot.
All the door trim fitted now , even though I cant duplicate the weld lines on the original it looks ok to me.
Door trim finished.jpg and

Now for the funny bit that carries on the lines of the crashpad down to the door arm rest.
I made it the same way I made the crash pad, from insulating foam covered in glass cloth Using a piece of ply where it is fitted to the door with trim clips.
Door trim foam2.jpg and
Door trim foam.jpg and

Glassed.jpg and

Then covered with leathercloth,
Glassed covering.jpg and
its just amazing what shapes you can get leathercloth to conform to with the aid of a heat gun and some serious pulling. This is how it turned out,
Covering finished.jpg and
of course the back isnt so pretty but thats hidden.
Covered backside.jpg and

And here it is fitted
And fitted.jpg and
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PostPost by: rodlittle » Sat Jul 14, 2012 4:46 pm

I managed to find a filler cap that looked right at Beaulieu it said 100E on it so that seems the right period
Filler cap.jpg and
Filler.jpg and
and I got an Anglia filler pipe off ebay which unfortunately had a sharp bend just after the filler neck but with a little cutting and welding I now have a fuel filler
Fuel pipe.jpg and
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PostPost by: rodlittle » Sat Jul 14, 2012 5:47 pm

Next Saga is the seats, This is what I started with.
Start.jpg and
and underneath
Start underside.jpg and
Start underside2.jpg and
there were several rusted out tubes. When I began to strip the old covering off the frame
Covering stripped.jpg and
I found that at some time in the past it had been recovered directly on top of the original covering, so heres what it originally looked like
Original covering.jpg and
When I stripped that lot off I had a bare frame with the back tubes generally ok but all the others rusted through
Frame.jpg and
I dont have a pipe bender so the only way I could see to remake the frame bends was with a torch and muscle power.
New bend.jpg and
What I didnt take into account however was that in both of the bottom frame bends there is a second tube inside the outer to give extra strength to the back. So the only way I could see out of that problem was to make tha bends then cut the bent tubes in half and weld them up again around the inner tube. So after much cutting and welding
Bottom rails.jpg and
Front joint.jpg and
I got both seats to the stage where they were complete frames
All together.jpg and

Then I needed to remake the clips for the new springs.
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PostPost by: rodlittle » Sat Jul 14, 2012 5:55 pm

I bent up all the clips needed for the new seat springs as the old ones were dust
Clips.jpg and
and welded them on the back crossmember
Clips welded.jpg and
Now the frames are all ready for the springs
Ready for springs.jpg and
And heres the finished seats with the new springs and a quick blow over with hammerite to try and keep the rust at bay.
Painted and sprung.jpg and
Just a case of waiting for the new seat covers to come now, Ive been told by SWMBO that I should buy the covers as I would spoil the job if I made my own. Shes quite right in one respect I couldnt reproduce the weld lines across the seats Id have to make them with stitches which wouldnt look original. Fingers crossed that they come in time for me to fit them and go to Goodwood in September
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PostPost by: nebogipfel » Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:05 am

Rod,

Just wanted to say this is an inspirational thread with impressive work and attention to detail :wink:

The seat frames alone demonstrate what can be done and that frankly derelict parts can be saved if you are sufficiently determined.
So much more impressive than a cheque book restoration

Looking forward to seeing the finished job. Well done old chap :D
John

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