Lotus Elan

"Monocoque"

PostPost by: garyeanderson » Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:21 pm

Hi Tim

Thanks for much of that info, I need to look at a stack of magazines that I received yesterday. Willie had this one saved for me, there were a half a dozen that he thought I may be interested in. The stack was sitting on the basement concrete floor so I took the stack of 40 or 50 just to be safe.

I can see the original design working with a much later design and excepted roll cage to make up for the lack of stiffness but that was not the goal. The vision, I believe was a cheap and easy to produce replacement for the Seven.
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:22 pm

Phew!

thanks for taking so much trouble to post so much information.
Certainly clears up a lot on the subject for me & probably will provide nourishment for further discussion & other alternative sources of information.

So it seems that the Elan was conceived with a backbone frame, but where does that leave the initial separate sheet metal "support frames" that have been pretty well documented?

Hickman is also known to have said that the "backbone" chassis was merely conceived as a method of testing running gear prior to Elan bodies being available or even maybe designed?

A conflict of facts it appears?

Presumably the thickness early Elan bodies, mentioned on the other thread, were designed out being considered superfluous?

Memory does play tricks but I recall a Midlands LDC/Club Lotus meeting about 7 years ago where Ron did a very interesting presentation.
Amongst the slides in his power point presentation there were colour sketches of the body designs of the Elan but as far as I can recall there was no real technical description.
No doubt someone here will know & be able to provide more positive info'.

I'm sitting on the fence on this one.
The Elite monocoque was expensive & difficult to manufacture, the air voids & lack of resin penetration on parts of the "Maximar" body of my old Elite was testament to that.
It would have been a logical decision to drop the monocoque in favour of the then popular "Ford 10 Special" thin fibreglass body solutions that were so popular in that era.

Cheers
John
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:34 pm

piss-ant wrote:Hi Tim

Thanks for much of that info, I need to look at a stack of magazines that I received yesterday. Willie had this one saved for me, there were a half a dozen that he thought I may be interested in. The stack was sitting on the basement concrete floor so I took the stack of 40 or 50 just to be safe.

I can see the original design working with a much later design and excepted roll cage to make up for the lack of stiffness but that was not the goal. The vision, I believe was a cheap and easy to produce replacement for the Seven.



Gary,

I may have my lines crossed here & I'm in no way in yours or Tim's league regarding Lotus history but I always thought that it was the Europa that was supposed to be Lotus's cheap replacement for the 7?
Even there, there are anomalies because the S4 was a cheaper to manufacture 7, it having the space frame replaced with a sheet steel frame.

Cheers
John
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:42 pm

John

I made mention of the bodies fiberglass content. I was making a point about the type 26 and not the 1600 Elan, The specified weight of all fiberglass, resin and bonded in components was 199 lbs per the Ross and Robinshaw book. There was a layup schedule specified in the contract with Bourne Plastics as well. I have weighed a couple body shells and they are close to that (nothing under for sure) but these are the later Lotus molded type 26 bodies. The later bodies (type 36 and 45) is what I was referring to in the other topic you mentioned as not having as much fiberglass content. I have man handled a few type 26 and the later bodies as well and can tell you the type 45 are pretty easy to move around by one person (me) compared to the type 26.

Gary
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:46 pm

GrUmPyBoDgEr wrote:
piss-ant wrote:Hi Tim

Thanks for much of that info, I need to look at a stack of magazines that I received yesterday. Willie had this one saved for me, there were a half a dozen that he thought I may be interested in. The stack was sitting on the basement concrete floor so I took the stack of 40 or 50 just to be safe.

I can see the original design working with a much later design and excepted roll cage to make up for the lack of stiffness but that was not the goal. The vision, I believe was a cheap and easy to produce replacement for the Seven.



Gary,

I may have my lines crossed here & I'm in no way in yours or Tim's league regarding Lotus history but I always thought that it was the Europa that was supposed to be Lotus's cheap replacement for the 7?
Even there, there are anomalies because the S4 was a cheaper to manufacture 7, it having the space frame replaced with a sheet steel frame.

Cheers
John


There was always a cheaper model in the design stage :)

I don't think we are talking that time frame for the Europa. Read the first to columns of the TB & CC I posted.
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:11 pm

Could someone remind me what the difference between a Type 26 and an ?lan 1600 is?

Switches out of irony mode....
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:17 pm

elansprint71 wrote:Could someone remind me what the difference between a Type 26 and an ?lan 1600 is?

Switches out of irony mode....
:twisted:


Steel yourself & open a fresh topic :wink:
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:25 pm

GrUmPyBoDgEr wrote:Amongst the slides in his power point presentation there were colour sketches of the body designs of the Elan but as far as I can recall there was no real technical description.
John
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PostPost by: trw99 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 5:11 pm

Thanks Brian

I thought I had seen that before somewhere, but can't recall.

It has the sausage shaped cutouts in the wheels that Hickman writes about in Robinshaw Ross. I also note the radio antenna and fuel filler cap both on the same side, painted badge on the hub caps and dash mounted rear view mirror.

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PostPost by: types26/36 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 5:23 pm

Tim you are correct, I posted it prevously in the Hickman thread ....the whole article can be seen here:
free-parking-f19/ron-hickman-t22184.html
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 5:31 pm

trw99 wrote:It has the sausage shaped cutouts in the wheels that Hickman writes about in Robinshaw Ross. I also note the radio antenna and fuel filler cap both on the same side, painted badge on the hub caps and dash mounted rear view mirror. Tim


.....and no "rod/wire" centre support for the windscreen frame :roll:
also note the strip below the sill appears to be painted black.....
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:29 pm

Tim, Brian,

Those are the sketches I was thinking of.
Totally amazing the amount of documentation you guys on here have hanging around.

Cheers
John
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:19 pm

GrUmPyBoDgEr wrote:
elansprint71 wrote:Could someone remind me what the difference between a Type 26 and an ?lan 1600 is?

Switches out of irony mode....
:twisted:


Steel yourself & open a fresh topic :wink:


Woooooossshhhh................ :roll:
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:04 pm

Edit.
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:15 am

I was out having a look at the junk chassis I have and one or two of the type 26 bodies. Its seems clear the paths that the Monocoque sub-frame would need to go and mount to. Lots of things to consider but the layout of the front may have looked like this (clearly Jame Allington has no worries). I believe the back would have been a bit simpler to implement. I am still not sure if this was a structural problem of a cost issue or just Lotus trying to get the Elan to market as fast as possible.
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