Lotus Elan

Chassis/body saddle felt

PostPost by: types26/36 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:57 pm

Anyone know the original thickness of the felt between the body and chassis?
I'm aware that people use the closed cell neoprene and even camping mats as a substitute for the water retaining felt but what was the original thickness of the felt that Lotus used?
Looking at "camping mats" they seem to be quite thin usually around 6 to 8mm which sounds too thin to me.
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PostPost by: Gray » Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:26 pm


It's about half an inch/13mm thick

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PostPost by: c42 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:01 pm

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PostPost by: 661 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:38 am

I would be inclined to look at some of these products that don't rot and hold moisture:
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:59 am

I used 1/2 inch thick closed cell neoprene rubber when i rebuilt my car in 1981. It has lasted well and has just deteriorated a little at the bottom edge where exposed to water and oil. When I pulled the body off a couple of years ago it had protected the chassis well with no corrosion under it. I just cut away a couple of rotted bits and glued down the edges again to the chassis

The 1/2 thickness was the same as the uncompressed portions of "horse hair' matting felt I removed but the rubber foam was harder to compress and the body needed some "encouragement" to fit down fully when new. Now the body comes on and off fine as the rubber has compressed a little :lol:

If you can get it in a thinner closed cell foam it may be easier to fit when new - maybe 7/16 or 10mm would be good to try. The neoprene foam I used was heavier and harder to compress than a typical camping mat these days so maybe a 1/2 inch 12 mm lighter foam works also.

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PostPost by: Hawksfield » Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:41 pm


It reminds me of what I did when I took the body off to restore the chassis in 1986. The saddle matt was in good condition and undamaged but infused with oil, I put it back on it and still looks good today.
I suppose I took a chance looking back now but I am still running with the original chassis.


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