Lotus Elan

S4 First Drive & What's up with this Console?

PostPost by: Temmck » Mon Jun 27, 2022 4:51 am

First off, a big thank you to all who have helped me up to this point. Finally worked out all the engine issues and wiring nightmares and took the car for its first drive in 32 years! Just down the road and back but, very satisfying.

Still a lot of items to work though but as soon as the seat belts arrive I'll start putting miles on her.

When I put the dash back together and got it installed in the car, I noticed the shifter exits the center console about an inch or two forward of its intended hole. I had noticed the broken piece on the console before I installed it but though it may have just broken when the the PO removed it. In this picture, the transmission is in neutral and the dash is fully seated against the bracket. Is this normal or is this something that requires more investigation? Both engine mounts appear to be in good condition and centered in their brackets.
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Shifter - console.jpg and
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PostPost by: Lotusian » Tue Jun 28, 2022 1:06 pm

As far as I know, mine is a perfectly standard S4/Sprint.
The following may not solve your problem, but at least will show you what you’re aiming for.
The base of the gear lever (the tubular part that has a bush inside) is 42 mm away from the face of the dashboard.
The hole in the centre console is 74 mm diameter, and, as you can see, the front edge is right at the point where the radius starts.
The first photo shows the gear lever in neutral, the second one shows it in second gear.
Could the bracket behind the base of the dashboard be too far towards the back of the car? Is it indeed the correct bracket?
Please let us know what transpires and how you solve the problem.
Cheers
Ian
Attachments
CD6834FB-BEC9-40AA-B115-E60E1B7A8535.jpeg and
DAB7EE43-90E4-4ED5-8410-41FBAB9FE525.jpeg and
Last edited by Lotusian on Tue Jun 28, 2022 5:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Tue Jun 28, 2022 1:49 pm

I'm wondering if sometime in the past, the shifter bush got sloppy and required more forward
motion to get into gear and rather than fix the bush, it would have been easier to cut away
the console. Just speculating.....
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PostPost by: Lotusian » Tue Jun 28, 2022 4:40 pm

Here’s another photo of my (original) console. Sue Miller will sell you a new replica.
As suggested above, the bush at the base of the lever may well need replacing. It looks like it’s held by a grubscrew which is wrong. It should be a tight press fit.
Sue has the bush too.
Ian
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A775D5C8-4638-4B50-A016-CF468D47575A.jpeg and
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Tue Jun 28, 2022 6:53 pm

Temmck,

I looks to me that you are missing a component.

You should have apiece of sheet steel about 1.5mm thick that fixes to the fibreglass of the transmission tunnel. This is item FA59 of the gearbox parts list, item FA60 is the the gaiter, described as a grommet by the parts book. The idea is that the plate forms a seal with the fibreglass and the gaiter forms a seal with the plate and the gearstick, so that engine/exhaust fume does not enter the cabin. The centre console should drop over the gearstick and the bottom convolution of the gaiter.

Like you I had assumed that the gaiter should fit the consul. If you cannot buy FA59 a drawing has been posted by Phil Harrison, I am sure he would supply a copy if you contact him.

Hope this helps,

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PostPost by: pharriso » Tue Jun 28, 2022 8:54 pm

RichardHawkins wrote:Temmck,

I looks to me that you are missing a component.

You should have apiece of sheet steel about 1.5mm thick that fixes to the fibreglass of the transmission tunnel. This is item FA59 of the gearbox parts list, item FA60 is the the gaiter, described as a grommet by the parts book. The idea is that the plate forms a seal with the fibreglass and the gaiter forms a seal with the plate and the gearstick, so that engine/exhaust fume does not enter the cabin. The centre console should drop over the gearstick and the bottom convolution of the gaiter.

Like you I had assumed that the gaiter should fit the consul. If you cannot buy FA59 a drawing has been posted by Phil Harrison, I am sure he would supply a copy if you contact him.

Hope this helps,

Richard Hawkins


Take a look at this thread....https://lotuselan.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=48176 the sheet metal plate drawing is here...
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PostPost by: Lotusian » Wed Jun 29, 2022 9:07 pm

More photos from my restoration archive.
Ian
0BB84F83-56A7-4CAC-B999-E08A05B35BF9.jpeg and
B79B14EA-6BFF-49A2-9440-515A125EB4AD.jpeg and
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PostPost by: Temmck » Sat Jul 02, 2022 4:00 am

Thank you Ian and Richard. I will check your measurements in a week when I get back home - traveling all next week.
I didn’t even know I was missing a plate. :shock: Very interesting! But why is it installed on top of the insulation and not directly against the fiberglass? Above and water can soak into the sponge like insulation.
As for the bushing, mine all fits pretty easily, nothing appears to be snug. I don’t have a grub screw in yet. When I tighten down the nut on top of the bush it all holds tight. I don’t feel any play and the shifter doesn’t rotate.
The dash bracket looks to be original and it is sitting 90deg to the tunnel so I assume that’s correct. I don’t think it could move forward at all - it’s very tight back there with all the switch wires smooshed up up against the heater.
Perhaps my console is not original and the hole was in the wrong place. All speculation until I get the measurements.
Thanks again.
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Sat Jul 02, 2022 6:29 pm

Femme kids,

The plate on my car was long gone before I became its owner, but my understanding is that the plate fits directly to the fibreglass, with a sealant between plate and fibreglass.

Hope this helps,

Richard Hawkins
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Sat Jul 02, 2022 6:32 pm

Temmck,

I don’t know where “Femme Kids” came from in my reply, please accept apologies.

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PostPost by: Temmck » Sun Jul 03, 2022 2:48 am

:lol: I've been called worse. Hey, I might even get some mileage out of that one.
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PostPost by: LI-599 » Sun Jul 03, 2022 12:09 pm

Blame SIRI Richard, as it( he or she) causes all my typing mistakes, ha ha.
I’m glad I am not the only person who thinks there is not much space behind the dash. Maybe Colin C should have used thinner wire in the looms.
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PostPost by: Temmck » Mon Jul 18, 2022 2:00 am

Ian,

Sorry for the slow reply. I was finally able to take some measurements. My shifter (in neutral) is 30mm from the dash and the hole in the console is 70mm diam. So mine is a little closer to the front. Not sure if this is significant or just variation in the cars.
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PostPost by: Lotusian » Mon Jul 18, 2022 7:12 am

My gear lever is 42 mm from the dashboard and yours is 30mm.
I really don’t think that a discrepancy of 12 mm (that’s half an inch!) could be described as a manufacturing variation.
There’s definitely something wrong here.
Using standard engine and gearbox mounts, without alteration or spacers, it should be impossible to get the engine/gearbox half an inch too far forward in the chassis.
The only remaining culprit has to be the dashboard.
I’ve found another old photo as below.
Does your dashboard/heater support bracket look like this?
I know you said this was the case, but is the base of the dashboard really bolted tight up against the base of that bracket and without any spacers?
Have any alterations been made to the position of the holes in the bracket, where it bolts through into the chassis, or indeed at the holes through the bobbins in the fibreglass.
Are the two heater brackets (circled), touching the back of the dashboard and pushing the heater as far forward as possible?
Maybe someone else will have some further suggestions.
Going back to the plate holding the gear lever gaiter, it needs to be tight up under the console, otherwise the gaiter will distort badly when in reverse/2nd/4th gear, so if you have insulation the plate needs to be on top, and yes of course it could let damp in, after all it is a Lotus.
Cheers
Ian
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PostPost by: Temmck » Tue Jul 19, 2022 3:03 am

Hi Ian,

I have had my dash off a good half dozen times over the last month chasing electrical issues so I am very confident that the dash is firmly up against the bracket (with no spacers) and the bracket is firmly mounted to the chassis. Could the bracket be in the wrong position? Possibly, I never checked that when the dash was off. I also did not notice if the tabs of the heater are up against the back of the dash. I'll check that next.
Thanks
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