Lotus Elan

1966 Elan S2

PostPost by: Davidb » Tue Dec 13, 2022 4:14 pm

They are add-ons. Holes drilled in the cover and screws holding them on from underneath.
I will try to post photos of them.
Last edited by Davidb on Sat Dec 17, 2022 2:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
'65 S2 4844
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PostPost by: Ianashdown » Sat Dec 17, 2022 2:04 am

During my vacuuming out all the nuts, rat poop and general garbage I’m beginning to get the picture that this car has been very wet for a long time. It was stored outside in the SF Bay Area under a tent like structure and I think at various times the interior has basically filled with water. Everything close to the floor has basically rotted away. The seat mounts are gone and now I’ve pulled out some of the broken up door surround trim my worst fears have been confirmed. The re-bar reinforcement is rotten and, in places, missing altogether. Notice the seat belt ring is almost completely gone.

4AE09654-607F-4204-8854-0F358D82586D.jpeg and

53199EC3-6445-43C4-BFCD-1E27B9371E4D.jpeg and


I should finish getting all the crud out of the car this weekend so I’ll get a better idea of just how bad it is, but this was one thing I really hoped would be intact. I’m sure I can go buy some re-bar and re-create these parts, but I’m wondering if any of the normal specialists have created these and sell them already.

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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Sat Dec 17, 2022 3:02 am

Ouch, that's really unfortunate about the sill lattice. I saw one many years ago that the owner used 316SS pencil rod to replace the steel rebar. It's important to support the body (preferably on the frame) when replacing the lattice work.
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PostPost by: Ianashdown » Sat Dec 17, 2022 3:58 am

Being the typical engineer that I’ve been, rightly, accused of, I’ve already started to work out a plan. I was planning to separate the body from the chassis as soon as possible, but I think if these lattice need to be removed having the body on the chassis, un-disturbed, should keep the body ‘in rig’.

I have very nice rolling 6’ x 3’ carts that I’ve used in the past to build race cars on. I think one of these will be perfect! Once the bare chassis and body are up on the cart access will be much improved, so I’ll carefully cut out what remains, hopefully preserving the basic shape and dimension. At that point I’ll decide if any of the original parts are worth saving, I’ll measure the lattice and model the part in CAD. With a good model and drawing I’ll be able to get some quotes to fabricate new parts. Maybe I can make them myself, but without a bender etc it might be a challenge. If just the thinner, diagonals are needed I might be able to manage that! Once I have a good verified drawing I’ll post it for sharing.

It occurs to me that the guys who make bodies in the UK must have these parts or an alternative; might be worth reaching out . . .

I see this adding time and cost to my project, which is not great. The other thing that it flags is just how wet this car has been and how rusted some parts are going to be. It also changes my planning completely.

I had planned on lifting the body and separating the two major unit projects, now I think I’ll get the engine and gearbox out, and strip everything off the chassis, all the suspension etc. then the body can have a lot of work done while still restrained on the chassis. Only then separate the two and complete the work on each. It’s absolutely not what I’d planned, but flexibility is the key to success. Some wise-arse told me that! :roll:

I’m sure this won’t be the last curve-ball this car throws at me!

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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Sat Dec 17, 2022 4:04 am

Ianashdown wrote:It occurs to me that the guys who make bodies in the UK must have these parts or an alternative; might be worth reaching out . . .

It’s absolutely not what I’d planned, but flexibility is the key to success. Some wise-arse told me that! :roll:

I’m sure this won’t be the last curve-ball this car throws at me!

Ian


Having been married for 43 years, flexibility is the key to survival.....
There is no cure for Lotus, only treatment.
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PostPost by: Ianashdown » Sat Dec 17, 2022 4:07 am

Looking on the positive side, I’ll have the opportunity to build some composite anti-intrusion structure in to the rocker panel (sill) perhaps using some Kevlar etc. I’d already thought about adding something to the door panels if there is room. It won’t make the car ‘2022’ safe, but it just might help a bit, and for only a Lb or two of additional weight.

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PostPost by: Davidb » Sat Dec 17, 2022 4:40 am

I have always wondered about fitting an aluminium "I" beam in the door-in the lower part where the door panel "bulges" out. It would require a front and rear roll hoop as well of course.
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PostPost by: Ianashdown » Sat Dec 17, 2022 4:50 am

Davidb wrote:I have always wondered about fitting an aluminium "I" beam in the door-in the lower part where the door panel "bulges" out. It would require a front and rear roll hoop as well of course.


Almost anything would improve the survivability of an side intrusion accident, even an un attached I- beam. It can present a larger contact area and dissipate some energy that may have otherwise been dissipated by you rib-cage.

I think I can make a useful improvement with Kevlar, creating a composite formed beam in both the door and rocker panel. The best thing is it will be very light.

The sill beam would not be doable with the lattice in place, so . . . Silver lining?

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PostPost by: Ianashdown » Sat Dec 17, 2022 4:52 am

Kelvedon Lotus in the UK sell the Sill Lattice Frames for £350 for a pair, although they are presently not in stock. Shipping might be interesting!

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PostPost by: Elan45 » Sat Dec 17, 2022 8:31 pm

Ian,

I have a pair of rocker panels w/ the metal trusses inside. They came off a Ser 2 roadster that Ive had for many years. They suffered an engine fire, more serious than yours. I sold the car w/ another body on it which was restored maybe 6 years ago. The new owner didn't want these pieces when he picked up the car, so as part of the thought here of don't ever throw anything away. They are in my loft in Ohio and are taking up needed space. All 3 of my Elans are Ser 3.

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PostPost by: Ianashdown » Sun Dec 18, 2022 2:47 am

Just for the fun of it, I decided to do a little sanding on the trunk lid, mostly to try a couple of different methods, but also to see how much paint is on there that will need to be removed.

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As far as I can tell there are at least 9 layers of paint not including the grey gel coat! There is measurable thickness to all the paint on there, I think the car will be 50 Lbs lighter when all this is removed.

By removing the body mounted part of the door latch it revealed what I believe was the original color.

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This is nice to know but I don’t think I’ll be repainting the car white. I’ve had 3 white Elans before so I think this time I’ll pick a more emotional color. I’m torn between red and yellow at the moment.

The most successful method for removing the paint in the very limited test was 2” dia scotchbrite on an air tool. It’s very progressive, doesn’t seem to attack the fiberglass and leaves a nice smooth finish. On the other hand it uses lots of air and my compressor struggled to keep up and the pads wear quickly. A different grade might be available.

Soda blasting still seems like the favorite option. I think I’ll pick up one of the Harbor Fright items to test over the break.

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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Sun Dec 18, 2022 8:11 am

Ian,

My lattice frames have rotted out along the bottom edge, splitting the glassfibre in places externally along the sill. I bought the car in the mid 80s, and it has been dry stored ever since, so (if you will excuse the pun) the rot set in early in its life. It is a DHC, so I can only assume a leaking hood and damp carpets were the cause of the problem.

Spyder cars in Peterborough supplied me with two new stainless steel lattice frames - I figured that this is a job you only want to do once. They make them in batches, so they may have some in stock.

I spoke to them about soda blasting, as they had been proponents of that approach. I had considered having them blast the car for me. They said that they don't soda blast anymore, the time taken to rectify the damage done by the soda blasting process was more than the time taken to strip the car by hand. I got the same story from Option 1, who have a decent reputation for refinishing GRP.

Frankly, this isn't what I wanted to hear as I had hoped to avoid hours with a chisel. There have been others on here who seem to have had success with soda blasting. Worth reading back over a few threads. I am still undecided.

Please let us know how you get on.

Good luck.
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PostPost by: vstibbard » Sun Dec 18, 2022 10:34 am

I had rotten lattice on early car, I removed and fitted a nomex foam panels with resin infused biaxial glass either sides, from behind door to up under scuttle, drilled holes for fitting access, fitted tightly to shell with sikaflex then glass taped joints each side.
Super light, super stiff and no more rust worries.
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Sun Dec 18, 2022 11:12 am

In case someone has a reasonably accurate dimensional drawing of such an S2 lattice, I suppose that could be of use to various restorations - would it only for the difficulty to get replacements shipped, when then are available.

e.g. I'm considering replacing the original ones on a project with a alloy version...
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PostPost by: Ianashdown » Sun Dec 18, 2022 5:47 pm

vstibbard wrote:I had rotten lattice on early car, I removed and fitted a nomex foam panels with resin infused biaxial glass either sides, from behind door to up under scuttle, drilled holes for fitting access, fitted tightly to shell with sikaflex then glass taped joints each side.
Super light, super stiff and no more rust worries.


This is the solution that was curdling in my brain! Do you have any pictures of your work? How did you deal with the wiper motor and pedals mounting? I work in composites so the materials and equipment are available to me. I’ve been going though the potential issues in my head and have solutions for almost everything, except for the leg that extends rearwards to the rear wheel arch. I don’t have good access to that area yet so it’s been difficult to see in there to help develop my plan. How to get access to the outer side to tie to the body seems like a challenge, but I have a few ideas.

First job is to put a tension bar across the door opening, I’m thinking of mounting it from the door latch mount to the screen mount, the adding a little tension to keep the door opening correct.

Then I’ll cut out the old lattice. If I’m lucky it will be intact enough to be able to get some helpful dimensions. I’ll make them available to all if I’m am able to get a decent drawing. There’s certain to be some grinding on the inside of the body to remove the residual of the lattice, the fiberglass ties and generally clean up the surface.

Once all of the above is done I think a test part can be made and test fit. Hopefully the same pattern will work for both LHS and RHS. I’ll need to find a large flat surface to lay-up the parts on and figure what materials to use, Carbon, S-Glass, E-Glass, Foam, Honeycomb, Balsa etc.

I think there is real opportunity for a structural, safety and weight improvement here.

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