Lotus Elan

1966 Elan S2

PostPost by: nomad » Sun Dec 18, 2022 6:34 pm

Ian.

Not that big of a deal!

My S1 had rotted lattice that had split the sill most of the way on both sides. I fixed it by welding in just what was rotted. Set the body on 8X8 timbers covered in PVC sheet after I had removed the rusted metal and repaired the split sills. I then made up repair sections that I welded to the good metal and glassed them in. What you remove will make a pretty good pattern to copy even if it is pretty much non existent. A few measurements and clamps is all that is needed to get the dimensions right. Remember it IS an early Lotus. The body isn't even symmetrical from one side to the other.

Have fun! :mrgreen:

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PostPost by: nomad » Sun Dec 18, 2022 6:59 pm

Ian, I have found that a vibrating cutter fitted with a diamond blade is a godsend for cutting out old glass and used it extensively on my sill repair. Also was going to use stainless which I would recommend for the repair but I had the correct mild steel on the rack and patience is something I lack. I imagine my repair will outlast me so I'm satisfied.

Cut out what is damaged and then make your decision on the best repair. I considered all composites myself but decided that a close approximation of Lotus original idea was best.

I believe the seat belt attachment was 11/16" nuts from the local hardware store and all repair welds were made on an overlapping piece of steel with a can of water close by and as much shielding as was appropriate. I'll look for pictures because I'm sure I took some and may have posted them here.

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PostPost by: Ianashdown » Sun Dec 18, 2022 7:32 pm

Like all good plans, mine will probably survive until first contact! I’ll figure out a plan once all horrors are discovered.

I really like the idea of an all composite solution, I think Chapman would appreciate the intent, but . . . I mustn’t forget that I have a numbers matching car that I’d like the restore authentically to near original condition. How much deviation is acceptable? Out of sight, out of mind? As with most things, I think the car will guide my decisions.

Those vibrating cutters are great! We used to call them bone saws! I think in reality they were cast saws, as they don’t cut tissue, used to cut off broken bone casts.

So much work!!

Ian
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PostPost by: Ianashdown » Mon Dec 19, 2022 4:00 am

Amongst the not so good news on the condition of some areas of my car, there was a little good news too!

Somewhere in the production the techs at Lotus mark the body number on various parts. Even though they are not perfectly clear the body number 4495 is evident on the inside of both doors and the underside of the hood.

25D5A816-D748-48F1-AC7F-FD8459104EC4.jpeg and


403289D3-33EA-4E20-8F17-74AC6E1F4E06.jpeg and


Interesting that there is a mistake, now corrected, in the records with the body number.

2861EEDA-A666-4A62-A74C-57C77EE7406E.jpeg and


7317A62C-72CB-4617-A5E3-864694C71328.jpeg and


21795EBF-7AFA-43BB-A61A-4E43C82E9CB1.jpeg and


398B6819-D5C1-4946-8694-C5AE1B7BBB13.jpeg and


More and more of this car is matching up as original, just the chassis and head to confirm now, which is great and probably fairly rare these days. It does bring an additional responsibility however.

Ian
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B653F183-C00C-4164-9A2C-C7854594C8FA.jpeg and
Last edited by Ianashdown on Mon Dec 19, 2022 3:18 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Mon Dec 19, 2022 10:35 am

That is certainly in the body number range for Elans built around yours, Ian, so all chimes. As does the fact that the same number is on at least three panels, of course.

As your strip down continues, look for the number in other places too, such as the back of the glovebox, light buckets and so on. Good luck!

Tim
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PostPost by: Ianashdown » Mon Dec 19, 2022 3:05 pm

Unfortunately there is no Glove Box :( , but I will look at the headlight pods.

Anywhere else I should look?

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PostPost by: Davidb » Mon Dec 19, 2022 10:34 pm

I would like to return to the idea of fitting carbon fiber tubes inside the doors for impact protection. I confess I had not thought of cf and was considering aluminium but cf is so much lighter (isn't it?)

Do we have any Elan owning carbon fiber experts on here who could advise on this?
Hopefully this is adding to Ian's thread rather than hijacking it!
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PostPost by: mbell » Mon Dec 19, 2022 11:14 pm

Davidb wrote:Do we have any Elan owning carbon fiber experts on here who could advise on this?


For them to be useful they need some structure to connect to, either to hold the door in position or for the carbon to break against and dispel some energy. So you need to add structure and re-enforcement to lots of other areas of the car. Otherwise your just being hit with a more solid door rather than a broken door and whatever you collide with.

If look at a Elite/Eclat and there is an added loop of material at the B piller all around the car re-enforce the side protection.

I think door re-enforcement was added to metal cars as generally the supports door were mounted to were stronger than the doors so it was easy win. If you look at modern cars there quite a bit of design and material for the door opening to support the door in a crash and allow the door re-enforcement to work well.
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PostPost by: Davidb » Mon Dec 19, 2022 11:54 pm

Thanks for the response rmbell.
What I was considering is fitting a front roll hoop which would intercept the front of the proposed reinforcement about 10 inches back from the front edge of the door. I already have a rear roll hoop but it would need modification to 'catch' the rear of the cf reinforcement in the door. I also have sill bars for what they are worth...
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PostPost by: Ianashdown » Tue Dec 20, 2022 12:26 am

Hi,

There is a huge amount of work involved in the design of every modern car to pass the Side-Impact test. I'd venture to say it would be impossible in an Elan without major structural changes to the chassis, body and doors.

However, "you're just being hit with a more solid door rather than a broken door" is probably a preferable situation. My thought was exactly that. I would rather have a flat-ish panel hit me than a pointy, angular and sharp object.

I guess I'm looking for pierce-protection. Looking at the way the Door is built however, there is not much that can be done unless the entire door were re-made, or perhaps just the inner skin.

The rocker panel is an opportunity, but to take advantage of it the lattice would need to be removed (I wonder who has a car like that :?: I think a fairly substantial composite (Kevlar) beam could be built and tied into the body forward and backward. The build-up, where attached to the existing body, could be tapered-off over a large-ish area so load would be dissipated over a larger area. Having said that, the rocker panel on an Elan is so low that almost any car bumper will be higher, so the value may be limited.

Ian
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PostPost by: Craven » Tue Dec 20, 2022 12:34 pm

Re side impact, a line of thought is that the fibreglass shell is very shock absorbing structure and importantly a very overall light weight of the car it will be pushed sideways on impact rather than a solid immovable object. Personally I don’t take much solace in this line.
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PostPost by: 2cams70 » Tue Dec 20, 2022 12:53 pm

With a car such as that in condition like that the time, cost and effort to return it to original versus trying to change or "improve" things is about the same. Wise to consider the value of the finished product. In most cases the car returned to original will be worth more.
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PostPost by: Ianashdown » Tue Dec 20, 2022 3:55 pm

Craven wrote:Re side impact, a line of thought is that the fibreglass shell is very shock absorbing structure and importantly a very overall light weight of the car it will be pushed sideways on impact rather than a solid immovable object. Personally I don’t take much solace in this line.
FWIW


As a motorcycle rider I clearly have little regard for my personal safety!

But I do agree. A Lotus Elan Vs a modern SUV is a battle the Elan will never win.

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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Tue Dec 20, 2022 6:41 pm

Driving an Elan makes you the world's best defensive driver.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Tue Dec 20, 2022 7:18 pm

Ian ,
a Triton or Norvin or Tribsa has nothing to do with a Jap or modern bike also.
Keep the Elan as original and if you want more protection buy a Honda S2000.
Alan
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