Lotus Elan

Rollbar and seat movement

PostPost by: catsuma » Thu May 25, 2023 12:08 pm

Hello all.

I have a FHC sprint and I recently treated it to a bit of an interior refurb, including the fitting of a rollbar (with headrests). It's all very nice but for one unanticipated consequence. I'm reasonably tall (6'2) and I can no longer put the seat far enough back to easily get in and out or sit comfortably in the car. It didn't even cross my mind that this might be an issue, although I am feeling like a bit of a muppet.

I'm not keen on removing the rollbar, or driving with my knees uncomfortably splayed, so I was wondering if anyone else had come across this and managed to mod anything to overcome or mitigate the problem?

Thank you in advance for any and all help.

Christian
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PostPost by: webbslinger » Thu May 25, 2023 6:14 pm

Hi Christian. I was 6' 2" about 25 years ago when I encountered the same disappointing problem with an S4 coupe. One of the great things about an Elan for me is the seating position, as long as it's all the way back. After thinking about it way too long, I finally sold the kit-bar and made a custom one, and more.
To allow full seat travel and clear your head and shoulders, the bar will probably fit the roofline too close to use a standard headliner, so consider that.
I have the buck I used for the outer hoop and pictures of how it was installed, but it's not a small job. PM me if you want more information.
If you are committed to a roll bar, it would probably be a good idea to first see if the one you have can be modified in some way. I hope they've been improved because the one I had seemed too clunky to use.
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PostPost by: webbslinger » Thu May 25, 2023 6:41 pm

On re reading your post, I guess only my last paragraph was pertinent to your question. I didn't see any way, at the time, to get the seat all the way back with that bar. Knowing what I do now about the difficulty of making a custom one, I would look again to see if there is a way to modify your bar. You will probably have to take it out to do the work though.
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PostPost by: catsuma » Fri May 26, 2023 9:45 am

Thank you. Are you able to send me a photo of what you have?

Thank you again.
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PostPost by: webbslinger » Fri May 26, 2023 3:59 pm

Here is a picture shortly after installing it. The seats are all the way back. I was experimenting with the belts and now have a 3-point system and a headliner.
Attachments
IMG_20150325_093029851_HDR.jpg and
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PostPost by: catsuma » Fri May 26, 2023 6:40 pm

Thank you very much
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PostPost by: vstibbard » Sat May 27, 2023 2:53 am

I’m 6’4 and have removed std roll bars in past as they’ve restricted full seat adjustment.
For my 26R the cage is set back and very tight to shell, this was achieved by having the rear stays run to top of rear turret rather than body to rear turret location bolt used by all std roll bars.
It’s a custom full roll bar to FIA specs which in Australia cost me just over A$5k.
I have it out of shell at moment and can send pics if if interest.
Vaughan
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PostPost by: Terry Posma » Tue May 30, 2023 9:40 am

Some time ago, on this site, there was a post about lengthening (verically) the front bracket of the seat frame. This means that the front of the seat is a bit higher and the backrest is a bit more reclined. I am 6' 1" and made this mod when the seats were re covered. My car has a Safety Devices roll over bar and side impact bars.

I have the seat in the front of the 2 mounting positions, adjusted all the way back and the seat top just clears the roll hoop. I have good leg room and under thigh support. I also have good head clearance from the hoop such that the foam padding on the hoop clears by a couple of inches. I also moved the steering wheel back toward me about 1.5" as I like the wheel a bit closer. Also helps getting in and out of the car as the wheel is a bit higher and the side bolsters a bit lower.

All the clearances are tight but the car is far more comfortable with the added under thigh support and the little bit of extra back rest rake.
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PostPost by: catsuma » Tue May 30, 2023 11:56 am

Terry Posma wrote:Some time ago, on this site, there was a post about lengthening (verically) the front bracket of the seat frame. This means that the front of the seat is a bit higher and the backrest is a bit more reclined. I am 6' 1" and made this mod when the seats were re covered. My car has a Safety Devices roll over bar and side impact bars.

I have the seat in the front of the 2 mounting positions, adjusted all the way back and the seat top just clears the roll hoop. I have good leg room and under thigh support. I also have good head clearance from the hoop such that the foam padding on the hoop clears by a couple of inches. I also moved the steering wheel back toward me about 1.5" as I like the wheel a bit closer. Also helps getting in and out of the car as the wheel is a bit higher and the side bolsters a bit lower.

All the clearances are tight but the car is far more comfortable with the added under thigh support and the little bit of extra back rest rake.


Thank you. Mine is also a safety devices cage. I'll search for that post. Would you be able to send photos of what you did too by any chance?

Thanks again
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PostPost by: Terry Posma » Wed May 31, 2023 2:50 pm

Here are a few photos.

Gap between seat back and hoop is about a finger thick.
20230531_120518.jpg and

The frame was sleeved and welded.
20230531_120610.jpg and

This is the difference in rake.
20230531_120627.jpg and

Difference in height at front.
20230531_120638.jpg and

20230531_120715.jpg and
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PostPost by: elandoc » Sun Jun 04, 2023 10:46 pm

vstibbard wrote:I’m 6’4 and have removed std roll bars in past as they’ve restricted full seat adjustment.
For my 26R the cage is set back and very tight to shell, this was achieved by having the rear stays run to top of rear turret rather than body to rear turret location bolt used by all std roll bars.
It’s a custom full roll bar to FIA specs which in Australia cost me just over A$5k.
I have it out of shell at moment and can send pics if if interest.
Vaughan

I'm planning the same thing, Vaughan, so pics would be great!
I'm nipping down to Sydney soon. I'll drop you a line.
Cheers
Patrick
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