Lotus Elan

Bobbins

PostPost by: Lotus fan » Mon Mar 20, 2006 6:00 pm

Anybody know where I can get some bobbins from ? I need four 1/4 plain ones for the bonnet and wings and a 3/16 threaded one for the sill check strap. Paul Matty havn't got any and Chris Neil don't do them anymore
'cos Lotus have made them obsolete !! :evil:

Ian

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PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Mon Mar 20, 2006 6:17 pm

Try Miles Wilkens of Fibreglass services...if anyone knows if they are still available it's him. He has the rights to manufacture the old Lotus stuff, and his business was established on rebuilding Lotus bodyshells.
I have heard that the originals are unobtainable, but that a different shape one is now used. I've also heard of some folk braking up a tatty Plus 2 shell just to save the bobbins :shock:
When you get an answer can you post the result?
Mark
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PostPost by: ngs » Mon Mar 20, 2006 7:19 pm

I got some last year from Steve Taylor, The Elan Factory, Melbourne.

[email protected]

Price was around AUD$15 each (+postage).

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PostPost by: steveww » Mon Mar 20, 2006 10:01 pm

The bobbins are not exactly a complex mechanical part. If all else fails I am sure you could get a local machine shop to knock some up.
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PostPost by: M100 » Tue Mar 21, 2006 10:16 am

Being oval I'd hate to think how much the charge would be for machining from solid particularly the undercut section (the originals were cast if I recall correctly) Round ones would be a lot cheaper to machine but no doubt would cause a few problems where space is a bit tight.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Tue Mar 21, 2006 10:29 am

The Elan Factory bobbins from what I have seen are cast in a similar way to the orginals.

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PostPost by: cliveyboy » Tue Mar 21, 2006 1:59 pm

Never having had to do any body work I have not paid much attention to these infamous bobbins.
Has someone got any pictures or diagrams? as I am intrigued why, what seems a relatively simple item should be so hard to buy.

Clive
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PostPost by: M100 » Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:51 pm

The problem is the oval section and the undercut, either on their own wouldn't preclude relatively easy machining, together they make it a pain in the butt. I've got a few bags of new ones somewhere in my spares stock, although before anyone starts begging I suspect they are in a container behind a couple of tonnes of other stuff and unlikely to be accesible for quite some time!

This is from the early service manual (soon to be available as a pdf version)
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Elan_Body_Bobbins.jpg and
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PostPost by: mac5777 » Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:54 pm

You might try Dave Bean Engineering in California. I recall seeing them in his catalog. Hope that helps.
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PostPost by: Lotus fan » Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:17 pm

Thanks for all the replies :)
I phoned Miles Wilkins and he said that they just use a helicoil insert on damaged bobbins (like mine).
Don't know how that would work on a VERY worn bobbin though !!! :shock:

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PostPost by: marcfuller » Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:58 pm

Lotus fan wrote:he said that they just use a helicoil insert on damaged bobbins (like mine). Don't know how that would work on a VERY worn bobbin though !!! :shock:

Ian, I have been doing some thread repairs and have found that Timeserts are much more preferable than helicoil for soft metal . For a VERY worn bobbin, I would use a thick wall Timesert Bigsert

Hope it helps.

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-Marc
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PostPost by: nebogipfel » Tue Mar 21, 2006 8:33 pm

When possible you could just tap the bobbin to a larger size.

FWIW I needed one new bobbin during my rebuild so I made one using grinder and a bit of scrap ally ... Not worth doing if you need several :)
John

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PostPost by: reb53 » Wed Mar 22, 2006 12:17 pm

I've made heaps of these over the years for my own car and other peoples including enough for a whole new body.(A friend made all the moulds to produce a complete DHC S4.)
I made them all out of hex brass bar.The hex shape stopped them turning and a deep cut in the centre gave the glass somewhere to hold onto.
I did big, small, some threaded, some not, and the plain dished ones that the door "hinges" use.
They were real easy to make, certainly didn't attempt to make them oval!
Without access to a lathe I'd seek out the nearest model engineering club and before long I bet you'd have a bunch of old retired guys more than willing to help out on some interesting jobs.
Good luck!

Ralph.
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Wed Mar 22, 2006 3:06 pm

That's a top tip Ralph,
the metal inserts in plastic knobs & handwheels are also turned from hexagon bar. with anular grooves to prevent the pulling out. Hexagon bar is also available in Aluminium and Steel.
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PostPost by: brassrngfm » Wed Mar 22, 2006 4:04 pm

I bought a new body from Tony Thompson because my old one on the basket case I bought was shot. He's GOT to have bobbins and being a nice guy - he'll probably sell them also. www.tonythompsonracing.com
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