Lotus Elan

Plus 2 Bumpers

PostPost by: Elanintheforest » Fri Feb 13, 2009 4:13 pm

I remember reading a long time ago that it cost the same to design and put the Elan into production as it cost to design and put the Mk 1 Cortina bumpers into production!

Mark
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PostPost by: andyelan » Fri Feb 13, 2009 6:12 pm

Hi there

Dusty, you've hit the nail on the head.

The bumper for the Riley Elf would most likely not have been made by BMC but by one of the many component suppliers in the UK Midlands area, such as Wilmot & Breedon. It would have been made in 3 pieces because with so much wrap around and returns (ie bends more than 90 degrees) it would have been impossible to make any other way.

When Lotus required a bumper for the Plus 2, my guess is, they would have approched said Componet Supplier and, seeing existing left and right dies, would have realised they could use these and would only need to commission a new die for the centre section, saving 2/3 the cost. This sorted, Component Supplier would press out the parts (left and right on existing dies), weld them together and chrome plate the lot. They would then supply Lotus the finished bumper. Note that this bumper would never have been near BMC and certainly Lotus would not have bought finished Riley parts, chopped them in half, then welded a bit in the middle, not literally.

Shure, making a bumper this way, ie 3 pieces welded together, would be expensive, this is why other manufactures didn't do it. Notice how Ford (always the masters of production engineering) avoided large wrap arounds and returns on their bumpers of the era, this precisely so they could be press out in one piece (Look at the Plus 2 front - Angla and Europa rear - Cortina, then compair to the Plus 2 rear)

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PostPost by: yandy » Fri Feb 13, 2009 8:55 pm

Amongst the verbal legend that came from the PO with my car was the proudly recounted tale of how the rear bumper was obtained.

A Riley Elf bumper was found and sent, apparently, to the original fabricators/converters used by Lotus. There is some paper evidence of part of the story confirming the purchase of the Elf bumper, and referring to it being couriered directly to a firm called Tuckers in Bristol.

That was in '92 though, and google isn't forthcoming with reference to such a company now. It's a nice fitting bumper.

BTW, there's a pair of Elf bumper bolts on e-bay at the moment. Bored? It's a cold Friday night - thought I'd take a look at an Elf bumper.

Andy
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PostPost by: andyelan » Sat Feb 14, 2009 1:27 pm

Hi again

Tuckers of Bristol made the bumpers for the Aston Martin DB4 etc. so it is quite likley they were original suppliers to Lotus. They were still in business until relativly recently.

Aren't Harringtons in Bristol? I wonder if there's any connection.

Andy
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PostPost by: andyelan » Mon Apr 06, 2009 1:03 pm

Hi Everyone

It's been a while so I thought I would e-mail Harrington to see what the situation was with their Plus 2 bumper bars. This is the reply I received. It looks like to project is still alive although at present no dates are promised.


"Hello Andy,

Thank you very much for the interest in our products.

Yes, we had some issues with the fitting of the Lotus Elan +2 bumpers. It seems that the pattern we used for the reproduction was not perfect ? although the specialist that provided us with the pattern assured that they were perfect. However, we stopped the sales of the bumpers until further investigation has been done. We will get a new pattern ? which was test fitted on a Lotus Elan +2 - next week and will then be able to compare the patterns against each other.

I can offer to contact you as soon as we have the new pattern.

Please let me know your thoughts.

Best regards,

Christoph"
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PostPost by: memini55 » Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:05 pm

Wow, I have kind of missed out on the thread. I bought a set for my son's car and gave to him for a xmas gift. Weather here has been bad since so have not opened and installed yet. So since mine are an early run looks like they won't fit either. :(

So has anyone had luck with returning for ones that will fit yet?? Or if not replaced how about a credit for bad ones??

I had spent a fair amount of time talking back and forth to make sure things would be good. Sure hope the follow thru is also as good as I was led to believe. They will need to work hard to make sure everyone is taken care of. I hope.

Carl any luck to date?

Now seems to be a new seller over here in the states which I have seen on ebay of late. Anyone know of this seller and if it is the same product?

Mark
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Tue Apr 07, 2009 12:23 am

Andy et al:

I was in email contact with Christoph on March 13th, but was out of town for the last couple of weeks. Christoph asked me to send photo's of the fitment issues; told him will try to do this month. Hoping to get this done in the next couple of weeks; my shed is covered in snow still :o, and I want to take the original bumpers up to the body shop so we can do a proper comparo with the new ones and decide where to go from there.

I also discussed fitment with Carlos several times on the phone. He has already provided many detailed photo's of the issue to Christoph.

Christoph sent me a few photo's showing "stock fit" from his "specialist", as if to indicate his fit as well as stock. I have attached the pic's below. Doesn't look like a great fit or a great car. In any case, I think Carlos' pic's above of the Harrington front bumper show much poorer fit than the stock one pictured below.

Had the body tech trial fit my Harrinton bumpers, and he confirmed they will definitely not fit on the front without alteration of the body. Figures the rear could be fitted, but would take a lot of work. This is same as what Carlos found, and I think his photo's tell the story pretty well, so not sure what more Christoph may need from me.

I asked about sending my bumpers to Harrington to use as a model for proper shape, but Christoph did not respond to this idea. Sounds like from your email he has something underway in the regard.

When I get the comparo done I will report back.
Attachments
bumper 4 from Harringtons.jpg
bumper 4 from Harringtons.jpg (16.6 KiB) Viewed 2415 times
bumper 3 from Harringtons.jpg
bumper 3 from Harringtons.jpg (10.55 KiB) Viewed 2418 times
bumper 2 from Harringtons.jpg
bumper 2 from Harringtons.jpg (10.55 KiB) Viewed 2422 times
bumper 1 from Harringtons.jpg
bumper 1 from Harringtons.jpg (11.71 KiB) Viewed 2431 times
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PostPost by: Carlos A » Tue Apr 07, 2009 3:22 am

Hi all. The saga continues!

Here are my conclusions so far:

1. Those pics Stu posted (from Harrington) ---the blue car ---are of an original bumper poorly mounted (without the rubber pads). But they are original nevertheless. I do not understand what Christoph had in mind with these pics. What are they supposed to suggest or prove? I am as confused as Stu.
2. Harrington SS front bumper will NOT fit. Period.
3. Harrington back SS bumper will fit with about 4 hours of hard professional work, and with new holes in the body. But it will NOT look original (gaps in the corners).
4. Stu body shop guy arrived to the same conclusion I did...
5. So far the best solution is to re-chrome (I am going that direction).
6. I do not understand why Christoph needs more pics. I send Harrington 22 pictures, measurements, and comparison with two different set of original bumpers. I spent a lot of time on this matter.
7. The ebay seller Mark is talking about is a distributor, and those are the same Harington bumpers. Somebody should tell them!
8. It will take a while for Harington to come up with the right product. In the meanwhile I would get a refund.
Stu: did you get yours?


Best

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PostPost by: memini55 » Sat Apr 25, 2009 12:45 pm

Thought I would post and update on my progress with the new bumbers and the vender. I have been in very recent contact with the vender and have had good responce.
First they have stopped all production and verified issues with both bumpers. I had spent a few days working with the new ones and sent photos and measurement issues to them. They were very thankful and quickly sent the responce that they had stopped production, not having good patterns to work from.
I have spent time working on the front bumper and now have it fitting better that the original that came with the car. It is fairly light in weight and somewhat flexible. I left one end free and bolted from the outside bolt inward working to the other side. By doing this the bumper flexed enough to come in line and not look too bad. The attachment holes are somewhat slotted in the body and I was able to move the bumper up into a better position. I know this is different than what Carlos found with his bumper but my guess is that they are not consistant in their construction at Harrinton.
The rear is another story! The overall shape is not good as it does not follow the rear contour of the body very well. I have 1/4" gap under the right taillight and tight on the other side. The front tips are also shaped different than the original, a little more square. On the right, it fit fairly well other than the shape. On the left it is too long and hits the forward part of the body.
Since the metal of the bumper is fairly light I may try to grind and reshape the tips to fit and look correct. As for the gap I might be able to work that by removing some material from the drivers inside edge until it fits correctly. Not sure if that will help, but if I do that it should move the bumper arround,
which would move the bumper tips forward on the right and that may let the left swing out a touch for a better fit. I do have a polishing wheel and compound which should also allow me to polish the worked areas when done. Since I should end up with no money invested I will only be out my time. What better to spend my free time on if not working on a LOTUS!
As for the vender they are working on a refund of a fair amount since I have fit the front.
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PostPost by: kcrossle » Tue May 19, 2009 3:56 am

I thought I could use this thread to update a long-forgotten thread about my own experience with the rear bumper.

About two years ago I bought a rear bumper from Chris Neil's. It sat, wrapped up while all the other rebuilding was going on. SOme months ago I went to install said bumper and it was absolute rubbish. I don't think I could have made it fit any way at all... it was just bad.

Long story short - Neils came through and replaced it and shipped a new one to me at no cost.

I'd consider it very reasonably good. It isn't quite on in the vertical curves; it's a bit too angular. But it does align well and I think I'll use this and hold the original for possible replating another day.

Keith

(anyone want to buy an unused rear bumper for something like a Plus 2?)
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new rear bumper installed.JPG and
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PostPost by: kcrossle » Thu May 21, 2009 1:45 am

I remember reading a long time ago that it cost the same to design and put the Elan into production as it cost to design and put the Mk 1 Cortina bumpers into production!

Mark


I read that GM sold Lotus for the same amount they spent on redesigning the Fiero's suspension.
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PostPost by: RichC » Thu May 21, 2009 6:26 pm

last month i was a newby to +2 , and needing a new rear bumper I recalled hearing that it came from the wolseley hornet . When i saw one up on eb*y I snapped it up for a tenner and was 'made up' until i got it home and took it to the back of the +2....you can guess the rest!

Looking at it beside the original bumper (which is holed with rust ) it is evident where 2 extra straight lengths have been let-in.
Thinking about this , one option open to me would be to cut out 2 good straight lengths from my original knackered bumper and let them in to the Wolseley Hornet bumper & then rechrome the whole lot . Anyone tried this before??
or am I mad? - just to get that little flare in the bottom of the bumper back..

Nice bloke from Dartford sold me his modern remanufactured rear bumper+2 and i've fitted it & it looks great, even with the litle flare. I'm quite happy with it but understand they're not very longlasting
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Fri May 22, 2009 8:25 am

Rich,
They often rust from the inside where there is little chrome or any other protection, take the bumper off and paint well. The chrome surface needs to be kept clean and free from salt, polish it from time to time and apply a good car wax and it will look good and last for ever.

Mike
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PostPost by: Carlos A » Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:23 pm

Anyone has an update on Harrington's bumpers. Did they fixed the problem? I am about to rechrome mine but I am wondering if they fixed them...

Carlos
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PostPost by: yandy » Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:51 pm

As of 3rd November last year, they were still referring to bad-fit issues as the reason they had halted sales. At the time I was looking for a front bumper and noted that they also sold repro stainless steel Anglia 105E bumpers. Surely the same thing, I thought, and suggested. It seems however that their Anglia bumper was modelled off an Anglia bumper, and their +2 bumper off another +2 bumper (see posts passim) and ne'er the twain shall meet. Oh and apparently a Europa owner said it was a better fit than his original. I detected a frostiness towards pesky +2 owners.

Sue Millar found a respectable original in the attic in the end so I didn't pursue it further.

Keep an eye on their website, they said.
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