Lotus Elan

Elan Door removal - don't mess with the 1/2 inch bolts

PostPost by: garyeanderson » Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:46 pm

If you want to maintain the decent fit that you have (if its still good). If its already been messed with well it probably doesn't matter much. Every one pulls the doors off the easy way by unscrewing the 1/2 inch hex headed cap screws. This looses the acceptable factory fit and then when you add fat new door seals, the doors really look like crap. Here are some more photos of the tool and shows how it needs to be inserted fully to be effective.

The tool is 1/4 inch square tool stock, Not 6 mm is too loose a fit and may turn inside of the nylon pivot ball.
Image

Tool is fully bottomed in the nylon pivot ball, this is around 3/4 inch (19mm) engagement so it should turn all but the most difficult ones.
Image
Sockets on the right of picture are a 5/16" twelve point 3/8 drive and a 1/4 inch drive by 3/8 inch square socket that I use with a 3/8" rachett
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ready to engage, just touching.
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engaged and fully bottomed.
Image

Start on the bottom hinge, first remove the jam nut with a 3/4 inch socket. Once you have access to the Nylon pivot ball then insert the 1/4 inch bit of square tool stock and then the socket over that.If the nylon ball doesn't turn left try to the right initially, you are just trying to loosen it first, use a light oil on the nylon threads but, try not to get it in the 1/4 inch square hole in the nylon pivot. Once it's loose work it back and forth untill the nylon ball is nearly flush with the bottom of the door and pull out at the bottom. The door should come away and start to drop. Set the first door aside and start on the other. If I am lucky enough to get both doors off like this I leave the both Alloy hinge castings bolted in place and I never even touch the top pivot at all. A little masking tape over them for painting is all.

Gary
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PostPost by: elangtv2000 » Sun Sep 27, 2009 2:57 pm

Cool! Thanks for that, Gary. I've been meaning to adjust my doors, though much of the misalignment is the old-mold syndrome, which will require fiberglass work, I imagine.
Cheers,
Greg Tatarian
Elan S4 DHC
Santa Rosa, CA, USA
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Sun Sep 27, 2009 3:16 pm

elangtv2000 wrote:Cool! Thanks for that, Gary. I've been meaning to adjust my doors, though much of the misalignment is the old-mold syndrome, which will require fiberglass work, I imagine.
Cheers,
Greg Tatarian
Elan S4 DHC
Santa Rosa, CA, USA


Some of it certainly is door shape but most of it is folks doing it wrong when they go to paint, and then installing new seals that are not the correct size. It all adds up to ugly door fit but I don't think the Lotus factory made and sold them looking quite so badly as folks here would have you believe. just my 2 cents...

Gary
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PostPost by: RotoFlexible » Sun Sep 27, 2009 3:32 pm

Thanks, Gary. A 1/4" socket drive works for me. (I find a 1/4" socket set a useful addition to the tool kit for tight jobs like this one.)

The right-hand (non-driver's) door is a decent fit on my car (even with new seals), but the left-hand door shows the characteristic kick-out at the bottom rear corner. After much head scratching and trial fitting, I've come to the conclusion that the body has sagged slightly on that side, resulting in a door opening that is no longer properly aligned to the hinge sockets. (In other words, the opening ain't square any more.)
Andrew Bodge
'66 Elan S2 26/4869
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PostPost by: garyeanderson » Sun Sep 27, 2009 5:29 pm

RotoFlexible wrote:Thanks, Gary. A 1/4" socket drive works for me. (I find a 1/4" socket set a useful addition to the tool kit for tight jobs like this one.)

The right-hand (non-driver's) door is a decent fit on my car (even with new seals), but the left-hand door shows the characteristic kick-out at the bottom rear corner. After much head scratching and trial fitting, I've come to the conclusion that the body has sagged slightly on that side, resulting in a door opening that is no longer properly aligned to the hinge sockets. (In other words, the opening ain't square any more.)


Hi Andy

When I had your S2 Elan here to do the lattice replacement I had the car pretty loose. see link

elan-f14/elan-door-surround-latice-yours-rotten-too-t15161.html

The Elan had no perrimeter attachment of the out side skin to the inside skin along the length of both sills and the boot floor was split out in nearly every direction so that had to get fixed.
I set the height of each corner by opening and shutting the doors. If I picked up one side a little and the door opening and shutting was better on one side than the other, I dropped back a little. When it seemed equal that both doors opened and shut equally well, thats where it was all fiberglassed and locked in place. They seems to work ok before and after, to have tried to fix the door gaps at that time would have meant painting and a lot of time so I did the best I could with the time and money we had to work with.

Gary

PS the 1/4 inch rachet works ok when the nylon adjusting ball is loose but most times, you find that too tight when the 1/4 inch extention starts to spin, some adjusters need to be blown out with compressed air and the 1/4 inch square tool stock hit home with a hammer. I have even had vicegrips on the nylon ball and the tool driven home and still stuck.
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PostPost by: nhhiker » Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:41 pm

Gary, You have seen my doors that the DPO removed the hinges. Well I did use 1/4 sq. stock to make a long bit to use for the adjustment. I did fit the doors onto the car before the paint job. Gaps are now great and fit was good now. I did this with no seals in the door. I will do that when then the window frame is in and the latch in on the car. We will see how it fits than.

Thanks for stopping by and pointing me in the right direction.

Bill
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PostPost by: mac5777 » Sun Sep 27, 2009 7:26 pm

Gary, great insight and photos.
Greg, all though my doors have a decent fit, the upper hinge area is rubbing on the door's paint. I would like to get your eyes on my door for your opinion and advice, maybe on our next run. You can see the right side door, upper corner must be rubbing somewhere inside as the fit when the door is shut, has a normal fit. I have not taken the door off yet to see where it might be touching and that might indicate what type of adjustment should be made.
I thought my wax job looked good until this close up flash photo of the letters. Out to get a new box of Q-tips

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Cotati, CA.
Only the right side door rubbing.
2009 BRISBANE MARINA BRITISH CAR DAY Sept 13 Photo
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PostPost by: elangtv2000 » Mon Sep 28, 2009 1:26 pm

Hi Sarto,
I've sent you an email direct to your email address.
Greg
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PostPost by: billwill » Wed Aug 06, 2014 12:50 pm

Bye the way, you will probably find a suitable square shaft inside any interior house door handle.

I think it is the right size, but I have not checked.

If you have a spare one and it is too big you can file it down to the correct size.
Last edited by billwill on Sat Aug 09, 2014 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: au-yt » Sat Aug 09, 2014 9:21 am

Hi Gary
This thread could not come at a better time, I am just about to remove the doors to fit the SPRINT scripts!
so the tips are great, my car shows the typical kicked edge look. This is a legacy of the long term cure of the F/G and the thick edges.
My Car has the original door seals and they are not bulb seals they have a single leg coming of the back of the pinch weld cover
Elan door seals.JPG and

Graeme
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PostPost by: alan » Sun Aug 10, 2014 5:14 am

hi Graeme,
i have used the same seals as you and have a good result. :mrgreen:
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PostPost by: cortinaelan455 » Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:27 pm

I know this is an old topic but I'm hoping somebody could clarify this for me. I'm trying to remove my doors by removing the nylon screw without much luck. I've read through the removal procedure again and it says turn the bottom screw to the left. Is the bottom screw a left handed thread. Just in case I've been tightening it!.
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:04 pm

the nylon ball screws are regular direction thread: when you unscrew then, you reduce pressure between nylon ball and lead cups that are glassed into the body, eventually to the point the door can be removed.
The hex locking steel screw must be undone so that the nylon ball screw can be undone, too (the metal one is behind the nylon one, acting as a stop).
It can help to take some weight off the door hinge in order to let the nylon screw to be undone, the square hole is not very strong (nylon) and thread pressure (or careless overspray etc) may result in a damaged square hole before the ball screw gets undone.
iirc it's a 1/4" square, I keep a "nano" screwdrive for that, and always make sure is has engaged all the way to the end of the hole before undoing.

If that fails removing the whole assembly may be required, then in my experience, the original clear nylon fit better than the repro black ones (somewhat conical or too fat, resulting in a stuck ball screws even on the bench). Getting the right pressure and balance between the bottom and the top ball nylon screw is essential for door gap alignement and durable door installation.
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PostPost by: billwill » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:30 am

To answer your original question, to get the door out, screw the bottom screw upwards and the top screw downwards. Normal right hand threads.
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PostPost by: englishmaninwales » Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:32 pm

If you end up taking the metal hinge housing off, run a tap thro? to clean up the (cast) threads and you?ll find the newer black hinge pins will screw in easily. I?ll post tap size later.
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