Lotus Elan

8 hours to remove body from chassis

PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:27 am

A recent poster commented " 8 hours to remove the body again" in exasperation to fix a problem. I was planning to remove the body from my chassis on my Elan for the first time in 33 years so I decided to write down the steps and time taken. Took me 8 1/4 hours including taking photos and writing notes. Also in this time about 3/4 of an hour to remove the non standard competition fuel cell from the boot that prevents access to the rear chassis bolts and earth connections. So on a standard Elan about 7 /1/2 hours is easily done. All the bolts I put in with anti seize 33 years ago so they all came out with out any problems :D

Chassis Removal Steps (assembly is reverse of removal!)
Day 1 -4 ? hours

? Elan off trailer and positioned in hoist area ? Plus 2 moved to where Elan trailer was.
? Vacuum engine connection removed
? Radiator drained and removed including wiring to electric fans and pipe to overflow bottle and coil which is mounted on radiator.
? Distributor cap removed
? Throttle disconnected and carbs removed and studs removed rear 2 ports to clear foot-well
? Heater hoses removed
? Oil gauge line removed
? Water temperature sensor removed
? Alternator wiring disconnected
? LH engine mount disconnected, engine lifted, heater valve removed, engine mount refitted
? Starter cable disconnected
? Speedo cable disconnected
? Vacuum lines to chassis removed
? Clutch rigid pipe from master cylinder to chassis removed
? Oil cooler disconnected from body mount

Day 2 ? 3 ? hours

? Seats removed and rear inner seat track bolts removed
? Handbrake handle disconnected from body and cable released from handle
? Fuel tank removed ? this is a non-standard competition fuel cell and needs to be removed to access the rear chassis to body bolts
? Rear and front chassis earths disconnected
? Rear exhaust mount to body removed
? Brake fluid drained and lines from master cylinder to chassis disconnected
? Under car body to chassis bolts removed
? Engine bay chassis bolts removed
? Cabin chassis bolts removed
? Inner seat belts bolts to chassis removed
? Outer upper seat belt bolts and lugs to chassis bracket removed
? Reversing light wires not connected as gear box used does not have switch tapping.
? Body lifted off and chassis wheeled out

cheers
Rohan
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PostPost by: AHM » Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:55 am

There must be a mathematical relationship based on the time between removal and replacement.

I can take the doors off an elan rebuild everything and have them back on in a day. As I did with the S3 a couple of years ago.

I took them off the S4 7 years ago, and just took the best part of a week to put them back on.
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Fri Feb 07, 2014 11:05 am

Rohan, nice writeup.

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PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri Feb 07, 2014 11:13 am

The biggest temptation is to start stripping and rebuilding the chassis. But I have a race meeting in 4 weeks so just a clean, some paint touch-up to where the body flexing has worn off the paint and repairs to distortion and cracks to the Lotocone mounting brackets which is why I removed the body in the first place. I will do a few other things that are easy with the body off - new rear shocks and a change of diff oil for example.

The Max Jax made setting the car at an easy working height and ultimately for the body removal very easy

cheers
Rohan

Elan on Max Jax.jpg and
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PostPost by: cliveyboy » Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:19 pm

I hope everyone noticed the mention of anti seize compound.
Its a top tip (I use it when ever I can).
Greatly reduces the chances of seized bolts and nuts when you come to dismantle in the future
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PostPost by: billwill » Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:48 pm

Hmmm, your FIRST step should have been to disconnect the battery.

According to your list you were messing about with the alternator wiring while the circuits were live.


I presume that you did actually disconnect the battery & it was so utterly obvious youforgot to put it in your list above.

:)
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:41 pm

Yes I should have listed it but I guess its automatic for me to switch off the isolator at the battery when ever I work on the car or leven when its just sitting in the garage. I only switch it on when I use the car. :D

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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:02 am

Cracks in rear spring mount which is why the chassis came off. Drill out the end of the cracks to hopefully stop them growing further after repair.
rear spring mount cracks.jpg and



Reinforcing plates for outside and inside of spring mount to stop it cracking and buckling.

outside and inside reinforcing plates.jpg and


Plates brazed in place. I prefer gas brazing for repairs compared to MIG or TIG as easier to do and less distortion and less likely to create more cracking.

reinforced spring mount.jpg and


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PostPost by: Elanconvert » Sun Feb 16, 2014 4:11 pm

rohan
interested to see your post about brazing.....NOT acceptable in UK for structural repairs i.e. would fail MOT :wink:

notwithstanding that, I used to regularly use gas brazing for repairing thin metal section to an old morris minor....covered by underseal and passed by a friendly MOT man!!!
'Never give up!....unless it's hopeless.....'

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PostPost by: Chancer » Sun Feb 16, 2014 4:44 pm

The Caterham 7 chassis is entirely bronze welded as are many other sports and single seater chassis that are/were made by Arch Motors.

I have been away from the scene for nearly a decade and did hear that they had changed supplier and were using a welded "metric" chassis which I thought was a backward step, I believe that they ended up reverting to Arch motors and bronze welding again, what are they doing now?

+1 for the bronze welded chassis repair, very wise, regarding MOT repairs well we are probably talking about a piece of thin sheet steel brazed onto another, not really a good idea as distortion would cause a non capillary joint. I have done it on renovations but using a joddler and avdel skin pins every 3 cms and the holes later filled with braze.
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PostPost by: Elanconvert » Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:13 pm

when I did my welding course [many moons ago :lol: ], I did have a discussion with my tutor about this, and he was of the opinion that brazing can be just as strong as welding in many cases, certainly in shear....in fact, I seem to remember an experiment comparing two sections joined by each method, and the results were similar?. I bet there's an expert on here somewhere :wink: ......
i used to pop rivet the panels together before brazing, grinding off the heads afterwards, and the distortion was minimal, especially when compared to welding...
I'm not saying I wouldn't do it [as I said, I have done it], just that MOT regs were pointed out to me, and they refer to 'structural or loadbearing members' I think.....

:D fred
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:34 pm

Brazed lap joints in shear can develop higher strength that the base carbon steel if properly made. I am not worried about the braze repair to my chassis or the design of the reinforcing plates but more about my skill in doing it :lol: I put the reinforcing on the front and rear of each of the rear towers and left the cracked one to last so I had some practice by the time I got to it !!!

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PostPost by: Elanconvert » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:08 am

I'm sure you're just being modest, rohan......once an engineer, etc...
I agree that that brazing can be just as good as welding in many situations,[probably better where you have used it, as the reinforcing plates could only be welded along edges] as long as there is attention to gaps..... :lol: I may be wrong, but it seems our MOT regs were written by civil servants rather than engineers :wink:
I presume you have similar 'roadworthy' regs in Oz?

Interesting too about the lotus 7......must be quite tricky brazing the ends of tubes, especially when three or four come together!!!

:D fred
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1970 S4 dhc big valve
1973 Ginetta G15
1967 Ginetta G4 [sadly now sold]
1959 lotus elite type 14
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:40 am

In Victoria we have a road worthy certificate check requirement when you sell a car but no annual test requirement. No specific regulations around how repairs are made however. Up to the individual tester to judge I guess that any repairs are sound. We don't have the rust problems you have in the colder climes so rust repairs less common and almost never required in structural components.

You only need an overlap of 3 times the wall thickness of a tube to develop the full tube strength with brazing. so with careful notching easy to do on a Seven Chassis.

Don't tell the MOT inspectors but your Elans A arms (if original at least) are brazed if you look under the paint :D

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PostPost by: billwill » Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:05 pm

Elanconvert wrote:I'm sure you're just being modest, rohan......once an engineer, etc...
I agree that that brazing can be just as good as welding in many situations,[probably better where you have used it, as the reinforcing plates could only be welded along edges] as long as there is attention to gaps..... :lol: I may be wrong, but it seems our MOT regs were written by civil servants rather than engineers :wink:
I presume you have similar 'roadworthy' regs in Oz?

Interesting too about the lotus 7......must be quite tricky brazing the ends of tubes, especially when three or four come together!!!

:D fred



Are not bicycle frames always (mostly?, Originally?) made from tubes brazed together?
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