Lotus Elan

Windscreen Frame replacement - S4

PostPost by: Rogerg_268 » Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:47 pm

img_3695.jpg and
img_3694.jpg and
Hello all; relatively new Elan owner here reaching out to the knowledgeable membership.

My S4 SE DHC has a cracked windscreen frame (at the base near where it joins the body) - if i had to guess someone was pulling themselves out of the car regularly by hanging on to the top of the screen and it eventually gave up... All is well when the soft top is up and the top of screen is braced by the roof stays but when the top is down you can move the right hand side screen pillar back and forth and the screen starts to lift out of the seal.

The question is - how do I repair / replace? It would appear that it is a moulded piece to the main body and not a separate frame like the earlier cars. At the same time a replacement of the weatherstripping and trim wouldn't go a miss either. Looking at it, I get the impression it could be beyond my moderate skills. Of course all this is compounded by the fact I live in Los Angeles which is not known for it classic Lotus knowledge.

Any advice here would be much appreciated.

Roger
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Wed Oct 12, 2016 8:02 am

Hello Roger,

the windscreen frame is a part that is bolted onto the body and glassed in, you can find it from good suppliers, e.g.

http://www.kelsport.net/parts/product_d ... ctionID=23


*!* edit *!* caution, the part quoted a bit too quickly above is for S1 S2, different windscreen from S4 : a repair section for S4 may not be that easy to source ... but repairing should be possible (and probably easier anyway in your case).


or you may be able to repair yours, in any case I would remove the windscreen and paint to the gelcoat in the area to assess the extent of the damage (using acetone on dry fiberglass to see how far the crack goes), a durable repair involving anchoring the new fiberglass about an inch away from the crack in a taper.

patience and using the gelcoat as a guide is what it takes... then some paint.

good luck
Last edited by nmauduit on Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Wed Oct 12, 2016 8:25 am

Hello Roger,

The S3/4/Sprint dhc screen surrounds were part of the body shell. The type 26's had a detachable screen surround.

I believe there is a bit of metal on each side to reinforce the weak point on the type 45 screens. I'm sure somebody here will be able to tell you more.

Cherrio,

Rob
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PostPost by: Gray » Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:26 am

Hi

Its a common problem, a very weak point.

Take the windscreen out, grind down the GRP, check the frame position so there is adequate clearance from the door frame (prop as required) and reglass. I use chopped strand mat, but separate the strands so all are vertical for maximum strength. It is best to do one side at a time. Check the metal rod on the inside of the frame is still in place and reglass if necessary. If not fitted a quarter inch mild steel rod bent to fit can be used. Finish and repaint repaired area and it will probably come back in a few years.

If anyone has a better way to add strength let me know.

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PostPost by: AHM » Wed Oct 12, 2016 6:25 pm

As described by Gary above.

Make templates of the different shapes out of cardboard for when you are sanding the fibreglass back to shape.
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:23 pm

There should be J bar in there as an additional support. I believe mine have been additionally reinforced with carbon fibre.
Steve

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PostPost by: Bruce Crowthorne » Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:26 pm

Just to echo the previous posts.
Mine was similar.
There should be a reinforcing bar in there - as mentioned "J" shaped. With mine I used some fine woven mat and applied several layers and carefully glassed them in. I aligned the fibres to get maximum strength in the appropriate directions.
It was fiddly, but straightforward.
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:37 pm

Think it would be important to make up a jig to hold the screen frame at the correct angle so you don't get either a big gap or a rubbing side window frame.
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PostPost by: Rogerg_268 » Fri Oct 14, 2016 4:46 pm

Thanks everyone for the info. It doesn't sound too horrific a job so I'll give it a go myself.

I think the screen will fall out based on the age / condition of the rubber surround. I am sure getting it back in will be 'fun' though.

The cardboard templates are a good idea to get the right curvature. I was thinking that the hood stays would probably hold the pillar in near enough the right spot but i'll measure to make sure nothing moves.

I have easy access to carbon fibre mat and resin systems - I'll see if i can 'borrow' some UD mat and save myself the the hassle of trying manually align the fibre strands.

I've had the car a couple of years and it is a bit of a rolling restoration/renovation - it was actually advertised on this site previously. I've attached some pictures so you can all see.
Attachments
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img_1366.jpg and
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