Lotus Elan

+2 130S Bonnet Support bracket

PostPost by: Donels » Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:46 pm

I have stripped all metal work from the bonnet for refurbishing. In the centre of the main support is a small adjustable bracket, see attached photo pre-strip. What is supposed to do? On mine it appeared to be in fresh air.
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:09 pm

Mine is a bit different to that but it's a very early car, on mine it's for attaching springs to help open the bonnet. One end of the spring(s) attach to this bracket and the other end goes round the steering rack. I believe there was a later mod to remove one or both springs to prevent the bonnet being lifted up and blocking your view if the catches happened to fail while you were driving. I can provide a photo of mine for comparison if you want, but currently the metalwork is separate from the bonnet itself. Maybe someone with a later car can confirm this.

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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:18 pm

I have pondered that part, too (my car, Feb 1970 Plus 2S) has the single tab welded to the middle of the forward bonnet tube and the little piece bolted to it (like yours). The parts manual shows nothing on that forward support tube, so obviously it was eventually deleted.

Would like to hear from others who have one or more springs attached. Do you like the effect? Is it a coil spring? How much lift does it give? What is the spring's tension? Have you ever had the main catches fail and the bonnet lift up at the trailing edge? :shock:

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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:19 pm

When I fitted my new bonnet, I found that adjustable bracket invaluable. Without it, I could never have shaped the forward edge of the bonnet to have the same contour of the nose section in front of it. I placed a small piece of rubber between the bracket and fibreglass to cushion the contact.
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PostPost by: prezoom » Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:10 am

My car has the bracket, but no spring. The springs on the latches lift the rear of the bonnet enough to get your fingers in the holes on each side of the rear lip.
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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:23 am

Kev, I can see what you mean. I had the advantage of a total body re-working so I made the panels fit with filler and sandpaper. When the panels are already painted, you certainly could use that tab and adjustable bracket. And yet, that bracket appears to have been deleted eventually, as the car's development moved into the '70s.

And agreed that the latch springs move the bonnet up just enough to get your fingers in the slots. However, I understand the original cars did not have those slots. Presumably they were unnecessary when the "lift springs" on the steering rack were present. When those were deleted, the finger slots were added. Anyone with further info on that?

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PostPost by: Orsom Weels » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:18 am

When I bought my first +2 many years ago, it had a spring. I have no idea if it was original or something a previous owner had added, but it was the same spring that the Elan uses, attached to the steering rack & hooked on to the little bracket. With that in combination with the two springs in the latch mechanisms, when the bonnet release was pulled the bonnet flew open violently & was only caught by the bonnet stay. The bobbins that the bonnet hinged on were also worn, the ones in the body on the lower half of their radius, the ones in the bonnet on the upper half, I guess from the extra load caused by the tension of the spring pulling the bonnet down.
At the time, a pal had just bought an Elan & was missing the bonnet spring, so I removed the one from my +2 & donated it to his cause, the +2 really didn't need it, & I have never seen another +2 with a spring still fitted.

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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:25 am

That's a great story, Tim. Thanks. So interesting to think that the spring had so much tension that it really yanked the bonnet up like that. Must have, likewise, taken some pressure to bring the bonnet down and close it.
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:18 am

Like Simon I used that little bracket to shape the forward edge of the bonnet to match the bodywork, but Kev is right in that it was originally for attaching assister springs to the steering rack the same way as a 2 seater Elan. This spring/s was deleted after unit 50/0720 (or thereabouts, nothing certain with Lotus)

Here are the extracts from the +2 workshop manual which for once seem to be quite clear and helpful.
bonnet-instructions.jpg and

bonnet.jpg and
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:35 am

Just to confuse things a bit more, I've dig out my bonnet frame and it has a spring mounting and the little adjustable bracket which I had never noticed before, see pictures attached of the frame and bracket , it is the right way up as the bonnet prop bolt is on the left side of the car.
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PostPost by: Donels » Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:52 am

So it looks like the little bracket is nothing to do with the springs but is there to set the front edge of the bonnet. Thanks for all of the input.

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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:43 am

Thanks for posting that picture BigBaldyBloke. It certainly confirms the little bracket is for setting the height of the front edge of the bonnet and nothing to do with springs. Learn something every day...
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PostPost by: KevJ+2 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:40 pm

Interesting after reading many discussions about bonnet lining/sound proofing, that it's clearly shown in Alan's diagram. It seems to have the centre section cut out at the bulkhead end, I wonder why?
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:19 pm

Is it a cut out in the bonnet lining or is it in two pieces and they have shown it separated to make it clear it's two pieces, just a thought. Other thought may be that it gives more clearance over the spark plug leads, but why, could it cause them to misfire? Seems unlikely but who knows!
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Sat Sep 23, 2017 3:50 pm

Interesting. Had never noticed or paid attention to that bracket. Guess it has always been adjusted close enough. Never had springs either as too late a car.

Randy, I have had the bonnet spring open numerous times. Something to check after any service where a shop may have removed the bonnet as the catches can get out of adjustment I guess. Might be from miss-centering the bonnet at the hinge bolts? Hadn't thought of that issue before, but I suppose it really is the only thing changing when I struggle to re-install the bonnet, usually without help.

The other place my bonnet routinely pops is on track; I just tape the trailing edge with duct tape now to prevent the issue. There is so much torque / flex in the cowl / body at high cornering loads that I expect the catches release. Still could be a miss-alignment issue that is really the root cause though.

The bonnet popping is certainly a bit dramatic the first few times, but nothing truly bad happens. Scared the crap out of me the first time on the road as totally unexpected while driving at highway speed on straight road, and the catches releasing made a fairly loud noise. Result is the bonnet lofts and waves a few inches above the bonnet base, height depending on road speed and cross winds. Even at track speed it doesn't completely block your forward view though, so plenty of time to pull over safely and address the issue.

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