Lotus Elan

Body fit, just gets worse!

PostPost by: NYK » Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:59 pm

Brief background, I bought a Plus 2 for restoration and it became apparent that the nose section had been very badly repaired. Having spent a lot of time sodding about with it I decided to have a new front mid section moulded. The chassis is a pretty new Spyder unit and was clearly replaced post accident, it is in very good condition and shows no sign of any account damage.

I have been struggling to get the new section to line up correctly, I produced a number of alignment jigs to aid in this process. Having got it 'nearly there' I can see that the hub to underside of wheel arch measurement is around 10mm greater on the o/s. Removing the section I laid a piece of wood across the top wishbone mounts and a cord along the back edge of the bonnet aperture (see picture) this seems to confirm that the body is raised in relation to the chassis on the o/s. All body to chassis bolts are removed and the body appears to be equally seated on the chassis either side of the gearbox bell housing.

Any thoughts or comments welcomed. The two photos below show the general set up and the front on picture shows the transverse piece of wood and white cord are not parallel as one would expect they should be. I'm assuming this is not normal.

dsc00037-copy.jpg and


dsc00036-copy.jpg and
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:52 pm

It's not unusual for spacers to be required between body and chassis both to fill gaps and also to achieve clearance between engine and bonnet. Looks like you need to add packers on the n/s to level things up, maybe these were omitted when the body was repaired and the chassis replaced in the past. Before adjusting anything I would make sure the chassis is level front and back so there is no twist caused by an uneven garage floor, then you can level up the body and see what packers you need.
Roger
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PostPost by: NYK » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:40 pm

Thanks Roger, there is a good chance that the floor is uneven. Can the chassis really twist in that situation? The rear of the car is still on its wheel so I had hoped that the suspension would soak up any difference. With the body on its not immediately obvious how I can check that the front and rear of the chassis are level, ie not twisted, I?ll have to give that one some thought.

If I end up putting spacers in, then the body would only bear on those spacers where it is raised, is that OK?
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:30 pm

I don't know how likely the chassis is to twist but best to eliminate that as a possible cause before addressing the problem. The chassis is certainly less stiff without the body bolted to it anyway. If the floor at the rear is not level could you just use a piece(s) of board under one wheel to level the back of the car up ?
Spacers normally only go in where the mountings are so the bolts pass through them and hold them in place, either large washers or some people use steel or aluminium strip cut and drilled to make shims. The gaps won't be the same along the length of the chassis so packing along the whole length would be impractical. Have a look at this earlier thread....lotus-chassis-f36/mating-body-chassis-t40422.html ..... not a Plus 2 but the principle is the same.
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