Lotus Elan

Interior niggles

PostPost by: JonB » Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:49 am

Hi

A few questions about the interior of my Plus 2.

The vinyl parts in my car are very creaky. Especially when engaging 1st, 3rd or 5th gear, as the stick and gaiter are very close to the dashboard. The gaiter bunches up and presses on the top of the vinyl trim (also makes it harder to engage 5th). Is there a fix? I had thought to use talcum powder to help the surfaces slide against each other as it is oatmeal.

Second, the seats seem to be very flexible. They rock about when cornering and the seat back flexes a little. Not confidence inducing. Is it normal, or are my seat frames in need of attention? I note they are only attached at the front of the frame which seems very "old school Lotus" to me. They aren't all that comfortable either (by design, the foam is OK) and I am wondering if I can fit some sort of aftermarket seats that will improve support, comfort and provide head restraints (I know, sacrilege, but I would ensure the modification was reversible).

Third, the under dash trim round the steering column and hand brake seems very loose and low. How is it supposed to be attached? At the moment, there is a join in the middle and it is screwed together. Looks a right bodge!

Cheers
JonB
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:37 pm

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PostPost by: vincereynard » Thu Nov 23, 2017 3:28 pm

Could be you have too much gearstick travel because of a knacked gear lever pivot ball.

lotus-gearbox-f37/lotus-speed-gear-stick-t40452.html

It would not be unusual.
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PostPost by: JonB » Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:32 pm

Interesting re: the seats. Problem is matching them against the oatmeal interior...

Maybe something like these?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/222729450292
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:59 pm

I'm happy with the near match to the basket-weave , glad they're not PVC...

John :wink:
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PostPost by: Robbie693 » Fri Nov 24, 2017 12:51 am

I think the XJS seats look the best, although I had an X-1/9 once and the seats were very comfortable I must say.

As for the under dash trims, they are supposed to be attached to the dashboard edge trims with screws and the inner one also attaches to the centre console in the lower corner and, on mine at least, there is a screw through to the fibreglass at the forward lower corner nearest the heater outlet. My outer trim also has a screw through to the handbrake mounting plate but I don't think this was standard
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PostPost by: JonB » Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:49 am

The other thing about the standard seats is that I feel like I'm sitting "on" them rather than "in" them. The lack of support means that I'm getting thrown about in the bends (passenger too), and even slight corners are unsettling. The foam seems to be OK, there is no obvious sagging save a slight bit on the front of the base where your legs are.

Is this normal?
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PostPost by: Robbie693 » Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:42 am

They certainly don't have as much support as a modern car with bolsters but I don't feel like I'm sitting 'on' mine so there is a but of lateral support.

Contemporary road tests generally praised the seats for comfort too so maybe your's have been re-foamed or sprung?
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PostPost by: gus » Fri Nov 24, 2017 12:57 pm

I have been using X19 seats for over 30 years. Had them reupholstered some 15 years ago to match, and most people do not notice

There should be a catch to stop them tilting forward

Check to make sure the bolts are all tight
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PostPost by: JonB » Fri Nov 24, 2017 4:15 pm

gus wrote:There should be a catch to stop them tilting forward

Check to make sure the bolts are all tight


No catch on the original Elan seats (or are you referring to the Fiat ones?). Do the X1/9 seats fold forward or do you have to lift the whole seat like the Elan seats? If the seats need to be lifted forward, what's the gap like for rear access, and does it hit the roof liner?

A picture would be greatly appreciated!

I had a look at the bolts on my driver's seat, they seem tight. Having said that I will be taking the seats out at some point so that I can oil the squab release mechanism. It's stiff as hell.
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PostPost by: Robbie693 » Fri Nov 24, 2017 4:19 pm

I believe the catch was a federal thing.

Before Gus comes back I can confirm the X-1/9 seats fold forwards
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PostPost by: JonB » Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:49 am

Good news, then. Pity the ones I saw on eBay were ?100 and a long way away.

Going back to the creaking and squeaking, the most annoying noise actually comes from the steering wheel. It sort of creaks as you turn it. It's either the wheel rubbing against the stalk switch shroud (which appears to be covered in vinyl) or there is a rubber O ring in there that's dry. I'll know when I take it apart. I also want to clean the indicator switch as it's not self cancelling properly on one side, and the shaft is a bit loose so I will check the mount.

What a lot of work! But that's one of the reasons I bought it. The other shame is it's winter so cold & damp in my garage (another thing I need to address; well the damp at least).

Great hobby. :D
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PostPost by: gus » Sat Nov 25, 2017 12:45 pm

The Fiat seats actually recline, as well as fold, miracle of miracles

The headrest hits the headliner and tears it on the stock Federal seats, and does little to aid ingress to the rear

AS to steering wheel noises, maybe a little light oil down the shaft, but I will also suspect the flex joint telegraphing noise up.
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PostPost by: LaikaTheDog » Sat Nov 25, 2017 5:51 pm

Suzuki cappuccino seats
Only available in black
Nice support. Comfortable.

I had a cappo. Liked the seats. Put a pair in the TVR but when I sold it the new owner liked them too much and took them ... they are nice size and fit perfectly in the elan.

The Jag xjs recaro are slightly wider...and some are electric adjusted. but a nice colour and style.

There is a jag breaker called "jag grubber" who usually has some.
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PostPost by: JonB » Sat Nov 25, 2017 6:38 pm

Yeah, I had two Cappuccinos and the seats were amazingly comfy.

Expensive 2nd hand now, I expect.
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