Lotus Elan

New seats / Strength of the seat mount bobbins

PostPost by: JonB » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:44 pm

Hi

A rhetorical question. I've read many comments about the strength of the moulded in bobbins and wondered about the seat mount bobbins. Is it likely to be safe to use a seat with an on-board seat belt mount? I want to change my seats as they are very uncomfortable and have zero lateral support, but most modern seats have inbuilt seat belt buckles. Would be nice to keep them!

Another thing I wanted to ask is about the oatmeal interior. Has anyone fitted black carpets and seats but kept all the other oatmeal trim and if so, any pictures of the result? I think it might look quite smart - what's your opinion (other than "Tut, tut, not original", of course - I'll keep the original seats and carpet for the next owner).

Cheers
JonB

Edit: I found this page which has a picture of the oatmeal with black carpets, looks nice: http://obswww.unige.ch/~wildif/cars/lotus50/
Plus the Spyder Zetec up for sale on their site has cream leather / black carpets and also looks good.
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PostPost by: Foxie » Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:11 pm

JonB wrote:A rhetorical question. I've read many comments about the strength of the moulded in bobbins and wondered about the seat mount bobbins. Is it likely to be safe to use a seat with an on-board seat belt mount? I want to change my seats as they are very uncomfortable and have zero lateral support, but most modern seats have inbuilt seat belt buckles. Would be nice to keep them!

Veteran Irish racing driver Rosemary Smith told me about a crash she had in an Elan at Brands Hatch on Boxing Day many years ago. The car disintegrated like an eggshell, and she found herself sitting in the middle of the track, still strapped into her seat. :shock:

So this is the Mark I version of a frame I made to mount my race seat on. The rear cross member is bolted directly to the seat belt mountings in the chassis and the sill.
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PostPost by: JonB » Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:20 pm

Ah, OK; jolly good idea. So if I replicate that it should be safe to use the on-board clip, providing I also use the seat's runner (given it is strong enough, but the Lotus one probably isn't). What's the square cross section bar made of, and did you put sleeves in where the bolts are? I think I would use a bit of angle iron for this, as the square section steel tubing looks a bit thin to me (I have some in the garage, used it to secure the seats in a kit car I built).

Incidentally, what's that flap in the carpet for?
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PostPost by: Foxie » Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:58 pm

JonB wrote:Ah, OK; jolly good idea. So if I replicate that it should be safe to use the on-board clip, providing I also use the seat's runner (given it is strong enough, but the Lotus one probably isn't). What's the square cross section bar made of, and did you put sleeves in where the bolts are? I think I would use a bit of angle iron for this, as the square section steel tubing looks a bit thin to me (I have some in the garage, used it to secure the seats in a kit car I built).

Incidentally, what's that flap in the carpet for?


The rear square section bar is 40mm x 3mm wall box section. As I said this was the Mark I version, I have considerably modified this since.

(By the way, square or round section tube will always have a strength/weight advantage over similarly dimensioned angle)

In a later version I have used standard FIA spec roll-bar 50mm round section as the main base of the seat frame. The sleeve side goes through the transmission tunnel fibreglass to bolt directly to the chassis seat belt mount.

I also fabricated a footwell safety bar from the same tube, it bolts to the sill forward mounting bolts on the outside and to the chassis flange to body bolt on the inside. ( See attachment pic )

The flap in the carpet is the one on the side of the transmission tunnel ? It covers a large grommet for access to the front propshaft u/j. As I built a pit in my garage I never have to use it :)
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