Lotus Elan

Axle stand placement and jacking

PostPost by: Cymru » Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:41 pm

Hi all,

I need to get the car up on axle stands for a number of jobs including putting in new sills.

2 parts to the question.

a) where should I jack the car

b) where should I place the stands


Thanks in advance.
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PostPost by: nwbaxter66 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:10 pm

I am going to guess that you will receive some more distinguished and detailed responses from more senior members, but I built two "frames" from 2x4s and 1x2s for front and back. The front one sits underneath the front cross member between the lower suspension mounts and spreads the load from a centre mounted jack. The rear sits across the differential and between the rear lower suspension mounts.
Axle stands sit on the outer edges of each 2x4.
I remember seeing some good photos posted of other people's custom mounts.
Good luck, I have just finished some fibreglass repairs from the DPOs use of a jack on the passenger front corner in front of the sill! So I know that isnt the right place.
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PostPost by: Quart Meg Miles » Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:55 pm

You can jack the front of all Lotus chassis at the centre of the vacuum cross member and put your stands at the each end of it, with wooden crush pads to spread the load.

The rear is more difficult, as Nick's method demonstrates. Without a frame, as described, it should be jacked up on the wishbones just outside of the brake disc but with a hydraulic jack you can only jack on the body in front of the wheel with a large load-spreading piece of wood. Then you can drop it back onto logs under the wheels or use stands and large wooden pads under the 'A' frame just inside the disc. Remember that as the spring compresses the wheel will move outwards and must be allowed for.

Although I haven't done it you should be able to jack up using the 'A' frame method, remove the wheels and put your stands under the exposed wheel hub. I doubt there is room to fit a stand under the hub casting with the jack just inside it.
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PostPost by: nwbaxter66 » Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:30 am

lotus-gearbox-f37/diff-removal-and-jackstand-placement-snapped-output-shaft-t22593.html

I knew I had seen a good photo of how to solve your problem.
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PostPost by: JonB » Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:55 am

On my Plus 2 I use two lengths of 3x3 hardwood under the sills and jack them up, then slide the axle stands under.

Like this:

http://images.lotuselan.net/lel/52181/0/img_4298.jpg

However.. I did notice that the body had flexed to the point that the door and boot shutlines were affected and I discovered witness marks on the boot lid and passenger door frame. For now I leave the doors adjar and the boot open so as to prevent more damage.

Unfortunately I also noticed stress cracks that had magically appeared on the driver's side A pillar. I don't know if the jacking approach was the cause of these cracks but it seems very likely. I'm pretty sure I'd have noticed them before.

The car is still up like this as I am doing the front suspension. I think it is the last time I will use this approach!
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:41 pm

I think the problem you have with that approach is that the cill / reinforcement do not have a straight edge.
You are, in effect, pivoting on a fulcrum with the body flexing to touch down. I don't like the idea of the A post flexing!

I made up wooden ramps to lift the whole car then individual corners can be jacked from the ramp.

64-mar.-07-13.32.jpg and

4 concrete blocks were excessive, I had to g et a small ladder to do any engine work. 3 is ideal.

I also found it useful with removing the engine as the front can be dropped so the car is at an angle. Very handy.
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PostPost by: Rich135 » Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:49 pm

nwbaxter66 wrote:http://www.lotuselan.net/forums/lotus-gearbox-f37/diff-removal-and-jackstand-placement-snapped-output-shaft-t22593.html

I knew I had seen a good photo of how to solve your problem.

I used this method to jack up my rear end, then used axle stands with large pieces of wood to spread the load, on both sills, just in front of the rear wheels.

It only took 20 mins to knock up the little bit of wood to go around the exhaust and reach the chassis near the differential, so worth doing.

I only ever jack up the whole front end or the whole rear end. I don't jack one side or the other, as you won't be using the chassis to jack it, so it just seen inherently wrong to me.

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PostPost by: mikealdren » Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:51 pm

Quart Meg Miles wrote:You can jack the front of all Lotus chassis at the centre of the vacuum cross member and put your stands at the each end of it, with wooden crush pads to spread the load.

I would be wary of jacking the car under the front X-member unless, as you say, you use a (wooden?) block to spread the load. The original Spyder chassis used to boast that they were strong enough to jack here but I've seen bent/dented Lotus chassis X-members.
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PostPost by: Rich135 » Wed Mar 07, 2018 3:56 pm

mikealdren wrote:
Quart Meg Miles wrote:You can jack the front of all Lotus chassis at the centre of the vacuum cross member and put your stands at the each end of it, with wooden crush pads to spread the load.

I would be wary of jacking the car under the front X-member unless, as you say, you use a (wooden?) block to spread the load. The original Spyder chassis used to boast that they were strong enough to jack here but I've seen bent/dented Lotus chassis X-members.

I agree, I always use a long solid piece of wood between the vacuum cross member and the jack pad. The secret is having a low entry jack so you can actually get under the piece of wood!!
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PostPost by: JonB » Wed Mar 07, 2018 5:01 pm

I think my Spyder X member has jacking damage, and because it is a tube it is tricky holding a block steady when jacking. Must try harder, methinks!
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PostPost by: SENC » Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:19 am

Pictures of mine, might give you some ideas. The front is under the crossmember. The back is full-width just in front of the rear wheels, but most of the pressure is on the chassis just to either side of the exhaust.

20180307_210857.jpg and


20180307_210946.jpg and
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