Lotus Elan

Wavy Door Cards

PostPost by: david.g.chapman » Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:46 am

I though I would share with you all my attempts to improve my +2 door cards.

On removal, they seem not too bad, but have a wave in them opposite the opening for the window motor in the door. Water has got in and deformed the hardboard. They also have some cracking around the weak points where the door release lever assembly fits,

After a bit of head scratching I thought of using fibre glass to repair the cracks, and also to correct the card wave.

Referring the the attached picture, I have used two layers of heavy matting to form a strap across the wave. The wave is then clamped flat using a piece of wood while it cures. There is cling film between the wood and the fibre glass to stop it sticking. Small strips of matting is used to bridge the cracks. The resin bonds really well to the hardboard, and when the clamps were removed the wave had gone!

Hope this helps someone else if their door cards are not too bad.

Cheers,

Dave Chapman.
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imag0069.jpg and
Door card showing clamps etc.
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PostPost by: JonB » Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:05 am

It would be nice if we could buy replacements.. Ratty old door cards are the worst thing about classic British cars, I've never seen an original that wasn't damaged in some way. Usually around the edges where the panel clips are, they always go there and leave the panel loose.

Your repair approach looks good to me. I'd previously floated painting the hardboard with a wood restoring fluid and forming the thing to shape as it dries.

Don't forget to fit a waterproof membrane when you reassemble.
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PostPost by: david.g.chapman » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:41 pm

The other door card was a bit worse then the one shown - some of the holes for the clips around the edge were cracked. I used a reinforcing ring of matting around the hole, in the same way as ring binder paper holes are reinforced.

I like to preserve what was on the car as much as possible, and disturbing the old unobtainium vinyl trim is a risk. Plus the fact that I'm lazy!

Dave Chapman.
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PostPost by: jono » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:54 pm

I had my door cards re made by Broadlands Upholstery (ex Lotus trimmer),

All I sent him was the metal capping/foam and they both came back as new, complete with basket weave, carpet bottoms and new boards (in 4mm MDF).

I binned the fixing clips and fixed them on with double sided velcro which makes them simple to remove. Never looked back.

Cost was ?65 each
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interior.jpg and
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PostPost by: david.g.chapman » Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:57 pm

Looking good, Jono!
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