Lotus Elan

+2 Boot Panel Fit

PostPost by: ken_apple » Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:06 am

I am in the process of re-assembling my +2. The body has been stripped back to bare fibreglass.

Although I have owned the car for many years I can't say I noticed the miss-alignment on the boot to the body.

The curve of the body around the number plate does not align with the curve on the boot. This leaves a step in the centre of the car. The sides of the boot seem to align much better.

I was wondering if all +2 are like this, looking at pictures on the web it seems that it is just the way they are.

img_4575.jpg and

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PostPost by: gus » Mon Sep 24, 2018 11:49 am

Boot fit is horrible on most.
the vertical curve of the lid is not the same as the body. The body to boot lid gap is terrible.

Front to back I had not noticed but you can probably finesse it. Check you panel gap at the front of the lid, if it can be widened, do that. Perhaps the metal reinforcement can be re attached in a way to pull in the rear panel.

I think the number plate partially shields the view, which is why it might not be noticed
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PostPost by: carrierdave » Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:07 pm

Hi Ken
Have you fitted the internal metal cross brace that holds the boot latch? I found I could pull the back of the car boot inwards to reduce the boot gap and then fix it through the return lip with a couple of rivets.
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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:44 pm

As Dave says, the secret is in the metal brace across the back. It pop rivets into the rear light cluster areas on each side and then to the middle with three rivets. In true Lotus fashion, it serves multiple purposes: boot lid latch carrier, reinforcing, and giving final shape/curve to rear panel.

Temporarily mount it on both sides and push rear glass panel into position and drill holes through fiberglass and metal to get everything into proper position. Finish all fitting, take off the metal and paint. Then reinstall. Bob's your uncle. :wink: :roll:

Well, that's what worked for me. My car's rear now fits beautifully (with a lot of work) . . .


ps. In the pix below, the car is in Slick Sand (sprayable polyester filler), and yes, the rear panel is flush with the trailing edge of the boot lid, across the entire width of the boot lid. Oh thank heaven for polyester filler :mrgreen:

img_3786.jpg and

img_3787.jpg and
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PostPost by: RichC » Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:47 am

looking good Randy!
Ken, in my experience it goes way beyond just the metal crossmenber along the back . ...
...the answer lies in the integrity of the whole fibreglass shell aft of the chassis .
First you check the steel channel crossmember running under the rear window which holds the bootlid hinges is mounted correctly and is not damaged.
Next , most +2s will have experienced structural damage to the boot floor from failing (and flailing :cry: ) doughnut driveshafts . If the boot shell integrity is lost through cracks and poor repairs this can be noticed by standing behind , with the bootlid open and boot empty of boards, spare wheel ,battery. insulation etc , grabbing underneath the bootfloor and raising it manually a few inches . If the whole boot area rises together you're fine .. if you see flexion it will point to where the weakness is ...
Imagine going along a bumpy road with a full boot load bouncing up and down on these flexion points . You'll just end up with a saggy back end :wink:
Judicious fibreglass repairs are the remedy in this case and will lift the rear end to bring the shape back to original to allow a good match between bootlid and aperture. Once the rear crossmember between the rear lights stabilises the back panel you should find yours will look like Randy's :D
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PostPost by: ken_apple » Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:31 am

Thanks guys, this is really useful.

Didn't think about the cross member, its been a while since I took it all apart. I'll dry fit it check alignment, hope it comes out as well as Randy's looks great.
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PostPost by: JimE » Tue Sep 25, 2018 8:16 pm

Next , most +2s will have experienced structural damage to the boot floor from failing (and flailing :cry: ) doughnut driveshafts .

Gee I hope not. Jim
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