Lotus Elan

Window issues

PostPost by: JohnCh » Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:44 pm

I just purchased a '68 S4 FHC. The seller claims the driver's window worked fine when it left Boston, but by the time it travelled across the country to the Seattle area, that is no longer the case. The window was in the down position when it arrived and it will only raise about 2" before stopping. Based on how this stoppage occurs, it appears that something is jamming in the mechanism. I'm not sure if the cable jumped a pulley, if the glass is getting wedged in the channels, or if it's something else. Regardless, I can't see anything obviously wrong with the door panel removed or when looking down the window opening with it fully retracted, so looks like I need to remove the assembly to investigate.

I've done a lot of searches on how to do this, but all seem to indicate that the window needs to be ~1/3 of the way up. Given my window is nearly all the way down, what are my options? Do I risk braking anything by removing the assembly with the window in the current position, or will the window block access to any critical fasteners? If it needs to move it, is there anything I can try short of cutting the cable? Would removing the motor help?

Thanks,
John
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PostPost by: 69S4 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:07 pm

You will have to remove the motor. It's an easy job - it attaches to the cable reel by pegs so just undo the screws on the fixing plate and it'll pull out. Once that's out you'll (probably) be able to move the glass up and down by hand.

It's all the clips and fastenings on the door lock that you'll need thin elastic fingers to get to :lol:

From memory the 1/3 way up requirement is so you can get to the top bolts that hold the frame in place. They're behind the glass when it's all the way up.
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PostPost by: JohnCh » Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:13 pm

Thanks Stuart. I guess I know what I'm doing this weekend :)

-John
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PostPost by: nigelrbfurness » Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:25 am

There are two pieces of felt seal mounted on the door frame either side of the glass and running the length of the door front to back. They are held by a piece of very thin folded steel. This is clipped to the chrome frame and trims the window slot. The steel part of this often rots and comes away, jamming the glass as you describe. The clips are very hard and can scratch the glass, so have a good investigate from above before you try moving the glass. You should be able to see from the top of the door below the window. Difficult to see from inside the door as the chromed steel frame and the door moulding gets in the way.

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PostPost by: JohnCh » Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:37 pm

Thanks Nigel. Just to ensure that I understand, you're referring to the felt lip seals, through which the glass emerges as it lifts from within the door, correct? That should be easy enough to check.

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John
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PostPost by: nigelrbfurness » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:56 am

Correct, those are they. Have a good look before you try moving the glass.
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:07 am

John,
Does the glass tilt as it starts to rise ? That would indicate a problem with the cable, either too slack or pulled through one of the clamps on the glass.
A couple of things to watch out for if you do remove the frame from the door....
The lower bolts have spacer washers to set the angle of the frame in the door - note how many on each bolt before you remove it as they will end up in the bottom of the door.
The upper and lower bolts are different lengths - short ones at the top when you refit or you will break the glass !
Roger
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PostPost by: JohnCh » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:15 pm

Thanks for the additional tips. I took a look last night and I think Stuart may have nailed it. Although I couldn't see down the full length of the window opening since the window was in the way, I did a little test. With both windows down as far as they will go (~1.5-2" from flush with the felt strips) I inserted a very thin, flexible ruler between the felt and glass, then ran it front to back, inner and outer sides to feel for obstructions. The ruler is hitting something about 1" long at the front outer side of the window. It slides down about 1/2" below the felt in this area then immediately stops with no hope of pushing past. The passenger window has no such obstructions. Further, the passenger side felt looks new. I have a receipt for 4.5 hours of work to fix the non-opp passenger window in March. I wonder if it had the same problem?

-John
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PostPost by: JohnCh » Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:26 am

I took the window assembly out of the door last weekend and discovered a few minor issues. Some of the rollers seemed worn, the cable was loose (about 1" of slack on the long runs), a front felt seal retaining clip was slightly dislodged and pressing against the glass, and things generally looked tired.

Replacement parts arrived yesterday, so tonight I replaced the rollers, felt seals & clips, tightened the cable, and greased everything. This seemed to improve things when operating the window by hand but after getting everything back in the door, hooking up the motor and operating under power, the actual improvement was minor. However, removing the existing wiring from the equation by connecting the battery directly to the motor resulted in good speed in both directions, so at least now I know the issue. Thicker wire and relays may be in my future.

-John
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