Lotus Elan

+2 chassis replacement questions

PostPost by: alan.barker » Sun Dec 16, 2018 3:15 pm

OK Phil,
I'll say it a different way a galvanised Chassis can be as good as a distorted Spyder Chassis. With the advantage a Galvanised Chassis won't rust :wink:
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PostPost by: pharriso » Sun Dec 16, 2018 3:18 pm

alan.barker wrote:OK Phil,
I'll say it a different way a galvanised Chassis can be as good as a distorted Spyder Chassis. With the advantage a Galvanised Chassis won't rust :wink:
Alan


Agreed, & btw we're discussing sub-frames, not chassis :lol:
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Sun Dec 16, 2018 4:06 pm

A typical leaky twink protects the rear half of the chassis very well, it?s only the front cross member and uprights that need watching carefully ;-)
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PostPost by: alanr » Sun Dec 16, 2018 4:10 pm

Others would have more knowledge but I would question if a variation of just 10mm diagonally front to rear is really worth worrying about?
Is the measurement of a non-galvanised new chassis really always dead spot on corner to corner over this distance?.I know it should be, but it must be hard, with weld distortion even in a jig, to achieve spot on accuracy over the length of a chassis.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sun Dec 16, 2018 5:05 pm

For sure adjustable Wishbones is a less brutal way to tune in Wheel alignement .
You just need to find someone who knows what they are doing and can use the alignement equipement :roll:
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PostPost by: Donels » Sun Dec 16, 2018 5:51 pm

I guess it depends upon what the 10mm actually means. A diagonal 10mm will probably be insignificantly if measured side to side and front to rear. I don?t know what it should be but It?s probably not far out of tolerance. Twisting could be a bigger issue.

So how will it affect the car on the road? I very much doubt you would notice. If you?re racing then it will make a difference to accurately setting up corner weights and spring length hence preload etc. For road use most distortions could be managed with accurate alignment and adjustment as noted.

My +2 has a galvanised chassis fitted 35 ish years and on stripping last year was in excellent condition. It may be distorted, I don?t know as I haven?t measured it, but it will be the same distortion it had 35 years ago and not variable distortion due to rust and / or weld repairs.

My advice would be to stick with galvanised chassis and stop worrying.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Mon Dec 17, 2018 5:14 am

Bravo, spot on we're not talking about a F1 Monocoque/Tub or even a real 26R.
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PostPost by: gus » Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:22 pm

I am surprised that they cannot fix their process to correct warpage in production.

I mean, Lotus galvanized their chassis from the 80's on, so it must be possible.

Factory original non galvanized chassis were crap also, mine the lower pins were out by ~1/4 inch

If you had a Spyder in the UK and it was out of spec, I am surprised they cannot fix it for you.

I do not know what the process is for correcting a warped galvy chassis, as welding is problematic.

It is probably they must jig it while plating to keep it square


And subframe/chassis

This is entirely a political issue on your side of the pond. Please stop correcting people, as Lotus has always called it a chassis, per the first section in my factory parts manual, it is not called subframe, it is called 'Chassis'
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:21 pm

When I asked for new drive gates to be galvanised, the fabricator said they were likely to come back distorted and this may involve an extra charge to correct this.
Apparently after being dipped in molten zinc at 450 C for a few minutes they would be deliberately dropped onto a grille while still hot to shake off surplus zinc and return it to the tank.
Is it correct that steel has lost some of it`s strength at this temperature and would be prone to damage.
There may be some stress relieving at this temperature as well, but I do not know enough about that.
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PostPost by: gus » Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:35 pm

I glanced through some stuff, and it appears that part of the issue is putting parts in at an angle or something, uneven heating.

I wonder if zinc electroplating would be a better idea.

More paintable also.

Without plating or some really good paint you are really just starting the process over again
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:16 pm

Galvanising doesn't need painting. My galvanised Watering Can has lived in the Garden for 40 years not painted and no rust at all :mrgreen: and it's about the same thickness as a Lotus Chassis :wink:
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Mon Dec 17, 2018 4:53 pm

I used to work offshore and the handrails were all galvanised. Then every 4 or 5 years the painting team came on board and painted everything including the handrails. The paint stayed on very well but hundreds of gloved hands sliding down them eventually wore through the paint back to the galvanising. This coincided with the next visit of the painting team who being thorough, sanded off the paint ready for repainting. Problem was they were a bit heavy handed and in many places sanded through the galvanising as well. A few years later when the paint wire through again the rails then started to rust! Hence on the next visit of the painting team they sanded the rails even harder, and so it went on. The lesson from this is that there is paint available that will adhere to galvanising, but if you ever want to take it off you are likely to also damage the galvanising and get into a vicious circle.
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PostPost by: gus » Mon Dec 17, 2018 5:00 pm

Most people paint for visuals

There are some interesting youtube videos about DIY zinc electroplating, just vinegar epsom salt, a boat sacrificial anode and a battery charger

I think if I were tempted to use an original chassis without zinc I might make a tank to set the front end in and electroplate the front end.

At the end of the day, while the whole chassis can rust, it is only the front uprights that rust quietly and fail spectacularly. The rest can live with any quality paint.
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PostPost by: kwhittle » Sat Dec 22, 2018 11:44 am

OK, an update.
Chassis is perfect across the car, and Very Carefully measuring the diagonals from bolt hole to bolt hole gives an error of 1/16". So as far as I am concerned it's perfect.

Someone asked about what next.
Well new steering rack, new bushes, rack mounts, 12" F springs adj dampers from Spax, with adj spring seats. New discs, all calipers and master cyls overhauled. New discs and wheel brgs, F and R.
New brake pipes and braided flex hoses, rad re cored, new rear adj shocks and adj spring seats, new fuel hoses, new timing belt and w/pump on BDA, new starter, altenator, fuel pump, hoses and clamps, thrust brg, clutch and cover. Plus ss silencer.
Gearbox and diff are being o/hauled and new ujs in prop shaft, plus rebalance. And cv joints in drive shafts,
car rewired, and 35amp odyssey battery fitted.
Car paintwork is perfect. Wishbones to be powder coated.

I think thats about it. The aim is a car that's as it left the factory in 68, running on orig steel wheels, but with better rubber and of course the BDA with its AX block.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sat Dec 22, 2018 12:25 pm

So Gavanised Chassis perfect and that's nice to confirm that they can be good :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Good luck with the rebuild
Alan
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