Lotus Elan

Fitting Sprint door lock mechanism

PostPost by: bloodknock » Thu Jan 02, 2020 7:39 pm

As you guys may have guessed, i'm on the short strokes of the resto of my sprint, the door installation and assembly. As ive said a number of times the car has been in bits since the seventies, and I mean component parts!
I'm on to the lock mechanisms now :?
Where do all the little rods go, which way round, and how the hell do you get to them to fit them??????????
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:39 pm

This diagram from the parts list may help you identify where the rods go (click on the image to open it then you can zoom in) .....fitting them requires dexterity and lots of patience. I find a pair of long handled needle nose pliers with angled jaws helps.....but not much :roll:

Door lock.jpg and
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PostPost by: bloodknock » Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:07 pm

Thats useful, thanks Roger. i'll bet training as a midwife would help too!
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:19 pm

bloodknock wrote:i'll bet training as a midwife would help too!


....or a proctologist :wink:
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PostPost by: bloodknock » Thu Jan 02, 2020 11:23 pm

Just something else whilst youre about Roger......
Door locks Clip.JPG and
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PostPost by: lotusfan » Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:11 am

It's been a few years since I did mine but if I recall correctly

1. I did a trial fit of the parts on the bench before they went into the door and had to enlarge some holes to get those clips in.

2. I did a lot of the assembly into the door on the bench with the door horizontal as gravity is against you with the door on the car.

3. R Dent in the US do an all plastic version of those pesky clips and I found them easier to use in some locations but can't remember which.

Not sure if that helps?
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:47 am

Hopefully you will not have the same problem I did:

I could not get the rod (16) that is actuated by the external door handle button to stay in the slot with the normal clips. Kept falling out. Don't know if the slot on my mechanism was worn after the years and thus too large. I probably was also doing something else wrong, but I was under time pressure, so:

In the end I cut some threads on the end of the rod and screwed a small nylock nut on the end to keep the rod from falling out. A bit of a bodge, but hidden, and secure. The rest of the rods were retained as normal, with the clips.

I also found the original clips much better to work with. Replacement clips (from Sue Miller) were too strong to clip on the rods by hand. Even with pliers very difficult. I tried spreading the clips to make them easier to install but in the end just used the originals.
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Fri Jan 03, 2020 8:47 am

High Bob,
Your sketch of the assembly is correct. You need to assemble the plastic bush to the clip and into the hole in the lock lever before you insert the rod through the bush, the rod spreads the bush "legs" and locks it into the lever..if you insert the rod beforehand you won't then get the bush through the hole in the lever. Sorry if that's obvious !

1owner69Elan wrote:I could not get the rod (16) that is actuated by the external door handle button to stay in the slot with the normal clips. Kept falling out. Don't know if the slot on my mechanism was worn after the years and thus too large. I probably was also doing something else wrong.


I found that too and deduced it was because the plastic bush rotates 'til the two "legs" align with the slot and no longer hold the clip in place. I overcame it by fitting the clip the other side of the lever so the plastic bush goes through the slot then through the clip and locks more securely into the round hole, need to tweak the offset in the clip a little to account for the thickness of the lever or it won't clip onto the rod.

Edit:-Looking through my pictures I'm reminded that you can fit at least one and possibly both of the short rods to the lock before you fit the lock to the door, may help a bit !
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:53 pm

New clips help everything stay together as they will be just that little bit bigger.
Whatever assembly you can do outside makes sense.
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PostPost by: bloodknock » Fri Jan 03, 2020 1:32 pm

I know im being pedantic, but i want to be sure:

20200103_124351.jpg and


Are we agreed that this assembly sequence is correct?
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:20 pm

You know Bob, because the clips come preassembled I've always had the clip nearer the rod - but your sketch makes a lot of sense for the tricky fixing into the slot.
It should make them more secure - good thinking :D
In the past I've even tried to use a thin washer to improve grip (unsuccessfully) - this latearl thinking is a better idea as it doesn't introduce extra "thickness"
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Fri Jan 03, 2020 5:31 pm

Bob, I agree with Mark that the clips are designed to be fitted pre-assembled from the rod side of the lever. Your method is probably more secure and is the way I ended up fitting the clip to the slotted lever to prevent the rod pulling out (as mentioned above). However, you may find it even more tricky to assemble that way while groping about inside the door.
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Fri Jan 03, 2020 6:52 pm

I think this tricky connection can be done before the lock is inserted into the door.
I reckon holding the nuts in place whilst screwing in the fixings is tougher.
At the risk of telling grandmothers to suck eggs you may want to consider holding them in a spanner with masking tape to get them in place.
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PostPost by: bloodknock » Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:35 am

Sorry Mark, I dont understand your reference to holding nuts with a taped spanner. Am I missing something???
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:45 am

No you're not - a senior moment on my part :D
I was thinking about the window frame fixings which you've already done.
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