Lotus Elan

REMOVING +2 BODY USING SCISSOR LIFT

PostPost by: normanjsmith » Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:01 am

I am considering buying a mid-rise (1 metre) scissor lift and am wondering if anyone has used one to lift the body from their +2. Engine, gearbox and final drive will be removed first. After raising the body I am hoping to extract the chassis, probably on it's side, after first removing the suspension. I believe it will need to be on it's side because the width of the rear towers is greater than the distance between the platforms etc.
Does this sound feasible?
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PostPost by: Foxie » Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:56 am

Here's how I do it, see pic.

Whatever about removing the engine and gearbox first, there is no need or advantage in removing the final drive beforehand.

And I see no sense at all in turning the chassis sideways ! :)
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PostPost by: 512BB » Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:49 pm

Why remove the engine and gearbox first Norman, much easier once the body has been lifted? If you are only raising the body about 3', you can then roll out the chassis and then work on it.

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PostPost by: Matt Elan » Thu Jan 23, 2020 3:52 pm

The main issue when removing the body is getting the floor over the rear suspension turrets. This means you need to lift the body shell about 3-4 ft to clear them. I've found the easiest way is to get four to six strong mates to lift the shell at each wheel arch and walk the body forwards off the chassis. That way you have to lift the rear/boot over the chassis but can then let it down as you walk it forwards, as the front turrets are significantly lower.

A scissor lift would, I suspect, make it really hard to slide the chassis out from under the suspended body as the suspension cross members would foul it when you try to slide it out - I assume thats why you suggest getting it out on its side. But I can't see how that would work as the body would have to be pretty high to clear it as youi turn the chassis onto its side and I'd think the rear turret/crossmember would foul on the body as you turn the chassis.

Maybe if you use the scissor lift to raise the body, then suspend the body on some lengths of timber, remove or drop the lift and pull the chassis out? That way you could also get the body off without having to get the engine etc off the chassis - and its a darn sight easier to strip the chassis (and reassemble it) with the body off - you've got much better access andyou can use heat on any stubborm fasteners without the fear of igniting the body....

HTHs
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PostPost by: alanr » Thu Jan 23, 2020 4:31 pm

This thread is interesting becasue I am too am about to buy a mid-rise Scissor lift to ease my back whilst working on my +2 and I am hoping to get a 'deal' at the NEC Classic car show in March.
Unsure how useful it may be for removing a +2 body though.
As Matt says the only way I can see is to lift the body on the Scissor platforms and pull the chassis out underneath but unless you go for the full height scissor lift, which I can't have due to restricted roof height, I don't think you will get the body high enough to clear the turrets. A mid-rise Scissor usually only goes up 1000mm (3'3').

A 4poster would be better for +2 body removal I think if you have room for one? I unfortunately don't have the room.

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PostPost by: Slowtus » Thu Jan 23, 2020 5:22 pm

When I removed the body of (2 of) mine, I simply(?) unbolted/disconnected as needed then heaved, grunted and lifted until I could get a sawhorse under the front, lifted the back, more heaving and grunting and wiggled the rear sideways onto another sawhorse...

I must have been mad, doing it on my own and it was rude and crude but since I was re-doing the paintwork as well, any scratches would have been remedied. I suppose I could have had the whole thing go, literally, sideways on me but to paraphrase "God looks after fools and drunkards and Lotus owners"...

Bottom line, it can be done by one, two is better, three would be ideal, four is more than needed and any more than that is a party.

As noted though, the BEST thing to do is leave (almost) all the mechanicals in situ before removing the body...I believe I removed the carbs first (Webers as they stick out a little more) because working on the engine/box/diff etc with the body off, is a wonderful experience

So, to sum up, 3-4 able bodies, a couple of sawhorses, a case of beer and 1 hour should see it all done.
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PostPost by: h20hamelan » Thu Jan 23, 2020 5:51 pm

Seems to me, with scissor lifts. For everyday use. It stresses the bobbins and surrounding.

For removing body, the scissors would both interfere with rolling the chassis out after. Unless you are suspending the body. Then removing scissors, then frame. If your going this route.

I would recon, two comealongs

https://www.acklandsgrainger.com/en/pro ... 1017805287!

Using some suitable webbing through wheel wells. And probably spreader bars (schedule 40 pcv) if angle is under 45degrees, so as to not crush body.

You could do it with one come along. Like others do, through roof. But then you would do best to remove doors and glass first.

I think there is room, to fit webbing through the turret openings of the body. And through boot, to come along.
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Thu Jan 23, 2020 5:57 pm

Matt Elan wrote:
...Maybe if you use the scissor lift to raise the body, then suspend the body on some lengths of timber, remove or drop the lift and pull the chassis out? That way you could also get the body off without having to get the engine etc off the chassis - and its a darn sight easier to strip the chassis (and reassemble it) with the body off - you've got much better access and you can use heat on any stubborn fasteners without the fear of igniting the body....

HTH
Matt


Basically what Matt says...

I removed the body with scaffolding and pulleys similar to Foxie’s photo above. Biggest issue was figuring out a method to attach the pulley lines to the body. I used the Plus 2 jacking points with two pieces of 1 1/2” aluminum square tubing down each rocker, and threaded rod inserted in the jack holes. Was a bit awkward until the body was high enough to allow two tubing pieces to be inserted crossways above the backbone to prevent bending the jacking points. Used a combination of jacks to apply vertical force to the jacking points, but it was not ideal execution.

Note the previous owner had already replaced the rocker rails; absolutely do not assume the jacking points and rails are solid, and replace as required if relying on them.

With the freshly painted body, we opted to use a scissor lift approach without the rented scaffolding. I got four ATV Motorcycle lifts (as shown) rather than a single lift. Worked OK as the individual scissor lifts had enough stroke to get the body over the towers when placed on blocks, but the whole thing was quite unstable when high enough to roll the chassis under the body. We did get it done with four of us, but again it was not ideal.

If I was doing it again, I would suggest the scissor lifts only to raise the body high enough to get the pulleys attached to the jacking points. Once the body pops free of the chassis it is pretty controllable. Just need to get the floor about 2” above the backbone to insert the cross pieces, and then complete the lift with the scaffolding and pulleys.

Definitely come up with a scheme that allows full assembly of the chassis, suspension, and drivetrain with the body off. Note if you are installing a new undrilled chassis it is pretty important to have the engine installed to get the bonnet clearance correct before marking the front tower bolt holes for drilling. As others have mentioned, the whole thing is so much easier to work in with the body off.


Note there are lots of methods with advantages and disadvantages. Definitely have help. As Slotus says, a crew of husky helpers might work OK, but be careful picking up the body from the bumpers. Other threads have cautioned this may cause body cracking; no direct experience with this, but didn’t want to find out with the freshly painted body. :D In terms of a ‘crew size’, works well to have one person just running around checking things and providing guidance.

HTH

Stu
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Min. Lift Height (in.) 3-1/2 in.
Max. Lift Height (in.) 15-7/8 in.
Platform Size (in.) 17-3/4 x 5-7/8 in.

1,100 lb Motorcycle/ATV Lift Approximately $120 each.
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PostPost by: Donels » Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:26 pm

The scissor lift idea will not work. They will prevent the chassis being pulled out forwards or backwards, or being rotated. Their only value will be to raise the body to slide a frame underneath. The frame can then be lifted by mates to enable the chassis to be pulled out or the body walked forwards. I used a scaffold tube frame picking up the jacking points, but check they won't collapse from corrosion.

2ECA890A-EC5A-459A-A7C8-D97106FBA5A9_1_201_a.jpeg and


2B1F76BA-E599-4771-B467-2102283E7DE0_1_201_a.jpeg and
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:32 pm

Excellent photos Donels. Sort of like a royal litter. :D

That is very similar to how we did it the second time (putting the painted body back on). Used long steel square tubing for the cross members, and the individual scissor jacks were positioned well clear of the body to lift the floor above the tower height.

Was each volunteer lifting about 200 lb or so?

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PostPost by: rgh0 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 1:45 am

Before I had my MaxJax I pulled the bodies of my Elan and Plus 2 using cheap chain blocks and wire rope winches attached to the roof beams in the garage. Could have done it with just rope and pulleys if needed but I had the chain block and winches which meant I did not have to tie off. Take it slow and steady and its an easy one man job. With a MaxJax even easier and quicker and since i got it what I have used since a couple of times as you dont need to remove the engine first - just the carbs

I fitted a wooden beam at the bottom rear of the door openings and connected it to the outer lower front seat belt anchorages. The beam was long enough to project out past the body on each side and I attached a wire rope winch to each side to lift the rear.

For lifting the front i jacked up the body until I could fit a beam between the top of the front chassis arms and the underside of the body sections that run above these arms at the firewall. You need to remove the engine to do this. I thine attached a cheap chain block to the centre of this beam and lift straight.

Once you have the body high enough on the winches you can wheel the chassis out. When doing the rebuild of my Elan in 1980 I stored the body above the chassis and did all the repairs on the body with it hanging from the roof at the easiest height for the particular repair - my elan had lots of big cracks in the under body flooring that needed repairing which required easy access from both top and bottom.

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PostPost by: h20hamelan » Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:58 am

When I lift my +2 this summer. I will make a cradle (rotisserie) to be suspended from my rafters/trusses.
I have vacuum bagging skills. But, its maybe overkill. Further, for fixing little stress cracks around bobbins. Seems to me, a elevated rotisserie will help.

Happy new year. Hope we can find a way to cut some useless pollution and air travel (greed). Maybe a few cases of Corona will cure the abuse. It bothers me, that the markets have fluctuate with air travel. Sort of think, the lack of air travel is more valuable. To me, who enjoys oxygen.
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PostPost by: h20hamelan » Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:53 am

Though, i think if corona virus is really from snake penis. People should stop eating it.
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PostPost by: Gray » Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:21 am

In recent years I've jacked the body up either side and then used a chain hoist from an uprated roof truss with webbing or rope on my Elan with everything stripped out.
A Plus 2 with interior, doors weighs a lot more. I've removed the chassis on a couple by jacking and putting blocks underneath the body each side with the rear a lot higher to clear the turrets. Engine and gearbox removed first then remove front suspension to reduce width and drag the chassis through to the rear. I think I used old roller skates under the front to put back - the days before i had a trolley jack. A similar method could be used with scissor lifts. Be careful if you do use blocks that the body is stable. Two post lifts are the easiest method by far.
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PostPost by: normanjsmith » Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:20 am

Many thanks for the ideas and suggestions - greatly appreciated and I am surprised by the ingenious methods used.You have convinced me that although ideal for maintenance, a scissor lift is not the answer for Lotus body removal.As my garage has plenty of height but no suitable beams/trusses for lifting from I am now considering a 2 post hoist. My only reservation concerns the stability. Has anyone experienced any problems. One company here in the colony can supply stability bars or large baseplates so I may go that way.
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