Lotus Elan

Brace across rear turrets +2S

PostPost by: HCA » Sat Mar 14, 2020 2:22 pm

I have another minor irritant on my hands, and need some guidance please:

In front of the fuel tank, behind the rear seats, is a wide brace across the body, bolted to the turrets (Spyder chassis) with large ½" bolts. Are the nuts in the turrets captive or loose?

One bolt wound out without any trouble, but the other is not doing anything and I fear, but hope not, a cross thread.

Thanks
Hal
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PostPost by: mbell » Sat Mar 14, 2020 2:39 pm

Do they bolt to the chassis or bobbins in the body?

I have a sypder frame waiting to be fitted and I don't see any fittings for the cross brace. They normally don't use captive nuts for the body fitting but as steel plates that you drill and thread due to body variation.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: pptom » Sat Mar 14, 2020 3:01 pm

My standard they are captive / part of the chassis.
I remember that chassis twist affects the alignment of these bolts and can cause one to be cross threaded.
I can't remember, but the car either needs to be on its wheels or jacked under the diff. One of these positions will make the brace fit perfectly, one will be a fraction out.
Maybe you could use this to your advantage to get the bolt out and then helicoil.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Sat Mar 14, 2020 10:51 pm

HCA wrote:I have another minor irritant on my hands, and need some guidance please:

In front of the fuel tank, behind the rear seats, is a wide brace across the body, bolted to the turrets (Spyder chassis) with large ½" bolts. Are the nuts in the turrets captive or loose?

One bolt wound out without any trouble, but the other is not doing anything and I fear, but hope not, a cross thread.

Thanks
Hal


Is the bolt turning and not coming out or cant be turned ?

As other have said the bolt goes through a bobbin in the body and into the threaded reinforcing plate on the chassis which is drilled and tapped to fit the body bobbin location.

If the bolt turns but does not come out the threads of the bolt or the threads in the chassis plate may be stripped. Try a little gentle leverage under the head of the both with a small screw drive as it is turned to help it get a grip on any remaining threads and start to come out.

cheers
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PostPost by: HCA » Sun Mar 15, 2020 11:56 am

Thanks Rohan

The bolt is turning but not coming out. I think it must have been cross threaded way back, as there was no resistance when I first attempted removal.

Could this bolt be left in its present state for light road use - noting that the other bolt is good - without upsetting any geometry any more than it might already have been? I think I'd prefer to tackle this in the winter during the planned chassis/engine removal.
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PostPost by: alanr » Sun Mar 15, 2020 4:55 pm

My question would be why do you need to take this brace panel out?
I see in another thread you have one of Andy at Axminsters nice new tanks so the thought has occured to me, and I am probably teaching you to suck eggs here, if you are aware that tank removal is usually done through the boot and then there is no need to touch the front brace at all.

Alan.
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PostPost by: HCA » Sun Mar 15, 2020 5:06 pm

Hi Andy - a valid question! I understand, and have installed, the tank from the rear. However, I had to make a small adjustment underneath and needed the tank to tilt forward ever such a small amount, saw the brace was only fixed on with two bolts and thought for the two minutes required to undo it ' how easy can this be'... :roll:
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PostPost by: TomMull » Sun Mar 15, 2020 9:37 pm

I'd say if you can get the bolt out using Rohan's suggestions, give it a try. You may get lucky and find that a new bolt and chasing the threads with a tap will fix it.

I had similar a similar when I did my tank, but removing that brace makes things a whole lot easier. I'd do it the same way again.

I would, however, put both bolts back in as soon as I got the brace off.

Tom
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon Mar 16, 2020 2:17 am

HCA wrote:Thanks Rohan

The bolt is turning but not coming out. I think it must have been cross threaded way back, as there was no resistance when I first attempted removal.

Could this bolt be left in its present state for light road use - noting that the other bolt is good - without upsetting any geometry any more than it might already have been? I think I'd prefer to tackle this in the winter during the planned chassis/engine removal.


The bolt acts in shear to prevent the strut top support leg moving by linking the two suspension legs together. There should be no problem with the bolt in place for normal road driving and it not properly clamping the body to the chassis . You may get some squeaks as the leg and body move relative to each other over bumps if the body is not clamped to the leg as intended

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PostPost by: alan.barker » Mon Mar 16, 2020 6:45 am

I would drill it out starting with small dia.
Good luck
Alan
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PostPost by: Hawksfield » Mon Mar 16, 2020 9:47 am

Hi Hal

If it turns easily you could grip the head with mole grips and twist and pull to get it out enough to continue with
to Rohans method

Good luck
Regards

John

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PostPost by: alan.barker » Mon Mar 16, 2020 10:31 am

For me the bolts were longer than needed leaving exposed threads to rust inside the box section of the Chassis.
When you tried to unscrew the Bolts the threads got stripped. Now you have the end of the Bolt with rusted thread inside box section stopping removal.
10 minutes with some decent Twist Drills and Mole Grips on Bolt Head.
Job done.
Alan
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PostPost by: HCA » Tue Mar 17, 2020 10:10 am

Thanks everyone, again!

I did manage to get the bolt to bite by applying some serious pressure behind the brace with a pry bar, as Rohan suggested, so at least it shows the hole is not elongated which was my main fear.

I take it that the plate you refer to is in behind the spring at the top of the turret? - another question: Is there anywhere an exploded view of the Spyder chassis?

We are now in serious lockdown in France, so the likliehood of driving around the B roads this spring and summer is fading fast, so I am wondering if I do not incorporate plan B, the winter project, and lift out the engine and chassis and give it a good workover.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Tue Mar 17, 2020 10:20 am

The tapped plate is welded to the front of the chassis suspension support leg directly behind when the bolt goes through the cross brace and the body bobbin into the the plate. It sounds like the bolt is stripped where it engaged the plate but the plate tapped hole probably OK.

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PostPost by: HCA » Tue Mar 17, 2020 2:15 pm

Ugh - that I did not want to hear! - 'plate welded to chassis' - so it is not straight forward to replace (Even if there is some bite in the threads, the likliehood is not much). I do not like helicoils in 'thin' plate.

How thick is said plate anyway?
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