Lotus Elan

Make your S3/S4 bonnet release work better

PostPost by: awatkins » Thu Jul 02, 2020 2:33 am

For those of you blessed with a single-handle, dual latch bonnet release I implemented two improvements that transformed its operation. This started with a brand new bonnet release cable assembly from SJ Sportscars, needed because the one in the car, which had never worked on both latches, finally disintegrated when I pulled hard on the handle and it came off in my hand. The PO had tried to graft a new cable to the handle with epoxy.

On initial installation the new cable had two problems:
    Even with the adjuster fully extended the cable was too long, causing the latch plates to descend forward of the latches
    Even with ample lubrication under load the inner cable bound horribly against the outer cable with even the slightest bend in the cable.

The fix involved three steps:

With that done releasing the bonnet requires only a light and buttery-smooth pull on the release handle.
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PostPost by: diablo » Sat Jul 25, 2020 8:05 am

Hi Awatkins
I am French and I don't exactly understand this modification I' d like to do on my car because I have the same problems as you to open the bonnet .
Do you mean the Jagwire Slip Liner is thin enough to slide between the inner and the outer cable ? Any specific reference for this liner ?
Best regards .
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PostPost by: sprintsoft » Sat Jul 25, 2020 4:14 pm


its on deBay here:

... although like you i didn't quite understand the application, as it is normally used as a guide to help get bare cable through a bike frame and is then removed.

Alan, did you use the liner just as a guide or did you leave it in place somehow?

Always interested to improve the bonnet release!
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:16 am

When i first assembled my car i had the same issue of only one latch operating, for me i just bought a pair of the later Cam cover mounts and moved it off the fire wall. Works fine now with no modification of cable or latches.

Another mod that is well documented but very important is the fully enclosed catches!! a must in my opinion and if your doing that make sure you fit the screws the correct way round (heads inside the car)
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