Lotus Elan

dash pad questions second try

PostPost by: TomMull » Thu Jul 09, 2020 4:10 pm

After no replies from my first post, I’m back at the dash pad. While the new pad is quite different from the first, I was successful in getting it into place; well sort of. The pad is heat formed plastic essentially making a box section, and quite rigid. Here is a pic of the first trial.
P002.jpg and


I still find a poor fit at the corners but otherwise it looks like it can be made to fit. I think the poor fit might be due to previous hacking of the dash mount rather than the new pad. I think there is an inner trim piece too that might help cover this but my car didn’t have one. The original pad had a gap here too but much smaller and that is one reason I got the new one.
cut1.jpg and

dash pic1.jpg and

I am wondering about the flange on the scuttle around the windshield too. Mine appears to have been cut toward the edges. Seems to have been cut across the hole for the fascia mounting screw.
Above is a picture of the under structure with the pad removed and a picture I got off the Internet. It gives some idea of how things go but not enough detail for me to fill in the missing part.


If anybody has a picture of how this should look, it would be very helpful. All other comments and questions are welcome too.

Tom
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PostPost by: potleyu18 » Thu Jul 09, 2020 5:07 pm

Tom,

I bought a replacement one from Paul Matty for my Plus 2 as mine was beyond refurbishment. The fit was awful and spent hours heating and re shaping/filling and lost count of the times it was trial fitted. Unfortunately good fitting ones are not available so i'm told so its the only choice as far as i'm aware.

good luck and plenty of patience.

Steve
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PostPost by: Donels » Thu Jul 09, 2020 6:13 pm

I don’t think yours has been cut away as it looks very similar to mine, see pics below.

E1A557E5-4C22-4C9F-9215-D0BAEB30BBC1.jpeg and


F118ABA2-6C89-4731-A40A-8CDBDAABE040.jpeg and


Although the end dash mounts on mine are missing so I have replaced them with Rivnuts.

4E9CC8E3-AB49-420F-A382-F2323A52EF15.jpeg and
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PostPost by: wotsisname » Thu Jul 09, 2020 6:20 pm

mine (+2, 68) has flanges with holes at the outer edges. with the crashpad off these are easy to tighten.. tricky if the pad is attached to the dash panel and when I finally drop the crashpad in place. I am in the middle of all this myself so will add some pictures.
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PostPost by: wotsisname » Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:19 pm

20200709_191602.jpg and
dash edge attachment, +2
1968 Elan plus 2 - project
2007 Elise S2 [modified with a Hethel 70th sticker (yellow)]
2000 Elise S1 - Sold
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PostPost by: wotsisname » Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:20 pm

20200709_191535~2.jpg and
dash attachment
1968 Elan plus 2 - project
2007 Elise S2 [modified with a Hethel 70th sticker (yellow)]
2000 Elise S1 - Sold
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PostPost by: wotsisname » Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:22 pm

20200709_191744~2.jpg and
wider view
1968 Elan plus 2 - project
2007 Elise S2 [modified with a Hethel 70th sticker (yellow)]
2000 Elise S1 - Sold
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PostPost by: wotsisname » Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:30 pm

20200709_191212~2.jpg and
oe crashpad, end view

This is an OE crashpad, fragile at the very ends, there is no support to the plastic at the very edge. this just rests against the A pillar.

Hoping to put the screen in at the weekend if all goes well, I trial fitted the pad before the dash, but am wary of cracking it when doing the screen. originally this was stapled to rear of the dash panel
let me know if you want more pix of this.. bit slow having to reduce the size each time
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2007 Elise S2 [modified with a Hethel 70th sticker (yellow)]
2000 Elise S1 - Sold
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PostPost by: steve lyle » Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:52 pm

One of the guys in our local MG club owns an auto interior shop. Lots of custom work, award winning kinds of things. My car had a porly fitted plastic overlay on the dash pad when I bought it. It's one of the things I want to ultimately get fixed. When I showed him my car, and talked about addressing that, he said the way to do it would be to buy sheet foam, sculpt it into the stock shape with rasps and sandpaper, then cover it in vinyl or leather.

I've seen Elan's that look like they've had that done - here's one example:

1971_lotus_elan_sprint_155563780898764daIMG_0005.jpg and
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PostPost by: snowyelan » Fri Jul 10, 2020 12:23 am

I seem to recall that Sue Miller used to offer a fiberglass dashpad with the stitched vinyl covering many moons ago. Similar to the above pic. I tried ordering one but she had no stock.
Scott
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PostPost by: TomMull » Fri Jul 10, 2020 4:10 pm

Thanks for all the replies and pictures. There is certainly a wealth of knowledge here. I do need to repair the end fasteners, and Rivnut seem a good solution. Seems someone has cut off an inch or so from the ends so I'll need to do some fiberglass work there too.
cut1.jpg and


I have also posted a picture of the old and new pads to show the difference. Although the new one may be an improvement, it is quite different. Although plastic, it is quite hard and rigid and I don't think it would have passed the safety regs here in the US when i was imported in 1970.
I think that the old one could be repaired and then recovered in vinyl and I may work with that a bit too. It was not a perfect fit either but the shape would be much easier to alter than the new one.

2 pads new.jpg and


Tom
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PostPost by: Bud English » Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:38 am

Tom- Your original pad is in better shape than mine was. All I could save were the ends.
Dash Pad 1.jpg and
I cut several cross sections out of the original and used them as ribs to sculpt a foam replacement core, I coated it with many coats of West Systems epoxy and covered it.
Dash Pad 5.jpg and
I used four way stretch vinyl that is made for boats and snowmobile seats. It has a pebble finish, very similar to the original seat upholstery. It was all seat of the pants but I think it came out okay.
Dash Pad 6.jpg and
dash pad 3.jpg and
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PostPost by: TomMull » Sat Jul 11, 2020 1:44 pm

Bud,
You did a very nice job of it. Seem to be lots of advantages to using a repaired/rebuilt OM pad. It can be tweaked to fit, the vinyl cover seems most appropriate, and it is mostly original. (the new cover is and looks quite different.)
Looks like I now have a plan B.
Tom
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PostPost by: Bud English » Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:51 pm

Thanks Tom. Feel free to PM me if I can be of any help with questions on materials and such.
Bud
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PostPost by: rodlittle » Sun Jul 12, 2020 1:10 pm

Hi
if you search the archive for Restoration of 26/0086 unit 3067 you will see how I made my dash pad, made from a foam core covered with fibreglass tissue then leathercloth, worked very well
cheers
rod
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