Lotus Elan

Curved Panel Behind seats - S4 DHC

PostPost by: velo5338 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:47 pm

Does anyone have any suggestions for a suitable material to make up a new panel at the rear of the cockpit in an S4?

I am re-carpeting my 1970 S4 DHC and will have to replace said panel as mine has disintegrated. It's the one that's curved and bolts to the edge of the hood tray at the top and straddles the transmission tunnel at the bottom. I have attached a photo 'borrowed' from a previous posting - thanks & acknowledgements to Terry Posma.

I was originally thinking of ⅛" thick Masonite (wetted on the back surface) but I know that there are some thin, black fiber board products out there that would be much easier to bend into the required curves, but have no idea what they're called or where to source them.

Thanks,

Mike

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PostPost by: pharriso » Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:11 pm

I bought one from Sue Miller, just a thin sheet of Fibre Glass cut to size.
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PostPost by: velo5338 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:19 pm

Yes, but shipping cost from the UK would be a killer.

Mike
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:41 pm

The original stuff is called Millboard, there was a manufacturer near me but I’m sure it must be made your side of the pond too?
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:13 pm

That photo is my car.
I used 3mm foamed PVC sheet sold in the UK as Palight, it's easy to cut and can be formed and bent with a little heat from a hot air gun.
Cockpit backboard 003.jpg and
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PostPost by: USA64 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:21 pm

I bought some black millboard online. It seems very similar to the original. However, the pieces are not long enough in one dimension. They reach down to the tunnel but not much lower. I don't have time to find the link at this moment but let me know if you want it.
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PostPost by: velo5338 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:44 pm

Thanks all.

Just checked out the Palight foam PVC board. It looks ideal - and is available in black at the local Home Depot just around the corner!

Great lead - thanks oldelanman., and I hope you didn't mind me appropriating your photo.

I'll report back.

Cheers,

Mike
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PostPost by: fatboyoz » Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:16 pm

Hi Mike,
I used a sheet of 3mm polycarbonate. Did not require heat to bend into shape. Glued carpet directly to it to match the original.
Cheers,
Colin.





quote="velo5338"]Thanks all.

Just checked out the Palight foam PVC board. It looks ideal - and is available in black at the local Home Depot just around the corner!

Great lead - thanks oldelanman., and I hope you didn't mind me appropriating your photo.

I'll report back.

Cheers,

Mike[/quote]
'68 S4 DHC
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PostPost by: pharriso » Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:15 am

velo5338 wrote:Yes, but shipping cost from the UK would be a killer.

Mike


I was suggesting you could make one...
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:51 am

Just to clarify my earlier post .. like thin plywood, millboard, hardboard etc the foamed PVC sheet is flexible enough to be bent round simple curves without heating but it has the advantage that it will retain the final shape if heated gently.
By applying more heat the material can be bent and formed into quite complex shapes.
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PostPost by: velo5338 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:57 pm

Thanks, that material looks to be just the ticket. I'm going to order a sheet.

Cheers,

Mike
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PostPost by: velo5338 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:31 pm

Hey Roger, 'oldelanman',

Is that a battery disconnect switch sticking through the centre of the back panel, just above the transmission tunnel?

Cheers,

Mike
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:27 pm

velo5338 wrote:Hey Roger, 'oldelanman',

Is that a battery disconnect switch sticking through the centre of the back panel, just above the transmission tunnel?

Cheers,

Mike


Hi Mike, Yes it is.
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PostPost by: velo5338 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:52 pm

Cool - and very sensible.

The Elan S4 I just bought had a battery disconnect switch mounted in the dash in the place of the cigar lighter. Very accessible -but very ugly.

I'm installing a new dash so will relocate the BDS to somewhere at the rear of the cockpit. It was on my mind when thinking about the rear panel, so I was pleased to notice yours.

My battery had been relocated to the centre, immediately behind that rear panel. I might just leave it there. Can't think of any good reason not to.

Thanks again for your help with this,

Cheers,

Mike
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