Lotus Elan

Fitting S3 dash

PostPost by: davidj » Mon Nov 23, 2020 5:09 pm

Good evening,

I am in the process of refitting the original dash into my S3. It was removed in 1980 by the PO. All the screws line up and it is hard against the lower mounting bracket. The outer two screws will also pull in when tightened (the dash is a little warped). However, it is still about inch clear of the bobbins at the the top two screws above the bonnet release handles. Is this correct? Comparing to pictures on this site, it looks correctly recessed in the crashpad but I am still worried, especially as the dash is a structural part of the body. How much should the dash be inset at the centre from the crashpad?

Another question. Sue Miller provided fixing bolts of different lengths. I assume the two longer ones go top center, maybe because the shorter ones would not reach the fixing bobbins.

As suggested on this site, the heater is hard back against the bulkhead with minimum insulation under.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Cheers.
davidj
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PostPost by: bitsobrits » Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:33 pm

My current S3 project has wooden spacers (looked to be made from the same plywood as the dash) behind the main dash panel at the top: about 15mm square, 10mm thick. No idea if they were factory fitted, though the cars interior was very original.

My current S1 car (obviously disassembled/reassembled a few times) had flat washers for spacers across the top 4 bolts.
Steve

Elan S1 1963-Bourne bodied
Elan S3 1967 FHC pre airflow

Formerly:
Elan S1 1964
Elan S3 1966 FHC pre airflow
Elan S3 1967 FHC airflow
Elan S4 1969 FHC
Europa S2 1970
Esprit S2 1979
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PostPost by: davidj » Mon Nov 23, 2020 7:35 pm

Thanks for your reply. After my post, I thought about doing something similar as I don't wish to put any unnecessary stress on the dash. Has anyone else noticed similar spacers?

Cheers.
davidj
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PostPost by: vstibbard » Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:26 am

All elans I've restored have had spacers between top of the dash and the fibreglass shelf. the dimensions mentioned are approximately what I've removed or made when missing using plywood. Also worth noting with the lower brake that bolts to the chassis, I've often tweaked the vertical angle of the late that the lower dash bolts to this to ensure its not stressing the dash.

Cheers

V
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PostPost by: davidj » Tue Nov 24, 2020 9:43 am

Thanks for your advice. It has put my mind at rest. As I said, the original dash is warped. I originally thought this was due to it being sorted for 40 years, but it may be actually been caused from being pulled in at the middle when originally fitted.

Cheers.
davidj
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PostPost by: geni » Tue Nov 24, 2020 12:57 pm

I find myself in the same situation and can not put my dashboard in abutment against the mounting bracket to the frame!
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PostPost by: Frogelan » Thu Nov 26, 2020 6:09 pm

Gentlemen

I think it is unlikely that the dash is structural (or indeed much of the "shelf") - or at least I have always considered that to be Forum humour. The body contributes at very best perhaps 10% to the torsional rigidity of the chassis.

I was interested to see Vaughan's point on the use of spacers and from my investigation of new bodywork I understand that the holes are drilled according to suit the dash rather than the other way round.

I hope this helps!

Andrew
1965 Lotus Elan S2 26/4022 (originally Dutchess Lotus East, PA and NJ Area, USA)
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