Lotus Elan

Crash Pad removal/renew

PostPost by: Soonteo » Sat Sep 25, 2021 6:54 pm

I plan to remove my dashboard and crash pad and renew the crash pad.
Appreciate if anyone can guide me on how to remove the crash pad.

Thanks, Tony T.
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PostPost by: mark030358 » Sun Sep 26, 2021 5:25 pm

Don’t touch the crash pad, you will damage it.

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PostPost by: Soonteo » Sun Sep 26, 2021 6:28 pm

Thanks for yr reply.
I have a new one to install. I plan to beef it up with insulation on the inside and wrap leather on the outside. Wonder if anyone has done this before.

Thanks, Tony Teo
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Sun Sep 26, 2021 6:36 pm

You can carefully (and I mean carefully) remove the crash pad with a steel rule between the foam and the GRP dash top. I used strips of Velcro to hold the new pad in place, it was foam filled. I can't claim it to be my own idea, a one owner from new Elan owner in Bogota showed me how it was done :)

Maybe if you showed us a picture of your crash pad we (the forum members) could offer ideas.
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PostPost by: ElanDNA » Wed Sep 29, 2021 7:45 am

Soonteo wrote:Thanks for yr reply.
I have a new one to install. I plan to beef it up with insulation on the inside and wrap leather on the outside. Wonder if anyone has done this before.

Thanks, Tony Teo

Hello Tony
I was faced with the same problem.
Did then with my brother in law, who fortunately has a car upholstery shop, covered the old crash pad with a synthetic leather. Has only been 28 years :lol: :lol: :lol:
Never have the Elan in the blazing sun. If it goes no other way, I always have a white cloth with me to be able to cover everything.
Small problem areas are showing now, caused by the tension in the synthetic leather. See arrow on the photo.
Greetings Urs
Crash-Pad.jpg and

Crash-Pad1.jpg and

Crash-Pad2.jpg and
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PostPost by: Soonteo » Wed Sep 29, 2021 12:59 pm

Thanks Urs,

Your crash pad & dash board both look fabulous.

Could you advise if the crash pad can be easily removed.
If so,
a) is it via bolts & nuts?
or
b) is it bonded to the car’s body as both are of fiber glass.?

Thanks again,
Tony
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Wed Sep 29, 2021 4:29 pm

b) the crash pad is originally bonded to the body, I suspect they used polymerizing foam at the factory
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PostPost by: Soonteo » Wed Sep 29, 2021 6:56 pm

Thanks, this is useful info.

As it is bonded to the body wonder how it could wrapped with vinyl or leather seamlessly.

Appreciate any reply that anyone may have experienced.
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Wed Sep 29, 2021 11:06 pm

I took out a crash pad many years ago before I realised how rare they were. The donor car had a broken windscreen so that was pushed out. I had a long screwdriver which I pushed under the crash pad from the front. The I wiggled and hammered it from side to side. Eventually it popped out with no damage. Had I been careful I wonder how successful I’d have been.

I suspect Robs idea with the steel rule might be better overall but think it might be easier to knock it through the crash pad.
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PostPost by: ElanDNA » Thu Sep 30, 2021 7:41 am

Soonteo wrote:Thanks Urs,

Your crash pad & dash board both look fabulous.

Could you advise if the crash pad can be easily removed.
If so,
a) is it via bolts & nuts?
or
b) is it bonded to the car’s body as both are of fiber glass.?

Thanks again,
Tony

Hello Tony
To a)
My crash pad was additionally screwed from behind. It has foamed in wood inserts on the back. The holes are visible on the left and right in the old photo.
On the right below broken away. I am not sure about the top two. My old brain has a little "memo delete". :?: :lol: :lol:
Greetings Urs
1A63.jpg and
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Thu Sep 30, 2021 8:09 am

elanfan1 wrote:I took out a crash pad many years ago before I realised how rare they were. The donor car had a broken windscreen so that was pushed out. I had a long screwdriver which I pushed under the crash pad from the front. The I wiggled and hammered it from side to side. Eventually it popped out with no damage. Had I been careful I wonder how successful I’d have been.

I suspect Robs idea with the steel rule might be better overall but think it might be easier to knock it through the crash pad.


I removed the crash pad from my Sprint a couple of months ago. It was stuck to the GRP with glue by the look of it. It hadn't been out of the car before. The car was stripped and the windscreen was out. It probably took less than an hour.
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Thu Sep 30, 2021 9:01 am

Rob, does the covering of the dash pad go under the windscreen rubber or does it butt up against it?
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Thu Sep 30, 2021 9:18 am

Butts up against it.
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Thu Sep 30, 2021 1:48 pm

Indeed, it's as Steve said. As I'm sure you know, the screen pillar trims go under the screen rubber. Good luck!
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