Lotus Elan

Plus 2 Door Drop

PostPost by: 111Robin » Tue Jan 11, 2022 3:47 pm

I have read some posts on resolving door drop on the Plus 2, but I will be doing this "solo", has anyone else done this ?. Just thinking of how to handle the doors. Also, I don't want to have to repeat this (soon) so rather than just replacing bushes should I replace everything (if all parts are available) ?.
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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Tue Jan 11, 2022 11:01 pm

There’s a bar that runs the length of the door with two screws at the top and a bottom big flat head screw and then the nylon type inserts go into the hinges to the inside of the car and the shaft goes through those. Those nylon inserts are really the only thing that can wear and other than that which I replaced on mine, I did have that bottom screw come loose and yes, in redoing it, I put blue Loctite on it so it won’t back off which led to my door becoming a little bit loose after 10 years or so, Gordon
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PostPost by: Bud English » Tue Jan 11, 2022 11:54 pm

Doing it solo isn't really that hard.
Open the door and support it well along the length of the bottom. It's heavy!
Brace it upright.
Remove the interior kick panel and disconnect the door wiring. (I removed the tube that the wires pass through to keep from bending it if the door slips down. You may not want to deal with the small fiddley screws that hold it place)
Remove the check strap screw from the sill.
Access and remove and the four nuts that hold the hinges to the body. Keep track of where the shims are installed.
Lay the door on a padded flat surface to do all the other steps that you already read about.
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Wed Jan 12, 2022 1:29 am

I’ve just rebuilt the hinges on mine, I made bronze bushes instead of the plastic ones used as standard and bought new stainless hinge pins from my usual Lotus parts seller. The doors are heavy if you leave the motors and glass in them which I did, I got my adult son to come round and just help hold the doors while I secured them in place and adjusted them. One other tip I picked up on here somewhere is to make up a metal strip with two holes in it that fits over the hinge studs on the inside of the car, this secures the hinges in place better than the individual washers used as standard, I had some steel strip approx 25mm by 2mm thick which I cut and drilled to size.
One other tip, the screw in the bottom of the hinge pin can be difficult to remove, give it a good soak in penetrating oil ASAP and I have one of the old fashioned impact screwdrivers, the type you hit with a hammer, most efficient at loosening these screws.
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PostPost by: 111Robin » Wed Jan 12, 2022 6:53 am

Thanks for the replies, I feel a lot more confident now tackling this on my own.
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PostPost by: Lotusian » Fri Jan 14, 2022 10:07 am

If the long countersunk screws at the bottom of the hinge are still the slotted type, they may be very difficult to remove as mentioned above, and it’s worthwhile replacing them with the socket headed type which takes an Allen key.
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PostPost by: 111Robin » Fri Jan 14, 2022 10:11 am

Thanks, I'll have a look later and will give them a good soaking.
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PostPost by: berni29 » Fri Jan 14, 2022 9:18 pm

Hi

I will be doing this soon. I really do not like the plastic bushes, but have heard that the bronze ones can wear also. I think the bronze must be a better bet. I know that they have to be made up.

All the best

Berni
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Fri Jan 14, 2022 9:57 pm

The problem with bronze is that it has to fit exactly and the brackets that hold the bushes are quite roughly machines to size and the hinge pins are not much better (unless you have Sean's stainless items). You really need to be able to fit the bushes to the bracket and then ream them for the hinge pin. Nylon can take up the small differences easily, they are also used in the front suspension so it's easy to see why Lotus fitted them.
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Sat Jan 15, 2022 10:46 am

I did buy stainless hinge pins, and some hollow bronze rod. I have a lathe so it was quite easy to turn up the bushes to be a good fit in the hinges and just for good measure I added some loctite bearing fit as I pressed them in. I had bored the hole through the bushes a few thou undersize then carefully reamed them with an adjustable reamer so they were a good close fit on the hinge pin.
Smooth operation with no play or drop, but as the car is not back on the road yet I can’t say how well they will last, but hopefully they’ll outlast me!
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PostPost by: JonB » Sat Jan 15, 2022 4:05 pm

berni29 wrote:Hi

I will be doing this soon. I really do not like the plastic bushes, but have heard that the bronze ones can wear also. I think the bronze must be a better bet. I know that they have to be made up.

All the best

Berni


Had bronze bushes fitted to mine by the PO. Sure enough, they quickly wore and the doors sagged...
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Sat Jan 15, 2022 5:39 pm

Jon, were the bronze bushes on new stainless hinge pins or the original mild steel ones which in mine were all rusty inside the original plastic bushes?
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PostPost by: jono » Mon Jan 17, 2022 12:22 pm

I fitted bronze bushes on my last Plus 2 using the original pins.

Did 15k miles and never had an issue with wear.

However the bottom screw can work loose making it feel like the bushes are worn so its worth using a few drops of Loctite as others have suggested
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PostPost by: wotsisname » Tue Jan 18, 2022 2:50 pm

Another cause of "drop" - if the washers that fit inside the body (the ones the hinge studs pass through) are not of a decent quality/ thickness then they will deform and allow the stud to move in the oversize hole of the bobbin.. this undoes all the careful adjustment of panel gaps.
I have also found that the doors drooped when the weather was hot and this corrected itself on the cooler days.. I assume the plastic bushes are softening.. I am probably going to convert to the bronze bushes.
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