Lotus Elan

S3 tail light and door catch hole measurements

PostPost by: guyatou » Fri Jul 21, 2023 1:50 am

Sooooo

The car I'm working on is a 1967 S3, but it has -- for some reason -- an S4 back half. I think at some point the back half was damaged and the previous owner had a spare S4 body and just mated the two.

This has created a few logistical issues:

First, the holes for the door catches are drilled for the later loop style catches, rather than the S3's flat plate/wedge setup. (see image)

Screen Shot 2023-07-20 at 8.44.16 PM.png and


And the tail of the car is nicely painted, but there are no holes or markings for where the tail lights go! I have S3 tail lights ready to install, but nowhere to put them... yet. (see image)

IMG_9321.JPG and


Drilling into this lovely BRG paint makes me very nervous without a little guidance.

So, if a kindly S3 owner could find it in their heart to take out a door catch and a tail light and send me some pics with a ruler that would be amazing. I can translate the holes from left side to right side as long as they're mirrored, so no need to measure out both sides. :)

Thanks in advance!
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PostPost by: snowyelan » Fri Jul 21, 2023 1:52 pm

Although this isn't much help with the information you requested, it appears you have a S3 back. The S4 had raised bosses for the tail lights. The S4 also has flat topped wheel arches. I can't tell from the pic if yours are square or rounded though.
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Fri Jul 21, 2023 2:09 pm

The S3 and S4 door strikers are totally different as are the taillight panel and tail lights. It's hard to tell in your picture due to the dark color, but is the taillight panel flat or does it have raised areas? Also post a picture of the
door latch. That will tell us if you have S3 or S4 doors. The window frames are also quite different.
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PostPost by: guyatou » Fri Jul 21, 2023 2:35 pm

gjz30075 wrote:The S3 and S4 door strikers are totally different as are the taillight panel and tail lights. It's hard to tell in your picture due to the dark color, but is the taillight panel flat or does it have raised areas? Also post a picture of the
door latch. That will tell us if you have S3 or S4 doors. The window frames are also quite different.


Here’s some better photos. Let me know what ya think. The back panel is definitely flat, so I guess it’s an S3 after all.

IMG_9357.jpeg and


IMG_9356.jpeg and


Here’s what the latches look like.

IMG_9359.jpeg and
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PostPost by: smo17003 » Fri Jul 21, 2023 3:05 pm

S3 latches for sure, and you can also see the indent on the door for the S3 door handle/lock assembly. The S4 has a separate key lock.
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Fri Jul 21, 2023 3:12 pm

Good news is the tail light panel is also S3, so you just need the hole placement and sizes, as you
reckoned earlier. The door striker area *might* be covered with the S3 striker. Hopefully you
won't have to re-'glass and drill for the striker.
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PostPost by: guyatou » Fri Jul 21, 2023 3:19 pm

gjz30075 wrote:Good news is the tail light panel is also S3, so you just need the hole placement and sizes, as you
reckoned earlier. The door striker area *might* be covered with the S3 striker. Hopefully you
won't have to re-'glass and drill for the striker.

It does look like the catch will cover the holes. If not, I might make a little decorative plate to go behind it rather than glassing and painting! I’m all about the path of least resistance!
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PostPost by: Craven » Fri Jul 21, 2023 3:43 pm

Big ask, yes S3 door locks don’t think anyone would lose their catch alignment, there is a back plate on the inside of the door shut and is free to drop down inside and inaccessible if all the interior is fitted.
4 holes needed are large about ½” they are like this to allow plenty of movement of the Back plate into which the 4 mounting screws fix.
Pic of back panel of a S3 if this helps
S3 back panel.jpg and
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PostPost by: Lens4 » Sat Jul 22, 2023 11:48 pm

Hi my s4 had a rear body change think may be accident repair but with the correct body only problem with it was it was done by Stevie Wonder plus it was never fibre glassed together just little alloy plates !!! Len
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PostPost by: guyatou » Thu Aug 03, 2023 3:43 pm

Craven wrote:Big ask, yes S3 door locks don’t think anyone would lose their catch alignment, there is a back plate on the inside of the door shut and is free to drop down inside and inaccessible if all the interior is fitted.
4 holes needed are large about ½” they are like this to allow plenty of movement of the Back plate into which the 4 mounting screws fix.
Pic of back panel of a S3 if this helps
S3 back panel.jpg


Thanks. That pic gives me at least something to go by. Sounds like I might have to do a little trial and error!
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