Lotus Elan

Body dimension accuracy

PostPost by: mazlot » Sun Dec 10, 2023 5:14 am

I have just purchased an S4, which I am aware has had a front end collision.

It has been "repaired" rather poorly.

I have a 20mm difference between the windscreen and each headlight pod, a 20mm difference between the door A pillar aperture and the wheel arch, and a 20mm difference between wheel arch openings.

I imagine this is not the norm, any comments extremely appreciated.
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Sun Dec 10, 2023 3:52 pm

Sounds like a lot... are these length measurement off a flat and straight reference or longside the body (which may or may not be symetrical after the repair)?
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PostPost by: berni29 » Mon Dec 11, 2023 9:18 am


I used a lazer level pointed at the (level) car to shine a line along it and in this way could get a qualitative idea of what was what. I have some pictures somewhere. It’s in a post on this site also, will try to find a link.

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PostPost by: mazlot » Mon Dec 11, 2023 10:05 am

Exccellent, many thanks.
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PostPost by: Ray419G » Mon Dec 11, 2023 5:02 pm

If it's of help, I have measured my S4, from the windscreen to headlight pod openings, the door apertures to the rear of the front wheel arches, and across the front wheel arches. For each measurement, as close as I can get with a tape, (probably to + or - 1 mm), they are the same for the left and right sides of the car.

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PostPost by: David1953 » Tue Dec 12, 2023 12:06 am

I would be checking the chassis dimensions, something like a full 4 wheel alignment check that includes width and length. If that is all OK, then the body becomes more a question of does it look
OK, and is it structurally sound.
If you are doing a body off type repair then cutting the front off and realigning it is quite doable, although then the question is is one side 20mm to long or the other too short.
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PostPost by: miked » Tue Dec 12, 2023 5:43 am

Probably get flamed for this but in the distant past some fibreglass character said that the bodies do not bear inspection with a tape measure. That was the polite version.
I suppose a comparison with others would prove but I am inclined to agree that the sub frame/chassis is the important item and so long as the body is sound and looks ok, be happy.
I have heard this business muted in the past many times about accuracy.
Not inclination to find out.

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