Lotus Elan

Brackets On Heater Box

PostPost by: nebogipfel » Sat Apr 23, 2005 1:13 pm

Hi all,

I'm about to fit the dash in my S4 for the first time and am wondering what the right angled brackets attached to the heater box mountring bracket facing out towards the back of the dash are for? (wow, what a sentence!)

Please don't tell me they are to hold the heater box in!! Unless of course they are ........ in which case I now know why Elan dashboards crack so much :o

Thanks
John

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PostPost by: Rob_LaMoreaux » Mon Apr 25, 2005 12:16 pm

There are two right angle brackets on the front of the heater that hold it in. They are attached to the Y-shaped bracket that attaches to the body through the two body to chassis bolts on the top of the tunnel. Then the dash attaches to the Y-shaped bracket with the two chrome bolts at the bottom center of the dash. Part of the bracket on the heater does press against the dash to align everything, and keep enough separation to allow the ash tray room, but it should not cause any cracking of the dash.

Rob
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PostPost by: nebogipfel » Mon Apr 25, 2005 8:33 pm

Thanks Rob, I assumed that was the case. I think it's a horrible design! I can't think that the heater box brackets pressing against my lovely new dashboard can be a good idea :(

Much better would be a proper bracket to hold the heater in position. I think I'll put my thinking head on :D
John

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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Tue Apr 26, 2005 7:39 am

Hi there,
I think the main reason for cracks appearing in the varnish on Elan dashboards is not the result of the heater brackets alone but the fact that the dashboard itself is an important structural member. It transfers the loads in the scuttle down to the chassis, hence the pretty hefty bolts securing the dashboard. The dashboard subsequently helps to reduce "Scuttle shake".
My new dashboard has already some small varnish cracks appearing in it, sob, sob!!!
All the best
John
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PostPost by: pereirac » Wed Apr 27, 2005 9:50 pm

Dashboards seem to have such a thick coat of varnish on them that they are very brittle. Even drilling the small holes to screw the ash tray in cancause the varnish to crack. I think modern replacements have one very thick coat of varnish applied which is them polished rather than multiple thinner coats making then even more brittle than the originals. French polishing would probably give a more flexible finish but that's harder to do?
Carl

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PostPost by: marcfuller » Wed Apr 27, 2005 11:29 pm

The use of shellac in French Polishing gives a beautiful finish, it's non-yellowing, UV resistant, fairly easy to repair and has very good acoustic properties for instruments - but in an Elan I would be concerned about shellac's durability and tendency to water spot.

I am interested about cracks occuring in newer refinished Elan dashes . How is back of the dash finished? I know that originally the back of the dash had almost no finish, but I wonder how (if) this uneveness contributed to damage.
-Marc '66 Elan DHC (36/6025)
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PostPost by: GrUmPyBoDgEr » Thu Apr 28, 2005 6:03 am

I'm not sure about the quality of dashboards that come from the well known purveyors of Elan parts. I bought my dashboard through a small add in Club Lotus magazine. The seller had made it himself (one of several). It arrived by post in a wooden box specially made for it. The walnut veneer was superb, cut and joined in the middle to produce a mirror image effect left & right. The back, the edges & all of the cut outs were painted to seal them against moisture. I treated the holes that I had to drill for extra warning lights & a warn blinker switch, in the same way. with paint. To drill the holes I used brand new wood drills, drilling from the front of the dashboard. The area being drilled was covered with masking tape to prevent chipping the varnish. The original dashboard was also varnished veneer but due to moisture the varnish was lifting and the veneer was delaminating from the plywood in places.
It was a very lucky buy, top quality & cheaper than the the ones from you know who.
John
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PostPost by: reb53 » Sat Apr 30, 2005 9:22 am

Re varnishing of dashboards. When I redid mine I got the old cracked varnish removed by a local furniture manufacturer with a wide belt sander.They then put a couple of coats of varnish on before I took it away and stuck all the stickers/labels on. Then returned it for more coats of varnish on top. This ensured that the labels had a protective layer over them to prevent them being easily scratched. Sorry, can't remember what the varnish was but recall taking their hard won advise on durability and appearance.
The idea of the chrome screws bearing directly onto the varnished surface didn't seem like a good idea even with soft washers underneath so I devised a different system. All the holes that were for the chrome screws I threaded with a metal threading tap of the appropriate size (i.e. put threads into the wood itself).Then screwed threaded brass bobbins into the holes leaving them very slightly proud of the varnished surface of the dashboard ( about 0.010" ). This meant that the screws never touched or exerted any pressure on the varnish but still clamped the dashboard back firmly. I did this 13 years ago and still have no scratches or cracks.
Good Luck!!
Ralph/ New Zealand.
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