Lotus Elan

New restoration - First question - handbrake cable removal

PostPost by: bg109685 » Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:19 pm

Hi All,

First off, be gentle...please...

I picked up a bit of a basket case from ebay a couple of months back, a black badge 1970 +2 S, with lots of potential :)

I'm in the process of splitting the body and chassis, have a workshop manual plus stripdown notes from the spider chassis rebuild.

I am trying to release the handbrake cable from the lever under the drivers dash. I have disconnected the cable at the rear of the vehicle but want to remove the cable from the ratchet lever, how is this done? I think the lever has to be released (some how) and pulled all the way out (towards the drivers seat) so that the cable can be disconnected. Is my thinking correct, and if so, how do I release the handle so that it can be extracted?

Many thanks


P.S. Does anyone have a list of rubber components that need replacing due to time related perishing?
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Sat Sep 18, 2010 12:00 am

Hi Brian, welcome aboard.

I am trying to remember the details of the handbrake, and a bit uncertain. However, I recall it being pretty apparent when it was removed from the mounts to the steering column & pedal box area. Have you removed it from it's mounts? Would recommend taking some digital pic's of all this area before removal, as re-assembly was a bit confusing to remember.

At any rate, for mine on assembly it was relatively easy at the driver seat end, and can be done without drawing excessive cable length onto the car. I believe it was accomplished by putting the handle close to the full release position and removing the metal bead on the end through an enlarged slot at the lower end of the brake outer stick. Although you are a ways away from re-assembly, the cable is left fastened at the back end to the handbrake tree, and then attached in the cabin. When doing this, recommended to have a piece of string on the back cable end, because if it comes off the tree and into the tunnel, you may have to re-lift the body to get it back in position.

I may be mistaken, but understand there are two types of handbrake assembly. Does yours have a long white button on the handle, as this is type I am referring to.

Sure this won't be complete, but sure others can add to it...

For the main rubber stuff, I replaced the door gaskets, boot/trunk gasket, windshield & rear glass gaskets (there are two types of these). The glass has to come out if you need to replace the headliner. I got a bunch of rubber grommets for all the holes in the firewall; best if you can find ones thick enough for fibreglass rather than metal.

Although not rubber, the soundproofing felts were all binned; replacements from Sue Miller cut to size. Used camping foam type material for the frame saddle rather than felt, as won't hold moisture.

Lots of small rubber bits as well, gaskets for boot/trunk hinges, door handles, rubber rings for all instruments in dash, rubber pads to mount front bumper, check rubber in headlight buckets, tail light housing rubber pads. The front turn signals have some rubber bits in them, but think they are NLA; used some foam strips around the exterior of the housings. There is a "secondary seal" on the front of each door that I got from Sue Miller as well.

Recommend examining the door glass rubber carefully before deciding to take it apart, as it is a bit of a can of worms (that I avoided). The fixed triangular glass rubber is presently NLA. Waist seals and the felt bits for the moving glass is available.

I also used thin rubber washers for all the bolts going through the body.

HTH. Where are you located? You can place your location in your profile and it will come up at the side of your posts. Are you using a new Spyder chassis, or it is already included?
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Sat Sep 18, 2010 8:00 am

Hi Brian,
If you have the type of lever with the long white release button you do need to pull the lever right out to release the cable, I don't know about the other type of lever. As Stu says the job is much easier if you remove the assembly from it's mounting first and you will need to disconnect the cable from the clevis at the rear of the car also.

The lever is prevented from coming right out of the outer ratchet tube by a flat spring with a button which engages in a hole in the outer tube. Push this button in and you can pull the lever right out to disconnect the cable. The spring will fall out as you pull the lever out.

Handbrake lever.jpg and
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PostPost by: bg109685 » Sat Sep 18, 2010 10:06 pm

Stu, Roger,

Many thanks for the quick responses, the photo really helped and I have acouple of new rubbed bits to add to my shopping list.

My problem was that I hadn't pulled enough slack into the car to fully remove the brake lever.

Stu, in answer to your question about the chassis, it depends. The previous owner shortened the front of the car by about a foot back in the late 70's and I was advised that Lotus replaced the nose and chassis at the time.

I have a short term goal of just getting the car back on the road quickly and at low cost so if it I can go with what I have got that suits. I need to get this through an MOT as I have promised my father, who is not in the best of health, a run out before he is unable to enjoy it (80 and the master mechanic of the family).

Will post some photo's shortly but once again many thanks

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