Lotus Elan

Lotus Elan Handbrake linkage

PostPost by: stebbs » Sat May 16, 2020 2:15 am

I have a 1969 Lotus Elan S4. The handbrake is broken. I discovered one of the rods broke so bought a new rod. I also found that the linkage is bent. Need to repair it and the only way is to remove it.I can see that there is a bolt to remove but there seems to be no access to it without removing the body or at least unbolting and propping the rear of the body up. Was there ever access via a hole in the trunk or is there something I'm missing? I don't want to start drilling holes without getting some advice first. The bolt seems to be above the chassis plate and located behind the 2 bolts in the trunk next to the gas tank. Any ideas?
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PostPost by: Matt Elan » Sat May 16, 2020 2:54 pm

The handbrake 'tree' pivots on a threaded rod with a tube welded to its base. A bolt passes fore and aft through the tube which fixes the threaded rod to the channel in the rear of the chassis. Page JF of the Parts List shows the rod (part no 9) but not the bolt.

Here is a pic of my Plus 2 with a Spyder chassis with an access hole cut in the rear of the boot to get to the tree and the diff level /filler plug - always a good mod anyway. The Plus 2 handbrake mechanism is the same as the Elan anyway - the threaded rod is 'A' and the tree is 'B'. The rear of the tube fixing bolt is pretty much blocked by the body, but if it's in the right way, ie. with the head forwards you should be able to get it out as it should just fit between the diff and the chassis. I think :-)

handbrake IMG_0467.jpg and


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PostPost by: stebbs » Sat May 16, 2020 3:55 pm

Thanks. My wife thinks it's crazy to start opening up holes in the body but I guess not. I suppose if I build a door there it would be useful for any future modifications or maintenance. Thanks again.
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PostPost by: Matt Elan » Sat May 16, 2020 4:00 pm

Its not s structural part of the body and its quite a common modification. Just make sure the cover is waterproofed otherwise you'll get a wet boot. It is mainly done to give access to the diff filler/level plug - to the left of the 'B' in the picture - make it a lot easier to check and fill the diff!
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PostPost by: stebbs » Sat May 16, 2020 4:10 pm

Makes sense. I'll try it.
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PostPost by: Frogelan » Sat May 16, 2020 4:16 pm

Idea for you! Two possibilities to fill the hole - if you have not yet cut it...

- use a bulkhead access bung for a dinghy (these are threaded, circular with a water tight gasket)
- use the large (roughly 10 x 6 cm) grommet used on the MGB behind the Master Cylinders

I plan to use the latter.

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PostPost by: Frogelan » Sat May 16, 2020 7:14 pm

Yes, that type of device. There have been other posts on this subject...I did not invent the idea!

Would be best to pop into a ship chandler to be sure. The MGB part can be found easily (ask Brown + Gammons, MG Motorsport, Moss etc).

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PostPost by: Concrete-crusher » Sat May 16, 2020 8:16 pm

I had a similar problem years ago. On my S4 the tree is a hollow tube, so i drilled a new hole in the chassis and fixed a stainless stud, then fitted the tree onto that. I used studding to re make the rods to the correct length, anyway it works, always passed the mot and no need to cut the body in the boot

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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Sun May 17, 2020 8:51 pm

Stebbs,

I have taken the same method as Frog Elan. The hole is circular 4” diameter and gives access to diff oil level and some access to the tree. I spent ages working out the best location, and would have liked a larger diameter, but could not find a supplier. This is not an original suggestion, I copied from another Elan owner.

Hope this helps,

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PostPost by: baileyman » Mon May 18, 2020 1:14 am

I just cut such a hole, sized for the inspection plug on the RHS of the backbone, centered at the diff drain plug, so each inspection hole uses now the same size plug. John
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Mon May 18, 2020 7:20 am

DSCF0479 (1).JPG and
I fitted one of those access hatches and I have shown it on here before. Again it was not my idea, I also saw it on here. We have now done that mod. to four Elans in the local club.
For access to the tree, it would have been better a little further to the right, but it does leave room for a carburettor priming pump in the corner.
I found that the fibreglass in that area was thin and distorted, so I fitted an aluminium backing ring to hold it straight. The result is that it now takes longer to access and remove the spare wheel than it does to check the oil level.
Eric in Burnley
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Mon May 18, 2020 7:34 pm

Eric,

I think it might have been your car I copied, all I remember is that it was from the general Manchester area. I also needed backing flanges.

Thanks,

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PostPost by: stebbs » Tue May 19, 2020 8:30 pm

That's pretty much where I cut the hole. I must say it's still not easy to remove the tree. The tree is bent and needs replacing but accessing the nut seems tough even though I now have better access. The access will be useful but still working out how to remove the tree.
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