Lotus Elan

chassis serial number

PostPost by: steveb131 » Sun Sep 15, 2013 7:39 pm

Hi there folks

I know this may be a silly question but where will i find a serial number or data plate on the chassis of a plus 2 ?
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PostPost by: Peter +2 » Sun Sep 15, 2013 7:55 pm

From memory its on the left hand chassis rail near the engine mount.

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PostPost by: steveb131 » Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:43 pm

Thanks for that is it easy to spot and would you expect all chassis to have a number or plate ?
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PostPost by: billwill » Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:51 pm

See your other topic. The Chassis i.e subframe number is not an important consideration, the Vehicle identification is the VIN number on the plate in the engine compartment on top of the left hand footwell. (actually on a Plus 2 I think it might be on a vertical surface, but it's somewhere near there).
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PostPost by: gus » Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:34 pm

Prior to 1/1/1970 the chassis number is the vin

chassis number is stamped on the horizontal flange of the chassis near the exhaust manifold. You may need to clean off paint goo etc to see it.

If an early car the vin is also in the door close, engine bay plate in bottom corner of the windshield.

The body number is also different and may be embossed on the body rearward of the carbs near the solenoid, written inside the roof and inside the doors
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PostPost by: Bud English » Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:52 pm

gus wrote:Prior to 1/1/1970 the chassis number is the vin


...and apparently for the next six or eight months it may or not have been depending on who was doing the paperwork. My "70 +2S (fed) has only "0053N", the chassis number, for the vin. Theoretically it should have a 70XXXX0053N number.
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PostPost by: trw99 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:15 pm

[quote="gus"]Prior to 1/1/1970 the chassis number is the vin.

If an early car the vin is also in the door close, engine bay plate in bottom corner of the windshield. [/quote]

Lotus nomenclature, to be pedantic, is Unit Number. That is what most registration authorities need to identify the car. The number on the chassis flange is usually the Unit No. Early cars had a separate chassis number and body number recorded but were never used for any 'legal' purpose, as far as I know.

It was only the Federal Elans that had additional plates on the door jamb and windscreen.

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PostPost by: trw99 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:20 pm

[quote="Bud English"]...and apparently for the next six or eight months it may or not have been depending on who was doing the paperwork. My "70 +2S (fed) has only "0053N", the chassis number, for the vin. Theoretically it should have a 70XXXX0053N number.[/quote]

During the change over to the new VIN system and up until late 1971/early 1972, quite a number of Federal Elans, in particular, had either no year/month/batch numbers or just 700000 instead. Probably some UK cars too though I have not come across any. I suppose that the same applied to the Plus 2s of that period as well.

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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:20 pm

The data plate as you call it is normally here inside the engine bay on the left inner wing.

car4.JPG and


DSC00908.JPG and


Ignore any numbers marked on the actual chassis they are totally irrelevant and form no part of the cars identity, the chassis should really be referred to as a sub frame, it is an item that can be replaced without any need to inform the licensing authorities and indeed 95% of all cars produced that survive to this day will have had the chassis/ subframe replaced.

Unless a car has been in a time warp cocoon for 40+ years an original chassis is not a thing to be cherished.

Don't be sucked in by the all matching numbers fetish that is enjoyed by aficionado's of all metal cars, the chassis on an Elan is not something that can easily be restored or repaired, and a new one hardly breaks the bank.
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PostPost by: cal44 » Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:34 pm

Bud,
your four numbers is your Vin. the other numbers is like the others stated, yr. batch etc.
Remember, in "the book" it states the other numbers are helpful for ordering parts when the cars were newer.

My small herd all have the four numbers for the Vin with the N at the end.
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PostPost by: gus » Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:59 pm

You can call whatever you want whatever makes you happy. Lotus called a chassis a chassis, not a subframe. They also stamped the chassis number on the chassis, and used the chassis number as the VIN until the evil US federal govt made them use more complex numbers. Plus twos happen to have a body number, that is not used anywhere for anything. I imagine that 3 sets of tags followed the chassis around, or alternatively when a completed chassis assembly was ready to be mated to a body, they stamped the number on it. Amusingly, what most consider the 'car', the body, was not used as an ID. Again, a good guess is that bodies got delayed for paint and trim issues while chassis rolled right along.

Lotus cars[as opposed to Lotus components IE sevens] used the chassis number as the VIN, period, until they were forced not to. Since there are at least 500 Plus Twos that claim to be made in December of 1969, I think Lotus had a bit of fun with that one.

In the age of vehicle registrations, titles and such, you are not going to see much of people using a dead chassis to try and recreate a car, as they do with old race cars etc.

The OP asked where the chassis number was on the chassis, and was told where it is. To say it is irrelevant is not true. Many cars lose their riveted tags while being restored, and having the chassis number is a good point of reference.

Of course chassis can be changed, my Spyder chassis has its tag down by the steering rack.
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PostPost by: billwill » Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:21 am

Oh I agree call it what you like, EXCEPT WHEN TALKING TO THE DVLA. There if you ever have to mention changing that structure, call it a sub-frame.

If you refer to it as a chassis, DVLA are quite likely to consider it to be a different car, home built, and dangerous and you are likely to have to take it to a Govt test centre who inspect the roadworthyness of kit cars and complete self builds and if they find it roadworthy you may well find yourself with a Q registration number.

1978: Been there done that, escaped a Q number by the skin of my teeth and a high cost in have to have my Elan trailered to Greenwich from North London and back, despite it being fully roadworthy and insured ... because it was not taxed... At Greenwich it was inspected by men in black of the real Ministry of Transport. who eventually declared that the new chassis was really just a subframe and gave me a bit of paper to prove it. Unfortunately I had to hand that paper in at County Hall to get my tax disk, but I did manage to get the paperwork all done in two days and managed to catch my holiday ferry to Eire.

Then years & years later when they computerised the MOT tests, lo & behold it turned out that the DVLA had never entered the corrections inherent in that bit of paper and I had a whole pile of hassle all over again.

PS... If you don't encounter similar hassle from DVLA in respect of Lotus Elans and their sub-frame/chassis nowadays, that's all because of the pioneering work by myself and other victims back in the 1970s & 80s.

:D :) :shock:
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PostPost by: trw99 » Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:27 am

I have just been checking and got my post above wrong - typical pedant!

Up to Jan 1970 Lotus used the term 'chassis'. Thereafter they used the term 'unit/chassis'. My evidence is the Works Order Sheet (attached example) used at that time and the Lotus Parts List.

Bill is quite correct, of course, we should not now use the term 'chassis' with DVLA, as I think we all know.

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PostPost by: billwill » Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:52 pm

trw99 wrote:I have just been checking and got my post above wrong - typical pedant!

Up to Jan 1970 Lotus used the term 'chassis'. Thereafter they used the term 'unit/chassis'. My evidence is the Works Order Sheet (attached example) used at that time and the Lotus Parts List.

Bill is quite correct, of course, we should not now use the term 'chassis' with DVLA, as I think we all know.

Tim



I wonder if Lotus changed their terminology at round about the time the owners of the first Elans started changing their "chassis" and encountering problems at the DVLA 8) (or I think maybe it was called DVLC, back then).
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