Lotus Elan

o/s front wheel sticks out too far

PostPost by: Nic » Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:37 pm

I'm rebuilding a plus 2 having bought one in bits 6 months back. Previous owner also bought the car in bits and he had rebuilt the rear end quite nicely. I stripped the front, had everything sandblasted and rebuilt with new everything. Along the way I found that the near side front has had a pretty bad repair done, lots of filler and although it looks OK at a glance, careful comparison with the off side shows that the repairer (or shall I call him the bodger) has not got the shape quite right. All of this is fixable, if not a little annoying.
The car has a Spyder chassis fitted which is in very good condition and shows no signs of damage, likewise the o/s front body shows no signs of any damage or poor repairs, but........ When I refitted all the suspension yesterday it is very clear that the o/s wheel sticks out further than the n/s wheel. Some of that was due to the bodger's repair and having ground away a load of his filler I now have the edge of the wheel arch the same distance from the bonnet aperture on both sides, so I would say that both sides of the car are about symmetrical but the o/s wheel still sticks out further that the n/s wheel and I would have to say that the n/s wheel looks right and the o/s wheel looks wrong. Apart from being rather p'd off I'm also a bit baffled by it. Is is possible that the body can be bolted to the chassis at the front off centred and hence correctable? Any other thoughts appreciated.

Nic
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PostPost by: martinbrowning » Fri Jul 15, 2016 4:01 pm

Hi Nic, Not quite sure what you mean by the wheel sticking out - is it proud of the body work? Assuming that the front wishbones are correct, and the same on each side of the car, then it sounds as though the body has not been centred correctly on the chassis - which must have been a replacement because it is a Spyder one.
I think that you need to take measurements using the chassis as the datum; this will quickly show whether the body is skewed and yes, it can be rectified.

Let us know how you get on,

Cheers

Martin B
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PostPost by: Nic » Fri Jul 15, 2016 4:17 pm

Hi Martin, yes the wheel is proud on the body, so if you look vertically down at the wheel then the o/s sits further out in relation to the lip of the wheel arch than the other side. Yes I agree I need to get some accurate measurements I suppose I really wanted confirmation that the body can be out of alignment with the chassis and that if can be adjusted, it sounds from your last comment that I should not have a major disaster on my hands. Do you have any experience in positioning body/chassis?

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PostPost by: Gray » Fri Jul 15, 2016 4:35 pm

Hi

The first thing to do is to undo all the bolts holding the body to the chassis and try to move the body around on the chassis. It should not move very much but may be the answer.

If that solves the problem then the chassis mountings need to be realigned. The plain holes will need to be enlarged. The tapped holes will be difficult as unless you move the chassis a lot, which is unlikely, you will not be able to drill and tap a new hole. It is better to cut out the bobbins from the body and re-position. Not as five minute job, as I've found in the past trying to optimise wheel clearances.

Some photos of the car might help.

Cheers Gray
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Mon Jul 18, 2016 3:06 pm

Another consideration that might be in play is that there were clearance issues with the Spyder chassis that caused the DPO to mis-align.
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Tue Jul 19, 2016 11:06 am

The front of the body is located sideways by the front suspension towers without much opportunity to move it sideways much as the orginal clearances were tight. If the body is not central I would suspect it has been rebuilt at the front at some stage and its "not quite right" which maybe why it also has a Spyder chassis as the original one was damaged in the front in the same crash as required the body rebuild.

I would look closely for signs of major front end body work such as a new grafted on nose section

cheers
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