Lotus Elan

+2 sunroof options and doors

PostPost by: Tomnewell » Fri Jan 24, 2020 1:38 pm

Hi everyone,

I was hoping you could help me with two bodywork problems! I want to start working toward getting the car repainted but these issues need overcoming beforehand!

Firstly, both my doors appear to have a twist in them and don't fit the body shape nicely. I have gone mad with shims and door adjustment however I cannot get them to line up because of the twist. Has anyone else experienced this?
On other cars, I've used a method of drawing the two corners in together, using a threaded rod. The rod is bolted to the inside of the frame and runs from corner to corner. However with the curvature of the doors and the door furniture, there isn't really the space. Also the inner frame is only thin fibreglass (fear of breaking it).

Secondly, I need to improve my sunroof situation! It is a glass, removable, tip up jobby. It is a little on the bulky side, although I like the extra light that comes in and the available breeze! My two options are either a webasto or a fibreglass repair to restore the nice original roof line. I was hoping on the off chance that someone might have a roof section or a webasto. If not, a how to guide on making from scratch would be much appreciated! I've only done very little fibreglass work in the past and this job might be beyond me.

Thanks in advance,
Tom
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PostPost by: Donels » Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:10 pm

Distorted doors is not usually a +2 problem but on baby Elans the door skins can be slit pulled in and reglassed. Do you have some pictures to illustrate your problem?
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PostPost by: Tomnewell » Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:45 pm

Ah ok that's a good idea, thanks.
I was hoping that it would be adjustable incase I have a similar problem in the future after paint. A good fix though if it is an anomaly as you say.
I will try to upload a picture
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PostPost by: Tomnewell » Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:53 pm

Picture of the door inside of the shut line
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PostPost by: Tomnewell » Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:55 pm

Sorry description the wrong way round! Picture before is bottom of the door too far out.
This is of the door too far in at the top.
The front line of the door is correct along the wing.
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PostPost by: Tomnewell » Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:03 pm

Front door line
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PostPost by: Tomnewell » Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:05 pm

Hoping to close up this door gap. I've seen so many cars with nice shut lines. The inner door rubber would work much better too!
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PostPost by: HCA » Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:53 pm

Tom,
Re your roof - see a recent post in the body section regarding my Webasto. Loads of comments on the do-ability of it, mostly negative. I then spoke with Spyder who guaranteed they could do it. I then baulked out of it thinking the 2k they wanted could be better used on something really useful such as my EFI.

Judging by comments, and the cost to glass it in, and you do not mind having one, try and go for a Webasto as opposed to filling it in. I have only had the car a short while, and must admit I am beginning to accept it more each day :D

Hal
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PostPost by: mbell » Fri Jan 24, 2020 7:43 pm

On the doors I'd start by making sure the busing on the hinges are in good condition, these are just nylon bushes that were and allow for play/movement in the door. Dirt/rust etc causes them to war quite quickly and this becomes and issue.

Easy check is to see how much up/down wiggle there is with the door open.
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PostPost by: M.J.S » Sat Jan 25, 2020 9:22 am

Hi Tom.

There is a lot of negativity regards sun roofs, but my +2 was fitted with a full webasto when new by the dealer and 48 years later it still looks great, works perfectly, hasn't caused any issues of which I'm aware and I wouldn't want the car any other way.

Regards the doors, I have to say they were never the best fitting things in the world from new. Yours may be a little more out of shape then normal and I can only suggest you tinker until you get them as best you can, then live with them, otherwise buy a Porsche. :lol:

Mark.
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PostPost by: stuart » Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:51 am

hi Tom
I have a pair of bare doors for sale.
where in Kent are you?

regards
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PostPost by: Bank16 » Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:54 am

Hi Tom,

Re doors............I had a problem with poor fitting doors on my +2 mostly at the hinge side against the front wing. What worked for me to get good shut lines/alignment was a combination of
• trial and error with different thickness of shims on the hinges
• I stripped the doors of door frame/glass, window motors, etc ready for painting which made the doors a lot lighter and the job of aligning them easier
• trial fitted the doors initially without any door rubbers or striker plate in place.
• To get one of the doors perfectly flush I did have to build out part of the body in one place
• had to slightly enlarge the hinge holes in the body to give more adjustment.
• Replaced the nylon hinge bushes with brass oilite bushes. I had some play/movement in the doors even with new nylon hinge bushes whereas the brass oilite bushes have eliminated any play/movement.

Re sunroof.............I have a fabric sunroof on mine. It's a 'Weathershield' sunroof as they were called originally before the firm was taken over by Webasto. I've got various +2 Weathershield sunroof parts (new and used). Unfortunately not local to you but PM me if interested.

Steve
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PostPost by: RichC » Sat Jan 25, 2020 6:47 pm

you should be able to sort out your doorlines with a bit of effort just loosening all the hinge bolts and the door catch screws and repositioning the door .
You'll need a helping hand , as once you've loosened all the hinge bolts the heavy door will move a lot and you dont want to damage your paint!
Forget the window frame to start with.. you can adjust that to get a good fit on your rubbers once you've sorted out the closure lines on the lower half of the door.
Once your door is fitting well I expect your window frame will be sticking out too much at the top so you'll need to loosen all the bolts holding it in place and retighten them well once repositioned .
Good Luck!
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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Sat Jan 25, 2020 8:52 pm

I took my empty door shells and laid them on their side and laid fiberglass mat on the inside, enough that when I ground the fiberglass down from the outside to the right fit I had not broken through. This also took out some of the flatness in the shape that some of them have about midway, Gordon Sauer
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PostPost by: Baggy2 » Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:25 pm

Hello Tom
If you decide to go the Webasto route I have two ( well maybe one and a half ) sets of sunroof parts you can have. I've always fancied a sunroof and I bought these a few years back but I'm a coward and I've finally come to realise that I am not brave enough to cut a big hole in my roof so they are now taking up space in a very cluttered garage. If you would cover the carriage or come and collect if you are in the south of the UK you are welcome to them.
All the best
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