Lotus Elan

How to jack up front ofEelan +2 ?

PostPost by: danbuoy1 » Sat Apr 04, 2020 10:06 pm

Hiya - at last got my Elan +2 under cover, not much space but want to jack up to look underneath, starting at the front. I've a substantial trolley jack, wheres the best place to position it to get both wheels up?

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Paul
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PostPost by: Chrispy » Sat Apr 04, 2020 11:30 pm

I've got a pair of low rise ramps, I drive the car up on them and then jack up under the front crossmember of the chassis with a block of timber to spread the load.

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PostPost by: 512BB » Sun Apr 05, 2020 6:35 am

Similar to above but without the ramps. Place a piece of timber 1' long by about 6" wide by 1" thick under the front chassis crossmember, in the centre. Thats the bit just forward of the sump, and jack up there. Place axle stands at the extremities of the crossmember, then you can remove the jack. Chock the rear wheels front and back. Jobs a good un.

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PostPost by: PaulH » Sun Apr 05, 2020 10:57 am

This video might help with some ideas. Not a +2 but very similar:
https://youtu.be/E4YUz55ELEw

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PostPost by: Grizzly » Sun Apr 05, 2020 3:18 pm

PaulH wrote:This video might help with some ideas. Not a +2 but very similar:
https://youtu.be/E4YUz55ELEw

Paul

I know it says in the Lotus hand book you can jack up on the wishbones but not sure it's wise.

2 seaters are easy (block of wood under the square section in the sill) but i can see why a +2 could be a problem if you doubt the condition of your sills.

I have always used a similar technique to Crispy, drive on to ramps/blocks of wood to get enough clearance for the jack plus a length of wood (i have a piece of 2x4 about 12" long just for that job) than jack it off the front cross member.

The back is slightly more awkward, to do that i had to rig up a U shaped block of wood that fit into the chassis below the diff and cleared the exhaust. (Like paddy has done 4 down in the linked thread viewtopic.php?f=14&t=22593&start= )
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Mon Apr 06, 2020 7:09 am

Grizzly wrote:
PaulH wrote:This video might help with some ideas. Not a +2 but very similar:
https://youtu.be/E4YUz55ELEw

Paul

I know it says in the Lotus hand book you can jack up on the wishbones but not sure it's wise.

2 seaters are easy (block of wood under the square section in the sill) but i can see why a +2 could be a problem if you doubt the condition of your sills.

I have always used a similar technique to Crispy, drive on to ramps/blocks of wood to get enough clearance for the jack plus a length of wood (i have a piece of 2x4 about 12" long just for that job) than jack it off the front cross member.

The back is slightly more awkward, to do that i had to rig up a U shaped block of wood that fit into the chassis below the diff and cleared the exhaust. (Like paddy has done 4 down in the linked thread viewtopic.php?f=14&t=22593&start= )


Grizzly, does that not dent the chassis at that point? If I’m lifting the back I lift at the same point as Paul - I.e. where the chassis starts to fork ahead of the wishbones.

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PostPost by: mikealdren » Mon Apr 06, 2020 8:01 am

If you jack under the front X-member, make sure you us a wide block to spread the load or it will damage the X-member which is just sheet steel and not intended to take the load.

When I got my +2 (1980), advice was never jack under the X-member but the later tubular Spyder parts are much stronger.
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PostPost by: 512BB » Mon Apr 06, 2020 8:06 am

Four points.

1. Paul does not ask about raising the side of the car, but asks about raising the front wheels.

2. Paul does not have ramps to drive, or push his car onto, otherwise I am sure he would say.

3. If you cannot get your jack under the car and need to drive / push it up onto ramps before you can get your jack under the car, you have the wrong jack for your needs. You have a Lotus now. Buy the right tools for the job.

4. 'If you jack under the front X-member, make sure you us a wide block to spread the load or it will damage the X-member which is just sheet steel and not intended to take the load'
Has this not already been said, twice !

I have several jacks, non of which have a particularly low saddle. All fit under my cars.

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PostPost by: Grizzly » Mon Apr 06, 2020 11:42 am

512BB wrote:Four points.

1. Paul does not ask about raising the side of the car, but asks about raising the front wheels.

2. Paul does not have ramps to drive, or push his car onto, otherwise I am sure he would say.

3. If you cannot get your jack under the car and need to drive / push it up onto ramps before you can get your jack under the car, you have the wrong jack for your needs. You have a Lotus now. Buy the right tools for the job.

4. 'If you jack under the front X-member, make sure you us a wide block to spread the load or it will damage the X-member which is just sheet steel and not intended to take the load'
Has this not already been said, twice !

I have several jacks, non of which have a particularly low saddle. All fit under my cars.

Leslie

Without getting the Pauls mixed up....... the OP says "jack up to look underneath, starting at the front" and by your logic he also doesn't say he hasn't got ramps or blocks to drive onto.

From my experience a +2 is a dam sight harder to raise up than a 2 seater, the chassis is so much further under the bodywork making a Trolley jack awkward.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Mon Apr 06, 2020 12:06 pm

richardcox_lotus wrote:
Grizzly wrote:
PaulH wrote:This video might help with some ideas. Not a +2 but very similar:
https://youtu.be/E4YUz55ELEw

Paul

I know it says in the Lotus hand book you can jack up on the wishbones but not sure it's wise.

2 seaters are easy (block of wood under the square section in the sill) but i can see why a +2 could be a problem if you doubt the condition of your sills.

I have always used a similar technique to Crispy, drive on to ramps/blocks of wood to get enough clearance for the jack plus a length of wood (i have a piece of 2x4 about 12" long just for that job) than jack it off the front cross member.

The back is slightly more awkward, to do that i had to rig up a U shaped block of wood that fit into the chassis below the diff and cleared the exhaust. (Like paddy has done 4 down in the linked thread viewtopic.php?f=14&t=22593&start= )


Grizzly, does that not dent the chassis at that point? If I’m lifting the back I lift at the same point as Paul - I.e. where the chassis starts to fork ahead of the wishbones.

Regards
Richard

If the U is long enough to spread the load then no it won't damage the chassis (there isn't that much weight in the back of a +2) so just make sure it's as far back towards the rear body fixings as possible and between the rear wishbone fixings.....

All i can say to Pauls idea of jacking under the Chassis Y on a +2 is try it....... it's to far under, might be ok if you have your car on dollies but because the body is that bit wider and longer on a +2 it makes jacking it up more difficult than a 2 seater.

I'd also advise against using screw jacks!! might be ok on a light weigh grp car temporarily but i've seen them collapse so don't have anything you wouldn't want to loose under a car on a screw jack!!
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PostPost by: danbuoy1 » Mon Apr 06, 2020 7:41 pm

Thanks for all replies and helpfull tips, the car hasn't seen the road for 30 years and overall looks it, daren't trust the sills in any way so cautious about bending it - is that possible?

It is very tight in my workshop space (due to another project!) but at least now under cover. I have absolutely no experience of GRP car body or space frame chassis so don't want to make silly, simple mistakes. I have a substantial trolley jack and few smaller ones. Forgot to say...the car has a towbar as well, so not sure how this will affect jacking access.

What I want to do is (a) jack the front and support it then if possible (b) jack the rear and support it, both with axle stands, where do I position these at the rear? Or would I be better off trying to get all 4 wheels on ramps? Good point about xmember, wasn't aware it was delicate, nor the donuts. Main thing is to crawl underneath and just get a look and feel for it. Hopefully at some point I'll be able to get it into a larger space to start work.

Video was very helpful - umm lying under car using scissor jack - although the wheel was still on. Even with proper trolleys I've seen cars fall off...

I'll have a look at the weekend and let you know how I get on.

Cheers

Paul
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PostPost by: mbell » Mon Apr 06, 2020 10:29 pm

At front I've used a 2*4 the full length of the cross member and made cut outs for the axle stands. You can lift it using the middle, then place two axle stands under.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Tue Apr 07, 2020 11:29 am

danbuoy1 wrote: daren't trust the sills in any way so cautious about bending it - is that possible?


Very wise!! it's not so much bending the car but rather punching a hole through the floor with the jack. Don't forget the seat belt mounts to the metal sill in a +2 so worth worth taking off the closing plates and having a look.

If they do turn out to be rotten the old Christopeher Neil / Spyder bar sills are frankly the only way to go in my opinion.
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PostPost by: danbuoy1 » Tue Apr 07, 2020 2:23 pm

Thanks Mbell, that sounds like what I want to do.

Thanks Grizzly, I wasn't sure about strength of car if sills are shot (which I'm pretty sure they will be!) and possible chassis problems although been standing on wheels so I guess jacking front in centre ok, its jacking rear on each side that concerned me. I made mistakes many years ago, not realising the sills are important on a chassis car, I cringe when I remember how I got round it (another story) :D

Cheers

Paul
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PostPost by: danbuoy1 » Tue Apr 07, 2020 11:01 pm

Many thanks for info and especially caution on jacking up front - is the xmember still used as a reservoir? The front end and chassis looks like its not been restored so guessing it all original, flaky paint/surface rust on chassis - should I be looking to assume replacement? Great to see the Stanpart rad - commonality with my Triumph :D

I'm fine with mechanicals, apart from dinghy maintenance and 70's car patching in my youth, not on GRP. The inner wings look like parted company - I'm guessing they were glassed in afterwards anyway and not serious?

Not looking to give you a blow by blow restoration report but feeling my way, really on whether its worth it. My Triumph had been stored for 20+ years before I bought it but mainly it was fine, the Elan needs virtually everything sorting...

Cheers

Paul
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