Lotus Elan

How high do I need to lift the body?

PostPost by: danbuoy1 » Tue Jan 05, 2021 8:37 pm

Hiya, apologies if asked before.

Looking at my forlorn +2 project that hasn't gone anywhere due to lack of space, then thinking - could I lift the body off where it is and start some work?

Garage is flat roof and not high but if I took wheels off and kept it low, what sort of overall height would I need to raise then pull complete undercarriage out?

Cheers

Paul
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PostPost by: Pjr » Tue Jan 05, 2021 8:59 pm

If it helps, I have my bare shell on top of two wooden trestle tables. I have the bare subframe on a pair of furniture moving dollys and it slides in under the tables with a few inches to spare.

The highest point of the subframe is the rear turret top so if you measure the height of that, it will give you your minimum height. I think you should be able to get a shell above a rolling chassis in one bay of a reasonable height garage.
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PostPost by: danbuoy1 » Tue Jan 05, 2021 9:05 pm

Cheers and thanks for reply. Thats teh sort of thing I envisaged, can you help me out here - roughly where would the top of the rear turret align outside, say top of door B post?

Cheers

Paul
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PostPost by: bitsobrits » Tue Jan 05, 2021 9:08 pm

The big issue is the rear shock towers. You either have to raise the floor pan above the highest point of the shock towers if you are pulling the chassis out the front or the rear, OR at least high enough to clear the rear wheel arches if pulling the chassis out sideways. And if the suspension is still on, remember that the chassis will raise up a bit as the weight of the body is removed. So from wherever you start (wheels or no wheels, etc) you will need to raise it at least 24" (the nominal height of the chassis), and probably more like 27-28" to clear the raised suspension.
Last edited by bitsobrits on Tue Jan 05, 2021 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Elan S1 1963-Bourne bodied
Elan S3 1967 FHC pre airflow

Formerly:
Elan S1 1964
Elan S3 1966 FHC pre airflow
Elan S3 1967 FHC airflow
Elan S4 1969 FHC
Europa S2 1970
Esprit S2 1979
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PostPost by: mbell » Tue Jan 05, 2021 9:10 pm

Rear turret top is ~22" from chassis base
Ground clearance is 6-7"
Car height is ~48" (ground to roof line when on wheels)

So body floor to roof line is ~42", so theoretically I think the roof would roughly need to be at 71" (7 + 22 + 42) but probably better to estimate ~6.5 foot. This also assume you can lift the car in an even level manor, if not you need to lift it higher.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: mbell » Tue Jan 05, 2021 9:12 pm

danbuoy1 wrote:roughly where would the top of the rear turret align outside, say top of door B post?


An inch or two under the parcel shelf.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: Pjr » Tue Jan 05, 2021 9:20 pm

If you look in the boot at the body mouldings either side of the fuel tank, it’s basically level with the top of those.
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PostPost by: danbuoy1 » Tue Jan 05, 2021 9:28 pm

Thats great info, thanks for all replies - it is very sandwiched in next to another (Triumph) resto so can't easily get to but can check the roof height - I'll look tomorrow but reckon 7' should be achievable at shallow end.

Just want to start doing it, otherwise no pint in having it after a year :shock:

Cheers

Paul
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PostPost by: dcmarsh » Wed Jan 06, 2021 2:02 pm

Follow on question. It’s COVID so I have no friends. Is there a way to lift the body by yourself with some kind of contraption? I think I’ve seen pictures of such a thing somewhere. I’ve also read from some that you shouldn’t lift the body but instead drop the frame, once all the suspension is off. But even in that case, something would have to hold the body up high. Thoughts?
1971 Elan +2S
1975 Elite 503
2005 Elite
1991 M100 (sold, regretfully)
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PostPost by: wotsisname » Wed Jan 06, 2021 3:21 pm

if the body is bare it isn't so bad , weight wise, and could be supported under each side of the floorpan (with pallets or similar), weighs a lot with screens, doors, upholstery, trim ,etc. I have pictures of mine on old oil drums when the repaint was done (bare shell). might be possible to jack it each side until the shell is clear of the chassis, then slide planks under from the sides.
A few owners on here suggest it's worth doing the sill members before anything else on the body so there is no chance it will sag..
just a few thoughts that might be of use
1968 Elan plus 2 - project
2007 Elise S2 [modified with a Hethel 70th sticker (yellow)]
2000 Elise S1 - Sold
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PostPost by: NedK » Wed Jan 06, 2021 3:28 pm

I definitely agree on doing the sills first. I asked on here when I first considered it, and was given good advice. When I opened the plates under the wings, all I could see was lumps of rust. Both sills were eventually removed with a dustpan and brush! Once they're in, the whole shell is stiffer to lift.

I'm also about to lift off the body, so the comments here have been very useful. I did see somewhere that someone had used an engine lift - one poking in through the windscreen hole, another was from the side through the empty door space. Lifting points were rail/seatbelt fixings (a simple eye screwed in, with straps attached) and (I think) the shell's central tunnel access holes. Sorry for vagueness.

Slightly off topic, but have a look at this https://youtu.be/E7XQtnCePKA A guy restoring a Mk1 Europa, but his videos are excellent, and he has skills. The tip-over he made for working on the shell is very interesting, especially after he ballsed it up first time.

Cheers
Ned
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Wed Jan 06, 2021 3:38 pm

Your first issue is how you are going to support it, you need to be able to lift the body off without obstructing the wheels if you want to roll the chassis out from underneath.

These links might help:
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=20421
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=45961

I've got my body lifted off with ratchet straps at the moment but you need beams in the garage roof to attach them. As others have said, the bare body is not too heavy but the fully trimmed body is....
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PostPost by: dcmarsh » Wed Jan 06, 2021 6:06 pm

Thanks for the responses and links. I don’t know if my frame needs to be replaced or not but I’ve owned it for over 40 years so I’m guessing if not now, soon!
1971 Elan +2S
1975 Elite 503
2005 Elite
1991 M100 (sold, regretfully)
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PostPost by: GLB » Wed Jan 06, 2021 6:46 pm

here are a couple of pictures of my body going back on. Used an engine lift at the rear to body mount holes in boot floor and a chain hoist through the windscreen to body mount holes behind dash on the tunnel. The helper in the photo is about 6' 2''. Normal height shop roof, 8'. Note chassis is complete. Not as hard a job as I expected. Body not that heavy or unwieldy, although it was a little tippy and we had to keep a hand on it so it did not start to roll, but not bad. Gary
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003.JPG and
002.JPG and
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PostPost by: danbuoy1 » Wed Jan 06, 2021 8:37 pm

Thats great info and pictures thanks, I'm very limited on headroom (meant to measure today, now tomorrow) and unfortunately width as well! Another shell next to it but thinking of putting (the other) on rotisserie and 90 degrees to free us some space. Likewise the car is 50+ and unsure of history so assuming original chassis. Love the different ways of supporting it! I've heard that sill strengtheners should be replaced hence need to gain laterla space as well. but from whats been said it sounds dooable in my limited space - thanks.

What I was thinking was to put up a couple of wooden supports to lift body off using a couple of winches, the garage roof is not strong enough.

Cheers

Paul
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