Lotus Elan

Starting to tackle +2 resto....

PostPost by: danbuoy1 » Sat Feb 12, 2022 9:42 pm

At long last found small space to start + 2 resto. However don't have easy space to work on body and chassis separately so while tempting to tackle chassis etc my thoughts were to concentrate on body while still on chassis, then when ready lift body and paint elsewhere, working on chassis in space left - what do you think?

Also looking to replace steel sills first, didn't realise they slide out, do I need much space beyond rear of car to get them out? Just don't want to get car positioned and weakened then have to move it forward.

Cheers

Paul
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PostPost by: Foxie » Sun Feb 13, 2022 2:47 pm

If you are doing a body lift it's a very good idea to fit new sills first. You can the use the jacking points with confidence for the lift.

Check the body does not sag when you are removing the old sills.

I have a set of Spyder sills in the garage at the moment awaiting fitting.

They are 68" long. That means you need approx 14" beyond the rear bumper.

By the way the old sills quite often come out in bits, but you will need the clearance to fit the new ones !

:)
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PostPost by: danbuoy1 » Sun Feb 13, 2022 6:27 pm

Hi Foxie - thats really helpful - thankyou :)

I'll have to move it forward as the back of car is virtually touching the wall, I can just abt get it forward a couple of foot. Is any make of sill preferred?

Is it ok to do one side at a time? I'll need to move it to get to other side afterwards.

Also - umm the body sagging, I assumed the chassis and fiberglass shell would keep it right? That said remember similar problem when I put new sills on a Spitfire. Is it ok just to put a jack under centre? The door does catch at moment - I'm guessing from worn hinge, as lifting it slightly better.

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PostPost by: Hawksfield » Sun Feb 13, 2022 7:48 pm

Hi Danbuoy

You will see that I opened the garage door,can you door the same, I changed the cills one at a time jacking under the chassis subframe. reversing into the garage for the N/S
I then jacked under the cills with timber along the length of the cill. My garage is 5.1 metres long and had enough room to remove the N/S.
DSC03961.JPG and


DSC03946.JPG and


DSC03964.JPG and


DSC03909.JPG and












Good luck
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PostPost by: danbuoy1 » Sun Feb 13, 2022 8:02 pm

Hi John, excellent photos thanks. Unfortuately mine is backed into the dead end so need to bring it forward, not a problem but dont want it jacked up then 2" short at back, you've been really helpful - thanks. Also noticed you left doors on so guess can use this to gauge whether its dropped?

Interesting you mentioned Spyder parts, can you still buy Lotus original or is it not worth it? Just curious.

Cheers

Paul
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PostPost by: Foxie » Sun Feb 13, 2022 11:30 pm

There is no reason not to do one side at a time.

Once you split the outer fibreglass sill from the floor it all becomes really flexible, so use a good timber beam under the floor to keep things straight, and yes, watch the door bottom gap.

The Spyder sills are massively strong, and galvanised, much better than the original Lotus.

A previous poster has recommended using allen key bolts rather than hex heads, I'd second that.

:)
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PostPost by: Hawksfield » Mon Feb 14, 2022 11:52 am

Danbuoy

addition info on sill replacement,
This is how I did it in 1986 with the body off, all the chassis bolts were in line when the body was replaced. the doors in my IMHO will not drop when supported this way. the sill GRP stucture is quite strong. I removed and replaced the sills in this condition unfortunately with original OEM sills

scan0069.jpg and
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PostPost by: danbuoy1 » Mon Feb 14, 2022 4:57 pm

Many thanks for the pictures and advice guys, I'm looking to replace them before lifting the body off, pretty sure they'll be rust after 50 years and falling out of jacking points. I see what you mean now Foxie, put a piece of wood LENGTHWAYS under the floor to support it? Maybe a silly question but is the sill adjustable on the bolts if it does sag?

Looking to get the Spyder sills, not sure on chassis yet but that can wait till I'm at the next stage :) Any thoughts?

Cheers

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PostPost by: alan.barker » Mon Feb 14, 2022 7:12 pm

Sjsportscars do stainless
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PostPost by: Foxie » Mon Feb 14, 2022 7:36 pm

danbuoy1 wrote:<Snip>
Maybe a silly question but is the sill adjustable on the bolts if it does sag?
Paul


No. You insert the new sill, get the fibreglass sill and floor level with timber, and then drill through the new sills using the old bolt holes, and bolt up.

If the floor and sill were sagging when the new sills are drilled, you will have a permanent sag.
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PostPost by: danbuoy1 » Mon Feb 14, 2022 8:18 pm

alan.barker wrote:Sjsportscars do stainless
Alan


Thanks Alan, finding out new suppliers!

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PostPost by: danbuoy1 » Mon Feb 14, 2022 8:30 pm

Thanks Foxie, ok a little harder than I thought.

That the (drivers) door does catch on the lock made me think it was just the hinges worn but could be the sills are shot. I'll try jacking up first with length of wood before taking anything apart and see what the effect is. I can't get to N/S to compare.

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PostPost by: jono » Tue Feb 15, 2022 11:22 am

Hi Paul,

I left my body on the chassis for the reasons you've identified, however I removed the engine to reduce weight and then lifted it on the chassis by using bridging timbers so that no chassis weight was taken by the shell.

There was no movement or sagging when I then un picked the sills (which came out in a heap of rust). I had some repairs to do to the sill flanges as the rusting had rippled the fibreglass and enlarged the fixing holes - these were re glassed and then re drilled - I used M5 stainless set screws and washers. It's a good idea to blast these so that the paint sticks (these flanges should be painted satin black)

It's well worth laying up some more glass internally in the jacking point areas to strengthen these locations. Spyder recommend glassing in the internal clamping plates as well - I can understand why but I'm not keen on this idea.

When the sills were all in place and clamped up I then removed the chassis.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Tue Feb 15, 2022 11:50 am

I wouldn't glass in internal Clamping Plates unless they are stainless.
Better to fit stainless scews along bottom.
If you fit Caphead/socket head screw again use stainless.
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PostPost by: danbuoy1 » Tue Feb 15, 2022 9:31 pm

Thanks Jono and Alan, excellent advice - thankyou.

I guess I'll learn as I go along but others experience helps stop the silly mistakes. Once I get one side apart it will be clearer I guess.

I'm wary of the body sagging or already sagged and just putting a new cill into a banana. I like the idea of a thick timber support under the floor - assuming it is normally flat? Do you think taking the engine (weight) out helped as its mostly over the crossmember?

I'm just wary as a naive youth replaced cills on a Triumph Spitfire and...couldn't shut the door afterwards! Resolved by car balancing on a jack and popping/rewelding, but what did that do to the shape.... :oops:

Cheers

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