Lotus Elan

+2 crashpad

PostPost by: HCA » Thu Dec 22, 2022 4:59 pm

I have a crashpad from Paul Matty for some time now. It is a plastic shell that I think is designed to take the foam from an original crashpad after the cover has been peeled off. Looking at mine, there is no way the original foam is going to fit neatly into this shell and wondered if anyone has completed this job on a +2.

I can find very little in the archives regarding a new crashpad for a +2 and not sure what to do! The few references refer to the poor fitting of 'new crash pads' but say nothing of filling them. Is there perhaps a ready made 'solid' crashpad and that I have an inferior product?

I considered filling the shell with builders foam, but worried that during curing, the foam might distort the shell plus, keeping it 'straight and level' will be a problem as this foam cures quite hard. I did a quick search for flexible foam mousse, but not much joy!

I wish I had not peeled off the plastic covering from the original so quickly, as now I am thinking I should have made a mould of it in situ for a GRP pad that I could have painted with vinyl paint...

Interested in any comments fitting these things to a +2 please!
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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Fri Dec 23, 2022 11:14 am

The best I could do was to get a Europa one which has the vents the same I believe but it’s not wide enough and I cut it in two places and added body filler sections and then covered it in vinyl that I got from somebody in England that I googled called “dashtop” or something. I still have not been happy with the ends that go to the A pillar so then I did turn to an ABS one that I have and I just used the ends which were shaped well to fill with foam and a release agent (wax) and then pull that out and attach it to the ends (gorilla glue) of the Europa one. Then also I took the europa one as best it wasI and made a fiberglass mold of that and I’m going to cover that one if it ends up better than the other one but it’s not there yet, so that’s been my saga with it all. I think there is somebody here over in the Northwest that is making them or had them made but I don’t know about anybody in Europe other than that company that makes the cover for them and they do fit well. Gordon
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PostPost by: h20hamelan » Fri Dec 23, 2022 3:03 pm

I have been wondering the same things.
Figured I would need to make a “backbone” out of balsa and or clarkfoam, or some combination of closed cell (motorcycle/wheelchair seat foam) for the density and to keep sound low. But this would be a one-off solution.

The question could be, for a “run” of 5 or more, what would be the best sub-matrix.
A easy, and probably quality solution could be 3-5 mm Baltic or high phenol content ply. Make a mold and vacuum-bag to the desired contour. With one sheet on the top, one on the bottom. Some foam or shims for space between?

Cover with alcantara or whatever.
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PostPost by: HCA » Fri Dec 23, 2022 3:53 pm

Gordon - you must have the patience of Job! I could not do all that!

I am surprised that this element has not been addressed by the parts people - I woud have thought there is hardly a +2 with original crashpad in good shape. Maybe mine was over exposed to sun.

IIRC, I paid near on £200 for the plastic shell from Matty. I bought it thinking that it was the complete real deal and would just need mounting on the grp plate and screwing down. Silly me - it is a Lotus :lol:

In the absence of anyone else having a solution, I guess I might follow my original idea of making a mold from the shell I have screwed in its place temporarily (if I can), or follow you h20ham, and make up a pad with balsa and cell foam, if my patience allows, but I do not hold out much hope either way :lol: .
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PostPost by: The Veg » Fri Dec 23, 2022 4:51 pm

HCA wrote:I woud have thought there is hardly a +2 with original crashpad in good shape. Maybe mine was over exposed to sun.


I'm amazed that mine is in great shape given the car's history. It spent its first decade or so as a daily driver on the gulf coast of Florida- a very sunny, hot, humid sub-tropical environment. Then it spent many more years living on a trailer as the owner went through a very long nomadic phase moving about the USA, then he settled in Utah (dry, usually sunny, high altitude so strong UV, hard winters) where it sat in his yard until sometime in the 2000s. And somehow, my crashpad still looks quite good and only needed a little Back To Black to bring it up a bit.
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