Lotus Elan

Lotus Elan Plus 2 Flush-handled Door Overhaul

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Facilities & Tools

Apart from the usual tools that anybody tackling this type of job is likely to have (Pozidrivers, AF open-enders, light socket set) you will need:

  • A very large flatblade screwdriver (for hinge pin)
  • 1"AF and 17mm open-enders (to remove/fit private lock)
  • Long nosed self-grip wench (to refit external finisher clips)
  • Drills/drill sharpening equipment (to drill out rusted screws)
  • Soft layout area if door to be removed.

Parts and Materials

As required:

  • Silent channel adhesive. Dunlop 5758 or Evostik
  • Grease (not Molybdenum Disulphide when in contact with Nylon)
  • Non-setting mastic (about tennis ball volume)
  • Heavy Plastic Sheet (to draught-proof between door shell and trim pad)
  • Wide adhesive tape (to attach above)
  • Fibreglass repair materials
  • 2 ft of foam plastic strip 3/8" x 1/4" (for bottom inside glass)

Quantities are given in full for one door:

Qty Plate Ref No. Part Number Description
15 BC8 A050B2028 Clip - Trim Panel to Door Shell
15 BC9 036B6007 Snapsac - Trim Panel to Door Shell
7 BC14 313 Screw - Finisher to Door (No 6 3/8 self-tapping)
7 BC14 442A Clip - Finisher to Door
2 BK2 036C6002 Bush - Hinge (same as trunnion bush)
A R BK3 050C1002 Shim - hinge Adjustment
1 BL3 050B0857/8 Base Channel - Quarterlight R/L
1 BL8 050B0504 Silent Channel, short
1 BL8 050B0505 Silent Channel, long
1 BL21 05 0B0114 Rubber downspot
1 BL32 050B6012 Weather-strip - Waist
1 BL33 050B6011 Weather-strip - Interior
5 BL34 050B6012 Clip - Weather-strip to Frame
1 BM2 050B6030 Door Seal - Secondary
2 MH15 050M6006 Switch - Doors


Disconnect battery before anything else. An accidentally operated window lift could remove fingers. Lamp wiring is permanently live and can cause fires.


The overhaul is mostly straightforward, providing it is tackled in the order described below. Lotus recommend enlarging the aperture in the inner door panel to facilitate removing the window lift mechanism. This must reduce strength and can be avoided.

Note the fit of the door to the body. This can be adjusted at the hinges. Note the fit of the top of the frame near the bar between quarterlight and side window - this can be adjusted inward by shimming the frame. There will be, of course, interaction with any adjustments made at the hinges.

The door, once removed from the car, is difficult to support. Depending on your working conditions, you may choose to remove it at any point in the following instructions (or not at all, if the hinges do not require attention). The same applies to refitting, although full hinge and lock adjustment must wait until the frame is fitted.

Door removal

  1. Peel back the door seal adjacent to the hinges.
  2. Peel back the side carpet adjacent to the hinges.
  3. Remove the underdash trim.
  4. Remove draught excluding tape from the door hinge access apertures.
  5. Disconnect electrical connections:
    1. Five wires (plus any speaker wires) under dash and feeding back through guide tube into door. This will require guide tube removal from inside car if done before Stripdown step 8.
    2. After Stripdown step 8 only, five wires (plus any speaker wires) in door, noting positions and pulling back into car interior through guide tube. </span>
  6. Disconnect check strap, either by removing the two bolts into the door shell or the single bolt into the sill.
  7. Find assistant. Support door under centre.
  8. Undo and remove hinge nuts and washers, taking care not to drop them into the sills.
  9. Lift door away and place on soft material to avoid scratches.

Door replacement

The best time to replace the door limit switches is while the door is off. They are very prone to corrosion so do consider them.

Replacement is the reversal of removal, but with the added joy of hinge adjustment. Bear the 'six degrees of freedom' in mind and you shouldn't go far wrong.

For those not familiar with the six degrees of freedom, imagine a cube; you can push/pull it on any of its six faces but push/pulling on three faces is the same as pull/pushing it on the opposite three so we only have to consider three faces. Now imagine pushing a rod into each of these three faces in turn and rotating the cube using it as an axle. You have now imagined what is known as "the six degrees of freedom". They are the 3 push/pulls, known as translations, and the 3 rotations. Any movement of the cube can be described in terms of changes in the six degrees of freedom.

As you adjust the door, take a mental checklist of all six at the hinge. Actually there are only 5 because the vertical rotation is left free to get the door open and shut. The rotation about a horizontal fore-and-aft axis is adjusted by relative numbers of shims on top and bottom hinges while the rotation about a horizontal side to side axis is controlled by where the hinges are clamped within the generous clearance holes in the body for the hinge bolts. Vertical and fore/aft translations are also controlled by the clamping position whereas the side to side translation is controlled by adding or removing shims equally from both hinges.

Begin by getting the shims right, then pack the door off the sill under the hinge pin. This method leaves the two trickiest adjustments (rotation about a horizontal side to side axis and fore & aft translation) until last, which greatly simplifies matters.

If the striker needs adjustment don't undo the large Pozidrive screws any more than necessary or you may loose the captive nuts.


  1. Remove ashtray and then its surround (two self-tappers).
  2. Loosen remote control (interior door handle) by peeling back lining and removing three self-tappers.
  3. Remove arm rest (two long screws angled upwards).
  4. Spring all 15 trim pad clips, taking care to avoid pulling clips from hardboard by using a broad screwdriver, close to clip. Expose remote control locking wire by lifting trim pad up slightly and unhooking from window 'sill'. Pull locking wire upward out of remote control, twist remote control and feed it back through the trim pad. Lift the trim pad away.
  5. Remove remote control by unclipping from latch operating wire.
  6. Pull off polythene draught cover. The chassis number and model identifcation letter may be visible scratched into the gel-coat.
  7. Note orientation of window lift mechanism front bracket and remove (two 7/16AF bracket/door shell and two bracket/mechanism).
  8. Taking care not to strain motor wires and noting position of spacers, undo remaining two 7/16AF bolts holding window lift mechanism to door shell. Note position of wires on top of motor and detach them.
  9. Taking care to release window lift mechanism spring force in a controlled manner and taking note of motor/mechanism shims, remove motor from mechanism (three 7/16AF bolts, with earth wire on forward one). These bolts are difficult to access -- use an open-ended spanner and manoeuvre mechanism toward aperture. Lower mechanism inside door shell and remove motor.
  10. Put glass in mid way position, so slide is below remote control wires, but accessible through hole at rear of door.
  11. Push mechanism rearward from slide on glass and lower to bottom of door shell. Lower glass within slide so it doesn't fall.
  12. Remove front finisher. This is held on by two self-tappers. The lower one screws directly into the fibreglass of the door shell. The upper one into the brass of the frame and/or quarterlight bottom rail fixing screws (yes, really!). They are prone to corrosion and very hard if they have to be drilled out.
  13. Spring the door waist finisher from its clips. The technique is to pull/lever the top outward (assuming the clips are on the right way up). It may help to lever the finisher upward, taking care to spread the load on the fibreglass and to protect the paintwork.
  14. Remove seven finisher clips, releasing outer rubber seal and partly releasing the frame. The length of these self-tappers is critical, so take care not to lose them. Remove the outer seal.
  15. Remove five No.6 self tappers holding frame down onto door shell inside window opening.
  16. Remove four bolts (7/16AF) holding frame to door shell, noting respective lengths/positions and retrieving any spacer fitted behind the front lower one. The two rear bolts are fitted from the rear.
  17. Raise glass and unclip remote control wires from both guides on frame.
  18. Taking care that the side glass does not drop from the frame, remove the frame from the door shell by pulling it upwards and rearwards in the following steps:
    1. Position glass 2" from top and lift frame approx 2" to ease front upper frame/door shell bracket from recess.
    2. Raise glass to top, easing nylon steady block at front from door shell.
    3. Push remote control wire guides toward car interior and ease them from the door shell.
  19. Noting the spring position if it has not become dislodged, remove window lift mechanism from inside door shell. The spring can only be fitted in two positions since its hook must face in the proper sense.

Overhauling the Components

Trim Pad

  • Hardboard likely to be damaged by damp at front top and broken around spring clips.
  • Check spring clips - renew missing, rusty, bent or broken ones.

Door shell

  • Private lock. Not serviceable. When removing/replacing use 17mm open-ended spanner on flats to avoid straining fibreglass. Don't overtighten - watch for external rubber washer extruding. Fibreglass may be reinforced.
  • Exterior handle, Lock, Mirror. Watch this space.
  • Lamp. Nothing special.
  • Secondary seal. Trim to provide locating extension to fit under top front frame/door shell bracket. Cut to length. Prone to working loose so fit with contact Evostik
  • Hinge. Remove by undoing bolt at bottom, then 2 x 7/16 AF at top. Pin can now be manoeuvred out through hole at top. Retrieve bottom spacer. Hinges prone to distortion if door damaged in accident. Reassemble with non-molybdenum grease on bushes. Upper bush takes weight of door - is fitted with flange upwards. Lower bush flange downwards. Refit spacer and hinge pin to door, loosely assemble top bolts, tighten bottom bolt (worth changing for a hex socket screw) and finally tighten top bolts.
  • Trim pad clip Snapsacs. Renew as required.
  • Check. Gets very wet. Grease mechanism and bolts well. Don't forget bush at sill end of strap.
  • Fibreglass. Damage likely at top rear (splitting on seam) and around hinge. Check where self-tappers are screwewd directly into the fibreglass - ashtray surround, front finisher, inner window sill and waist finisher strip fixing holes. Clear drain holes.

Window Lift Motor & Mechanism

  • Motor and Gearbox. . Watch this space.
  • Mechanism. Clean and grease. Don't use Molybdenum Disulphide on Nylon roller. Clamp arm in vice. Fit spring in correct sense to support weight of window (spring goes toward inside of car). Select 1/4" 1/2-3/4 UH bolt with free-running nut. Rotate arm against spring for about 2/3 turn, until nut & bolt can he fitted through holes in main bracket and operating arm. Ensure that the motor can he fitted in this position -- apply l2v to achieve, if not.

Frame and Glass

  • Frame. New Silent Channel can be fixed with Evostik (the original abuseable-solvent type). It will need cuts at 1/2" intervals through 'bottom' of U-section to go round bend at top rear corner. Fit the long bit first. Toothbrush handle good for pressing in. You may find year and month identification inside the front frame guide rail. Drill out remains of door front finisher screw, if required, and tap suitable parallel thread.
  • Quarterlight. Watch this space
  • Glass. Renew sealing strip on lower inner edge. If the slide has to be removed, refit it with open end to rear and foamed washers on both sides of the glass. Clean and grease the slide. Check rubber downspot.


  1. Put window lift mechanism in door, through window slot, gear to front and slide bobbin to inside. Position it toward the outside of the door shell.
  2. Put glass in frame. From here on, until the frame is positioned in the door, take care that it does not slide out of the frame.
  3. Fill ledge on top of door under quaterlight with non-setting mastic. You will need a quantity about the size of a tennis ball. You may prefer to leave this to the last possible moment during the next step to avoid mess.
  4. Put glass in fully closed position and put frame into door, easing:
    1. Remote control wire guides into door. Lower glass 2".
    2. Nylon block at front into door (tilt frame forwards). Ensure frame is inside remote control wire guides and window lift mechanism.
    3. Ensuring secondary seal extension is behind the upper front frame/door shell bracket, lower the frame fully into the door shell.
  5. Clip remote control wires into guides.
  6. Fit outer seal. If the outer seal is new ends will have to be trimmed. An angle grinder leaves a good finish. It is possible to defer making the cut out for the quarterlight/window frame.
  7. Fit spacer (as required to give fit of frame to weather seal on body) to lower front frame. Fit (don't tighten) bolts to
    1. lower front (5/ I6UNF x 11 /4UH)
    2. upper front (5/16UNC x 3/4 UH with large washer)
    3. upper rear (5/16 UNF x 1 UH -- length important)
    4. lower rear (5/16 UNF x 7/8 UH -- length important)
  8. Fit (don't tighten) five No.6 x 3/8 self-tappers to frame/door shell top inner.
  9. Tighten two rear bolts, then front two, then self-tappers. Ensure window will slide in frame.
  10. Put glass in 1/3 shut position, so slide is below remote control wires, but still accessible through hole at rear of door.
  11. Enter door lift mechanism arm bobbin in slide from rear.
  12. If a repaired or pattern door shell has been fitted it may be necessary to check the door shell/window lift mechanism spacers. Fit guesstimate spacers to the two rear bolts to align bobbin vertically in slide. Run up the bolts just sufficient to leave a small amount of play and fit the front bracket, kink toward inside of car at top. Slide window up and down. Note spacer thicknesses required on front two bolts to achieve an easy slide and minimise arm flexure.
  13. Push door lift mechanism arm rearward and put motor in door with gear inward and electrical connections upward.
  14. Connect wires:
    1. RHS: blue on black toward interior & yellow on blue toward rear (this may have been a non-standard motor)
    2. LHS: yellow on blue toward car interior & blue on black toward exterior.
  15. Fit any required shims and attach motor to door lift mechanism arm bracket (three 1/4 UNC x 1/2 UH with earth wire under forward one).
  16. Remove door lift mechanism temporary locking bolt.
  17. Bolt front bracket to door lift mechanism arm bracket with kink toward inside of car at top (two 1/4 UNF x 1/2 UH).
  18. Loosely fit one rear mechanism/shell spacer (14mm) large washer and bolt (l/4 UNF x 1 1/2 UH).
  19. Moving window to achieve alignment, fit second rearward spacer, large washer & bolt and forward bolts with large washers (two l/4 UNF x 1 l/4 UH). Tighten all four bolts evenly.
  20. Check window operation and correct any problems.
  21. Note that the interior seal goes on the outside of the glass -- it is only interior to the exterior seal. Fit clips to interior seal to come mid-way between waist finisher holes and push onto frame. It may be helpful to dress the end of the self-tappers above.
  22. If a new outer seal is being fitted then, taking care not to remove any material from the frame, drill 1/8" holes in outer seal, through finisher clip holes.
  23. You are now about to get to grips with one of Lotus' less lovely bits of design -- fitting the finisher clips. The front two are straightforward; position the clips with the rounded edge uppermost and screw the self-tappers (No.6 x 3/8) into the fibreglass. The Parts Manual shows U-clips behind the rubber but there was neither any evidence that these had been fitted to my car nor any evidence that the omission had caused any problem. The rear five self-tappers are more difficult. They hold clip to door shell and pull the frame against the outer seal, thus sandwiching seal between frame and door shell. The self-tappers tap into both shell and frame, but must not protrude significantly through the frame or they will interfere with the interior seal. Again the Parts Manual shows U-clips. They would permit clearance holes to be used in shell and frame, and thus make a properly engineered job, but would interfere excessively with the interior seal. There was no evidence that they had been fitted to my car and I don't think they could be fitted without omitting the interior seal.
  24. For each self-tapper, the technique is to:
    1. insert the screw through the rubber outer seal and just enter it into the frame. This ensures alignment.
    2. Position a long-nosed self-grip wrench with jaws on the fibreglass close to the clip and on the frame.
    3. Simultaneously squeeze its handles together and unscrew the self-tapper. Don't overdo it -- the aim is to grip the rubber, not crack the door shell!
    4. With the wrench locked and maintaining grip on the rubber, hold the clip with rounded edge uppermost and tighten the seal. With a bit of luck it will just nicely bite into the frame as it comes up hard against the clip. The correct self-tapper length (3/8") is essential.
    5. Release the wrench.
  25. Grease the finisher and clips. Position the bottom edge of the finisher under the clips and press the top edge on. It may he necessary to lever the finisher upwards - but take care to protect the paintwork and to spread the load on the door shell.
  26. Fit the front finisher.
  27. Fit and tape draughtproofing plastic to inside of door.
  28. Connect the remote control to the latch operating wire.
  29. While feeding the remote control through the trim pad, hook the trim pad over upper edge of the door shell.
  30. Push the lock wire into the remote control (front top).
  31. Ensuring each clip enters its Snapsac, press the trim pad into position by applying pressure directly over each clip in turn. It may be necessary to true up any distorted clips with a pair of pliers.
  32. Fit remote control attaching screws and glue trim cloth over.
  33. Fit ashtray surround and ashtray.
  34. Fit armrest.

Now do the other door before the bar closes!