Lotus Elan

Replacement sills

PostPost by: Cymru » Sun Aug 20, 2017 5:57 pm

Hi all.

On digging into the Elan - Ugh - both sills need replacing.

Being based in Toronto Canada - any advice on the best place to buy these?

Thanks,
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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:14 pm

I have only purchased and installed one set of Plus 2 sill members. So my experience is not vast.

But I ordered the stainless sills from SJ Sportscars in the UK. They are made in the same style as the originals, not pipe as used by Spyder in the UK. Couldn't tell you which is more torsionally rigid. But I can tell you the SJ units are good quality non-magnetic stainless and they will be there 100 years from now. They come with interior stainless mounting plates and if installed with stainless fasteners, you can say goodbye to any concerns about the water that will inevitably get into the sill cavity. I thought they were nicely fabricated, as well.

Lots of shipping costs on these from the UK, but the actual purchase price was very reasonable. Put together with other pieces ordered from SJ to "average down" the shipping cost; their parts prices are very good and the selection is amazing. I've done two major orders from them with no regrets.

Regards,

Randy

img_1625-sills-look-good-well-made-material-is-lighter-thinner-gauge-than-original-factory-but-lower-flange-is-both-layers-instead-of-the-single-layer-of-the-factory-piece.jpg and

Notice, below, how much of the lower flange on the original (red) sill is literally missing. :mrgreen: Having said that, the three mounting plates were still well connected to the body of the sill.
img_1629-some-comparison-shots-after-removal-of-right-side-sill-should-be-said-that-the-factory-sill-in-factory-red-oxide-primer-is-heavier-gauge-and-the-box-is-still-very-solid-.-.-..jpg and
Last edited by Sea Ranch on Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:19 pm

I should add that there's lots of advice on the forum and elsewhere about the installation procedure. Main tips are don't remove the body before replacing the sills, keep the body and chassis in perfect alignment and not twisted, lifted wierd, etc (and the doors on and closed).

And I think removal/installation from the rear is better than the front. Just remove rear wheel, jack up suspension and slide sill rearward. You can simply use your sawzall to cut off the sill in sections as it comes out. But there is no way to avoid flexing out the fiberglass sill in order to get the new sill slid in, unless you remove the rear suspension struts. I don't think the flexing of fiberglass is a problem, especially if you're going to be doing bodywork and paint anyway.

YMMV . . . :wink: . . . :mrgreen:

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PostPost by: Bud English » Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:39 pm

Of course another way to go is having them made locally. Any good sheet metal shop with the capacity to bend and spot weld 16GA steel can duplicate the sills for probably less than the shipping across the pond. They aren't complicated.

I'll admit that it was about fifteen years ago but I had a pair built in Sacramento, CA for $80. I had to weld in the jack points myself. All easily done. Stainless would cost more, but totally doable I would think.
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PostPost by: Cymru » Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:26 pm

Thanks for the comments.

Question - If I had the sills made locally. Would I still need to have the jacking points (pipes) welded in.

Or

Can I use a scissors jack under the sills?

Thanks,
Cars:
Restoring
69 Elan +2

Running
73 Europa Special
Cymru
First Gear
First Gear
 
Posts: 19
Joined: 02 Aug 2017
Location: Canada

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