Lotus Elan

S3-S4 window frames

PostPost by: vxah » Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:39 pm

I want to modify a pair of S3 window frames to use on my S4, would I be correct in thinking the only real difference is where the door catch is fitted? The S3 has old type catches where the S4 has a more modern plastic bodied catch. The S3 frames I have do not have any pull handles or any holes for them so I guess they would be late ones?
If someone could take measurements of the holes where the catch goes on an S4 frame it would help me a lot!
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:02 pm

pm sent...
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:45 pm

I thought about your delema overnight and I think you might be better off going the other way, that is, converting the body of your S4 to S3. I think that would be much easier and you'd end up w/ a more reliable instalation.

Roger
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PostPost by: vxah » Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:09 pm

Fair idea Roger but, it's an S4 in all other ways, just has the wrong doors fitted and the striker plates bodged onto the b pillar... I get told by folk that it's a Lotus, it could have been built like that? But, not this far down the build of S4's? It's May 69 build according to Andy Graham and all the pictures of S4's I have looked at have the separate door lock and handle!
Looking at the window frame it seems only the holes in the catch mounting part need to be altered, the frames need re-chroming anyway so a little specialist work on the brass might be reasonably easy? I have the holes in the b pillars so I can see where the later striker parts go..
I could buy a pair of new doors from Mick at Boss motors rather that repair/modify the S3 ones but he tells me that if I am in the "make them fit flush" camp then I will most likely have to cut and shut the new ones!
Of course if someone wants to swap S4 for S3 frames I would be interested ;-)

On the plus side the car has a 3:55 ring and pinion fitted and a lip seal crank!
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PostPost by: elanman999 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:44 pm

vxah,
There are a few other differences with the door and trim panel but it is doable if you want to ruin a set of S3 frames, but like me any frame is better than none. In fact if done carefully you may not even have to re-chrome them.
More to your question I have a "brass rubbing" of that part of some S4 frames, so if you PM me your email address I'll take a scan and email it to you. It may take a day or two as I have to find the rubbing.
Cheers
John
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PostPost by: vxah » Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:14 am

Thanks John, as you say I have no frames other than the S3 ones.. There have been a couple of complete S3 doors on ebay that didn't sell so the frames can't be that sought after? Not seen S4 frames yet though..
I will send you a pm John!
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PostPost by: vxah » Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:36 pm

Does anyone know what was used to join the frame parts together? I am guessing silver solder but a definite answer would be a bonus..
My plan might be to have the chrome removed then remove the shaped plate where the catch is fitted and make new ones from sheet brass (to S4 spec). These can then be re-fitted to the frames and the whole lot re-chromed?
The major "undoing" of the plan might be that the whole lot comes apart at the joints due to the heat of de-soldering the catch plate, I could make up a jig to hold all the parts together while I do it though?

John has very kindly sent me a set of "brass rubbings" of the S4 plates so making these should be quite easy?

Anyone have experience with window frame repairs?
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PostPost by: gino1 » Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:53 am

Hi, would you be able send me a set of these brass rubbing too ?

I have or will have the same problem as I too am in the process of restoring an S4 and will be using S3 frames.
I've looked into it and the only differences are the lock striker plates and the internal pull handles that by removing them will leave two holes that can be welded up if necessary.
The frames will obviously have to be re-chromed after the mods..

I would firstly remove the chrome and then uncover where the actual braze lines are. I think that the joints are all braized and not soldered.
Once I'm back down to bare metal I think will attempt to weld up the existing holes to avoid upsetting the structure and then cut out the new slots from the rubbings.

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PostPost by: Craven » Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:56 pm

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Last edited by Craven on Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: vxah » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:45 am

Hi Gino, I have emailed John re the rubbings, don't see a problem but thought it best to ask..
Re the holes where the pull handles were, strange but I don't have any holes! Was there a late S3 with the S4 type pull handles?
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PostPost by: gino1 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:13 am

Hi,
I've been reading some past comments and it appears that after a certain production date (or whenever Lotus finished stocks) the handles were changed over for the S4 type although maintaining the S3 stricker plates, locks and internal leverage.

Gino
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Elan Plus 2 1968
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PostPost by: 512BB » Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:00 am

"There have been a couple of complete S3 doors on ebay that didn't sell so the frames can't be that sought after"

The last time I saw said doors on Ebay they were £1500 each. That might have something to do with why they did not sell.

Now supposing those doors were S4 doors VXAH, advertised at £1500 each, would you have bought them? And if you would, you might be able to prise a pair away from me.

Leslie
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PostPost by: gino1 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:12 am

I think that Leslie has a couple of doors for sale :roll:
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PostPost by: vxah » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:18 am

Leslie, I think that's a no.. That's £2600 worth of time and effort to make use of my frames even if I bought new S4 doors!
Unless you do part x? ;-)
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PostPost by: vxah » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:47 am

gino1 wrote:Hi,
I've been reading some past comments and it appears that after a certain production date (or whenever Lotus finished stocks) the handles were changed over for the S4 type although maintaining the S3 stricker plates, locks and internal leverage.

Gino
Milano
Italy

S2 roadster 1965
S3 coupé 1965
S3 coupé 1967
S4 FHC 1969
Elan Plus 2 1968
Lotus Seven S3 1968
Ford Anglia 1963



The doors I have (well the one I have stripped) has 2061 written on it behind the motor.. Does that make any sense?
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