Lotus Elan

really basic question

PostPost by: wolfchen » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:35 pm

new to elan's and looking at it a leery of jacking by fiberglass body points? too much stress on mounting bobins
and reaching the frame isn't easy either,

also no place to put a tow hook front or rear

opinion or common practice?


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PostPost by: steve lyle » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:23 pm

I'm relatively new to Elans, and don't trust jacking on the outer body either. I've got a fairly low-profile floor jack from Harbor Freight, cost me <$100. It can reach anywhere under the car. I took about a foot of 2x4, and drilled relief holes in the broad side for the bolt heads that bolt the body to the backbone at the rear. I put the 2x4 centered on the jack, push it in, make sure the bolt heads are in the relief holes, and jack away.

At the front, I put the 2x4 on the jack lifting point, and center it on the cross member.
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PostPost by: JonB » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:27 pm

If it has a Spyder chassis there should be a front tow hook.

If it has solid sill strengtheners you can use blocks at the floor. I lay a piece of 6x4 hardwood along each sill just inboard of the sill edge. Like this:-

lotus-chassis-f36/packed-out-lower-steering-column-mount-t40777-45.html#p285346

Spyder use 2 post lifts with 6x6" load spreading pads.

Check the jacking points, they should be visible though holes in the sill. If they are rusted away don't lift it by the floor (as I just suggested).

Lots of discussion about this, try a search.

Also get a set of ramps from Halfrauds, very useful for a quick look.

Never jack the long tubes on the rear wishbones, they will bend.
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Tue Dec 05, 2017 10:05 pm

wolfchen wrote:also no place to put a tow hook front or rear


on my S4se I've welded a steel loop under the cross member in shape of a V (about 20cm long) towards the front and a smaller one at the rear of the chassis (vertically, on one side to leave room for the exhaust).

There are parts one can buy to do the same, made of alloy flat to be bolted on the chassis I think.

I found photos of the rear, will take one of the front if of any use (only one I found was from far away, it does not show much from above).

img-20160712-02674.jpg and
rear tow hook

img-20160712-02675.jpg and
S4se tow hook
S4SE 36/8198
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:15 am

I wouldn't jack a two seater under the sills.
Front chassis crossmember is fine.
Make a fancy block to bridge the exhaust pipe under differential for initial lift then support wishbones with long packing at outer wishbone bushes on stands, or ramps and blocks under wheels depending on access required.
Last edited by MarkDa on Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:28 am, edited 3 times in total.
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PostPost by: bitsobrits » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:13 am

I have an S1 and an S3 Elan. Jack both of them up by the one of the corner of the sills without issue. Raise them on my two post lift (4 lift points) by those same corner of the sills all the time. Not so much as a creak from the fiberglass.

An interesting observation: when removing the body on my S3 to begin it's restoration, I removed the 16 body to chassis bolts and the two inboard seat belt mountings, which should have been everything. When trying to lift the body off of the complete chassis with my two post lift, the chassis kept coming off the floor. Turns out I had missed the two inboard rear seat mounting bolts which were drilled through the chassis. So the entire complete chassis was being held two rusty 1/4" bolts and the friction between body and chassis!

I didn't worry about lifting the car by the sills before. I worry even less now.
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PostPost by: el-saturn » Wed Dec 06, 2017 2:46 pm

the body has 4 (lift-corners) 2 (front le+ri) of them are where the arch finishes and 2 (rear le+ri) where the arch starts: that's where lots of fibers "meet" and where you'll find loads of resin!!: maybe originally not the intention BUT these corners "end up that way" - quite rigid corners!! sandy
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PostPost by: lotocone » Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:23 pm

When I got my Elan I used the Elan jack to lift the rear left wheel. I placed the jack under the sill according to a drawing from Lotus. The car lifted okay, but after a while I heard a nasty sound a found the fiberglass had cracked along part of the underbody parallel to the sill and part way into the wheel well. Not a good way to start learning about my car.

There could have been a crack in the underbody parallel to the sill before I used the jack. I don't know, but I recommend looking. The car had a couple of previous owners and I didn't look at the underside first.

I repaired the fiberglass and now use a 6-8 inch wide plank in front of the rear wheel. The plank goes in at an angle in relation to the sill and it has worked fine. A hydraulic jack can be located under the plank easily.
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PostPost by: Davidb » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:14 pm

I jack up my S2 by placing a piece of wood on the jack pad and pushing it under front cross member as others have described. A the rear I place the jack with a piece of 2x4 under the forward chassis/suspension mounting bracket and adjacent to the exhaust (doesn't matter which side)-I find it is necessary to do it in that order to put the car up on jack stands. I place the jack stands under the front cross member (with pads) and at the rear I have two pieces of 2x6 that reach from the sill to the underside of the chassis-leaving a gap for the exhaust-I place jack-stands under the centre of these-in front of the rear wheels. Works well for me.
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PostPost by: knockoffnut » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:55 pm

I have always jacked and lifted my Elans under the four corners of the body at the front and rear ends of the sills (just behind the front wheelwells and just ahead of the rear wheelwells). I normally use a 12" long block of wood to spread the load and a rag to keep from marking things. I have been doing this since 1979 with no issues. I have seen a number of Elans with the front frame crossmember box collapsed from jacking it there.
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PostPost by: Lincoln62 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:30 am

Front crossmember with a length of wood is fine.

For the rear I made up a piece of wood about 300ml long with some blocks either side so you can lift by either side of the chassis and still clear the exhaust.

I also made a couple of blocks with an angle surface at one end (like small ramps) to drive the car up onto so I can get the jack underneath.

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PostPost by: Concrete-crusher » Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:34 pm

Years ago I jacked the rear directly on the body at the back corner inside the wheel arch , the body to sill joint split so be careful.

Now I only jack on the chassis

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