Lotus Elan

Elan Window Frames

PostPost by: elanman » Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:13 am

Hello Gentlemen,
Compliments of the season to you all.
I am trying to help owners who have window frame problems. The original jigs for this part were complicated I understand. I have spoken to Lotus asking (no begging) have they any photographs or drawings of the jigs. They are looking but I have not too much faith in the result. It suddenly occured to me that among you knowledgeable people someone might know who the original manufacturing sub contractors were.

This is to help guys and any input would be most appreciated. I will drive the length of the country to see people who can help. I will print whatever useful information I receive in LOTUS NEWS to spread the help around.

Brian Buckland
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:23 am

Hi Brian
Establishing finding some one who can be a re-builder of the window frames is the holly grail of Elan restorers --- good luck

cheers
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PostPost by: Mazzini » Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:57 am

I second that!
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PostPost by: William2 » Wed Dec 14, 2016 12:51 pm

I heard a rumour that Spyder might start making them again.
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PostPost by: fhcs4 » Wed Dec 14, 2016 1:23 pm

I discussed the issue of obsolete parts with Sue Miller many years ago. She knows who the guy that owns the jigs for door/window frames, but at that time they had no intention of going into manufacture.

Spider are taking orders for sprint style seat frames as detailed in club lotus magazine earlier this year (about £300 each).
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Wed Dec 14, 2016 2:47 pm

Brian,

I have a pair of NOS S3 window frames that I bought from Lotus East back in the 80's when Lotus forced them to close. I intend to use them as a pattern to make a pair of window frames out of aluminum.

I have three Elans, an early pre-airflo coupe, an S3 SE DHC that was converted to 26R by the car's original owner ( I am the second owner) and my 1st ever Lotus, my S3-Super Safety DHC.

I like the S3 model, so my S3 converted to 26R is ideal for me. But I have long understood that one of the heaviest items on S3 & S4 Elans are the brass and steel window frames and glass side windows. So my plans are to make alloy frames and fit Lexan windows to them. If you would find the original manufacturer, I would like to see if they could make the frames of alloy for me. Actually, they may prefer to make an entire run of frames in alloy rather than brass/steel, because an aluminum extrusion is very easily and cheaply tooled and produced.

Unfortunately, the S3-26R was crashed back in the 1970s just after the original owner/ doctor died and his son took over the car. I bought it, still in crashed condition and my vintage racing interests got in the way, so it sits pretty much as I bought it. It's turn on my fixture is getting closer, now that I'm retired. Roger
'67 Elan S3 SS DHC
'67 Elan FHC pre-airflow
'67 Elan S3 SE upgrade to 26R by Original owner
'58 Eleven S2 (ex-works)
'62 20/22 FJ (ex-Yamura)
'70 Elan +2S RHD
'61 20 FJ project
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PostPost by: stevebroad » Wed Dec 14, 2016 6:05 pm

Aluminium frames would certainly be light, but you may have bending issues, especially where the hoop meets the door. Aluminium is light but not very springy. Also anyone leaning on the frame or using it to shut the door could cause issues. Needs some thought methinks. I am making mine out of prepreg carbon fibre (just the hoop as the windows will be fixed, so even lighter :-) )
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PostPost by: Briggs1 » Wed Dec 14, 2016 7:05 pm

Curious what the base metal is in the OEM frames. Was it brass?
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PostPost by: fattogatto » Wed Dec 14, 2016 7:13 pm

Charlie Warner
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Wed Dec 14, 2016 7:51 pm

The ingenuity of Elan enthusiasts will come to the rescue with most items, but window frames, dash tops and seat frames are rare items that are unique to Elans and not borrowed from a parts bin from the 1960's automotive industry.
Due to the relatively small numbers involved, reproduction of rare parts can only be worthwhile financially once the cost of surviving original/ second hand parts reaches a point that people will happily accept a non original copy so long as its cheaper!

Window frames have been in the "stupid price" category for a while now, so it makes sense to maybe manufacture a few pairs if someone has the facilities to do so, but it's a fine balancing act between making a few pairs and flooding a very limited market so that nobody makes anything from the process.

Brian I salute your initiative, I hope you can find a philanthropist who will make some frames for less than £1000 each.
Alan Thomas



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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Wed Dec 14, 2016 8:00 pm

Briggs1 wrote:Curious what the base metal is in the OEM frames. Was it brass?


Yes, I'm pretty sure they are brass or a similar alloy, my own frames on both cars are original chrome, my +2 has worn through to the base metal in a few places on the edges due to diligent polishing by previous owners and it's a yellowish metal that tarnishes slightly. If it were an aluminium or Zamak type alloy there would be huge pock marks in the chrome after all this time.steel would just rust like the bottoms of the +2 quarter lights.
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PostPost by: jerryh » Wed Dec 14, 2016 10:15 pm

I seem to remember that ArnoCaterham who posts parts for sale on here had a window frame jig for sale a few years ago on his website I know it sold but it may be worth contacting him to find out who bought it.
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PostPost by: englishmaninwales » Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:05 am

fhcs4 wrote:I discussed the issue of obsolete parts with Sue Miller many years ago. She knows who the guy that owns the jigs for door/window frames, but at that time they had no intention of going into manufacture.

Spider are taking orders for sprint style seat frames as detailed in club lotus magazine earlier this year (about £300 each).


A slight variation on this, from memory when I discussed this with Sue Miller about 2 years ago, was that Lotus destroyed the original jigs some years ago. Sue and her late husband did at one time persuade a fabricator to make a pair of the brass frames, but it all turned out to be a complete nightmare, and the fabricator declined to make anymore!

But good luck in attempting to try this again.
Malcolm
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Thu Dec 15, 2016 4:34 am



Rich's work is first rate. I have known him and done business with him for almost 35 years. He has a fair amount of resto work going on and work may take time.

Rich's web page
http://kampena.com/
There is no cure for Lotus, only treatment.
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PostPost by: reb53 » Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:36 am

OK.
I like messing about with brass.
lotus-talk-f50/finally-built-myself-chassis-t37002.html

And I have some windows to copy.
How many could I sell ?

And what could I sell them for ?

Ralph.
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