Lotus Elan

Door Panel Separating. Door Alignment

PostPost by: gus » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:37 pm

mine has the riveted seal, if I try to put a seal on the door it does not want to shut
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PostPost by: NedK » Sun Mar 31, 2019 12:16 pm

Can anyone advise what the appropriate type of bonding resin would be? I've also got parted door panels in the rear/top corner.
img_20190331_135253.jpg and

Thanks
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Chrispy wrote:Been having a poke through the service manual and found this:

The attachment Split Bonds.JPG is no longer available

So not totally unknown then...And gives a repair method.

This also may be of interest to some, a reference to the secondard seals, which I assume are the seals on the door.
The attachment Secondard Seals.JPG is no longer available
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PostPost by: Chrispy » Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:53 am

Can't suggest a resin, but my door has not got any worse over the last 18 months :)
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PostPost by: elanner » Fri Apr 26, 2019 2:53 pm

I missed this thread last month.....

Anyway, I have been repairing/restoring an old, damaged S4 door that I got from Greg Z. as a way to teach myself about working with fiberglass.

One problem that needed fixing was that the two halves of the shell had started to separate - with a healthy split about 6 inches long, from the front of the window frame down to the top hinge plate bobbins. On the advice of the leading specialist fiberglass supplier in Mass I bonded it back together using epoxy resin+hardener mixed with thixotropic thickener (enough so that it didn't run all over the place). The store owner told me that the bond would be stronger than the fiberglass and it appears to have worked very well.

Clean & roughen the two surfaces first. Clamp the surfaces together but don't over clamp to the point where you squeeze all the resin out. I used a row of bulldog clips. It's solid in 24 hours & reaches full strength in three days.

Interestingly, according to Mick Miller's how-to-improve-the-door-fit article, when Lotus glued the door halves together they also used a couple of pop rivets, just in front of the window frame, to hold the flanges together (see picture). Mick doesn't mention if this was for all Elan series, but presumably it was for S3/S4/Sprint at least (although Greg's door showed no sign of them ever having being there).

I don't know if they were used simply to aid the assembly process or whether they are (ha!) structural. Either way, I'm vaguely looking to fit them, if only for originality. Does anybody happen to know what type of rivets they are? I don't think they look like yer average rivet.

Nick

elan-door-rivets.jpg and
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PostPost by: saildrive2001 » Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:14 pm

I don't have any rivets on my doors.
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PostPost by: elanner » Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:19 am

Mick Miller was obviously one of the all-time Elan experts but on this tiny point it seems that manufacturing processes at Lotus were varied enough that even he couldn't figure out what they were playing at! From his description:

"Each door was made in two sections and the outer and inner panels were joined around their edges. f you open the door and look at the top inner edge you will see pop rivets where the two sections were joined, in addition to bonding with glass-fibre. Many people think that the rivets denote a somewhat clumsy repair, but they do not, as they were put in at the factory."

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MickMiller_ElanTips2018_incl_DoorFit.pdf
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