Lotus Elan

+2 chassis replacement questions

PostPost by: kwhittle » Thu Dec 13, 2018 3:50 pm

I need to fit a new chassis to my early +2
Who is the best supplier ?
Do they supply galvanised ?
or is powder coating better ?

The car was bought with a spare galvanised chassis that had been fitted; but not used?

In measuring f to r suspension turrets on the diagonal, there is a difference of 10mm

Do I replace with new or have this spare chassis re jigged ??
If the latter, who do you recommend ?
Kevin
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PostPost by: JonB » Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:10 pm

HI Kevin

There's not much choice here:

1. Spyder spaceframe
2. Lotus Replacement (galvanised)

Let's call them "subframes". Anyway, the Spyder model has some advantages over the Lotus one: more rigid and better accessibility for engine / diff removal. On the other hand, it isn't "authentic", although I will not get drawn into the debate on that regarding the DVLA.

FWIW I have a Spyder spaceframe and I am quite happy with it.. although it doesn't appear to have the right amount of castor and the rear suspension isn't toeing correctly. As to camber... :)

Cheers
JonB

PS, No idea how you'd go about rejigging a twisted chassis. It seems unlikely that the Spyder items are any more accurate.. as can be seen from my laser alignment check:

http://images.lotuselan.net/lel/53463/0 ... nment.jpeg
1973 Elan Plus 2S 130/5 - UK - Chassis 50/1115L
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PostPost by: RichC » Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:20 pm

Are you measuring the diagonal from the subframe bolt holes?... as this is the dimension that matters
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PostPost by: pharriso » Thu Dec 13, 2018 7:09 pm

JonB wrote:HI Kevin

There's not much choice here:

1. Spyder spaceframe
2. Lotus Replacement (galvanised)


LR chassis (sub-frames) are not supplied galvanized, haven't been for a number of years because of the heat distorting the chassis during the galvanizing coating process,

LR chassis are all made by Gartrak through Miles Wilkins, then available through any of the normal suppliers; some of whom will paint or powder coat as an option.
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:40 pm

Looks like you have proof that galvanising really does distort the chassis. I went for a Spyder chassis but it was years ago and they offered a sheet metal chassis as well as the space frame version then. It looks more original but has the updates for strength and accessibility that the space frame version has and can be fitted with Spyder design rear suspension if you ever wanted to. Not sure if you can still get this version.
Lots to think about if you do a full chassis replacement, what do you refurbish, what do you replace like for like and what do you upgrade. Lots to think about during the winter evenings!
Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine!
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PostPost by: Chrispy » Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:30 pm

I've done a lot of galvanising in the past and had plenty of issues with distortion. I wouldn't be too keen on it.
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PostPost by: David1953 » Fri Dec 14, 2018 3:23 pm

I would go with trying to get the galvanised one re jigged.
Galvanising is by far the best treatment for structural life. The only problem is the distortion and if you can get past that you are on a winner.
Try talking to Spider or Gartrak (via Miles Wilkins).
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PostPost by: JohnP » Fri Dec 14, 2018 3:35 pm

Is the TTR Plus 2 subframe ex Gartrac too?
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PostPost by: alanr » Fri Dec 14, 2018 5:16 pm

Bigbaldybloke wrote:Lots to think about if you do a full chassis replacement, what do you refurbish, what do you replace like for like and what do you upgrade. Lots to think about during the winter evenings!


Very good points I think..... Also do you strip and paint the bodyshell whilst it is off the chassis?...How big is your budget and much do you want to spend on the car I guess then becomes a very big question :?:
Alan
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Fri Dec 14, 2018 5:44 pm

Hi Kevin,
you are very lucky to have a Lotus galvanised Chassis to fit to your Car, it's the best IMHO :mrgreen:
The ones that are not galvanised are not that accurate either. That's why a lot of owners use adjustable Rear Wishbones :?
Stay with the Lotus galvanised Chassis and you will never regret it.
I always assembly the rolling Chassis first including Engine and Gearbox in place. So when you lower the Body in place you can check for clearance between bonnet and Camcover to shim body height as needed.

Alan
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PostPost by: kwhittle » Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:59 am

Well, thanks to all who have replied.
Seems the best choice is to have the galvanised subframe re jigged

(Sorry for my sloppy use of the english language - the +2 is a grp monocoque that sits upon a folded and welded sheet steel subframe. The subframe takes the suspension and steering loads as well as mounting the power train).

I see that Spyder offer such a service as does PNM Engineering, any feedback ?
Kevin
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:52 am

If you look at the post above from Jonb he has a Spyder Chassis and the Tow-In at the back is not to Spec. :shock:
So why do people say a galvanised is no good :?
You could check to see if it is square at Suspension/Wishbone points. Rig up a method to adjust as near as possible then later put adjustable Wishbones like many owners do even with Spyder Chassis :oops: :oops: .
I would suggest you do not paint the Galvanising as the paint will peel off.
On my Sprint with unpainted Galvanised Chassis NO problem since it was fitted in 1982 by Saint Miles :mrgreen:
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PostPost by: grassyknoll » Sun Dec 16, 2018 1:50 pm

I have restored on to a galvanised lotus chassis a d it was a seamless process.

I have also got a plus 2 on a spyder with spyder wishbone rear suspension and will forever steer clear.. as soon as I can get a folded chassis nd original rear suspension I will change.

The original +2 versus a spyder +2: in my opinion the original is far superior drive.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sun Dec 16, 2018 2:27 pm

Well said that man. Original is best :mrgreen: Chunky and his Team knew a few things :mrgreen:
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PostPost by: pharriso » Sun Dec 16, 2018 2:28 pm

alan.barker wrote:If you look at the post above from Jonb he has a Spyder Chassis and the Tow-In at the back is not to Spec. :shock:
So why do people say a galvanized is no good :? ...
Alan

Because people (like the OP) have observed/measured distortion in their new galvanized Chassis. The problem was so severe that Wilkins/Gartrac no long galvanizes chassis.

Just because Spyder's chassis can be poor does not make a distorted galvanised chassis good.
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