Lotus Elan

Plus 2 dashboard fit

PostPost by: The Veg » Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:56 pm

So last weekend I got the dashboard basically back in, with loose ends yet to be addressed. I'm finding now that the fit isn't excellent, to be expected when I've had things that settled-in together for almost half a century apart and refurbished and re-assembled. The lower end doesn't want to go all the way to the bracket and in fact cannot, at the very least because the Tang of the headlight vacuum-valve is about a milimeter from the heater, which itself is firmly mounted all the way in that it's supposed to go. I'm also seeing tight clearances against the heater with the terminals on the bottom row of switches. As my center console is off far away right now I can't check how big a problem this poor fit will be. What the picture doesn't show is that the wood is basically right up touching the shift lever ball-cup.

Any thoughts? How much tolerance do I have with the placement of the lower end of the dashboard?
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img_20190217_144413__01.jpg and
1969/70 Elan Plus 2 (not S) 50/2036
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PostPost by: Bud English » Tue Feb 26, 2019 4:26 pm

Wow, a week and nothing. :shock: Sorry I can't do anything but give this a bump back to the top. My heater and dash are still on the shelf. I came across this when searching for dash pad info.
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PostPost by: USA64 » Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:06 pm

I'm playing with this myself but in a baby Elan. My guess would be that you're wrong about the heater placement.
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:34 pm

This is my early Plus 2 dash mounting and heater. Even if the dash won’t quite go tight to the bracket it would still be well clear of the gear lever by the look of it. I’m in the process of fitting my dash so will have a close look tomorrow, but I no longer have the vacuum switch as I have gone to electric motors for the headlight raising. I’ve been waiting for new ducting to the windscreen vents to arrive before I can finally push the dash right back. The tight bit looks like the bundle of wires in the harness in the centre of the dash, might need a bit of rearranging and clipping into place!
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54e19113-78f7-43d7-ba94-651f044f356a.jpeg and
Dash roughly in place before fitting heater ducts
341f0040-d91e-49fb-8bc5-c4ceb71a45bc.jpeg and
Heater and lower dash mounting
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PostPost by: stugilmour » Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:39 am

Sorry I must have missed this one as well Ben.

I used the 90 degree flag type terminals on all the lower row of switch wiring to avoid clearance issues to the heater box. There are flag connectors available that use the preferred double roll style crimp; they have an opening at the base of the female flag so the nose of the crimping tool can be inserted. A similar effect if you bend each female spade terminal.

http://www.vehicle-wiring-products.eu/p ... g-terminal

I will have to look tomorrow to see the clearance to the headlight switch, but I thought it was not an issue.

Just going from memory at this point, but I thought the dash fits pretty snug to the angle bracket.

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PostPost by: The Veg » Wed Feb 27, 2019 1:19 am

Thanks guys.

BBB, your lower mount is definitely different to mine; never seen that type before. Interesting.

Stu, I'm aware of the 90-degree terminals but I don't think that's really an issue here even though it's tight.

USA64, after the amount of trouble I had with the heater fitting due to replacement fan-motor issues, I've definitely got it screwed-in all the way.

-However-

Since posting this I've reviewed some pics from when I took it all apart and while I wish that I'd known this question would come up, from what I can make out in the pictures I might be OK. It looks in one of my pics like the dashboard may have been up against the shift-ball before everything came apart, and that would explain the holes in the lower bracket, which look like somebody hastily tried to elongate them. I can't go by witness-marks on the bracket since I stripped and repainted it, but maybe this all adds up. I won't know for sure until I get my centre console back, but it looks easy enough to deal with.
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PostPost by: gus » Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:14 pm

I think that the pictured generous clearance is in 4th gear, and with an Elan rather than +2 shifter

I think it is the square section of the +2 shifter that chews at the bottom of my dash in 1st and 3rd
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PostPost by: USA64 » Wed Feb 27, 2019 4:13 pm

Again not a plus 2 but my heater mates to a fiberglass plenum that is a separate piece although it looks like part of the body. Perhaps a compounding of misalignments? Sounds like others have the same problem. There is 7/8 in from the front of my console to the forward edge of the shifter hole.
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PostPost by: wotsisname » Thu Feb 28, 2019 6:36 pm

Early +2. Dash not quite ready. OE dash has some evidence of damage at lower edge in the region described, I always thought due to maintenance work by previous owners.
My bracket looks like BBBs.

My thoughts...
1. Heater not far enough forward or case distorted.
2. Gearbox too far forward.
- engine mounts
- bellhousing
- engine/ gearbox mating not quite right.
3. Item behind dash not correctly fitted
- non original part / poor repro / damaged
- dash rebate not deep enough for item

In case it helps I took a couple of measurements ( bear in mind I haven't yet tried my assembled dash).
I put a vertical sheet of metal (2mm) against heater (narrow enough to not rest on the flanges that rivet it together).
I put a straight edge along the forward edge of the chassis bolt shafts.
Distance between these is 37.0mm
A further measure from metal plate to centre of gearstick mounting bolt (ie shift shaft and anti sizzle mount not fitted), when in neutral gives 116mm.

I hope this makes sense and helps to work out what's going on.

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