Lotus Elan

How best to affix "things" to the body?

PostPost by: steve lyle » Sat Aug 10, 2019 4:17 am

I'm working on rewiring my Elan Sprint. I'm basically rebuilding/restoring/upgrading the dash and engine harnesses.

One thing I've run into, several times, is how to best attach components to the body. For instance, I'm adding a modern fuse box, and putting it on the horizontal surface where the voltage regulator was originally (the car now has an alternator). How best to attach it? I'd rather not have to ask for help, and my arms aren't 6 feet long or come with two elbows each, so through bolting wasn't an option. If it was a metal car I might consider short sheet metal screws. What I ended up doing in this case was cut a strip of light sheet metal, drilled holes in it to match the fuse box attachment holes, then welded nuts on it over the holes. Then I taped it temporarily to the top/underside of the footwell, and bolted the fuse box to it.

It was a fair bit of work. Is there an easier/quicker way?

I've got other things I need to attach, primarily zip tie mounts to secure the harness. I'd rather not use the original types that require a 1/4" hole.

Thanks,
Steve
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:00 am

Lots of options ........ rubber nuts, jack nuts, versa nuts, nutserts, rivnuts etc. A Google search should find something suitable.
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PostPost by: wotsisname » Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:41 am

Peel rivets ? - if you can't see the end result on the "blind side" and don't want to remove the item often.. most other options tend to need a biggish hole. Scrivets are used on many moderns.
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:49 am

I’ve had some success using automotive plastic push fasteners. Certain types are easy to undo as well. Available in a lot of sizes and shapes. Check Amazon.

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PostPost by: grassyknoll » Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:24 am

+1 plastic push fasteners as used in anything modern, dont corrode and are flexible so heat expansion wont cause spidercracks
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PostPost by: DavidLB » Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:31 pm

I used rivinuts on my +2. Workvery well in my experience
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PostPost by: vincereynard » Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:52 pm

Another vote for (aluminium) rivnuts. Wiring / fuel pipe / rear number plate! Etc Etc.

Use a washer to spread the load on thin fibreglass.
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PostPost by: el-saturn » Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:18 am

these buggers are excellent for your issue: best results when laminated to the surface in question - i've still got loads of round ones (M6 and M8) - i could mail you some sandy (mine are females)
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PostPost by: steve lyle » Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:02 pm

Thanks, everybody. Sounds like I need to find a source for Rivnuts for what I'm doing now.

The plastic connectors are a good idea too, for lighter loads.

Regards,
Steve
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PostPost by: SENC » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:41 am

When I was looking a while back, someone recommended Marson. I bought their 39302 kit on Amazon, along with some aluminum rivnuts. Has been a nice thing to have, and worked well.
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PostPost by: steve lyle » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:05 am

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PostPost by: SENC » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:30 am

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PostPost by: Grizzly » Tue Aug 13, 2019 12:45 pm

I wouldn't use anything that expands (like Rivnuts) they are great in steel but less than ideal in grp. If your going to use Rivnuts in GRP make sure they are the peeling type.
rivnut-pn-blind-rivet-nut-with-slotted-slank-1.jpg and


When i did it i just super glued some single side spire clips the back of the hole and ran a self tapper through. You can also drill the holes for the fuse box, put the box in place with the screws just pushed through the holes, get on the other side and wind the spire clip as for as poss then tighten the rest of the way from the outside via the screw head (if that makes sense)
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PostPost by: el-saturn » Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:16 pm

we (25 blokes) worked at my company nobrac (carbon backwards) in the late 70s and 80s - the solution i showed was used in many a famous car - either laminated on or glued with epoxy! simple, lots of surface to distribute the load and easy to change if something went wrong - if you've ever worked in composites youll know what im talkin about sandy
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PostPost by: 661 » Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:36 pm

el-saturn wrote:these buggers are excellent for your issue: best results when laminated to the surface in question - i've still got loads of round ones (M6 and M8) - i could mail you some sandy (mine are females)


I've used a number of these, often removing the nut/threaded rod and replacing with a welded imperial sized stainless version.
I attach them with 2 pack adhesive, immensely strong.
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