Lotus Elan

chassis and fuel tank banjo

PostPost by: TomMull » Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:31 pm

I had been trying to decide whether to try to repair my chassis or order a new one when this came up, so I bought it sight unseen. The owner apparently bought it that way and was parting it out after failing to sell it as a package.
p1010089.jpg and

It had the body on with all the old suspension bolted in place, differential in but no engine or transmission. Since I planned a 7 hour trip with the it on top of my Forester I had the owner remove and strip the chassis.
The chassis looks to be next to new with many of the body mounting bolt holes still undrilled. (I assume it came that way from the supplier with the intent that the holes could be drilled using the holes in the body as a pattern.Correct me if I'm wrong)
There is some minor damage from prying the diff out but other than that, it seems perfectly straight.
This all seems rather odd but I feel quite fortunate non the less.

The other topic is my fuel tank. I'm finally getting it back in the car and wonder about the banjo gaskets on the outlet. I took them out and intended to replace with copper crush rings but I find that the originals were some kind of fiber. They also seem to be captive in a recess in the banjo and I can't seem to find a copper ring that will fit. I suppose I should order the correct part from a UK supplier but I am hoping to find something locally. Suggestions welcome.
Tom
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:05 pm

Tom,
Replacement chassis are supplied with few, if any holes pre-drilled for body attachment. Between the body and chassis there are too many dimensional variables for pre-drilling to be a viable approach. The banjo on the fuel tank is sealed with the red fiber washers. You should be able to get them from US suppliers such as RD Enterprises or Dave Bean Engineering.
Russ
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PostPost by: TomMull » Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:54 pm

Thanks Russ, it would appear that the body was stuck on the new chassis with a very few bolts to facilitate transport to the scrapyard. That actually works out better for me. Will order the correct washers too.
Any chance you'll be at Stowe this weekend?
Tom
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:00 pm

Tom,
I will not be at Stowe. I have been to LOG39, the the Vintage Festival at Lime Rock and then to Maine for vacation the last three weekends, heading home tomorrow. Time to go home and get back to work!
Russ
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:58 pm

Tom,

When I started my restoration (S4 FHC Elan) I had a new chassis, they come without holes, my old chassis was completely rotten. I carefully fitted the body to the new chassis using the body as drill jig. I had the body painted, and the chassis powder coated. After overhauling all the various parts of the vehicle, I have finally got round to putting the body back on the chassis, only one of the sixteen bolts still fits. I am at a loss for an explanation, my guess is that the body changed shape whilst in the paint oven. I think our cars were originally painted with cellulose and my respray was with a modern two pack paint in a heated spray booth. The chassis may have changed shape, but I think that is less likely.

With hindsight I wish I had drilled larger clearance holes for the 3/8" UNC bolts and used large diameter thick washers to allow for movement. The two 7/16" UNF bolts in the rear suspension towers, the two 3/8" UNF bolts by the Dashboard and the two 3/8" UNF bolts in the front suspension towers I should have drilled and tapped after painting.

When I asked others on this forum for advice, I got the impression that my problem was unusual.

Hope this helps,

Richard Hawkins
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PostPost by: TomMull » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:52 pm

Your experience is valuable Richard and I'll keep it in mind when I make a plan for drilling an mounting the chassis. I wonder if it makes any difference if the chassis is bare or all fitted out with drive train and suspension.
Tom
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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:08 am

A couple of thoughts on the last two posts. If the chassis is powder coated it would have been heated to somewhere near 200 C (400 F) and held there for about 30 minutes to fuse the coating. I don't think that distortion of the chassis can be ruled out although it might not have moved a great deal. I don't think that having the engine and gearbox installed, or not, would make much difference. The suspension should not make any difference at all.
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PostPost by: TomMull » Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:14 am

Perhaps more likely that the body moved? I have not found mine to be particularly rigid. For example I removed the steel brace at the forward end of the boot opening to remove the tank and had to jack the opening a good inch to fit the brace back in.
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