Lotus Elan

Body fitting advice.

PostPost by: MarkDa » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:52 am

As you say it should be closer than that.
How hard have you pushed on the wings to settle the body?
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PostPost by: davidj » Tue Oct 08, 2019 3:01 pm

Quite hard! I bought the car with the body not fitted and a new chassis. It was stripped down in 1990-ish and I have long been suspicious that it had had a front end shunt and a new nose fitted. I guess when this was done, additional layers of fibreglass were applied to the inner wings. This had the effect of raising the body as it could not fit down between then two suspension towers.

To fix, I cut a length of rod the same length as between the two towers, and pushed it through the two engine bay bobbins. I then carefully ground down the inner arches until the outer edges were the same distance apart as the rod.

The car is now sitting sitting on the steering rack mount. I will spend the rest of today checking it!

Phew!

Cheers,

David
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PostPost by: davidj » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:57 pm

Sorry to keep asking questions but you only get one chance to fit the body and I want to get it right. Hopefully any answers will be useful to future owners. The body is sat on the chassis but what gap tolerance is acceptable between the bobbins and the chassis frame?

At the rear, the chassis is tight sandwiched between the front edge of the suspension uprights and the back edge of the rear tubes and sat on the diff support. All good (I think). At the front, I can just get a 4 thou feeler gauge between the steering rack mount and the body. I guess this will pull tight when bolted? The front suspension turrets are tightly locating the front of the body, but not over the whole face of the mating plate. There is a slight gap on some of the edges while other edges are tight. I would guess this is normal, as fibreglass is not a very accurate engineering material and therefore it is unlikely to get a full face contact?

In the middle of the car (transmission tunnel and footwell) there is approx 2mm gap between the bobbins and the chassis. Not a big issue to shim, but is this acceptable?

Thanks again. Life is much easier with ISO limits and fits!

Cheers,
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:07 pm

That's good to hear - off chassis repairs do need to matched to a jig.
Front section joints are normally away from the turrets - anyway you've got it sorted now.
The gaps you describe are well within tolerances - on fact it sounds like am excellent fit.
You shouldn't deflect the body to to touch chassis as that's a recipe for stress cracks - so after setting it down shim away.
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:13 pm

Put Bonnet in place and check clearance to Camcover with Plastercine or blue tack.
You may need to make Shims to stop contact with Bonnet.
Alan
Alan.b Brittany 1972 elan sprint fhc Lagoon Blue 0460E
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