Lotus Elan

Backbone Design Garage Floor Dolly.

PostPost by: ceejay » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:29 am

Just thought I would share this with you, this is the simple floor dolly rig
that I have used several times throughout the elan S2 rebuild/resto project.
I think I have used this rig for the last time, so thought someone might like
the details.

The unit can be completely dismantled and stored away, it has fixed casters
on one end and swivel casters with lock brakes the other. As shown in the
photograph the dolly can also be stood upright, so that it takes up less
workshop room when not in use.

I have found the mobile floor dolly to be extremely handy, because the body
may need to be moved around or placed under the chain block for lifting the
body high so that the chassis can be rolled under and the body lowered
down onto the chassis or vice versa.

If you make working on and with the body as easy as possible, you will get
more done in a given time frame, and the work will become more enjoyable.

You might notice that the rear section of the floor dolly consists of the
bottom part of the engine stand, which was also used in the construction
of the body rotisserie... another must have item if you are considering doing
any major work on the body.
Attachments
01-floor-dolly.jpg and
02-floor-dolly.jpg and
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PostPost by: Chancer » Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:04 pm

Great idea!

Having an engine stand the job is already 3/4 done!
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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:13 pm

CeeJay, have you got any pix of the dolly in action, with body or chassis on it??

Thanks,

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PostPost by: ceejay » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:20 pm

Building a floor dolly is in my book essential, because there will be times
when you will want to move the elan body around or out of the workshop.
The dolly is designed so that the body just sits on the timber cross beams,
if you wanted to bolt the body on you could do that, but in my opinion
it is not worth worrying about.

Part of the dolly is built on the bottom section of the engine stand,
the "Y" section is fabricated and bolted to the front part of it.
The whole unit can be dismantled and put away when not in use.
As mentioned in other postings, the engine stand was also used
to hold one end of the body rotisserie, another awesome bit
of gear you should build if you are contemplating a body off
restoration.

The shots below are a blast from the past now, because the S2 elan
is now complete and back on the road undergoing shakedown &
fine tuning road tests to find the little niggles that always present
themselves after a full rebuild.

I hope this is of use to other elan owners.
The reason I make all of this gear is that I work alone, I don't
have other people close by to call on at a moments notice, but
my very helpful wife helps out from time to time.
The more things you can do on your own, the quicker
the project will be completed in the end.
Ceejay
Attachments
1-rotisserie0015s.jpg and
The bare backbone dolly
2-rotisserie023.jpg and
Lifting the elan body off the chassis with a chain block.
3-rotisserie022.jpg and
Dolly positioned over floor pit ready to lower elan body onto. (Don't be afraid of floor pits, just remember where you are walking, or keep it covered when not in use)
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PostPost by: Grant K » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:12 pm

I have to agree that a dolly is an essential bit of gear when restoring a body.

Mine's probably not as well thought out as Col's, still, can't complain as it came with the car.
I would have made the wheels further apart, but it proved to be stable enough for the 2&1/2 years I used it.

With a few simple mods I could place the body on it upside down, which made fibre glass repairs so much easier - peddle box area among many others. I didn't have locking castors but some simple wood chocks did the trick. Sometimes what you have at hand is good enough. Can't imagine doing the body work without one.

As good as it was, it's even better not to need it any more!

Grant
Attachments
PA050244.jpg and
P6051696.jpg and
PC302483.jpg and
poly 2.jpg and
IMG_1686.jpg and
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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:03 pm

Grant, thanks for your pix. They answer a question I've had about the Plus 2.

You found that the shell was strong enough to support inverted and resting on . . . what? The rear deck ahead of the trunk/boot opening and on the front cowl ahead of the windscreen?

Looks great. I had thought that if this was possible, I could avoid having to make a rotissiere for the body shell, but still be able to work on the underside and wheel wells.

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PostPost by: Grant K » Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:11 am

Randy, the front cowl ahead of the windscreen, next to the edge of the engine bay opening was plenty strong enough on my car.
The ridiculously flimsy panel between the rear screen & boot won't take any weight (although mine probably would take the body weight now after I reinforced it by boxing in this section). I supported the upside down body on the rear upright areas under the rear screen. A few more photos below.
I cut pieces of wood to suit & glued blocks of HDPE foam to them.

A rotisserie would make turning the body over easier, but I didn't have one, so I improvised by bolting a piece of wood to the rear bumper holes with a middle pivot point - large bolt & washers. Then, lifted the rear with chain block, then simply picked up the front with a friend & turned it over, with body pivoting on the rear point. It worked OK, but don't think I'd do it this way again. I would shape a piece of wood to bolt onto the front bumper holes & use 2 chain blocks. That would make it easier & more controlled. The old painters frames that were left under the house by previous owner came in handy for supporting the second chain block when I put the body back on the chassis.

My dolly looks a little scary/unstable in the photos, but it worked fine. I wheeled it in & out of the garage many times without any problem. With the body upside down, you can easily get to everything that is hard to fibreglass when it is rightside up.

Hope this gives you some ideas. There's more than one way to do it, depends on what you have you have to work with. Improvising is half the fun.
Grant
Attachments
P6051692.jpg and
P6051693.jpg and
P3191622.jpg and
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