Lotus Elan

Wheel Arch

PostPost by: George S L » Fri Apr 12, 2019 9:30 am

Hi Guys
Been doing some paint stripping trying different methods and after reading several posts on this forum have settled on heat gun and scraper as this is the quickest.I have found quite a bit of filler on the wing and when I removed the light pods found what looks like repair work to the front end,also if you look at the photos the front wheels are not central in the wheel arch so I,m thinking that my car is an inch or two short at the front unless anyone can tell me any different.
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PostPost by: Gray » Fri Apr 12, 2019 1:49 pm

I've put mid-front ends onto a couple of Plus 2s some years ago. From memory you need at least half an inch (13mm) clearance (preferably a bit more up to one inch?) between the tyre and the front of the inside of the wheel-arch when the steering is lock with the outside edge of the tyre at its furthest point forward.
I have seen a few +2s which have had new mid-fronts that without the wheels turned look OK but catch the inner arches on lock.
Ideally you need to check over the full suspension travel by taking the spring damper unit off.
Measuring both sides and using profile gauges often identifies far more than you expect. I have seen new mouldings in the 70s from Lotus that were a fair way out, so the end result is normally down to who fitted the front.
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PostPost by: NYK » Fri Apr 12, 2019 9:33 pm

I also have fitted a new mid front end on my Plus 2, prior to cutting off the old front I made a number of alignment jigs and spent a lot of time ensuring correct fit. One of the jigs was bulkhead the bonnet hinge (see photo). The point I would make is as follows. The bonnet hinge line is only just reward of the front of the wheel arch. If the bonnet is a normal fit and has not been shortened then it would suggest that the front of the wheel arch is the correct distance from back of the wheel arch assuming any replacement section was forward of the back of the wheel arch.... hope that makes sense. I should add that it would be possible to close or open the distance between front and back of wheel arch by tipping the nose up or down. However if you were to do this it becomes obvious when looking along the top of wing and also the curvature of the wing would be different to the curvature of the bonnet.
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PostPost by: Gray » Sat Apr 13, 2019 6:47 am

NYK is correct, its a long time since I put a mid front onto a +2. I used to put the bonnet in place to get the bonnet aperture correct first and then move the front, up and down to get the clearances for the wheels correct.
If your bonnet aperture is correct, but the wheels have too little clearance at the front, you may need to make some strategic cuts to get the alignment right. A 3 dimensional jigsaw, but nothing like as bad as 26R arches.
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PostPost by: George S L » Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:43 am

Thanks Guys,I,ve had a body work guy round and he dosent think there has been any repair work done and thinks the wheel arch,s are normal for lotus of that era.
George
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PostPost by: Classic-BSC » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:24 am

Those Arches look exactly the same as mine, and as far as I
know, there is no evidence of any major repair work having
ever been done on the Front.

Just seems that's how Lotus did it.

Are there any +2's out there with a more centralized location
of the Wheel in the Arch?


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PostPost by: nmauduit » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:45 am

NYK wrote: ... I should add that it would be possible to close or open the distance between front and back of wheel arch by tipping the nose up or down. ...[/attachment]

indeed fitting a Lotus repair panel is a 3D job, and a number of measurements as well as sturdy jigs will help figure out the best approach to align it, as the repair sections are rarely 100% identical to the body to be patched...
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PostPost by: JJDraper » Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:44 pm

My wheels are pretty central.. This was a trial fit of an old steel wheel with an old 70's tyre to see what it looked like versus an alloy 14" wheel.

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PostPost by: wotsisname » Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:54 pm

I think a photo taken square to the spinner might help.. the OP pictures distort the distance between sill and tyre and the gap above the wheel... Your worries may be just a matter of perspective.
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PostPost by: DUKE » Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:29 pm

Hi George,
Check out my +2 in the Photo Gallery....search under duke and you will see a side on shot in the photos that looks the same as your car so I wouldn't worry.
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PostPost by: rdssdi » Sun Apr 21, 2019 10:42 pm

]My +2 had some damage in the inner front end. Looked like it had been cut out. I decided to graft a new front section on. I purchased the section from SJ in the UK. They only sold the +2S version. I could have cut out the fog lamp parts but I chose to add fog lamps. I cut off the old front section and fit the new part using the bonnet to determine the correct placement. When it was all completed we discovered that the front bottom of the wheel arch hit the tire when at a full turn. We cut a traiangle section out and glassed the wheel arch lip to the fender. Must have been an anomaly as the bonnet fit perfectly.
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:24 am

rdssdi wrote:] I cut off the old front section and fit the new part using the bonnet to determine the correct placement. When it was all completed we discovered that the front bottom of the wheel arch hit the tire when at a full turn. We cut a traiangle section out and glassed the wheel arch lip to the fender. Must have been an anomaly as the bonnet fit perfectly.


no, it's relatively easy to adjust the top for bonnet fit, but that still leaves quite a bit play in the third dimension, in short the angle of the grafted piece with the horizontal. If you're not careful you'll only see the disruption of body lines once the paint is on, possibly after some filler required to be added (should not be necessary). Gaps at the wheels should of course be a clue as well, a rather extreme one...

Whenever possible, it is always preferable to take multiple measurements (i.e. not only bonnet fit) from a steady plateform that will remain steady until the repair panel if grafted back. I find convenient to use a wood pallet to make a 3D jig, chassis being steady on a level floor (i.e. not resting on the suspension of the car).
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PostPost by: NYK » Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:27 am

I measured top of bonnet aperture (FRONT) to chassis cross member before I cut the front off. This should give the correct angle for the new section
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:14 pm

NYK wrote:I measured top of bonnet aperture (FRONT) to chassis cross member before I cut the front off. This should give the correct angle for the new section


that would helps... though I prefer taking measurements as far away from the rotation axis of the repair panel (probaly near the top fender cut line) as possible (to reduce leveraged errors : 1mm at 30cm from the axis makes for 2.5mm at 75 cm from same axis) : that would encompass be headlights / bumper slot ridges etc, I would certainly check fender length at hub hight, front and rear...

But when one compares the photos of the red car and of the blue car it is clear that something is not lined up the same (and not right on the blue).
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PostPost by: Bud English » Mon Apr 22, 2019 3:31 pm

I think that if the wheel and tire on the blue car (on jack stands out perhaps) were at the same point in suspension travel as the red car, the fender clearance would be about the same. Look where the hub is in both photos. I doubt that there is anything out of sorts with the OP's car.
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