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I've found a few write ups on here about how to remove the body from an Esprit, but failed to find one on how to put it back on. I've got mine resting back on now, but struggling with aligning a few bits and pieces - intially the front upper wishbone bolts.

I aligned the body with plumb bobs from the outer two bolts on the front and back, and got that spot on. But how close should I expect the to be on other connections. I've also seen mention of people replacing body shims as they were when they removed them. Bit awkward for me that as I bought it in bits....

Any tips gratefully recieved. 

IMG_20200317_130658.jpg

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Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.

As I understand it you should mount it at an angle with the the front lowered first and the rear quite high, look in youtube with the lotusfactory film, there is an episode where the body is mounted

 

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Enjoyed that video - almost as much a period classic as the car is.

However I'm past that part. I can see how going front first would get you past the top wishbone nut but taking it off works fine too and my two post lift won't do tilting (which is probably just as well).

It's just knowing whether the body is now sitting OK and I can simply bolt it on, or if I should be checking alignment in any way and adding packing shims or washers.

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Do you have the service notes? 

There is a description of what to do when fitting the body to the chassis. Section BB. 🙂

 


It's getting there......

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here is an extract

BB 14 - BODY MOUNTING POINTS When mounting the body to the chassis, it may be necessary to use spacing washers between certain mounting points in order to level the.body and/or prevent pre-stressing the body structure, with subsequent distortion and gel crazing.

Esprit. Twelve fixings are used to attach the body to the chassis. All chassis fixing points are plain holes except numbers 13 & 14 (Federal only) which are tapped M10. Holes 1 & 2 (8mm) and 3 & 4 (10mm) are drilled with the body in position. Aluminium 'bobbins' are used in the body at all mounting points except 9 & 10 which holes are drilled through the timber/ composite rear bulkhead. After lowering the body onto the chassis, check that the pedal box mounting bosses are not fouling the body. Locate the body by inserting fixings 11 & 12 (13 & 14 on Federal cars) but do not tighten. Insert spacers if necessary between the body and chassis at points 1 & 2 and drill chassis at these points through the body bobbins. Insert fixing bolts. Similarly drill chassis at points 3 & 4 and insert fixings using spacer washers if necessary. Insert remaining fixings and tighten from the front of car rearwards.

I can't copy the image that goes with this.

1 and 2 are in front luggage compartment. Chassis holes drilled with body in position.
3 and 4 are front of footwells. Chassis drilled with body in position.

5 and 6 are inboard side of footwells

7 and 8 are inboard of seats

9 and 10 are cabin rear bulkhead

11 and 12 are (DOM / ROW) in rear luggage compartment

🙂


 


It's getting there......

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That is just what I need - thank you. Will report back tomorrow when I have had more of a look. 

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Well the idea of doing it tomorrow took a knock, like pretty much everyone's planning these days.

However I have had another go - a bit of jacking up the front with two trolley jacks and persuading it over a bit got the front holes (1 and 2) as well lined up as I could, and a with a millimetre or so ground off the edges of those holes I have got the bolts through and aligned. One needed a spacer. Given the holes were drilled to fit originally, and I have done some fibreglass repair work in the front boot I am happy with how it is aligning. I've ordered some of the 32mm washers to finish it off, and will need an extra pair of hands because unlike when the body is off, it is pretty difficult to have one hand on a spanner on each end of these bolts.  At least with schools shut I will have a helper. 

Keep safe everyone.

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Bit more help needed on this if anyone can.

Back just before lockdown started and I stopped working on the Esprit (feels like about 15 years ago) I got the body aligned on the chassis so bolts 1 and 2 at the front and 11 and 12 at the back could be fitted (see diagram from manual below). Now I've started again I need to get it aligned vertically so the bolts that through the side of the transmission tunnel and into the spine of the chassis (5,6,7 and 8 on the diagram) can also be fitted.

I was a bit alarmed just how far out they were when I attempted this today. I had read about possible need for spacers on bolts 1 and 2 in the manual, and had added a 2mm spacer on bolt No 2. However on lifting the body high enough to get the bolts through the tunnel in meant I needed about a 22m spacer.  Looking at the S3 I bought all in one piece, it is clear the spacers are not supposed to be anything like this size. However I did discover that the S3 has two hefty spacers at the back of the car between the body and chassis which in total lift the body up by about 25mm (see photo).

These get no mention in the manual, nor can I find them anywhere on the parts list. So does anyone know if they are the same on all cars, or is choose to fit?  And as I don't have any, does anyone know what material are they made from?

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Hello Martyn,

It was quite recently that I re-fitted body to chassis on my S2 following repairs to some of the body-chassis mountings, the following describes my process in achieving alignment. Priority must be given to those mountings which are unforgiving in vertical terms, therefore items 3 through 8. Items 9 and 10 have slotted tabs so not challenging in this exercise. The forward and aft points 1-2 and 11 through 14 are subordinate as straightforward packing via aluminum spacers ( where needed ) will permit sound attachment which does not impart residual stress on the shell with all points cinched down. As I recall, the S2 required no spacing at 1-2, whereas the aft 3 across the rearmost lateral channel ( equivalent to your 11 through 14 ) use a single spacer of 9-10 mm for each. The tolerance in placement of mountings of the sort may well require the slightest tweak to the body when offering up to align those unforgiving mountings, this readily accomplished by way of lifting the shell just a tad with jack placed offset so twisting the shell ever so slightly. Care in doing so has resulted in my S2 shell being tightly and very evenly mounted with no slop in the bobbin attachments. Hope this may be of use.

Cheers 

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It's been quite a while since I removed the body on my car and I rather stupidly didn't record the spacers used at the body mounting points. I have to say however that they were a variety of sizes and upwards of 5 mm at a guess in places. I would assume when refitting the body, you'd need to align 5 through 8 first and then space out the others to fit the body position. I believe the body was drilled in place for 5 through 8 in the factory (if my recollection is right) 

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It's getting there......

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It is done. Lessons learned are largely about taking what the bloody manual says with a pinch of salt. I agree with Steve and Tim above, it is the transmission tunnel fixings that set the level, so these are what you fiddle with. I didn't get that from the manual at all. 

The manual tells you to lower the body on so 11 and 12 are aligned with the body bobbins (13 and 14 if you have a federal car). There is no mention of spacers  for these fixings, but both my Esprits had two 10mm aluminium spacers to insert on each side, lifting the body 20mm off the rear chassis beam. You can see them in the picture of my S3 above, though that furry corrosion made me think I was looking for fibre or plastic spacers. I found the original spacers for the Turbo in the bottom of a load of engine parts, tightly wrapped in masking tape which was probably once a label but wasn't any more. I've added a couple of photos below.

Once the newly-found rear spacers were in place and bolts dropped through (but not tightened) to locate the body at 11 and 12, aligning the fixings in the side of the transmission tunnel (5-8) was fairly straightforward. A few jacks under the jacking points enabled me to ease the body up and down a few mm to get everything lined up right. I then inserted the bolts and fitted the nuts loosely.

I used small stacks of large penny washers as spacers at the front (1-4), which was all fairly straightforward.  The manual says the holes in the chassis for these fixings should be drilled through the bobbin holes once the body is sitting in place.  Were I doing it again, I might weld up the original holes up and redrill like this.  As it was they lined up fairly well, though I used a burr to grind out less than 1mm of material to get the bolt through on two of the holes.

I'll do 10 and 11 tomorrow - as Steve says, these are slots anyway and I'll put some spacers in here which (other than access) and will be easy.  Then I'll go back to following the manual to tighten fixings from front to back.  

  

 

 

 

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