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Tailgate won’t open


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I recently bought a 1977 Elite which has a number of problems as it has not been driven for 14 years and stored part of that time outside here in Canada.  My major problem is the tailgate operating cable has seized and cannot open it to get to the battery which is still connected but completely dead. Tried removing the interior window but appears virtually impossible because the two bolts securing rear seats are  inside the trunk. 
 

Has anyone managed to get access to the trunk without causing serious damage to the car. My only thought is to cut a large hole in the trunk floor above the spare wheel.

I also have a 65 Elan S2 which I spent 8 years restoring and was hoping this would be easier!!!!

Thanks

Ivan W

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Welcome to the forum Ivan!  I would suggest drilling the heads off the "blind" fixings at the bottom of the tailgate - they are retained from the inside by cross head screws which you will probably end up drilling out anyway when you refurbish the latch assembly.  They are made from a soft alloy.

Pete

 

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Found a parts list and another pic - but have no idea what parts would still be available.

http://www.rdent.com/manuals/elite_and_eclat/body/be.htm

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I managed to cut slots in the done heads and used my impact driver with a thin pickle fork to keep upward pressure on the screw inside the trunk. Probably not the safest way but at least the glass did not break!!!

Unfortunately the gas struts must be seized as it only open a couple of inches so need to work on that after coffee.

 

ivan

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When freeing the gas struts be very careful how much force you put on them - they attach at the top to a bracket that stresses the fibreglass a lot - be careful not to cause stress cracks in the fibreglass.  You may see some there already just from ordinary use.  Sounds like you're making progress though!

Pete 

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Elites are awesome looking cars, even when the steering wheel is on the wrong side. Paint looks good for its age.

What is up with the front bumper - looks like  part is missing, or is that the way the federal bumpers are made and part has been removed.

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1272100C-DA5B-4FD5-A062-B785EA267625.png.edbc7034f84b7b0b03db68bdba181711.pngI assume the car was built to US specs even thought it was bought in Canada. There is a foam pad about 3” thick that was glued to the front but has come off although it was still with the car.

I would like to fit something a little more appealing as in the attached photo so does anyone know if they are still available?

 

Edited by Ivan Wood
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Hello Ivan,

Congratulations on your project. The bumpers in the picture are standard UK/European spec bumpers painted to match the body colour. As standard they are black, like yours. 

Many used parts are available from Lotusbits in the UK - www.lotusbits.com - but shipping a bumper would be expensive. Contact Lotusbits by phone as they are not great at replying to emails.

cheers, Richard

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Hey Ivan,

The Fed version of the second gen Elite had the most ugly bumpers and really did nothing except make it a foot longer. The black rubberized cover went south quickly so I discarded mine  and I found replacements.

I bought my front and rear bumpers ..(Eur spec ) and the front air damn from a local fiberglass man who had molds to pull parts. This guy also had other Lotus molds to pull parts from.

Probably your best bet is to join the local Lotus Club and inquire there for similar parts.

I always found this to be a most excellent decision when buying a car like a Lotus. Most shops don't even know how to work on them so you have to either do it yourself or use the clubs for a good shop.

 

atb,

Richard

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I wish I did have the white one but no I only have the red one. I bought it because it belonged to a friend of my son’s uncle who is 80+ and has owned it since new but now has nowhere to keep it and wanted it to go to someone who restore it and keep it from the junk yard. It needs quite a lot of work as it has not been driven for 12 years and is very wet inside so need drying out first.

Ivan

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47 minutes ago, Ivan Wood said:

owned it since new

sounds as if they must really have liked the car. 

Lotus interior trim has improved a long way since the elites were built. But it does sound as if it is complete, and it will be great to see it saved and running again. 

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9 hours ago, Elite 4.9 said:

Hey Ivan,

The Fed version of the second gen Elite had the most ugly bumpers and really did nothing except make it a foot longer. The black rubberized cover went south quickly so I discarded mine  and I found replacements.

I bought my front and rear bumpers ..(Eur spec ) and the front air damn from a local fiberglass man who had molds to pull parts. This guy also had other Lotus molds to pull parts from.

Probably your best bet is to join the local Lotus Club and inquire there for similar parts.

I always found this to be a most excellent decision when buying a car like a Lotus. Most shops don't even know how to work on them so you have to either do it yourself or use the clubs for a good shop.

 

atb,

Richard

I am a member of the Eastern Ontario LC but have not heard of anyone having molds on this side of the Atlantic. Where was your guy and is he still able to make them?

Thanks

Ivan

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