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Strengthening plates for Elite front chassis.


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On the S1 Elite chassis there are two front sections, triangular in shape, that carry the front anti roll bar mounts.

Mine look very rusty and the metal is thin.

Has anyone ever fabricated strengthening plates for this area?

If so any dimensions, plans or advice would help.

Or do any Lotus specialists supply anything suitable?

 

I hope someone can help.

 

Regards

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Mostly people frown upon repairing the chassis with welding as Lotus recommended replacement only.

 

However it is fairly accessible around this area. I have seen pics before of frontal accident damage and welded repairs (search the archives).

 

Lotus Bits would probably cut you a section to weld on, but be aware that this area takes a lot of the braking stress (The anti roll bar stops the fore-aft movement of the wishbones) so it needs to be strong.

 

A question to ask yourself is what is the rest of the chassis like? If it is rusty here, check the front turrets carefully and then jack the thing up securely and get underneath with a torch shining upwards to the area between the top of the rear shock mounts.

 

If your building a car to keep as a good one, you might have a decision to make about the chassis and replacing it with a glav one (which pop up fairly regularly second hand).

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Mostly people frown upon repairing the chassis with welding as Lotus recommended replacement only.

 

However it is fairly accessible around this area. I have seen pics before of frontal accident damage and welded repairs (search the archives).

 

Lotus Bits would probably cut you a section to weld on, but be aware that this area takes a lot of the braking stress (The anti roll bar stops the fore-aft movement of the wishbones) so it needs to be strong.

 

A question to ask yourself is what is the rest of the chassis like? If it is rusty here, check the front turrets carefully and then jack the thing up securely and get underneath with a torch shining upwards to the area between the top of the rear shock mounts.

 

If your building a car to keep as a good one, you might have a decision to make about the chassis and replacing it with a glav one (which pop up fairly regularly second hand).

Initially I want to MOT the car and trace any other faults before thinking of a galvanised chassis.

At the moment there are no holes just surface rust on the chassis. It is for the reason you gave that I am thinking along the lines of strengthening in the front Anti Roll Bar area.

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It seems like a sensible idea to MOT it and see what the engine, box and diff are like when putting miles on it. You could find yourself doing a lot of work to get it through the test though. I went down the chassis swap route first and the condition of the drive train on my car is a big unknown to me. Having said that adjusting the handbrake with the body off is miles easier 

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Exactly as you say Mike there is a fair bit to do for MOT. Then I can check out the engine, gearbox etc.

Identified so far are a multitude of badly rusted brake pipes, perished exhaust rings, rusty front discs, rear shock absorber leaking and I have not even tested the lights and electrics yet.

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Thanks for the replies so far.

 

All I am looking for at present is the most cost effective way of making a safe daily driver not a show car.

 

The chassis sections at the front of my car seem flimsy considering the amount of stress they endure.

 

Lotus say no chassis welding replace it . Well they would wouldn't they?

 

Chassis welding is not rocket science if a certain amount of thought and care is applied. I do not see any reason why the front area can not be 'beefed up' by a skilled welder I am surprised no one has come forward and admitted that they have done it.

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Chassis welding is not rocket science if a certain amount of thought and care is applied. I do not see any reason why the front area can not be 'beefed up' by a skilled welder I am surprised no one has come forward and admitted that they have done it.

 

People have done it before and there are (were?)  pics of welded repairs to the front ARB pier/outrigger on a thread in the archives, but in that case it was an old repair to frontal accident damage rather than corrosion.

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People have done it before and there are (were?)  pics of welded repairs to the front ARB pier/outrigger on a thread in the archives, but in that case it was an old repair to frontal accident damage rather than corrosion.

Well Dunc I can not find any refference to this repair using the search engine perhaps it was in the old Forum.

Is it possible to access the old Forum archives?

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The anti-roll bar mounting bracket, which is what I think you're talking about, was the cause of an official recall on the Excel since they were known to fail.

In the Excel parts list this is listed as 'S/B 1990/1R', part number A089C0799J, and is a kit to strengthen the bracket.

Although I've never looked closely, the Elite & Excel appear pretty similar in that region.

It may be this can be retro-fitted to your Elite.

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Dunc no wonder I could not find it as it is listed under Eclat Project.

The listing is very interesting and I have PM'ed Mark for any extra info regarding the welding.

No reply as yet.

Thanks again,

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I am quite surprised no one has answered my post specfically regarding the repair to the chassis extentions that carry the front ARB mounts.

 

I would have hoped one of the specialist Lotus parts suppliers would have manufactured a repair panel for this area by now.

I also hoped someone on the Forum had tackled this problem and could supply advice.

 

Dunc gave me a link from a couple of years ago. The poster seemed to fall out with the forum and well I did not receive a reply to an email sent a couple of days ago

 

My chassis is perfect except for this area.

I have unbolted the anti roll bar and been a bit brutal with cleaning up the area now I have holes.

 

Patching would seem pointless as the old steel is so thin, but I am pondering on that one.

I believe replacing both chassis extentions with salvaged parts from another chassis would produce an alignment headache.

 

Thoughts anyone?

 

Regards,

Adrian

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Up until a few weeks ago I had an old chassis on it with the bits you would have needed but regrettably it's been scrapped now. I suspect the reason that the repair parts are not made is that there are relatively few cars in active service. Also as they become rarer they will tend to be owned by people who will keep them for the long term. Cars that have been used will have had chassis swaps and these would have been galvanised - no point swapping a rusty chassis with one that will rust after all - and cars that need restoring will tend to get a galvanised chassis since, if it's a keeper, it's worth doing. So no repair parts.

 

Patch it as best you can for the MOT would be my advice and search ebay for a chassis as a replacement. There was an excel rolling chassis on ebay a few months ago for £200 and my car was offered to me with a spare excel for the chassis so they are out there and plentiful.

 

In fact

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LOTUS-ELITE-FOR-PARTS-GALVANISED-CHASSIS-/201167326014?pt=UK_CarsParts_Vehicles_CarParts_SM&hash=item2ed681cb3e

 

engine and body removal can be done in a coupe of days - I would think a chassis swap could be done in a week!

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Up until a few weeks ago I had an old chassis on it with the bits you would have needed but regrettably it's been scrapped now. I suspect the reason that the repair parts are not made is that there are relatively few cars in active service. Also as they become rarer they will tend to be owned by people who will keep them for the long term. Cars that have been used will have had chassis swaps and these would have been galvanised - no point swapping a rusty chassis with one that will rust after all - and cars that need restoring will tend to get a galvanised chassis since, if it's a keeper, it's worth doing. So no repair parts.

 

Patch it as best you can for the MOT would be my advice and search ebay for a chassis as a replacement. There was an excel rolling chassis on ebay a few months ago for £200 and my car was offered to me with a spare excel for the chassis so they are out there and plentiful.

 

In fact

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LOTUS-ELITE-FOR-PARTS-GALVANISED-CHASSIS-/201167326014?pt=UK_CarsParts_Vehicles_CarParts_SM&hash=item2ed681cb3e

 

engine and body removal can be done in a coupe of days - I would think a chassis swap could be done in a week!

Mike, what a downer that you have scrapped the chassis.

 

The front outriggers, rusty, holed or not, cut off a scrap chassis would be ideal way of fabricating a repair panel on the bench prior to fitting to the car. It would make life much easier than stuggling lying on my back! I think you have inspired me to follow this route. Thank you.

 

I have seen the link on eBay.

The listing puzzles me as the car is shown in a yard on top of another car basically complete less the wheels. Then the extra pics show a mound of bits on the floor. What actually is being offered? I am confused. 

Anyhow, Perterhead is way too far away for me.

I have an original steel chassis if you want it for £50, actually in reasonably usable condition but you could also cut for repair sections if you want.

Only problem is it's in Hampshire!

Thanks for the reply.

Would have been a strong possibility but Hampshire is too far from my location.

Wrong type chassis for the Elite, but I see what you mean it would be ideal for an Excel.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Build you're own chassis, not much welding involved; -)

SPC043-410x273.jpg

Wow, so this the famous Spider chassis.

Not seen a picture of one before.

I believe you have to modify/upgrade much of the suspension to suit the chassis.

Are you thinking of one?

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There is a web page somewhere describing one chaps experience of a spider chassis where the rear suspension was modified to remove the use of the driveshaft as the top link. By his account they got the geometry wrong and it handled a bit iffy.

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Wow, so this the famous Spider chassis.

Not seen a picture of one before.

I believe you have to modify/upgrade much of the suspension to suit the chassis.

Are you thinking of one?

That's not a Spyder Elite chassis, mine's nothing like this. could it be a std repacement for Esprit?

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There is a web page somewhere describing one chaps experience of a spider chassis where the rear suspension was modified to remove the use of the driveshaft as the top link. By his account they got the geometry wrong and it handled a bit iffy.

I consulted with Spyder (the owner, Irish fella, can't recall his name, got married and went to live in US) when he was designing the Elite/Eclat V8 chassis, and was there when they showed the prototype at Donington (hence it's name). I got chassis #2 (Doctor's lime-green Elite got #1) and can state that it wasn't the rear upper-link that was a problem, the iffy-handling was caused by using the original lower arm to chassis bush rotated 90 degrees, allowing the front of this arm to move about. I modded mine and problem was solved. I have mentioned this on this forum quite recently.

 

BTW, It was called a FRAME, not chassis (in case of possible DVLA registration problems)

Edited by Denis247
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The Spyder chassis (frame) shown is an Elan +2 chassis, I had one just like it but in grey.

It weighed a lot more than the original Lotus chassis but was very strong, useful when somebody pulled out in front of me and I punted them in the back!

I was only doing 30mph officer honest!

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