How to replace a sill member on a Elan +2S/130

During the summer of 2006 I replaced both sill members of my +2 with new galvanizes sill members bought from Spyder Cars. I also replaced the upper seatbelt mounting plates, as they were pretty rotten.

For the job I needed:
4 jack stands
New sills
New upper seat belt mounting plates
New soundproofing carpets
Glue for carpets
Brake fluid
Sharp knife
Angle Grinder

This is my how-to-do list, written at the time of doing the second sill member:

  1. Disconnect the battery
  2. Place car on 4 secure jack stands
  3. Put a jack with a wooden block under the floor, in the middle of the door.
      This is to prevent the middle of the car to sag down when removing the remains of the old sill
  4. Remove the two wheels on the side of which the sill is to be replaced
  5. Remove the seat
  6. Remove rear seat
  7. Unbolt the lower seatbelt mounting screw
  8. Remove side cover beside rear seat
      (loosen the 'Lotus bolt' in the top - to get to the nut, remove the airintake outside on the B-post)
  9. Remove rear/upper seatbelt mounting
  10. Remove carpets on floor
  11. Remove lower door gasket
  12. Remove soundproofing carpets from inner sill side
  13. Loosen trottle cable
      (it might be the right time to replace this item as well..)
  14. Remove brake/clutch hoses from masters, empty the reservoirs
  15. Loosen/remove pedal box
      This is a tricky job; I had to remove the air-intake box as well, to have enough room to remove the pedal box..
  16. Remove carpets in footwell
  17. Remove sound carpets
  18. It would also be wise to fit a new upper seatbelt fastening plates at this time
  19. Loosen 12 bolts from the 3 inner sill plates  (these may be anglegrinded off, as they most likely are rusted), one at the rear (beside rearseat), on at lower seatbelt mount, and one at front besides pedals)
  20. Remove lot of bolts at the bottom of the sill - most probarly you have to angle grind them out as well; lots of rust there...
  21. Now you can withdraw the bottom fibreglass 'skin' below the door.
  22. Slid the remains of the old sill out backwards. Be careful not to destroy the paint or fibreglass in the whhelarch.
  23. Clean the room where the sill has been; remove all tracks of rust and broken bolts.
  24. If neccessary, repair fibreglass along the sillchannel.
  25. Slid in the new sill from rear; be very careful about the wheelarch. It might be wise to wrap the rearmost 50cm of the new sill in a towel or something, to prevent damage to the wheelarch.
  26. Replace the 3 fastener plates inside the car towards the sill member with 4 bolts each. Make sure they are centered correct, to get to the seatbelt mounting bolt later on in the process.
  27. Tighten the 12 bolts when you are sure the sill is correctly mountet.
  28. Test that the door is opening and closing correct. If not, lift or lower the jackstands under the middel og the car.
  29. At the complete bottom of the sill, drill holes for the many small bolts to fasten the bottom of the 'sill lip'.
     These should be monted to the many small nuts inside the car, completely down to the floor.
  30. Refit soundproofing carpet
  31. Fit carpet
  32. Fit side cover beside rear seat
  33. Fit rear seat
  34. Refit the pedalbox, fit the brake and clutch hoses and trottle cable.
  35. Fit front seat
  36. Clean the dustcovers for the wheelarches. Remove any rust, if neccessary replace the dustcover with new items. Paint them with a rustproof painting, and remount them.
  37. Add body protection stuff to the dustcovers, and make sure it is waterproof around the covers. You may use silicone to get it waterproof.
  38. Add body protection stuff along the 'sill lip'and try to press as much body protection stuff as possible into the sil member from below - to prevent water coming in.
  39. Fit the wheels
  40. Once again, check that the door opens and closes correctly, with no conflict with the body.
  41. Bleed the brakes and clutch.
  42. Enjoy your car with a raised security level and hopefully better roadholding (the car is stiffer than with the old rusty sill membeer in situ)
I take no responsibility for the procedure as described above.
This is how I did it. I mighht not be the correct and acknowledged 'Lotus-way' to do it. But; it's how I did it.

The job took me about three hrs pr side.
Add waiting time for the fibreglassrepairs to harden -and the painting of the duscover to dry.


The car is put on jackstands, and I put an extra jack under the middle of the car to prevent the door sagging when the old sill was removed.

Blanking plates (dust cover) has been removed from wheelarch.

As you can see, this picture is taken after the old sill was removed; its the rusty thing laying on the floor in front of the car...

The old sill's nut and bolts have been loosened (well; actually they were angle grinded away as they were so rusted that a spanner wouldn't grip).

Europa in back will be next car to work on during the autumn.

The sill is on its way out, backwards.
Take care not to scratch the paint on the wheel arch - or even worse; damage the fiberglass

Note two of the three fastening holes for the sill (bottom), and the rear (upper) mounting place for the seat belt

This pictures is ment to show the two most foreward fastening plates for the new sill. The plates ar not in situ, but you can see where they should be fitted.
There migt be some work to do on the fiibreglass at this stage; clean the inside of the car, and put on new fibreglass i two or three layers.

And the job is nearly done.
New sill in situ (uppler left arrow)
All the bottom bolts has been drilled and screwed in place (right arrow)

Note extra jach under the middle of the car, to prevent the dor from sagging when the car was withouth either the old or the new sill (bottom arrow).

Remaining jobs;
Paint and fit the closing plates, and remount the wheels.