Door beam compatibility

Body parts, seats, dash, headlining, windows and stuff!

Moderator: Board Moderators

Post Reply
User avatar
MetBlue
Senior Poster
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2018 21:00
Model: Elite 74 & Excel 92 (SEish))
Colour: Metalic Blue
Year: 1974
Location: Northampton

Door beam compatibility

Post by MetBlue »

Does anyone know if door beams from a 76 MY Elite are likely to fit ( or can be made to fit) a late model year Excel?
I'm sure part numbers will be different, but that doesn't necessarily mean I can't make them fit.
Particularly thinking there may be some difference at the door lock end. Handles changed to Toyota parts I know, but did the actual latch change also?

Tony
What goes together.... Must come apart.

Pete Boole
Senior Poster
Posts: 2180
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2006 21:28
Model: Elite
Colour: Monaco White
Year: 1982
Location: Nottingham

Re: Door beam compatibility

Post by Pete Boole »

I know the Excel has spacers between the beam and the latch but I think they are fundamentally the same. I'm sure what small differences there may be can be overcome. The Excel doors are soooo much better than the Elite doors!

Pete

User avatar
Hawaiis0
Senior Poster
Posts: 3071
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 18:39
Location: West Oxfordshire

Re: Door beam compatibility

Post by Hawaiis0 »

The latches at the beam end, are of triumph ilk IIRC.
Umm! What to do next?

Johnwindwood
Senior Poster
Posts: 434
Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2017 14:34
Model: 1984 Excel
Colour: White
Year: 1984
Location: walsall

Re: Door beam compatibility

Post by Johnwindwood »

Hawaiis0 wrote:
Thu Jun 18, 2020 16:46
The latches at the beam end, are of triumph ilk IIRC.
Modified Triumph Dolomite rear door latches.
Kind regards

John

John Windwood

1984 Lotus Excel (1985 MY wide body)
1952 Austin Sheerline A125 Harold Radford Shooting Brake
1949 Austin Sheerline saloon (Parts car)
1997 BMW Z3 1.9
1998 BMW E39 540i

User avatar
MetBlue
Senior Poster
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2018 21:00
Model: Elite 74 & Excel 92 (SEish))
Colour: Metalic Blue
Year: 1974
Location: Northampton

Re: Door beam compatibility

Post by MetBlue »

Thanks guys. Enough encouragement there to cut the partially corroded flat sheet off the beam I have and replace with new, then get powder coated.
I'll plug up the opening at the front at the same time as my thinking is this allows salty road spray in and is the route cause of these beams rotting from the inside out.
Worst case, if I find a reason it won't fit I'll have a good beam to sell on.
Tony
What goes together.... Must come apart.

bash
Senior Poster
Posts: 1250
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 15:34
Model: Se, V8
Colour: white
Year: 1986
Location: South yorks / north notts border
Contact:

Re: Door beam compatibility

Post by bash »

Or, you could fill the beam with expanding foam. Keeps the crap out and makes it composite structure. Did mine about 20 years ago and they are still good.
Bash
You are only young once but you can be juvenile all your life !!

User avatar
MetBlue
Senior Poster
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2018 21:00
Model: Elite 74 & Excel 92 (SEish))
Colour: Metalic Blue
Year: 1974
Location: Northampton

Re: Door beam compatibility

Post by MetBlue »

Good point. I think anything that stops spray entering the beam from the front open end will solve the beam life problem.

Obviously doesn't help the window frame rot problem. Am I right that it's usually the front A post leg that suffers most? If so, it's maybe the fact it's very difficult to seal between the outside of the beam and the inner door skin.

Tony
What goes together.... Must come apart.

User avatar
MetBlue
Senior Poster
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2018 21:00
Model: Elite 74 & Excel 92 (SEish))
Colour: Metalic Blue
Year: 1974
Location: Northampton

Re: Door beam compatibility

Post by MetBlue »

I've been able to compare the latch end details of the 78MY Elite beam with the 92MY Excel beam today.
The latches are quite different, so the hole pattern and cut out sizes are considerably different.
Image.
At this stage did not want to remove door skin, but took best measurements I could, so now need to draw up to scale and over lay onto the Elite beam to decide if practical.
Will report further in due course. Many of the tapped holes on the Excel beam are in line with the 1.6 mm steel plate of the beam, hence I can feel small recesses behind the threads for bolt clearance. If the 2 M6 holes are in the right place for the door skin, I might have a fighting chance.

BTW, the new steel plates I'll be getting welded into my Elite beams got delivered today, so if I decide this is a mod too far, may well have a fully reconditioned Elite beam up for grabs before too long.

Tony
What goes together.... Must come apart.

User avatar
MetBlue
Senior Poster
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2018 21:00
Model: Elite 74 & Excel 92 (SEish))
Colour: Metalic Blue
Year: 1974
Location: Northampton

Re: Door beam compatibility

Post by MetBlue »

For the record (just in case anyone looks at this thread in the future), below picture compares a 70's era door beam to the 80's / 90's Excel with the later latch type. It's a bit approximate, as I had to measure as best i could all hole positions, but it does give the visualisation of the differences.
Blue is the 70's Elite version, red is the later Excel. Holes "B" are the door shell mountings, "L" is the latch mountings
Image

Observations:
[*]The "B" holes are on a different pitch. I THINK B1 is in the same relative position ( all I know about the Excel B1 position is that it is 6" from B2, hence the indicated radius).
[*]L2 and L3 are too close together to move without first plugging the unused hole :(
[*]If I enlarge the opening to Excel size, I'll loose the Elite L4 hole for good.
[*]Excel hole L2 is on the same line as the beam, hence there is a relief in the Excel beam behind the hole. L4 was similar, but on my sketch it looks far enough away, so that is probably measuring error.

If you recall, I started this thread wanting to know if I could use a 70's beam on a late Excel.
My initial conclusion:
If these are ALL the changes needed, i can do it, but it's a lot of work. The second and third bullets above mean that if I later find another reason I can't use it on the Excel, I have a beam unsuitable for any car without going back to the welders :roll: :roll: (I still don't know if there are any other changes inside the beam, i.e. window frame mount positions or Door check strap which I do know to be different). Problem made worse because I won't know this until door is stripped out and when I start, I want to know I have the parts to complete. :roll: In summary, I need to see an Excel door beam off a car to decide my way forward.

Is there anyone out there within say 30 miles of Northampton with an Excel door in bits so i can come and compare ? If not, I'll be taking a trip to Lotusbits to see options.

My alternative is to finish the repairs of my Elite door beam and then sell it, using the funds to get an original Excel beam in some condition or other..
Anyone interested in a refurbished N/S Elite / Eclat door beam with good bushes and pin? (Flat sheet removed, shot blast inside and out, new sheet welded in and plan to get powder coated) drop me a PM. Happy to do the same refurb to an Offside door beam I already have if needed as well.

Tony
What goes together.... Must come apart.

User avatar
MetBlue
Senior Poster
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2018 21:00
Model: Elite 74 & Excel 92 (SEish))
Colour: Metalic Blue
Year: 1974
Location: Northampton

Re: Door beam compatibility

Post by MetBlue »

Time to conclude this thread with a definitive - NO, they are not interchangeable.
The end plate detail I commented above could be adapted with a bit of dedication and plugging up at least one of the holes.
But the real show stopper is the end plate for the door latch on the Elite beam has a "kick" at the bottom ( where the lowest M6 tapped hole for the door skin is). The beams are the same length at the point the door latch attached, but this kick would hold an Excel door skin approx 6 mm away from it's intended position. If it were machined down to be flush, there would be next to nothing of the plate left !!

Image

The Elite beam is the one on the right - and is now a fully refurbished and Powder coated spare if anyone is interested in it.

Fortunately I concluded some weeks ago a correct Excel replacement from LB was the way to go ( the one on the left in photo), so someday soon, a door beam replacement is on the cards.

Tony
What goes together.... Must come apart.

User avatar
Hawaiis0
Senior Poster
Posts: 3071
Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 18:39
Location: West Oxfordshire

Re: Door beam compatibility

Post by Hawaiis0 »

Tony - a chap on FB is looking for a drivers door beam for an elite, if you want to advertise it there let me know

Stu
Umm! What to do next?

User avatar
theelanman
Regular Poster
Posts: 138
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2010 14:15
Model: Elite, Evora, Elan, M100
Colour: Lagoon Blue
Location: High Peak

Re: Door beam compatibility

Post by theelanman »

could you not make an end plate with slotted holes?
if the slot were to cover the same hole but for the 2 locations.........and B1 being constant
then the rigidity of the fixings should still work due to the opposing angles of the slotted holes.....

just a thought

User avatar
MetBlue
Senior Poster
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2018 21:00
Model: Elite 74 & Excel 92 (SEish))
Colour: Metalic Blue
Year: 1974
Location: Northampton

Re: Door beam compatibility

Post by MetBlue »

Tony - a chap on FB is looking for a drivers door beam for an elite, if you want to advertise it there let me know
Stu : Drivers beam is solid, but the flat plate does have a reasonable amount of rust that has gone through in a few spots. I have a plate to do the same repair as for near side, but too much else on currently to be doing it.
I'll put both in the "for sale" area on the forums in due course, but maybe at a time I'm ready to do a repair to O/S if someone then needs it.
could you not make an end plate with slotted holes?
Interesting thought. I think we may be forgetting the fact the holes are tapped M6 though. A tapped slot... um... now there's a thought. I wonder what you could use that for????

Tony
What goes together.... Must come apart.

Post Reply