Restoration Impossible: Getting the Door Hinges to Work

Feb 9, 2017 update to the Lotus Elan project car

This nylon pivot forms the actual door hinge on a Lotus Elan. You are looking at the front, bottom of the left door, which has been lifted on its side. We cleaned out the threads and screwed in new door hinge nylon pivots.
it is hard to see in this picture, because the hinges are essentially blind and that nylon pivot sits in and indented place in the body. The bolt you see in the door is used to adjust the door position.

One of the things we determined early on is that before we could hang the left quarter panel, we would need to get the left door hung correctly so that we could accurately measure our door gap with the new quarter panel installed.

Lotus used an ingenious, light and simple door hinge design. Similar to a shoulder socket, they made nylon round ball sockets that threaded into a bracket bonded into the door. On the body itself, there was a rounded out metal area that this socket rested, allowing the door to pivot.

As our doors had long been off the car and the nylon pivots damaged, we sourced new ones from R.D. Enterprises for about $10 each.

We removed the old, damaged nylon pivots, cleaned the threads, and installed the new ones. We also cleaned up the threaded pipe-like devices that hold the pivots in place once adjusted.

From there we hung the left door and adjusted it with a 1/4-inch ratchet. With our door in place, we could now accurately hang our quarter panel.

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