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Lotus Europa Doors


The door hinges are another of the weak points of the Europa.  (I'll feel like talking about its strong points some day I'm sure. )   The hinge post and its adjustment mechanism hinted at above is completely retarded.  I won't bother describing how it fails to work, but it relies tightening inaccessible hex nuts against a small sandpaper washer, then subjecting that to the weight of the door.   The good news is that the mechanism, while not capable of firmly securing the door, will rust solid, securing itself in the door.  This sometimes requires the owner to cut the body in order to remove the door.

The PO made a positive change to 54/1871 and had bronze bushings made to fit the doors, using steel rods as hinge pins.  Simple.  The disadvantage is that  you can no longer adjust the doors.  The advantage is that they no longer adjust themselves.   I've yet to see a Europa with well fitted doors anyway.   In the end I had to cut one of mine to get a better fit as you'll see below.

Bushings.   The repair around the bobbin was a seperate issue, caused when I loaned the doors to a friend.  Mike (of Mike's 914s - a Porsche guy)  took one look at this arrangement and said "round peg in a square hole... typical Lotus".  

Here's classic DPO stuff.   One fastener missing, and a range of styles used to hold the door handle on.

The window tracks are interesting, and seem like a cobbled -up system made with parts from the hardware store.  They're probably just that, so in their way, they are kind of clever.  However, like many parts of the car, they are fragile and fiddly.  Mine of course, were broken.

Broken window trim.  Three of eight such joints were broken.

Disassembling the doors isn't difficult, but it does require patience.  first remove the interior door latch and rods, then the window operator.  That wiggles out of the speaker hole. Then,  having made some space to work,  drill out the pop rivets holding the window tracks to the inner door.

Remove the molding from the tracks.  See the sand?  It was everywhere.

Inside the tracks are either pop-rivets or fasteners.  Mine had three per frame for the operating window.  Remove them.

Gently insert a putty knife between the frame and the door to break the bond of the butyl adhesive. 

The square frame holding the operating window, and the other frame for the quarter glass will lift right out.  Having made it easier to work by removing the window frame, disconnect the handle, latch and lock cylinder from each other and remove them. 

Of course, my door was fractured along the seam between the inner and outer halves.  In fairness, this might have happened when the car attempted suicide.  Nothing epoxy can't fix.

I assume that reassembly is the reverse of the above.  ;-)