Help! Loose Screw Rolling Around Under Floorboard - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-14-2012, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
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Help! Loose Screw Rolling Around Under Floorboard

Hello All,

I was hoping someone could help me out ... I have a loose screw that is rolling around from what sounds like under the passenger footwell. I can here it every time I accelerate, brake and turn ... so it's very annoying. It may be in the sill plate area as well ... but I'm pretty sure it's the footwell. Anyone know how I would get access to that area as I've looked around and can't seem to find anything. Thanks in advance!

Cheers,
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post #2 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-14-2012, 09:14 AM
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Try the doors.
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post #3 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-14-2012, 09:24 AM
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while grounding a horn wire to the tub, I dropped an oversized sheet metal screw in the fuse box vacinity. Unfortunately it was stainless and trying to get it with a magnet only made it fall into the great beyond under the AC unit. It sounded exactly like it was in the footwell, sliding whenever cornering quickly. Never heard it on accel and decel. Eventually it stuck itself and I can no longer hear it. Hope yours does the same. Did you have any work done (or do any yourself) in the area under either front cover recently? From what I could see, my screw isn't recoverable without removing the clam.

BTW, though I probably should have known before from studying the ally frame tub photos so much, but when I was trying to recover mine, I realized that the only thing under the floorboard is road. It's a single layer with no void between interior and exterior. At least that's what I could observe.

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post #4 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-14-2012, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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Doubt it would be the doors as the screw rolls quite far and sounds like its on a smooth piece of aluminium. I'm quite certain it's under the floor board but the question is how to get to it!

Cheers,
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post #5 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-14-2012, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Karl,

I'm pretty certain it is in the car and around the passenger seat area ... I haven't done any work up by the front fuse box so I don't think it's coming from there. What I'm thinking is that it's on the raised part of the floor where the seats mount to .... the part with the grated aluminium. Anyone know how to access that part?

Cheers,
Zoomby_U

Quote:
Originally Posted by karlInSanDiego View Post
while grounding a horn wire to the tub, I dropped an oversized sheet metal screw in the fuse box vacinity. Unfortunately it was stainless and trying to get it with a magnet only made it fall into the great beyond under the AC unit. It sounded exactly like it was in the footwell, sliding whenever cornering quickly. Never heard it on accel and decel. Eventually it stuck itself and I can no longer hear it. Hope yours does the same. Did you have any work done (or do any yourself) in the area under either front cover recently? From what I could see, my screw isn't recoverable without removing the clam.

BTW, though I probably should have known before from studying the ally frame tub photos so much, but when I was trying to recover mine, I realized that the only thing under the floorboard is road. It's a single layer with no void between interior and exterior. At least that's what I could observe.
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post #6 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-14-2012, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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In taking a look at the chassis pictures ... it seems that the seat panel in question is part of the tub. However I assume there is some hollow space below that would allow something to roll around. Question is ... can you get to the space underneath somehow? Or the other option is it could be in the door sill (blue arrow) ... anyone know if you can get access to that area?

Cheers,
Zoomby_U
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post #7 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-15-2012, 05:22 PM
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I have this exact same problem. It rolls around on excel and decel.... it's irritating.

Can feel anything under the seats and need to get under the aluminum that you have already identified.

HELP!

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post #8 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-15-2012, 08:39 PM
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Tilt the car a shown in the picture and it will Zoomby the Exige side vents behind the front wheels...Thanks Zoomby for a great pic!!


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post #9 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-19-2012, 11:27 AM
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This probably won't work but just throwing it out there. I had a bolt fall once in a different car and I was able to use a very strong magnet from the underside. It adhered to the bolt and I could hear the bolt as I dragged the magnet and rolled the bolt to a location where I was able to retrieve it. The magnet I used was one of the stud finder magnets from amazon seen here

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Amazon.com: CH Hanson 03040 Magnetic Stud Finder: Home Improvement Amazon.com: CH Hanson 03040 Magnetic Stud Finder: Home Improvement
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post #10 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-23-2012, 07:15 AM
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Maybe I'm missing something but if those raised areas are sealed, how would a screw get in there?
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post #11 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-24-2012, 08:40 AM
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I have the same issue. On acceleration and deceleration I hear what sounds like a small rock, rolling and bouncing underneath the driver's seat. I'm guessing it's a rock, or at least something non metallic.

I haven't been able to find a way to access the area where the sound is coming from. There must be a cavity between the seat pan and the undercarriage that isn't perfectly sealed.
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post #12 of 66 (permalink) Old 04-27-2012, 07:52 AM
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I have the same issue, some small screw that slides around on aluminum with most side to side movement. I suspected it was in that end of seat aluminum area, and have ruled out the doors (vigorous shaking of the open door, no sounds). Another area to consider would be the dash, there are long tracts of aluminum where a screw or remnants of a ziptie (or airbag breakaway plastic rivet thing) can slide around and make a surprising amount of noise. The acoustics of the interior can make it sound like it is coming from the floor when it is the dash.
I had 2 of the breakaways sliding around which sounded like bolt sized objects when they moved. Still have a pebble or something in the foot area I think.

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post #13 of 66 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 10:43 AM
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Found A Rolling Object

Quote:
Originally Posted by Batoutahell View Post
I have the same issue. On acceleration and deceleration I hear what sounds like a small rock, rolling and bouncing underneath the driver's seat. I'm guessing it's a rock, or at least something non metallic.

I haven't been able to find a way to access the area where the sound is coming from. There must be a cavity between the seat pan and the undercarriage that isn't perfectly sealed.
I've had something very similar for about two months. Good news is that I've solved it!

In my case it sounded like something rolling from side to side. I would hear it on turns and my guess was that it was something behind the driver's seat. In my mind I imagined that it could have been a small part possibly made of rubber. I'd also sometimes hear it when I accelerated a bit faster than normal.

1) I checked under both seats - just a few small rocks that I cleared out.

2) I found a small candy on the aluminum tray to the right of the steering wheel. I was exctied by this find but it was not the problem.

3) I removed the undertray and found nothing.

4) With the undertray removed I looked inside the area behind the driver-side sill. There were just a few tiny stones.

5) With the undertray off I noticed the aluminum plate with all the 3-4 inch diameter holes in it. I couldn't get my fingers into any of the holes so I gave up inspecting that part.

6) After I put the undertray back on I noticed that I had not looked anywhere under the muffler in the area of the diffuser. So I slide a camera into the diffuser area and took a few pictures.

The areas I wanted to check next were:

- Inside the driver-side sill. I planned on removing either the driver-side sill cover, the air duct slats or the rear wheel-well liner.

- Inside the plastic housing that holds the rear speakers.

Before I started to rip apart more of the car I took the photos from 6) above and looked at them on my HiDef TV. I noticed that there was a fairly obvious stone present. It was on the passenger side of the diffuser.

Hear are some photos.

A) Looking into the bodywork on the driver's side. The area is right under the side air duct. Stones in there would eventually bounce out onto the undertray.

B) The same thing but with more detail shown.

C) The aluminum cover with the holes in it.

D) A stone in the diffuser.

After removing the stone in the diffuser my "rolling object" noise has disappeared. I think the sloping angle of the diffuser cover had kept this stone trapped there. Also the green bolt (in picture D) exists on each side of the diffuser. I think the stone was sliding between the two areas in which there are green bolts. If the stone had been a bit smaller it would have just disappeared through the gap onto the undertray.

Note that in my case the problem was in the diffuser area but sounded like it was either under the driver's seat or immediately behind it.

I am REALLY happy that this noise is gone. Drivnig the car is much more fun now.
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Last edited by David Craig; 11-27-2012 at 10:47 AM. Reason: spelling
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post #14 of 66 (permalink) Old 12-21-2012, 12:16 PM
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I am so disappointed. I did remove a stone from the diffuser and somehow at the same time my noise disappeared.

However after about 3 weeks of silence I hear the same noise again. I checked the diffuser panel again and didn't see anything new there.

Maybe it has nothing to do with the diffuser area of the car.

It sounds like a small ball rolling around when I accelerate or turn left or right. It sounds like it is behind the driver's seat.

I welcome all suggestions. A free beer to anyone who figures this out.

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post #15 of 66 (permalink) Old 12-21-2012, 01:17 PM
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David, that’s one of the balls from the slider mechanism probably. The solution is to replace the slider or pack it with some thick grease to trap the ball.

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post #16 of 66 (permalink) Old 12-21-2012, 01:44 PM
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I've always had something sliding side to side too. I used to think it was under the floor or seat, but now I'm pretty convinced it is inside the dash area. As a previous poster said, there are aluminum trays under the dash. A broken rivet top or clip is the likely culprit.
I'm too lazy or just don't care enough to rip apart my dash to get to this annoyance.


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post #17 of 66 (permalink) Old 12-21-2012, 01:45 PM
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dma550 - Based on what I hear I think you could be right. Thanks.

Just to make sure I understand...do I need to remove the driver's seat and then examine the two rails?

Does anyone have a nice photo of what I should look for?

2009 Saffron Elise
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Last edited by David Craig; 12-21-2012 at 01:47 PM. Reason: add a clarification
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post #18 of 66 (permalink) Old 12-21-2012, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raggedy1 View Post
I've always had something sliding side to side too. I used to think it was under the floor or seat, but now I'm pretty convinced it is inside the dash area. As a previous poster said, there are aluminum trays under the dash. A broken rivet top or clip is the likely culprit.
I'm too lazy or just don't care enough to rip apart my dash to get to this annoyance.

Thanks. In my case it sounds like something rolling around rather than sliding but you could be right.

I recently bought a tool that has an LCD screen and a little camera on a cable. I think I will try looking around under the dash.

By the way, this tool always seems like it should be useful but has never worked out in practice. It reminds me of the "cone of silence" from the Get Smart series of the 1960s.

2009 Saffron Elise
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post #19 of 66 (permalink) Old 12-25-2012, 12:21 PM
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I removed the driver's seat and added lots of thick grease. Unfortunately my noise persists.

It sounds like it is coming from just behind and to the left of the driver's seat.

I think I will open up the driver-side door. Perhaps something fell to the bottom of the door. I have noticed that the window rattles if it is in the half open position unlike the passenger window.

I'm also going to look around under the dash but the sound doesn't seem to be coming from there.

Perhaps it could be a cable in the engine area rattling around but this definitely sounds more like something rolling around.

2009 Saffron Elise
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post #20 of 66 (permalink) Old 12-25-2012, 01:59 PM
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FWIW, I had this same problem when I removed the block off panels in the foot well to increase flow of the AC. Unluckily some of the rivets I drilled out fell off and back behind the foot well. It sounds like you guys are talking about a different area, but I'm just say all this to empathize.
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