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Old 01-01-2013, 01:49 PM   #21 (permalink)
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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.
I looked around under the dash and took photos. I didn't see anything loose.

I shook the driver's door and didn't hear anything so I didn't take it apart.

Today I removed the diffuser panel. It was pretty straightforward. There are 18 x 8 mm and 2 x 13 mm bolts but it all went smoothly. I didn't see anything stuck in there.

I also looked at the two rear wheels and didn't see anything loose.

I had a brief look through the engine area for anything loose.

After putting it all back together the noise continues.

Next:
1) Open the centre console
2) Examine inside the air duct in front of the rear wheel (driver's side)
3) At the rear end of the centre console at floor level on the driver's side there is a little gap (half inch?). Maybe something got in there?

Any ideas welcome.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:40 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Driver Side Grille

Last weekend I removed the driver's side grille. That is the grille just in front of the rear wheel. It involved removing the rear wheel and wheel liner and then undoing two 10 mm bolts.

I found and removed a stone but that did not solve my problem.

In that area there is a gap that lets stones fall through. However I think really large stones would not fit and would end up bouncing around forever.

Picture 1 - Found a stone using my LED camera.
Picture 2 - With the wheel liner removed you can see the stone more clearly.
Picture 3 - With the grille removed the stone was easy to remove by hand. Notice the gap on the left front for stones to fall through.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:42 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I think I'll focus on the trunk next. I'll examine around the battery, under the carpet and inside the light housings.
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:49 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I pulled up the carpets in the trunk and removed the cover for the battery.

Everything was barren. I've attached a few pictures.

I'm at a loss. It really doesn't sound like it is coming from the door but maybe I should check that next?!

Has anyone ever had a "rolling" sound come from the engine bay?
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Old 01-11-2013, 01:16 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Do you think it could be coming from within the side sills.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:12 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Do you think it could be coming from within the side sills.
Michael
I have been listening closely to the sound and I am pretty sure of the general location.

It sounds like a small ball that rolls left and right on turns.

It sounds like it is at about floor level on the driver's side. It is between the rear of the seat and the rear wheel. I think that it may be within a foot of the driver's side of the car. I have been thinking that it could be the side sill or the side grille or maybe right under the driver-side rear speaker.

The distance travelled is probably less than a foot.

When it rolls the sound is quite noticeable. However every once in a while there is no sound on turns making me think it sometimes gets stuck.

I have not ruled out the side sills but I'd think that if it were in there I'd hear it roll forward and backwards rather than side-to-side.

Any chance that it could be some ball in the seat belt tensioner? Or would that never produce a rolling sound?
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:44 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Another vote for the seat slider - I had almost the exact same noise. I, too, spent hours looking for it with no avail.

While swapping out seats (#4...but that's another story), I had removed the slider. When I lifted it up...roll...click. Argh!

Getting grease worked into it is kind of a pain, but, for me, solved the annoying click.

If you worked grease into em, however, might not be of help on yours...but for others, it's worth trying before some of the harder to reach areas.

Cheers and hope you find it.

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Old 01-15-2013, 04:02 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Do you think it could be coming from within the side sills.
Michael
Mine were in the side sills. Qais was my Lotus mechanic at the time (what a cool guy) and he pinpointed the sound coming from the driver's side sill.

Not alot anyone could do about it.

Qais said "Turn up the radio."

So I did.

As they like to say around here "." They all do that sir.

The Lotus Elise is still the best sports car in the world. What's a few noises?
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Old 01-16-2013, 04:21 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Another vote for the seat slider - I had almost the exact same noise. I, too, spent hours looking for it with no avail.

While swapping out seats (#4...but that's another story), I had removed the slider. When I lifted it up...roll...click. Argh!

Getting grease worked into it is kind of a pain, but, for me, solved the annoying click.

If you worked grease into em, however, might not be of help on yours...but for others, it's worth trying before some of the harder to reach areas.

Cheers and hope you find it.

-Erik



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Thanks for the response. It is nice to know that I am not alone.

I had the driver's seat out recently and added lots of grease. It made the seat slide much easier and there is less creaking but it didn't solve the rolling problem.

Also wouldn't the seat only cause forward-and-backward rolling sounds? In my case it is definitely a side-to-side motion with a travel distance of a few inches, possibly as much as one foot.
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Old 01-16-2013, 04:29 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Mine were in the side sills. Qais was my Lotus mechanic at the time (what a cool guy) and he pinpointed the sound coming from the driver's side sill.

Not alot anyone could do about it.

Qais said "Turn up the radio."

So I did.

As they like to say around here "." They all do that sir.

The Lotus Elise is still the best sports car in the world. What's a few noises?
Thanks. My Dad always tells me that if you can laugh at a problem you probably don't know how serious it is.

It is true that the radio hides the sound. However my wife and I went on a trip together recently and she wanted the radio off. It was painful to listen to this rolling sound on every turn.

I think it is coming from the area at or behind the side grille therefore I am still hopeful that I can take something apart to find it.
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Old 01-16-2013, 04:30 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Thanks for the response. It is nice to know that I am not alone.

I had the driver's seat out recently and added lots of grease. It made the seat slide much easier and there is less creaking but it didn't solve the rolling problem.

Also wouldn't the seat only cause forward-and-backward rolling sounds? In my case it is definitely a side-to-side motion with a travel distance of a few inches, possibly as much as one foot.
Here is a picture.
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Old 01-16-2013, 04:42 AM   #32 (permalink)
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My latest thought is to remove the shear panel.

The shot below shows the body work directly under the side grille. The "wall" on the right side is the edge of the shear panel.

I think that there is a spot near the hose that could trap rocks, as shown by the arrow.

It is hard to tell but I also think that I see a rock on top of the shear panel, as shown by the circle. That might just be a bolt though.

Taking off the shear panel isn't a lot of fun though in winter.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:20 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Removed Shear Panel

It was about 6 Celcius on Saturday so I decided to remove the shear panel.

1) My plastic ramps with wood behind them so that they wouldn't slide.
2) The shear panel.
3) Not much under the shear panel, just the gas tank.
4) LED camera looking at the driver's side.
5) Inside the area behind the driver's seat.

I spent about 8 hours on Saturday removing the undertray and the shear panel and looking around. The shear panel had 18 or 19 bolts of various sizes. Sizes were 8 mm, 10 mm, 1/2 inch, and 17 mm. Probably the 1/2 inch size should have been the closest metric size but I didn't have a metric that fit.

I was disappointed to find out that there is not much under the shear panel.

I did manage to use my LED camera to probe around under the car.

I was able to see everything inside the driver rocker panel area. It looked like there was a bit of debirs but whatever was there would have eventually emptied out onto the undertray at some point. My "rolling object" has been around for about 4 months.

Picture 4 shows my LED camera looking inside the area or cavity behind the driver's seat. The metal on the right side of the picture is the aluminum directly behind the driver's seat. The red arrow shows two bolts that are at the far end of the cavity. That would be just next to the side grille of the car. I have circled something else that appeared only on the driver's side and not on the passenger side. Perhaps this is what has been rolling around?

Any thoughts on the circled object? Is it perhaps a clamp? Or maybe it is something that should be there and is secured in the floor and hence doesn't roll.

My next step is to see if I can slide a magnet in there.
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:43 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Did you try the gap between on top of the gas tank and the rear firewall?

I had one in there.

I also had one in the center console.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:10 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Did you try the gap between on top of the gas tank and the rear firewall?

I had one in there.
How do I check that? Do I need to pull off the shear panel again or is there another way?
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:07 PM   #36 (permalink)
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How do I check that? Do I need to pull off the shear panel again or is there another way?
Since you got the mini camera, then you may try to look though under the shear panel.

Last time I have to drop the tank to take it out.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:45 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Last time I have to drop the tank to take it out.
Made my day.
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:19 PM   #38 (permalink)
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After removing and then reinstalling the shear panel and the undertray I had an annoying vibration on the highway. It happened going over smallish bumps.

So I redid the undertray again, leaving the shear panel alone. Thank God that fixed it. It was actually a more irritating sound than the "rolling" sound I've been chasing.

Back on course, I tried out a magnetic probe tool. I removed the cupholder between the seats and raised up the centre console a bit.

The photos show the tool before using and during use. The area shown is the area behind the driver's seat.

I didn't retrieve anything metallic.

Next I'll try putting in a vacuum hose just in case there is something there and it is not metallic.
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:15 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Vacuum

I attached a 3/4 inch hose to our vacuum and tried vacuuming out the cavity behind the driver's seat. It didn't help. Perhaps there is nothing in there or perhaps the hose just didn't touch anything. I plan to inspect again with my LED camera.

I am a computer programmer. Whenever there is a bug in a program it is easy to solve if it is reproducible. This sound is reproducible too so I think I will eventually figure it out.

Thinking back, the sound seemed to appear for the first time after having a brake flush at the dealer. It sounds like a rolling or sliding object that is constrained in its movement to perhaps an inch or two.

Is there anything around the rear wheels that might cause that? I've ruled out the tires themselves because I switched from summer to winter tires and the sound persisted.

Also I have not completely ruled out the rails on the driver's seat. I did have them out and did grease them but maybe not enough.

One other hint. If I drive down the street at 10 mph and turn the steering wheel sharply left and right, I can hear the sound of something flipping back and forth with the sound definitely coming from behind me. I even have had two passengers agree that the sound was from the rear driver side.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:17 AM   #40 (permalink)
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My nightmate came back couple days ago.

Something big is rolling or vibrating behind the driver side (mine is RHD) on a large sheet of metal:
1. Sounds like irragular shape, not nuts, may be bolt.
2. Sounds like small screw driver that doesn't really roll, but vibrate.
3. Happens on low RPM start up.
4. Happens on tight fast cornering, but not all the time.
5. Happens on hard brake, but not all the time.
6. Never roll across to the left hand side of the car.

Will try to take off the undertray in next week. Hope is not behind the plastic firewall nor on the gas tank top again.
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