Repair for a hole in the wheel well liner - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
 
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Old 11-14-2006, 08:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Repair for a hole in the wheel well liner

Well MyElise gave me a great idea that I thought I would share.

I recently tracked my Elise at Lime Rock and burned a hole in my drivers side front wheel well liner. MyElise mentioned that he riveted some HVAC metal to the wheel liner and hasn't had a problem since. So here is a simple pictorial of how to repair the wheel well hole:

First I turned the steering wheel all the way to the left so that I could get access to the liner. I unscrewed the two plastic screws by the oil cooler and then unscrewed the Philips screw on the top of the liner. Then it was easy to just pop the wheel well liner right out without having to remove the wheel nor lift the car up. This is a picture of the wear on the liner.
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Old 11-14-2006, 08:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Then I drilled out the rivets holding the retaining clip on the top of the liner.
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Old 11-14-2006, 08:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I had some Aluminum flash hanging around so I cut it to size and then riveted the aluminum to the liner such that it would be between the clam and the liner.
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Old 11-14-2006, 08:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Then I replaced the wheel liner back into the car with the two plastic screws/anchors and the Philips screw on the top.

Job was finished.

Now I have piece of mind that the wheel will not cause any possible damage to the clam, exposed wires because of the hole. Also if the wheel continues to contact the liner, the aluminum backing should hold up fine protecting the clam.
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Old 11-14-2006, 09:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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What tires are you using? The stock tires should not be hitting the wheel well liner.
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Old 11-14-2006, 09:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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my stk LSS tires/wheels do
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Old 11-14-2006, 09:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnr
What tires are you using? The stock tires should not be hitting the wheel well liner.
A048's on the track and the AD07's on the street. I also have the Nitron single adjustable shocks. Many who have tracked the car have worn holes in the liners .
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Old 11-14-2006, 10:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I've worn a small hole (that I've just taped over with racing tape) in that same spot on the passenger side liner when the folks at Criswell forgot to replace the two liner screws liner near the oil cooler. That allowed the liner to fall slightly in, toward the rear of the car, which allowed contact with the tire.

Since replacing those screws (Criswell found a couple to use at my request), I've had no more contact, and I do a fair number of track days.

Are you sure everything's fully screwed down in its proper place? Of course, the liners are fairly flexible, and the pop-screws don't seem that precise. I'd certainly believe that normal variation allows some to touch, while other do not.

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Old 11-15-2006, 06:03 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Scotty, be careful. If the tires do continue to rub, and they most certainly will, they may eventually snag on the liner. I've lost two (liners) that way. I'd hate to see you shred a tire on the aluminum; also, I'd be concerned about how the metal changes the dynamic of the way the liner eventually goes away. Could create an unintended missile inside the clam.

Sorry, not trying to be the voice of doom here. Kudos on your ingenuity.
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Old 11-15-2006, 06:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Serebo1
Scotty, be careful. If the tires do continue to rub, and they most certainly will, they may eventually snag on the liner. I've lost two (liners) that way. I'd hate to see you shred a tire on the aluminum; also, I'd be concerned about how the metal changes the dynamic of the way the liner eventually goes away. Could create an unintended missile inside the clam.

Sorry, not trying to be the voice of doom here. Kudos on your ingenuity.

I'll keep an eye on it, but those are definitely things to think about.
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Old 11-15-2006, 06:58 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottyb
A048's on the track and the AD07's on the street. I also have the Nitron single adjustable shocks. Many who have tracked the car have worn holes in the liners .
When you took out your fender liner, did you see where the HID ballasts were placed? Those could be pushing the liner out into the tire. Just a thought.
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Old 11-15-2006, 07:46 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottyb
Well MyElise gave me a great idea that I thought I would share.

I recently tracked my Elise at Lime Rock and burned a hole in my drivers side front wheel well liner. MyElise mentioned that he riveted some HVAC metal to the wheel liner and hasn't had a problem since. So here is a simple pictorial of how to repair the wheel well hole:

First I turned the steering wheel all the way to the left so that I could get access to the liner. I unscrewed the two plastic screws by the oil cooler and then unscrewed the Philips screw on the top of the liner. Then it was easy to just pop the wheel well liner right out without having to remove the wheel nor lift the car up. This is a picture of the wear on the liner.
Nice!!! I like that alot... I am going to have to do that. Thanks for posting Scotty

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Old 11-15-2006, 11:55 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekological
When you took out your fender liner, did you see where the HID ballasts were placed? Those could be pushing the liner out into the tire. Just a thought.
No issue with the ballasts. They are mounted in a bracket away from the liner. I guess a different guy did the install on my car than PChops. I still have the factory Harness as well.
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Old 11-15-2006, 12:07 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnr
What tires are you using? The stock tires should not be hitting the wheel well liner.
I just took a look. Bone stock exige with about 2500 miles. Both sides look similar, the left side is a tad worse I think due to the fact that all track days so far have been clockwise.
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Old 11-15-2006, 05:26 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Yeah, I wore a fist sized hole in my left front and the hot tire grabbed the exposed HID ballast and wires, pulled them out the hole, and made a copper bird's nest out of them.

I found some black plastic that came from some large washing tray they sell at home depot. I cut out a piece and used a weller soldering gun. I welded it in the hole. I set it back in further so the tire wouldn't do it again. The balast and rewiring was a b!tch. No diagram. The patch came out rather nice. I had bought a new fender liner but didn't need it.
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Old 11-16-2006, 04:43 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZJChaser
I just took a look. Bone stock exige with about 2500 miles. Both sides look similar, the left side is a tad worse I think due to the fact that all track days so far have been clockwise.
Don't worry -- a few more miles and you have a nice hole.
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Old 07-14-2007, 07:52 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I had this one side where the metal screw had backed out about a half inch, allowing the liner to sag at speed. I patched using 2 layers of Gorilla Tape on both sides of the liner.

If you end up using plastic, make sure it is of a type that can handle the heat of being near the oil coolers.

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