Armadillo vs Elise clam.... Arrrrggghhhh! - Page 2 - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
 
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:28 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Wrecked Em,

Did you end up going through insurance? Similar damage? Hom much $$$ and time to fix?
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:22 PM   #22 (permalink)
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That looks like a ridiculously easy fix! Any shop that has a decent fiberglass guy should be able to fix that.
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:47 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:00 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Roadkill, love the Arkansas Ozark roads....

To date I've hit three live rocky's, one opossum and scooped up two dead raccoons....end result is my splitter is 65% body filler. Next hit will be the end, guess it will be the armadillo your referring too!
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:29 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Wrecked Em,

Did you end up going through insurance? Similar damage? Hom much $$$ and time to fix?
Yes, I went through insurance. It took about a week to fix. The total was $2200. They removed the clam and painted the entire clam. I also had one turn signal replaced as the impact was hard enough to pop it out and the clip broke.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:24 AM   #26 (permalink)
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That "should" be a clam replacement. I know they're no longer replacing clams for small cracks, but you've got holes there my friend... not to say it might not be repairable though. Given how long it could take to get a replacement clam, i'd say you should put a front license plate on your car because it'l be much less noticeable until you can get it fixed...
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:31 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Thatll buff right out

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Old 11-08-2012, 10:34 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Well thanks to a wayward armadillo, I managed to totally mangle my front clam. Cracked all the way through the license plate mount and smashed in the front central grill. Fortunately, it's all cosmetic.

Now i'm torn what to do. Declare with insurance? I doubt they would allow full clam replacement and even if they would the clam is on backorder nationally. Then you have the whole paint match nightmare. I have CO which is a b*tch to match.

If I just do some fiberglass repair and repaint that area only, it probably won't be that noticable...especially if I run a aftermarket splitter.

In that case I could just pay out of pocket and avoid the insurance PITA and Carfax ding.

Just don't know... A full new clam with possible paint match issues and fitment problems VS a repaired clam with possible focal paint and obvious repair issues...

Dammit! Up until now the car has been flawless.

Any advice would be appreciated
If you go thru insurance, wouldnt that show up on carfax, which could create an issue or story when you go to sell it someday. Which for something small like this seems not worth it, just sayin....
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Old 11-10-2012, 04:45 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Well, It's certainly ugly. The impact not only caused the obvious cracks but essentially turned the lip of the "mouth" of the clam into a flimsy mess. The structure is all internally crushed held together by paint and starshield. The impact also deformed the forward aluminum access panel... bowing it upward by about 2".

Maybe I should consider going through insurance afterall??? I just figured they would want to pay the bare min as usual. I would end up having to fight them and get letters and estimates to prove the real cost of repairs done right... Only to ultimately end up cancelled. Insurance, it's a great racket. Pay for something it case you need it and then when you need it, your to afraid to use it.
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Old 11-10-2012, 04:57 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Well, It's certainly ugly. The impact not only caused the obvious cracks but essentially turned the lip of the "mouth" of the clam into a flimsy mess. The structure is all internally crushed held together by paint and starshield. The impact also deformed the forward aluminum access panel... bowing it upward by about 2".

Maybe I should consider going through insurance afterall??? I just figured they would want to pay the bare min as usual. I would end up having to fight them and get letters and estimates to prove the real cost of repairs done right... Only to ultimately end up cancelled. Insurance, it's a great racket. Pay for something it case you need it and then when you need it, your to afraid to use it.
I have State Farm on the Elise and had no issues with my repairs despite the cost.

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Old 11-17-2012, 10:34 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Went through the exact same issue in Texas

Feeling your pain - I did the exact same thing on my Elise a few years ago. I went to 2 high end body shops, each of which said I needed a whole new clam at $11,000-$13,000 for a little less damage than yours. Decided to pull the clam off myself (a 3 hour effort first time including going out to buy flat ratchet wrenches and replacement plastic plugs for inner fenders, instructions on the Sands Museum site). Nothing was damaged except my clam.

I then called around asking which shop did the best work on Corvettes - took my clam there in the back of a pickup and they fixed it beautifully for $500 (would have been much more if they had to pull it off). They reinforced the whole opening. Put in back on in 1.5 hours and was better than new.

The paint match shouldn't be that bad, the damage is quite low on quite a low car.
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Old 11-17-2012, 07:46 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Feeling your pain - I did the exact same thing on my Elise a few years ago. I went to 2 high end body shops, each of which said I needed a whole new clam at $11,000-$13,000 for a little less damage than yours. Decided to pull the clam off myself (a 3 hour effort first time including going out to buy flat ratchet wrenches and replacement plastic plugs for inner fenders, instructions on the Sands Museum site). Nothing was damaged except my clam.

I then called around asking which shop did the best work on Corvettes - took my clam there in the back of a pickup and they fixed it beautifully for $500 (would have been much more if they had to pull it off). They reinforced the whole opening. Put in back on in 1.5 hours and was better than new.

The paint match shouldn't be that bad, the damage is quite low on quite a low car.
This is exactly what I'm going to do if the time comes. Thank you Topgear.
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:58 AM   #33 (permalink)
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The $500 estimate was before the clam removal

Thinking about it again I went to the corvette specialist body shop and got the $500 estimate before I pulled the clam off, the estimator didn't know how to estimate clam removal so I said I would take it off. Surprisingly the best shop in my area was a Chevvy dealer in a small town 45 min away. I got the same recommendation from the Corvette forum and some track contacts.

Clam removal is very easy, a couple of hard to get at bolts in the top center will slow you down, hence the need for flat ratchet wrenches and a little patience.

PM me if you want to talk through it. Glad to help.
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:03 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Update...

I decided to pull the clam myself. All the local shops I got estimates from scared me with their complete lack of knowledge about the car. One shop had never seen starshield before??? Clear bras have been around for years!!!

Anywho...

The clam removal went well. I routed out all the crushed fiberglass and am currently wet epoxy glassing in the front clam. Once it's stable and looks good. I'll get a quality FG bodyshop to finish the job and paint.

I'm also using this as an upgrade opportunity to mount a mesh front grill.
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:49 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:11 PM   #36 (permalink)
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^what he said.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:06 PM   #37 (permalink)
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UPDATE...

So after some paint set backs the Lotus is back in action. All new epoxy chin. I kept the license mount as I plan on adding a full splitter later.

I did however shave the depth of the clam 'mouth' and replaced the ugly ass eggcrate with hexigon mesh. Turned out awesome.

For the OCD types... the subtle line you see in the paint is the edge of the OEM starshield. I need to custom make a center section still. The splitter plates have dust on them too.... She needs a good bath.
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Old 01-27-2013, 08:42 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Turned out better than new. Congrats and thank you for sharing.

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