Anyone installed the '07+ hardtop bracket? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-23-2009, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Anyone installed the '07+ hardtop bracket?

I purchased a hardtop and have the dreaded bulge along the rear center. I see that Lotus sells the bracket as a retrofit for '05-'06 tops to combat this. I was wondering if anyone has installed this kit on their top? The nearest dealer is 5+ hours away and I'm a DIY kind of guy anyhow. I am curious about how the nuts are fixed into the top once the holes are drilled. Epoxy? Fibergass & resin?

Anyone with experience please give an idea of what to expect.

JP
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post #2 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-26-2009, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Ordered the bracket. Any advice before I wing it?
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post #3 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-26-2009, 05:20 PM
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I hope you're willing to post your install results as I have the same issue with my hardtop. Sorry I can't be of any help...

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post #4 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-27-2009, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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I hope you're willing to post your install results as I have the same issue with my hardtop. Sorry I can't be of any help...

Dave
Definitely. I dont mind being the guinea pig as long as I dont mess it up!
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post #5 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-27-2009, 04:31 PM
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I'd be interested to see pics of the install. I'd buy it and install it but I heard that dealers use a jig from Lotus to install the threaded inserts in the correct location into the roof. I'm sure it could be winged though.
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post #6 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-29-2009, 11:02 AM
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I had this done under warranty at the dealership. I'll try to take some pictures and post them. I was thinking that the mounting bolts screw into tapped holes, not into nuts. I'll try to clarify this tonight.

The bracket really eliminates the "bulge" problem. Cabin noise seems to be reduced as well.

Ben
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post #7 of 46 (permalink) Old 07-15-2009, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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Got the hardtop bracket and hardware yesterday. (see pics) It uses big a$$ wellnuts to lock into the top. Surprising.

I need some help from you guys who already have the bracket installed. Can someone take a few good closeup shots of their tops mounting holes? Also, it is very hard to gauge where the holes should be drilled. If someone could take a measurement or two from an edge to the centerline of the holes in the top I (and future DIY hardtop bracket installers) would be very grateful.

Thanks a bunch,
Jonathan
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post #8 of 46 (permalink) Old 07-15-2009, 04:45 PM
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Drive it without one, and you will feel the difference in vibrations and noise.
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post #9 of 46 (permalink) Old 12-12-2009, 10:07 AM
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bracket install

has anyone actually completed the install yet?

I just received the bracket kit and will install it sometime over the winter.

The install looks as simple as putting the HT on, centering the bracket, marking and drilling the holes for the rawl nuts. Biggest potential risk appears to be drilling too far.

any other experiences? thanks, w
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post #10 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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I've still not done this. I'm not impressed with the wellnut solution. I'm thinking about a better way.
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post #11 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-06-2010, 11:13 PM
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I had LPL install mine instead of trying it myself. I did not want to risk damaging the fiberglass top or getting it wrong. They had it done pretty quickly and it does make a big difference.
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post #12 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-08-2010, 01:47 AM Thread Starter
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Murix,

If you get a minute could you snap a few quick pics of the area where they drilled the holes? And possibly a measurment from an edge to the centerline of the hole(s)?

I'd totally appreciate it.
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post #13 of 46 (permalink) Old 04-05-2010, 10:08 AM Thread Starter
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Great Success!

Well, I can finally close the book on this project. Here's what I did.

Pulled back the liner to expose the fiberglass. With the top on I eyeballed the approximate location where the holes should go and put some painters tape on that area. Put the bolts in the bracket and dipped them in paint. Held the bracket where I thought it should go and pushed it into the top. The painted bolts left two marks where I needed to drill the holes. Drilled some pilot holes and verified that the spacing was good. Drilling the top was very nerveracking as it was at an angle somewhat and was tough to gauge the depth. To obtain the depth required for the wellnuts i had to keep drilling deeper and deeper and was quickly becoming nervous about drilling through to the other side. Just when I was about to stop, the drill punched through. I pulled the drill out and saw that i had punched through another layer of fiberglass, but not the outer one. This now gave me enough room to insert the wellnut completely. I used 3M adhesive to re-affix the liner. I glued the flange of the wellnut to the top to give the bolts some bite. Let it dry, threw the bracket up there, tightened her down.

I'm very happy with the results. It drew the bulge down nicely. Wind noise is gone.

I had to adjust the travel stops on the windows since the soft top seals are higher than the hard top seals. (on mine at least)

Task Complete.
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post #14 of 46 (permalink) Old 04-05-2010, 10:35 AM
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Cool. Would you be kind enough to post some pictures of the completed install since no one else has so far?
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post #15 of 46 (permalink) Old 07-30-2010, 08:32 PM
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Wellnuts are not the best way to do this... the proper way to do it is to use nutserts to permanently install two threaded inserts into the roof. If you are in the Milwaukee / Chicago area, I'd be happy to help.

A nutsert works sort of like a rivet, but is hollow and threaded. They are cheap, just need the proper tool to install them.


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Last edited by Thomasio; 07-30-2010 at 08:38 PM.
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post #16 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-01-2010, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Wellnuts are not the best way to do this... the proper way to do it is to use nutserts to permanently install two threaded inserts into the roof. If you are in the Milwaukee / Chicago area, I'd be happy to help.

A nutsert works sort of like a rivet, but is hollow and threaded. They are cheap, just need the proper tool to install them.

I used nutserts in mounting my battery bracket. Didnt like them personally. The wellnuts came with the Lotus kit. They have held up well, no slippage. Whatever works.
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post #17 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-02-2010, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpryor27 View Post
Well, I can finally close the book on this project. Here's what I did.

Pulled back the liner to expose the fiberglass. With the top on I eyeballed the approximate location where the holes should go and put some painters tape on that area. Put the bolts in the bracket and dipped them in paint. Held the bracket where I thought it should go and pushed it into the top. The painted bolts left two marks where I needed to drill the holes. Drilled some pilot holes and verified that the spacing was good. Drilling the top was very nerveracking as it was at an angle somewhat and was tough to gauge the depth. To obtain the depth required for the wellnuts i had to keep drilling deeper and deeper and was quickly becoming nervous about drilling through to the other side. Just when I was about to stop, the drill punched through. I pulled the drill out and saw that i had punched through another layer of fiberglass, but not the outer one. This now gave me enough room to insert the wellnut completely. I used 3M adhesive to re-affix the liner. I glued the flange of the wellnut to the top to give the bolts some bite. Let it dry, threw the bracket up there, tightened her down.

I'm very happy with the results. It drew the bulge down nicely. Wind noise is gone.

I had to adjust the travel stops on the windows since the soft top seals are higher than the hard top seals. (on mine at least)

Task Complete.
Congrats on the install.

I jumped a foot in the air reading about the drill punching through the fibreglass, and my heart nearly stopped. I'm sure you must have jumped ten feet!

I've now decided that If I ever add the bracket, I'll let the dealer do it (and I'm a DIY type of person too).
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post #18 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-22-2010, 03:20 PM
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Since it is raining here, I decided to install the clamp. I used wellnuts as this is what's available at the local hardware store.
Procedures were:
1. Locate centerlines:
Apply blue tape on the clamp edge that will be by the roll bar, head liner and roll bar.
With a pen, mark the centerline (this is lined up with the existing hole in the roll bar center the clamp and mark the location of the hole.
Locate centerline of the clamp and mark with the pencil.
2. Place the clamp and line up the centerline marks. Taped in place.
3. Followed jpryor27's method on marking the hole locations. For my hardtop and clamp, the hole centerlines were ~4" apart and ~3/4" from the edge, your's maybe different.
4. Drilled pilot hole. I wrapped a painters tape around the drill bit as I guide how deep to drill (picture below).
5. Using a sharp blade, removed headliner material around the pilot hole (about 5/8" diameter).
6. Drill the hole for the nut. Firmly hold the drill, slowly drill and do not be trigger happy. Not probably needed, I progressively used bigger bits until the final one (5/8" diameter).
7. Installed nut without glue to confirm fit.
8. Installed the bracket and tighten. No more bulge.

I did all the drilling while the hard top was installed.
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post #19 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-23-2010, 06:33 PM
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What is the difference between the #23 "clamp, rear retention" and the #23a "clamp kit, rear retention?"

I've been wanting to get the rear clamp for my '06 hard top. Besides aesthetics, I just have this feeling that it's going to quiet down the wind and some of the creaking sounds.
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post #20 of 46 (permalink) Old 08-23-2010, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Batoutahell View Post
What is the difference between the #23 "clamp, rear retention" and the #23a "clamp kit, rear retention?"

I've been wanting to get the rear clamp for my '06 hard top. Besides aesthetics, I just have this feeling that it's going to quiet down the wind and some of the creaking sounds.
The clamp also reduce the creaking sounds. You may consider wiping rhe rear seals with lubricant that has silicone to reduce the creaking sounds.
I would guess the kit has the nuts and bolts.

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