Kiss of the K-wall at Laguna 'no es' Seca: Need non-authorized chassis repair ideas - Page 5 - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #81 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by MaineLotus View Post
Completely agree. I understand Lotus's position of frame replacement - it's the safest route for them. I'd like to see a thread documenting a correctly repaired frame, no doubt it can be done.
I think the community will benefit immeasurably from having a spec written on frame repairs... It will certainly open up an entirely new market for anyone enterprising enough to do these repairs professionally.

I was also thinking about how we could take this a step further: For racing the biggest issue is that any front end contact tends to damage the steering/strut mounts, all of which are bonded to the frame and would require frame replacement. Obviously there are not many racing teams that can afford to replace a chassis, either in time or money every time the car gets bumped on the track... So the idea would be to engineer a bolt-up solution for the front end componentd of the vehicle: Once the front is damaged the first time, you basically cut away the old bonded sections up to a certain point and then bond/bolt/rivet in a new receiver section to which the new front end compinents mount on both sides. The idea is that once the receiver section is in then everything else can be unbolted and replaced...
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post #82 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 03:36 PM
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OT A Real sheetmetal man

This vaguely applies to the topic at hand; I just wanted to show what a skilled sheetmetal man can do. When reviewing this, keep in mind no sandpaper, bondo, etc was used to return this fillet to "like new" condition. A real craftsman, whose like is disappearing from the scene.

http://www.tinmantech.com/html/sl2_index.html
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post #83 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-10-2009, 06:23 PM
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Can someone recommend a good Chapman Biography? I know there are several out there.
I have this one which is great (was a birthday present some years ago - didn't realise the cost until I just looked it up )
Amazon.com: Colin Chapman, Lotus Engineering: Theories, Designs & Applications: Hugh Haskell: Books
I have also heard that this one is worth reading
Amazon.com: Colin Chapman Wayward Genius: Mike Lawrence: Books

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I think the community will benefit immeasurably from having a spec written on frame repairs... It will certainly open up an entirely new market for anyone enterprising enough to do these repairs professionally.
I have given this some thought - the problem is that although a solution could be engineered for, say, the top front wishbone mounting it would have limited application (how many are actually damaged in exactly that way?) but the development and certification cost would be high (I've just got my professional indemnity insurance quotes in ) resulting in an expensive "boxed" solution. While I agree it is doable as soon as labour costs and professional engineering costs are included a chassis swap sounds good
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post #84 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-11-2009, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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Red face

Holy cow, folks! I have been asleep at the wheel....It's been a very busy time at the office (new product launch -- Kaleidescape - Mini System) and I've been heads down. Please accept my apologies for not being more aware of these postings. I evidently missed the/a thread update notification.

In any case, it looks like IELISEI passed the Murray Chassis Trueness Assessment -- Based on what I know today, I will be pushing for a cash settlement and fixing 'er. ("We can rebuild her and make her better" and all that....)

Per the earlier posts, there is a "chassis" assessment that can be performed to determine if it is worth investing any more of time and energy into a wrecked Elise with front-end damage. Specifically, the "Murrary Chassis Trueness Assessment" involves a polished three foot (3') length of 3/8" steel rod. This rod is then run through the lower A-arm mounts to check the alignment of the two lower A-arm mount bores. Assuming that these bores are true, the damage to the upper-mounts can be addressed using the various field fixes described in this post.

Here's the photographic results of the Murray Chassis Trueness Assessment:

From Front


From Rear


Please accept my apologies for being AWOL. I will get through these posts and provide replies where appropriate. Thank you all for your continued interest and support. I have to tell you that I am so darn fired up that it looks like my baby's coming home! This has been a real shot in the arm -- and to think that I've got all this great reading to do here, too! What a day!

Best,

John

2005 Lotus Elise - Artic Silver/Black/LSS/LSD/TC/HT/TOUR/SS
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post #85 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-11-2009, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Having said that, I also agree that any repairs, approved or bodged, should be disclosed at sale. I would think that the original poster would have done that by starting this thread.
To be clear, I have and will continue to be forthright and open about this. From the thread-opening post:

"FWIW, I don't intend to obfuscate the history of this vehicle should I accept the check and buy another Elise. The VIN for the Elise described below is SCCPC11105HL35320. Again, I'd MUCH prefer to stick by this car and resurrect it for my personal use."

Should it ever be put up for sale, I will fully disclose the history of the vehicle. Hopefully, too, the buyer, being a clever fellow, will know all about it due to the persistent collective memory known as the Internet. Being intelligent, too, they will assess the situation, ask lots of questions and if they feel good about what they're getting into and having done my level-best to give them as much information as I had and to inform them of the decisions I made, the car may trade owners.

Best,

John

2005 Lotus Elise - Artic Silver/Black/LSS/LSD/TC/HT/TOUR/SS
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post #86 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-11-2009, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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Absolutely. Anybody who's built any of Vans RV aircraft would look at this thread an call us all wussies!
Uhmmm, yeah, that's sorta' my point (although I haven't built the tailwheel RV-8....yet.)

I'm a private pilot (SEL Instrument Aircraft) and while I don't have 1,000s of hours, I owned a 206 for about eight years prior to selling in June of 2008. It was a '75 U206F and I did a fair amount of bush flying in Mexico, Idaho, etc. I flew as much IFR as I could get in Sunny Northern California -- it was the corporate bus for me so I was flying every week into the Bay Area, etc. As part of my hands-on ownership, I took a semester's worth of classes towards an A&P certificate, and I was personally involved with every Annual and an extensive panel renovation, etc.

I look at the Elise and I think about the standards that apply to aircraft repair and the inherent risks of flight and such and I'm thinking that these two things aren't even in the same universe of possibly bad outcomes. I guess I'm somewhat bemused, but circumspect and respectful, by some of the more cautious sentiments and concerns about attempting a repair.

I then think on some of the crazy stories from the Idaho wilderness about guys snapping half a wing off and strapping/taping plywood to what's left and flying out, etc.

When I think about "How's this thing going to kill me?", the last thing that comes to mind (should I proceed...) is that the repair is going to fail. I'm more likely to get steam rolled by a dairy trunker in San Joaquin County.

Of course, I am a rational actor and I definitely don't have a death wish (But like many of us, I am sure, it is fun to push it....just a bit!)

John

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post #87 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-11-2009, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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This is an elise we are talking about... not the space shuttle... the repair process will work just fine... In a couple of years after the first few elise chassis have been repaired this way are demonstrated to be safe this is going to be no big deal...
rob13572468 -- reading these in order (and perhaps replying to them somewhat inefficiently!) -- Yeah, that's where my head is at and the thrust of my reply above. While there's space age polymers and materials, I don't think we're talking a NASA-like mission to get something done that's safe and sensible.

I will definitely document what I do and why and I hope to encourage some of the others that have contacted me privately with really awe-inspiring stuff to do the same.

Best,

John

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post #88 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-12-2009, 08:48 AM
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I will definitely document what I do
That's great, looking forward to seeing the repair process. Good luck, I'm sure it'll turn out great. You've asked others for information and that's a perfect start!

My car is modified.
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post #89 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-12-2009, 11:19 AM
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I must say you guys seem like you know what you are doing and "may" be able to repair some types of damage to an Elise chassis.


My basic problem is two fold.

First a quote from Sir Sterling Moss works well here.

Quote:
There are two things no man will admit he can't do well - drive and make love.
I would add a third thing "repair a car"

I am worried about the guy that thinks he knows what he is doing taking one of these repairs on. I am sure he will not have the experience of the posters in this thread but I think he will believe that he has the skills and the knowhow. If you search for an orange turbo Elise in Miami you should find some pictures of an interesting repair

Second to do it properly is uneconomical and I would think that is part of the reason that Lotus says a chassis can not be repaired. When they stop making the chassis we may get some guidance.



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post #90 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-12-2009, 11:31 AM
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Will you go back with the OEM crash structure (if we can really call it that) or make something different?

Glad you're getting your car back!

Phil


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post #91 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-12-2009, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Patricko-

I agree with the "one man's adequate...." thinking. I don't intend to screw around with the repair. I don't want to diminish what it's going to take, but in the scheme of things, my personal view is this is not a big deal if it's approached methodically and in a well-researched and workmanlike manner. I respect that others have different tolerances/points-of-view, etc.

TurboPhil -- I am *ABSOLUTELY* going with the factory crash structure. The only things that won't be "by the book" are the fabrications needed to correct the frame's upper A-arm mount points. I'll do the trick S111 steering rack and radiator and such and may do one of the CF clams from revsport.

Best,

John

2005 Lotus Elise - Artic Silver/Black/LSS/LSD/TC/HT/TOUR/SS
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post #92 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-23-2009, 09:43 PM
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It looks doable to me.Section BQ of the Lotus manual details how to rebond the two large nonvibrational members (front crash structure and windshield frame) and if you use new parts rather than straightening (thereby fatigueing), they should not crack. Isn't upper shock bracket steel? Which should make fab simpler. The extra attention it will get under race conditions should allow one to ID a problem before it is serious.
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post #93 of 116 (permalink) Old 12-07-2009, 11:03 PM
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Same endeavour

I am in Quebec ( Canada) and the winter is long and cold here. So with a friend who's an aeronautical engineer an other one with whom I won the provincial Rally Championship in 2006 and 2008 we might be following your steps in similar repair. Professionaly I am more into biomechanics then structural engineering but the hip replacement I instal need to be working for more then 25 years surpporting at least 1.5 billion load cycle a year.

That said (sorry for my english) we might be tempted by this winter project. Following the exact same philosophy we would like to give this car a 2 chance. Being totaled for such a lame impact is just to disapointing.

This '06 Elise, track pack needs to hit the tarmak next spring, or maybe the other one.....

DAMAGES:, usual front clam, rad shroud, left oil rad and one turn signal. ( forgot: windshield)
To the frame: basicaly front lower control arm did'nt bulge (still within alignement specs) but extruded beam torn around it by DIRECT impact on it's inferior margin.
I did'nt buy the car yet but you kind of sent me into War mode on this one.
Will be following you post with great interest
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post #94 of 116 (permalink) Old 12-07-2009, 11:23 PM
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Sorry photos didn't follow

The was Totaled in British-Colombia and for sale in Quebec for 18,000$ CDN
We would like to go Epoxy and rivets, no welds.

By the way, anyone knows who's that was ? (Totaled in september in BC)
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post #95 of 116 (permalink) Old 12-08-2009, 09:24 AM
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All I see is about 10,000 cans of Molsen


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post #96 of 116 (permalink) Old 12-15-2009, 11:19 PM
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it looks like alot of work to get the car back together but the damae to the mount doesnt look like it cannot be repaired. The section of aluminum that sheared will need to be removed. Then you can get a piece of aluminum alloy plate (2xxx or 6xxx) that will mate against the undamaged sections immediately superior and to the right to the fracture. I would recommend that you fasten with both adhesive and bolts since the stresses on that particular joint will tend to try to push the plate off of its backing...
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post #97 of 116 (permalink) Old 12-22-2009, 07:24 PM
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Thanks for your support on the project rob1357.. I certainly prefer your way of seeing things than Particko's...

Since the car was still within alignement specs i suppose the Murray Chassis Trueness test wil turn out as clean as IELISEI. Just decided on buying the car and getting more into thinking out the repair now.
This tread has really been the inspiration for this acquisition and I will certainely keep you posted with it's evolution.
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post #98 of 116 (permalink) Old 12-23-2009, 05:20 AM
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Aluminum repairs can be done, just find the right shop. I recently installed a used transmission into my car. The tranny had the rear female motor mount bolt holes broken off and threads exposed. A shop specializing in aluminum repair/brazing recreated the mount holes and even used steel inserts to strengthen the location. Worked great and I'm daily driving my baby again. But the key is to find the right shop.

Jer
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post #99 of 116 (permalink) Old 12-23-2009, 12:05 PM
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I noticed in this picture of the interior of the Type 124 Endurance Race Car that there is a section of the aluminum tub that has essentially been "repaired." I realize that this was done at the time of manufacture, but it appears that a section of the tub has been removed and a new section has been glued and riveted in its place. It seems to support the theory that repairs are possible if done properly. I know that the research has been done on potential adhesives by a member of this forum and that he used a different adhesive than Lotus that had similar (actually stronger) bonding properties but did not require heated curing.


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post #100 of 116 (permalink) Old 12-27-2009, 08:06 AM
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Wow,
after reading this thread I am ready to sell my Lotus. it is ridicules that this amount of front end damage leads to a totaled car. $33K is outrageous and makes the Lotus completely impractical as a track car.
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