Uh oh! Wreck?! - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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Uh oh! Wreck?!

So I was driving on the freeway when all of a sudden I felt a huge bang, pulled off at the next gas station and did a quick check of the wheels and rods, found nothing.

Backed the car up on ramps when I got back home and saw this golfball sized hole right up through the aluminium frame sheet under the passenger seat.

No marks at all around the hole, the whole alu-structure is 100% flat and non-damaged except for this golfball sized hole.

Seems like a clear puncture since the aluminium is all bent out of shape ... kinda like when you take your screwdriver and punches it through a thin sheet of alu, just bigger scale.



IMO it could be fixed with some alu welding, but I've heard Lotus is pretty asine when it comes to structural damage like this.. What do you guys think?

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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 02:49 PM
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Shes a loss.
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 02:52 PM
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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And how do I explain this to my insurer? lol.. I mean, c'mon. This should be weldable.. might even buff right out with some decent polish IMO!


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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 03:09 PM
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This should be weldable...
I dunno what the sheet stock is there, but if I recall right the bulk of the chassis is 6063 which requires tempering in an oven after welding. That's why they glue the car together in the first place.
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 03:10 PM
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Ouch! Not good!
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by andykeck View Post
I dunno what the sheet stock is there, but if I recall right the bulk of the chassis is 6063 which requires tempering in an oven after welding. That's why they glue the car together in the first place.
"6063 is highly weldable, using tungsten inert gas welding. Typically, after welding, the properties near the weld are those of 6063-0, a loss of strength of up to 30%. The material can be re-heat-treated to restore a higher temper for the whole piece."

So if it's 6063 stick, it definitly ain't -0 stock as that's non-tempered. 30% loss of strength.. doesn't sound like a good deal.

I'll see if I can find a big enough oven.. hope the body and interior is heat resistant

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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 03:49 PM
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This appears to be in a non-structural area of the pan. As such it is not a write-off.

Off course I could be wrong... which won't be the 1st or last...

But, it appears to be repairable and the intregrity of the chassis is not affected.

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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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This appears to be in a non-structural area of the pan. As such it is not a write-off.

Off course I could be wrong... which won't be the 1st or last...

But, it appears to be repairable and the intregrity of the chassis is not affected.

Cheers,
Kiyoshi
It's located dead center below the passenger seat.

Oh why couldn't it hit 50cm further back.. :&

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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 04:07 PM
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IMO the only way to properly repair that damage is to replace the panel. The panel by itself is not available. You must purchase the entire chassis from the UK. If i remember correctly, it would take them ~6mo to manufacture and ship the piece. Then its something like 200 hours labor to tear down replace the chassis.

Sure you could cut out the damage and weld in a patch panel. But to me that just seems kinda half ass, mickey mouse.

Cash it in and get a new one!!!

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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khamai View Post
This appears to be in a non-structural area of the pan. As such it is not a write-off.

Off course I could be wrong... which won't be the 1st or last...

But, it appears to be repairable and the intregrity of the chassis is not affected.

Cheers,
Kiyoshi
I agree...One possible way to repair it would be to cut out the deformed section, and rivet & glue a replacement panel in place. It doesn't need to do much, just provide shear strength. I'd hate to see an Elise totaled for something like that.

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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by xceed View Post
And how do I explain this to my insurer? lol.. I mean, c'mon. This should be weldable.. might even buff right out with some decent polish IMO!

You call your insurer and tell them exactly what happened. It's pretty easy.

That said, if this was my car I really doubt that I would call my insurance company (future raised rates due to the claim, out of your car for a while, etc.). I'd remove the passenger seat, bang the edges down with a hammer and then cover the hole with bunch of aluminum duct tape, possibly on both sides.

But that's just me. You should do what feels right to you.

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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 04:21 PM
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It'll buff right out....

Seriously...it's sheet metal....

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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 04:26 PM
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I agree with Kiyoshi, MattG, and Plastique999 .

I remember reading a quote of Lotus' own specification for this type of damage, that basically said the non structural areas could have the damage cut out to prevent further tearing, and repaired. The new chassis was only specified in areas where a structural cross member was damaged, or the ability to align the suspension/wheels was lost.

The pan under the seats is not structural like the crossmembers.

Quoting Aedo from this thread
https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f3/w...56/index3.html
Quote:
Service Manual
The bonded and rivetted alloy chassis structure described above is considered a non-serviceable jig built unit to which no structural repairs are approved. Superficial, cosmetic, or non-structural localised damage may be repaired as necessary, but in the case of accident damage resulting in significant bending, tearing or distortion of the aluminium chassis such that the specified suspension geometry cannot be achieved by the standard range of suspension adjustment provided, the recommended repair is to renew the partial body assembly, which comprises the chassis and roll over bar together with jig bonded composite rear bulkhead, body sills, windscreen frame and crash structure, and the radiator feed and return pipes, heater pipes, battery cable and clutch pipe which are all routed within the sill panels.

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Last edited by Vulcan Grey; 03-09-2009 at 04:39 PM.
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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by xceed View Post
... but I've heard Lotus is pretty asine when it comes to structural damage like this..
I htink this is more in the US that they are overly cautious.

The only way to repair that to match cosmetically to the original is a chassis replacement (which is what US insurance companies will always want) - but as it is not structural cutting out the damage and bonding on a sheet of aluminium will resolve it (and you won't see it anyway ). The early S1 Elises had a corrosion problem which perforated the footwells under rubber mats and they were repaired - by Lotus - in this way.
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I agree with Kiyoshi, MattG, and Plastique999 .
Add me to that list
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post #16 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 05:38 PM
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It's a shear panel. It can be repaired fairly easily to perform its designed function. Please don't event think about welding it or using pop rivets.

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post #17 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 05:41 PM
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not cosmetic but aircraft are often fixed with a doubler and rivets.
get hold of an aircraft craftsman and explore the repair details.
nothing unusual about this type of repair. common in aircraft structural work.
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post #18 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 06:19 PM
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If that is a section of the monocoque, then that is a write off (I believe). If it is something just bolted to it, then you should be fine.
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post #19 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vulcan Grey View Post
I agree with Kiyoshi, MattG, and Plastique999 .

I remember reading a quote of Lotus' own specification for this type of damage, that basically said the non structural areas could have the damage cut out to prevent further tearing, and repaired. The new chassis was only specified in areas where a structural cross member was damaged, or the ability to align the suspension/wheels was lost.
This is 100% correct. I remember this very clearly from my own accident.

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post #20 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2009, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZAMMY1 View Post
not cosmetic but aircraft are often fixed with a doubler and rivets.
get hold of an aircraft craftsman and explore the repair details.
nothing unusual about this type of repair. common in aircraft structural work.
sam
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This can be repaired with a doubler and rivets just like they do to hole damage in a skin on an airplane. An aircraft mechanic can repair that damage in no time flat using diamond shaped doubler panels and rivets and it will be just as strong if not stronger than original when he is done. This is an accepted FAA approved repair method--my '47 Bonanza has a patch like this over a hole in the wing that was left behind in 1950 after a large broken stall warning switch was removed and a new style switch installed in the leading edge of the wing. This patch has never shown signs of failure and it is in a thin wing skin that is structural. The repair, however, will always look like a hole that has been patched. This will most likely affect the resale value of your car, so you are going to have to decide if that is acceptable to you. You also need to see what your insurance company says and what is acceptable to them. In the end, it will probably come down to what is acceptable to you if you or the insurance company decide on doing a repair.
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