Starting the Rebuild Process - 06 Elise - Page 5 - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #81 of 214 (permalink) Old 03-28-2018, 01:01 PM
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I don't know what the body shop used, but it's held up over 10 years.

Maybe ask a shop?

05 elise (BOE Rev300 supercharged, SSRs, shift tower mods, Multivex; HID hi/low beams); 05 Corolla XRS. Past '72 Elan Sprint (I restored), Lotus 7 w/X-flow, TT Supra, Bugeye Sprite, BMW 2002 & 2002tii, '65 GTO.

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post #82 of 214 (permalink) Old 03-28-2018, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Ls1Rx7 View Post
It is actually harder to do right than most people think. Fillers shrink over time which leaves a ghost outline.
Exactly, that seam must be ground back 2" on each side to prevent the line from coming back.
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post #83 of 214 (permalink) Old 03-28-2018, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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Exactly, that seam must be ground back 2" on each side to prevent the line from coming back.
Yeah thats outside my comfort zone for sure as this is the first time I'm going prep work.
I'm still having the pros do the fiberglass work the final prep and paint, but I'm knocking out the grunt work
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post #84 of 214 (permalink) Old 04-01-2018, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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Some big updates on the mechanical work, put in about 12-13 hours total this weekend. I'm committed to getting this done for spring.
Parts are finally starting to go on the car, but hit some roadblocks as usual.

I have a room next to the garage just for storing parts coming off, and ready to go on, it's getting full:




BWR self lubricating bushings installed up front and Penskes Installed up front. Front suspension is buttoned up as of yesterday.



Today I started in on the rear suspension and man I was tired, but started slow, and kept working through sun down:



First rear shocks removed (easiest swap I've ever done)



Then I replaced the bushings on the passenger side and was about to start reassembling the passenger rear, only to think about the flywheel job I'm going to have to do next, so I said while I'm in here might as well keep pulling it apart.
Pulled caliper, and unbolted the passenger side axle:



Parts that have come off the car next to parts ready to go on:



Sun goes down, now I'm just starting on the drivers side, but even still I'm able to pull it in about an hour:



Hit my goal for the weekend, and by combining the suspension install/bushing/flywheel job, I saved a lot of duplicate labor
How I left the car at the end of the night:




Now all I need to do is pretty much disconnect the cable shift linkage, pull the slave cylinder and unbolt the tranny/motor mounts. I'm at 1/3rd to half way through already. Hoping to finish it next weekend.
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post #85 of 214 (permalink) Old 04-01-2018, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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Forgot to add my one little snafu... I really need to adjust to working on such a delicate car.
I don't think this was there before and I think I did it with a small pry bar when I was trying to unbolt the rear upper control arm. I still think of control arms as pretty incredibly durable things but the below is a dent that I think is my work. I didn't notice it until the end of the night..
So one little wrinkle is I need to get a new drivers side upper control arm....bummer:
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post #86 of 214 (permalink) Old 04-22-2018, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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If progress seems slow it's because one I was on vacation last week, and this weekend I had to go grab my father in laws car with him and bring it to the shop, where he's going to have a 383 stroker put in the car, along with the nitrous kit and I gave him that I bought for the Rx7 but never installed, and I got a chance to use my new winch!





The other reason progress is slow, is because this car is a dirty little hooker!!
I knew this car lead a rough life with the last owner, but it looks like the abuse started LONG before the last owner.

I knew it had a minor accident in it's life, before the one that tore up the front end (as I received it) again the car has a clean title and most of the bolts up front seem like they've never been touched.

But I picked the rear clam up from the fiberglass shop after 3 trips (kept finding minor issues with the work) and the repairs look good now, and they kept saying there's a lot of paint on this thing. We saw a few colors. I didn't think much of it until I started stripping paint off the rear engine cover and gave up after about 3 hours. Look at this modern art piece, how many colors can you spot?




Suffice to say this thing's going in the garbage. The paint is as thick as my finger nail, and it was kinda peeling off like latex paint after sitting with some stripper on it for about an hour.

Got a new engine cover for about $300 on ebay from a green car (want to make sure I followed tradition and make each body panel a unique color, to make sure the next owner is as entertained as me


I'm getting some 2k primer/filler this week, I've already filled most of the deep scratches and rock chips and now once I prime those spots, I'm going to sand everything out with 800 and then 1000 grit. I've done most of the grunt work though with the 400 grit and after buying a DA I've gone back to hand sanding everything, it takes forever but you do it once and it's perfect. The DA is kinda a pain in the ass. I had some grit or something on the pad one time and it left a long trail of scratches in the surface that took me 10X longer to sand out later... so my excitement about using some power tools waned a bit.


Starting in on today, the rear clam after I got it back from the fiberglass shop, sprayed my guide coat and hand sanded it with 400 grit. That took probably 4-5 hours, only to notice additional cracks in it that need to be fixed, back to the fiberglass shop.




Basically I'm putting off the mechanical work. I still need to pull the transmission, and to do so I may need to pull the supercharger for clearance. But once that flywheel is in, I just need to put the rear end back together, get the car to roller status, make sure it's mechanically sound and I'll drive it to the fiberglass shop to fix a couple more cracks including the new ones I found today. Once those cracks are fixed all of the body work will essentially be done, so I can go almost straight to paint.
It's going to be a push, but I want to have the car painted by June 1

BTW major teaser, when I was in FL I decided to see if there were any Volcano orange Mclarens in south florida. Despite there not being 1 within 500 miles in new england, there were 3 within an hour drive in south florida. So I called up the dealer and decided to go see the color in person, as I've never seen it up close and personal.
This is for sure THE COLOR, and we've connected with the only McLaren service center in New England, and we've made a connect with one of their painters. They have a volcano orange car coming in for service in the next couple weeks, so the guy is going to paint a sample piece in VO so we can use it for reference in our goal to replicate it.

Check out this color, it's insane:



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post #87 of 214 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ls1Rx7 View Post
There's a pretty new and awesome pearl available for liquid wraps, called Tupelo, which is pretty close to what the end result color will look like, but I'll likely tweak it a bit:
[img]https://i.imgur.com/01G3hat.jpg[/img

[img]https://i.imgur.com/oTNvxnH.jpg[/img

[img]https://i.imgur.com/UELqdLM.jpg[/img

[img]https://i.imgur.com/55z8xd8.jpg[/img

It's going to be a busy winter, and right now I'm balancing this with a total remodel of our bathroom which we're working to get finished before Christmas
Bathroom current state:
[img]https://i.imgur.com/DCu6JdG.jpg[/img

Stay tuned, things are about to start heating up big time with this build

I love this color! Is this Tupelo, or Mojave? The pics I've seen of the Tupelo make it look red, like this one:

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post #88 of 214 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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I love this color! Is this Tupelo, or Mojave? The pics I've seen of the Tupelo make it look red, like this one:


The painter said what he sent me was tupelo, but you're right every time I've seen the color used elsewhere it's not orange at all, it's red. Can't explain that, but the color under normal light was a lot more reddish/brown. His picture is under very very bright booth lights. WHen I recieved it, it looked like a different color, like I said reddish brown/orange. If you google tupelo the tree, it really does look more like that.
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post #89 of 214 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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A few updates:
I found a candy that's closer to the volcano orange, right out of the can. Sent it to my painter and he's going to be doing probably half a dozen new test samples.
Here it is, it looks very close


But we're going to be adding even more gold to it, and darkening it just a tinge and I think we'll be there.

Mechanical work on the car has not stopped and I have not caught a break with this car yet lol.
Ordered the new engine cover lid, and it came with shipping damage, sending it back tomorrow:


Then last weekend my father in law came up and helped me get the transmission out, which we were able to do thankfully rather uneventfully, but we had to take SOOO much apart to get the transmission out it's absurd. I still think I might need to pull the supercharger to get to the bolts on the engine mount closest to the firewall, bolts for the starter, and bolts for the slave all need to be put in from the bottom as there's no access from the top due to the supercharger.


The good, the transmission is out:




The bad, Clutch end of life is 7mm:




How a clutch gets 90% worn in about 6-7K miles I will never know, but from the hotspots it looks like it was fun:




Waiting on a new clutch, and in the meantime I started in on the front.
Pulled the Radiator/AC condenser and the upper shroud that holds everything in place along with the front oil coolers.

Before:




And after:




Basically removing the rest of the crash structure requires running a sawzall across the fiberglass structure to shorten it, then run an vibrating/oscillating cutting tool along the bead of adhesive to cut/scrape it from the aluminum.
In reality, the heat created by the friction with the blade gets the blade hot and it goes through the adhesive, which is very similar to windshield seal.


Will have the new clutch this week, and I'll hopefully have the clutch and transmission in the car this weekend. If I can also get the new front crash structure on the car before the end of this weekend I will consider it
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post #90 of 214 (permalink) Old 05-04-2018, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Well I'm still on track going into the weekend.

Front crash structure is totally removed. Which means all I need to do to hit my goal is to glue the new one on, and get the transmission back in the car and re-assemble rear suspension. putting the new crash structure in should be quick.

The dark horse will be the transmission re-install, if I can get that done, everthing else will be a breeze. Lets just hope it all still works when it goes back together:

Taking some measurements of the original crash structure so when I install the new one I can match the elevation/pitch so that the bodywork will generally align after the fact:





Took lots of little cuts, but I classify this work as similar to body work. Lots of time involved but mostly easy mindless work. I find the mechanical work much more stressful:



Finally after about 4 hours of heating and cutting:



And so I declare that with the removal of the front crash structure, that disassembly is finally complete. On to re-assembly finally!
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post #91 of 214 (permalink) Old 05-05-2018, 09:21 PM
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When I glued the new crash structure back on, I found it helpful to add too small rivnuts into the aluminum chassis. These made it a bit easier to hold in place and tighten to get the proper alignment. You can see them in the thread in my signature.

Good luck with the project! seems to be coming along really well. Also be sure to use the primer with the betaseal adhesive. It doesn't still well without the primer.

Oh the other tip, as you're putting on the new crash structure, put your radiator hose on those hard lines so that you will have enough clearance once everything its mounted. The structure gets pretty close to those in a couple of spots so if would be easy to accidentally glue it all in place and then not be able to get your radiator hoses on.

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post #92 of 214 (permalink) Old 05-11-2018, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by chiarov View Post
When I glued the new crash structure back on, I found it helpful to add too small rivnuts into the aluminum chassis. These made it a bit easier to hold in place and tighten to get the proper alignment. You can see them in the thread in my signature.

Good luck with the project! seems to be coming along really well. Also be sure to use the primer with the betaseal adhesive. It doesn't still well without the primer.

Oh the other tip, as you're putting on the new crash structure, put your radiator hose on those hard lines so that you will have enough clearance once everything its mounted. The structure gets pretty close to those in a couple of spots so if would be easy to accidentally glue it all in place and then not be able to get your radiator hoses on.
Hey, just seeing your post now.
I did see your build with the rivnuts, and I deff mentally jotted that down, as the clamp method doesn't seem to exert much pressure. I marked all the way around the old crash structure so hopefully this one will fit exactly in the same place easily.


The color is finalized. My painter said that in person the sparkles you see on camera aren't as obvious. Worst case even if I find the flake in the paint too big we'll use the same color, just smaller particle flake:
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post #93 of 214 (permalink) Old 05-13-2018, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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keep your fingers crossed, with a little luck the new crash structure should be permanently adhered to the car.

Prep is a 2 step process before the adhesive, but it was originally supposed to be a 3 step priming process. I'd read on the internet and the dealer told me i dont need to remove all of the old adhesive because the primer re-activates it. so I thought installing the new crash structure would be quick. Well after reading the factory service notes, it's the compound that's no longer available that re-activates the old adhesive.

So I made a decsion that in the face of not being able to do this twice, and get it done early summer (lead time is about a month from the UK for the adhesive) that I needed to remove all of the old adhesive, which I ground off with a DA and a 2" mini sander on a drill, which took about 2.5 hours, and makes body work seem fun.
(Another day being covered in itchy fiberglass dust)

So I got it all ground down, used the Beta Clean which seems like pretty much isopropyl alcohol or some other general degreaser:



Then you apply essentially a black paint to both surfaces that creates a surface for max adhesion:


Then people use clamps and bungee cords to hold it in place, but the adhesive is so thick I had a panic moment when my caulk gun wouldn't move the stuff an inch. I ended up cutting the package open and sacrificing a 2" putty knife which seemed to work a lot better anyway. I got what seemed like a perfectly level coat and probably a lot more adhesion from a lot more surface area.

So I had thought about using rivnuts in the chassis with fender washers to hold it in place and pull the crash structure hard enough to engage the glue, but I didn't want to drill holes in the chassis. I've never used a rivnut and i didn't want the first one to be in my overly expensive brittle chassis.
So I used 2 c clamps on the top and vice grips on the side and then to get enough push, my wife actually came up with this idea, I thought it was pretty damn clutch and genius. I wedged these in and kept giving it a light tap every once and a while, and they're tight. The adhesive actually oozed out a couple inches around the edges so I know it's enough combined pressure to compress and engage the adhesive.
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post #94 of 214 (permalink) Old 05-23-2018, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Update:
Car is running and mechanically it's 99% functional. Waiting for the lower control arm mounting point in the rear that I cross threaded. It's 4 bolts, and I'm getting the new one tomorrow.
So if we're a little lucky I'll have some driving videos of the car in go kart mode.

I have a set date on when the car's going in for AutoFlex, thats the 15th of June which means that I have exactly 3 weeks to get all of the fiberglass and body work done, and I've had 3 people flake out on me for handling the rest of the fiberglass work.
So I don't have much choice. I guess it's time to see how deep the rabit hole goes and start watching fiberglass videos.
I just got a compressor for the garage, so I can shoot the primer. It's really the fiberglass work that's got me shook, and most of it, I think is mindless,

But recreating this triangular section on the door that the mirror mounts to has got me nervous:


These make me less nervous:




I'm noticing several small cracks around the rear lights which might be tough to gain access to but other than that it shouldn't be bad.
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post #95 of 214 (permalink) Old 05-24-2018, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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Mechanically the car is complete!

Got the suspension completely assembled the brakes back on and the wheels back on.

Go Kart Mode Enabled:






Just missed sunset, all I needed to do was put the seat in and get it off the stands and it was dark.
Tomorrow I will finally get to test the new suspension out, make sure everything mechanically feels good. The car feels so much better just idling. The lightweight flywheel finally gives this otherwise boring motor some life, and the car still trembles and vibrates slightly, but I can now see out of my rear view mirror perfectly.
Clutch pickup feels lower than I like but I'll just have to work on that. Shifter somehow feels better/tighter than I remember.

There's a cars and coffee about 5 miles down the road this Sunday. If it doesn't rain I'm going there, full go kart mode and everything =)
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post #96 of 214 (permalink) Old 05-24-2018, 08:12 PM
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Nice progress! So the crash structure is glued on and holding up fine? I sat on mine once it was dry to make sure it was rock solid. That Betaseal stuff is insanely strong, as you know from having to cut the old stuff off!

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post #97 of 214 (permalink) Old 05-25-2018, 03:32 AM Thread Starter
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Nice progress! So the crash structure is glued on and holding up fine? I sat on mine once it was dry to make sure it was rock solid. That Betaseal stuff is insanely strong, as you know from having to cut the old stuff off!
Yeah, it's on there for sure. I stood on it and bounced around a bit and it didn't seem to budge. The process I used to apply pressure really seemed to work well.

The crash structure is pitched down about 1 degree more than it was before though so I'm really keeping my fingers crossed that re-fitting the front clam correctly isn't too difficult
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post #98 of 214 (permalink) Old 05-25-2018, 08:23 PM
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I was worried about that too, but I think there is enough room for adjustment with the shims to fix that. When I put mine on, I glued it perfectly level but actually am not sure if it was perfectly level in the first place.

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post #99 of 214 (permalink) Old 06-02-2018, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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So the corvette shop that did the front clam stopped returning my calls. Then the body guy I was supposed to get the work done by stopped returning calls, then the replacement body shop started going quite.
Even today I was supposed to meet another lotus owner who did his own body work and he was a no show.

So I said to hell with everyone. Time to get this body work knocked out, basically finished the fiberglass repair today and got both doors to 400 grit, just the rockers left and a few other spots (jambs/mirrors, etc)

Tackled a section by the rear tires where it looks like the car bottomed out and ground some off the fiberglass. Another area on the other side where the rocker was cracked, and finally the door where the mirror attaches. This one was and is going to be difficult because I had to glue multiple pieces in place and if any of them fell in the door they'd be gone forever.

Also recreated the lip on the rear deck lid which unfortunately came cracked:

Crack ground out of the rear deck lid:


Epoxy resin over fiberglass sheet, about the strongest repair you can make:



Filled with fiberglass reinforces filler:




That filler leaves a lot of pinholes and other imperfections which need to be filled with glazing putty:



Deck lid finished the rough in process:


You'd never know about 2" section of lip was missing. I had to totally recreate it, and this gave me the confidence to tackle re-assembling the mirror.


Got one side of the car to 400 grit:



Then starte talking about a 4-5" crack on the other side.
Ground out the damage and drilled out the end of the crack:



Looking through the fiberglass after grinding it down to make sure I got to the end of the crack:



And filled with fiberglass cloth both front and back:




Then on to the door/mirror. This was going to be difficult, but I felt like I learned enough doing the other repairs that I was ready:
State of the mirror prior to repair:


Holding the 3 pieces I could find in place:



I know this looks like Frankenstein but you gotta trust me this came out great. I waited about an hour until the epoxy went from the consistency of maple syrup to the consistency of thick tree sap, then I took each piece and dipped it and set it in place, then used just a little bit of cloth to hold these pieces in place. Once this dries the epoxy will help the peices in place along with the fiberglass pieces (like a tack weld) and then I'm going to re-inforce with more cloth from behind and then grind these stray pieces off and fill the cracks with fiberglass reinforced filler again. Or lay cloth over the front and grind flat:



BTW got rock chips?



And finally I also had some time to install some badass shelving and organize the garage
Before:



After:

darkSol, glb and kertong like this.
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post #100 of 214 (permalink) Old 06-03-2018, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Did a ton more work today, just called it quits at 8:30.

Repairs were going well today. I finished the long crack on the rocker, despite it taking about 5 coats of filler to build up and shape the body line. Sanded out all the filler on all those rock chips on the passenger side:

Finished fiberglass crack from yesterday:


Then I turned to the mirror, the small bit of epoxy and couple peices of cloth strengthened it more than I thought it would.
So it was strong enough to hold everything in place so I could re-inforce from the rear. I had to feed the cloth down piece by peice and basically use a popsicle stick to stick the cloth in place and slather epoxy over each layer, but I got a plenty of layers in there:


So next step is to basically grind all the ugly stuff off the front and create a smooth surface and then fill in with fiberglass reinforced filler, and shape the top portion of the door that's missing.


Everything was going so well and THEN:



I take my finger nail and pick at a loose edge and a flake of paint comes off, then another, and another, soon I'm here:


So I pull out a razor blade and 5 mins later I'm here:



Adhesion is obviously not the previous paint job's strong suit.
Both sail panels peeled off easily... I don't know if something was done differently on these panels as I haven't run into this anywhere else, but after reporting back to the painter, he made the judgement call that it should ALL come off.
So the tens of hours I've spent hand blocking the existing surface to 400 grit and filling all of these rock chips, well all of that's getting ground off down to the bare fiberglass.

Painter is coming over with his DA next weekend, and his paint gun and we're going to work together to get everything stripped and primed. He's saving my ass because I think he's legit excited about the project, and I got literally no one else. Everyone's fallen through and the black hole that is this car seems to be getting outta hand.

As he says though I'm making a mountain out of a molehill, so he's either crazy or really really skilled, because this **** is driving me bonkers.
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