Creating the Uberclam - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-17-2006, 07:22 AM Thread Starter
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Creating the Uberclam

Original thread located here- https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f92/...ng-clam-20871/


It is time.

As some of you may know, I had a "situation" with my clam a while back. Bought the car in August 2004. In September, touched a curb/driveway thing and removed a chunk of the clam that was about the size of the palm of my hand. Hired a fiberglass repair specialist to come out to fix the clam and Starshield replaced the film so the car would be ready for SEMA, the first of November.

BUT.. driving back from Buttonwillow racetrack on I-5, I hit a large tire tread on the freeway... destroying my grill and cracking my clam, 2 days before SEMA.

I taped up the damage using clear packing tape and that worked quite well to hold things together. Decided I would deal with the damage later.

So over 15 months later... I am finding that the damage has spread as we expected it would and now, it has become quite bad. Pics to follow. The clam has fully split open along the license plate plinth so that it is hanging down. The only thing holding it together is tape.

I have been thinking of replacing the clam with an Exige clam, but ran into some trouble finding one for sale. I decided to go ahead with repairing the clam. Today.

Details to follow....

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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-17-2006, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Tom!

Here are some pics from today.












#somethingwickedthiswaycomes... the new Origin Noble M and the Origin 7

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There are some very shady dealers in the Lotus business.

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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-17-2006, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverArsenal
Wow, you really beat the crap out of that car. Better than driving off a cliff, I guess.

I will never win a concourse.

We are taking steps to make this area stronger. In my opinion, there are two vulnerable areas to be addressed. The square corner where the plinth joins the rest of the clam seems easily cracked, and the area where the chin jowls scrape on a steeper driveway.

We are going to reinforce these areas with Carbon-Kevlar.

#somethingwickedthiswaycomes... the new Origin Noble M and the Origin 7

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There are some very shady dealers in the Lotus business.

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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-17-2006, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Clam off the car.


Interesting to see how they did the antenna. I am guessing it will be a maintenance item at some point to redo the clear tape.

#somethingwickedthiswaycomes... the new Origin Noble M and the Origin 7

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There are some very shady dealers in the Lotus business.

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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-17-2006, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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It actually is pretty easy to do. I followed Michael Sand's page on clam removal and it took about 90 minutes to do.


CATCH OF THE DAY

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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-17-2006, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I noticed damage in the tight corner at the side of the mouth too. We are cutting all that away and replacing it.

The cloth we are using to back everything up, is a carbon-fiber and kevlar weave. I have been told it is pretty strong. Cones will rue the day they got in my way.

#somethingwickedthiswaycomes... the new Origin Noble M and the Origin 7

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There are some very shady dealers in the Lotus business.

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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-17-2006, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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If this was Chrome Orange, it would be a good Jack O Lantern...





"You wore out your clam, with random precision.... "

#somethingwickedthiswaycomes... the new Origin Noble M and the Origin 7

Zenos E10S for Sale! www.zenosforsale.com

There are some very shady dealers in the Lotus business.

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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-17-2006, 05:00 PM
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just get rid of the offending pieces...

I never liked the winglets anyway. You have the perfect opportunity to remove them and put a bush guard in front! Look at some pictures of the LandRover to see some samples.

Remember the old nerf bars! Khamai had some great bars in front of his Seven to keep the cones from ripping his fenders off! Maybe he has some pictures?

I would trade clams with you if yours were the right color. I want to get rid of the winglets like I did with my model (see picture below).

Seriously, it seems like the winglets provide some reinforcement in a critical area. Perhaps if you reinforced them with rebar or put extra glass in that area, they might stand up to the punishment. Stan's idea of bending instead of breaking has merit and so you can not necessarily reinforce the area around them. Allow some bending.

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File Type: jpg elisemodeltopside.jpg (41.8 KB, 111 views)

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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-18-2006, 07:58 AM Thread Starter
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Michael, we are investigating now what it would take to further modify the front clam.

1. Remove the rectangular license plate mount.*
2. Remove the jowls and make a smooth arc.*
3. Remove the steps on the bottom and make the entire bottom one flat surface.*
4. Add a removable carbon-kevlar splitter to the bottom.
5. Add abrasion protection strips.
6. Add interior strengthening at key points.

Tracy, good idea, I will look into it... but on first glance, it is pretty crowded under the clam. Amazing 3D design really.

*Pending investigation of SCCA legality in Prepared class.

#somethingwickedthiswaycomes... the new Origin Noble M and the Origin 7

Zenos E10S for Sale! www.zenosforsale.com

There are some very shady dealers in the Lotus business.

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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-18-2006, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Chase
2. Remove the jowls and make a smooth arc.*
3. Remove the steps on the bottom and make the entire bottom one flat surface.*
I would be concerned that the step shape in the middle and the winglets on the sides are aerodynamically functional - removing/altering them may affect things,
Quote:
4. Add a removable carbon-kevlar splitter to the bottom.
Of course this would negate the concerns about the other...




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post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-18-2006, 08:28 AM Thread Starter
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The step shape only is on the very front, the bottom pan is flat, so the step shape appears to me to be more structural than aero. But maybe... other versions are flat on the front bottom also.

Agreed on the winglets, and yes the custom splitter would attempt to maintain the shape. See the Exige for example.

Andrikos, I thought of filling the seam... but man this has already grown from a simple patch job... to something I have never intended.

#somethingwickedthiswaycomes... the new Origin Noble M and the Origin 7

Zenos E10S for Sale! www.zenosforsale.com

There are some very shady dealers in the Lotus business.

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post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-20-2006, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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Progress report.

Removed license plate plinth..and removed cheeks.



Not much left.


#somethingwickedthiswaycomes... the new Origin Noble M and the Origin 7

Zenos E10S for Sale! www.zenosforsale.com

There are some very shady dealers in the Lotus business.

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post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-20-2006, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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When we are done... assuming we can do this.... this will be the UberClam. It will scare small children and pets. Cones will run in terror.

CLAM 1, CONE 0


#somethingwickedthiswaycomes... the new Origin Noble M and the Origin 7

Zenos E10S for Sale! www.zenosforsale.com

There are some very shady dealers in the Lotus business.

2005 Lotus Elise, 1993 MR2, 1995 MR2, 125cc Shifter Kart, Toniq (in build), 2018 Origin 7 (waiting), 2018 Origin Noble M (waiting)
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post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-21-2006, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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Update-

Added blue tape around the cutouts to create a temporary mold for the foam to be applied. View looking at inside of clam, tape applied to outside. Idea from kartboy.




Metal straps added to bridge removed clam sections.


Making foam.


Pouring....


Foamy!


After curing, removed blue tape. Outside of clam with foam-


Next steps are to form a flate temporary plate on the bottom. Shape the outside of the foam using a rasp. Apply temporary fiberglass and resin to the outside of the foam. Remove foam. Apply permanent cloth and resin sheets to the inside, remove outer temporary sheets.

#somethingwickedthiswaycomes... the new Origin Noble M and the Origin 7

Zenos E10S for Sale! www.zenosforsale.com

There are some very shady dealers in the Lotus business.

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post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-21-2006, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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Like a painting by Dali....



And here, the Blob eats my clam.

#somethingwickedthiswaycomes... the new Origin Noble M and the Origin 7

Zenos E10S for Sale! www.zenosforsale.com

There are some very shady dealers in the Lotus business.

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post #16 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-22-2006, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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New movie title.... Shaping the Clam


#somethingwickedthiswaycomes... the new Origin Noble M and the Origin 7

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There are some very shady dealers in the Lotus business.

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post #17 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-22-2006, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWA
Now that you're this far in you might as well fil in that seam. It really makes a huge difference in the look of the front-end. I'm looking forward to seeing it with the license plate plinth removed, but I like the molded-in winglets.

I liked the winglets too....but I think they look actually more odd once you remove the plinth. So off they came. One more positive of this, the stuff that sticks out and makes driveways more of a problem, are now all gone. No forward sticking out corners. Everything sweeps back now.

We are also using some molded in nuts for the bottom of the UberClam so we can easily install both various splitters, but also some sacrificial rub strips that will be attached with recessed screws.

As far as the seam... it is tempting, but it really increases the amount of work and I feel guilty now about the amount of time and money that is being spent on this. The seam means I would have to remove the rest of the Starshield and that I will also respray the entire clam as far as paint. Maybe some other time. The one positive about delaying this, is that it can be done on the car later. Maybe when I do removal of the rear fins and mesh replacements.

We are really under the gun to get this car back together by Friday. I have a race this weekend.

#somethingwickedthiswaycomes... the new Origin Noble M and the Origin 7

Zenos E10S for Sale! www.zenosforsale.com

There are some very shady dealers in the Lotus business.

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post #18 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-22-2006, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by transio
Awesome work, Randy!

What is the name of the foam product you're using?
It is called FOAM B 2 pound density, pourable foam. I would guess Tom would know more. Some detail also about high toxicity.

Here is the clam now... getting closer to the final shape.


#somethingwickedthiswaycomes... the new Origin Noble M and the Origin 7

Zenos E10S for Sale! www.zenosforsale.com

There are some very shady dealers in the Lotus business.

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post #19 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-22-2006, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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Just about done with the shape.


#somethingwickedthiswaycomes... the new Origin Noble M and the Origin 7

Zenos E10S for Sale! www.zenosforsale.com

There are some very shady dealers in the Lotus business.

2005 Lotus Elise, 1993 MR2, 1995 MR2, 125cc Shifter Kart, Toniq (in build), 2018 Origin 7 (waiting), 2018 Origin Noble M (waiting)
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post #20 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-22-2006, 02:20 PM
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This thread proves that no clam is a total loss! When sanding the foam, are you wearing a mask and gloves (since you mentioned toxicity)?

Tom
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