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-   -   Retrofitting center hardtop bracket to 2005/6 (https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f270/retrofitting-center-hardtop-bracket-2005-6-a-90543/)

jpryor27 06-23-2009 09:45 PM

Retrofitting center hardtop bracket to 2005/6
 
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

jpryor27 06-26-2009 04:30 PM

Ordered the bracket. Any advice before I wing it?

DWilde 06-26-2009 05:20 PM

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

jpryor27 06-27-2009 01:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DWilde (Post 1310823)
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! :D

buzzy 06-27-2009 04:31 PM

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.

benjh1028 06-29-2009 11:02 AM

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

jpryor27 07-15-2009 12:01 PM

1 Attachment(s)
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. :D

Thanks a bunch,
Jonathan

Noel 07-15-2009 04:45 PM

Drive it without one, and you will feel the difference in vibrations and noise.

wings & wheels 12-12-2009 10:07 AM

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

jpryor27 02-06-2010 09:53 PM

I've still not done this. I'm not impressed with the wellnut solution. I'm thinking about a better way.

Murix 02-06-2010 11:13 PM

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.

jpryor27 02-08-2010 01:47 AM

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.

jpryor27 04-05-2010 10:08 AM

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. -eek- I pulled the drill out and saw that i had punched through another layer of fiberglass, but not the outer one. :up: 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.

Cegan09 04-05-2010 10:35 AM

Cool. Would you be kind enough to post some pictures of the completed install since no one else has so far?

Thomasio 07-30-2010 08:32 PM

709 Attachment(s)
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.

http://www.nfauto.co.uk/images/nutsert2.gif

jpryor27 08-01-2010 03:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thomasio (Post 1472296)
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.

http://www.nfauto.co.uk/images/nutsert2.gif

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.

David Craig 08-02-2010 07:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jpryor27 (Post 1429815)
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. -eek- I pulled the drill out and saw that i had punched through another layer of fiberglass, but not the outer one. :up: 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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