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Discussion Starter #1
Sad day, as probably one of the worst nightmares for us Elise owners became a reality for me.

During some spirited driving today with my local auto club, I went against a guardrail. A left turn with some gravel/debris plus a mistake on my own for going to fast into the corner, landed me sweeping the very hard guardrail.

Luckily I’m ok, as I hit the rail at approximately 35 mi/h, but the angle of the impact meant that most of the force was transferred to the wheel and then to the control arm and finally to the frame.

Car was immediately put into a flat bed and sent to my shop.

Even though I was still in shock, I could not help to start removing the front suspension components to inspect the extent of the damage.

This is a pristine, artic silver Elise with only 5,000 miles bought from a forum member back in 2012.

So, with a big hole in my stomach I present to you the aftermath.

First, the replaceable stuff:



Crash structure is intact , the front clam… not so much….



The headlight is gone



The radiator support structure has a couple of cracks….


The front wheel that took most of the impact.



The radiator support separated from the clam and cracked pretty bad.



Now the ugly….

Front strut…. Broken



Front-rear upper control arm mount…



Front lower…seems fine.



Now the real ugly.

Front upper control arm mount…completely ripped off the frame.





Tomorrow morning I will start taking parts off to look closer.

Obviously it’s a total loss according to US standards, but this car is located outside the county. Only 2 Elise in the country, which puts me in a very big dilemma; Collect insurance on the car or try to fix it. It may not seem like a dilemma to most, since it usually one of both alternatives in pretty much every accident…… the problem arises in the fact that I can't buy anything as fun as the Elise with the payoff from insurance.. The second option is also very debatable, since the front structure “Cant be repaired”

I have been reading pretty much every forum post regarding repairing the front structure damage, and sadly could not find any project detailing any alternatives in repairing. Most were 2-3 years old.

Has there been any advance in that front? I don’t know if you can still get a new chassis from Lotus, some post from 2010 have quotes of over 12K.

Some people were “experimenting” with bonding and riveting some supports and inserts into the front aluminum extrusion… but could not see any of them come to an end.

Anybody in the states managed to repair the control arm mounting points in a sort of professional way?

The parts list so far:
- Chassis
- Front clam and fitting
- Radiator support
- Front right strut
- Front control arm
- Lower control arm
- Front splitter


Tomorrow will talk to insurance agent to see where do they stand, need to revise appraised value to see the alternatives.

Sorry in advance if there are typos or grammatical errors.

It’s been a hard day.

Thanks!

Daniel
 

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:(
So sorry to see this. Sorry for you loss, glad you are fine.
Oh, I'm sure that isn't going to buff out
Did you have track insurance? How is that going to work out?
Are you going to try and get another?

Make sure you post this in the Salvaged Yard thread with VIN.
 

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Make sure you post this in the Salvaged Yard thread with VIN.
Yes, please do that.

Thanks for taking the time to shoot the photos and post them. That must be difficult for you.

I'm glad to hear that no one was hurt. I have a feeling that your only option might be to find another totaled Elise/Exige that you could salvage for all or part of the frame. I guess it depends on the buy-back price from your insurer.
 

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That damage is not all that bad... true, the structure is not repairable by the automotive industry, because they don't have the knowledge, but this is completely repairable by someone knowledgeable in repairing aircraft. That tub is also made from a 6000 series aluminum...that is also a weldable grade, but the welds cannot be next to the bonding. Go look for an aircraft mechanic or a race car mechanic...if you really want to repair the car.
 

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...
Obviously it’s a total loss according to US standards, but this car is located outside the county. Only 2 Elise in the country, which puts me in a very big dilemma;
What country?

This has an impact on repair costs based on labour rates and as you say you can get a replacement chassis. The swap over time is supposed to be ~80hrs.

...
Collect insurance on the car or try to fix it. It may not seem like a dilemma to most, since it usually one of both alternatives in pretty much every accident…… the problem arises in the fact that I can't buy anything as fun as the Elise with the payoff from insurance.. The second option is also very debatable, since the front structure “Cant be repaired”

I have been reading pretty much every forum post regarding repairing the front structure damage, and sadly could not find any project detailing any alternatives in repairing. Most were 2-3 years old.

Has there been any advance in that front? I don’t know if you can still get a new chassis from Lotus, some post from 2010 have quotes of over 12K.

Some people were “experimenting” with bonding and riveting some supports and inserts into the front aluminum extrusion… but could not see any of them come to an end.

Anybody in the states managed to repair the control arm mounting points in a sort of professional way?

The parts list so far:
- Chassis
- Front clam and fitting
- Radiator support
- Front right strut
- Front control arm
- Lower control arm
- Front splitter


Tomorrow will talk to insurance agent to see where do they stand, need to revise appraised value to see the alternatives.

Sorry in advance if there are typos or grammatical errors.

It’s been a hard day.

Thanks!

Daniel
Head over to SELOC and look for Junks - he may be able to help.

You should talk to wirewheel. They would know and they have a great reputation.

San
Agree
 

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You should talk to wirewheel. They would know and they have a great reputation.
Yes, Haze is the man, if he cant fix it up and get you back on the road for a reason price no-one can. Or I'm sure he would gladly buy it from you. So sorry to here about your loss man.
 

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Sorry to hear this - annoying I have just about everything to repair this including a new chassis but not very useful being in the UK :(
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes, please do that.

Thanks for taking the time to shoot the photos and post them. That must be difficult for you.

I'm glad to hear that no one was hurt. I have a feeling that your only option might be to find another totaled Elise/Exige that you could salvage for all or part of the frame. I guess it depends on the buy-back price from your insurer.
This is the VIN of the vehicle.

SCCPC11195HL34781

Remember im out of the country, its a Federal Elise.

What country?

This has an impact on repair costs based on labour rates and as you say you can get a replacement chassis. The swap over time is supposed to be ~80hrs.


Head over to SELOC and look for Junks - he may be able to help.


Agree
Thanks! Im in Colombia, South America.

As i mentioned there are only 2 Elise/Exige in the country, so to sell the cars for parts would be imposible and find a donor car... even worst.


That damage is not all that bad... true, the structure is not repairable by the automotive industry, because they don't have the knowledge, but this is completely repairable by someone knowledgeable in repairing aircraft. That tub is also made from a 6000 series aluminum...that is also a weldable grade, but the welds cannot be next to the bonding. Go look for an aircraft mechanic or a race car mechanic...if you really want to repair the car.
I just had a meeting with a close friend that fixes planes/chopper certified Robinson tech and piper) and he says is definitely fixable given that a donor structure can be sourced using the same type of bonding agent.

I first need to talk to the insurance adjuster, this was not at a track, was in the street.

I have the car at my shop, since the car is very rare, probably they will leave it up to me to decide if i want to fix it or total it.

It comes down to the insured amount, IIRC, it was around 40-45K USD. seems a lot, but cars here are very expensive due to import tariffs/taxes.

But even 45K wont get me even close to what the Elise is as a fun car. sure i can get something faster, but wont have as much fun...:(


Yes, Haze is the man, if he cant fix it up and get you back on the road for a reason price no-one can. Or I'm sure he would gladly buy it from you. So sorry to here about your loss man.
You should talk to wirewheel. They would know and they have a great reputation.

San
Thanks! I need to talk first to the agent. I wish I can get full insured amount and then offered the buy back with enough margin to properly fix the car.

I wish I could buy a new chasis, im sending pics and parts list to a US dealer to see if its even possible to get a new chasis after the Elise ended production.

Sorry to hear this - annoying I have just about everything to repair this including a new chassis but not very useful being in the UK :(
I will PM you if its OK, I have "free labor" i own a shop, and have access to very good certified aviation mechanics. Maybe you can share some knowledge that may make the repair "replicable" to some extent.

The insurance guy is supposed to make it EOD, after that will start to torn down the front to check the lower mount point to see of they are bent too.

then.. decision time.

Will post back as soon as i have more info.

Thanks all for the help/support.
 

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Sounds like you may be in a good position to put her back together man. Looking forward in seeing just that, good luck.
 

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You should PM Rob Diesch. He has contacts in Europe. He says there are Lotus in the wrecking yards over there like they have Fords in the US yards. He should be able to point you in the right direction.
 

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This is the VIN of the vehicle.


I will PM you if its OK, I have "free labor" i own a shop, and have access to very good certified aviation mechanics. Maybe you can share some knowledge that may make the repair "replicable" to some extent.

The insurance guy is supposed to make it EOD, after that will start to torn down the front to check the lower mount point to see of they are bent too.

then.. decision time.

Will post back as soon as i have more info.

Thanks all for the help/support.
No worries Daniel - if I can help at all (even with info) only too happy to matey :)
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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so sorry. Glad you were not physically hurt. Hope you can find a way to re-lotus.
 

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Very sorry to hear about the car. It looks like the forged wheels are pretty strong - you said the front wheel took most of the impact, and it seems to have come out no worse for wear besides some scuffs.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks all for the comments/help/support!!!

talked to insurance today. they gave me the celling of the payout before its totaled and the go green to start the deeper look into the damages.

The max they are willing to pay before its totaled is 30K USD, So now I need to start quoting for the parts to see what its the cost. I found a front clip for sale and will have to quote for the labor to have the bent/torn A-Arms mounts by fixed by a specialist (using the best possible and safest way to maintain structural rigidity) been talking to some automotive engineers, airplane engineers and race cars builders to find the best alternatives.

Already sent the part list to a dealer in Miami with all the initial parts including the new chassis (I want to explore that possibility too given the insurance limit)

Will let you know how it goes after todays clam removal!

best and again thanks!

Daniel
 
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