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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Daniel,

Have a read through this thread:
http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f23...ed-non-authorized-chassis-repair-ideas-69001/

If you can acquire that chassis front half and cut the required extrusions free you should be able to bond them into your chassis to complete a good repair (particularly with the expertise you have available)
Thanks! This was my reading material for the day.

Tomorrow im going to perform the test on the frame to see if its straight. Using a 3/8 steel rod though the lower a-arms mounting point to the cabin.

This is where I left today the shop… long day removing stuff and making the list of parts.



Pretty tired.

I wanted to get your opinions on a couple of things:

What do you think about the crash structure? does it needs to be repaired? The damaged is mostly splinters in that part, but no creases or cracks made it into the inside.



The radiator support structure only has some cracks. This doesn’t seem like an structural part. Is it worth replacing or should I simply have it repaired?


One bad news is that the windshield cracked a bit on the lower part, haven’t noticed that. Flying in windshields is a major PITA. 50% of the ones we import for our customers make if broken….



Finally, here is a close up of both A-Arms mounting points.

Rear one seems relatively “straight” but this one worries me most, since cant seem to figure out how to work with it. Its not very accessible. Either if it needs to be riveted/bonded/welded or combination of all three….. it’s a very complex spot.



The front took most of the damage, but the accessibility makes it simple to treat, regardless of the approach.



well , that’s all for the day.

Tomorrow I’m having a guy that repairs jet engines and it’s an expert in low tolerances/structures/etc. take a look. I’m trying to have as many expert opinions as possible to figure out the best way to make the fix.

Thanks and will keep updating as any progress is made.

Best,

Daniel
 

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...
I wanted to get your opinions on a couple of things:

What do you think about the crash structure? does it needs to be repaired? The damaged is mostly splinters in that part, but no creases or cracks made it into the inside.
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I think (but am not looking at it as you are) you are going to have to take the crash structure off to access the top chassis frame... and getting it off in one piece is no small challenge.

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One bad news is that the windshield cracked a bit on the lower part, haven’t noticed that. Flying in windshields is a major PITA. 50% of the ones we import for our customers make if broken….
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Pox... but not unexpected. Windscreens can be cracked like that by the clam hitting them so it isn't necessarily indicative of any other issue.

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Finally, here is a close up of both A-Arms mounting points.

Rear one seems relatively “straight” but this one worries me most, since cant seem to figure out how to work with it. Its not very accessible. Either if it needs to be riveted/bonded/welded or combination of all three….. it’s a very complex spot.
...
The pickup points themselves look fine - I'd probably bond an aluminium angle inside that extrusion to fix that small tear (both sides... perhaps?).

...Tomorrow I’m having a guy that repairs jet engines and it’s an expert in low tolerances/structures/etc. take a look. I’m trying to have as many expert opinions as possible to figure out the best way to make the fix.

Thanks and will keep updating as any progress is made.

Best,

Daniel
You've got some good people on it :)
 

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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.
Whilst the chassis is weldable, there's no way you can heat treat it back to T6. Around the welds would be like butter.

The only way to repair it is to machine tapered plates which bond & rivet to each side of the control arm mounts. I'm not sure is there is enough area for this to be done.
 

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6000 series aluminums are equivalent to butter anyway... 6000 series aluminums are non structural grades... so no loss.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
What do you guys think about the new 2011 look? I found that the new clam and headlight are more readily available that the 05-07 clams and headlights. I love the classic elise look, but it may take up to 6 months to get a new one..... as opposed to 1 on the 2011 look.

I could potentially fix the 05 clam and order the lens cover and have both clams to be interchanged........

The Jet engine guy cancelled.... tomorrow I will have his opinion on way to fix/reinforce.

Daniel
 

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I initially liked the older clam style more. But the new style has grown on me.

I like them about the same now.
 

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Oh man, I'm sorry about your car. It's the worst feeling ever isn't it? I'm dealing with minor damage to mine, so I can only imagine how you're feeling.

I hope all goes well and you get back into a car asap!!!!!
 

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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.
Preface!!!! - i am not a career welder just a Hobbyist! Welding on an aluminum frame is a big NO NO! welding heat removes the temper which is where MUCH of the strength from aluminum comes from.
 

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For structures...but this is NOT a structure...in that, it is NOT a structural grade of aluminum. Since it is NOT a structural grade of aluminum, it is NOT loaded like a structure.

All T6 means is that it's been heat treated...aluminum will age harden on its own and work harden. It will eventually get to an equivalent T6 on its own. It would be nice to speed up the process...but not needed.
 

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6063 is considered structural - it's just not as good as 2000 or 7000 series but has better finish, form-ability and corrosion resistance.
It will never age harden to T6. Depending on how you cool it after welding it will naturally age to T1 or T4 (but that can take years). Anything above that requires proper heat treatment and artificial aging.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Ok, So just had one expert opinion looking at the car today.

Sort of encouraging, but no clear path to go yet.

On the rear mount, he suggest to straighten the bent 5cm deep crack and reinforce it the some U shape brackets. As seen in the picture below. The brackets to be made of superior grade aluminum (he was gonna research the options) and to be bonded all around and (where the red lines are) some aircraft grade rivets (if the pneumatic machine can be fitted) or aircraft grade aluminum bolts if not.



However, on the front, he was very hesitant in the removing of the complete extrusion. He says that heat to burn down the glue will weaken the aluminum and also the glue of the surrounding frame. He said, if we can remove the piece without too much heat, than if we use the correct glue it should be no problem.

However, I can't seem to find a way to remove this piece without using heat.

Thats were we stand.

Anybody have an idea on how to remove the glue? would some sort of sharp heated element directly into the glue help to cut through it?

clueless at this point.
 

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After seeing several cars like this, I've wondered whether a an extruded aluminum rectangular section can be pushed inside the existing one to repair the mount points (really not using the old points at all).

If the replacement box section goes all the way or nearly all the way to the other side of the car it seems like there is substantially more area for a weaker bonding agent/rivets to make up for the loss of the original bonding agent. My recollection is that there is some room in there to insert another section with perhaps a thinner bushing/washer arrangement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Quick update.

Got the salvaged front extrusion.


Removed the crash structure. Could not save it. Tried for over a week with hot blades, but it would not even move. So had to cut it......


Here is how it stands, hopefully next week I can send it to the shop where they would do the a-arm mounts swap.


However, I need to remove the steering rack.... Its the last thing I need to take out. Today I had a go for about 3 hours... But cant simply get it out.
Removed the 4 inner bolts (17 and 13mm) on both sides and the one holding the steering column to the rack. But I just cant separate the two. The rack is against the front wall and the column wont slide back. Its very frustrating.

Anybody has any tips/pointers/guides? People seems to change the for quicker racing racks.... There must be a good DIY somewhere.

Thanks.
Daniel
 

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:popcorn:
 

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Daniel

So glad you are ok.

A friend of mine who just bought a lotus sent me the sent asking if this WAS my car.

I thought he was joking around....then I opened the post and saw your name.

Good luck with the repairs.

Jeff
 

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In the aircraft industry, bonded joints are "broken" with liquid nitrogen. You are doing it wrong! That is why it is not working for you. Two things happen with the liquid nitrogen; 1.) the differential thermal expansion rates of the glue and the aluminum put a great internal stress to the bonded joint and 2.) the cold makes the glue very hard a brittle. Once cold soaked, a spatula in the glue joint a tap with a hammer will break the bond.

Other problem is that your proposed repair design is very poor... if you do that, you will run into other problems. Get engineering help...
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
In the aircraft industry, bonded joints are "broken" with liquid nitrogen. You are doing it wrong! That is why it is not working for you. Two things happen with the liquid nitrogen; 1.) the differential thermal expansion rates of the glue and the aluminum put a great internal stress to the bonded joint and 2.) the cold makes the glue very hard a brittle. Once cold soaked, a spatula in the glue joint a tap with a hammer will break the bond.

Other problem is that your proposed repair design is very poor... if you do that, you will run into other problems. Get engineering help...
Thanks. Dont know if you have been reading along, but I am not doing the structural repair . I am having a structural engineer perform the swap of the damaged front mounts. He wasn't concerned about removing the bonding agent.... Ill leave that to him to figure it out.

I am in no way qualified to do this very delicate task. All im doing is prepping the car so no parts get in his way.

Right now, the steering rack is all that is left to remove.

I am all for listening to opinions and appreciate yours, but can you be more specific on the part you think I AM doing wrong?

Thanks.
Daniel
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Daniel

So glad you are ok.

A friend of mine who just bought a lotus sent me the sent asking if this WAS my car.

I thought he was joking around....then I opened the post and saw your name.

Good luck with the repairs.

Jeff
Hey Jeff. Yes, it was your car. Im fine, thanks.

Its a shame, I had only put like 2000 miles on the car on the 2 years I had it.
I guess all the babying in the world wont save you when you try to enjoy the car on the open road.

Best
Daniel
 

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I have seen a post of someone who replaced the whole front chassis structure o f his Elise using one from a donor car that was totaled from a rear collision. He tested bonding agents etc and found a substitute. Used heat guns to soften and remove old extruded aluminum members. I will search again and post link once I find it.

Point is, there is a way to correctly fix your car, if you want to.

Good luck.
 
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