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Discussion Starter #41
Hey guys!

quick update for those interested.

Been working only after hours with the person that is an expert on aluminium structures.
VERY VERY Slow progress, as we are using very little heat. Using heat gun to heat the alardite to max of 50 degrees, and using air spatula and different air tools to remove as much alardite as possible.

Here are some pictures as of today. All bolts have been removed, expect for two that are way hidden but today after removing the lower wishbone panel are now accesible.

You can see that panel gaps are now visible were the glue has been removing.
The work you see has been roughly 30 hours...... very slow. but as you can see no burn marks anywhere. Controlling the heat with a laser thermometer ensures the surrounding aluminium where the heat is applied does not exceeds 50 celsius.

some pics:









I anybody is interested in pics of specific parts... let me know.

best,

Daniel
 

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Use liquid nitrogen to get the glue off...if you can't find liquid nitrogen, put some dry ice into alcohol and use the cold alcohol to part the bonds.
 

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Vroom vroom
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Did you guys read the thread? The repair is nearly finished and this guy has one of TWO cars in the country. It's not just a throwaway car like in the US. The standard advice does not apply and the knowledge being shown is cool as hell. This is extremely educational and we should be applauding him.

Great work Daniel! By the way I was so happy to see Colombia do so well in the World Cup this year, my wife is from Barrancabermeja. :) I will let her know someone back home has a Lotus like mine! Her dad, like most Colombians, is so clueless about Lotus he just recently called it a Porsche... :facepalm
 

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Did you guys read the thread? The repair is nearly finished and this guy has one of TWO cars in the country. It's not just a throwaway car like in the US.
Yes i read it and i also looked up his travels to get the car to himself. What does it matter if there's none there? Where do you think he bought the car in the first place...not in his country. All i'm saying it's not worth it because the value of a wrecked Lotus is bad versus just buying another one with the insurance money. If it was a salvaged/rebuilt title car to start with I'd understand. I would have gone through the process again of buying another pristine Lotus. That kind of damage may have tweaks you wont notice till your driving it. To each his own. As i already stated kudos for trying to save it. Also where did you read about the repair being nearly finished? Last i saw its seems far from that.
 

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The time and effort put into this car really isn't worth it for what it is. I would have took the check and bought another one. It'll always be a wreck without a clean title. Too much damage to waste the time when $2000 to $4000 more you could have gotten another mint Elise. Kudos for trying to save it though but the value of it has gone well below $30,000 now. Walk away!
The time and effort required to restore any car to pristine condition are seldom worth it in a economic sense... but without people doing it a lot of classic cars would no longer exist!!!

But in this particular case the labour rates are so much lower than in the US, and the value of the car higher, that it may well be economic :)

It does highlight to everyone why Lotus never certified a repair process though... a chassis swap is a quicker alternative (for now while chassis are available - in the future we will all be reading this thread as an instruction manual for repairs :)).
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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sweet work!
 

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Discussion Starter #49
Thanks Guys!

As I mentioned in the beginning, This cant be rationalised as someone living in the states.
I did purchase the car there, but in my particular case I had a diplomatic exception that allowed me to purchase a used car and not pay import duties. So, to speak hard numbers, I ended up paying around 40K including the car, air transport, customs fees, etc. Car is insured for that value, So they could cut me a check for that amount minus deductible, etc. Now, for me to do this all over again, It would cost me somewhere around 65K, that including a very "shady" transaction to acquire the diplomatic immunity from someone else (this cant be sold legally). Saddly there is no free entrance to used cars in the country...so I cant legally buy a used Elise anymore. That leaves me with a 40K check that cant get me anything as fun as the elise:

* Used Boxster S 987 ~ 80K USD
* Used M3 E92 ~ 90K USD
* New A45 AMG ~75K USD
* New S3 ~ 70K USD
* New 235 ~ 65K USD
* Used 135 ~ 50K USD
* New Mk7 GTI ~ 40K USD

So I really don't have much option than to fix the car. I own a car shop, I have the time and labour is cheap. So for my is a no brainer and as some said, some repairs cant be rationalised with only a economical mindset. In my case it passes that test, but even if it didnt, I would probably do it too. Ive dismantled this car to a point where Im confortable doing pretty much anything to it.... so it has also been a very educational experience.

Will see how it turns out, im very optimistic.

Today will be another long night! will keep you posted!

Best,
Daniel
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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YOU ARE THE MAN! I have never , ever seen anyone go for it like this! Chassis teardown - outrageous! Please continue to post all pics.
 

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Thanks Guys!

As I mentioned in the beginning, This cant be rationalised as someone living in the states.
I did purchase the car there, but in my particular case I had a diplomatic exception that allowed me to purchase a used car and not pay import duties. So, to speak hard numbers, I ended up paying around 40K including the car, air transport, customs fees, etc. Car is insured for that value, So they could cut me a check for that amount minus deductible, etc. Now, for me to do this all over again, It would cost me somewhere around 65K, that including a very "shady" transaction to acquire the diplomatic immunity from someone else (this cant be sold legally). Saddly there is no free entrance to used cars in the country...so I cant legally buy a used Elise anymore. That leaves me with a 40K check that cant get me anything as fun as the elise:

* Used Boxster S 987 ~ 80K USD
* Used M3 E92 ~ 90K USD
* New A45 AMG ~75K USD
* New S3 ~ 70K USD
* New 235 ~ 65K USD
* Used 135 ~ 50K USD
* New Mk7 GTI ~ 40K USD

So I really don't have much option than to fix the car. I own a car shop, I have the time and labour is cheap. So for my is a no brainer and as some said, some repairs cant be rationalised with only a economical mindset. In my case it passes that test, but even if it didnt, I would probably do it too. Ive dismantled this car to a point where Im confortable doing pretty much anything to it.... so it has also been a very educational experience.

Will see how it turns out, im very optimistic.

Today will be another long night! will keep you posted!

Best,
Daniel
Daniel,

Thanks for describing the reality of car ownership outside of the US!!! We pay pretty similar amounts in Australia (but we do have a good Elise/Exige market... and the new Exige S V^ is road legal here albeit $145k)

Cheers,
Steve

YOU ARE THE MAN! I have never , ever seen anyone go for it like this! Chassis teardown - outrageous! Please continue to post all pics.
This absolutely!!!!! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #52
OK guys!!! nice update!

the front clip is out!!!!

im officially at 50% on the frame repair. As you can see, no burn marks at all! very happy that we could remove it completly without heating over 50 celcius the aluminium. As we speak we are working on the replacemnt frame now, starting the removal of the donor front clip!!!

some quick pictures!





we are going to take some measurements of the old clip to compare it with the new one, to see if any adjustments are needed in order to properly align the car once the new a-arms are in!

Im very, very happy!!!!

Thanks for the support,

Daniel
 

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Looks good...but, your biggest problem will be if the holes for the fasteners line up. If they don't line up exactly, use a steel guide (clamped to the parts) to go up is size for the fasteners.
 

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Discussion Starter #57 (Edited)
Ok people!

Made some major progress past two weeks. Was a bit slow since I was traveling, but we are almost there.

The donor front clip is out completely; and its 95% araldite free. We have been grinding down all of the old bonding to ensure a good surface for the new bonding to adhere to.

Today we test fitted the new front clip to see how holes lined up and we used two 3/8 steel bars to see how lined up the new clip is to the rest of the chassis. It looks pretty good.

Alodine 1201 should be here tomorrow to treat the parts where some minor grinding was needed, to avoid future corrosion. We should have the donor and the chassis all prepped up be end of week. By then the new bonding should also be here. If all goes to plan, we should have a permanent bond by end of next week. Hopefully the bonding and treatment agents make it on time.

Some pics I took today.

You can see both bars in at the lower a-arm mounts









Here you can see before and after.

Before:



After:
Remember that the rear upper a-arm mount suffered also some damage. We need to give a final minor straightening to fit the L shaped support we fabricated to be in the safe side. The mount itself did not move, only part of the end of the profile was bent. Will take pics once the support is done.



Really happy to see we are almost done with the hard part.

Any recommendation where i can source the passenger side front a-arms on a short notice?
Want to hit the alignment shop once the bonding agent cures.

Best!

Daniel
 

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Well…the good news is that two crashed chassis are still crashed chassis (no more chassis are written off)…this chassis (SCCPC11195HL3478) and the donor chassis. The bad news is that a potentially salvageable chassis is now scrap metal! You guys had the right plan and the right approach but executed it in exactly the wrong way! I had high hopes for this project.

Your friend that is helping you with this project…I think you’ve called him an aircraft mechanic…he isn’t working as an aircraft mechanic, is he? He has been fired for doing what he has guided you to do on this chassis. That is cause for termination in the aerospace industry!

You have not followed my previously advice/recommendations/instructions/guidance, but please follow it now. Scrap that chassis. Someone is going to die because of your “work” on this chassis. At best someone is going to get seriously injured.

Because you “ground” on the aluminum, you’ve taken metal off. Two things happened because of that; the metal got thinner and the scratches put stress concentration points (where cracks will start) into the face f the aluminum chassis. The other bad thing you have done to the metal, you have heated it. Aluminum starts to anneal at 250F and full on heat treating/annealing temperature is about 800F. Heat guns put out 1000F to 1200F. Since you have no control over the heat to the aluminum by a handheld heater, that whole front end is junk. These are just the damaging things you have done to the material properties of the aluminum…not even considering the corrosion protection that was mechanically removed, because this chassis will not last long enough to corrode!

Now for the structural SNAFUs…because you ground off the face of material, I also have to assume that ground on the joint surfaces. Even if you only took off 0.001” out of the joint surfaces, there are 4 of them on each side that stack up because that beam is sandwiched in between an upper and lower “clip”. But you are not that good to only take off 0.001” when grinding off all that adhesive. My guess is that at least 0.005” have been removed. Now you’ve got a varying gap of at least 0.020”, probably closer to 0.050”. For one, the adhesive will not survive that kind of a gap…there will be no strength in it. But the biggest problem is that if you use the correct structural rivets, they will draw the metal to each other and put significant stresses into that metal. Now that the metal has been weekend by the thinning, scratching and heating, that front clip will crack off! If you don’t use the correct structural rivets and use only pop-rivets, that front end will break off even sooner.

If you can stick a 0.005" feeler gauge in any one of the the 6 part lines, your chassis is junk... I really don't know that you ground on the parting surfaces (I am making that assumption from the work I see.)... If you did, and you can stick a 0.005" feeler gauge in, it is junk!
 

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These are the gaps I'm talking about that scrap this tub (three of them shown). If I can see them like this from these photos, those gaps are significantly larger than just 0.020" and therefore scrap. :facepalm

58BED709-EE89-4ABC-8F77-17A7D13277D5_zpspqwb7bfc.jpg
 
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