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Discussion Starter #1
Ok don't gasp too much, it doesn't affect all cars, ONLY those getting Clear Bras, and only those in port right now, future cars likely will not be delayed. Evidently, the port installers are having difficulties getting the kits installed in a satisfactory fashion, some of the pieces aren't lining up just right or laying down the way they were intended to. The install company is working around the clock to rework the pattern and make the installs satisfactory. If you requested the clear bra install and your car is currently in port it will likely be delayed a few more days (not weeks or months) until the kinks are worked out. I'll have some additional information on Monday.
 

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Later, that would mean no demos leaving the facility as all demos are slated to get the clearbra.
c'est la vie!

Chris
Sure hope at least one car makes it out before the 20th, or I may just have to give my car away as stated in an earlier message....yikes > that'd be to NMRJock!:p
 

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I am now officially renting a car, as I am carless untill the Elise arrives. It does not take long to rack up a huge chaare renting any car, let alone the smallest one. If there is another long delay, I too might be forced to purchase something else. I know the EVO MR willl be here in September, and it would be even more appealing if Mitsubishi was not in such financial peril.

I just can't see how the 3m company didn't prepare for this. It makes me wonder if the Elise body panels are all slightly different, or if 3M just got bad measurements from the Elise (I don't know how that would have happened). When will all of this end? More time for me and the rental to bond.....:no:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I don't know the reason why some of the pieces aren't lining up right or laying down right, it could be the pattern design, it could be however the pieces were cut, it could be high humidity for all I know at this point, but I've been assured that the problem is being taken care of as fast as possible. As for affecting dealer demos, I don't know, I guess if they were slated to get the clear bra then probably so. If you've never had this stuff on your car, you'll certainly want to wait to make sure it is done right the first time and I suspect they won't release the car unless it is done right. I hope to have more info on Monday.
 

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I've seen such a huge amount of variation in the quality of clearbras on other cars.. some really nice and invisible, others looking like WalMart contact paper.

I don't know if it's the materials or the installer that makes all the difference, but I'd like to think the factory installation will be perfect.

One of the reasons I'd pay extra to have it "port installed" is that the person doing it is probably doing Elise's all day and won't be figuring it out for the first time on my car. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Your port installer won't be installing the material for the first time, but he will be doing an Elise for the first time. This makes me think it is a pattern issue and not an installer issue. The material is all 3M stuff, so it is good stuff and the installer is top notch, so I'm pretty sure it is the pattern cut that needs to be tweaked. It could be that the test car the pattern was done from was slightly different or the CAD transfer wasn't close enough, there are some variables involved there.
 

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Mean TT said:
I am now officially renting a car, as I am carless untill the Elise arrives. It does not take long to rack up a huge chaare renting any car, let alone the smallest one. If there is another long delay, I too might be forced to purchase something else. I know the EVO MR willl be here in September, and it would be even more appealing if Mitsubishi was not in such financial peril.

I just can't see how the 3m company didn't prepare for this. It makes me wonder if the Elise body panels are all slightly different, or if 3M just got bad measurements from the Elise (I don't know how that would have happened). When will all of this end? More time for me and the rental to bond.....:no:
MeanTT, I'm sorry, you aren't going to like this. Please go buy that other car. After reading a few of your posts, I think your sub-concious is telling you to buy something else. I honestly believe that you will not be happy with the Elise in the long run. Go get something else and keep in touch with the board. Let us know how it's going with the other car. When the Elise is a stable platform in about a year or so, then come back and see if you like it.
 

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It seems odd that this "problem" has cropped up. I remember seeing the S2 Elise on the list of "kits available" from InvincaShield (a big source for 3M film kits) for ages. The US Elise, at least everything other than the part that clears the brake booster, is no different than the Euro S2.

I think the installer is just getting used to an unknown car...
 

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Installing this stuff isnt easy. This is probably just a learning curve. My husband used to work for a company that put decals on large race trailers/cars/cop cars etc. We used to do alot of side work for friends who raced etc. This stuff is NOT easy to work with and even when you do it right with soapy water and squegee (sp) you still can make mistakes etc. I'd imagine on a car as stylish as the elise has alot of difficult curves to contour.

This is one instance where Im GLAD my car is delayed a little because the installers at port will have time to learn on someone elses car.
 

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Goose said:
It seems odd that this "problem" has cropped up. I remember seeing the S2 Elise on the list of "kits available" from InvincaShield (a big source for 3M film kits) for ages. The US Elise, at least everything other than the part that clears the brake booster, is no different than the Euro S2.

I think the installer is just getting used to an unknown car...
The brake booster part isnt even covered in clearbra.
I think it must be those darn side reflectors screwing everything up.:D

I glad that Lotus is taking the time to make sure that everything is perfect before releasing the cars. It would be embarrassing for them if the clearbra look like crap or was misaligned on the demos. There goes a few sales of it at $1000. Since each car and panel is handbuilt, there must be small variations on each car too.

I'm just wondering how the clearbra holds up against bugs. Would scrubbing or using bug remover cause it to tear or weaken?
 

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xxxotic said:
I glad that Lotus is taking the time to make sure that everything is perfect before releasing the cars. It would be embarrassing for them if the clearbra look like crap or was misaligned on the demos. There goes a few sales of it at $1000. Since each car and panel is handbuilt, there must be small variations on each car too.
The S2 bodywork is made from a slightly different type of GRP by Sotira, a French company. A greater number of smaller panels are made in chromed steel moulds and injection moulded. This allows thinner panels to be produced with localised bonded panels attached later to strengthen particular areas. The use of closed moulds means that the panel shape must be such that it can be extracted once formed, i.e. no re-entrant features. In fact some small re-entrant features exist using sliders within the mould. Both the front and rear clamshells are made from two main pieces which are bonded together at Hethel in special jigs to make a complete clamshell. This new process does not require a gelcoat so gelcracks are a thing of the past.
 

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:(

I was hoping to see the demo while my best friend is in town.

OT:

Genjuro, dividing by zero, we should have infinite elises! :p
 

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Mean TT said:
I just can't see how the 3m company didn't prepare for this. It makes me wonder if the Elise body panels are all slightly different, or if 3M just got bad measurements from the Elise
3M has nothing to do with the pattern for the Elise. Starshield Armor is the company who developed the pattern for this kit. 3M simply sells the clear urethane film to Starshield. Starshield is responsible for creating the pattern and then cutting them out.

Starshield's pattern is mostly one piece. This makes it quite difficult to fit correctly.
 

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shinoo said:
3M has nothing to do with the pattern for the Elise. Starshield Armor is the company who developed the pattern for this kit. 3M simply sells the clear urethane film to Starshield. Starshield is responsible for creating the pattern and then cutting them out.

Starshield's pattern is mostly one piece. This makes it quite difficult to fit correctly.
Ah HA! A new scapegoat for me to be angry with. Your point is well taken of course, I am just kidding. As long as the cars are finally here in the US, and they keep coming here, my frustration is somewhat lessened; except the rental car bills will be piling up here soon!

I hope that all of the delays are not making the Elise less finacially viable for Lotus. While I do not pretend ot be an expert on the cost of clear bras, I would think that there is a fair amount of profit involved in applying them, especially if one contractor gets the bid to apply all of them and is able to reduce the costs per car. I hope that those first customer cars get here so that we can all take a deep breath and see that the car is finally a reality instead of a whispy dream.

BTW, has anyone heard anything about the availability of dealer installed options yet? Do these delays effect options such as the sport exhaust and driving lights, or are they completely unrelated? Do the dealers already have the parts for these options, or will they come with the frist cars? I was jsut a little curious. Thanks.
 

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I would love to hear the logic behind making the Starshield bra out of almost one piece. In addition to making the installation difficult, replacement will be expensive if damaged.

What's everybody's guess -- is it cheaper to produce a clear bra using fewer big pieces vs a larger number of small ones? What would the advantage of the fewer-big-pieces approach be?

I hope this isn't just an example of Lotus sourcing the cheapest thing out there...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Goose said:
I would love to hear the logic behind making the Starshield bra out of almost one piece. In addition to making the installation difficult, replacement will be expensive if damaged.

What's everybody's guess -- is it cheaper to produce a clear bra using fewer big pieces vs a larger number of small ones? What would the advantage of the fewer-big-pieces approach be?

I hope this isn't just an example of Lotus sourcing the cheapest thing out there...
The advantage of a single piece is no seam lines, and no seaming necessary when installing, thus a cleaner look when really up close and inspecting a car. The downside is installing a single piece on a compound curve is much more difficult, requires heating and stretching of the material often times to get just the right fit.

Multiple pieces go on easier, but there will be a seam that while not readily noticeable will be able to be seen from close up. Installers good at seaming can make them virtually invisible, but you need a good installer.

To me, it would depend on where the seams would be as to whether or not I'd want them on the Elise. If you look at the Invinca-shield pattern it is very similar to the Starshield pattern, I think the issue is the front bumper where the body flows in a compound curve down into the center grill opening, but that is just a guess on my part. Like I said, I hope to have more info tomorrow on what the issue is exactly.
 

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Goose,
It's obvious Lotus is bringing us the best elise yet in terms of quality, certainly they'll go for a first rate paint protection installer, which apparently Starmark is. Nothing in the whole US elise package comes off to me as being Lotus going after "the cheapest thing out there"!

Chris
 
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