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Discussion Starter #1
Hey LT,

I just removed the hardtop on my new-to-me 06 Elise and discovered some cracks along the rear part of the hardtop where the top sits on top of the rear windshield. I've searched on the forums and didn't find any threads talking about the same kind of cracks (only stress fractures at mounting points, which this doesn't seem to be), so I was wondering if any other people on here have noticed the same kinds of issues and what recommendations you guys might have to address this?

1255028

1255027


Again, the cracks that you're seeing are located long the rear of the hardtop where it sits above the rear windshield. Honestly, it feels like the crack could be just the dried paint coming off, but it's a little thick for me to be sure about that; I think it could also be a layer of fiberglass coming apart (is the hardtop made of fiberglass?) but I really have no experience with fiberglass so this is just my conjecture.

For what it's worth, I watched a video about the Lotus hardtop and noticed some cracks on the reviewer's hardtop as well, but his were on the front side of the hardtop (where it sits on the front windshield) and that looks a little more innocuous than the cracks in my hardtop. Link here:
at 1:46. Unfortunately, the crack in the video isn't very clear as the reviewer kind of just pans past it. In any case, this suggests to me that these cracks could be more common?

My question to you guys are:

1. Is damage like this pretty common with our hardtops? Is this an instance of TADTS?
2. What are your recommendations here? Is this just a paint cracking issue that I can potentially just ignore or does it seem like an actual crack in the structure that I should try to address? If the latter, any recommendations on who I can speak to about it? A body shop or some place that specializes in fiberglass?


Thanks guys!
 

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From the pics, it looks like a crack in the fiberglass. It could maybe be the paint only but you seeing it in person would know for sure. I don't recall any posts about cracks in that area. Hard to really know if that was caused by normal wear, or if previous owner(s) accidentally caused that crack but did not see it much of an issue and just left it. Not sure where your area is, but alot of body shops would be able to fix that. If you want to take it a step further, you can search your area for shops who specialize in fiberglass repair. Good luck with what you decide.
 

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If indeed it is cracking... def address it. Since it appears to be in areas not visible, if it were me (having experience, but no professional opinion WHATSEVER), I'd try a DIY fix first. I'd start by drilling a small hole (some refer to it as a 'pilot' hole) at each end of ONE of the cracks (to keep vcracks from spreading--the drill size should be just barely larger than the width of the crack. Follow this with filling the crack -from drillpoint to drillpoint with a good quality 2 part (fiberglass) epoxy --NOT the fast/5-minute curing stuff commonly found in stores --the slow setting provides a better+stronger bond. You can find this type epoxy in a clear formula, which will make it that much less noticeable. Let it cure at least a day and check the top for flexing and see if the epoxy holds. If it seems to work, repeat for others. If not, then consider shopping the job to a place that does marine (boat) fiberglass work.
M1
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Can anyone confirm what the hardtop is made of? I tried searching, but couldn't find anything definitive. When I press and pull at the crack, it looks to be a thin layer of material that isn't necessarily attached to the body of the hardtop, which is why I thought it might be paint, but it's a lot thicker than I'd expect paint to be (I imagine if it was just paint and clear coat, the material would just crumble if I flexed it at all).
 

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One of the ones I bought had a crack. I was told it was from tightening the back too tight. I ended up selling it (as I wasn’t bothered painting it and I found one in my color). The guy who bought it put some glue in it and painted it - it was still fine when I saw him a couple of years ago.
 
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