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Discussion Starter #1
I'm installing a wing and will need to put some holes in my nice shiny rear shell. My approach is as follows:

1. Painters tape (medium stick) apply to area to be drilled
2. Locate Wing struts and measure for uniformity
3. Get new drill bits
4. Drill smaller pilot hole first
5. If all good, drill main holes for the bolts

Sound good or am I missing something?

Also, drilling into the trunk for the support brace -- do I need to watch out for anything below the trunk -- I believe rivits are suggested?

Thanks in advance all you fiberglass gurus.

Rob.
 

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I rode and raced jet skis for more than 12 years and I had a lot of experience with fiberglass hulls (some gel coated and some painted). As a matter of fact, when I first looked inside the boot of a Lotus, I smiled with familiar content.

Although your proposed methods seem sound for most non-fiberglass applications, I always used a dremel to drill through the hulls, as I saw that when others used bits, they sometimes grabbed and cracked the gel coat/paint. The use of progessive bits is a good idea, as it will lower the chance of a potential problem, but if it was me, I would use a dremel cone-shaped grinding bit to make the starter hole you need, and just hog it out the rest of the way with that bit as needed. You also get a lot of control on the speed with the dremel. The tape is still a good idea to show your starter mark and you can remove it at any time.

A note of caution - fiberglass can cause a serious irritation and/or damage to your nasal passages and lungs if not rapidily expelled by the body. So, wear a mask and don't take it off until the air has settled, or better yet, use a vacuum at the grinding area (taped in place or a helper) to minimize the disbursion. Always wear eye protection - period, no exceptions, no matter how simple the grinding task.

Best of luck and I can't wait for the pics!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the response, Dremel sounds like the way to go for me.

How about these drill bits?

Could you clarify the hole making technique with a Dremel?

1. Use 1/8" drill bit for Dremel for starter hole
2. Use cone grinder bit to expand the hole to required size
3. Once at correct hole size is started, use larger drill bit for dremel or high speed drill bit (don't think dremel goes larger than 1/4" bit)

Does that sound about right? (I'm not sure of the bolt size just yet)

Yes, I always wear a mask and eye protection and latex gloves, then vacuum and then compressed air to blow dust out.

Will post pics by Friday (that's when it has to be done)! :)
 

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Just a note of caution. The Elise body is not a classic fiberglass shell, rather it is a composite which requires special care when handling. Might be good to check with a shop that has done work on the Elise shells to make sure you don't get it wrong.
Not taking anything away from what has been suggested, just adding a note of caution.
good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I appreciate the caution, can you give me more details?

Thanks, Rob.
 

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Thank you for the response, Dremel sounds like the way to go for me.

How about these drill bits?

Could you clarify the hole making technique with a Dremel?

1. Use 1/8" drill bit for Dremel for starter hole
2. Use cone grinder bit to expand the hole to required size
3. Once at correct hole size is started, use larger drill bit for dremel or high speed drill bit (don't think dremel goes larger than 1/4" bit)

Does that sound about right? (I'm not sure of the bolt size just yet)

Yes, I always wear a mask and eye protection and latex gloves, then vacuum and then compressed air to blow dust out.

Will post pics by Friday (that's when it has to be done)! :)
Drill Bits vs. Grinding Tools: I am not fan of using a drill bit of any size on coated fiberglass of any kind and I used the cone-shaped grinding bits for all fiberglass penetration and hole sizing purposes, small and large. I looked at the link you provided, but still, my experience has been to stay away from drill bits. Drill bits are designed for cutting a more solid material that would better resist the vibration and more violent cutting action of drilling and as mentioned, this is a composite with various layers and those layers are very thin and fragile – easily cracked by too much pressure and vibration, not to mention the added effects of heat generated by either process. Just look at some of the clam damage pics to see how the layers separate and display after an impact. Some of the hulls I worked on had various areas layed-up differently with various resins and/or materials for added strengh and/or needed flexibility, but holes could be made using the method I mention. I do not have experience on an Elise/Exige body, so I would definitely check out the note mentioned in the earlier post on how the Elise body is constructed and the care required, and if ok, then just use a small cone-shaped grinding bit to start the process and then move up to progressively larger cone-shaped bit(s) to finish to hole to size. It is an easy process, just take your time, measure twice, etc.

Starter Mark – Taping: I would use painters tape to place over the area I intended to penetrate and mark the intended hole with a penciled “X” just like you would any other surface that it is not feasible to use an awl-punch hole to start. I would NOT recommend pressing an awl hole into the paint as a starter, just to be on the safe side.

Hope this helps.
 

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If you want to get a bit more precise but this may be over the top. Use painters tape as above but use a hole template to draw a circle and cut out circle with an Xacto knife. With the whole template scratch a circle in to the paint (lightly do not force it) this will let you see where to stop better. Once you have the right spot figured out, trace the out side of your template, or some other holes, this way when you do the scratch you know better where to hold the template, and if it moved. Then grind away.

Also you can tape a washer down (a second layer) to be a guide as you grind. Assuming you can find a washer that has the right size hole you need.
 

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Use a Unibit, no tape needed and go slowly with the rpm.
Interesting - I will have to keep that in mind. (My apologies to the OP, but great lean angle on the avitar photo! [Moto GP/Superbike/Supersport fan:up:])
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Great advice everyone, thank you!

Milcher, have you used a unibit on an Elise/Exige before?

Thanks, Rob.
 

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nope, not yet. But I've used unibits on polyester resin/fiberglass, painted, primed, gel-coated, epoxy resin/fiberglass with various paints and various thickness layups without ever a problem or a chipped hole.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Excellent, will use the unibit going SLOWLY :) I'll keep the dremel on standby.

Thanks again.
 

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Using a regular drill bit works fine if you are using the bracket as a guide for the holes, which supports the top from pulling up.
The pilot hole is a bad idea, as that will aid in the drill bit going to deep too quick.

If you are putting a real wing on the back, and it is attached to the clam, then you need something that brings the load down to the subframe member, as the downforce is substantial.
If not the clam with start to crack from the stress.

I know this, and am now making some brackets to bring the load down.
I was told, but thought ¿how much force can it be?.
(Well the force is related to the speed)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Holmz,

Thanks for the response, yes the CF Reverie 1650mm wing includes the support brackets for subframe member. Assume there are no issues around drilling into the subframe? I believe I can just rivit the support brackets into the subframe?

I'm going to use the Unibit and go slowly, probably will tape area regardless, from what I hear, the rear clam is pretty thick in this area.
 

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Discussion Starter #15

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Wow, your call is awesome!!! Nice job!!! :up:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well, I only got 5 laps in and I had the wing set to medium downforce -- it did feel much more "connected" in the rear than before. But I honestly haven't done enough laps to get a proper opinion on the downforce it produces.

I do know that it has drastically reduced my "rattle noises" now the stock wing is no long flapping around on my clam/hood. And it's nice to look in my side mirror and see a solid stable wing.

I don't have a problem with how the stock wing looks, but it's attachment location is just silly -- it's one of those "what were Lotus thinking" moments. Even with the trunk braces for my new wing, it still leaves more than enough trunk space for helmet, suit, food, drinks, etc. etc.
 

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Robains, what size unibit did you need to drill the holes?

I'm about a month away from installing mine...
 
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