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Discussion Starter #1
Where to start with this one, maybe at the beginning.

I purchased my very nice '05 nightfall blue Elise from an LT member in 2009. Before selling the car to me, he had posted this thread, http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f3/varmint-cong-must-die-27161/ detailing a mouse that carried off much of a bag of dog food in his trunk. The mouse met its demise many years ago, and the car has been happy in my garage for years (mouseless).

There had alsways been a faint rolling noise when I cornered, coming from somewhere under or in the dash. I assumed that a set screw or something else from a radio install had gotten loose and never bothered to take things apart. This summer however I did a lot more track time, and it began sounding like I had a lot more loose pieces in there. WTF? Then, after a session, I found what looked like kibble on my floor. WTF again.

Taking the dash off revealed the old (dead) mouse nest and dog food that had happily sitting under the dash since '07. It's now gone, thank you. The mouse never did any damage to the wires, it just dragged a bunch of food to the nooks and crannies and then was killed off by the original owner.

But here is the problem. There is a beam that must enclose a hollow space that runs transversely under the dash, and there is still dog food inside that beam. That's the soft rattling sound I've been hearing for years. The beam has several mounting holes for the airbags on both RH and LH drive cars, but no other visible means of entry. There must be an exit hole of some kind, since the vermin carried food in, and I STILL get a piece of kibble falling out every once in a hot lap, but I can't see where it comes from. I thought it must be the pedal box, but my stumped mechanic, at a very good Lotus dealer, says it's not connected to where the dog food must be trapped.

So, good forum members, any suggestions? I really don't want to drill a structural beam. Has anyone disassembled the front end who can point me to how to get at the dog food? All I need is a way in and a vacuum, even a 1 inch nozzle should do the trick.

Andy
 

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Get a pet mouse to eat the old food? :)

Where to start with this one, maybe at the beginning.

I purchased my very nice '05 nightfall blue Elise from an LT member in 2009. Before selling the car to me, he had posted this thread, http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f3/varmint-cong-must-die-27161/ detailing a mouse that carried off much of a bag of dog food in his trunk. The mouse met its demise many years ago, and the car has been happy in my garage for years (mouseless).

There had alsways been a faint rolling noise when I cornered, coming from somewhere under or in the dash. I assumed that a set screw or something else from a radio install had gotten loose and never bothered to take things apart. This summer however I did a lot more track time, and it began sounding like I had a lot more loose pieces in there. WTF? Then, after a session, I found what looked like kibble on my floor. WTF again.

Taking the dash off revealed the old (dead) mouse nest and dog food that had happily sitting under the dash since '07. It's now gone, thank you. The mouse never did any damage to the wires, it just dragged a bunch of food to the nooks and crannies and then was killed off by the original owner.

But here is the problem. There is a beam that must enclose a hollow space that runs transversely under the dash, and there is still dog food inside that beam. That's the soft rattling sound I've been hearing for years. The beam has several mounting holes for the airbags on both RH and LH drive cars, but no other visible means of entry. There must be an exit hole of some kind, since the vermin carried food in, and I STILL get a piece of kibble falling out every once in a hot lap, but I can't see where it comes from. I thought it must be the pedal box, but my stumped mechanic, at a very good Lotus dealer, says it's not connected to where the dog food must be trapped.

So, good forum members, any suggestions? I really don't want to drill a structural beam. Has anyone disassembled the front end who can point me to how to get at the dog food? All I need is a way in and a vacuum, even a 1 inch nozzle should do the trick.

Andy
 

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See if you can get a blow gun on one side and a vacuum on the other. Blow the kibble toward the vacuum hose, that should get the rest out without having to remove the beam. Be very careful working around air bags, if you need to remove them disconnect the battery and let the car sit for an hour.

If you can't get a blow gun in there buy one with a pipe like a brake line and attach a length of vacuum hose to the pipe and insert the hose into the hole of the beam... remote operation.
 

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Get a pet mouse to eat the old food? :)
+1 rotfl

How much dog food is still in there? A few pieces?... or a handful of pieces? If it's just a few pieces, just go racing more and wait for them to fall out. Sounds like a good explanation to your wife when she sees that your bank account is lower than normal.

"Hunny, everyone said that the only way to remove the dog food was to go to the racetrack twice as often as usual. I HAVE to go!"
 

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Haha I like the pet mouse idea. When does the food come out? When you corner hard left, or hard right? That will give you a basis for your search.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Haha I like the pet mouse idea. When does the food come out? When you corner hard left, or hard right? That will give you a basis for your search.
Heh, I'm not really looking at my feet when I'm trying to go fast, so no idea as it happens. But afterwards it does appear more on the left than the right. I would say it's the pedal box area but my tech says no.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
+1 rotfl

How much dog food is still in there? A few pieces?... or a handful of pieces? If it's just a few pieces, just go racing more and wait for them to fall out. Sounds like a good explanation to your wife when she sees that your bank account is lower than normal.

"Hunny, everyone said that the only way to remove the dog food was to go to the racetrack twice as often as usual. I HAVE to go!"
My wife thinks its hilarious, as does my pug, George.

Nix the mouse pet idea though, because at least 6 year old dog food has no smell....
 

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I have similar story. The mouse made his home in my cabin filter compartment. Fortunately he didn't die there but he left a big 'ole bed made out of my engine compartment lining (yeah he tore that up real good). Also he left scat pellets underneath my air box that I was able to wash out with a pressure sprayer.
 

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It could be worse. Two weekends ago I tore down an old shed near my cabin. While pulling down a shelf above my head a small mountain of dried raccoon poop fell on my head. I scared the raccoon away during the summer, if I knew he left all of that for me I would have used something larger than a stick.
 

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It could be worse. Two weekends ago I tore down an old shed near my cabin. While pulling down a shelf above my head a small mountain of dried raccoon poop fell on my head. I scared the raccoon away during the summer, if I knew he left all of that for me I would have used something larger than a stick.
So when an outbreak occurs and its virally related... I will point them to you and your shed.... :panic:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Soooo, after all the funnin'

Does anyone know if there is an entry point from the footwell area into the front bulkhead other than the pedal box? I can't see one but there must be something, hence my question...
 

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I had a similar issue and found acorns rolling in the dash. They roll from one side to the other during tight turns. I got to the mess accidentally when changing my front speakers. Then i got more out when i removed my radio. Then i removed even more when i removed the panel on the passenger side cubby. I used a vac. Hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks goober, that's what I was asking about.

If you don't mind, what panel are you talking about, the light switch or something else?
 

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Hey Andy, first of all my apologies but your original post made me laugh so hard that I was almost in tears. Whatever you do, you HAVE to get every last piece of kibble out of there! Do you know how much weight that's adding???!!!

rotfl
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks, I'll give that a try.
 
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