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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
How to remove a crash structure in 13 easy steps!

step 1) get excited when you see this informative- looking post
http://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f3/crash-structure-replacement-33910/

step 2) get let down when you realize it's 98% about a semantics error in a brochure

step 3) buy windshield removal kit and try in vain to saw through Betaseal

step 4) swear liberally when step 3 does not work

step 5) use the old standby- whale on it with a hammer (BFH). Also may use this step to attempt to pry off crash structure with a screwdriver, brute force, and a wrench

step 6) refer to step 4, apply to outcome of step 5

step 7) get desperate. Heat threading tool (from windshield kit, step 3) with propane torch and attempt to slice through Betaseal. Break threading tool in the process.

step 8) dig out old crappy knife that a friend left at your apartment back in college

step 9) use torch from step 7 to heat crappy knife

step 10) hack away at Betaseal with red hot knife blade. Make sure to leave torch on at all times, periodically almost catching fire to yourself/your Elise. Bonus points if you have a gas can less than 2 feet away.

step 11) Keep hacking until step 4 is called into play

step 12) give up on blowtorch, resume attempts at brute strength

step 13) amazingly, the hacking actually helped, the crash structure is ripped off with a minimum of bodily injury.

 

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ok, so where does the wife come into play here? lol!

still laughing at your play by play description.
 

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In all seriousness, I should mention that a Step 2a should be included above: Before removing any significant portion of the crash structure, you really will need to use a die grinder, cut-off wheel or similar to cut the top 90 degree edge of the crash structure away. As others have mentioned, there isn't much risk of getting into the aluminum channel as long as one is careful. A shop-vac is very handy, as is a respirator or two. Once the cut is made, the top flange of the crash structure can simply be pulled off. Also, you have thus exposed the primary bonding face for hot-knife or windshield wire cutting.
 

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It was fairly easy to pull the structure off for me :shrug:

I took an electric saw and sawed off as much as I can.. As close as I can get to the chassis without touching the aluminum chassis. Then I used a flat nail puller

Pic of the nail puller


And hammered that between the chassis and the crash structure. Came off easy.


I used a wire brush on my drill to take the rest of he betaseal off of the chassis. I have some pics at home..





I can guide you through installation if you need help...
 

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Thanks, that's the plan.

It really wasn't that hard overall- just turns out that the windshield removal wire was a bit of a dead end. There's also some artistic license in the 13-step story above...
I thought it was a great writeup and am looking forward to more of the same :) - some people here are too serious :(

All the best with the project :wave:
 

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Just a quick update tonight: cleaned off the front crash structure of all remaining betaseal and black primer. Too bad we won't be keeping the brushed aluminum effect!

The 4" coarse wire wheel took care of everything that a putty knife and the heat gun didn't.

 

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So, visually not a lot of progress - but we've made headway.

Other than the suspension parts that need to be swapped out, the car is stripped down as far as will be necessary.

The warm weather welcomed a first wash in our drive (which was welcome after removing the crash structure, and the dirt that had accumulated during and since the "off.")



Thanks to all that have helped us source parts so far!
 

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very cool, just drive it like that, tie a couple of things down first though :)

but don't put the battery on the heat shield and drive around, ask me how i know.
If it wasn't for the steering, we would!

Actually, around here - it is scary what you can legally get away with. I have seen (and been passed on my commute by) plated dune buggies / sandrails with no floor or other panels, swamper tires, taped on head (flash)lights, and based on a cursory evaluation, the main screw behind the steering wheel was quite loose.

...Still, probably one hell of a rush.
 
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