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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone had their front clamshell crack and break where the grill above the radiator connects and holds?
You can see it in the attached picture where the arrow is pointing (not the top horizontal line - that's the starshield edge).

Wondering how people have fixed this in the past. I'm considering just gluing a thin piece of aluminium on the back.

Tire Hood Automotive tire Vehicle Tread
 

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I can make a 3D printed backer that could be glued to the backside with the correct shape. Does anyone think that would be a valuable part to fab up?
 

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I can make a 3D printed backer that could be glued to the backside with the correct shape. Does anyone think that would be a valuable part to fab up?
I recently purchased a 3d printer. I am really curious how you get the shape and sizing correct. I assume you are using Autocad. Could you talk a little about the process. Thanks.
 

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My usual process it to make a template, sometimes just paper or cardboard, and scan the final shape. Then I pull the image into Fusion 360 and copy it to make a solid. I export the solid as a .stl file and then slice/print in Cura via OctoPrint (Raspverry Pi). PM me if you have further questions or want to talk.
 
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I'd find a slotted washer of the proper dimensions, and adhere it to the backside with 3M #08107. Or maybe or maybe cut it in halves and adhere at the ends of the fiberglass slot if you can't find the perfect washer.
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'd find a slotted washer of the proper dimensions, and adhere it to the backside with 3M #08107. Or maybe or maybe cut it in halves and adhere at the ends of the fiberglass slot if you can't find the perfect washer.
View attachment 1314943
Considering the fact that it's not going to really be holding much weight at all, I was thinking of cutting a thin bendable piece of aluminium into basically the same shape as that washer and gluing it on the backside. I doubt I can find a long enough washer that is also thin and bendable.

Thanks for the glue recommendation... I was wondering about that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
3D printing or fabricating something (while pretty cool) may be too much effort and too time consuming since one would have to worry about the curvature.
I think even something as simple as gluing on some duct tin may do the trick given that it's not going to support much weight at all.
But I was wondering if anyone has actually implemented any fixes or even if this is a common issue?
 

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I wasn;t sure how much space there would be, so I cut a little piece of the bondo self adhesive mesh body patch, then smeared a thin layer of West epoxy on top. Seems fine Rectangle Font Material property Screenshot Parallel







Rectangle Font Material property Screenshot Parallel
 
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My one caution would be to avoid dissimilar materials because of thermal expansion issues. Elise bodywork is short staple molded fiber (glass) reinforced (polyester) plastic. I'd probably put a scab patch of fiberglass cloth on the back side and 'glue' it in place with resin. A second injection of resin into the break points and some careful grinding/sanding with something like a dremel tool and you're fixed without having to take the clam off.
 

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My one caution would be to avoid dissimilar materials because of thermal expansion issues. Elise bodywork is short staple molded fiber (glass) reinforced (polyester) plastic. I'd probably put a scab patch of fiberglass cloth on the back side and 'glue' it in place with resin. A second injection of resin into the break points and some careful grinding/sanding with something like a dremel tool and you're fixed without having to take the clam off.
You have to rough up the backside a little but that shouldn't be that hard. I would cover everything below and do just like you said with a glass patch from the back. Dribble some resin in the slot and after drying take a Dremel tool to open the slot back to original size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My one caution would be to avoid dissimilar materials because of thermal expansion issues. Elise bodywork is short staple molded fiber (glass) reinforced (polyester) plastic. I'd probably put a scab patch of fiberglass cloth on the back side and 'glue' it in place with resin. A second injection of resin into the break points and some careful grinding/sanding with something like a dremel tool and you're fixed without having to take the clam off.
Good point about expansion. I wonder if it would be easier to use some flexible adhesive in order to not worry about expansion and be able to use differing materials? I know silicone isn't great on fiberglass but something else that's similar perhaps.
 

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Pretty sure one side of mine was cracked or missing... I left as is.
 

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Easy fix. I did this fix on mine after inspecting if when it arrived. I used high heat epoxy and it has held for years.
 
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If it is the one holding a certain piece of the black plastic, it will noticeably sag if the whole piece is not there.
Good point, I think it was cracked then. But these are good ideas.

Isn't that an interference spot to go over the crash structure that you wouldn't want to make too thick?
 

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I had that exactly problem. When I had my clam off, I put tape on the painted side, roughed up the back side and used epoxy resin plus fiberglass and a couple of pieces of carbon fiber filament. Then used a Dremel to re-open the slot. I understand you wouldn’t want to pull the clam to have good access for a permanent fix, so you may want a temporary one. But please don’t use some incompatible glue like silicone and make the forever repair harder. The clam is FRP and commonly repaired with fiberglass + epoxy, so I would use that for the temp repair.
 

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Good point, I think it was cracked then. But these are good ideas.

Isn't that an interference spot to go over the crash structure that you wouldn't want to make too thick?
The piece of fiberglass is extremely thin, maybe 3-4 mm wide, not to sure, but very thin and brittle, and anyone pushing force on the radiator vent will crack one if not careful. Wirewheels decided to ship mine already broken and I did a repair on it. This piece just hangs over the radiator, thickness would not matter I don't believe.

Best thing would be to cut a very small peice of fiberglass, double fold it, put some resin on it and place it over (after removing the broke piece). You cant see this area unless you take off the radiator vent.
 

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If bonding a “patch” I would recommend the use of a pliable automotive adhesive over an epoxy. An adhesive will allow compensation for movement of dissimilar repair materials whether from temperature or flexing. U-Pol Tiger Seal is a strong automotive adhesive that will hold up for the job. 3M should also have some good products.
If the clam comes off I would go resin and fiber repair for a more permanent solution that will almost disappear.
 

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The "dissimilar" thing is a non-issue on such a small repair because expansion/contraction will be on the order of micrometers. The 3M 08107 I mentioned above is a 2-part urethane adhesive and has some flex.
 
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