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Discussion Starter #1
A coworker (the nicest term I could use) in his truck didn't see my Elise parked to his right when he backed out Monday afternoon. The truck hit my Elise, breaking the mirror off and cracking the driver's side sill (see pics). I was inside the building at the time. He did leave a note. His insurance will be paying the repair bill.

Should I replace the sill, door and mirror? According to the factory shop manual, to replace the sill the repair shop will have to both clams and the dash panel, and then the repair gets tricky.

Or, should I just get the sill fiberglass repaired? Then, nobody has to dismantle my car.

I doubt there is any structural damage. It was a super slow hit onto a very strong part of the chassis.

Can anyone recommend a shop that has taken an Elise apart, and, more importantly, put it back together again successfully? I live and work in the Clarksville/Columbia part of Maryland.
 

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Hi Sam,

Sorry to hear about your car. It sounds like you're taking this as well as could be expected though, which is half the battle.

I'm no expert on body repair and I've seen [what appeared] like far less damage proclaimed as 'total loss' enough times on this board to make me wince. With that said, if it really is just some cracked fiberglass, it can be fixed.

When my front lip/clam was cracked earlier this year I took the car to Givens Collision in Frederick. I'm personal friends with the owner (Jay) and he did an amazing job on the repair and respray. He guarantees the work for life and is a big operation, so if nothing else you might let him look at the car and share his opinion on how to proceed.
 

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Repair the sill panel would be my advise. That's a major R & R and you only have some minor cracks.
yup, repair the sill (iirc it cant be replaced since its the only part of the body panels thats not removable)

replace the mirror components & all should be well after the paint dries


I assume the coworker took full responsibility & is having his insurance take care of the bill?
 

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yup, repair the sill (iirc it cant be replaced since its the only part of the body panels thats not removable)

replace the mirror components & all should be well after the paint dries


I assume the coworker took full responsibility & is having his insurance take care of the bill?

Well it can be replaced and is offered as a body part. It's bonded to the frame in places and pretty intrusive to remove. More like the crash structure R & R.
 

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We have taken front and rear clams off but have not attempted the sills. I cant see it being anymore difficult as long as its not bonded to the frame.
Ok.. I'll just post the manual. Rather than saying over and over again it's harder.

From the book:

The sill panels incorporate the ‘A’ and ‘B’ posts, and are bonded to the chassis, windscreen frame and
rear bulkhead panel. The sill bottom flange, and rear end of the will top flange are bonded into grooves in the
chassis main side rails and it is necessary to cut the sills in the course of their removal: It is not practical to
attempt to remove a sill panel intact for later refitment. If sill damage occurs which is not repairable ‘in situ’,
the sill panel should be renewed.
To Replace Sill Panel
A short section of sill flange underlaps the windscreen frame buttress flange in the front wheelarch area
and requires that some cutting and laminating of the new panel is required on assembly.
1. Remove front and rear clamshells (see sub-sections BR.5, BR.6), dash panel (BR.13) and door hinge
bracket (BR.8).
2. Remove the door latch striker pin and washers, noting the assembly sequence. Remove the door sill trim
panel from the chassis and the door ajar switch from the sill panel.
3. Use a sealant cutting knife to cut the adhesive bead between sill and chassis/body panels.
Note:
- In the front wheelarch area, a short section of the sill flange underlaps the windscreen frame buttress
flange. Unless the windscreen is also to be removed, it will be necessary to cut the sill around this flange
in order to release the sill.
- The bottom edge of the sill, and the rear part of the top edge, locate in grooves in the chassis side frame,
and may not readily be cut out with the sill intact. Cut the sill as necessary to release the panel, and then
remove the remaining edges of the panel from the chassis using a suitable cutting knife.
- Cut the sealant around the door hinge post aperture.
- Cut the sealant between the panel and roll over bar.
Bonding
4. Remove excess sealant from all the bonding areas on the chassis and body panels. It is not necessary to
remove all traces of old adhesive, but any remaining adhesive must be securely bonded and be cut with
a scalpal blade to leave an even thickness of 1 - 2 mm.
5. If necessary, cut the top front corner of the sill flange to allow mating of the panel around the windscreen
butress flange. Dry fit the sill and fettle as necessary to achieve a good fit. Note that a new sill will require
an alloy right angle bracket (A120B0053F) riveting to the rear end of the sill panel to form a bonding surface.
Holes are pre-drilled, with two pairs of holes in the bracket to suit Rover and Toyota powertrain cars. For
Toyota powertrain cars, use the innermost holes in the bracket to pull the sill panel furthest inboard.
6. Before preparing the surfaces for bonding, ensure that the necessary pipes and cables are fitted to the
chassis side rails:
RH side: - heater feed pipe
- brake pipe
- alloy spigot for side impact foam
LH side: - heater return pipe
- brake pipe
- clutch pipe
- servo vacuum hose
- main battery positive cable
- alloy spigot for side impact foam
Check that the following components are fitted into the composite sill:
RH side: - 2 a.c. pipes (if applicable)
- oil cooler return hose (if applicable)
- side impact foam
- foam baffle
LH side: - oil cooler feed hose (if applicable)
- side impact foam
- foam baffle
7. Prepare the bonding surface of the new sill panel with Betaclean 3900 and Betaprime 5404 (see subsection
BQ.5). Prepare surface of the old adhesive bead on the chassis and body panels Using Betawipe
4000 (see sub-section BQ.5).
8. Apply a bead of Betaseal/mate adhesive (see sub-section BQ.5) to the bonding surface on the chassis and
body and fit the sill panel into position, first locating the sill bottom edge into its chassis slot, and press all
around the joint to ensure sufficient spread of adhesive. If necessary, use a spatula to smooth or remove
any extruded adhesive, and to neaten any visual areas. If necessary, add adhesive to the joint around
the door hinge post, and to the windscreen frame, and smooth with a spatula.
9. Clamp the panel into position until the adhesive has cured (see sub-section BQ.5).
10. If the top front corner of the sill flange has been cut to fit around the windscreen butress flange, this area
should be reinforced as follows: Roughen the surface of the windscreen buttress flange and the adjacent
sill panel in the modified area, and lay up two pieces of chopped strand mat across the joint.
11. Refit the dash panel, front and rear clamshells, doors, both wheelarch liners and other components as
necessary.
 

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- Replace Mirror and Plinth
- Fix sill/rocker

BTW, if you are interested, I have a mirror plinth for sale. It's saffron yellow, but you'll have to paint it anyway. PM if interested.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
When my front lip/clam was cracked earlier this year I took the car to Givens Collision in Frederick. I'm personal friends with the owner (Jay).
Nice talking to you at the FATT. I took my car to Givens on Saturday. They are going to repair the cracks rather than replace the sill. Thanks for the recommendation.

I didn't realize that Jay Givens was at the FATT, too, running his BMW. Although I didn't realize it at the time, I gave his daughter's boyfriend a ride in my car after lunch. Small world!

It was great to see so many Elises at the FATT. Too bad two of them had problems (I won't mention any names).
 

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Hi Sam

Good news on Jay. He's a super nice guy and very well respected around here, so I'm sure the car will turn out well.

As to FATT, yes, I boiled my brake fluid, putting me out of commission after the third session. On the bright side, however, I've now got a good reason to upgrade the brake system, and I now know that the car can take turn 10 at 85mph!
 
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