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Well after the repeated scrapes on the front end, including one massive scrape that damaged the front clam, I am having it repaired and repainted. In addition I am having a custom skidplate fabricated and put on the front end. I will post pictures when it is done.

The damage keeps getting worse on the car, and the fiberglass damage keeps deterorating as time goes by. The front end needs to be repaired, and painted, and starshield etc etc. I am however excited to tell everyone that I am having a small strip of durable textured rubber installed on the leading edge of the car to prevent this from hapening over and over. They guys at AUTOSTRADA at Austin have put me in touch with their repair guy, and he has come up with a way to creat a lasting solution to our problem of front end clearance and durabilit.

The "skidplate" will be black, and if completed as described, wrap around the leading edge of the clam. The material that he is using is the same stuff that they apparently use of other exotics such as Ferrarri for this very same problem. All I know is that it is black and textured, but I haven't seen it yet.

I will post pics when it is done. I just wanted everyone to know that he is making somethign for our cars that Lotus did not have the foresight to, and the aftermarket has not developed yet. I have seen 4 Elises in person not including mine as customer cars, and 3 of them had minor damage to the front of the clam.

This is just a reminder that Lotus will not bring thier skidplate here, and if you want front end protection, you will have to develop it yourself, or use AUTOSTRADA's repair guy.
 

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Mean TT said:
This is just a reminder that Lotus will not bring thier skidplate here, and if you want front end protection, you will have to develop it yourself, or use AUTOSTRADA's repair guy.
Where did you hear this? Last I heard, Lotus announced at the LOG recently that they would be selling a molded skidplate (for lack of a better word).
 

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I haven't seen any Elise skidplate solution from anywhere, so keep us posted on what you find out and how it goes.

This rubberized textured protection -- is it like the Rhinoliner truck bed material, or something different?

My concern with a "coating" would be that it doesn't have the structural strength needed to spread out the damage, and will still crack the fiberglass underneath.

Ideally, I'd like a plate that is strong enough to take a curb blow and transfer it to the frame rather than flex the clam.

Can you tell us more about the AUTOSTRADA solution?

I've scraped every low car I've ever driven, and I'm sure that, in time, I'll scrape the Elise too, and it will just hurt..
 

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Not true Mean, I looked at the ones Lotus has developed in polycarbonate at LOG, I suspect they'll be available soon.

Knock on wood, I haven't rubbed anything on the bodywork don't know what kind of roads/driveways you guys have.

Chris
 

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I hope that your solution helps. BUt the pressure has to go somewhere when you bottom out, so even with a skidpad, could you still damage the clam? Or will the skidpad effectively life the body up until the wheels gain the advantage again? Just wondering how it will work...
 

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Okay, I'm curious why there is so much damage to the Elise front end. My MINI has 2.5 inches of ground clearance, my Miata has about 3.5 inches and the Elise is reputed to have 5.0 inches. It doesn't seem that there should be a problem as I've never had any damage or scrapes on any of my cars. The highest car I've ever owned was a '29 Model A hot rod with 4.5 inches clearance. Is it because of the long overhang of the front end of the Elise, or is it excesive speed over bumps and dips?

John
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The protction will be like rhino liner. The fiberglass will be repaired, and then rhino liner applied. The structoraul strength will come from the repair material, and it will be solid and be much thicker than the OEM fiberglass.

My salesman actually called lotus, and apparently the front end is different on teh FED car and teh other cars. He told me that tere were subtly differences because of crash protection in the US and strangely the skidplate would not fit.... I don't know who he spoke with from Lotus, but that is what I was told.

The reason the car gets damaged is because the front end actually juts out in a sense. It is not tapered back like most cars, but the bottom of the car projects. Also think of a Vette. It has a skidplate on the bottom. I don't knw why it always seems to drag, but it does, and does badly. Even my own driveway I have to take at an angle and no more than 2 miles per hour - or it scratched. The most damage was from the curve of a street in dallas where the intersections are creasted in the middle. It hit the ground at 10 miles per hour, and the damage was extensive.

Also there si no solid material in or near the front of the car. The foberglass does not have metal around the bottom for support. Damage can wear right through the body itself.

While I hope there is a Lexon-like material for the car, I was told it was not coming. I hope that I was wrong. I actually would have liked the front splitter like those on the Exige, but I can't seem to find the picture to show everyone. Just for reference it was on a gray Exige and projected 1-2 inches around the bottom end. That would have been functional and increase performance. Oh well......
 

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Driveways (residential and commercial) here in San Diego run the gamut from normal to totally insane. Some gas stations are lethal traps, where the Enter ramp is normal, but then the "Exit Only" ramp is disasterous.

The common residential driveway now has no actual lowered 'curb', but a deep gutter in front of a raised bump for the driveway. This is nearly universal in new construction, unfortunately.

I had an Eclipse with 'sacrificial bolts' on the underside of the nose. For mild scrapes, the bolts would touch down first. After a few years, when the heads are nearly shaved flush, you can replace them with new ones. :) Except for extreme angles, it was actually pretty rare to do damage. I don't expect the Elise to fare as well.

I'd buy any solution that offered some protection without looking gaudy or rice.
 

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I hear a very good rumor too about another source for a skidplate coming in late December/January. I think it is Titanium.
 

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something like this would be nice.

front splitter for Exige.....need one for Elise
 

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Okay, I'm curious why there is so much damage to the Elise front end. My MINI has 2.5 inches of ground clearance, my Miata has about 3.5 inches and the Elise is reputed to have 5.0 inches. It doesn't seem that there should be a problem as I've never had any damage or scrapes on any of my cars.
Maybe it has something to do with the length of car in front of the front wheels. The further the distance, the more likely it is that damage will occur. Physics, I guess.
 

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DesignIt said:
Okay, I'm curious why there is so much damage to the Elise front end. My MINI has 2.5 inches of ground clearance, my Miata has about 3.5 inches and the Elise is reputed to have 5.0 inches. It doesn't seem that there should be a problem as I've never had any damage or scrapes on any of my cars. The highest car I've ever owned was a '29 Model A hot rod with 4.5 inches clearance. Is it because of the long overhang of the front end of the Elise, or is it excesive speed over bumps and dips?

John
The car has a really shallow approach angle. Speed bumps require you to come to a near stop every time.
 
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