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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
File under: why hasn't anyone done this already (namely Lotus)?

I'm considering offering "kits" to convert the Exige access panel fasteners to 1/4-turn fasteners. Unless someone can offer up a source for aluminum (or even steel) shoulder washers that match the diameters of the Exige escutcheons, I'm going to have to have them machined. Being that job set-up is the bulk of the cost, I'm hoping to offset that by distributing the expense - hence the "kits."

With some fettling, the fasteners can almost certainly be made to fit the sidepods as well.

There's six escutcheons on the access panels and another six on the side pods. If I move forward, I'm sure I'll offer black chromate finished fasteners and black anodized escutcheons. I'll have to check on fastener finishes and supply possibilities, but can certainly offer the escutcheons "in the white" (unfinished).

If you've no idea what I'm talking about, think of an older Ducati Hypersport. If that doesn't do it, then here's an illustration. Personally, I'm sick of dealing with the screws on the car and needing tools to get under the panels.

So... any interest? No firm idea on price yet since it will partially depend on how many people would be in on it. I'm not looking to make money on it - just not looking to spend a fortune correcting something as silly as this either. I'm hoping to order fastener samples this week and finalize the dimensions.

Caveats:
- the fasteners will not line up since the clips on both the access panels and side pods are all oriented differently
- this will not work on the Elise since its single fastener arrangement is different
- the fastener handles may be able to contact the bodywork and result in wear on the paint finish although I'm trying to avoid it
- before anyone asks if it will hold at speed, yes and at speeds that the Exige's gearing won't allow it to reach

In the photo, the parts are, L -> R (asterik denotes "kit" part):
- fastener*
- plastic retainer* (used as washer)
- escutcheon*
- access panel
- rubber washer
- plastic washer
- clamshell
- plastic retainer*
- clip*

Update 03/23/09 as ace10 pointed out that it's a bit buried in the thread:

$75 - USPS Priority (including APO/FPO)
$90 - EMS Mail ROW


Not exactly as pictured in the drawing below, but the kit consists of:
6 - Dzus Panex style fasteners (bright chromate finish)
6 - custom shoulder washers in 6061
6 - Dzus Panex clips (zinc coated)
and more than enough nylon washers
 

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Definitely interested - I've hit the same problem. But I think handles contacting the paint would be a big drawback.
 

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probably interested, but not for the sides.

how about coming up with a solution for the undertray and diffuser??????? :bow:
 

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What ace said, both points.

Great ideas!
 

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Interested if reasonably priced.
 

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I'm interested, too. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm in just because you said escutcheon so many times.
LOL! I'd have just said "shoulder washer" if I could find an off the shelf one that would fit.

probably interested, but not for the sides.

how about coming up with a solution for the undertray and diffuser??????? :bow:
This should be easily accomplished with off the shelf parts. They make blind 1/4-turn receptacles that can be pressed in. I haven't really looked into it but could see it requiring drilling out the factory inserts, etc., and being further than people (namely me) would want to modify things.

I may have a solution to the diffuser and undertray, PM me if interested.
Feel free to share!

So far, I was told the anodizing should be around $50 per batch. As to the machine time... well, I was tied up this afternoon helping the machinist remove the G50 (casing only) he was thinking of converting to and getting this UN1 in place. He won't give me a firm answer on price and left me with the impression that he owed me a favor. Last time I dropped by, he was milling brackets for some funny looking red car that says "Gainsco" all over it.
;)

Cool - I'll get the samples ordered, confirm the dimensions, and try to pin the machinist down.
:D

UN1 in place - a few more parts and she'll be back on the road and terrorizing turbo P-cars.
 

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question:

any way for the fastener to be retained on the panel in order to lessen the chances of it being lost?

i'd hate to spend (what i consider to be) big bucks for some very useful fasteners only to lose them. thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
question:

any way for the fastener to be retained on the panel in order to lessen the chances of it being lost?

i'd hate to spend (what i consider to be) big bucks for some very useful fasteners only to lose them. thoughts?
Absolutely - the plastic washer closest to the clip (2nd from right) fits over a bulgde on the fastener shaft and should hold everything captive to the access panel.

Same should hold true for the undertray fasteners too (or something similar, anyway).

There's a couple of blind inserts available and they require a ~14mm deep hole that's either ~10mm or 13mm in diameter. I'm on the sidelines though - let's see what alexandertg4 comes up with. I might be able to work something out if he doesn't, but I'd really want a car to test it on (preferably a totaled chassis) as the drilling couldn't be easily undone.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Samples inbound from the manufacturer... but they've substituted finishes.
:mad:

Min. direct order value is $5k.
rotfl
 

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...
Min. direct order value is $5k.
rotfl
good luck with that. :crazyeyes

a cocktail napkin business plan shows that not to be viable. -poke-
 

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Discussion Starter #16
good luck with that. :crazyeyes

a cocktail napkin business plan shows that not to be viable. -poke-
Yeah, hopefully one of their distributors/vendors is more accomodating.

I'm doubting the availability of the black finish, which isn't all that great on the ones I already have on hand anyway. So... now to see about getting things PVD coated.
:D

Unfortunately, this may drag out into a month or two long process.

I wish this was an excuse to get my very own compact Platit but I'd get more use out of a 3-axis mill.
;)
 

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I've been thinking about this as well. But since you are doing it...count me in. And thank you!
 

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Call Southco.
 

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