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Discussion Starter #1
I knows there's been discussions about weatherstripping thickness btwn the glass or composite roof.
Are there any suggested solutions to this issue so changing panels become easier?
I know when I had my 89 Esprit I didn't have this weatherstripping thickness problem.
Thoughts
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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If you have the thicker weatherseal, you can use it with the solid roof.
 

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My 2003 Esprit came from the factory with the glass roof option, but neither of the POs had ever installed the glass roof. When I bought the car in 2019 my first official action was to promptly remove the composite roof (it had never been off the car), gave my seller a ride in it and he commented "gee this is nice, I should have popped that top off long ago."

The glass roof is installed and there it will stay. Included in the sale was the original Lotus glass roof weatherstrip still in the bag. I am not inclined to remove the factory installed weatherstrip since there are zero leaks and no issues with noise, and especially since it seems glued in place. The front mounting tabs sometimes squeak a little in their sockets but silicone grease helps that and I don't think it's at all related to the weatherstrip.

Anyway just wondering if anyone had a different view or experience where changing the weatherstrip makes any real difference.

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I have the glass roof with the thicker seal installed. When I switch back to the composite roof (for track days) there is more resistance and force necessary to secure the latches. Makes me a little concerned due to the plastics latch arms being 25 year old plastic and having them break before. I've also used washers as spacers to help adjust the the latch pressure needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So should I get the extra thick weatherstripping? My S4s came with the stock composite roof.
 

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I suggest reading the posts from Sanj below
I bought it for my S4 to install the glass roof.
 

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If you have wind noise or rain leakage you need the taller seal for the glass top. The glass is a bit thinner than the solid top so the seal used for the solid top won't seal well with the glass top. I prefer the glass top also but it does make the cabin hotter on a hot, sunny day. The solid top makes the cabin seem more claustrophobic. You should also have the wind deflector for the times when you don't use either the solid or the glass top and you should also have the vinyl bag to put one of the tops in when it is not being used. Among other things that the car originally came with are two sets of ignition keys, 2 fobs, 2 cylindrical alarm bypass keys and 2 keys for the wheels (if you have the Novas). Also an owner's manual, antennae, tool kit, spare tire, jack, and lug wrench. Often some bits go missing when a car is sold. The solid top and wind deflector are painted to the body color.
David Teitelbaum
 

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If you have wind noise or rain leakage you need the taller seal for the glass top. The glass is a bit thinner than the solid top so the seal used for the solid top won't seal well with the glass top. I prefer the glass top also but it does make the cabin hotter on a hot, sunny day. The solid top makes the cabin seem more claustrophobic. You should also have the wind deflector for the times when you don't use either the solid or the glass top and you should also have the vinyl bag to put one of the tops in when it is not being used. Among other things that the car originally came with are two sets of ignition keys, 2 fobs, 2 cylindrical alarm bypass keys and 2 keys for the wheels (if you have the Novas). Also an owner's manual, antennae, tool kit, spare tire, jack, and lug wrench. Often some bits go missing when a car is sold. The solid top and wind deflector are painted to the body color.
David Teitelbaum
A primary reason that I selected my car to purchase was the excellent original condition and complete set of original accoutrements that includes all the above, plus the window sticker, but not the wind deflector and my Nova's do not have keyed lug nuts. Not only are there 2 complete sets of keys but one fob even has the Esprit logo, which I hadn't seen with any other cars:

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I thought the OEM rubber lanyard was a bad idea, felt like it would break the first time I pulled the keys out of my pocket, so I found replacement fob cases on eBay that have metal rings instead. Dirt cheap for the case only, just need to swap in your existing buttons/PCB from the OEM fob. Sorry, I know this is off topic a bit.

On my composite roof one of the latch arms is cracked, not a big deal since it will probably never go back on the car while I own it, but would like to lay in a spare or 2 since they look delicate. Does anyone know a source for the roof latch arms?
 

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The V-8's had the Cobra alarm that came with key fobs and unlocked the doors while also disabling the alarm. The original fobs had the Esprit silk-screened on but it wears off quickly if you handle the fob much. Usually one gets handled a lot and the other not so much. The aftermarket cases don't have the silk screening. The rubber piece gets old and breaks but they are available. One of the ignition keys has a light in it, I see one of yours does have a light. You should not have the cylindrical key attached to the other keys. I keep one with the second set and the other is in the tool kit. It is only needed to bypass the alarm if it won't work or to program a key fob.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Pic #1 - This is my Stevens glass top used on my late 88 Esprit. I modified the glass top by putting additional weatherstripping so that it added more pressure/closed gap with existing 'composite top' gasket. The composite gasket was likely worn and collapsed - the composite top rattles like a can of marbles at times. The glass top rattled far less due to the higher crush pressue of the additional gasket.

Pic #2 is the bag.

Pic #3 is the taller gasket I bought from SJS back in 2014, but never used - it was easier to add the weatherstripping to the glass top vs. replacing the existing gasket. Also, back in 2014, I was told the gasket would not work well with the composite top (too tall).

Seraph's concern about breaking the old clamps (plastic) is a real issue - that's why I went with the weather strip on the glass top.

Another rumor was that glass top Esprits from factory had the roof opening cut lower for the taller gasket. Unable to confirm.

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There is no mention of cutting down the lip in any of the parts manuals I have.
 

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My 96 S4s never came with key FOBs. Just keys. Interesting.
The fob's are for the Cobra alarm that started in 1998. My 1997 V8 has the older S4s interior and no alarm, hence no fobs, which I'm seriously annoyed with. What other GM car in the mid-to-late 90's still didn't have remote door locks? Argh...

I actually bought two blank fobs off EBay when I acquired my car, not knowing I couldn't use them. One day I will relist them for sale...
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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Hey, our '88 doesn't even have central locking! ADDED LIGHTNESS.
 

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The V-8's had the Cobra alarm that came with key fobs and unlocked the doors while also disabling the alarm. The original fobs had the Esprit silk-screened on but it wears off quickly if you handle the fob much. Usually one gets handled a lot and the other not so much. The aftermarket cases don't have the silk screening. The rubber piece gets old and breaks but they are available. One of the ignition keys has a light in it, I see one of yours does have a light. You should not have the cylindrical key attached to the other keys. I keep one with the second set and the other is in the tool kit. It is only needed to bypass the alarm if it won't work or to program a key fob.
David Teitelbaum
Re the S4s - very nice! They are quite rare. I don't think the pre-98 non-Cobra alarm cars had separate fobs, just the keys.

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Re the cylindrical "touch key" - I chose to keep it on the ring just in case the fob battery ever dies or there is some other alarm failure. Of course I also keep a spare fob battery in the car so you can see I'm fairly paranoid about the alarm system crapping out. After all it is an Italian component in a British electrics car. ? The other touch key resides separately.

Yes the key has a light but it doesn't work. Is it possible to replace a battery in the key for this?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thank you for the great info. Sounds like a combination of 2 gaskets versus one tall gaskets is best.
The fob's are for the Cobra alarm that started in 1998. My 1997 V8 has the older S4s interior and no alarm, hence no fobs, which I'm seriously annoyed with. What other GM car in the mid-to-late 90's still didn't have remote door locks? Argh...

I actually bought two blank fobs off EBay when I acquired my car, not knowing I couldn't use them. One day I will relist them for sale...
My S4s has an alarm system that doesn't work. I understand that it can be hooked up but will draw your battery down when armed. So I'll leave it alone.
 

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Car alarms seem to have outlived their usefulness. When was the last time anyone ran over to a squalling car alarm to see what was going on?
 

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I've of mixed feelings about alarms - around here in San Jose (and San Francisco), California - the alarms serve (IMHO) one minor purpose - it reduces the damage to the car after the initial break in.While it's ringing, the stupid burglars grab what they can in 5 secs and run. The brazen 'smarter' burglars know the average person not gonna risk getting hurt stopping them. So they take their time to steal the good stuff. My 87 Esprit has no alarm - let them do what they want - nothing of value or resellable easily in the Esprit. I never leave my laptop in car so it's reduced to breaking a window at best. Stealing a manual transmission car? BWAHAHAHA!
 

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The Cobra alarm also has an "immobilizer" that prevents the motor from starting so it makes it harder to steal the car. The Cobra also has a motion detector so if you leave the windows open and someone reaches in to take something the alarm will go off. In my notes I have the following numbers for the battery in the key. #625 and 23-1504. If you pop your key open the battery inside should have a # on it.
David Teitelbaum
 
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