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Discussion Starter #1
I wanted to share my experience and hopefully hear more about yours. I purchased the roof from a fellow LT member a few months ago. I've since had it painted (it was red) and had new upholstered roof liners made. However, the new liners are considerably heavier than the original foam ones, and consequently the old prop rods were barely able to keep the roof up.

Thus began my quest for new prop rods. I searched online using the numbers on the old rods. Nothing. I searched at Furniture, Marine, and Tool Box suppliers. Nothing. I finally found a source...in Derby, England. SGS Engineering. Part Number GS6-15-40-80. When ordering, you'll need to specify the compression force. I ordered them at 100 Newtons (22lbs) which is on the stiff side, but I didn't want any risk of them collapsing with the heavier liner. Without the liner you may want to drop the force a bit. You can also source the 8mm ball sockets from them, Part Number B6. Note that it may be possible to re-use your existing sockets - they are identical.

Overall I enjoy the new roof - it really makes entry/exiting the Elise more graceful. And it adds another bit of wow-factor to the car. Prospective buyers should be well aware of the trade-offs, however. You'll spend considerable time trying to get your cabin water-resistant (note I didn't say water-proof). I'd characterize my current situation as 'adequate', with the two top gasket seams at the rear of the doors the last remaining offenders. If anyone has discovered or fabricated a water barrier to this seam I'd love to hear how you did it.

In my opinion there's also a trade off in fit and finish appearance. My roof is noticeably wavy in a couple spots, and many (including myself) find the offset vertical roof line at the rear of the door a bit clumsy-looking.
Having said that, I'd buy another one. I'm not getting any younger and I accept the aforementioned compromises in form to gain the added function.

Gull Wing Owners - Post up with your hints, opinions, and pictures!
 

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I think the best thing about this is to give someone who physically has difficulty getting in/out of the Elise assistance with this problem. It is a clever solution and appears well made. I for one wouldn't feel like the compromise of water resistance was worth doing it just for aesthetics alone, but if you dig them... right on. Great looking car!
 

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I had one on my '07 and I considered it the single best addition that I did (fighting with, perhaps, the Supercharger, but...)

With some attention, the sound and water proofing can be addressed. Through some spray foam and some creative searching I did finally manage to get it to the same, if not better, quality as my OEM hardtop. Fit and finish was a bit off for my doors, but the Orange was very forgiving and the addition of a stripe kit helped to draw the eye from it as well.

In my opinion, this is what the car should have had from the factory. The OEM top created a stupidly small opening that made entering and exiting the car a chore. The gullwings allowed open top cruising but also the security and soundproofing of a hardtop. I really liked mine a lot.

Were they perfect? No, of course not! Were they a damned site better than the OEM.. . you betcha!
 

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I have been looking for spares so thanks for the research! Do you find the 22# too stiff? I don't want to put extra stress on the fiberglass at the stud. I tried to measure my current by pressing down 1/2 way on a digital scale and got about 11# (so I think 50n), but they have weakened over the last 5 years I am sure. I actually got rid of the head liners because the tape used to hold them on always melted in the summer and they would be hanging by the time I got out of work. LOL Maybe I will try something in the middlle like 70n or 80n.

Lastly, mine do leak a bit when washing the car too. I think I need to re-do the weatherstrip that goes on the top flat surface, where 3 edges of each panel sit and compress when closed. What did you use for yours? I assume you replaced when painted?
 

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Oh, and if anyone has or knows of someone with maybe a trashed gullwing roof for parts I would love to buy a spare roof panel, just in case!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have been looking for spares so thanks for the research! Do you find the 22# too stiff? I don't want to put extra stress on the fiberglass at the stud. I tried to measure my current by pressing down 1/2 way on a digital scale and got about 11# (so I think 50n), but they have weakened over the last 5 years I am sure. I actually got rid of the head liners because the tape used to hold them on always melted in the summer and they would be hanging by the time I got out of work. LOL Maybe I will try something in the middlle like 70n or 80n.

Lastly, mine do leak a bit when washing the car too. I think I need to re-do the weatherstrip that goes on the top flat surface, where 3 edges of each panel sit and compress when closed. What did you use for yours? I assume you replaced when painted?
ckugel,
Since you don't have the added weight of the liner, my guess is that a force of 18 to 20 newtons would work well. As I mentioned 22 newtons is on the stiff side, but no indication of any stress issues at the connecting ball fastener areas to date. Regardless of what force you choose, I would highly recommend checking each of the ball fasteners to be sure they're snug before installing the new rods.
- rob
 

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I ordered 4 of the struts and ball studs, they fit perfectly, arrived in 2 days, but... I ordered them with a spring rate of 20nm, I think its too stiff, I would go less if I was doing it again, the tops "spring "open too fast.
otherwise its great you found these! I was so tired of the tops falling on my head!
 

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did you order 20n (Newtons), or 20#? 20n is only like 4.5# I believe, which should be VERY soft. I thought I measured mine by pushing down on a digital scale until 1/2 compressed and got about 11# (50n, I believe). I also ordered new ones from this site with spare studs. I expect them tomorrow. I ordered 60n (13.5#?) figuring my old ones had lost a little pep over the years. Maybe I should have gone higher, but I think much more and I would be worried about the "springing open too fast" potentially cracking the fiberglass at the stud or elsewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
did you order 20n (Newtons), or 20#? 20n is only like 4.5# I believe, which should be VERY soft. I thought I measured mine by pushing down on a digital scale until 1/2 compressed and got about 11# (50n, I believe). I also ordered new ones from this site with spare studs. I expect them tomorrow. I ordered 60n (13.5#?) figuring my old ones had lost a little pep over the years. Maybe I should have gone higher, but I think much more and I would be worried about the "springing open too fast" potentially cracking the fiberglass at the stud or elsewhere.

Correction to my previous entry - I ordered mine at 100 newtons (~22lbs), which is definitely on the high side. Not so high that the doors snap open or anything, but I am monitoring the ball stud areas for stress (no issues so far). I imagine your 60n props will be sufficient if you don't have a heavier-than-original liner like mine. Let us know how that force setting works once you get them installed.
 

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correction!

totally sorry! Brain freeze or something! I ordered them at 80N, not 20! They are a little bit too "springy" they open and close firmly and soundly (way better than before) but if you dont hold on while you open the top it will spring up and detach the hinges.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
During my online search for the prop rods I came across the Hunting Ridge Motors dealership that was once a retailer for the roofs. They were nice enough to respond to my email and let me know that they no longer sell the roofs or any parts. But I learned that some time ago they also had billet aluminum handles fabricated for them - they still have them listed on their web site.

I'm curious - do any LT owners have these aluminum handles? The $300 list price from Hunting Ridge was more than I would spend for them, but I wonder if the original supplier has any left-over inventory..

Link to Hunting Ridge site (reference the pull down on the right - "Interior/Gullwing Handles")
Lotus of Greenwich: Parts & Accessories
 

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I have the aluminum handles on mine. Got them from a fellow LT member, think I paid maybe $150, site unseen? In my opinion, even $150 is on the high side of their value, but maybe close to what I woould have paid having seen them first.

As for the struts, they arrive today. I have no head liners on my roof (I took them off, but they weighed less than a pound each anyway I think) so the 60n I expect will be perfect, but will post an update when I try them out.
 

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t tops

how did the struts work out?
I bought my car from Hunting Ridge motors, it had plastic handles on it and they were a joke, they would bend and turn without turning the opening mechanizm, as part of the deal he gave me two aluminum handles. $300 is expensive, but they look way better than the plastic and they operate better. I had originally gone to him for struts (mine came with only 1 on each side) but he had none and had no idea where to find them.
BTW, I have been driving the car all week, the struts are working out great!
 

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My 60n seem great. Plenty to hold open and not enough to "snap" up. Maybe in a few years they will weaken and I will wish I went with 65n or, tops, 70n....but for now they are perfect!

Now if only I could get a hold of a spare roof panel....just in case.
 

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How did you guys go with the rubber seals? Where did it buy them from? Size/s, profile/s, shapes, etc., Any links?......Any help GREATLY appreciated as mine leaks like a sieve! THANKS OLD FELLA
 

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"With some attention, the sound and water proofing can be addressed. Through some spray foam and some creative searching I did finally manage to get it to the same, if not better, quality as my OEM hardtop. Fit and finish was a bit off for my doors, but the Orange was very forgiving and the addition of a stripe kit helped to draw the eye from it as well"

Could you please tell me how you did the spray foam and not make a horrible mess? THANKS OLD FELLA
 

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During my online search for the prop rods I came across the Hunting Ridge Motors dealership that was once a retailer for the roofs. They were nice enough to respond to my email and let me know that they no longer sell the roofs or any parts. But I learned that some time ago they also had billet aluminum handles fabricated for them - they still have them listed on their web site.

I'm curious - do any LT owners have these aluminum handles? The $300 list price from Hunting Ridge was more than I would spend for them, but I wonder if the original supplier has any left-over inventory..

Link to Hunting Ridge site (reference the pull down on the right - "Interior/Gullwing Handles")
Lotus of Greenwich: Parts & Accessories
Does anyone know anywhere else I can get handles from or have a set for sale? THANKS OLD FELLA
 
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