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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I was getting gas and noticed that the right headlight cover seemed a bit out of place. I just wiggled it a little and it came out. I drove 35 miles through a twisty canyon road to work this morning, rather spiritedly. Lucky it didn't just fly off. Looking at the underside of the cover, there are 3 brackets that appeared to be sheared off. Is my best option to just get a brand new cover? And where can I buy it?
Thanks!!!
 

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Premium Member
2005 Elise LSS Saffron Yellow
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820 Posts
Yes, it's repairable. I'd do it by riveting some thin aluminum where the mount clip nuts were, and then pop some new clip nuts on. A better question is just how it got broken. Is there any sign of scuffing, or were the fasteners just really overtightened?
 

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2010 Exige S260
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2,214 Posts
I actually came up with a simple way to repair it. No need to purchase anything.

Drill hole close to the tab location, insert zip tie into drilled hole, put zip into the clam hole and secure the zip tie with a washer. It is simple and you can always cut the zip tie if you ever need to remove the head light cover :D

PM me if you need any help.
 

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141 Posts
I actually came up with a simple way to repair it. No need to purchase anything.

Drill hole close to the tab location, insert zip tie into drilled hole, put zip into the clam hole and secure the zip tie with a washer. It is simple and you can always cut the zip tie if you ever need to remove the head light cover :D

PM me if you need any help.
Clever. There should be a repository of quick cheap fixes on these cars that have been discovered over the years..maybe there already is?
 
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Discussion Starter #8
I actually came up with a simple way to repair it. No need to purchase anything.

Drill hole close to the tab location, insert zip tie into drilled hole, put zip into the clam hole and secure the zip tie with a washer. It is simple and you can always cut the zip tie if you ever need to remove the head light cover :D

PM me if you need any help.
I assume that the car will need to be on jack stand, and remove front wheel for any work relating to the headlight?
Thanks!!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes, it's repairable. I'd do it by riveting some thin aluminum where the mount clip nuts were, and then pop some new clip nuts on. A better question is just how it got broken. Is there any sign of scuffing, or were the fasteners just really overtightened?
I don't know. I've had the car only since March, and the cover just came loose. I expected to find broken pieces like clip nuts, black plastic remnants of the brackets that broke, but nothing. Weird. Maybe, just maybe, it's been loose like that since I bought the car, but never was displaced enough for me to notice until yesterday. :facepalm:surprise:
 

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2005 Elise LSS Saffron Yellow
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820 Posts
I assume that the car will need to be on jack stand, and remove front wheel for any work relating to the headlight?
Thanks!!
Maybe, maybe not. If I rotate the wheels to the right angle, I can actually get all three embellisher mounting screws out with the car sitting on its wheels in the garage. It does get easier if you jack the front end up a little - the suspension droop is convenient.

Discovering the no jacking required trick allowed me to adjust my headlights quicker when I was fixing the stock too low/too high adjustment.

To get the screws loose/tightened in I used a 3/8" ratchet and an appropriate-sized allen socket.
 

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2006 Lotus Elise
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1,192 Posts
I don't know. I've had the car only since March, and the cover just came loose.
I think this is pretty common, I had almost the exact same experience after I bought my car. Looked like the PO used some sort of putty that cured to hold the headlight bucket on.

I used the plumber's strap/rivet method to reattach it and ordered the GRP kit, but have not gotten around to installing it.
 

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Yep, pretty common.
I had this same problem as well. I used the kit from GRP, worked great. I bought the kit for both sides for when the other one falls out.
Those housings new from Lotus are $900 .

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

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'06 Exige
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37 Posts
GRP does it again - thanks for the heads-up! Exactly the fix I was thinking of in a ready-to-go kit form.
I just installed the GRP headlight housing tab repair kit and it worked great! It only took a couple of hours and $90 rather than a new $1000 cover.

My headlight cover post holes were cut out a little different than the ones on the GRP website photos, but I suppose each one is pretty much "custom" from the factory. I did make a few modifications to the kit then to make the cover easier to align during installation and to allow a little more wiggle room for the screws to catch. For the top post, I bent the aluminum bracket slightly to match the angles of the plastic walls, and added washers on each side to keep the mounting screw centered and at the correct angle - this did require longer pop-rivets. (The kit that I received didn't use the speed nut for the top post - it had a nut pre-attached to the bracket.) For the lower two brackets, I used a rat-tail file to enlarge the openings, giving the speed nuts more room to move around. I also ground the corner of the middle speed nut to better fit with the plastic post on the headlight cover.

At install, I used the screwdriver method to "find" the holes prior to using the screws and tightened them up with a speed driver rather than a ratchet to make sure they weren't too tight. I also used vice grips to slightly "oval" the speed nuts to act as a locking nut - this is similar to my factory original speed nuts. It also would have made the install a little easier if I had 1/4" longer M6 cap screws.

This kit saved the day for sure!
 

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