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Discussion Starter #1
I removed the headlight covers and the clips that the bolts go into were so stiff that the torque from undoing them twisted off the ends of three of the six the posts that the clips mount on. Are the threads on the clips meant to be stiff? I think the previous owner may have put thread lock on them.

I am not sure what to do about this. Anyone else had this problem and found a way to fix it? I tried epoxy to hold the parts together but it doesn't seem strong enough. Any other suggestions?

New headlight covers are probably expensive - is Lotus Garage still around, their web site doesn't seem reachable? Are the covers the same for the Elise and Exige? Anyone have used headlight covers?

Help! Thanks!
 

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It's a VERY EXPENSIVE replacement. You're looking at almost 2k to replace them. I believe the 07+ are a little bit cheaper but not by much. I believe this is fairly common.

IMO, the best repair is to create another bridge out of some thin aluminum sheet and them pop rivet the onto the post. Then drill a hole about the size of the screw and tap it with the factory screw to create threads on it.

It's a bit hard to explain....but imagine the posts coming out of the headlight covers like the letter A. Except that in your situation, the very tip of the letter A is broken off. You get a piece of sheet metal and form a letter n by bending it. Then the sides of the letter n is riveted to secure it. The top of the letter n is where you need to make the hole where the factory one broke off. Let me know if that makes sense. I can draw out a diagram if need be.
 

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I am currently rebuilding a salvage Elise and can tell you I understand how painful it is to buy parts. Anything you can save makes alot of sense.

I also have a Gen 1 Viper which also has very expense , limited availablity of parts.

I have decided to invest in an Airless Plastic Welding Tool. Its less than $200 new (used ones also on ebay) anywhere and at least from my research suggest that if you properly identify the base material you can weld new plasitic to the old. What they appear to do is melt the new materil and old matial together using plastic welding rods. For reinforcement , you can inbed stainless steel mesh into the part as well. Its a $200 fix and when you done you can flip it back onto ebay when you done. Harbour Frieght has a really cheap version of the same thing but without heat controls and accessories.


Mini Weld Airless Plastic Welding Kit URE5600HT 5600HT Urethane Supply New | eBay
 

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IMO, repair with anything plastic is just a problem waiting to happen. That's the reason why we are here in the first place. It would be better to replace with a material that is much stronger....like metal.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It's a VERY EXPENSIVE replacement. You're looking at almost 2k to replace them. I believe the 07+ are a little bit cheaper but not by much. I believe this is fairly common.

IMO, the best repair is to create another bridge out of some thin aluminum sheet and them pop rivet the onto the post. Then drill a hole about the size of the screw and tap it with the factory screw to create threads on it.

It's a bit hard to explain....but imagine the posts coming out of the headlight covers like the letter A. Except that in your situation, the very tip of the letter A is broken off. You get a piece of sheet metal and form a letter n by bending it. Then the sides of the letter n is riveted to secure it. The top of the letter n is where you need to make the hole where the factory one broke off. Let me know if that makes sense. I can draw out a diagram if need be.
Great suggestion. I bought a 1" strip of 1/8" aluminum from home depot, hammered a bend into it and bonded it to the post with JB Weld. The original plastic needed trimming to get it in the right location but it worked well and is very solid as there is a large area to attach the metal to the post:
 

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I ended up doing the same type of repair months ago. It's worked quite well.
 

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I am looking into this same "mod/fix" But have a question:

Isn't the original hole in the plastic "bridge" a bit bigger than the screw itself? Which allows the bronze colored clip which the screw threads into to "float" in the bigger hole, which allows adjustment/movement of the headlight assembly before you tighten the three 5mm bolts down?

I find you need to move the entire assembly around to be sure the seals/gasket properly fit to the clam.

The hardest part of putting the headlight on, for me, is lining up all the holes!
 

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Yea, the hole is larger for the bridge. Lining up the holes is a total pain in the ass. I just was patient with it and it finally lined up.
 

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Yea, the hole is larger for the bridge. Lining up the holes is a total pain in the ass. I just was patient with it and it finally lined up.
OK, good, it's not just me.

IF I need to replace a screw and "speed clip" (bronze colored receiver clip) Are there any suggestions on what to get? Do these types of clips have names? I am hoping this isn't a lotus-only bit of hardware!
 

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I used plumber strap and enlaged the hole where the "Spire Nut" attached to give it some wiggle room when I attached the head light. Same as the original plastic with the large hole to let the nut move for alignment. I thought about using JB weld or other epoxy but decided that the pop rivet method is stronger and will not come loose under normal conditions. I would suspect that it get pretty hot in the housing and this could cause issues with any type of glue due to softening or expansions of the different materials.
 

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Thanks for all the help on this, fellow LT'ers; particularly the assistance through PM's Lotus72 and FLKeith.

I recently noticed an issue on the pax-side headlamp assembly. I used the "plumber's tape/ rivet" method for what i will call a "modification." I truly believe the headlamp covers are BETTER with this modification than if I had shelled out $1,300 and purchased new.

I covered all "sharp" areas with liquid rubber (liquid elec. tape.)





(Headlamps inspected by "Sandra Knight".... sounds sexy :rolleyes:)






The difficulty for ME is that I have not seen one that wasn't broken...and I was unwilling to pull the driver's side lamp at this time.... I was not exactly sure where to put the "holes" so I kept them large enough to be fungible based on what I could make out.

IT TOTALLY STINKS lining up these headlamps. You cannot tell me the toughest part of removing our clams is not dealing with these covers. There surely SURELY S U R E L Y must be a trick to line up the 3 6mm X 25 mm screws with the spring clips. Please tell me the secret! :eek:
 

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IT TOTALLY STINKS lining up these headlamps. You cannot tell me the toughest part of removing our clams is not dealing with these covers. There surely SURELY S U R E L Y must be a trick to line up the 3 6mm X 25 mm screws with the spring clips. Please tell me the secret! :eek:
I just spent the better part of a day fabricating aluminum brackets to fix three of my six broken mountting points and reinforce two others. I let the one remaining point ride. What a colossal waste of time. I'm pretty annoyed with the beet farmers (or is it turnip?) in Hethel at the moment.

This being said, I was dreading lining up the holes based on this thread. In the end, mine lined up rather easily (sorry :)). Use a flashlight to ensure you can see up into the holes in an attempt to see the threads. Position the covers where they should be (the seal likely has a spot where it has molded to the seam on he clam). Apply some downwards pressure on the covers to keep them from moving around and then use a straight pick / dental tool to align each speed nut. Worked a charm for me.

It's all about perception and expectations I guess. This thread had me so worried it was going to be a PITA to line up the holes that when it went easily I was elated. That was kind of nice after spending so long on the aluminum bracketry.

Couple ideas for things to do "while you're in there."

1) Change and / or upgrade bulbs. I purchased a set of Osram Nightbreaker H7 bulbs from Blackwatch thinking they were for the low beams. Ends up my lows are H1s. That's what I get for not really paying attention. Oh well, high beam bulbs upgraded instead. I'd NEVER attempt R&R'ing these covers without the mount reinforcements unless it was absolutely necessarily. With the mount reinforcements though I'm comfortable R&R'ing these units.

2) Adjust the low beam cut-off shutters so both beams throw light up & to the right. As discussed here http://www.sandsmuseum.com/cars/elise/experience/maintenance/adjustheadlamps/adjustheadlamps.html
 

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I had this same thing happen a few weeks ago. As shown above, I used aluminum stripping and a rivet tool. Also as said above, I was worried about how it would line up, ended up being fine. I oversized the holes in the aluminum where the threaded clip goes so I had a bit of wiggle room.
 

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Also, part was $790 according to RS Motorsports.. not that it mattered anyway because the part was on backorder until next year
 
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