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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I'am 31 years old, living in the french part of Switzerland... Those last years I drove an MX-5 for track days and drift events, just for fun.

Recently I had the opportunity to buy a totaled lotus exige... I had some sleepless night, trying to make to good choice: But it or leave it... There isn't a lot of lotus that an can afford and I am not afraid of some repair job, so last December I buy it and carry it to my place.

It's a lotus exige s2 gt special edition, with the öhlins damper, accusump, 308mm front brake disc and other stuff...

To the question, how bad are the damages, see the pictures.

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All anchor points of the wishbones are good... luckily... I just want to place a U piece of aluminium here (in red) to make it right. Any advice on alloy glue?

The wishbones took all the shocks... they are good for the trash can.... The hardest part will be to change the sill panel I think...
 

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This web site / contact could be of help on Lotus chassis repairs (officially Lotus Cars dont recommend it... but I've seen specialist in Europe can do, with the correct adhesives) : Lotus

Un-bonding & re-bonding the side sill mounding is covered in detail here :
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks you for all your links, there will be very useful. I've the feeling that chassis repairs are taboo... I will try to share my experience.
 

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Chassis repairs are 'taboo' only cause Lotus doesn't recommend them, on that basis no insurance company would go against a manufacturers recommendations. However on Elise / Exiges that means many cars have been written off, with only lightish front impact . Thats why the Evora has a different design, where the front crash structure (inc suspension pick-up points) can be unbolted & replaced.

However other industries that use aluminium for structures can & do repair them. Whats important to note, is Lotus use thin-wall alloy extrusions, suitable for bonding ( + mechanical fixings in some areas), not welding. The repair area would need to be accessed as 'repairable', suitably prepared / cleaned & use the correct bonding agent. If the whole extrusion was needed, you'd need to source this from a 3rd party used, as Lotus dont sell them. This is where it gets tricky... if the used extrusion has been 'un-picked' from an assembled chassis using heat to break the factory bond, the structure has been compromised. Dry-ice is the correct way to break the bond without compromising the extrusion's integrity.

HTHs
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hello! I'am bringing update of my work. I like to read other discussion about rebuild and I feel, I could make mine this time (Maybe in another section?). Sorry if my English is not perfect.

I could find a used nearly complete door from an Lotus Elise 2001. The car had manual window-mechanism without central locking and I have electric with central locking. So after cutting many holes (about 20) in the donor door, it's yet ready and compatible with my car. The most complicated cutting was the one for the electrical motor. Lotus describe how to retrofit new door on old car, but the opposite seems also possible;).

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The search of a sill panel took a long time, so in the mean time, I've installed the BOE Clam hinges. And the rear clamshell was already off to remove the sill panel... Those clam hinges are really really cool, but god it took me a lot of time to get the small details like I wanted. My first deception was the bracket for the battery that came with the kit... Not compatible with my car (I didn't figure it out before ordering:mad:), I have a bigger filler neck and it takes the place where the battery bracket from BOE is supposed to be installed... So I've made my own design. And nothing about the washer tank in the mounting instruction, so I also build one. The accusump in the trunk was also problematic with the hinges, I've relocated it behind the driver seat for now. And I have seen better coating paint as the one on the "Diffuser Brace and Panel Delete".

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Really easy but still important: The new wheel:p The Lotus central Cap is still missing yet.

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The Sill Panel. The video of D3Sshooter was really helpful. I just would recommend the oscillating tool with a cutting blade (not a saw) to un-glue. I also use that tool with different saws to cut the old sill panel in 3-5 parts. I could not remove it in one part.

IMG_20200412_095517.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I finally received a new but broken sill panel (Storage damage). I've done the trial fitting yesterday. Some holes were needed. In the Video as in the Lotus instruction, they told to cut that part which goes behind the pedal box. In my trial fitting it was not a problem to put the part without making that cut. I will maybe try to glue it as is?
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The door hinge cover is new and comes in pair from John Seal (The right one will be sold, someone interested?).

I've also put nylon screw for the rear speaker, because those plastic rivets was in my opinions a mess to remove.

IMG_20200412_090014.jpg

I've been in contact with the specialist of the lotus chassis repair for the mechanical part. That will comes in a next post;)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for your supportive messages. It means a lot, and it gives me the the motivation to continue this thread.

Those last days, I've worked on the frame repair. The advises of Tim (the kindly person that cain-it has recommend me) was to glue a part upper the damaged one. He shipped me the glue and a cut of an old Lotus frame. He told me, it would be more a cosmetic repair because the damage on the frame were minors.

First, the Frame and the spare part preparation. I've bend back what I could reuse then cut away what was really broke. I make the surface abrasive and de-grease it.
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Secondly, gluing! And waiting 48h...
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Thirdly, I remake the fiberglass part which go on top of it. I simply cut it in the old sill panel and repaint it. I've applied the black "Sika Primer 209-N" on the part before gluing it with the "Sikaflex 221". The primer is maybe not so important, but this black paint on the part make it more like original:geek:.

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Fourth, appreciate the results;) (with the steering rack, upper wishbone and the ABS):
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I'm quite happy with the repair. It's not exactly like new but it looks good and feels strong.
 

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The bad news of today is the coil over. One the first look I thought it were OK but after further investigation, it was not:cry: I think to replace that ring, it need to be disassembled, am I right? Someone has disassembled them? I do not think I will open it, I will search for a shop to do the servicing.

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Well done on the repairs so far.

The 'ring' is a spring platform. Easy to replace, so I wouldn't worry about that. However damper set like Ohlins have fairly short re-build times compared to normal road items. Your Exige is a MY 2007 (?) ... so if they are original & never been refreshed, they would probably need it anyways even without any damage. Why not send them off while you work on the car (steel bars, with fixing holes either side can take the place of the dampers meantime if you need to move it around).

Try to find an Ohlins agent / workshop that really knows Lotus. Even Ohlins Sweden apparently build a 'standard' coiler set for S2s, but its the dealer that fine-tune them for length, valving etc
 

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Those last days I've remade the PU-Foam of the "Sill Trim Panel" (Part C117U0117F). Because the part was glued, it broke apart when I removed it to replace the sill panel.

I've give a try with the Sika Baffle 278. The result look similar to original foam, trough slightly softer. If you have a little trouble ordering the foam, you can order it to a Mercedes Dealer with the reference A 000 989 35 73.

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The preparation and the "molding":

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The foam as expended a little to much so I've sanded 2-3mm afterward. The finished result:

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On the left the original foam, on the right the Sika product:

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I thought, I should write a post about it, because I didn't found any information how the remove/reinstall this part. Have a nice Sunday!
 

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I've pass the technical inspection 3 weeks ago. And after 1000km of small road.... Wouah, the driveability is amazing, and it fells very powerful, more powerful than my daily BMW 535d. The lightness is really for something o_O.

At the beginning the TACH light was constantly blinking and my AC wasn't working. I've replaced a blowed fuse for the alarm and toped up the refrigerant gas from 190g to 485g. Maybe there is a leak in my AC System, I will see how long it last.

But in my opinion, there is some flaws in the design of the car. Like for example, if you close the door with the remote key fob, it's impossible to re-open by inserting the key in the door. After I've realized that, I've swap all the batteries of my remote key fob, I really do not want to stay in the front of my car with one of those battery dead. The battery was 9 years old (Date was written on it), I do not know, how long they could last, but again I don't want to figure it by myself;)
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Thanks for reading me!
 
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