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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Opened the garage today, and found my 2005 Saffron in rather poor condition. Paint bubbles! :eek:

I popped the trunk, and it was wet inside. The fiberglass on the inside of the trunk was particulary wet in the areas where bubbling was evident. However, it wasn't more wet than one would imagine would form due to condensation (varying from 5 to -10 degrees C outisde now).

When I felt up the inside of the trunk, it felt as if the fiberglass itself was comming apart. Strains of fiber was all over the carpet in the trunk also. Check out the paint bubbles!

Any ideas as to best course of action? :)










 

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Has your car been repainted.

Sorry.......looks bad:crazyeyes
 

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Discussion Starter #3

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Appears similar to osmosis on a boat.

Warranty issue?
 

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Damp garage = not good for cars.

Don't know if thats the cause of the bubbles, but no harm in increasing the garage ventilation.
 

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Sorry to see that! I have heard that damp garages are not good for a car but that damage seems extreme for moisture. Moisture is my only guess though.
 

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That clam's a goner. Sorry to see this. Have you had any blown coolant or had any coolant leaks (either propylene glycol or ethylene glycol)? Transported any chemicals (paints, paint solvents, polyether break fluid) that leaked or were not completely sealed? Used anything to eliminate a musty smell or to clean the boot (any cleaning aid with butoxyethanol or p-dichlorobenzene)? Did you or can you check the pH of the liquid inside the boot (you can get a pH kit any place that sells pool supplies)? Has there been a leak in your AC system where you've lost POE oil from the compressor?

Those are just a few of the causes I can imagine. If you want to collect a few drops of the liquid inside the boot, I'll try and identify it for you. PM me and I'll send you my address and how to ship the sample.

A.J.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Appears similar to osmosis on a boat.

Warranty issue?
What I imagine is that condensation formed inside the trunk, and because of the freezing temps outside yesterday night, the water that absorbed into the glasfiber expanded as it froze..

Warranty is long gone ... will send Lotus an e-mail anyho tho. This is just too poor craftmanship considering how well this car has been treated.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That clam's a goner. Sorry to see this. Have you had any blown coolant or had any coolant leaks (either propylene glycol or ethylene glycol)? Transported any chemicals (paints, paint solvents, polyether break fluid) that leaked or were not completely sealed? Used anything to eliminate a musty smell or to clean the boot (any cleaning aid with butoxyethanol or p-dichlorobenzene)? Did you or can you check the pH of the liquid inside the boot (you can get a pH kit any place that sells pool supplies)? Has there been a leak in your AC system where you've lost POE oil from the compressor?

Those are just a few of the causes I can imagine. If you want to collect a few drops of the liquid inside the boot, I'll try and identify it for you. PM me and I'll send you my address and how to ship the sample.

A.J.
No, no, no, no and no.. boot has been unused (cept for a Sector 111 bootie, and the bottle of Fix-a-Flat which is shipped from factory).

Edit: checked a few drops with my chemistry-set PH scale tape. Color sits right between PH6 and PH7 on the scale.

Edit2: tastes like water..
 

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It looks like you need to let the clam dry out in the fresh air and get the clam repainted if the bubbles remain after its dried out.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It looks like you need to let the clam dry out in the fresh air and get the clam repainted if the bubbles remain after its dried out.
Aye Rainier, this is what I thought. I've set up a fan in the trunk to mildly heat up the ambient air inside to around +15C.

I'll let it sit like this until Monday and have it evaluated by a painter. Problem seems to be poor sealant on the inside of the trunk. Most areas are smooth and clean, but the areas that have been affected are really pourous and unsmooth.. Dodgy work from Lotus? ;p
 

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...
Edit: checked a few drops with my chemistry-set PH scale tape. Color sits right between PH6 and PH7 on the scale.

Edit2: tastes like water..
???????? :crazyeyes

That was a dangerous thing to do! Most of the things I listed were tasteless (the glycols taste sweet) - there are all toxic. Water is also tasteless, so what does "water" in Norway taste like? :shrug:

Anyway water alone won't affect fiberglass. In fact fiberglass has been used for years to form the filter vessels for swimming pool systems. In that case the water also contains loads of chlorine and the pH can swing substantially.

For freezing to have any effect, the water would need to penetrate the fiberglass which it normally cannot. For water to penetrate fiberglass, the fiberglass would have to have been formed with a deficiency of styrene - i.e. a manufacturer's defect, but if that were the case you should have been able to tell that the fiberglass was soft and crumbly from the beginning. It certainly would have been noticeable during assembly. Water at a very high pH can slowly degrade fiberglass, but that does not appear to be the case here.

Good luck finding a cause and getting the clam replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
???????? :crazyeyes

For freezing to have any effect, the water would need to penetrate the fiberglass which it normally cannot. For water to penetrate fiberglass, the fiberglass would have to have been formed with a deficiency of styrene - i.e. a manufacturer's defect, but if that were the case you should have been able to tell that the fiberglass was soft and crumbly from the beginning.

Good luck finding a cause and getting the clam replaced.
Anything PH7 is safe, isn't it? j/k...

I don't know a whole lot about fiberglass, but exactly this portion of the internals felt uneven.. it wasn't soft, but the surface felt like it had been coated with sand and hair, while the rest of the internal surface was smooth.

I didn't pay any further attention to it, or even look at the area until now.... :huh:

Replace the clam? Isn't that going abit overboard? Wouldn't it be enough to properly dry it out, sand it down, seal the internals properly and repaint?
 

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... Replace the clam? Isn't that going a bit overboard? Wouldn't it be enough to properly dry it out, sand it down, seal the internals properly and repaint?
IF water infiltration due to a manufacturer's defect caused the damage on a freeze/thaw cycle (and that is still a big IF with no conclusive supporting data), then no, it's not going overboard to replace the clam, it's your only option. Unless you can get the clam to high vacuum chamber to dry it out you'll never get the water out from inside the fiberglass - no amount of heating or fan blowing will accomplish that. Besides the impracticability to remove inflitrated water (or anything else), the fiberglass no longer has the structural integrity it should. You may be able to seal and repaint, but you've only sealed the problem inside the fiberglass and it will resurface - and as mentioned previously, the fiberglass structure (inside the panel - not just on its surfaces) is now permanently damaged in those locations. IMHO
 

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Discussion Starter #16
IF water infiltration due to a manufacturer's defect caused the damage on a freeze/thaw cycle (and that is still a big IF with no conclusive supporting data), then no, it's not going overboard to replace the clam, it's your only option. Unless you can get the clam to high vacuum chamber to dry it out you'll never get the water out from inside the fiberglass - no amount of heating or fan blowing will accomplish that. Besides the impracticability to remove inflitrated water (or anything else), the fiberglass no longer has the structural integrity it should. You may be able to seal and repaint, but you've only sealed the problem inside the fiberglass and it will resurface - and as mentioned previously, the fiberglass structure (inside the panel - not just on its surfaces) is now permanently damaged in those locations. IMHO
Thanks for your views so far - seems you know a thing or two about chemicals and fiberglass.

I'll let it sit until monday and try to find some hands on local help. Will post any updates in this thread.

:cool:
 

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bubbles

I have a few bubbles that look just like this on my '05. Not to the extreme of yours however. My car 's production number is in the 300's...not sure if this may have been an '05centric problem.When I spoke to the dealer, the only thing that they could come up with was some sort of contaminant that occurred at the factory and over time it created these bubbles. Sorry to see this..and good luck!

Andy
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I have a few bubbles that look just like this on my '05. Not to the extreme of yours however. My car 's production number is in the 300's...not sure if this may have been an '05centric problem.When I spoke to the dealer, the only thing that they could come up with was some sort of contaminant that occurred at the factory and over time it created these bubbles. Sorry to see this..and good luck!

Andy
Just spoke to a guy in Germany which also have bubbles on his '05. Again, same as you, not as extreme, and it's lower on the back clam. 4-5 bubbles, but abit bigger in size and spread out over a bigger area.

He never had any spills in his, and the bubbles came last winter, and have since not grown or gotten worse..

Either way, mine was completely fine a couple of days ago when I did a proper wash.. :rolleyes:
 

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Have you checked the battery. Is it cracked or leaking? Perhaps acid fumes?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Have you checked the battery. Is it cracked or leaking? Perhaps acid fumes?
Yeah Phil, first thing I checked .. Battery seems fine, no spill (I'm guessing it's sealed, the OEM one was swapped.. BEFORE it leaked I hope (atleast I was told so)).

Thanks for the suggestion tho! :)
 
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