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About to tackle this and have a few questions:

- footwell panel - so, just so I understand, I'm removing that aluminum cover behind the pedals correct? It requires drilling the pop rivets out. Any advice on getting back there? It's pretty tight behind the pedals. Also, once it comes out, I'm leaving it out correct?

- taping vents - I'm removing the front grill (clips on) and simply covering the vents with duct tape right?

- passenger footwell - I have the JL Stealthbox sub in the footwell and that area is pretty much covered. So, will the mod still be effective without removing that cover? I suppose I can pull the subwoofer out to remove the panel, but that will be a pain in the butt. Is it worth it? Again, I'm mostly in the car by myself so the bigger issue is the cooler air for me - the driver.

thx
 

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Could someone please describe to me in detail how to remove the rivets that hold the foot well plates please? I have a dremmel I could use and the instructions only saw to remove them but leave a little as to not allow them to drop into the vent. I've never removed rivets before and my imagination is like a Mr. Potato Head at best.
Thanks to whoever helps me. :bow:
~Josh
 

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Discussion Starter #63 (Edited)
Josh,
Don't use a Dremel, use a drill and use a larger drill bit than the size of the rivet head. Only remove enough of the head to pull the blanking panel off, (not the whole head), leaving the rivet in place. Now put a blob of glue or silicone caulking on each one to stop it rattling.
Cheers,
Michael
Could someone please describe to me in detail how to remove the rivets that hold the foot well plates please? I have a dremmel I could use and the instructions only saw to remove them but leave a little as to not allow them to drop into the vent. I've never removed rivets before and my imagination is like a Mr. Potato Head at best.
Thanks to whoever helps me. :bow:
~Josh
 

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Josh,
Don't use a Dremel, use a drill and use a larger drill bit than the size of the rivet head. Only remove enough of the head to pull the blanking panel off, (not the whole head), leaving the rivet in place. Now put a blob of glue or silicone caulking on each one to stop it rattling.
Cheers,
Michael
What if one or two of the the pieces from the pop rivets falls into the hole behind the plates? Is it something serious as to possibly preventing me driving my car, or is it just going to rattle around inside there? Thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter #65
They will do no harm and probably not even rattle, don't worry about it.
You are good to go.
Michael
What if one or two of the the pieces from the pop rivets falls into the hole behind the plates? Is it something serious as to possibly preventing me driving my car, or is it just going to rattle around inside there? Thanks in advance.
 

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I did mine this week.

For those debating, do it! Took about 10 minutes.

There was one hassle I will add: For those of you with a JL Stealthbox sub, ask yourself 'did I remove the carpet mat velcro BEFORE I installed the Stealthbox? If you didn't the carpet on the bottom of the stealth is most like mated nice and tight to it - makes getting the Sub out to get at the panel a complete bastard.

Solution: Take a loose hacksaw blade. Slide it under the sub and cut away at the velcro bond. You can add more velcro when you put it back in. Or just the undermount screws.

Another tip I found. If you have the 'unibit' for your drill, it's fab. Basically, it's a graduated hardened bit (it's a godsend for acrylics). Anyway, use that and the back of the rivet will pop off, but the ring from the rivet will stay on the Unibit. The backs of the rivets popped in, but no biggie.

BTW - the drillbit/rivet get VERY hot. Not as hot as our air conditioning, but hot :) So, be careful removing the rivet ring from the bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #67
Just to reiterate, use a much larger regular drill bit than the head of the rivet. It will enable you remove enough head material (but not all) to be able to pull the plate off, past the thin remaining head material. This remaining head material will stop it falling through into the bulkhead. Now but a dab of glue on each remaining rivet head to stop the possibility of rattling and falling though.
Michael
 

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so I'd like to print out your instructions for my little Lotus binder I keep but Scribd or whatever the link is is a total bitch and wants me to pay $$ for your PDF from the "scribd archive" - are you getting the $9 for me downloading it or is Scribd? Because I will simply circumnavigate it and copy/paste it all if I have to but if you're getting a cut of the money they charge then I'll gladly pay it.
 

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Discussion Starter #70
No, I get nothing, and did not know they charge. PM me your e-mail and I will send you a copy.
Michael
so I'd like to print out your instructions for my little Lotus binder I keep but Scribd or whatever the link is is a total bitch and wants me to pay $$ for your PDF from the "scribd archive" - are you getting the $9 for me downloading it or is Scribd? Because I will simply circumnavigate it and copy/paste it all if I have to but if you're getting a cut of the money they charge then I'll gladly pay it.
 

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I just clicked on the link and it showed up like it always has in the past.

Wonder what is causing it to tell you that there is a charge:confused:

I'm using I/E 8.0 and WindowsXP
 

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First of all, excellent research, modding and writeup Viper. I just have three questions:

1) In stock condition, if the recirc button is not pushed, then the car is drawing air from the outside as well as the inside, so it's airflow is not limited by the obstructed holes in the passenger footwells, right? So at that point you're seeing the most airflow the vehicle is capable of delivering under any circumstance, right? The reason I ask is because in my car there's no discernible difference between the airflow with the recirc engaged on not engaged. I don't have a tool to measure it but giving it the hand test I don't feel any difference. Does that mean that freeing up the footwell vents won't make a difference for me since it can't blow any harder than I feel with the recirc off anyway? (which is the same thing I feel with the recirc engaged) Viper, set me straight on that please.

2) does the aluminized finish of the adhesive insulation contribute to its reflective insulating capability? Or, put another way, if I paint the aluminum finish black will it reduce it's ability to reflect, and therefore contain heat? Or does it not make any difference?

3) If those tubes under the radiator feed the HIVAC system, then wouldn't it make sense to insulate them as well rather than just duct tape over them? Or is the layout of the piping such that that's the point of diminishing returns?

Thanks and I look forward to being educated further on this.

best to all,
eric
 

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Removing the footwell covers makes a giant difference. TheViper told me he noticed that the US cars had these, but the Euro cars didnt. He called the factory to find out why and they said it is because removing them causes a draft in the winter.

In Florida, it is between 70-90 most of the year, and it might get to 50 in the morning during the winter, but it is up to 60 by the afternoon so we would rather have a draft for a few days of the year instead of unbearable heat the rest of the year.

My recirc button doesnt light up anymore, so it might be btoken, but it never made a differnce like it does in other cars I have had. I tested to see if it worked when I first got the car by taking off the front grill and putting a bucket full of dry ice in hot water to make smoke. When I turned on the recirc button, it stoped drawing in the smoke, so it does work.

THE MAIN PROBLEM IS THAT ALUMINUM PLATES IN THE FOOTWELLS BLOCK AIRFLOW.
Think of it as trying to suck air in through a straw. If nothing is at the end of the straw, you can suck air in easily. If you put your finger over the end of the straw, you will not be able to suck in any air.

The plates restrict the amount of airflow gettng out to the vents. Before I removed them fan speeds 1,2,and 3 all seemed the same and position 3 seemed like position 1 on a regular car. Afterwards, there was a noticeable increase in airflow and you could sense the increase in airflow when turning the fan speed up.
 

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Discussion Starter #75
First of all, excellent research, modding and writeup Viper. I just have three questions:

1) In stock condition, if the recirc button is not pushed, then the car is drawing air from the outside as well as the inside, so it's airflow is not limited by the obstructed holes in the passenger footwells, right? So at that point you're seeing the most airflow the vehicle is capable of delivering under any circumstance, right? The reason I ask is because in my car there's no discernible difference between the airflow with the recirc engaged on not engaged. I don't have a tool to measure it but giving it the hand test I don't feel any difference. Does that mean that freeing up the footwell vents won't make a difference for me since it can't blow any harder than I feel with the recirc off anyway? (which is the same thing I feel with the recirc engaged) Viper, set me straight on that please.
Most airflow is seen with the blanking plates removed from both footwell's and the nose intakes left open. There is a small reduction in airflow by taping over the nose intake vents, however this guaranties that only cooler recirculated air is drawn into the system, and is well worth the trade off. The nose intakes are taped off because the valve that is operated by the recirculation button is known to not seal properly, therefore letting warmer outside air into the system. Opening up both footwell vents dramatically increases the air flow into the system and felt though the dash output vents.

2) does the aluminized finish of the adhesive insulation contribute to its reflective insulating capability? Or, put another way, if I paint the aluminum finish black will it reduce it's ability to reflect, and therefore contain heat? Or does it not make any difference?
I feel the the reflective finish does reduce convected heat.


3) If those tubes under the radiator feed the HIVAC system, then wouldn't it make sense to insulate them as well rather than just duct tape over them? Or is the layout of the piping such that that's the point of diminishing returns?
If you are referring to the metallic pipes entering the condenser and evaporator, I did not find any advantage in insulating them. The biggest bang for the buck is stopping the radiator hot air from flowing up the center hood spline and heating the central air distribution duct.

Thanks and I look forward to being educated further on this.

best to all,
eric
Hope this help,
Michael
 

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Confused. So I removed the footwell plates and taped the inlets in the nose. I understood that taping the inlets solved the hot air backdrafting through the plate openings.
Out last night top off and the heat from the footwells was very high. Turned on A/C (with top off) and heat stopped. So no A/C we need to Velcro the plates back on. A/C on we need the plates off. Is this correct? Top on with A/C and then later in the drive you want to open windows, you need to reach down and fasten the plates? Not sure if I did this right. The Viper knows. Thanks, Top has been off awhile. Wife wants it back on.
Need advise. Seems like I should have left it alone after the A/C started working fine.Can't leave things alone. It is a Lotus.
Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #77 (Edited)
The premise is to get better AC performance. With the AC and interior fan off the will be a reverse flow through the footwells, this why the plates were installed. If AC performance is a priority, removing the plates is suggested. When I have my top off and the AC off I get no hot air through the footwell vents. I think warm air is getting into the climate box because it is not sealed very well.
Michael
Confused. So I removed the footwell plates and taped the inlets in the nose. I understood that taping the inlets solved the hot air backdrafting through the plate openings.
Out last night top off and the heat from the footwells was very high. Turned on A/C (with top off) and heat stopped. So no A/C we need to Velcro the plates back on. A/C on we need the plates off. Is this correct? Top on with A/C and then later in the drive you want to open windows, you need to reach down and fasten the plates? Not sure if I did this right. The Viper knows. Thanks, Top has been off awhile. Wife wants it back on.
Need advise. Seems like I should have left it alone after the A/C started working fine.Can't leave things alone. It is a Lotus.
Bob
 

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So next step is to look at the air ducting under the left and right access panels? Or
should I just Velcro the plates back for a quick fix?
Thanks for the quick response.
Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #79
Bob,
I would not bother checking the ducting, velcro is the way to go, make life easy.
I would expect that there are 2 seasons, one with AC on, and one with it off. Velcro the panels on in the seasons when you don't want AC and leave them off in others. Another alternative is to just use the AC all the time when it's not cold out, when it is cold you don't mind the heat.
Michael
So next step is to look at the air ducting under the left and right access panels? Or
should I just Velcro the plates back for a quick fix?
Thanks for the quick response.
Bob
 

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I've been thinking about The Viper's mods as the next thing I would likely do, and the last few posts have really cleared up a lot. We had an unusually hot summer in the northeast this year, and frankly, I left the top on more often than not when it was over 90, because the AC simply can't keep up, what with the huge amounts of hot air coming in over the windshield (though it is better with the windows down). So, last week, we had a cool evening finally, and I thought wow this will be great. Surprisingly, all the hot air that used to come up over the windshield seemed to have gone away, and had to put the heater on, but really did not help as much as I expected. This is just another weird aspect of my car, I guess. I agree that there doesn't seem to be a lot of difference between fan speeds, and I think that whatever gain you achieve from moving the air faster (feels cooler) is lost because the air does not have enough time to be colled before coming out of the vents. Sounds like in this area, removing the plates in the summer, and velcro-ing them back in the winter might be just the ticket. Not sure about whether blocking the ducts/unblocking the ducts should be part of that process. Last question: I expect to remove my dash at some point in the relatively near future, and wondering about whether insulating the vents would be helpful. I remember a much older post that asked about this in relation to the amount of heat on the dash when in direct sunlight. The air is only traveling a short distance there, but I'm thinking every little bit helps?
 
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