The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
There are 2 legs to the Elise series 3 windshield frame, one on each side. At the top of each windshield frame leg is a threaded insert that the front clam attaches to. See the attached pics.

I suspect the threaded insert is actually a nutplate which is bonded to the underside of each leg of the windshield frame.

In my case, I believe one end of the nutplate glue is broken, leaving the nutplate drooping because it attached to underside of the windshield frame leg by only one end. It makes it very difficult to put a bolt in the nutplate, because the nutplate threads are now at an angle to the vertical.

If I try to remove the windshield frame from the car to repair the nutplate the potential for breaking the windshield is high. So for cost/amount of work involved reasons I would prefer not to remove the to windshield frame, rather I want to repair the nutplate while it is in the car.

My question is; how do you get access to the nutplate to fix it?

Would it be possible to remove the dash and get to the windshield frame leg from the inside of the car?

Has anyone else had this problem?
1258970
1258971
winshield frame.jpg nut plate.JPG
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,853 Posts
I am not sure, but given that the nut plate is mounted in fiberglass, you could cut away enough of that to secure the nut plate. JB Weld comes to mind, but not JB Smooth.

You could fashion an L-shaped plate to be able to glue 2 sides, but that may be overkill.

Why is nothing ever "underkill"??
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,375 Posts
Put a bolt in it through a small socket or sleeve and add some 3M 4200 adhesive to sides then pull up and lightly tighten. The adhesive will be flexible but strong. Other than that change you brake fluid. That is shot! Also replace radiator and hoses with an all aluminum one while the clam is off. Tommy
 
  • Like
Reactions: mattjk

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
On my car, that nut just fell off. I installed a nutsert. If you can't just bang/pry it off, maybe drill it out and install the nutsert right into existing nut?
 

·
Addict
2007 Lotus Exige S
Joined
·
1,377 Posts
Try to pull the insert up and glue/bond in place. Not sure if a stud would work in that location, guess it would depend on how the clam fits over the hole to prevent the stud from damaging the clam. Magnetic bolt might help pull it up enough to engage threads?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
477 Posts
I'd also recommend a rivnut/nutsert. If you can pull that off it would make this job real easy!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
A nutsert is an idea. There is also something very similar called a rivnut, not sure what the difference is.

But both a rivnut and a nutsert have a metal flange on the top. This metal flange would be on top of the windshield frame leg. Thus the clam, when installed, would sit higher at that point by the thickness of the flange. Would this make any difference?

Also surfed the net and found a British based blog where an Elise owner had the same problem. He cut a hole in the side of windshield frame leg to allow access to the nutplate. When the repair was complete he filled the hole with a rubber grommet.

Any comments?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
1271051
1271052
1271053
1271054
1271055


I wanted to post the result of this for future reference. In case someone else has this problem they can read what I did, and that may help them in their repair.

It turns out there is a nutplate and it can be reached by removing the dash. The top of the dash must be removed, and in order to do that the entire front of the dash must be removed. Follow the instructions in the factory workshop manual to remove (pic 1).

The cover for the airbag must be removed. The cover is held in place by screws, which break away when the airbag is deployed. The only way to remove the cover is to break the screws by hand. This means you will have to buy new break away screws to reassemble.

You must also remove the duct for the face level vent, part no A121U0028F. Mine was held in place by plastic rivets. In order to remove the rivets I had to drill them out. Replace with screws when reassembled.

Once the duct is gone you can reach the nutplate with your hand. Mine was hanging in place by only a small thread of glue, a slight tug and it broke free.

The nutplate with the factory glue is shown in pic 2. It looks like the factory just stuck the nutplate in a big gob of glue. The nutplate cleaned of the original glue is shown in pic 3.

I decided against using a nutsert. A nutsert provides a very strong connection, as opposed to gluing which does not provide as strong of a connection. In the advent of a collision involving the front clam, the nutsert could remain in place, and the load from the accident will be transferred to the windshield frame. If the windshield frame is damaged, to repair or replace is difficult, time consuming, and expensive.

In the event of an accident a glued nutplate will likely snap free of the windshield frame, which is what happened in my case. Thus no load will be transferred to the windshield frame and the windshield frame will likely be undamaged. Yes, it is a pain to remove the dash, but nothing like trying to remove the windshield frame. And the cost is nominal.

I decided to use 2-part epoxy glue, as it is one the few glues able to bond metal (nutplate) to fiberglass (windshield frame). I used JB Weld because it is easy to find locally.

First, clean and roughen the underside of the windshield frame so that the glue will bond. I used some sandpaper taped to end of a short stick to reach the area.

To glue you will need a simple jig. Just a bolt threaded through the nut plate with a fender washer and nut on the outside (pic 4). Liberally coat the nutplate mating surface with glue, and install the nutplate and tighten the outside nut. Let it sit until cured (pic 5).

The only trick is you have to be careful not to glue the jig bolt in place. I used Loctite anti-seize compound on all threads, the underside of the fender washer, and where the bolt head contacts the nutplate. I had no problem removing the jig bolt.

Thanks to all who responded initially, for their input, advice and time. It is appreciated.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
1,540 Posts
Thank you for documenting and sharing to all.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top