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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, I know a lot of you have had your dash replaced under warranty and a lot have had it re-covered with new leather.

Is it just the leather that shrinks and lifts the damned thing up out of its mounting hardware or does the cover itself warp?

I ask because I'm sick of waiting for our friends in Hethel to make me a new cover and I'm curious if I can just buy new hardware and have it re-covered when I get the rest of the dash done (I have peeling elsewhere due to shrinkage).
 

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Good questions, & if the covers warp due to shrinking leather, would a liberal application of leather conditioner soften up the laeather again allowing it to stretch & thus allow the cover to go back to it's original flat state? Ever the optimist...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Along the same lines, why can't we make a custom cover out of say, cardboard and leather, and just velcro it on.
My sarcasm detector is wiggling a little here. However, I have thought about something similar: some sort of thin but rigid material to cover the spot so if it gets warped again, you just pull it off and replace it.

I need to fix this as it is fodder my my wife's pestering with comments like, "Should have bought the Porsche... at least they will get you parts". :rolleyes:
 

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Maybe a custom Kydex piece that's dimensionally the same and then padded and covered. It would have to be two pieces or something, so that it's hinged in the middle. The rear should probably be securely fastened, with only the front "flap" able to lift up in the event of an airbag deployment.

Not sure that'd pass the insurance muster if someone were to get hurt though from a custom cover.

I need to fix this as it is fodder my my wife's pestering with comments like, "Should have bought the Porsche... at least they will get you parts". :rolleyes:
I like to respond to mine with equally pestering comments like, "Should have bought a different wife..." ;)
 

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My sarcasm detector is wiggling a little here. However, I have thought about something similar: some sort of thin but rigid material to cover the spot so if it gets warped again, you just pull it off and replace it.

I need to fix this as it is fodder my my wife's pestering with comments like, "Should have bought the Porsche... at least they will get you parts". :rolleyes:
No sarcasm intended. It's a stupid problem that shouldn't be a problem, and even if it is, shouldn't cost so much to fix. I think the only worry is if the rigid material hits you in the face.

I haven't gone through a airbag cover issue, but I stare it at almost every day to see if it's inching upwards.

The original cover is hinged at the back, and plastic tabbed in front. The front can be velcro, or double sided taped. I wonder if we can top screw the back part. Yeah you may have visible screws, but one can work it in so it looks normal-ish.

Another simple idea...
Can we pivot the existing one upwards (aka break the front tabs), bend it appropriately, and them drill some holes to provide access to re-secure the front?
 

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Kydex is a heat moldable material. Delrin is another option as well which will absolutely retain its shape and not warp. This is an interesting thought. Cutting the plastic with tabs that would slip under the lip would easily hold it in place. A thick high durometer foam covering to bring the cover up to the right level and a thin piece of top leather that matches and the problem wouldn't exist anymore. I would also think that if the airbag were to unfortunately deploy, since it deploys forward, it would stand to reason the cover would blow back towards the windscreen.

This is a very interesting thread and I wonder if anyone out there has a car with a deployed airbag who would be willing to fiddle around a bit?
 

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That's what is so mind boggling about how this cover is attached. When I first found out about this problem, my thought was "should be easy to just pull it up from the front and expose the rear (close to window) screw locations to uncrew and remove the rear. Putting a new one on could just be done with Velcro (good enough for me as NOBODY ever rides shotgun, but yes, not for a future owner if I were to sell). I could be looking at a lawsuit I suppose.

Regardless, I would assume this was addressed on the new 400 somehow?
 

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I need to get around to replacing mine. The cover is made of some resin that has a metal plate that bolts to some brackets around the airbag assembly. If the bag deploys it snaps the front plastic clips and the panel itself bends upwards. I've seen a few pics of Evoras where the bags have deployed. I would be very hesitent in fabing something up myself though.

In my case the actual panel itself is warped and has lifted on the front far right corner. If you are trying to order one of these better get on it. Lotus had to build one for me and it took literally 7 months.

Here is a pic of the cover itself.
 

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If heat and shrinking leather is the true reason why they warp, then I do not know why carefully & slowly applying heat to "un-warp" them would not work. :shrug:

If anyone has removed a warped cover and still has it laying around, this would be what I would try (my dash was replaced under warranty so they kept mine). Of course, I don't blame Lotus for not attempting this as it may be time consuming and the tweaking for each car may be different. If I remember right, the broken clips cost less than $2 each to replace.
 

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The cover looks like it's made of the same dense foam stuff the rest of the dash is made out of. It seems to be a pretty solid material, as long as you don't grind or sand it (it turns to powder easily).

I'm guessing the heat is shrinking the leather, which is torquing the cover, not that the cover itself is warping. Unless maybe it's the metal plate on the cover that's deforming when it gets too hot.
 

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I solved this with a small dab of jbweld. I used a small screw driver to ease it down the raised front right corner. I then placed a 10 lb weight on top overnight. Fixed! Now I'm fully aware t this isn't the lotus fix but I don't care. First, ridiculous expense for this dumbass problem. Second....the airbag deployment force is very powerful and will either break the dab of epoxy or rip apart the leather. No way will it inhibit the deployment of the explosive force propelling the airbag at over 200 mph. Just ask yourself how many times you've used strong glue or epoxy that fails to hold under reasonable stress. Airbag explosive force is extreme....and why small kids can't be in front seat when airbag is installed.
 

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NHguy
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Yes, for sure. My 69 Elan+2 and 61 MGA have their share but of course, much simpler to work on. But...having to remove entire dash to fix a small gap on an airbag cover is pretty nuts.
 

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I solved this with a small dab of jbweld. I used a small screw driver to ease it down the raised front right corner. I then placed a 10 lb weight on top overnight. Fixed! Now I'm fully aware t this isn't the lotus fix but I don't care. First, ridiculous expense for this dumbass problem. Second....the airbag deployment force is very powerful and will either break the dab of epoxy or rip apart the leather. No way will it inhibit the deployment of the explosive force propelling the airbag at over 200 mph. Just ask yourself how many times you've used strong glue or epoxy that fails to hold under reasonable stress. Airbag explosive force is extreme....and why small kids can't be in front seat when airbag is installed.
Knowing not a "factory" fix, this is a great idea. If one concerned about strength of the repair/adhesive used being too strong, testing the adhesive force beforehand easily done by using two pieces of material similar to those where bonding is placed on the cover corner, and then manually prying the bond apart, gauging its strength manually or using a strain gauge.......might offer some piece of mind........
 

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I solved this with a small dab of jbweld. I used a small screw driver to ease it down the raised front right corner. I then placed a 10 lb weight on top overnight. Fixed! Now I'm fully aware t this isn't the lotus fix but I don't care. First, ridiculous expense for this dumbass problem. Second....the airbag deployment force is very powerful and will either break the dab of epoxy or rip apart the leather. No way will it inhibit the deployment of the explosive force propelling the airbag at over 200 mph. Just ask yourself how many times you've used strong glue or epoxy that fails to hold under reasonable stress. Airbag explosive force is extreme....and why small kids can't be in front seat when airbag is installed.
How long have you had this done? Seems like a good idea, just want to see if it will last the test of time.
 

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NHguy
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About 3 weeks. Using sun shield now. So far so good. I frequently drive over 10 miles each day of very bumpy country road too....lot of vibration....corner hasn't lifted at all. Of course, this is how I solved this issue...i don't see a risk but others may disagree.
May not be for everyone....
 

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Can some perpendicular 'Ribs" be used to help provide something to adhere and clamp to? Prolly have to be very short.

Also can the Leather be removed? It would seam wise to remove, then flatten/straighten the panel before re-glueng the leather back on. Heck you could even glue the leather to a more dimensionaly stable fabric before re-gluing both to fixed cover......
 

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I solved this with a small dab of jbweld. I used a small screw driver to ease it down the raised front right corner. I then placed a 10 lb weight on top overnight. Fixed! Now I'm fully aware t this isn't the lotus fix but I don't care. First, ridiculous expense for this dumbass problem. Second....the airbag deployment force is very powerful and will either break the dab of epoxy or rip apart the leather. No way will it inhibit the deployment of the explosive force propelling the airbag at over 200 mph. Just ask yourself how many times you've used strong glue or epoxy that fails to hold under reasonable stress. Airbag explosive force is extreme....and why small kids can't be in front seat when airbag is installed.
Can I asked is it still holding. I have replaced the clips three times now and it still pops up. The last time only lasted 2-3 months and was done by the Lotus dealer in Perth WA .
 

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Yes, has been over 2 yrs since your JB Weld fix, and would be good to know still effective! Thanks......
 

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Regardless, I would assume this was addressed on the new 400 somehow?
I'm a bit confused because Offero's signature says he has an Evora 400. But the 400's panel is not leather covered and to my knowledge this hasn't been an issue on any of the '17 and later cars. Can we assume this problem is in respect to his prior '11 Evora? My 400's cover is fine but the car is kept in a climate controlled garage and doesn't get the worst of a southern summer heat treatment torture.
 
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