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Discussion Starter #1
I purchased a hardtop and have the dreaded bulge along the rear center. I see that Lotus sells the bracket as a retrofit for '05-'06 tops to combat this. I was wondering if anyone has installed this kit on their top? The nearest dealer is 5+ hours away and I'm a DIY kind of guy anyhow. I am curious about how the nuts are fixed into the top once the holes are drilled. Epoxy? Fibergass & resin?

Anyone with experience please give an idea of what to expect.

JP
 

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I hope you're willing to post your install results as I have the same issue with my hardtop. Sorry I can't be of any help...

Dave
 

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I'd be interested to see pics of the install. I'd buy it and install it but I heard that dealers use a jig from Lotus to install the threaded inserts in the correct location into the roof. I'm sure it could be winged though.
 

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I had this done under warranty at the dealership. I'll try to take some pictures and post them. I was thinking that the mounting bolts screw into tapped holes, not into nuts. I'll try to clarify this tonight.

The bracket really eliminates the "bulge" problem. Cabin noise seems to be reduced as well.

Ben
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Got the hardtop bracket and hardware yesterday. (see pics) It uses big a$$ wellnuts to lock into the top. Surprising.

I need some help from you guys who already have the bracket installed. Can someone take a few good closeup shots of their tops mounting holes? Also, it is very hard to gauge where the holes should be drilled. If someone could take a measurement or two from an edge to the centerline of the holes in the top I (and future DIY hardtop bracket installers) would be very grateful. :D

Thanks a bunch,
Jonathan
 

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bracket install

has anyone actually completed the install yet?

I just received the bracket kit and will install it sometime over the winter.

The install looks as simple as putting the HT on, centering the bracket, marking and drilling the holes for the rawl nuts. Biggest potential risk appears to be drilling too far.

any other experiences? thanks, w
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've still not done this. I'm not impressed with the wellnut solution. I'm thinking about a better way.
 

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I had LPL install mine instead of trying it myself. I did not want to risk damaging the fiberglass top or getting it wrong. They had it done pretty quickly and it does make a big difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Murix,

If you get a minute could you snap a few quick pics of the area where they drilled the holes? And possibly a measurment from an edge to the centerline of the hole(s)?

I'd totally appreciate it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Great Success!

Well, I can finally close the book on this project. Here's what I did.

Pulled back the liner to expose the fiberglass. With the top on I eyeballed the approximate location where the holes should go and put some painters tape on that area. Put the bolts in the bracket and dipped them in paint. Held the bracket where I thought it should go and pushed it into the top. The painted bolts left two marks where I needed to drill the holes. Drilled some pilot holes and verified that the spacing was good. Drilling the top was very nerveracking as it was at an angle somewhat and was tough to gauge the depth. To obtain the depth required for the wellnuts i had to keep drilling deeper and deeper and was quickly becoming nervous about drilling through to the other side. Just when I was about to stop, the drill punched through. -eek- I pulled the drill out and saw that i had punched through another layer of fiberglass, but not the outer one. :up: This now gave me enough room to insert the wellnut completely. I used 3M adhesive to re-affix the liner. I glued the flange of the wellnut to the top to give the bolts some bite. Let it dry, threw the bracket up there, tightened her down.

I'm very happy with the results. It drew the bulge down nicely. Wind noise is gone.

I had to adjust the travel stops on the windows since the soft top seals are higher than the hard top seals. (on mine at least)

Task Complete.
 

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Wellnuts are not the best way to do this... the proper way to do it is to use nutserts to permanently install two threaded inserts into the roof. If you are in the Milwaukee / Chicago area, I'd be happy to help.

A nutsert works sort of like a rivet, but is hollow and threaded. They are cheap, just need the proper tool to install them.

 

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Discussion Starter #16
Wellnuts are not the best way to do this... the proper way to do it is to use nutserts to permanently install two threaded inserts into the roof. If you are in the Milwaukee / Chicago area, I'd be happy to help.

A nutsert works sort of like a rivet, but is hollow and threaded. They are cheap, just need the proper tool to install them.

I used nutserts in mounting my battery bracket. Didnt like them personally. The wellnuts came with the Lotus kit. They have held up well, no slippage. Whatever works.
 

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Well, I can finally close the book on this project. Here's what I did.

Pulled back the liner to expose the fiberglass. With the top on I eyeballed the approximate location where the holes should go and put some painters tape on that area. Put the bolts in the bracket and dipped them in paint. Held the bracket where I thought it should go and pushed it into the top. The painted bolts left two marks where I needed to drill the holes. Drilled some pilot holes and verified that the spacing was good. Drilling the top was very nerveracking as it was at an angle somewhat and was tough to gauge the depth. To obtain the depth required for the wellnuts i had to keep drilling deeper and deeper and was quickly becoming nervous about drilling through to the other side. Just when I was about to stop, the drill punched through. -eek- I pulled the drill out and saw that i had punched through another layer of fiberglass, but not the outer one. :up: This now gave me enough room to insert the wellnut completely. I used 3M adhesive to re-affix the liner. I glued the flange of the wellnut to the top to give the bolts some bite. Let it dry, threw the bracket up there, tightened her down.

I'm very happy with the results. It drew the bulge down nicely. Wind noise is gone.

I had to adjust the travel stops on the windows since the soft top seals are higher than the hard top seals. (on mine at least)

Task Complete.
Congrats on the install.

I jumped a foot in the air reading about the drill punching through the fibreglass, and my heart nearly stopped. I'm sure you must have jumped ten feet!

I've now decided that If I ever add the bracket, I'll let the dealer do it (and I'm a DIY type of person too).
 
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