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In a disheartening garage mishap this afternoon, I managed to allow my jack to slip off the main jack point and crunch the driver's side rocker panel. I also cracked the panel immediately in front of the rocker, inside of the front left wheel, as the car dropped on a padded jack stand that was not yet in place beneath the front jack point.

I would appreciate some advice on:

1. Recommended repair path options and decent body shops. A search revealed Matt's recommendation for Stuart's Paint and Body in an older thread. Is this the best option for out-of-pocket repairs in the DFW area? I am keeping the car in otherwise good shape but it's by no means a garage queen. I'd like to get it solidly and nicely fixed but don't require OEM replacement parts if they're not necessary. Does this look like a fiberglass repair or a full part replacement?

2. Guesses at what amount of dollars I might expect to pay for repairs.

3. Other than the fiberglass repair, do I need to be concerned about the crack in the "front" panel? Any potential structural issues I might have caused?

4. Are there any concerns with this incident affecting the track-worthiness of the car if I drive it as-is before I get it fixed? I have a track weekend at MSR on the calendar in two weeks.

Thank you for your consideration. I would appreciate whatever advice you can provide.

Rocker 1.jpg

Rocker 4.jpg

Rocker 3.jpg

Front panel damage, in front of rocker panel, underneath and inside of front driver's side wheel (between wheel and jack point). The white streak in the upper right is a relatively shallow rock scrape.

Front panel 1.jpg

Front panel 5.jpg
 

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sorry to hear - it has happened to a few people and perhaps they can chime in...

as far as what i have heard very minimal concerns about structural damage. however getting the sill off (and at that point probably just as easy to use new) is not exactly easy... the front looks repairable to me, its not very stressed in that area, and you could epoxy it and re-finish it. just my intial thoughts.
 

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Sorry to see the damage. You should be able to have two areas of damage repaired by a body shop competent in the repair of fiberglass. The damage is not bad enough to warrant the expense and time to remove the bonded onto the chassis rocker panel and it should be possible for a good body shop to return that panel to like new condition. You shouldn't have any structural issues with the car and you can drive it as is if you can't get it repaired right away. As far as the cost to repair, I really don't know, but I am sure that someone else who has had similar damage can give you an idea.
 

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My car hit a bunny at top speed and had to have fiberglass work on the bottom front. You will never see the repair this far down unless you jack it up and look for it, if at all, so no worries. Fiberglass is so easy to work with too, dont sweat it. Almost any body shop should be able to do this. Just call your local Corvette dealer and ask where they recommend for fiberglass repairs.
 

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The sill doesn't look punctured - which is good if you have the LSS with oil coolers - those lines run through the sills and are extraordinarily difficult to replace. The pictures of the sill damage under the door does look a little chunky - meaning it may just barely be intact. It almost looks as if you could touch it and push a hole through. That may be some tricky bodywork - it can be done but I would always worry about the area repaired resurfacing and being evident a few months down the line after the paint cures and shrinks. (fiberglass contracts with temps)

As tesprit mentioned - these are bonded at the bottom to the panel underneath - not fun or easy to replace. Another terrible thing about these is if you open the door and follow the panel you will see it connects to the roll hoop. Proper replacement would mean the rear clam would have to come off.


If you have someone repair all these areas as they are (and not replace) you will have to be concerned with color matching/paint quality.

In my opinion - if you are going to have insurance pay for this, get new material. If you are paying out of pocket for this (which may help you save resale due to carfax) then just have a body shop patch and repair.
 

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Fiberglass is so easy to work with too, dont sweat it. Almost any body shop should be able to do this. Just call your local Corvette dealer and ask where they recommend for fiberglass repairs.
You know I hear that occasionally on here and I respectfully disagree. Not all fiberglass is the same. Corvettes, up till 1981, used to be made kind of like an Exige - hand laid matt in a mold. But since 1981, Corvettes and most other so called fiberglass is actually a sheet molded compound. A very different process that replicates very well, tends to have better quality and tolerances and has a very smooth finish (whereas hand laid fg actually has a lot of variation and even looks kind of wavy).

The Elise, like modern Corvettes, is a combination of materials (The Exige only shares the sills and doors with the Elise). The doors have some flex to them - the clams are more brittle with no give. The thickness of the material is unique on the Lotus - it is pretty thin compared to a Corvette. And to just slap raw fg matt on it with some resin, sand primer and paint - may patch the area - but due to the thickness and different materials and now a compromise of a once solid piece - there is a chance it can resurface. Fiberglass has a tendancy to contract and expand. Just like you see a steel bodied car that had bondo or an epoxy put in a repair show later - this happened because of the different reaction of different materials. Can you imagine someone putting fiberglass in a urethane (flexible) bumper. Any kind of flex and the fiberglass pops out - because it doesn't give. Sure you patched the hole for a while but this isn't really a quality repair.

I tend to find people who take this approach don't usually keep their cars very long. They either aren't aware of the problem resurfacing later or don't care.

Now having said all that - I won't say it can't be repaired but to do it right and get the thickness and integrity close to the panel would take almost as long as replacing the panel entirely. In fact, this is what GM advises for modern Corvette panels in SMC (sheet molded compound) - because they understand it was produced uniformly by a machine.

Anyway - to each their own - it's your car, do with it what you will.
 

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Elise 1 : Monkey 0

Oh ****, my sympathies for what consolation they are.

I thought I had a bad day yesterday when I managed to take out a monkey in my week old Elise. I was lucky to get away with a crazed patch on the front nearside corner. 24 hours of what if's and if only's....
 

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...


If you have someone repair all these areas as they are (and not replace) you will have to be concerned with color matching/paint quality.

...
Repaired or replaced he will still need to paint it and the match will then be up to the shop doing it unless he goes for a full respray -poke-

Can't see any justification for replacement of the sill panel (too much work to remove/replace) and the front crack is trivial. I would guess you are going to be looking at the $500 mark for both.
 

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If it is just that outside area that is painted body color, I would guess around $500-600..

Just make sure the bodyshop is really good at doing blend jobs. (blending the paint and clear coat, then buffing it all out so the finish matches). Red is a hard color to blend/match.
 

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If it is just that outside area that is painted body color, I would guess around $500-600..

Just make sure the bodyshop is really good at doing blend jobs. (blending the paint and clear coat, then buffing it all out so the finish matches). Red is a hard color to blend/match.
I have an Elise in the body shop right now for the lower front bumper crack. It's a good shop with fair prices (used them before and shopped the quote around, they are the fairest...and do a great job) and the total on patching up/painting the front bumper is just over $600. Good body shops usually have no problems with blending as long as they have enough room to blend into (think of a plane taking off on a runway, needs so much room to make the transition to flight... does that analogy make sense?:shrug:).

My question is, after reading a horror story

Lifting your C5/C6 Corvette 101: a few tips. | Editorials Blog & Discussions at Corvette Fever Magazine

I got freaked out as my car is in the shop right now and I hadn't specified the jacking points to them (I have now called, emailed messages for tomorrow, am going to take the instructions tomorrow morning to them - they may be starting on it tomorrow). How much do your average certified and trained body repair technicians know about finding jacking points? Have people had problems with this often? Is this something that to a mechanic would be obvious before jacking up the car (where to put the jacks on this car)? I didn't realize at first that they would have to raise the car to remove the front clam to work on it. Did I screw up not taking it to a lotus dealer to have them outsource it to another body shop and bend me over at the cash register? This one seemed like pretty run of the mill body shop material until I looked into it more.:crazyeyes I'm nervous now...
 

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Sorry to revive an old thread, but how much was this to fix? My body shop just quoted me $3000. They said they need to go through the inside of the panel to push out the bent fiberglass and such. Kind of double pain: the car falling off the jack and not paying for it.
 

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Sorry about your troubles, and at the risk of making you relive the pain, would you be able to describe what happened? I only ask because I've not yet jacked up my car - I've only had it for 3.5 months - but plan to do so to put on winter rims/tires. I only to plan to jack it just enough to clear the ground, and I've gotten good feedback on what jack to use and of course the hockey puck, but I know it's a very precise process, and would appreciate your comments. Thanks.
 

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Well, that's the thing. I had a jack, with a hockey puck, and it still fell off. I'm thinking it is more my jack than anything else, it is a little large/heavy, so it may not be moving when I jack the car. The best thing I can tell you is get a JackHelper for the rears and ramps and avoid jacking from the sides unless necessary :)

I know, a LOT of other people have done it successfully from the side, I'm just spooked now. I think maybe it is because my jack was perpendicular to the car? If it was angled more towards the front/rear, then maybe it wouldn't have popped off the side.
 

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Well, that's the thing. I had a jack, with a hockey puck, and it still fell off. I'm thinking it is more my jack than anything else, it is a little large/heavy, so it may not be moving when I jack the car. The best thing I can tell you is get a JackHelper for the rears and ramps and avoid jacking from the sides unless necessary :)

I know, a LOT of other people have done it successfully from the side, I'm just spooked now. I think maybe it is because my jack was perpendicular to the car? If it was angled more towards the front/rear, then maybe it wouldn't have popped off the side.
Ramps and the JackHelper are great ideas (I've got and use both). But sometimes you still need to lift the car from the side (as in when you need to get all four wheels off the ground.

So, when I do that, I jack up one side just high enough to get my jack stand under the proper jack stand points with them set at the lowest setting. Then I jack up the other side to a higher setting. Then back to the first side and lift it so that it matches the second side. The opposite process to lower the car.

The jack has to be located at a right angle to the car - it has to move "under" that car as the jack lifts to compensate for the geometry changes.

I once tried to lift the car the whole way up on the first side. That's when my jack slipped. Lucky for me, it shot the jack (it rolled) out from under the car and the car just fell back to the ground (onto it's tires). No damage (except to my pride).

By the way, I also have a set of "lift points" installed in the rear and they provide a nice place to place the jack stands in the rear (even though they were intended for use with a four point lift).

My old (30 year old) jack finally gave out on me and I bought a new "low profile" jack. It's given me nothing but problems. It tends to not wand to roll (and jacks have to freely roll to adjust for the geometry changes as the lift part goes "up and back"). I just bought another "heavy duty" jack (big and heavy, not one of the aluminum low profile jacks) just like my old one. It has large wheels, and rolls very easily.

I also have a rubber jack saddle that I bought from Harbor Freight that I use on my jacks. It replace the normal saddle and presents a flat rubber surface on the lifting portion of the jack. It's one of the things at HF that tends to come and go - they don't have it right now (instead they have a rubber pad that sits in the normal jack saddle - useful, but not as good as the rubber covered saddle) but they will probably have it again in the future.


Also, I discovered that if you use the JackHelper ALWAYS use it with the "locating" screws installed in the cross-member. I tried to use it against the cross-member with the under-tray and diffuser removed, and it tried to slip. Screwed the diffuser mounting screws back in, and the JackHelper had something to "locate" it, and it didn't try to slip again.
 

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I think my jack is garbage, even the JackHelper slipped off. Thank god I had the front wheels chocked or my Elise would have gone more than the inch forward that she did! The wheels are about the size of a quarter, so that could make sense why they didn't move with the car.

What jack do you use? I'm looking for one with wheels with a high circumfrance, but I'm only finding ones with wide stances rather than big wheels. They make them with the single roller in the front too, I'm not sure how well that would work...

This:

3 Ton Super Heavy Duty Floor Jack

or this:

Amazon.com: Torin T83505 3.5 Ton Low Profile Service Jack: Automotive

or this :D

Amazon.com: Titan Exhaust Air Jack - 2-Ton, Model# TJ2: Automotive
 

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I just had a Jack slip on me as well. I was at the track and had forgotten my Jack so I barrowed one from a friend. It was a old cheap model with a small Lifting block. As I was finishing up my brake pad replacement, I noticed the jack beginning to slip. I ran over to the Jack handle and released it just as it slipped. This minimized the damage but not completely. I will never use a cheap floor Jack again.
 

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I use one of those jacks with a low profile, a large jacking surface, and a single wide wheel on the front. I don't use a hockey puck, though. I use some squares of outdoor carpet instead; the rubbery underside (along with half the car's weight) helps hold it in place while protecting the car. And you definitely need the jack to set (at least mostly) perpendicular to the car.
 
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