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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I'm currently in market for a s2 Elise and have found a car with low miles, good condition and some records. In conversation and reviewing pictures I was informed the car has paint protection film or starshield on the rockers and rear of car but surprisingly not on the front clam/bumper.

My hunch was that the front clam was replaced or damaged and repainted and the film was never re applied. Neither the carfax nor seller (4th owner) show damage report and have told me they believe the clam is original.

1) Wondering how to determine if the factory clams are in place? Stickers or some factory tell tales?
2) As long as paint looks good and car passes PPI (ie no structural damage), is this a big deal or deal breaker?

Thanks for your help.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
seeking some advice on a used Elise I'm considering for purchase. Car is scheduled for PPI at local Lotus dealer to once over as well as ECU dump. Its very clean but some records suggest that it was tracked so thought it would be good to see the engine use data.

The reason I'm writing in is more about the starshield thats on the car, currently ONLY on rockers and rear of car but NOT on the front clam/bumper. My hunch is that the clam was replaced but neither the carfax nor the seller (4th owner) says that was the case. I know Carfax is not the end all be all..and seller might not know whole history.

1) How can I tell if original clam is in place? Any stickers or factory marks/tell tales?
2) Provided the PPI shows no underlying structral issues....is a new clam a big deal...assuming paint and fitment are good.
3) Since the clams are $$$$ wondering if most folks that have them replaced usually use insurance or pay out of pocket (thus no carfax record)

Thanks in advance!
 

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not your dad's puns
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I'm not too positive about 1) but for

2) I would say no, not a big deal. It's so easy to cause damage to the clam at even parking lots speeds, that many on the road now, are on their 2nd clam. I've seen a few, and could not tell the difference whatsoever, and I wouldn't hesitate to own one.

3) I've seen it done both ways. However, if insurance payed for it, I would expect it to be the at fault party's policy (if there was one). Often it seems, because of the lead time in getting a replacement clam, insurance companies will total out the vehicle, rather than have to manage the situation for six months or more. And that's before considering the cost itself.

And that's one possible explanation for why a clam repair might have been done "off the books".
 

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Those films are also fair from permanent. Best case scenario, it was removed due to yellowing, peeling, dirt getting under the edges, or simply age and then never replaced.
 

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First let me state that I am overly cautious about these matters. If I suspected front clam damage, I would walk unless they had some pictures of the damage. Anyone one of us on this forum would document with pictures before any repairs made.
 

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I may be wrong here, but to my knowledge the front clam protection was an option. I bought a 2006 with no Starshield on the front, I have had the clam off and there are no indications of any repair, and it has stickers and some marker pen scribbles, looks very factory to me. The car was a very low mileage one owner with clean carfax.
 

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I second @Turbopun and @cyow5 responses. High possibility it could be one of these reasons. Heck, maybe they bumped something in their garage and just paid it out of pocket for repairs or could be as simple as what cyow said and just overthinking it. As long as the PPI passes with flying colors(more importantly, no frame/structural damage), I don't see why not to pursue it. It really will come down to your preference and if your are ok with that. Keep us posted on what the PPI results are. Good luck
 

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First let me state that I am overly cautious about these matters. If I suspected front clam damage, I would walk unless they had some pictures of the damage.
So if they swear there are no accidents and then cannot show any pictures of those accidents they say don't exist, you'll walk away? Heck, I'd walk away if they changed their story and then DID produce pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Starshield Missing from Front Clam

all, thanks for the quick response.

based on PPI findings, the car does not have any sign of structural damage anywhere. The underside (suspension/ panels and oil pan/transaxle) were inspected very tidy/clean. As a life long Cali car there is no corrosion and the zinc plating on most of fasteners is still there.

Re: Starshield, it looks like the original owner did spec car with starshield, it has Lotus logo on the rear clam and still present on the rocker panels. Just nothing on the front. At closer inspection the clam and paint seem to be original....can just barely see a faint line where the old starshield ended on the front clam.

Thinking is that the starshield either got old/crackled and/or yellow and was removed

See attached photo.
 

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Awesome!! You got the best case scenario that it was just removed as cyow mentioned. Do we congratulate you for the purchase yet? Lol. Good luck with the purchase.
 

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Awesome!! You got the best case scenario that it was just removed as cyow mentioned. Do we congratulate you for the purchase yet? Lol. Good luck with the purchase.
haha..thanks...Not yet. Just sent one last question to the group on ECU dump...then its time to pull trigger.
 

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When you get the car, you can polish the front clam, which may help to mitigate the faint line caused by PPF.

And BTW, I don't think repaints on these cars are a big deal given how easy it is to need claim repair.
 

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My car was also tracked rather heavily in it's former life. It also came without front starshield. My assumption was that it probably looked horrible and was taken off.

With that said, I am aware of some history and damage to the car that the previous owner did not share...

It all was reversible, with time and money, and likely I still would have bought it if the owner had disclosed. It is what it is.
 

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When you get the car, you should immediately put PPF on it. Look at Xpel ultimate self healing PPF. It may be a little on the expensive side but WELL worth it. I don't think I would drive one of these cars on the street without it. Too many small rocks flying around, bugs, and foolish people too:crazyeyes. A friend with a Lambo came out of a store to find a teenager sitting on the hood getting pictures taken of her. Luckily he had paint protection film and the only damage done was to the teenager's ears! :wink2:
 
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