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2006 Lotus Elise
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Discussion Starter #1
I found a small crack on the front clam (see photo) and was hoping to get some opinions on what to do. I’m not sure if it’s a rock strike or someone tapped me or old damage coming through (it’s a rebuilt title). I’ve dug through the posts and seen various options. I’ve seen leave it, drill it, tape it, superglue it, repair, and replace. Probably a few others I’m forgetting. I did mark the crack with a sharpie, I thought that was a good suggestion. My preference is to leave it as long as it doesn’t get worse, or superglue it if people think that would work. I’d rather not drill my clam and I’ve seen some opinions that this doesn’t help anyway. I won’t replace, I bought the car to drive and don’t care about the small blemishes. Repair is an option if people think it’s really needed (I don’t want it to get worse), but I don’t really want to spend the money. I probably don’t have the tools or knowledge to do the repair myself. What do you think?

Edit: the picture makes it look a lot worse than it seems with my eye. It’s very very small, you wouldn’t notice it just walking by.

Thanks everyone!
Larry

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I'ts called a "stress crack", hence my nickname. Fiberglass cars develop them over time from flexing or getting bumped one way or another. It could also be from an old repair that was not completed properly. You will have absolutely no problem with rust in that area however. That's a popular spot for Porsches to rust.....

Just drive it and have fun.
 

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Being a rebuilt title, I would guess it is prior damage or an incomplete repair reflecting through the paint. If it were my car, I would just leave it alone and not worry about it. If it gets bigger and more noticeable over time you can think about a repair, but that will be clam off, grind the backside, fill with fiberglass cloth for strength, and repaint.
 

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Judging by the paint quality right there, I am also inclined to think this was a repaired area. The reason to drill a crack is that it actually does slow down the crack propagation (has to do with surface energy mumbo jumbo). But, if this is a repair coming through, the crack is probably running farther than just what you see, so you won't be able to find the leading edge of the crack to drill anyways. Same reason why I don't think putting any adhesive on the current crack will keep it from getting worse, if I am right about this just being part of the actual cleavage line. I'd say to just slowly squirrel some money away to one day refurb the hole front end and just enjoy the car as it is until then.
 

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2006 Lotus Elise
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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone, I appreciate the replies. I took a 50-60 mile drive this evening on some local bumpy backroads and had no visible worsening or travel, so I plan to just leave it be and keep an eye on it.
 
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