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Have just been to view a MY02 V8.

Everything was just as expected for a Lotus (somethings were better than expected too) and no major surprises....

Except:

pict0418aq5.jpg

This is the back of the boot floor. The fixing point is broken right through and the cracks extend as far as the inner face of the wheel arch.

Is this a primary bodyshell fixing point? Or just support for the boot floor?

I have a background in aerospace materials R+D, so fibreglass is last thing that would scare me off but I would like to know what this fixing point is.

Despite thorough inspection inside and out there is absolutely NO sign of accident damage/repair etc. Its almost like something too heavy has been put in the boot.

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Are you sure it the bodywork panel that's split and not the boot floor which notches around this fixing anyway? The boot floor is seperate and is fixed in place by smaller bolts. The larger bolt in the picture is not connected to the boot floor.

If it is the fibreglass cracked then it's an easy fix. This can be fixed in a couple of hours by yourself.

Easiest way is to remove the boot floor which only takes minutes if your bolts aren't seized. When removing your header tank, just loosen the nuts either side, don't take them out. The header tank has slots and slides out. There are two allen bolts by the engine bay area (one each side), a couple of possi screws to vertical part of boot floor behind carpet and the rest are M6 bolts (M10 hex head).

David Walters

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Pete

From what I understand, it's a known weakness.

Geoff at Esprit Engineering spotted that mine is the same (clicky)

As Stu says on that thread, there's a fixit guide on LEW (clicky), although Geoff didn't recommend using a steel plate in case it rusts in the future.

Annoying, but no big deal, apparently - especially for someone with no fear of fibreglassing. I've yet to tackle mine. Maybe a job for the winter...

Ben

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Thanks for the quick replies.

Its definately the body panel that has broken. The boot floor panel that unbolts is perfect.

I'm not surprised its a 'known' problem due to the amount of material at that point (and the % of gelcoat/filler in the material) :whistle:

I suspect that its been this way for a year or so due to the propagation of the cracks.

Would expect about 20 hours work as I would prefer to grind the body FG thickness down and then make the repair with FG cloth and carbon around the mounting hole and FG cloth elsewhere. (hate CSM personally!)

Will study the fixit link- may be back with more questions.

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Yeah - it definitely needs to be ground back.

So are you planning to use carbon fibre matting around the bobbin? Would Kevlar be even better? Or even carbon/kevlar mat...? I only want to do the job once, you see.

This place seems to have some interesting stuff available...

Ben

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Difficult to say in advance of seeing the full picture under the covers and carpets etc.

I probably have enough pre-etched CF tows to do the reinforcement. They give you total freedom in the placement for maximum strength.

Kevlar/CF weave is OK for panels etc but there seem to be too many complex curves around this point to use it sensibly.

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Have just been to view a MY02 V8.

Everything was just as expected for a Lotus (somethings were better than expected too) and no major surprises....

Except:

pict0418aq5.jpg

This is the back of the boot floor. The fixing point is broken right through and the cracks extend as far as the inner face of the wheel arch.

Is this a primary bodyshell fixing point? Or just support for the boot floor?

I have a background in aerospace materials R+D, so fibreglass is last thing that would scare me off but I would like to know what this fixing point is.

Despite thorough inspection inside and out there is absolutely NO sign of accident damage/repair etc. Its almost like something too heavy has been put in the boot.

This illustration shows how the boot floor is notched around the body mounting point.

post-140-1190206520.jpeg

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Thanks for the diagram Gary, that will be useful.

I'm not sure it would be a good idea to drive it home without some repair though.

Anyhow, a deal has been struck, flights and eurotunnel booked, Lotus have supplied an EU certificate of conformity and the car is already booked in for Sportomotive to do this job and a few other details before leaving the country.

I can always add the CF reinforcement later once I get the car home.

After 15 months searching its difficult to believe that there is less than a week to wait now.

:blush:

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I'm sure we've seen this Esprit before.

Blue V8 with sport 350 wheels.

I think its the one featured in "Esprit.........Addiction for life" and some mags.

The original owner was in the North west of the UK. Think he was a Forum member and might still be but can't recall his name.

Lotus couldn't supply him the V8 wheels so offered him the Sport 350 wheels instead.

I also think the blue was initially an Elise colour and this was the first time they'd used it on the Esprit.

There was a thread about the car (if its the same one) on the Forum some months ago but I've done a search and can't find anything.

Does look very nice

Graham :blush:

Wing Commander Dibble DFC<br /><br />
North Midlands Esprit Group<br /><br />
NMEG "the formidable squadron"<br /><br />
"probably the most active Esprit group in the world" Andy Betts, Castle Combe May 2007

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I used to live near Cannes (Gras) and drove my Sport350 whenever I got the chance. Never saw another Esprit in all the time I was there......

Enjoy!

Edited by mike_sekinger

1996 Esprit V8, 1998 Esprit V8 GT, 1999 Esprit S350 #002 (Esprit GT1 replica project), 1996 Esprit V8 GT1 (chassis 114-001), 1992 Lotus Omega (927E), 1999 Esprit V8SE, 1999 Esprit S350 #032, 1995 Esprit S4s, 1999 Esprit V8 GT (ex-5th Gear project), 1999 Esprit V8SE ('02 rear)

1999 S350 #002 Esprit GT1 replica

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Difficult to say in advance of seeing the full picture under the covers and carpets etc.

I probably have enough pre-etched CF tows to do the reinforcement. They give you total freedom in the placement for maximum strength.

Kevlar/CF weave is OK for panels etc but there seem to be too many complex curves around this point to use it sensibly.

HI Pete this happend to my car. I am reasonably handy with polyester resins and wetting out fibreglass so had a go at doing if myself.

I just pulled out the boot floor to expose the whole area and covered the exposed gear box/mechanism areas to avoid getting dusty. I then dremeled out the crack to give something for the resin to bite to. I layered up a mixture of carbon fibre 30cm strips then chop strand mat over top to ensure there is still some flex but not too much. And repeaded the process making sure its eaven and no bubbles are trapped. Each layer I wetted with a resin called vinyl ester. Its a step up in quality from standard polyesters. You need to make sure your working environment is warmer than 18 deg C otherwise the resin will takes ages to cure. Heating it periodically with a heat gun always helps too to kick it off.

Once it was cured, I sanded it, cut it back, then sprayed matt black in there to tidy it up.

If you want some pics feel free to email me. I should have them there somewhere :wallbash:

Kylie

350.gifNo.23
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And repeaded the process making sure its eaven and no bubbles are trapped. Each layer I wetted with a resin called vinyl ester.

Hi Kylie,

Sounds good. The problem is always getting near-zero void content in the composite, which also means maximum wetting of the fibres (and maximum strength).

CF need a really low viscosity resin mix just because the fibres are so small. I use a 24h epoxy type that is extremely liquid at 20

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Hi Kylie,

Sounds good. The problem is always getting near-zero void content in the composite, which also means maximum wetting of the fibres (and maximum strength).

CF need a really low viscosity resin mix just because the fibres are so small. I use a 24h epoxy type that is extremely liquid at 20

350.gifNo.23
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  • 2 weeks later...

Final update.

Sportomotive have done a super job of the body repairs and found some more that needed doing as well (without exceeding their quote either - thanks Cos!)

Have fitted a final version standard exhaust, very boring, but only in case there is any conformity inspection for import. They also found a split and corroded EGR pipe and replaced that too.

Result is that the car now feels very solid, all the little squeaks and knocks have disappeared.

Yes the exhaust sound is very muted but the induction noise on WOT is wonderful ;)

Drive home from Sportomotive was FUN, all 1300 km of it. Only had enough time to put it in the garage, unpack and repack my suitcase and off again on business but she will still be there when I get back.

pict0422ev0.jpg

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These are the rear most mounting points for the body onto the chassis. These actually "float" above the chassis with no real direct contact, so there must be a fair amount of stress going through these two single points.

This is what it looks like broken, with the bobin and bolt in place and then with the offending broken item removed:

03102007250.jpg

08102007341.jpg

Edited by rocket63

Caught between a rock and a hard place in a catch 22 situation, So its 6 of one and half a dozen of the other. Your damned if you do, but your damned if you don't so shut your cock!!!!!!!!!!!

Lotus Espirt Turbo S3    

Lotus Esprit S4 

Lotus Elise S2 Sport 130

pig_zps6d7342f1.jpg

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OHHH!

That looks broken to me.

I wounder that Lotus did also some different constructions of those mounting parts. Mine is like a kind of "double layer" type [ upper body shell part is cutted around the bolt, as a type of thonge coming from upper side] look into detail from picture "lambda groundet..." in my Ethanol treath. The point where the battery charger cable is attached... .

*********************************************************************

to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

*********************************************************************

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  • 1 year later...

I have resurected this thread in case there is any relevant history that is useful.

Have had a crack appear in the bodywork around the tailgate surround. Clearly the Esprit bodywork is not a one piece moulding and many sub-panels have been joined together. Well this crack seems to be right on what appears to be a vertical sub-panel join. It looks bigger than it is due to the gelcoat breaking off.

15mjmuw.jpg

There is no evidence on the outside as it is covered by the quarter panel. The only sign is that the panel gap is very slightly wider.

Having rubbed down the paint that was on the inside there is clearly a fibreglass cloth patch which indicates that my guess at a sub-panel join is probably correct. It is also probable that when the rear body mount was repaired that this could cause tensile stress in the area where the new crack has appeared. Maybe there was some misalignment or clearance error, too difficult to say.

2ptwi9g.jpg

Having stripped out the quarter light interior and air intake hoses it was possible to see that another possible reason for this failure was the void content of the fibreglass in the area. Visible wasnt the word, there were bubble holes of more than 50% thickness :wallbash:

So last night was an excercise in contortion, to relay the area with 5 layers of 160gm cloth, lefthanded, upside down, using a mirror :)

Strangely enough the end result was probably some of the best composite laminating I have ever achieved!

izmjr9.jpg

Does anyone have any info on the sub-panels in the bodyshell and where the joins are supposed to be?

Edited by redshift
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The bodyshell is just a two piece moulding consisting of a top and bottom half. If you're experiencing problems with vertical cracks, I'd suggest a possible cause could be a poor accident repair at some point in the car's past.

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I dont know about 2 piece but the panel between the filler flap and quarter light is a separate piece and where that joins is the point of failure. Also where there is the void problem in the fibreglass it is certainly an original one-piece moulding.

The cloth join patch is probably something to do with the cover panel first mentioned?

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Was just out to see what's on mine...The rear right body mount holds the lower body shell. The upper body shell inwich your crack is..) is bonded/glued with epoxy onto the lower shell -just above the rear body mount area. There is an curved body section near the wheel-housing. So if your crack appears now after the body mount was fixed

-than i would also say some flexes/stresses in the alignment off that all is the reason. The crack starts on your car where the inside quarter section is bonded on (again with epoxy and some minor fibre..) -that section forms the inner air-intake part for the RH air-intake. -and the gap outside is only to make the joints more smoothly for the eyes (together with that attached cover outside). Probably the stronger fix was just above the RH rear body mount (the area on which lower & upper shell are joined together) and the area for the air intake was just fabricated with less effort & material :)

*********************************************************************

to name the things if I see them, that's what I call integrity..

*********************************************************************

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