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i want to remove my capping rails and rub them back and then repaint and refit them. however im not sure if they are put on with any form of bonding behind them also.

while they are off i will do the air intake vent ears from either side as they will need to come off also.

now i know they are held on with small pop rivets, the thing is i dont want bits if the rivets floating and rolling about in the car cavities, so any suggestions as to what to do? usually i would just use a small drill bit and drill the top of the rivet away and with a fine pint push the centre pin back and then pull with pliers and the whole back section would come out but im not sure it will work on this lot.

the other reason is i want to see the sides of the windscreen to make sure there are no leaks there also.

this is what im on about.

caps.jpg

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Mine is a 1978 S1 and they came off OK just by drilling the rivets. I think I got rid of the remains of the rivets when I removed the hood lining finisher at the top, down the pillar I cant remember, and at the rear the fall out.

I do remember that the capping rail finisher fell to pieces, many many pieces in my hands as it came off.

I imported 2 new ones at great expence from UK only to find out they were a straight piece of rigid plastic extrusion, I couldn't figure out how to fit this so I am using a flexible urethane extrusion, I have tried it in one side so far and I recon it does a much better job that the original.

post-4093-1196649621.jpg

What do you think??

B) ...................xisab

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Big Si, I'm almost sure they are supposed to be bonded with silicone along the entire length. Check the body section of the service manual -- it might say something. I've taken a couple of S1s apart that were bona fide original and they had black silicone, but who is to say they were still doing that in the 80s..

On the inside, if you pull off the trim on either side of the roof and the A-pillar trim, you should be able to get to the back side of all of the rivets.

Lionel -- regarding the original style "chrome inside of clear plastic" capping rail trim, if it is too rigid to bend, heat it with a hair dryer, but the bend should be gentle enough. It fits by riveting it to the roof, and then the edge of the capping rail fits into the chromed channel. The rivets all have to have a dab of silicone on them to prevent water seeping into the interior.

Most people replace the trim with what you used. If you do so, you need to secure the capping rail at the base of the windshield for the first few inches, and at the last few inches by the tailgate. At the front, if it is not attached, the wind will rip at it when you go fast, and it worsens when you put the headlamps up, making an awful creaking/ripping noise. Risk cracking the gelcoat. At the rear, they will be a bit 'loose' at the end, and they may crack near the hinge blades. If not using the original capping rail trim, I suggest 3M high strength double-sided tape to hold them down, both at the front and rear. <_<

Tony K. :)

 

Esprit S1s #355H & 454H

Esprit S2.2  #324J

1991 Esprit SE

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Guest Troy Halliday

As others have said yes they are bonded on. The only thing that varies is how much. Mine were bonded along their entire length and were a real pain in the backside to remove. I needed to cut the silicon away along the whole length which was quite a tricky job. Being fibreglass you do not want to put them under to much stress while removing them as it can posssible crack them and then they will only craze up at a later date. It is kind of a suck it and see moment.

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Mine were bonded with silicone too. I used some nylon string to cut the silicone away. You could use braided wire to cut the silicone away much faster but if your not carefull you can damage the paint on the inside jam, or cut into the fiberglass.

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well i managed to drill out the rivets to the edge of the quater window, and left the last two in, i just needed to see the edge of the screen today, there was a silicon line there where it had been stuck before but it came away no problems. i have now fitted new rivets into the ones i removed for now, i will take them off at a later date now i know they will just come off.

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Lionel -- regarding the original style "chrome inside of clear plastic" capping rail trim, if it is too rigid to bend, heat it with a hair dryer, but the bend should be gentle enough. It fits by riveting it to the roof, and then the edge of the capping rail fits into the chromed channel. The rivets all have to have a dab of silicone on them to prevent water seeping into the interior.

Most people replace the trim with what you used. If you do so, you need to secure the capping rail at the base of the windshield for the first few inches, and at the last few inches by the tailgate. At the front, if it is not attached, the wind will rip at it when you go fast, and it worsens when you put the headlamps up, making an awful creaking/ripping noise. Risk cracking the gelcoat. At the rear, they will be a bit 'loose' at the end, and they may crack near the hinge blades. If not using the original capping rail trim, I suggest 3M high strength double-sided tape to hold them down, both at the front and rear. :rolleyes:

Thanks Tony

Just got round to reading this - I still need to repaint, so my capping rails are held on with self tappers for now - yes right at the base of the windscreen & at the rear end with no finisher because there was only small pieces of it in place when I pulled things apart. I didnt realise what it did or how it was supposed to be attached, now I see. On mine it looked like it had been glued onto the capping rail, not the roof, this is why I thought the urethane would do.

I hate the chrome finish though, I shall have to try to change the colour before I get to put it on.

B) ....................xisab

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Hmmm... reading the previous posts it seems I got off quite lightly. My S1 rails were just pop riveted on no silicone whatsoever. But my car is a '76 variety so I presume the silicone was a leter edition.

Paul.

Lotus Esprit [meaning] a 1:1 scale Airfix kit with a propensity to catch fire

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hi bigsi,i have same problem with my S3 some of the chrome on the capping has turned white.i nearly ordered new capping from paul matty the capping comes in 6-7 foot lengths and would have too be strapped to wood etc. for delivery.so i had a second think about the cost also i did not like the idea of taking a drill too my lotus as the capping has been situated in this position for a long time.i'm thinking of masking off the capping a quick rub with wet and dry and a silver or whatever colour spray.maybe a possible solution for you also ? cheers lostu.

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HI,did mine a couple of years back, they came from SJ strapped to wood I recall.I posted at the time of the various problems and had to remove the silicon also but was warned by Steve to replace it or water leaks may become a problem. The other thing to be careful of is that I had to carve bits off the trims flat edge to make it fit,especially over the quarter lights and have since discovered that if you trim too close to the silvered section water can easily get in and turn it white again.Even so I am still very glad I did it. Took about 4 hours a side!!

Cheers,Paul.

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my advise is to just bite the bullet and replace it, i am going to replace mine in also. simple thing to so is drill out the heads of the pop rivets slowly, when all 7 have been done make sure you do the little black trim by the door where it sits behind as this has a pop rivet on the side and the push clip on top, this has double sided tape on the rear(minedid) then the rail will move, take a very thin paint scraper and gently runn it up the capping lifting as you gom and it will come away, when off if you have got silicon there from the first fitting you need to remove it, once off clean the area up, i use isopropyl myself then when dry and all the capping is done and you are ready, you will need to do the same to the trim if its dmaged drill out the rivets get your new one cut to length and then re-rivet it on and then run a new bead os sealant along the edge of the cap mount and refit and re-rivet it on.

i will have to do a photo howto shortly

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