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red vtec

Body Cracks! Help

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Just had a look in the front boot and I appear to be developing some body cracks, not gel coat cracks. I have a thick wad of history on the car and it shows no accident history.

A) What cuases them?

B) Can I Leave them?

C) How do I Deal with them?

D) Can someone else pay to fix them?

Edited by red vtec

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Are you able to take any pictures? perhaps seeing the location and actual damage occuring can help others to diagnose a likely cause.

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Adding to Blake's comments (because yo do need to eliminate the cause to prevent recurrence. You drill a hole at the end of the crack (to spread the stress around the arc so as to prevent it continuing) then laminate over the area having got a good key to the original glass fibre body. Nothing too difficult, but a decent body shop should know what they are doing if they're not of the take panel off, fit new panel and spray mentality where they don't repair simply replace.

So

A) An impact or prolonged load which has found the most suitable weak point in the body.

B) I wouldn't advise this, but as the body isn't the strength of the car, it may not be an extremely urgent matter.

C) as above two posts.

D) You'll be lucky.

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How deep/wide are the cracks? Do you have sagging front springs / old shocks? Are there lots of pot holes on the roads in your area?

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On a similar vein (NPI) in my front boot area, there is thick filler between the internal arches and the boot floor. Its the same on both sides and seems original.

Is this a part of standard construction, or does my car have 'history'?

Also, seems like an obvious weak point if its the former.

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That's an odd place to get them, and an awkward one as well.

Cannot think what has caused them but repairing them well would be to do an aesthetic repair on the outer surface and the main strength of the repair underneath, which would be behind the dash.

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Looks like it's a Stevens thing. I have a crack in the same place (above the hook) and it's been there since I bought the car 8 years ago. It hasn't got any bigger.

My front springs are sagging and the suspension tends to crash over pot holes. This has caused new stress cracks above the wheel arch, in the same place as yours. I'm getting new springs and shocks all round and the cracks fixed as well as a respray. It's going to be an expensive year.

Watch out for sagging front springs/worn shocks on old Stevens cars.

Edited by Mark Blanchard

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Thanks for all the replies,

Mark in someways it is good to hear that yours is the same, if you know what I mean!

I think it has the orginal springs and dampers on so maybe anew set when money allows, does crash a bit over pot holes.

Chris

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I've always liked the look of the Esprit with sagging front springs, it looks nice and low. But it's clearly not a good idea :rolleyes:.

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Chris,

Like Mark, mine has had a crack on the driver's side (LH here) in the same spot as this ever since I have owned the car. Hasn't got any larger in 4 years. It's not as long as yours, but a bit deeper looking, if I can judge from the photos. I don't carry a spare tyre, but the springs and struts have been replaced.

Trevor

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After a bit of research, it seems it's more prevalent on Stevens cars. Another reason for cracks around the top face of the wheel arches is the supports for the radiator are fixed close by. When the rad grounds on speed bumps the rad and support beams are pushed up into the bodywork. The Giugiaro doesn't have this problem.

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I spoke to Geoff from Esprit Engineering about the cracks and he said it's nothing to worry about, the Stevens body shell is extremely strong. But he did however recommend getting new springs and dampers so the front end will increase in height.

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Hi Mark,

Thanks for that.

I have a new set of springs Courtesy of a top bloke here ( Mr Freeman) Just need to decide what dampers, got Protech on the rear, fitted by PO, but I'm hearing bad reports of them on this site.

Chris

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I've got a pair of tired old protech front dampers I'm about to throw away which you're welcome to it you want to get them rebuilt? As you know, I'm not a fan but if you're in a tight spot they may be better than what you've got.

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Cheers for the offer Bibs :). I've got some sorted already. I'm going for Bilstein springs and Lotus dampers. After the change in the ride height and the respray (including spraying over the dark grey valance) my old car should have a new lease of life.

Edited by Mark Blanchard

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