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cjtpb13

Stress cracks on the door

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As many of you know my Esprit has been at the Lotus dealership for 6 months now waiting to be repaired due to a rather large deer that decided to enter the interstate ( motorway ) whilst I was doing about 65mph. Due to circumstances and other vehicles I ended up with the buck going under me. The car took a rather nasty jolt as both right wheels lifted up and slammed down. Dealership I fear is afraid to work on the car due to the fact that yesterday they admitted they have only seen one other Esprit in the last 10 years. However here is my issue:

I noticed on the passengers door that there are cracks webbing out at the front of the door near the centre line of the body. The length of the cracks are approximately 2 inches ( 5 cm ) and there are about six cracks that radiate out. Unfortunately I could not get a photograph but trying. The cracks were not there prior and I noticed that the door will now hit the body if opened up to full swing of the door.

The only Lotus body technician there says he does not think that any of this could be caused by the impact or going over the deer after the initial impact. He said it is a hinge movement issue. So why would the drivers door, used way more often not have a hinge issue?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

And to answer another question in six months they have managed to install the manifold that was cracked when the deer hit the exhaust system and install the radiator for the cooling system...I figured except for the painting, and with my travel schedule, I could have done the repairs in a month.

Thanks in advance...

Christopher

Edited by cjtpb13

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I suspect that a severe enough impact could move the door. There's a lot of clearance in the hinge post where the bolts pass through and since the hinge brackets only appear to sandwich the body/post it may move. An impact could also flex the body enough to cause the front wing to contact the door as there's not much clearance between the two.

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There is a bolt in the door hinge that keeps it from swinging out too far. I can imagine some hamfisted mechanic opening the door too far and shearing that bolt... and cracking the paint/fiberglass.

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Derek and Travis thanks for the replies. I had another talk with the insurance person today. Due to the fact that the Lotus dealership has taken so long the insurance company is having them repair the stress cracks. I do not have an adjuster working my case but rather the East Coast manager for the insurance company's Blue Ribbon repair shops, of which the Lotus dealership is a member.

The cracks happened the night of the deer strike.

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Good news Chris, your not having a lot of luck with that useless dealer.

Hope she gets sorted once and for all.

My bet is on a fat arsed mechanic being over enthusiastic with the door opening, or the shock on the hinge on impact and landing.

Alteast they are not quibbling about the repair!

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I would say the door opening problem has nothing to do with your incident or the stress cracks. I'll bet your door check strap and possibly the spring have broken on the top of the hinge mechanism. You'll need to pull the interior door panel to see it. In the parts manual the items can be found on page 10.15A item #40 and 41.

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Simon,

Yes it has been an ordeal. The body shop and mechanical shop have all admitted that they are scared to work on the car. They have only ever seen one more Esprit in the last ten years. They are surprised at the amount of knowledge I have about the car. I also told them that my Lamborghini nor Ferrari dealer would ever treat a client like this in terms of lack of communication and the slowness of the repairs.

Lesson for Lotus about their US dealerships if they want to step up the perception of their brand.

Jim, I will look in to that when I finally get the car back. I am hoping to have it back in the next few weeks. I am back on travel tomorrow and will return to a completed car at the end of May.

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