S1 Exige Conversion

Topics relating to the Lotus Exige S1 (series 1)
jamesjeffery
Posts: 189
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:37 am

I removed the front clam to finish up a few bits.

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The main focus was to sand the front splitter ready for primer. I took some 240 grit and lightly went over it to key it as the gel coat is pretty smooth and I don't think the primer would take well to it without doing this.

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I noticed one side of the splitter was more rounded compared to the other, so I added more filler and made the radius tighter to get it matching the other side. You can see the new tighter radius from the more red coloured filler.


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Another area was the radiator pipes. These are in good condition and are silicone, but they do rest against the crash structure.

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To help against these rubbing and splitting or causing any wear, I put some rubber edge trim on it to give it a soft edge to lie against.

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Pretty fiddly to put on as the pipes didn't allow for much room, but happier now they're on.

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To get the sill ready to sand I made a note where the rubber bungs were located and removed then.

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There were a few dings and nicks out the sills so I added some filler which I'll take down when I key the sills. I'll also need to borrow a hair dryer to remove the sill protector film.

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I also treated the front calipers to new bleed caps as one was completely split.
Last edited by jamesjeffery on Wed Mar 10, 2021 10:58 am, edited 2 times in total.
jamesjeffery
Posts: 189
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:37 am

Along with tidying up the other edge of the rear clam I also sorted the bottom surfaces.

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These had a fair bit of JB Weld on them to keep them strong in the meantime, but I sanded most of it back and re-applied some dolphin filler. There was also a groove in the gel coat I filled.

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These areas aren't seen too easily but I still focused on getting them even and smooth, especially seen from the back.

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Overall I'm happy with how they are now looking and once the primer is on you should never know the damage was done to them.

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Tidying up a few other areas like the fog/reverse areas and the numberplate lights and the rear clam is ready to go to the body shop. They'll take off the flashing lines and sort the overall surfaces now I've sorted all edges and fixing positions.
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Fonzey
Posts: 1192
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:17 am

Great work James, just caught up the last few pages over my morning coffee - really enjoying it, keep it up. :thumbup:
jamesjeffery
Posts: 189
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:37 am

Cheers pal, it is so close to being somewhat drivable again, but still have all the interior bits and bobs to sort too.
I think any engine stuff will have to wait unfortunately, saving for a house deposit.
jamesjeffery
Posts: 189
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:37 am

I'm going to make my own headlining and side sill covers. First up was the headlining

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I made a template out of the only suitable materials I had lying around, which turned out to be a political leaflet and some kitchen roll.

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I bought some foam sheeting to be used as the base, which will then be covered in black alcantara. I transferred the template onto the backing of the foam and cut it out with scissors.
I also bought enough foam sheeting to make a new boot floor as I think it'll be a much cleaner look than reusing my old boot floor which to be honest is falling apart.

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I fine trimmed and finessed the foam with a scalpel blade to get it to fit properly. I was half tempted to keep it as foam, but as the roof clamp will be covered in alcantara I thought it best to match them. These will be covered once I've cut the pieces for the sill covers and I can do them all in one go.
jamesjeffery
Posts: 189
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:37 am

Not much left to get ready before the body shop now, but I tackled the sills.

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First step was to get the sill protector vinyls off. These were a little bit stubborn but a bit of heat (not too much otherwise the vinyl just stretched and tore) and they came away slowly and gently.

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As gentle as I could be the vinyl still took some paint off the sill. Not a real issue as I was going to sand the sill anyway and it would be covered by the Exige clam, but still a bit of a pain leaving a step in the paint I had to sand flush.

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A bit of 120, then 240 before finally 320 saw the surface flush. Bit overkill for an areas that ultimately won't be seen.

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The driver sill had a sticker talking about the fuel filler cap. I tried to peel it of but it was so brittle it just broke away in tiny pieces. In the end I decided the best method would be to sand it off.

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I took some 120 grit and over a little while it eventually sanded off and I blended the surrounding surfaces.

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I took the front clam and doors off to allow for the masking to begin. The doors would stay off as they can be easily transported off the car and need sanding as well which will be much easier loose.

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I took some frogtape and began to tape up the surrounding pieces. The interior sill but was quite easy as the tape slid underneath most bits of the aluminium and wrapped over well. I'll let the body shop do the rest/main taping.

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I noticed the front clam fixing needed to come off to sand behind them. I would have to put them back on afterwards to fix the front clam for transportation. Removing them also let me tape up around the windscreen. Also since these photos I have removed the extra door shim that I missed and taped over first time round.

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I was a little surprised to find the underside had gone rusty and had rotted the fibreglass a bit. I scraped out a bit of the loose bits but wanted to leave most the material still there as it isn't doing any harm and gives the plate material to fix against.

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I taped up around the windscreen and the front of the sill down the aluminium, plus all underneath too.

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I then took the roof off to get better access to the top of the B pillar and tape up around the roll bar.

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I was pretty anal with the taping, where every little jot out and kink in the tape was were the rubber adhesive was, so the respray should miss all the black adhesive and hopefully should be very hard to tell that the paint has been changed, rather than having overspray. Again probably overkill as this won't be seen really. I did the same on the back as I did at the front and taped all down the chassis and underneath the car.

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When taking the 320 grit to the sills I noticed that they were quite badly stone chipped, probably from the amount of trackdays the car does, not being a garage queen and also being nearly 23 years old. I started taking some 120 grit to it, but it was taking ages and thought it would be better to leave these areas to the body shop to quickly blitz over them with their machines.

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Something different on the driver's sill is the hole in the back of the sill by the engine mount.

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I was able to get my hand up into the inside of the sill and place 2 strips of tape on the underside. I could have left this open but didn't really want paint sprayed up inside the sill and onto the chassis rail.

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I finished off with tape on the outside which strengthened the strips underneath

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With the doors removed I took off the striker latches and taped them up along with holes left by removing the small soft top clip things. I tested pulling off the little rubber edge trim but they were well glued on so I carefully taped them up.

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I have never seen my car so bare!

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Here is how I left the front clam fixing part of the sill, should still be strong as most material was left, just a little moldy.

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I forgot to take a picture of the fully sanded and taped sill before I put the clam back on, but happy I spent the extra time getting the tape where I wanted, so hopefully at the end you won't be able to spot the colour change.
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andybond
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Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:16 am
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I bet having the panels on helps see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Its more great progress.
ortope
Posts: 107
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2020 11:40 am
Location: Switzerland

Do you already have the two sill extensions?

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Cheers

:thumbup:
# S1 016
jamesjeffery
Posts: 189
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:37 am

Yep I have the oversills, got them from Dom at thelotusfactory.co.uk who did all my other panels. I shaped them to my sills earlier on in the thread.
HOON
Posts: 86
Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:05 pm

Some great work going on here, I’m really enjoying following your build thread.

It’s going at such pace, I’m having difficulty keeping up with it! :thumbup:
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