S1 Exige Conversion

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

More interior/roof stuff sorting the headliner.

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I noticed when sorting the foam for the headliner that there were a few blobs of rubbery adhesive that stuck out and meant the foam didn't fit flush. I decided to grind them off a bit to get a better fit.

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As I'd already shaped and cut out the foam it was time to add the alcantara to match the roof clamp.

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This was done in much the same way as the clamp, where the foam was laid down and coated in a few fine layers of the 3M adhesive. I tested the tackiness as I went and found that because the foam is quite porous, a lot of the glue was going into the holes and not laying on the surface.

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To counter the porous nature of the foam I decided to spray directly onto the alcantara to add that extra layer of adhesion. I was apprehensive about doing this as it would increase the chance of wet patches on the fabric, but it spread well and didn't show through the other side which was good.
I then gentle laid the fabric onto the foam the same way I did with the clamp, letting it droop in the middle and then spread the fabric outwards to avoid air bubbles and folds.

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I then took some scissors to cut out away the excess material, leaving enough to fold and wrap over the edge.

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Like the clamp I cut little triangles out the fabric at the corners so it would wouldn't overlap. This was the first corner I did and others were neater, but as the headliner kind of sits under the lip on the roof recess the edges would be mostly covered anyway.

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I didn't use any spray glue on the underside of the foam as I bought some with a sticky backing, so just rolled and pressed the alcantara onto this. I left the majority of the backing on as I'll use this sticky backing to help fix it to the roof along with another strong adhesive on final assembly.

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Overall happy again and ready to go onto the roof.
jamesjeffery
Posts: 189
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:37 am

The dash piece on my car obviously had the Elise sticker on it, so this was peeled off to leave a blank panel. I was originally going to just stick an Exige sticker in place of the peeled off Elise one, but 23 years of sunlight had left the surface under the sticker a completely different colour, meaning you would see where the original sticker was under the new one. This is one of the main reasons I decided to flock the interior. With this decision I wanted to keep the Exige logo so made a plan.

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I thoroughly cleaned the panel with white spirit ready for painting.

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I bought some silver alloy paint as this had good resistance against water/petrol etc so shouldn't need any clear coat.

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I had made a note previously about where the original sticker was but forgot to take a picture of it, but it is basically 10mm from the side and bottom. I'd try to stick to this as best I could with the Exige logo.
As you can see I built up the layers nice and gradual as I wanted to keep the textured look of the original panel.

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It took many coats, probably 7 or 8 to finally cover the Elise discolouring, but eventually the end of the panel was silver.

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One thing that is handy about my skill set is being able to make things on the computer, making my own Exige logo to the exact dimensions of the OEM sticker.
They were so cheap to make I bought a few extra in case I cocked up or needed them for something else.

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Really easy to apply, just pull the backing off, stick it down, use a credit card and peel off the top layer.
I didn't bother using and tape line it up as it is a small vinyl so was easy to position.

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I also didn't do much measuring to get it exactly where the original went because there were a few small blemishes in the paint that I didn't want to be seen in the logo. These can be seen above the G and between the G and E. I positioned it so it just missed the blemishes but still kept the 10mm from the bottom and as close to the original as I could. The whole panel will be flocked and then when the stencil is removed it should show the silver paint underneath, the flocking hiding the blemishes in the paint. I'm excited to see what it looks like once it is finished and should be fairly unique to my car along with the other bits I'm getting flocked.
jamesjeffery
Posts: 189
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:37 am

The rubber bungs I ordered didn't fit which was quite annoying.

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I bought 32mm bungs, thinking it would plug a 32mm hole, but seems the measurement came from the centre of the rubber, so they are 4mm too big.

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I think they'll look good when I buy the correct size, 28mm should fit nice and snug. At least they're cheap.
ortope
Posts: 107
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2020 11:40 am
Location: Switzerland

The pain in the a.. is that the dashboard panel was painted with Senotex paint and as far as I know
the only one that still has it is Elise Shop...

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

I needed to sort the brackets for the rear screen, so I got it out of storage and noticed the rubber trim had come away from the glass a bit.

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It had come away along the top edge.

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I took a stanley blade and ran it carefully along the glass to get off the old adhesive and rubber that had been left behind, leaving a clean surface for the new bond.

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I used this super sticky tape by Fosseway, which I'd used before to stick the carbon side scoops on my Elise clam and the front numberplate, it is very good tape.

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I applied a strip across the top where I had scraped the old crap off. I pressed the trim onto this new adhesive and made sure it was all secure.

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It formed a strong bond and does hold the trim in place well. Once it is on the car the trim is pressed against the rollbar so doesn't/shouldn't move, but good to secure the trim properly.
jamesjeffery
Posts: 189
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:37 am

I had originally tried to buy the rear screen fixing brackets from Deroure ages ago but it took so long (I'm talking months) and they still never showed up so I gave up and made my own. Also the fact they were £12 each plus VAT and delivery put me off.

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I got an angled piece of aluminium 10x10mm (which cost 99p from ebay!) and cut it at 40mm intervals. I then measured the distance of the pop rivet holes in the roof, which were 30mm, then drilled the brackets to accept the fixing.

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These should be pop riveted on, but my rivet gun wouldn't fit down the side of the bracket to allow for it to secure it tightly, so decided to buy some flat head M5 bolts.

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I drilled/opened up the rivet holes in the roof up to around 4mm so the M5 bolts had material to grip to. The fixing was nice and secure.

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After a test fit I found the brackets were very right against the glass, but they worked well at securing everything.

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To ease some of the tension I opened up the holes in the bracket to give a bit more clearance.

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This fit much better and wasn't such a struggle to get the window on.

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The brackets are still a little tight and being soft aluminum they scored a bit against the glass. They also stick out a lot being silver in colour against the black of the window. A layer of paint would hide them better and protect against the scoring.

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I usually prefer matt or satin finishes for small components, but because the surround of the glass looks gloss, I decided to go for some smooth Hammerite.

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The gloss should go well with the glass surround, and I painted the bolt heads too. Will see what they look like on final assembly
jamesjeffery
Posts: 189
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:37 am

To avoid scratching my wheels as best as possible I use the smaller 17mm wheelnuts, this mean a smaller socket (I use the plastic sleeve ones) and more clearance in the recesses.

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Like most Exige wheels mine are matt black, and rather than have silver or gloss wheelnuts I wanted them matt as well to hide them. I always prefer hiding the small things rather than making them stand out.
I also noticed that there are two types of nuts, one domed top and one concave, the domed having kept the original paint better. My OCD will mean that I'll have to match the nuts on the wheels front and back.

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I was tempted to use the same Hammerite to paint the nuts as it is a hard wearing paint, but would then leave the gloss shiny finish I didn't want. I do have some matt clear coat but I don't think I have enough to cover all of them, the can feels very light. So I decided to use a matt black spray can I bought to sort something else, and hopefully it is hard wearing enough to withstand the socket marks.

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All dried and cured, happy with how they look. Will have to see what they look like after they've been taken on and off at the body shop, as I'm sure they won't be as gentle as myself when using a gun or socket, and my track wheels have a smaller but recess than the Exige wheels.
If they scratch/chip and look crap I'll have to use the Hammerite and hope I have enough matt clear coat to cover them all.
jamesjeffery
Posts: 189
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:37 am

I had to make up new inserts for the front clam side grilles.

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I bought some 3mm thick black perspex and used the original holed insert as a template to get the cut lines.

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I used my jigsaw to carefully cut along the line to get an exact match with the original.

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I then took some sandpaper to finesse the edge. I took a tiny bit more off the middle of each insert as this was where the original was tight when placed in the recesses.

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With the inserts now slightly narrower the mesh needed a bit of reworking to get it folded and tight against the edge. I also took my dremel with sandpaper wheel to grind down the bottom edge of both meshes to get them to fit into the recess a bit better due to the curvature of the gel coat.
jamesjeffery
Posts: 189
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 10:37 am

Things are getting silly now, decided to clean up my diffuser spacers.

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They were fairly grubby so cleaned them up with white spirit ready for paint.

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Matt black and ready for final assembly.
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andybond
Site Admin
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Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:16 am
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There cannot be too many bits you have not tidied up on here!
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