Lotus Elan

Roof popping off drop head sprint

PostPost by: sneadd » Sun Aug 13, 2023 8:30 am

Morning team,
I know i have seen posts on this before but cannot find the thread using the search box. Regarding the soft top roof popping off the windscreen grab rail at speed. The rivets in the screen grab rail on my sprint are working loose so the roof comes off at 70mph now as opposed to 85. Any advice on how to replace these pop rivets, especially how far into the frame are they supposed to go? and if i do will it help keep the roof on?
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PostPost by: JonB » Sun Aug 13, 2023 10:16 am

You can see how long they are. I’d suggest going up a size, unless you’re willing to pull the trim and foam off the top of the window frame and use a small washer to rivet through. Be careful, the foam is crumbly.

I’ve had the same thought wrt my S4. It’s stripped to the bone now, so I have an opportunity to fix this.
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Sun Aug 13, 2023 10:47 am

I did the same. The car was apart at the time so I used longer rivets with a washer on the backside. I
replaced the crumbly foam with 'sculpted' water pipe foam. I think it's worth taking the screen header
apart to do this.
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PostPost by: steve lyle » Sun Aug 13, 2023 7:19 pm

Steel rivets or aluminum? What length?
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PostPost by: JonB » Sun Aug 13, 2023 8:22 pm

Aluminium will be strong enough. Was used by the factory and as your picture shows, did not shear off.

Length depends on how thick the washers are, but 15mm should do it. The foam is something like an inch thick, so any surplus rivet will be happily embedded in it.
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PostPost by: sneadd » Mon Aug 14, 2023 5:59 am

Thanks all,
I will update when i get the rivets in next week all being well.
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PostPost by: reb53 » Mon Aug 14, 2023 6:43 am

To stop this happening I made some small stainless steel pegs that went down through the top metal strip, through the hood, and into the fibreglass.
I decided this was a good idea many years ago when I was returning from a job, and traversing one of the longest, fastest, straight roads in our region.
The Takapau plains for you Kiwis.
My detector went off as a cop passed in the opposite direction.
I thought, well I know you've got me, but you don't know I know.
So I stuck my foot in it and as I glanced down to see the speedo climbing past 180k there was a bang and everything went black.
The hood had blown off and dropped over my head......
Keep calm and carry on was the order of the day and I managed to find a side road, park up, and watch him drive by.

Ralph.
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