Lotus Elan

Front bumper trim

PostPost by: phillipcoombs » Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:54 pm

I just bought a new front bumper trim piece, fits between body and bumper. It is very chrome looking, although made of some sort of bendable plastic. Were these originally bright chrome looking or were they more subdued to less shine, perhaps a bit more towards anodized aluminum look?
Thanks,
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PostPost by: AHM » Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:50 am

They were bright chrome effect - satin was all that was available for a while.

Where did you get it from?

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PostPost by: Tahoe » Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:56 am

RD Enterprise is now selling it.
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PostPost by: elanner » Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:44 am

I've had nothing but first class service from Ray and can't recommend him highly enough, but I have to confess that I couldn't get his filler strip (aluminum color) to fit nicely. No doubt somebody more skilled than I could fit it, but I couldn't figure out how to get it to bend cleanly and stay in place properly. I tried cutting small slots in the leg of the T but it simply bent at those points, which could then be seen on the visible surface.

In the end I resorted to the T strip sold by: http://www.t-molding.com/store/product.php?productid=22

This stuff is so flexible that it comes rolled up in a big envelope. No cuts in the leg are necessary. It's chrome finished, rather than aluminum, and 3/4" wide, which I think is wider than the original (5/8"?). Ray's is 5/8". Chrome is the original finish but I would have been happy with Ray's aluminum if I could have got it installed.

I was worried that 3/4" would look a bit too wide, but find that the extra 1/8" makes no difference. The extra width made a fine job of covering the Grand Canyon gap that I had between the body and the bumper.

The stuff bends around the corners with no problem at all, but some care still needs to be taken to accommodate the twist. Heat is needed to get it right, and my first attempt with a heat gun buckled the chrome film. Hot water seems to be the right approach. I got one corner perfect but didn't get the other quite tight enough so it's slightly buckled. I seem to be the only person who notices! It's held in place with a clear silicon caulk (I didn't use adhesive because I didn't want to use something that was potentially irreversible). I taped it down with masking tape until it cured. I didn't need screws or any tricks to hold the ends in. It's been fine since I did it last Spring, and shows no sign of letting go.

The minimum order is 20', for $13, which is enough for three attempts. So you can afford to experiment!

Nick

Elan-front-600.jpg and
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PostPost by: YellowS4DHC » Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:42 am

Nick,
Your trim install looks terrific, the slightly wider width doesn't detract at all.

Can you post a close up pic of the strip end (either side will do)? I'd like to see how you terminated the strip at the fwd edge of the wheel well. From your post I assume you simply cut the strip to follow the contour of the wheel well arch and anchored it with sealant. Is that correct?

I've always been reluctant to tackle this, but I'm getting more motivated by the minute :D .

regards
Rick

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PostPost by: elanner » Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:50 pm

Rick,

Here you go. While I was at it I figured I'd take several. ;-) Apologies for the lousy quality, the car is currently in an underground garage with poor lighting.

You are quite right, I simply cut the trim to follow the wheel arch, and the caulking holds it in place. Nothing more. One end of my bumper doesn't align perfectly with the wheel arch, so I had to adjust the cut half way between the two as best as possible. It's not noticeable in practice.

I've included a picture of the the remaining 1/3rd of my roll of trim. You can see how flexible it is. Since it acquires a slight natural curve it shows no inclination to peel away at the wheel arch. In one picture you can see that it will adopt the bend and twist at the corner very nicely, assuming you get the heat right.

To avoid having to use a lot of silicone caulking I first pushed some foam backing rod into the gap between the bumper and the body. Apparently this is standard caulking practice. You can get rod of various diameters at your local hardware store (.e.g. http://www.amazon.com/Battalion-2RRF9-C ... B001MXNGKU ). If you don't do this the leg of the T simply pushes the caulk further into the void behind the bumper rather than embedding into it.

Only an Elan could make the fitting of a simple piece of plastic trim into such an impossible and time consuming exercise.

Nick

Filler1.JPG and

Filler2.JPG and

Filler3.JPG and

Filler4.JPG and

Filler5.JPG and

Filler6.JPG and
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:47 pm

Nick, best solution yet. Thanks for the link to t-molding.

Looks great!

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PostPost by: YellowS4DHC » Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:45 am

Nick,
thanks for the elaboration and posting of additional pics, it gives the needed encouragement. :D

Rick


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PostPost by: gearbox » Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:26 am

Thanks for sharing, great post.
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PostPost by: foggy » Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:31 am

Great Pics.
Very helpful... I was considering nothing, but you've made it look really nice :D .
Thanks, for your perseverance.
Steve
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PostPost by: pereirac » Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:36 pm

I trimmed off the bottom end of the T piece leaving just the flat chromed top at the edges and then used a heat gun to soften the plastic so I could bend it around the wheel arch in a U shape (hope that makes sense..). Never had any problems since and much better than the screw through the trim I used to have. I tried using sealant to hold the trim but after a few months the trim flew off while I was bouncing down a road (!!) and I ran over it, cracking it! It was not expensive to buy but the postage was a killer!!
Carl

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PostPost by: ceejay » Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:53 pm

Do you really need a front bumper filler strip?
A we all know, without the filler strip, most elans are left
with a gap that you could drive an Abrams tank through, so why not fix it for good.

I took the liberty during the resto of my S2 to build both the body lip and the bumper
lip to virtually eliminate the gap... see the photos below.

Yes, it was quite a bit of work, but it's like many things, do it once, do it right,
and forget about it.
Col.
Attachments
filler-strip-001.jpg and
filler-stri-003.jpg and
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PostPost by: umbyfer » Thu Dec 26, 2013 2:23 pm

I fineshd to replace the trim. I removed bumper and old T piece trim damaged, fixed by 20 screw. The body is like I Switzerland cheese...!
I put the new trim starting from one extreme side, fixing by a screw just over the bumper bolt. Than heated it by hear dryer in order to flex it, adjusting and jointing it at the body. Keeping it pulled as much as possible I fixed it at the other extreme point over the second bumper bolt. No other screw, neither in the center. Any other screw deforms the plastic trim.
At this poun I reinstalled the bumper.
I finished the job putting some drops of bostik glue below the T piece on both side, body and bumper side. Only few drops in some point, enough to joint it to the body/bumper.
The only difference from Nick trim is that mine is more dome design and not flat.
Next step will be to close the holes in the body made in the past by the 20 screws.
Attachments
image.jpg and
image.jpg and
image.jpg and
image.jpg and
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Thu Dec 26, 2013 4:39 pm

Looks good Umberto. I like the 'no screws' look.
Is that the OEM trim piece?

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PostPost by: umbyfer » Thu Dec 26, 2013 6:15 pm

I bought the trim at Paul Matty shop times ago when I used to travel very often in that area. Also SJsportcars has on sale, see his website. I think there is only one manufacture for all suppliers...
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