Elise – Front Clam Removal


Front Clamshell – Removal

The following taken from the Lotus Elise service manual, some additional notes added – these cars are getting on in years and these service notes don’t take into account 20 years of use / corrosion etc – the experience of others has therefore been added.

Additional tools – penetrating oil, dremel or similar tool to cut off heads of seized bolts, rivnuts to replace any removed bolts

The front clamshell is a one piece composite body moulding incorporating both front wings, the front bonnet aperture, radiator air intake and headlamp housings. The clamshell is secured to the chassis and other body panels via threaded fasteners for ease of removal and to facilitate service access and body repair.

To Remove Front Clamshell – Assume the clamshell have never been removed and use penetrating oil the night before on all bolts, soak 2 or 3 times if possible.

1. Remove both front roadwheels.
2. Remove the front wheelarch liners:
From within the front services compartment, release the fusebox from the passenger side wheelarch liner (3 fixings). Remove the three screws at the lower rear edge, and the two screws at the lower front edge of each liner. Withdraw both wheelarch liners.

3. Remove the two M8 fixings securing the lower rear edge of the clamshell to the top of the sill. See the cut out section below, these sill bolts often rut solid and may have to be cut out.
4. Remove the single M8 screw securing each top rear corner of the clamshell to a bracket at the top of the
5. Remove the four fixings in the bonnet gutter, one at each rear end, and one in each front corner. The rear pair are also used as adjustable mounts for the bonnet closing buffers, and use M8 captive fixings in the screen frame buttresses. The front pair use M8 captive fixings in the radiator mounting panel. Take note of the shim stacks fitted at each of the fixing points. – NOTE THESE ARE OPEN AND IF LOOSED OFF THE CLAM CAN BE PULLED OUT FROM THE BOLTS
6. Remove the five screws securing the front lower edge of the clamshell to the front alloy undershield.
7. Disconnect the clamshell wiring harness at the driver’s side of the front compartment, and lift the clamshell from the car. Note any spacing washers or shims fitted at any fixing point.

8. Refit the clamshell in reverse order to removal, taking care to retain any spacer washers in their original positions.