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 rear clamshell is a one piece composite moulding incorporating both rear wings, the engine bay aperture and rear lamp assemblies. A flat alloy ‘shear plate’ is bonded into each side of the moulding in order to stiffen the panel, and provide a mounting point to the chassis. The clamshell is secured to the chassis and other body panels by threaded fasteners for ease of service access and body repair.
To Remove Rear Clamshell
1. If fitted, remove the roll bar fairing and rear window.
2. Remove both rear roadwheels.
3. Remove the fixings securing both rear wheelarch liners:
– Two fixings at the front edge of the liner into the sill.
– Two fixings at the rear edge of the liner into the clamshell.
– One fixing at the rear inboard edge of the liner into the shear plate.
– One fixing near the damper top into the longeron.
Withdraw both wheelarch liners.
4. Disconnect the bowden cable from the engine lid latch plate, and release unclip from its retaining clips.
5. From inside each wheelarch, remove the three fixings securing the shear plate to the longeron.
6. Remove the screw securing the front bottom corner of each wheelarch to the sill.
7. If an engine bay undertray/diffuser is fitted, release the five fixings securing the bottom rear edge of the clamshell to the undertray.
8. Disconnect the rear harness at the LH rear of the luggage compartment, and the harness connectors to the rear fog and reverse lamps.
9. Remove the rear number plate, and release the single fixing securing the clamshell to the rear tray bracket.
10. Remove the fuel filler cap and release the four screws securing the fuel filler neck to the clamshell. Remove the washer ring, and withdraw the neck from the clamshell aperture.
11. From inside the cockpit, remove each rear corner (speaker) trim panel:
– Release the seat belt reel.
– Remove the screw at the outboard top corner of the panel.
– Remove the screw at the inboard edge (also anchors the luggage net).
– Pull the panel away from its Velcro fastening.
From the access thus provided, release the clamshell front fixing from the inside of the ‘B’ post area.
12. Remove the two screws securing the lower front edge of the clamshell ‘B’ post.
13. Release the two fixings securing the front of the clamshell lid gutter to the rear bulkhead panel, and the single screw each side fixing the gutter to the boot bulkhead (if fitted).
14. Withdraw the clamshell from the car.
15. Refit the clamshell in the reverse order to disassembly.