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Removing the side panel around front wheel

Rolf68

Member
Jul 24, 2015
236
146
France
Hello there

I'll have to get my roadster windshield changed in about 2 weeks. For different reasons of insurrances and nearest Service Center being far, I'll have the job done by a local repair shop.

The replacement windshield is already on its way (a lotus Elise one), no problem there. However, the guy told me that in order to remove and replace the windshield he'll have to remove 2 panels on the side of the car, on each side, between the door and the wheel, I don't know it this has a special name, I put a picture below with the part highlighted in yellow for you to see.

So my question is : does anybody know exactly how to remove this part ? I looked a bit under the hood and found some screws but I don't believe it's so simple. If someone could tell me where are all the screws, or if there is any documentation available about this specific topic, it would be great :)

Best regards and have a nice day :)

remove.jpg
 
Upvote 0

Rolf68

Member
Jul 24, 2015
236
146
France
Hello

Yes I think the right word is fender ;)

I'm aware the Elise windshield is a bit different, but I don't care very much if the VIN is hidden. I think it's not mandatory to see it through the windshield as the number is engraved on other places.

But if you're right and the part is glued, that will be a problem :(

Thanks both of you for the reply ;)
 
Msjulie is correct; that is the fender. They can be removed quite easily. You will need to remove a few panels and have a jack. The procedure is as follows.

1) Raise the front of the vehicle at the front jack point and remove the wheel from that side.
2) Remove the upper wheel arch liner
a) Starting from the rear of the liner, remove 3 scrivets, or push rivets, securing the rear of the liner
b) Remove the bolt securing the liner to the fender above the mudflap
c) Remove 3 more scrivets, or push rivets, securing the top of the liner
d) Remove 2 bolts just below the headlight access panel​
3) Remove 2 bolts securing the headlight access panel, and remove the panel
4) Remove the 4 bolts securing the condenser/12V battery access panel
5) Remove the condenser exit ducts under the hood
a) Remove the front duct by removing 6 scrivets, or push rivets, along the front
b) Remove the front most bolt
c) Remove 2 scrivets, or push rivets, in the rear corners
d) Open the washer fluid cap and remove the front duct
e) Move to the rear duct and remove the 6 scrivets, or push rivets. 4 along the front by the fans, and 2 in the rear corners.​
6) Open the door to the vehicle and look into the jamb where the door meets the front fender. Remove the 3 bolts securing the black plastic, upper fender bracket to the body
7) Move to the front of the fender and look up inside the wheel well where the fender meets the front bumper. Remove the 2 bolts securing those two together.
8) Move back to the hood latch on top of the fender and remove the 2 bolts securing the hood latch and the release cable. !NOTE! Mark the position of the latch to the fender so that the hood will line up to the latch when you reinstall everything.
9) Remove the 3 bolts securing the top of the fender. The bolt that was under the hood latch, the bolt next to the hood bump stop, and the one that was next to the front condenser exit duct.
10) Move back to the jamb where the door meets the front fender and remove the 2 bolts on the bracket at the bottom securing the fender to the door sill
11) The fender is now loose and should come off at this point. Be wary as there may be a TPMS trigger you need to disconnect.
12) Easy peasy. Let me know if you need any more clarification or pictures.
 
Last edited:

Rolf68

Member
Jul 24, 2015
236
146
France
Wooow, awesome !! Thanks a lot mister Gruber I'll note that down and work with the guy.

I'll read your instruction quietly tomorrow in front of the car (it's night here now) and ask you if I have some difficulties.

Thanks for your great help and have a nice day :)
 
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dhrivnak

Active Member
Jan 8, 2011
4,517
3,933
NE Tennessee
If you do mean the fender I think that is a challenge as I am told it is partially bonded (glued) to the frame. Also I hear the windshield is slightly different than the Elise in respect to the clear area for the VIN
I was wrong the front fenders do bolt off. I think it is the rear quarter panel that is bonded on. But follow Mr. Gruber's advice and let us know how it turns out.
 

Rolf68

Member
Jul 24, 2015
236
146
France
I had my windshield replaced last week, no need to remove the fenders. I really have no clue why the guy would say that? The windshield is just glued in place like any other windshield, and is not a hassle at all to replace.

Hello

Well, he told me that the part of the windshield that goes under the fender would be a problem. Personnaly I'd also say it should be doable without removing anything, but it's not my job so I don't know the pro and con of removing a windshield.

Did you see how it was done in your case? Any picture maybe?
 

Rolf68

Member
Jul 24, 2015
236
146
France
No they had the car the whole day so I did not see it before it was done. I think they just slide a cutting wire around the glue and lift it out?

Found a video of a Lotus:

Yes, he told me something about using some wire to cut through the glue. We'll find out in a week if the fenders realy need to be removed. I hope we can do without :-/ Did you have the job done by Tesla ?

Thanks for the timelapse, it's interesting :)

Have a nice day :)
 

hallvardr

Member
Sep 17, 2016
126
97
Norway
Tesla did not do it. They told me to contact third party companies. Changing the windshield is covered on the car insurance in Norway so it only cost me $200. What took the longest was to get the holder for the mirror since it did not come with the windshield
 

Rolf68

Member
Jul 24, 2015
236
146
France
Hello all.

So here are the updates ;)

The windshield change went smooth, and we did not have to remove the fender. The guy used a little tool to puncture a hole through the glue and the passed a wired all around the border of the glass. Using a special instrument, he could then cut through all the glu from inside. They then removed the old panel and put the new one, adjusting it to the hardtop. The rear view mirror was not easy to recover, they seem to use a very strong glue for this one.

The new windshield has a green border on the uppeer side, against the sun. Once in place you don't notice it too much. The vin number is viewable as before, no change at all. Maybe in the US cars it is placed elsewhere?

Anyway, everything is ok and i'm very happy with this new windshield as the old one has litterally hundred of little dents everywhere.

Thanks for all the advices you gave me :)

Kind regards from France

parebrise_1.jpg parebrise_2.jpg parebrise_3.jpg parebrise_4.jpg parebrise_5.jpg parebrise_6.jpg parebrise_7.jpg
 

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