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Stainless Steel Fixings

I'd only had my car six months when I first noticed that some of the fixings were corroding and rusting. Having found a supplier of stainless steel fixings I looked at the cost of replacing those that were already corroding or were likely to corrode further in the future. I would have willingly paid Lotus another £20 to pre-fit these to my car but ended up investigating this myself. As it happens, Lotus had already fitted Stainless steel fixings in most cases and I've only ended up replacing about 10 fixings myself. I know this is not true of older cars.

I've went for the cheaper A2 (304) grade stainless steel which has applications in building and fresh water situations. The more expensive A4 grade (316) is difficult to get hold off and is for marine applications where components are continually subjected to salt water. You can spot stainless steel fixings as they are marked 'A2'. '8.8' is the marking for high tensile steel and this is used for some of the underbody fixings. These should not be replaced with stainless steel alternatives. '4.6' is the marking for mild steel. All M5 bolts needed an 8mm spanner to remove them and all M8 bolts needed a 13mm (¼"?) spanner to remove them.

Companies that will sell you the required bits over the web include:

Replaced

  • Windscreen wiper blade (1 off), countersunk, 6 gauge, self tapping screw, ¼".
  • Fuel filler cap (4 off), pozipan, 6 gauge, self tapping screws, ¾". Originals were pan-head but I these aren't readily available in stainless steel.
  • Rear number plate lamps (4 off), pozipan, 6 gauge, self tapping screws, ¾". Originals were pan-head but I these aren't readily available in stainless steel.

As Fitted

  • Front undertray, front edge (5 off), to be completed. These fix the front clamshell to the undertray.
  • Front undertray, side edges (4 off, 2 per side), M5 20mm stainless steel hex bolts.
  • Front undertray, side edges (4 off, 2 per side), M5 25mm diameter stainless steel washers.
  • Front undertray, side edges (4 off, 2 per side), M5 20mm stainless steel hex bolts.
  • Front undertray, side edges (4 off, 2 per side), M5 25mm diameter stainless steel washers.
  • Front undertray, rear edge (5 off), M6 20mm torx bolts. These are in black anodised steel and require a special tool to undo them. Replacement would be slotted head bolt but, no sign of corrosion so I left them.
  • Rear undertray, front edge (2 off), M8 30mm high tensile steel fixings. These bolt into the gearbox.
  • Rear undertray, front edge (2 off), M8 30mm diameter washer. Not sure of material but it's showing no sign of corrosion.
  • Rear undertray, side edges (6 off, 3 per side), M5 20mm stainless steel hex bolts.
  • Rear undertray, side edges (6 off, 3 per side), M5 25mm diameter stainless steel washers.
  • Rear undertray, rear edge (5 off), M5 20mm stainless steel hex bolts.
  • Rear undertray, rear edge (5 off), M5 25mm diameter stainless steel washers.
  • Rear diffuser, rear edge (5 off), M5 20mm stainless steel hex bolts.
  • Rear diffuser, rear edge (5 off), M5 25mm diameter stainless steel washers.
There are a whole load of torx chassis fixings. Don't touch these, they hold the chassis together and are also rivetted through the chassis members and glue. I also left the wheel arch liner fittings as these were already stainless steel.
 
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