Sunroof: Removal & Storage
The Esprit's sunroof is a bit of a beast! A huge piece of glass resting millimeters from your head. The sunroof can be tilted or fully removed for the convertible feel. Tilting the roof is easy (if you have long arms), just pull the two handles out and up. They lock in position to secure the roof. This tends to create numerous rattles. So like most owners I don't often tilt it. Remember that you can't open the rear hatch while the sunroof is titled.
Most owners rarely remove their sunroofs, although easy, dealing with the large piece of glass, just brings visions of thousands of pieces. Once out the roof can be stored in the rear of the car. As long as you're not thinking of carrying anything else. With summer on it's way (currently writing this in April) it's time for a sun worshipers guide to removing and storing the sunroof. And if you've got one, adding the wind deflector.
You will need the following parts:
You will need the following tools:
The sunroof is a simple design (probably why it rattles so much), and is easy(ish) to remove. Release the clips from their closed position and pull each clip gently towards the steering wheel. This will release the clips from the mounting (see above pic right).
Do this to all four clips (two either side). This will allow you to remove the sunroof. Now from outside the Esprit, lift the roof upwards and backwards. You need to release the tongues from their slits. This may take a little effort, so be careful as the roof weighs quite a bit and you don't want to be dropping it on your paintwork.
You can see from above the roof is now out. Leaving a large hole in the roof. Now time to fit the wind deflector. This has the same tongues as the roof, so simply push the tongues back into the slits and push down. Mine were quite stiff as a rubber surround has been fitted to reduce rattles. You may need to use a little controlled force!
There's a little piece of material to help fix the deflector to the Esprit. Can't see what it could possibly do, but it's there, so use it. You can see my wind deflector fits quite well. Apparently they don't all fit this well. So don't expect yours to.
Time now to put that expensive piece of glass somewhere safe. You should have a storage bag with your wind deflector, but as you can imagine. A lot of these go missing, as Esprits pass from owner to owner. If you have got yours, simply slip the roof into the bag, tongue first. Then fasten the bag closed (like you needed me to tell you that!).
Once in the bag, you can store the roof in the rear of the Esprit. Remove everything else from the rear first. Then with the tongues at the bottom, put the left-hand side in first (see above), then slide the rest in. It's a little tight, but will fit. Now you have a convertible (well almost) and if the weather changes, you'll only get a little wet while you put the roof back in.
LEW's Verdict is Lotus did quite a good job, as driving without the roof in good weather is quite enjoyable. Whether your roof can stand being remove and stored regularly is another matter. Mine is in need of an overhaul (see guide coming soon), and taking it in and out of the car isn't going to help. But that's what it was designed for and with a sports exhaust fitted, the extra sound track makes it worth the effort.
Should take you about 5 minutes to remove and store the roof. So give it a go and feel the wind in your hair!
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