Skip directly to content

DIY Rear Diffuser Rubber

on Sun, 30/09/2007 - 17:00

Without me noticing it seems a part of my car has fallen off. Not a significant or hugely noticeable part, but a part none the less. I would never want my Elise to be anything less than perfect so set about fixing the problem.

It seems that some of the protective/decorative rubber trim that runs along the back edge of the rear diffuser has ripped away. If you don’t know the rear diffuser, it is the section of the car’s under tray that lips up out the back of the car to improve downforce at speed. Without the rubber trim this lip is quite sharp, as I found out when I washed the car and it cut straight through my sponge stopping just short of my fingers!

I got in touch with my Lotus dealer and ordered a section of the rubber trim with the intention of fitting it myself. It looked fiddly but a great introductory job allowing me to get my hands dirty for the first time. Thankfully the trim was inexpensive at £9.30 for the 3 metres I required. A blissful reminder that the Lotus Elise has near supercar performance without the supercar costs!

To begin with I needed to remove the remainder of the existing rubber and glue that was still on the car. The rubber easily pealed away in my hands and the glue came off with the help of a Stanley knife. I then cleaned up the whole area removing any loose dirt that would compromise the new rubber staying in place. I slid the new rubber onto the diffuser to measure and cut to the correct length. I then removed it so that I could prepare the glue that would fix it on permanently. I used Evo-Stik Serious Glue, available for £5 from Halfords, and it worked a treat. I chose Evo-Stick because it specifically works on both rubber and metal, is waterproof and has a -30C to +130C operating temperature that might be handy near the exhaust. It was a tricky job but I managed to glue a short section, slide it onto the car without spreading the glue, and then repeat until I reached the end. I found that the rubber had stretched a little by the time I got all the way round so had to chop off a bit of excess. I think it goes without saying that you are better to start off with too much than too little.

I left the car overnight in the garage to really let it dry and the result has been fantastic. The rubber has stayed on for over 6 months now and has really made me feel good about this first small piece of work I’ve done on my car.

UPDATE: 5 years on and the rubber is still stuck fast and looking good as new.