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Thread: Lotus Elan S4..Bodywork evaluation..Strip & Paint?

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    Lotus Elan S4..Bodywork evaluation..Strip & Paint?

    Iím afraid Iíve been ignoring the Elephant in the room with regards to my Elan, namely the body work. So yesterday I had a detailed look at it and decided it needs attention. Especially with the effort being put into the mechanicals
    The paint job is not the best, I think it needs stripping back. Some areas of the GRP needs attention. Iíve never restored a GRP car before but am going to give it a go, given that I donít have the £8K plus for a professional job.
    Have a look at what needs attention on the videoÖ. Words of wisdom and advice gratefully received TA!
    https://youtu.be/_WDbRo8jPDQ

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    Great Pumpkin DrEntropy's Avatar
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    Re: Lotus Elan S4..Bodywork evaluation..Strip & Paint?

    Kudos, David. Diving into GFRP refinishing feet first! The only way to strip it is mechanically, to my knowledge. I made an awful mistake when back in '75 we didn't take mine down to gelcoat. I repaired all the cracks and imperfections we found but left the original colour coat largely intact. It has subsequently become semi-solid under the top coat I sprayed. We used PPG products; sealer, primer and finish. On beginning to sand all now, the first finish coat under the repaint has turned to a gel-like goo. I've put the car into storage and am admittedly daunted at the prospect of having to gear up for the task.

    Your vid is a bit of a motivator, you may embarrass me into action now.
    '64 MGB, '67 Lotus Elan S-3 DHC,'69 Lotus Elan +2
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    Luke Skywalker LarryK's Avatar
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    Re: Lotus Elan S4..Bodywork evaluation..Strip & Paint?

    Classic Motorworks restored Lotus Elan not too long ago. They do have their pictures and suggested to dos online.
    Larry K
    58 Jag 3.4 MK 1 auto under restoration, 57 Jag 3.4 MK1 manual ,
    03 Cooper S, 2011 Cooper S Countryman, 2011 Land Rover LR4 HSE LUX, 1964 Valiant V200
    Also had , 68 Cortina 1600E, 64 Spit 4 & 80 1500, 73 GT6 3, 71 XJ6, 79 XJ6, 86 XJS V-12, 53 XK120 OTS.

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    Luke Skywalker
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    Re: Lotus Elan S4..Bodywork evaluation..Strip & Paint?

    Even though I've got a Plus 2 Elan, I've not touched the body work yet as it is presentable and I've lots of chassis and mechanical stuff to deal with. But I have done a bunch of fiberglass boats, from little cosmetic ding repair to major hull sections. I'll just add a few comments to Drentropy's post above. It may not be necessary to remove all the old paint but leave a large margin of bare fiberglass around any repairs. Cut out any cracks that go all the way though the panels and make a proper patch. Don't try to fill them. When patching, use the same laminate schedule as original. Use polyester resin as original too.
    I'm sure others might do it differently but this has worked for me.
    The Lotus workshop manual has a detailed section on body repairs also.
    Tom
    1960 TR3A TS73117 (under restoration year 8, owned since 1964)
    1959 TR3A TS58023 (in case I never finish the one above)
    1969 Triumph Herald 13/60 (a whim)
    1970 Lotus Elan Plus 2 /0023/N
    1992 BMW325IC (fun to drive)

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    Re: Lotus Elan S4..Bodywork evaluation..Strip & Paint?

    Having done many many GRP cars, I would recommend the following.
    Plastic media blasting is the best way to strip ALL old paint and primers from the body.
    Cracked areas need to be bevel cut and filled with resin and glass matt, NOT clothe. I use tooling resin for all glass work. Once finished, apply a new gel coat and primer serfacer and rub down.
    Cheers,
    D.
    "If it's got t*ts or tyres, you've got problems"
    www.englishmotorsatfairbrook.org
    TVR Car Club North America Southwest Regional Organiser

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    Jedi Knight Bob Claffie's Avatar
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    Re: Lotus Elan S4..Bodywork evaluation..Strip & Paint?

    When doing some minor repairs both to my vintage Corvette and Cobr* replica I found that products from West Marine were top grade and made long lasting fixes
    Thank goodness the MG is finally gone, replaced by another Corvette

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    Jedi Knight Bob Claffie's Avatar
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    Re: Lotus Elan S4..Bodywork evaluation..Strip & Paint?

    !
    Last edited by Bob Claffie; 02-12-2019 at 05:14 PM. Reason: duplicate post
    Thank goodness the MG is finally gone, replaced by another Corvette

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    Luke Skywalker
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    Re: Lotus Elan S4..Bodywork evaluation..Strip & Paint?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grantura_MKI View Post
    Having done many many GRP cars, I would recommend the following.
    Plastic media blasting is the best way to strip ALL old paint and primers from the body.
    Cracked areas need to be bevel cut and filled with resin and glass matt, NOT clothe. I use tooling resin for all glass work. Once finished, apply a new gel coat and primer serfacer and rub down.
    I'm curious about using the tooling resin. It is formulated for making molds and not for making repairs. It also has a very short shelf life. What is the advantage?
    I've also sprayed colored gel coat on boat repairs but that made the finished coating, no paint over it. Paint or primer goes right over standard polyester resin.
    Perhaps I'm missing something?
    Tom
    1960 TR3A TS73117 (under restoration year 8, owned since 1964)
    1959 TR3A TS58023 (in case I never finish the one above)
    1969 Triumph Herald 13/60 (a whim)
    1970 Lotus Elan Plus 2 /0023/N
    1992 BMW325IC (fun to drive)

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    Jedi Knight
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    Re: Lotus Elan S4..Bodywork evaluation..Strip & Paint?

    Holds to previous glass and fiber. Cars I do are minus gel coat from the factory. Many, if not most of the cars I do live in warm climates and need the extra step to make them last. Micro blissing is not a fun thing to deal with. I have cars out there that are on my original paint and prep for now on 30 years with out issue....must be doing something correctly?
    Cheers,
    D.
    "If it's got t*ts or tyres, you've got problems"
    www.englishmotorsatfairbrook.org
    TVR Car Club North America Southwest Regional Organiser

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    Luke Skywalker
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    Re: Lotus Elan S4..Bodywork evaluation..Strip & Paint?

    After thinking about all of this for a bit, it occurred to me that perhaps your Lotus Elan might not be the best project to practice fiberglass work on. While it is fairly straight forward, there is a bit of a learning curve, and mistakes can make things worse or much worse.
    How about looking for an old boat or canoe to practice on?
    Just a thought.
    Tom
    1960 TR3A TS73117 (under restoration year 8, owned since 1964)
    1959 TR3A TS58023 (in case I never finish the one above)
    1969 Triumph Herald 13/60 (a whim)
    1970 Lotus Elan Plus 2 /0023/N
    1992 BMW325IC (fun to drive)

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    Re: Lotus Elan S4..Bodywork evaluation..Strip & Paint?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Claffie View Post
    !
    If you have no experience on glass fiber like myself i would grab any help Grantura offers you with both hands i have seen his work and its second to none i may be the other side of the world but when i get stuck i pick up the phone and my skype account has more than paid dividend over the years with the help David has very kindly given.
    Sadly i dont have access to media blasting on my car thats going off to paint shortly but in fairness if i could not afford a professional paint job i would live with the imperfections until i could its not as if its going to rust or anything
    Andrew

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