Lotus Elan

The restoration of 45/7286

PostPost by: rcombs » Tue Jan 27, 2015 5:45 pm

I am using West System epoxy products for the glassing and the filling.

IMG_1989.JPG and


I used the epoxy resin and filler instead of bondo and went over the factory filler.

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I am going to skim coat the body once I have the doors and deck lid fitting the way I want. The hood fits fine so I skim coated it. You can get a really smooth thin coat using this product verses body filler.

IMG_1987.JPG and
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PostPost by: rcombs » Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:35 pm

Hey everyone. I need some help. I repaired the front bumper that was nearly split in two. Upon fitting it I discovered it was way off. The fiberglass spacers on the back side of the bumper were holding it out at least 1/2" at the center. I had to section the bumper into 4 pieces and remove some of the spacers and foam to get it to fit right. My question is how much space do I need between the top of the bumper and the body for the chrome trim? Right now I have left about 1/8".

Thanks,
Rick
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PostPost by: rcombs » Tue Aug 18, 2015 4:24 pm

The front bumper is a mess on this car. It was all but split in the middle and the bottom half was broken on the left corner. I put it back to what I thought was right and slide it part way on and the width seemed to be good so I glassed it up. Then I put it on all the way at there was a 1/2" gap between the body and the bumper at the center. The funny thing was the support blocks that space the bumper to the body were up against the body. I can't believe it would have come from Lotus like this.

Anyway, I sectioned the bumper into 4 pieces, and taped it in place until I thought it was right. Then I screwed it together using mending plates.

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The gap needs a little work. I have ordered the trim strip to work that out. Then I will glass it up, and block it out.

Hopefully the car will be ready for paint by early-mid September.

Rick
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PostPost by: mrpeugeot » Sat Sep 26, 2015 7:12 am

Hi Rick,

Just stumbled across your series here. I own 45/7287, which is a 1967 Elan S/E, but RHD. Like your car, it has toggle switches, the long inner door handles...and our interior trim (down to the color of the carpet on the door panels) is identical.

Your restoration has been comprehensive and impressive so far! Looking forward to watching the continued progress.

Adam
'67 Elan S/E
SF, CA
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PostPost by: Certified Lotus » Sat Sep 26, 2015 10:53 am

Rick, I'm impressed with the level of work your tackling. Welding the chassis and fiberglass work! I would have suggested your chassis was beyond repair but you have demonstrated otherwise. Nicely done. Keep up the good work and keep the forum updated.

Glen
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Sat Sep 26, 2015 11:41 am

Thanks to Adam and Glen to bring your build thread to the forefront again, we can now ask:
Any updates??
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PostPost by: rcombs » Tue Sep 29, 2015 2:49 pm

Thanks everyone for the kind words. I will post some updates this week. Been priming and sanding.

Glenn, hopefully it will go down the road straight! LOL. My Mustang does so this one should too.

Adam, good to here from you. Feel free to insert a picture of yours. I am interested to see.

Rick
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PostPost by: Keith Scarfe » Wed Sep 30, 2015 8:22 am

I too am watching this with interest. Like Adam, I noticed your chassis number. Our cars are almost triplets, mine being 7293. Mine is a std UK car though (steering wheel on the correct side :wink: ) but similar otherwise.
Keith.
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PostPost by: billwill » Wed Sep 30, 2015 12:39 pm

Though yours is long since done and I can't even see the joins on your chassis photos, I thought I would post this here for others with rusting sub-frames.

~~~~~~~~~~~

If the repair is done before the front turrets distort, then it can be done by welding patches onto the frame. The result should be at least as strong as the original.

This was how I did mine back in 2008

http://www.datahighways.co.uk/photos/og ... repair.htm

lotus-suspension-f42/how-repaired-rusty-front-suspension-turrets-t16727.html?hilit=turret


REMEMBER THAT THE FRONT SQUARE TUBE ACTS AS THE VACUUM RESERVOIR AND MAY HAVE EXPLOSIVE PETROL FUMES INSIDE.
Bill Williams

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PostPost by: rcombs » Thu Oct 01, 2015 12:22 pm

Bill,

Nice write-ups. That all looks very similar to mine. You are right about getting the repairs done before the turrets get too far gone.

The problem I had was getting air-tight welds on the old rusty metal. I ended up using some seam sealer to block off the few pin holes I had.

Rick
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PostPost by: rcombs » Sat Oct 03, 2015 7:54 pm

Here are a few pictures. I can't believe I have been glassing and blocking the body almost the whole summer, A few weeks ago I broke out my old spray gun and sprayed on 3 coats of SPI epoxy primer.

IMG_2133[1].JPG and


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The next weekend I blocked the primer with P180 and found a few low spots and some pin holes where I had sanded through the gel coat. These old hand laid bodies have a lot of voids and pin holes in them.

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It's funny, but the Corvette guys with the old hand laid bodies are leaving all the imperfections to show and restoring them to "as delivered" condition. I can be a little shocking to see compaired to the die straight, clear-coated cars you often see on the show fields.

I got a little hillbilly on the second coat of primer and rolled it on using a foam rolling pad. Not quite as smooth as spraying, but you can't beat 100% transfer effiecency vs 20% out of a spray gun. I am going to block again with P180 and put 1 more coat on and DA it with P220 them P320. After that it should be ready to paint.

Then all I have to do is make up my mind on the color and type of paint!

Rick
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Sat Oct 03, 2015 8:10 pm

Looks great. You won't regret the all the blocking once you see your finished product.
Greg Z
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PostPost by: prezoom » Sun Oct 04, 2015 3:17 pm

I'll second Greg's reply. Was cleaning/waxing my other fiberglass lump yesterday, and couldn't help to admire the straight lines of reflections down the side of the car. In the beginning, a log of hours was kept on all of the body work. After 1500 hours, the log was tossed out. More hours were spent, but today, the final result was worth every hour.
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PostPost by: rcombs » Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:31 am

Thought I would post a few more pictures. Hopefully the last prime. I'll block and finish sand this weekend weather permitting.

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IMG_2144.JPG and


Rick
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PostPost by: rcombs » Mon May 23, 2016 12:27 pm

Well it was kind of a lazy winter. I didn't do as much as I should, but I have been doing better this spring. Thought I would post some more pictures. I went north to the Chicago area to visit a friend Friday. Saturday we drove north the PHP Racing Engines and picked up the twin cam. Barry is a great guy, and has a very nice shop that he was gracious enough to show us. Barry wanted me to pick the engine up because it looked too nice to ship. Below are a few pictures. It did come out great.

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The body was painted last Thursday and should be back this week.
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