Lotus Elan

1966 Elan S2

PostPost by: fotsyr » Wed May 03, 2023 11:34 am

I looked at my screen surrownd and it is one piece, no cuts. It is held to the body with one bolt on either side.
Chassis #335.

chris
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PostPost by: Ianashdown » Mon May 08, 2023 6:01 am

I’ve heard Chapman’s expression, “Simplify, then add lightness”, but I feel the truth maybe more like “Simplify, then add body filler”!

I’ve been scraping this body for weeks now and I’m stunned by the amount of filler in certain areas. It’s underneath the original white paint, so I believe it was done by the factory.

I’m ready to come up with a different plan, either paint stripper or Soda or other media Blasting. If anyone knows of a blasting shop in the LA Orange County area who knows how to work on these delicate bodies I’d really appreciate a connection.

Alternatively, has anyone tried Citristrip or similar citrus type stripper? Are they effective? Given that I’m only going down to the gel coat for now, is there a danger of the stripper getting into the fiberglass and causing problems years from now. The panel will all be thoroughly washed and scrubbed to remove and neutralize the stripped. I’m not worried about water getting in to the fiberglass as it will be a couple of years before anything is painted and in the mean time they will be stored in SoCal in a nice dry environment.

I know it’s a small car, but . . . .

Ian
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PostPost by: prezoom » Mon May 08, 2023 3:50 pm

Try looking for a company that specializes in blasting fiberglass boats. They should be gentle enough to remove everything down to the gelcoat, without cutting through. I found one in San Diego that came close to what I wanted. The main problem was the original gelcoat was thin as cigarette paper, and was cut through in quite a few areas.
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Owning a Lotus will get you off the couch
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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Mon May 08, 2023 4:15 pm

Used chemical stripper many years ago on my +2 and never any problem since then with the paint and as I remember, it was pretty good at stopping at the gelcoat and just taking off the multiple layers of paint, but you just have to really watch it , Gordon
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PostPost by: Ceej » Mon May 08, 2023 8:36 pm

Ianashdown wrote:I’m ready to come up with a different plan, either paint stripper or Soda or other media Blasting. If anyone knows of a blasting shop in the LA Orange County area who knows how to work on these delicate bodies I’d really appreciate a connection.
Ian


There's Calblast in Upland. No affiliation, They might be worth a call - I was going to when I get that far. Considering that SoCal is a cradle of specialist auto-anything I was surprised not to find more shops when I searched.

Many say that blasting w/ any media isn't a good idea. Option 1 in the UK had a description on their website explaining why they don't do that but I couldn't find the page when I went looking a while ago.

Please do tell if you discover anyone else.

Cheers!

Chris
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PostPost by: Ianashdown » Mon May 08, 2023 8:57 pm

Many years ago I was restoring a 1979 March SuperVee race car and used my blast cabinet which I kept filled with large size (70, I think) beads. I stripped the paint off all the smaller parts in that cabinet and by dialing in the pressure, quite low, I was literally able to remove the paint layer by layer down to the raw fiberglass and it left a smooth and closed surface, perfect for re-painting. It was slow and took a fair amount of patience, but dis a beautiful job. I don't see any reason not to blast, but it needs to be done with considerable restraint. A commercial shop may not take that level of care.

I'm it the process of putting together another blast cabinet with the same type glass bead media and will try to see if I can get the same results. Unfortunately not many parts will fit in the cabinet, maybe only the headlight housings!

I'll report my results.

Ian
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PostPost by: holywood3645 » Tue May 09, 2023 1:18 am

Ian, I have a blast cabinet if you need it, it’s yours.
James
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PostPost by: Ianashdown » Tue May 09, 2023 1:36 am

Thank you James!

I have the cabinet, just sorting out the plumbing before testing it out.

Ian
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PostPost by: Ianashdown » Sat May 20, 2023 12:48 am

Progress has been minimal due to a number of circumstances, still taking care of my wife after surgery and now add to that looking for a new job! However, I decided to get in to the garage this afternoon to scrape some paint. My target was to work on the headlight pods and to try the orbital sander on the trunk lid.

The latter was spectacularly unsuccessful! Well, spectacularly slow anyway. It’s down to the grey gel-coat but my patience does not extend to using the sander that I have, using a foam faced block with some 80 grit by hand is so Mach faster and still very controllable.

While I was waiting for my compressor to catch-up I stared scraping the RH headlight pod. It quickly became clear that there was a dymo tape on the surface, encapsulated by the paint. My thought was this is just like the main body number, but it soon became clear that the number appeared to be ‘26-2’. I’m leaving the tape on for now to protect the numbers and will try to find a way to get it off in one piece later. Maybe some heat?

IMG_8194.jpeg and

So I started poking around inside the pod as the paint was a bit flaky and it seemed to be an easy score! Soon the shadow of some hand written numbers started to appear. I scraped a bit more and sure enough, there is the body number!

IMG_8195.jpeg and

I repeated the process on the other pod. No label this time but I did find the hand written body number again!

IMG_8196.jpeg and

So this means all the body with the exception of the trunk (boot) have the correct numbers on them, as does the frame, engine block and head. Nice!

The question now is, should I preserve these numbers visibility when I paint the car, or just photographically?

I’m getting better at the scrapping thing, so for the most part this will be the preferred method.

Have a great weekend all!

Ian
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Disappointed there’s no GP this weekend. :(
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PostPost by: 2mAn » Mon May 22, 2023 9:14 pm

Ianashdown wrote:I’m ready to come up with a different plan, either paint stripper or Soda or other media Blasting. If anyone knows of a blasting shop in the LA Orange County area who knows how to work on these delicate bodies I’d really appreciate a connection.

Ian


Isnt there a big corvette shop in OC? They might be able to point you in the right direction
-Simon
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PostPost by: Ianashdown » Sat May 27, 2023 11:32 pm

Hi,

Just a little time today to scrape some more paint . . .

I am also looking at taking the radiator out sometime this weekend and wonder if it’s easier to remove the two fasteners from above, reaching down the back side of the radiator, or from underneath? Is there visibility of the fasteners from below?

Thanks,

Ian
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PostPost by: StressCraxx » Sun May 28, 2023 3:37 am

I was able to get to them from above.
There is no cure for Lotus, only treatment.
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