Lotus Elan

S3 crash pad cover

PostPost by: JerryBoone » Thu Jul 27, 2023 12:03 am

I have a '69 S4 with an S3 dash cover. It is old, brittle, cracked in a number of places and needs to be recovered. I have ordered a new cover from England and I expect it will arrive sometime soon.

Searching the postings, I remain uncertain what is going to be involved and I'm hoping someone who has done the same job can offer some insight.

Can I just put the cover on the old pad?

Should I chip away all the brittle plastic, going down to the foam, and work from there?

Or do I have to remove the crash pad in its entirety? And how does it come off? I'm reluctant to go poking around there with no idea what I'm doing (which is often how I do things) and end up with a box full of foam dust.

Any help will be appreciated.

-- boone
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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Thu Jul 27, 2023 12:36 am

It’s usually glued on and you do your best to peel it away but it really might kind of break up and then I’ve used that expanding foam stuff to fill-in things and then to get it really smooth it’s really as if you’re doing bodywork with body putty and using body putty that is interlaced with fiberglass so it just doesn’t split when you’re trying to put it on and making that smooth because you see what the condition is when you put the leather/vinyl on so you want to put the cover on it just as perfect as can , Gordon
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PostPost by: JerryBoone » Thu Jul 27, 2023 1:03 am

Thanks. Did you leave the dash cover on the car or did you remove it?
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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Thu Jul 27, 2023 1:08 am

I’ve always removed them, but I suppose if there was just like one or two cracks to do, and you opened them up and beveled the edges and get them filled and smooth to match the rest of the pad surface and you could do that working right below the windshield it might be able to work, Gordon
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PostPost by: JerryBoone » Thu Jul 27, 2023 1:19 am

I've been reluctant to try to pop it off the car, fearing I'll end up with a handful of foam dust. Is it just glued on or are there attaching points?
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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Sun Jul 30, 2023 2:12 am

It’s a solid deck/lip of fiberglass that runs across the car and that’s what that pad is attached to, Gordon
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PostPost by: Craven » Sun Jul 30, 2023 11:44 am

Shaped foam backing is glued to the deck of the car, problem being if not deteriorated to dust, originally it was glued down with an adhesive that melted/dissolved the foam, so you will be lucky if it comes away in one piece
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PostPost by: steve lyle » Mon Jul 31, 2023 7:18 am

Remove the demist vents and the two tenex studs for the toneau cover. After those are off, it’s just gkue holding it on. Mostly at the ends, on mine. Get a long hacksaw blade, and pull up on the rear edge and slip the blade as far fwd as you can between the fiberglass and foam sufaces and saw your way through the glue.

Once you get it off, take it to an auto trim shop to have it recovered in vinyl. Likely what you ordered from the UK is a hard plastic cover. Vinyl was the original surface, and much nicer. A good shop should be able ro fill in any foam damage as well.
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PostPost by: JerryBoone » Mon Jul 31, 2023 10:30 am

Thanks everyone for the advice. I'm still waiting for the new leather cover to arrive from England. It seems it is somewhere "in transit." I'm beginning to think Transit is some little remote town where folks show up late for work every-other Tuesday and then punch out early to go to the pub.

I'm hoping the new piece will just slip over the original cover and then be glued in place. But now I have a good idea of the task ahead if that isn't the case.

-- boone
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PostPost by: snowyelan » Tue Aug 01, 2023 1:53 pm

Can you provide more information on what you ordered? Supplier, part number, link? Most are vacuum formed plastic but you mentioned leather.
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PostPost by: JerryBoone » Tue Aug 01, 2023 2:50 pm

Here is the listing from ebay:

https://www.ebay.com/str/jfcustoms

I have not seen the cover yet, so I can't remark on the quality or fitment. It is due in by the end of the week.
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