Lotus Elan

Dash Crack Repair

PostPost by: coffeeshopracer » Sun Apr 21, 2024 12:07 am

Hi all, I'm looking for some advice on how to tackle a repair on my dash. The dash came new with the car but as you can see there are two hairline cracks in an otherwise pristine dash. Any recommendations on how to execute a repair on this?


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PostPost by: Gordon Sauer » Sun Apr 21, 2024 2:29 am

You could v it out a hair and then fill it with polyurethane or even maybe the clear of car paint that’s catalyzed and then rub it in with the rest, but mainly I figure the beauty of the dash is not gonna let people focus on that and you might do better to leave it Because it’s likely stress will bring it out again, possibly, Gordon
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PostPost by: 661 » Sun Apr 21, 2024 9:18 am

If it's in a museum, then repair . If you drive it, it will go again, in the same place. Just leave it. If you choose to repair it, I'm not so certain a local repair would be as good as a down to veneer and respray repair.
The oiled veneers tend to not crack like that, but the beautiful dash you have has a finish that is less forgiving to surface stress fractures.
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PostPost by: Lotusian » Sun Apr 21, 2024 12:01 pm

Brown shoe polish or wax crayon as used by furniture restorers.
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PostPost by: coffeeshopracer » Mon Apr 22, 2024 5:13 am

Thanks for the responses. I'm gonna test the crayon suggestion and see how I do. The car is going to be driven for sure (not gonna let that efi go to waste)but I just hate to start with cracks on day 1.

Thanks for the suggestions!
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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Mon Apr 22, 2024 6:49 am

As mentioned above, in typical Lotus fashion, the dash is expected to do a number of jobs. One if these is as a stressed member of the bodyshell to eliminate scuttle shake. The continual loading and unloading of the plywood as the car goes over bumps causes stress cracks to appear on the lacquer, usually emanating from stress concentration points such as the sharp corners of holes. How bad it becomes is down to the flexibility of the lacquer used. The dash on the Elan I race(d) was refinished to a decent standard a few years ago, and now has a number of cracks. An example here shows how they can develop:

img_4489.jpg (136.57 KiB) Viewed 384 times

It is likely that the lacquer on your dash is hard (to get a great shine) but also brittle. It is quite possible more cracks will develop over time I am afraid. There has been a recent comment about ensuring the dash isn't loaded when it is installed. The suggestion was the mounting brackets should be checked and adjusted to make sure they are all in the same plane so the dash doesn't have to be bent to fit - which sounds like a good suggestion.
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PostPost by: Frogelan » Wed May 15, 2024 8:58 am

There have been a few debates and tongue in cheek comments about the structural contribution!

I think that the idea from a while ago of rubber rivnuts to reduce nvh and stresses make sense as the modules of the materials will be different

Rivnuts are of only available I think in metric format.

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