Lotus Elan

Brake fluid vs. GRP

PostPost by: The Veg » Sat Oct 22, 2016 10:20 pm

My Plus 2's brake master cylinder started dripping fluid on the bare floor several months ago and had lost quite a bit before I caught it, which not only wetted an area below the pedal box but as the car is parked with the right-front wheel highest, it also flowed over to the left edge of the floor then back to the recess next to the rear seat platform and pooled a little bit there. Today I exposed plenty more GRP to DOT3 in the process of removing the pedal-box.

After cleaning it all up, the floor seems solid once the gummy paint-goo and residual fluid are gone, but should I have any worries about the resin being weakened by the fluid?
1969/70 Elan Plus 2 (not S) 50/2036
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PostPost by: lotocone » Mon Oct 24, 2016 5:42 pm

My master cylinder leaked over the winter a few years ago. The Castrol brake fluid was only on the outside of the fiberglass, so probably a different situation than yours. Anyway, I don't think I've had any problems with the fiberglass. I will check the area that got wet later today or tomorrow and see how it looks now. Will let you know.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Mon Oct 24, 2016 5:59 pm

A while ago i did some work on an Elan +2 that had blown the Master cylinder seals and had leaked dot 4 fluid all over the Drivers foot-well then stood like that for a little over a year (with the carpet soaked in Fluid) the result was the brake fluid had made the top layer of resin soft (it could be scratched away with a finger nail).

That said...... i have also had a Brake master fail on my +2 when it was in every day use (was fixed more or less as soon as i noticed the brakes going spongy), all i did was pull the carpet out, wet vac it well and wash the grp floor down with warm soapy water (as you would do if you got it on your paint) then re-bonded the carpets in.

I guess it depends on how long you let it soak for, but one thing is for sure the Glue that holds the carpets in place doesn't like it.
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PostPost by: lotocone » Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:10 pm

I finally looked at my fiberglass after my master cyl leaked, but not much brake fluid came into the car. I don't see any fiberglass damage. Some fluid got onto the paint on the chassis and that cleaned up okay with Brakleen, so I guess I found the leakage early. Bob
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