Lotus Elan

Cockpit backboard and parcel shelf material

PostPost by: pcarew » Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:53 pm

I have a '67 S3 Coupe.
The backboard and parcel shelf have fallen apart and I need to make a replacement.

Before the backboard completely disintegrates, I am using it as a template to cut out a new one.

My biggest question though is what material to use.

The originals were made of Millboard, which after 50 years has come to the end of its life.
My options seem to be either 5mm plywood or 3mm hardboard.

The hardboard is closer to millboard in aesthetics, but the 5mm plywood is actually lighter ( weighed both on a bathroom scale) and I suspect more durable.

What have others used? I'm leaning towards the plywood route.
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:46 pm

Another option is 3mm foamed PVC sheet. I used it for the cockpit backboard and the sill trim panels. It's lightweight and easy to cut and can be bent and formed with a little heat .. also it won't rot.
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PostPost by: pcarew » Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:12 am

3mm foamed PVC sheet.

I guess that definitely falls under the 'Chapmanesq' philosophy of "Adding Lightness"
:D
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PostPost by: pcarew » Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:17 am

Did the 'Foamed PVC' come from a hardware store or did you have to order it?
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:46 am

It's a while ago now but the stuff I used was called "Palight" made by a company called Palram. I bought an 8' x 4' sheet from a local plastic retailer here in the UK. Just done a quick search and it looks like it's available in your part of the world too. Have a look here....
https://www.palramamericas.com/Products ... HT-Family/
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PostPost by: pcarew » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:16 pm

Thanks for the info and for checking on availability.

I just went through their web site and found that the closest supplier to me is 750 miles away in Tennessee unfortunately.

Cheers
Paul.
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PostPost by: The Veg » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:58 pm

I'm currently making a new shelf from 1/4" aspen ply. Seems light enough. Time will tell how well it does.
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PostPost by: Bud English » Sat Oct 07, 2017 5:01 pm

Paul, if you click on palight project link in the link above (https://www.palramamericas.com/Products ... rojectpvc/), it shows that Lowes, Home Depot and Amazon carry it in smaller sheets. A quick check of my local (2 hours away, :lol:) Lowes stock it. I'm going to have to check it out. Looks like you can heat form it somewhat. I may try to use it to replace the styrene panels under the dash.
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PostPost by: pcarew » Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:11 pm

Bud English wrote:Paul, if you click on palight project link in the link above (https://www.palramamericas.com/Products ... rojectpvc/), it shows that Lowes, Home Depot and Amazon carry it in smaller sheets....


Thanks Bud, I did check my local Lowes/Home Depots but no joy.
I have now made both the back board and parcel shelf from thin ply.

Paul.
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PostPost by: pcarew » Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:35 pm

dsc_0096.jpg and
Hard to get my head under here
dsc_0111.jpg and
Carpets and felts gone
dsc_0112.jpg and
Ready for a new Backboard and Parcel shelf
This has become an escalating interior restoration. As I pulled the carpet away to do the backboard, it was clear that it was all disintegrating.

I now have a completely bare interior. Had to pull all of the carpet and the felts out (50 yr old and falling apart).

Found some holes from a previous owner in the floorpan so I have glassed those up.

I ended up also finding the side panels which were also 'Millboard' needed replacing. These were in better shape than the backboard but might as well replace them. I opted to use 'Hardboard' for these.

Once I had the prop shaft/armrest cover off, I found that the large rubber chassis/prop shaft access grommet had completely disintegrated, so I've replaced that too.

Now that I have a completely empty interior, I'm considering what to use under the carpet. I obviously could go buy a replacement felt set, but I think that I'm going to opt for some other more modern insulation and sound dampening.

Seems like lots of choices here. Many people have actually reported good results on Corvettes using 'Frost King' Closed cell Foam/Aluminium layers. It is pretty cheap from Home Depot and I think it is worth a tryout.

At some point in the future, I want to have a leather interior done ( a bit like a lot of the Plus 2 owners have done), but in the meantime, a beige carpet will suffice.
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PostPost by: pharriso » Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:03 pm

BTW Sue Miller makes replacement back boards & side panels from a sheet of GRP...
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PostPost by: The Veg » Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:18 am

pcarew wrote:Many people have actually reported good results on Corvettes using 'Frost King' Closed cell Foam/Aluminium layers. It is pretty cheap from Home Depot and I think it is worth a tryout.


The closed cell w/aluminium stuff I've seen at the big home improvement stores is basically bubble-wrap with aluminium. Didn't seem very sturdy or crush-resistant. I ordered some stuff online, can't remember the brand, but it's a much finer cell-size and should work beautifully. 3/16" Of foam with aluminium on both sides. The seller had one testimonial from a crazy Australian who'd stripped the interiour of an old Citro?n, glued this stuff all over the inside, then tested it by aiming one of those 'jet engine' type heaters at the underside of the floor and reported barely any heat getting through.

I can't report real-world results since I stripped my interiour right after acquiring the car and it's not yet back together, but it seems like good stuff and I really like that it doesn't absorb moisture. It's also very easy to work with: cuts with scissors or a razor-knife, and a good spray-adhesive such as 3M 77 sticks it in place and it's flexible enough to cover just about the entire interiour.
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Last edited by The Veg on Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:42 am

I have purchased some heat shield from Nimbus (no affiliation), they offer different kinds of barrier products (heat, sound, ), not that cheap but automotive quality material so hopefully more durable in automotive environment...

http://www.nimbusmotorsport.com/ProdSho ... egory=268#
http://www.nimbusmotorsport.com/ProdSho ... tegory=252
http://www.nimbusmotorsport.com/ProdSho ... tegory=281
...
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PostPost by: pcarew » Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:03 pm

The Veg wrote:....

The closed cell w/aluminium stuff I've seen at the big home improvement stores is basically bubble-wrap with aluminium. Didn't seem very sturdy or crush-resistant.


We must be looking at different stuff. What I'm looking at is 1/8 foam (not bubblewrap) which is self adhesive on one side and backed by aluminium sheet on the other.
http://www.homedepot.com/p/E-O-12-in-x-15-ft-Self-Stick-Foam-Foil-Duct-Insulation-FV516/100028603
$18 for 15ft x 1ft

frostkingfoam.jpg and
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PostPost by: pcarew » Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:27 pm

pharriso wrote:BTW Sue Miller makes replacement back boards & side panels from a sheet of GRP...

Thanks Phil,
I have already fabricated the Backboard and Parcel shelf out of 5mm ply and the side boards+quarter panels out of hardboard.

GRP would have been fine too and probably more durable. I wonder why Lotus didn't opt for GRP in the first place.
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