Lotus Elan

Remove windscreens for painting?

PostPost by: pcarew » Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:54 pm

Is it recommended to remove the front and rear windscreens when repainting an Elan?
This is a RHD Fixed Head Coupe
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PostPost by: MarkDa » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:54 pm

The second shortest answer is yes, but a lot depends on what you want in the long term and how much prep is needed beforehand.
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PostPost by: UAB807F » Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:39 am

It's quite difficult to mask off the rubber trim to get a clean line. When I first bought my car in the 70s I did a quick respray to freshen it up and left both screens in place. (it was a S3 fhc then) The results were ok and most people wouldn't notice, but a close examination showed the faint masking lines.

Removing Elan screens is relatively easy and with rubber trim the chances of breaking one are slim. The subsequent resprays on my car have all been with the glass removed, it just gives a neater finish. And resprays are both time and cash consuming, so you'd want the best possible results !
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:45 am

For me the first question is the condition of the seals.
If they are old and hard they will leak anyway so will need replacing. That means they can be cut out and no risk breaking screens.
If the seals are in good condition and flexible you can leave the screens in place. Remove the locking strip, lift around the edge and slide all around between body and seal a length of electric cable. This will block the seal away from body so you can mask the seal. The space around the edge will let paint flow under and when the seal goes back in place no paint/masking line :wink:
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PostPost by: Chancer » Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:41 am

+1
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PostPost by: denicholls2 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:06 pm

Take them out, it's not that difficult to get them back in. PO left them in and it's a good place to find on a Lagoon Blue car that the original color was Safety Yellow. I would say that's the biggest impact, if the seals squirm they will reveal a color change if you leave the glass in.

If you're not changing colors then you can lift the seal to put the masking tape under, then wrap it around the rubber and cover. Various spirits will remove it from the rubber fairly easily as long as you do so soon after the paint dries where you want it.

If your paint job isn't DIY, then you're spending a lot of money to get paint that looks to any inspector like DIY if you don't invest this effort. That affects resale a whole lot more than whether the car has the "correct" airbox, etc.
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PostPost by: pcarew » Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:04 pm

denicholls2 wrote:Take them out, it's not that difficult to get them back in. ....


Thanks for everyone's input. I actually have replacement rubber seals for the windscreens (front and rear), but I'v been hesitating as I've read that they can be a bear to get back in...Working with windscreens is something I've not tackled before.
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PostPost by: UAB807F » Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:39 pm

If you have new seals then you're in a great place and I'd certainly pull the screens out. Whenever I've done it I've just removed the filler strip, lifted the seal off the glass and squirted washing up liquid inside the rubber. It's messy but leave it a few minutes and the extra lubrication helps the glass to come out very easily. IIRC I used plastic tools used for trim removal for leverage to avoid chipping the glass but no doubt there are proper tools available.

Then you have the back-up plan that if the new seals won't fit (they should do, but who knows ?) then you can clean and re-use the old ones which will certainly fall back into place. I'd fit new seals if you have them though.....
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PostPost by: pcarew » Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:22 pm

Ok, I'm feeling more encouraged....:-)

If the worst was to happen though, does anyone know if it is possible to get replacement glass in the US for a S3 FHC Elan?
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PostPost by: tedtaylor » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:07 am

TED
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PostPost by: nomad » Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:01 pm

alan.barker wrote:For me the first question is the condition of the seals.
If they are old and hard they will leak anyway so will need replacing. That means they can be cut out and no risk breaking screens.
If the seals are in good condition and flexible you can leave the screens in place. Remove the locking strip, lift around the edge and slide all around between body and seal a length of electric cable. This will block the seal away from body so you can mask the seal. The space around the edge will let paint flow under and when the seal goes back in place no paint/masking line :wink:
Alan



What a great idea....thanks for that Alan. Hadn't thought of that but then I've very little body work experience. Probably an old trick. i do know that anytime I look at a repainted car I always look for the tell tale masking line on the rubber seal to body interface.

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PostPost by: nmauduit » Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:39 pm

3M offers some special tape for that kind of use (like 06348), more expensive but helps to do the masking...
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