Lotus Elan

Bodywork evaluation of my Elan!!!!

PostPost by: djb222 » Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:45 pm

I?m afraid I?ve been ignoring the Elephant in the room with regards to my Elan, namely the body work. So yesterday I had a detailed look at it and decided it needs attention. Especially with the effort being put into the mechanicals

The paint job is not the best, I think it needs stripping back. Some areas of the GRP needs attention. I?ve never restored a GRP car before but am going to give it a go, given that I don?t have ?8K plus, spare at the moment, for a professional job. However I am prepared to put the time and effort in doing all the prep work myself and having a professional spray....

Have a look at what needs attention on the video?. Words of wisdom and advice gratefully received TA!

https://youtu.be/_WDbRo8jPDQ
djb222
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 181
Joined: 16 May 2014
Location: Birmingham

PostPost by: Gray » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:21 pm

I've seen worse, but the only way you will get a good result is to strip all the paint off and start again. It was only the rear bumper that was foam filled originally to provide extra protection for the fuel tank. Your cross brace on the rear struts is the wrong way round, stiffening to the front on all the ones I've taken off. I've bonded my parcel shelf in to be more rigid.
Be prepared for a lot of work, it will probably take several times what you estimate to strip and repair.
I used a Fein multi-tool with 100mm sanding head the last time I stripped paint off, it seemed a lot quicker than other methods and isn't as nasty as paint stripper, although the paint wasn't too thick on that occasion.
Gray
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 239
Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Location: Devon

PostPost by: djb222 » Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:55 pm

I know it's going to take a lot of work.. I'm sure that when the previous respray was done the gel coat must have been removed.

I want to avoid using paint stripper I've seen some rubber type attachments for a sander which I'm going to have a look at and see if they are a good alternative.
djb222
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 181
Joined: 16 May 2014
Location: Birmingham

PostPost by: 2tmike » Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:25 pm

it looks like you're at the same crossroads that I was 3 months ago although your bodywork looks better than mine was!!! The bumpers, strut brace etc should be straightforward but the crunch will come when you strip the paint...and then there is no way back....the cracks will be ok to grind out and glass but the big unknown with these old cars seems to be whatever lurks under bubbles/blisters in the paint. On mine the whole body was covered with white soft patches which needed removing, filling and a fresh gel coat applying on the outside of all the panels and resin sealing on the inside. This was quite a laborious process but hopefully will give the new paint a fair chance of surviving. Good luck with the project and if you'd like some pics of the renovation work my car needed send me a message
Elan S4
Gt4
MR2turbo
2tmike
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 88
Joined: 09 Oct 2018
Location: Devon

PostPost by: djb222 » Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:12 pm

Thanks. I wouldn't be happy if I didn't address the body.

Will message you.
djb222
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 181
Joined: 16 May 2014
Location: Birmingham

PostPost by: RichC » Sat Feb 09, 2019 7:18 am

if you're gonna commit to doing ,also have a look at the hidden bits underneath to see the state of the fibreglass especially where the bobbins attach to the chassis .
There looks like some infill on your NSR boot floor by the bumper end which needs a poke !....
Had you thought of removing the shell and getting it soda blasted?
User avatar
RichC
Fourth Gear
Fourth Gear
 
Posts: 855
Joined: 28 Apr 2009
Location: Tendring Essex

PostPost by: Bombay Racing Green » Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:06 am

Thanks for posting another clip. I?m going through the same process on my Europa. I?ve put it off for two years and wasn?t looking forward to it. There are a lot more curves and hollows on a Europa?s body. I bit the bullet and started a month ago. I had to budget an hour or so a day as I have a young family and a wife who isn?t impressed in my choice of hobby! It took me three weeks. I had a makita random orbit palm sander and Oneida dust cyclonic extractor attached to my shop vac. If you?re going down the power tool route I would highly recommend the dust extractor. I?ve small kids buzzing around and I didn?t want clouds of dust everywhere. I have a good mask, they don?t. It was brilliant. Very little dust flying about. Luckily my car was still on It?s original coat of paint. I know the random orbital sander isn?t everybody?s cup of tea. Yes, with the more aggressive grit paper (40/60) you will get quite deep swirl marks but I used them to get the topcoat off. Then I switched to 100/120 to finish. You have to be careful over the curves or you?ll get flat spots. When I finished I opened up the dust collector. It had about four inches of dust inside it. Better there than in my lungs!

Good luck. I feel your pain.
Pete
1970 S4 DHC
1971 S2 Europa
1968 +2
Bombay Racing Green
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 249
Joined: 05 Sep 2012
Location: Wicklow, Ireland

PostPost by: djb222 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 10:09 am

Thanks for the advice.

The bobbins I've looked at so far look secure, at least from the inside. Not sure about Soda blasting the body..would it be to aggressive?

I like the extractor Idea..I know it's going to be a messy process and I'd like to minimise the dust spreading as much as possible.
djb222
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 181
Joined: 16 May 2014
Location: Birmingham

PostPost by: Bombay Racing Green » Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:06 am

I shied away from soda blasting as I?ve heard more negative reports than positive ones. I?ll leave it others to give their experiences on soda blasting. It?s quite aggressive and will leave the gel coat pitted. Standing by to be corrected of course. People have had good results with a scraper held at right angles to the body. I believe that the best method is hand sanding with non-load production paper on rubber/foam blocks. That way you can feel the curvature of the panel. I have a day job and a family and I want to enjoy this car whilst I?m young enough to get in it!

I?m also not going to get into the debate as to what the gray colored layer is. Gel coat or primer, I?ve seen convincing arguments for both cases!

Here?s the dust collector I got. There are cheaper versions. I?ve no connection to them just very happy with its performance. Dust Commander X30 - 30 Litre Industrial Steel Kit https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XW9H1DF/ ... xCb56N06EF

Regards,
Pete
1970 S4 DHC
1971 S2 Europa
1968 +2
Bombay Racing Green
Third Gear
Third Gear
 
Posts: 249
Joined: 05 Sep 2012
Location: Wicklow, Ireland

PostPost by: djb222 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:34 am

Thanks for the link..

I think I'll start on the engine cover first with hand sanding..
djb222
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 181
Joined: 16 May 2014
Location: Birmingham

PostPost by: PaulH » Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:49 am

I took all the paint off my Elan by sanding or scraping. I had previously done an Elan +2 that had lots of paint layers and I tried a paint stripper on the outer layers, but swapped to sanding and scraping as I got close to the gel coat. I found that some layers clogged sandpaper and that?s when I swapped to scraping with the back edge of a knife blade (not very professional but it got the paint off). It?s very tedious and took me a long time. Like others on this forum I?m happy to share images and descriptions of my GRP repairs, I don't have any video of that work unfortunately.
66 Elan S2
PaulH
Second Gear
Second Gear
 
Posts: 125
Joined: 08 Apr 2009
Location: Derbyshire, UK

PostPost by: nmauduit » Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:24 pm

you certainly can spend some time sanding off the old layers of paint - like many I rather do that dry to avoid wetting the inner fiberglass where there are craks etc... but it generates a lot of very fine dust that can and will fly everywhere, so a workplace where you can get the dust reasonably contained is worth considering.

As for final body preparation, priming etc you may want to check with the pro shop of your choice exactly what they want to do themselves, as some may be quite touchy about what they will paint on (often rightfully on a fiberglass body) if their name is to be associated with the result... or if you expect some follow up of any kind (defects popping up after a while etc). You never talk enough with your painter, misunderstanding grounds are plentiful, and I believe the most trustworthy ones will not try to bypass the communication stage just by saying "hey, I'm a pro, I know what I'm doing"...
S4SE 36/8198
User avatar
nmauduit
Coveted Fifth Gear
Coveted Fifth Gear
 
Posts: 1491
Joined: 02 Sep 2013
Location: France

Total Online:

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests