Lotus Elan

Plus 2 bonnet support

PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Tue Apr 28, 2020 2:11 pm

Just about to refit the bonnet after over 30 years. Have cleaned up the bonnet support with a rotary wire brush, small areas of rust near the bolt holes but otherwise looks reasonable. Question, what colour should it be, just the plated finish or painted, if so what colour. Mine looked like it had been painted silver and black at different times in the past
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PostPost by: wotsisname » Tue Apr 28, 2020 3:56 pm

mine is tatty.. just plated ... I plan to have a go at diy plating.
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PostPost by: Matt Elan » Tue Apr 28, 2020 4:27 pm

Hi BBB

Looking at my brochure collection, from the Plus 2S 130 the bonnet stay was silver - so I assume zinc plated. On my 69 Plus 2 it is also zinc plated, somewhat dull now but not painted; although the car has been restored a while ago the part looks original. The one fitted to Plus 2 no 60 is also zinc plated and believed original. Finally looking at old road tests of the Plus 2 including one from 1967 so very early the stay is silver. It is a proprietary part, and so I'm pretty sure we can say it was bright zinc plated.
HTHs Matt

(Mind you as the thing with Lotus originality someone will pop up with a painted one on a 100% original car :D )
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PostPost by: The Veg » Wed Apr 29, 2020 6:55 pm

As a trivial aside, a painted version of the same item was used as late as the mid-'80s for the lid of the nose-compartment (is it still a bonnet if there's no engine under it?) of the Esprit.
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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Wed Apr 29, 2020 11:05 pm

Thanks all, spent a bit more time on it, took it apart to get at it better. It looks pretty good now in its plated finish. Rust really is limited to around the bolt holes at each end and with an override washer on the bolt it’s completely hidden, so rust killer and a spot of grease and for now it’s sorted. When the car is a runner and funds are healthy I might go for a new one if I can find one.
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PostPost by: Matt Elan » Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:50 pm

I got one from sue miller a year or so ago so they are still around
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PostPost by: Donels » Thu Apr 30, 2020 4:17 pm

I bought a home zinc plating kit for around £60 and plated my bonnet support. It came out as good as new. I have now used it on loads of brackets, unique bolts and stuff. The biggest pieces I have plated where the seat runners, tricky but just about possible.

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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Thu Apr 30, 2020 4:53 pm

Where did you get your zinc plating kit and any details on make model etc. I’ve got quite a few small brackets that would benefit and yes my seat runners too.
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PostPost by: Donels » Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:48 pm

It was just a cheap kit off EBay, no specific make. It's very basic, you get a plastic bucket, zinc anodes, chemicals and a very basic current regulator. It's crude but works well. Just plate at 2 amps and it takes 15 - 20 minutes.

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PostPost by: Bigbaldybloke » Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:02 pm

Thanks Dave, have found a couple on eBay, just about to order!
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PostPost by: The Veg » Sat May 02, 2020 1:19 pm

Very interesting! Let us know how the plating holds up over time and use.
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Sat May 02, 2020 1:48 pm

Hi Dave, a few questions before pressing 'buy'.

What clean up do you have to do before zinc plating? I assume that you de-rust and de-grease but do you need to remove original plating?

Is it ok with moving parts (like bonnet latches), do they still move freely?

thanks
Mike
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PostPost by: Quart Meg Miles » Sat May 02, 2020 10:51 pm

The prop was a Wilmot Breedon part.

I worked for a WB-owned company which used a gas-strut on a product, one of which managed to detach itself and drop half the product on a user's head. I reckoned the strut's length was the same as my S130's bonnet prop and when it fitted I traced it through Lotus who gave me the part number adding "it's made by a company called Wilmot Breedon!"

It was retrofitted to the product and I still use a surplus one on an old chest.
Meg

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