Lotus Elan

Paint stripper?

PostPost by: persiflage » Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:27 am

Can anybody recommend a GOOD paints tripper that is readily available in the UK.?
My can of old Nitromors had dried out A replacement can of "super strength" :lol: :lol: :lol: Nitromors All Purpose Stripper (green) was purchased. Expensive, messy and even after some hours of soaking, useless. Presumably another modern formulation where the active ingredient has been reduced or removed.

Now a thumbs up.
Over the weekend I used VHT black Wrinkle Plus to paint some small parts (ashtray, screen vents). Cured in the oven as per instructions it produces a very good result.
It is a little expensive but it works.
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PostPost by: 69S4 » Tue Jun 23, 2020 11:04 am

You can buy 'industrial grade' 'professionals only' paint stripper on eBay that works about as well as Nitromors used to. I bought some called 'Power Strip' from Maxolen Ltd a few months ago and that's been ok.

I've not had much luck with VHT Wrinkle paint. I've been trying to paint a couple of motorcycle instruments (speedo and tacho) that were wrinkle finished from new but the results have been very patchy. Any tips on how you did it - number of coats etc. Obviously the instruments can't go in the oven afterwards
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Tue Jun 23, 2020 11:38 am

Stuart your instruments can go in the oven but not on a hot temperature. If you think how hot they’d get in direct sunlight on a hot summers day. I’d have thought 50 degrees ought to be fine and plenty warm enough for wrinkle paint.
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Tue Jun 23, 2020 11:39 am

What parts are you trying to strip? I end to use a wire brush on an angle grinder for most parts, quick and easy and I can take any rust off too.
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PostPost by: persiflage » Tue Jun 23, 2020 11:49 am

Stuart, thanks for that.

Ref. VHT.
It's the first time I have used it. I was careful to degrease and then followed the instructions on the can. I've not tried it without using the oven to cure, I'll try a test piece cured at ambient temperature and see what the results are like but I have a feeling that the hot cure is the key.
I was very impressed with first efforts and found the finish to be very consistent. On close inspection I noticed one of the thin curled edges to the ashtray face plate had thin coverage so I' gave it another complete covering as per instructions, fishing with the diagonal coat. This time I noticed the finish was very slightly patchy on the plate .... Poor spray pattern, poor technique. Who knows. Given the good weather, lockdown and paint still in the can I'm going to give it a third complete coat, finishing with a straight pattern. I'll let you know how it turns out.
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PostPost by: persiflage » Tue Jun 23, 2020 11:58 am

What parts are you trying to strip? I end to use a wire brush on an angle grinder for most parts, quick and easy and I can take any rust off too.

:D I'm with you there. I reckon the angle grinder is one of the best tools in the garage.
I was trying to strip the carb air box. Messy and ineffective. I eventually resorted to the grinder but that wasn't much good for the inside faces.
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:44 am

Yes, it's a shame they don't do smaller brushes although you can do a lot with small cup brushes.

I've tried very small wire brushes but they are a problem, the electric drill is really too slow and the die grinder (even at 10,000 RPM) is too fast and the brushes fan out and don't last long.
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PostPost by: vxah » Wed Jun 24, 2020 12:36 pm

511149B0-41BF-4A2F-B88C-35483B8F6E22.jpeg and
Use this stuff! Removes most stuff!
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PostPost by: wotsisname » Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:56 pm

I found a single slightly thicker than normal coat, followed by oven bake gave me the best results with the VHT. The bake seemed to be the most important factor. With the smaller parts its not so big a pain to start again.
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PostPost by: nigelrbfurness » Wed Jun 24, 2020 4:50 pm

If you are looking to strip an Elan body, I would reccomend the Mick Miller approach. Sharpen a 12mm wood chisel in the usual way, then when you come to stone the flat side, hold the chisel at the angle you would use to feed It into the paint on the body and draw it back across the stone a few times. You will find you can remove the paint from the body very easily this way and can then fix any crazing or cracks and hand block sand the gel coat. Much less messy than chemical stripper and much safer for the new finish.
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:32 am

nigelrbfurness wrote:If you are looking to strip an Elan body, I would reccomend the Mick Miller approach. Sharpen a 12mm wood chisel in the usual way, then when you come to stone the flat side, hold the chisel at the angle you would use to feed It into the paint on the body and draw it back across the stone a few times. You will find you can remove the paint from the body very easily this way and can then fix any crazing or cracks and hand block sand the gel coat. Much less messy than chemical stripper and much safer for the new finish.


+1. It takes a while but once you get the action right, the chisel strips the paint off well and it works best where there are lots of coats! Take the top coats off and then sand any remaining primer/undercoat remaining.
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PostPost by: Donels » Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:00 am

For stripping metal components I found a grit blaster cabinet and crushed glass to be the best. It gets to all those areas that a wire brush cannot. I have also used it on the G/F headlight pods with good results. A cabinet is about £100 and the glass about £12 for a bag, also really useful for small parts and bolts prior to plating.

Ref angle grinder wire brush. Take extreme care I had one wrenched out of my hand, run across the floor, and wrap it self in the bottom of my overalls cutting through my footwear and sock, fortunately only grazing the skin.

I have used VHT paint to paint the manifold and down pipes with good effect. They look like new. I didn’t oven bake as I reckon the exhaust heat will do that.

2DFB4664-3DAD-407E-9B25-5A88107E75D9.jpeg and
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:46 pm

Hi Donels,
Do you need a big compressor to drive it?
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PostPost by: Donels » Thu Jun 25, 2020 1:15 pm

I have a 2hp 7.8 CFM compressor with a 50 litre tank from machine mart. It’s adequate but ideally a bigger one would be better.

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PostPost by: persiflage » Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:39 am

nigelrbfurness wrote:If you are looking to strip an Elan body, I would reccomend the Mick Miller approach. Sharpen a 12mm wood chisel in the usual way, then when you come to stone the flat side, hold the chisel at the angle you would use to feed It into the paint on the body and draw it back across the stone a few times. You will find you can remove the paint from the body very easily this way and can then fix any crazing or cracks and hand block sand the gel coat. Much less messy than chemical stripper and much safer for the new finish.


Been there and got the T-Shirt ..... That's a few weeks that I'll never get back :D
The stripped body was then trailered to Mick for repairs and spray. The journey home some time later was uneventful until a very light misty rain started just 5miles from home. Dark night, misty damp on previously dry road and a curving downhill approach to traffic lights and the only thing I owned was the gleaming body shell on the trailer. The lights turned red as I approached and despite gentle use of the brake there was an almighty twitch and swing from the trailer. The older English among us will understand the term "thrupenny bit / half-a-crown / thrupenny bit / half-a-crown :shock: . We managed to sail through the lights now turning green without any damage and much very nervous laughter from me and my co driver.
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