Lotus Elan

Window frame silent channel removal

PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Thu Jun 20, 2024 7:17 pm

I am really struggling to get the old silent channel out, it appears to have been installed using adhesive everywhere.

Brian Buckland suggests adhesive in a few places but says nothing about removal.

Has anyone found a solvent to remove the adhesive?

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PostPost by: Barney » Thu Jun 20, 2024 8:47 pm

Richard,
I would say that it depends on what adhesive has been used, but would suggest Pure Acetone the most likely.
Unlike in the USA I found getting Acetone difficult to find locally, but I managed to purchase a small quantity of Pure Acetone (100ml, I think) from Amazon for a very reasonable price.
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PostPost by: draenog » Fri Jun 21, 2024 1:28 am

When I wanted acetone I found it hard to find but discovered that nail varnish remover is mostly made of it. Random one from Tescos states it's 98% acetone:

https://www.tesco.com/groceries/en-GB/products/297177779

But check the label as some are now acetone free...
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PostPost by: draenog » Fri Jun 21, 2024 1:41 am

Boots sells acetone but it's twice the price for a quarter of the quantity!

https://www.boots.com/care-acetone-household-solvent-50ml-10094298
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PostPost by: draenog » Fri Jun 21, 2024 2:04 am

Another solvent you could try is lighter fluid:

https://www.tesco.com/groceries/en-GB/products/274057144

I collect vinyl records and could never understand why in most second hand record shops you will always see a can of lighter fluid somewhere. Turns out they use it to remove labels on sleeves. Soak the label in fluid, and it dissolves the glue, allowing the label to be removed without damage. The advantage is the fluid then evaporates leaving no trace. I've tried it myself and it works really well.

Might be worth trying this first as acetone is pretty horrible and if you're not careful you may damage paint work, plastic trim, etc. (it also dissolves fibreglass resin).
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PostPost by: Elanman99 » Fri Jun 21, 2024 9:15 am

I dont recall any adhesive being present when I replaced the silent channel on my car and I did not need to use any adhesive when I installed new channel. My understanding and experience is that the top edges of the rubber 'U' shape tuck under the inward curved tops of the brass channel section.

Richard, the silent channel will need to be removed before you can access the adhesive and once its out you can use/try any solvent and brass or chrome is not going to be affected.

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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Sat Jun 22, 2024 9:43 pm

Gentlemen,

Thanks for the help, so far I am on day 3 of removing old adhesive from the right hand side drivers door frame.

Lighter fuel had no noticeable effect.

Petrol had no noticeable effect.

I couldn’t find acetone, but nail varnish remover (98% acetone) did soften the adhesive slightly.

Carburettor cleaner is the most effective solvent I have tried.

My silent channel has adhesive on all three sides all the way round the frame. Even when softened it remains difficult to remove. Brian Buckland states that some adhesive may be needed at the top corners. Someone in the past has been very enthusiastic with adhesive.

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PostPost by: 69S4 » Sun Jun 23, 2024 7:29 am

draenog wrote:Boots sells acetone but it's twice the price for a quarter of the quantity!

https://www.boots.com/care-acetone-household-solvent-50ml-10094298


Next time you’re in France on holiday pop into any of the big supermarkets. They have in litre quantities for about €7 / 8. My local Casino certainly does.
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Sun Jun 23, 2024 8:11 am

Can I suggest an alternative. A sharp wood chisel should make short work of it
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PostPost by: 512BB » Sun Jun 23, 2024 8:59 am

'A sharp wood chisel should make short work of it'

In the words of JM, you cannot be serious.

This stuff will make short work of it Richard. Also, celulose thinners the same. Turn the frame upside down. Pour in some thinners and run the thinners backwards and forwards in the channel for a minute. Wipe. Job done........outside.

I bought a 5 litre can of it 25 years ago. Almost out of it now. The next can should see me out.........just.

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PostPost by: Craven » Sun Jun 23, 2024 12:41 pm

Just a comment, if the silent channel is of the original dimensions, height wise it will as mention tuck under the lip on the frame, a little adhesive will help in the tight turns in corners.
Price of Acetone, Pure acetone is very expensive, the much less expensive probably has a high-water content.
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Sun Jun 23, 2024 6:30 pm

Thanks again everyone. The second frame left hand passenger side, has been much easier, or I am getting better at it, channel and adhesive removed in one day. Not so much adhesive as the drivers side.

I have done a bit of reading and apparently the solvent is Toluene, and there is also a Toluene free solvent, but is only available in 5litre cans at £70 after VAT.

I have re read Brian Buckland on this subject and cannot find where I thought he said just a little adhesive near the top corners.

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