Lotus Elan

How to get your switches back to black....

PostPost by: Bruce Crowthorne » Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:40 pm

I have found that Chemical Guys New Look Trim Gel works wonders.
Like most Elans my rocker switches in my S4 had gone gray instead of the black they were intended to be. I applied a smear about a month ago and they still look like new.

Makes a change for me to post a solution on here and not just asking questions!
Hope it helps
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PostPost by: innesw » Thu Aug 11, 2011 3:33 pm

Cheers Bruce, my switches need tidying up I'll give this a try, where you get it from?

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PostPost by: Bruce Crowthorne » Thu Aug 11, 2011 7:31 pm

My son bought it at a VW show - but I guess you will get it on line.
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PostPost by: elansprint71 » Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:57 pm

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PostPost by: oillite » Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:01 pm

Wurth plastic dye. its not cheap!
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PostPost by: 69S4 » Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:50 am



Sounds like the sort of result I'm promised in a lot of the spam emails I get from "pharmaceutical" suppliers every day :lol: :lol: :lol:

Looking at the picture and reading the copy I'd also expect it to give me thicker, longer lasting lashes and hide the visible signs of aging as well as picturing myself with a little less grey (Grecian 2000 ad line).
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PostPost by: Robbie693 » Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:08 am



Sounds like good stuff. Bruce - is it a shiny or satin finish?

I use Armourall satin look as I'm not so keen on the glossy look but it seems to be hard to get hold of these days...

Cheers

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PostPost by: elanski » Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:32 am

Thanks for the tip. I'll give it a try.
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:28 am

I'm pretty sure that there have been posts on this subject before, some swore by silicone brake fluid, others went to the trouble of using plastikote spray paint (I think thats the right spelling).

My own tight fisted solution is to use the free shoe shine sponge that I picked up from a hotel a few years back, this is impregnated with clear silicone and works exactly like the Back to Black range of trim cleaners, lasts for months before needing re-applying.

Regards
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PostPost by: 45bvtc » Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:55 pm

Did mine 12-years ago with 'ladies' black nail varnish straight out of my wife's handbag

For those of you wanting the actual type, my records show it as: MAVALA No. 48 Black (made in Switzerland). However, I don't think the type and/or manufacturer is that important.

The important thing is, however, I haven't had to do them since - see photo.

PLUS, you can NOW get black nail varnish in: matt, gloss, metallic, shimmer, and glitter: try it on a piece of dull black plastic first - make sure you like the effect (whichever you go for).

And again, it's cost effective, just like the radiator cap seal.

Apologies if a tad loquacious Pete but I do wish you'd be a little more constructive, nice even.
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PostPost by: Bruce Crowthorne » Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:44 pm

Robbie - it's a shiny finish.

I applied it about a month ago and don't see any deterioration, but it will certainly be many weeks ....
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PostPost by: Robbie693 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:29 pm

Bruce Crowthorne wrote:Robbie - it's a shiny finish.

I applied it about a month ago and don't see any deterioration, but it will certainly be many weeks ....


Thanks Bruce
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PostPost by: Sea Ranch » Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:07 pm

I hesitate to speak up before I've actually experimented with this idea myself . . . but perhaps someone will have a spare switch around and want to find out for him/herself :mrgreen:

It is my understanding that these rocker switches are injection molded plastic (of some sort), which would mean that the material is solid and of the same composition throughout. In other words, if you scratch beneath the surface, you hit exactly the same material as that on the surface. If this is the case, the only difference between the surface and what lies beneath is simply the level of smoothness or gloss/sheen.

It is also my understanding that the "grey-ish" finish which eventually turns up on our old rocker switches is simply "oxidation" of the plastic (I believe almost everything oxidizes sooner or later, including our blood).

My suggestion is that these switches can simply be polished back to their original colour and sheen.

I would (if and when I get around to removing mine) start with wet/dry sand paper of, say, 1000+ grit to remove the heavy oxidation, then progress up the grit numbers till I was happy with the surface. I would finish with a buffing wheel and compound, to the sheen desired (probably matt to satin, but not gloss, but I'm not sure of the original look). The sandpaper and compounds used would be the same as used for "flatting" (as you Brits say) the colour or clear coats on a car and are commonly available where I live in grades up to 2500 (but go much higher, if you look around for "micro" abrasives). In my case, I'm a guitar finisher/refinisher and work exclusively with nitro-cellulose lacquer (which used to be applied to cars before it was catalysed with "acrylic", and then replaced altogether with enamels and then urethanes). This is the process used to level and then bring back the gloss on a lacquered guitar body. With the right grades of abrasives, you can bring back the surface and sheen on any reasonably hard thing, including plastics (and windshield glass, for example).

So . . . any takers? Anyone willing to confirm my thesis for group's edification? :mrgreen:

Randy

[An example of "micro-abrasives" from Lee Valley, in a size suitable for our application: http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.a ... 3243,43245]
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PostPost by: 45bvtc » Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:30 pm

Respectfully Sea Ranch, I tried that many years ago with 2000 wet and dry and it worked, for 3-months, and then the grey started to come back. Why, I don't know.

We are having a young lady from the local nail salon (I'm really serious) spray some Europa switches with a semi-matt nail varnish. If that works, and I can't see why it shouldn't, then I might flat my 'semi-gloss' switches back with 1000 wet and dry and have the same done.

But please, try it, you'll not know until you do. My semi-gloss ones have lasted 12-years and show no signs of deterioration, and I'm relatively content.

Let us know how you've got on, in 12-months time.
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PostPost by: 45bvtc » Wed Aug 17, 2011 6:20 pm

Ok, I give in. I've got a couple of spare switches, some nail varnish and an airbrush. I'll flat two switches with 1200 wet and dry to key, and then spray. I've sprayed my Elan myself so a couple of switches won't be a problem.

I'll then leave both switches in the light in the shed and/or greenhouse for 12-months, mauling them occasionally, as one would, and see what they are like in 12-months time.

It's the only way.
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