Lotus Elan

Switch rocker refurbishing

PostPost by: The Veg » Tue Sep 13, 2016 2:20 am

My switch rockers have all gone grey to varying extents. Any suggestions for making them look nicely black again, preferably in a way that won't peel or rub through?
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PostPost by: fatboyoz » Tue Sep 13, 2016 5:56 am

Hi The Veg,
I have been rubbing the switches every six months or so with Armorall. They stay nice and black, no mess, no peeling.
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PostPost by: ElliottN » Tue Sep 13, 2016 6:07 am

If you could do it, the best solution is to cut the oxidised surface back and repolish them - probably a coarse cutting compound and then a fine compound polish - but it's a labour of love - very fiddly and could take a long time to get enough of the oxidised surface off..

I tried things like WD40 with minimal success - would look good for 1-24 hours before drying out. Some say they use silicone brake fluid with success which made me think I could use silicone grease - as used by plumbers when fitting o-rings, etc.

Tried the silicone grease recently. They came up really well and several weeks later the switches still look great. They are a tiny bit greasy to the touch but hey.....
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PostPost by: elanner » Tue Sep 13, 2016 11:21 am

From Sue Miller's catalogue:

"If your rocker switches have become dull, try wiping them lightly with a soft rag dipped in silicone brake fluid. But do not use this fluid in your brakes - it may affect the rubber in your servo and master cylinder."

This works well for me.

Nick
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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Wed Sep 14, 2016 8:06 am

elanner wrote:From Sue Miller's catalogue:

"If your rocker switches have become dull, try wiping them lightly with a soft rag dipped in silicone brake fluid. But do not use this fluid in your brakes - it may affect the rubber in your servo and master cylinder."

This works well for me.

Nick


I second this method and it holds up well.
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PostPost by: Robbie693 » Wed Sep 14, 2016 9:35 am

This stuff works for me as it's not shiny and isn't made from silicone:

http://www.cleanyourcar.co.uk/interior/303-aerospace-protectant/prod_366.html

...but then mine haven't gotten that bad. Maybe a bit of cutting paste like T-Cut or something before treating with the 'treatment' of your choice
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PostPost by: The Veg » Wed Sep 14, 2016 11:04 pm

Thanks guys for all the tips. Fiddly-ness shouldn't be terrible since I've got them all dismounted from the dashboard at the moment.
1969/70 Elan Plus 2 (not S) 50/2036
"It just wouldn't be a complete day if I didn't forget something!" -Me
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PostPost by: DrinkMan » Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:19 am

Another alternative is Mother's Back to Black. We use it on all the black trim on all our cars. (the one I bought it for was the black plastic engine covers and side vents on the Lotus Elise - works great on those parts)
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PostPost by: Bruce Crowthorne » Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:20 pm

I gave mine a wipe with Chemical Guys New Look Trim Gel.
Great stuff on any plastic. Did mine about 5 years ago and still perfect.
If you live near Portsmouth drop by and we can give yours a wipe.
Bruce

PS Posted this before, but years ago. Not sure how good the search function is on here....
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PostPost by: The Veg » Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:37 pm

Thanks Bruce, although as I'm in USA that might be a bit of a trek. Not that I have any objection to visiting your country, in fact I've wanted to for a long time, but the switches will be back in the car before I get the chance.

I tried the Back To Black, after first using some 0000 steel wool to cut down the grey a bit- and yes, I did do this whilst the switches were apart to prevent any of the wool getting into the contacts. Seems to have worked well overall, although two switches have needed additional coats to do the job.

The contacts looked good for the most part. The ones for the window switches had some carbon build-up, which might explain some of the poor window function that the PO reported. But with a little cleaning everything looks ready for another four and a half decades of service. I made sure to clean the external contacts and lubricate the moving bits too. The switches are now ready to go back in, so I guess I need to pick up the pace on the dashboard finish. It's almost done but needs a little more attention on the final coats. Stay tuned, as we say over here.
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