Lotus Elan

Switch refurbishment

PostPost by: NYK » Sun Nov 25, 2018 11:29 am

I?m sure I?m not the only person with rather tatty looking switches. Since mine function OK I am somewhat loathed to spend a lot of money buying new ones although their appearance will certainly not look good on a new dashboard.
I have tried cutting the surface back with 1000-2000 wet and dry followed by mopping with a fine cutting polish. There is some improvement but they still don?t look great. Does anyone have a tried and tested method for getting the surface back to original? I want to steer away from spraying them as I?m sure this would be a somewhat temporary solution and in time could imagine they would look pretty horrible as the paint wears away.
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PostPost by: fatboyoz » Sun Nov 25, 2018 11:40 am

Hi,
I rub a rag soaked in ArmorAll onto the switches a couple of times per year. Not a permanent solution, but certainly satisfactory.
Cheers,
Colin.

NYK wrote:I?m sure I?m not the only person with rather tatty looking switches. Since mine function OK I am somewhat loathed to spend a lot of money buying new ones although their appearance will certainly not look good on a new dashboard.
I have tried cutting the surface back with 1000-2000 wet and dry followed by mopping with a fine cutting polish. There is some improvement but they still don?t look great. Does anyone have a tried and tested method for getting the surface back to original? I want to steer away from spraying them as I?m sure this would be a somewhat temporary solution and in time could imagine they would look pretty horrible as the paint wears away.
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:00 pm

Rub them down with very fine wet and dry being careful not to round any edges. Then a quick coat of satin black spray paint. Only needs doing once.
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PostPost by: NYK » Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:43 pm

Yes, I?ve tried the ArmorAll was not sure if if would last days, weeks or months. Steve, do you find the paint option is robust, so no flaking or wearing?
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PostPost by: tedtaylor » Sun Nov 25, 2018 3:22 pm

Black permanent magic marker or sharpie. works great!
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PostPost by: GLB » Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:04 pm

I've painted mine in all my cars with black urethane paint. Looks great and lasts forever. Gary
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PostPost by: Europatc » Sun Nov 25, 2018 8:11 pm

In Sue Millers tips she suggests a dash of brake fluid on a cloth. It works and lasts quite a while (I think it was Sue Miller)
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Mon Nov 26, 2018 12:32 am

NYK wrote:Yes, I?ve tried the ArmorAll was not sure if if would last days, weeks or months. Steve, do you find the paint option is robust, so no flaking or wearing?


Absolutely! Was nothing special just a cheap rattlecan!
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PostPost by: 1owner69Elan » Mon Nov 26, 2018 1:46 am

Another option if you are going to going to paint the switches is below. Used for plastic.

Has been on for 2.5 years and still good.

img_0506.jpg and


Before:
img_5622.jpg and

Inserted in cardboard and masked off for painting

After:
img_0516.jpg and


Provides a bit of a textured finish.
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PostPost by: steve.thomas » Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:08 am

As above Sue Millar?s advice is brake fluid, but it must be silicon brake fluid. Works a treat and lasts years.
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PostPost by: Keith Scarfe » Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:56 am

Tiny smear of red rubber grease (the stuff you use to assemble brakes) works a treat on mine - S3 window switches.
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PostPost by: NYK » Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:36 am

Thanks all, some really good options for me to follow up here
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Mon Nov 26, 2018 1:10 pm

It seems to me that a few people are suggesting various brake fluids and similar which appear to give varying periods before needing a repeat. Fine I guess if you?ve got the switches out but would you want to put brake fluid anywhere near your nicely refurbed dash in the future. My switches were painted in my first Sprint close to 20 years ago. I saw photos of the car when it was for sale a year or two ago and they still looked perfect.

Further to the comment earlier I don?t know why you?d want to put a textured paint on your switches. Not my cuppa I?m afraid sorry and no offence. An ordinary satin black rattlecan would suffice just make sure there?s no remnants of any polish etc on the switches before you start.
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PostPost by: Grizzly » Mon Nov 26, 2018 1:15 pm

I usually suggest flatting and painting but recently found an almost permanent back to black kind of product, it's a new modern ceramic plastic sealer.... I've only used it once on a demo and it's important for the switch to be spotlessly clean but 6+ months on through a hot summer they still look great (not cheap though)

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Gtechniq-C4- ... 1438.l2649

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7CVFqnmz8Q

Our Workshop also had a demo of Obsidian, we got given a demo bottle that has been used a fair bit but not on anything i could go back to any period of time later (just the first add that sprung up which happened to be 50ml) https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Britemax-Obs ... 1438.l2649
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PostPost by: NYK » Mon Nov 26, 2018 3:10 pm

Grizzly wrote:I usually suggest flatting and painting but recently found an almost permanent back to black kind of product, it's a new modern ceramic plastic sealer.... I've only used it once on a demo and it's important for the switch to be spotlessly clean but 6+ months on through a hot summer they still look great (not cheap though)

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Gtechniq-C4- ... 1438.l2649

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7CVFqnmz8Q

Our Workshop also had a demo of Obsidian, we got given a demo bottle that has been used a fair bit but not on anything i could go back to any period of time later (just the first add that sprung up which happened to be 50ml) https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Britemax-Obs ... 1438.l2649



Chris, did you flat the surface with fine wet and dry before you applied the gtechniq c4 restorer?
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