Lotus Elan

S4 Dash Switches Refurb....

PostPost by: djb222 » Sun Jun 07, 2020 4:57 pm

The switches on the dashboard of the Elan look as though someone has used a screwdriver to try and clean them, here's my attempt at refurbishing one of them. Other than appearance they are in could order. I must say I wish they hadn't ditched the toggle switches from the previous cars, although I have seen an S4 with toggles.


https://youtu.be/0HY-WiM6y4A
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PostPost by: Matt Elan » Mon Jun 08, 2020 11:10 am

You probably know that Lotus ditched the toggle switches to meet the US legislation (and UK) for reducing intrusions in the passenger compartment. These were causing so many injuries that campaigner Ralph Nader got a lot of coverage and publicity for his book 'Unsafe at any Speed' which is a surprisingly good read. Rocker switches were less intrusive, and the Instruments were also slightly sunk into the face of the Elan dash for the same reason, the Plus 2S instruments had flush bevels. While I prefer the 'vintage' look and feel of toggles, non flush door handles and protruding instruments I'd rather be in a crash in a post Nader car than a pre one! Apparently baby oil is a good finisher for the switches, or a plastic cleaner like armour all.
Matthew Vale - Classic Motoring Author
1968 Plus 2 - Somewhat cosmetically and mechanically modified
1969 Plus 2S - Currently undergoing nut and bolt restoration
Visit me on matthewvale.com
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PostPost by: abstamaria » Mon Jun 08, 2020 12:16 pm

44413AC5-5548-43D8-B7E3-009E1D58E4F4.jpeg and


When I looked at Elans in 1977, all the cars I saw had whitish, discolored rocker switches, including the car I eventually bought. It is still with me. I might have put something on the switches decades ago, probably Armor All, but I have not touched the switches in decades. They don’t look bad to me. I thought I would run to the garage and take a quick phone issue to show you.

Andy
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PostPost by: djb222 » Mon Jun 08, 2020 1:08 pm

Thanks for the info Andy, I wasn't aware of the reason for the change, sounds like a good move though.

I suppose after 50 years some you'd expect some surface tarnishing/deterioration but with mine they were scratched. There are lots of "stuff" around these days which could be used to restore or protect the surface of the switches in fact I have some but wouldn't use it as it leaves a shiny finish which just doesn't look right. I suppose you could use some ceramic coating, which doesn't affect the surface appearance and provides UV protection which probably adds to the deterioration of the switch.

Thanks for the photo, is the lettering on the dash standard?
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PostPost by: abstamaria » Mon Jun 08, 2020 3:00 pm

That’s a replacement facia, djb I’m not sure now how accurate the letters are. My original dash has cracks when I acquired the car. It was only nine years old then.

Andy
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PostPost by: mark030358 » Mon Jun 08, 2020 3:48 pm

Also you can use plasticoat satin paint, I did an S4 with this and the switches came out 101%...

see below..

cheers
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PostPost by: djb222 » Tue Jun 09, 2020 1:33 pm

That looks a very nice finish...
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Tue Jun 09, 2020 4:01 pm

Do a search on this site, it's a common problem with +2s and there are a few options. For example, rubbing with brake fluid is popular.

Spend and hour or so reading and maybe experiment and let us know what works.
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