Lotus Elan

Red Cam Cover Paint

PostPost by: Andy Hamblin » Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:15 pm

Can anyone recommend a decent red wrinkle finish spray paint for the cam cover? Looking for something close to original but not worried if its not exact.

Aslo - it is necessary to get every scrap of old paint off, or is a thoroughly good clean and wire wool down good enough?

Thanks,
Andy
Sept 1970 Plus 2S, KOO38J Glacier Blue, 50/2432 (was Carnival Red)
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PostPost by: pharriso » Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:43 pm

I used VHT Red wrinkle finish from Summit racing here in the States.
CamCover_Finished.JPG and

You have a Federal Valve cover? UK ones were Black.

I used Paint stripper to remove all remains of the old coatings.
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PostPost by: Andy Hamblin » Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:59 pm

I have a Plus 2S, I think UK cars had red cam covers? Could be wrong. That looks good, I can get similar here. Thanks.
Sept 1970 Plus 2S, KOO38J Glacier Blue, 50/2432 (was Carnival Red)
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PostPost by: geni » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:08 pm

rappeler nous les bonnes couleurs !
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PostPost by: Andy Hamblin » Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:20 am

geni wrote:rappeler nous les bonnes couleurs !


this taken from elsewhere on this forum, which in turn was taken from the Wilkins book:

Green:
Elan, S/E, Weber

Dark blue:
Elan, standard (B cam), Weber, Domestic and Export

Silver, then black:
Cortina and Escort, S/E, Weber, Domestic and Export

Red:
+2, S/E, Weber
Elan and +2, standard, Stromberg, Federal
Elan, Super S/E, Weber, Domestic
Elan, Europa and +2, S/E, Stromberg, Domestic
Elan, Europa and +2S, Big Valve, Stromberg, Federal
Europa, S/E, Dellorto, Domestic

Red, ribbed:
Elan Sprint, +2S130 and Europa Special, Big Valve, Dellorto, European

Black:
Elan, standard, Stromberg, Domestic
Europa, S/E, Dellorto, European

Black, ribbed:
Elan Sprint and +2S130, Big Valve, Weber, Domestic
Europa Special, Big Valve, Dellorto, Domestic
Sept 1970 Plus 2S, KOO38J Glacier Blue, 50/2432 (was Carnival Red)
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PostPost by: alan.barker » Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:31 am

geni wrote:rappeler nous les bonnes couleurs !

"remind us of the correct colours"
Miles Wilkins book :wink: :wink:
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Alan.b Brittany 1972 elan sprint fhc Lagoon Blue 0460E
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PostPost by: USA64 » Wed Apr 01, 2020 11:50 am

I believe the SE Federal were orange, mine was underneath ('69). I did see that in a listing somewhere as well.
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PostPost by: elangtv2000 » Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:14 pm

S4Engine.jpg and

I used the same VHT paint from the same supplier - came out great. I used paint stripper to remove the coating, which appeared to be powder coating that was also applied to the inside of the cam cover, and was chipping away! Obviously, I left the interior unpainted.
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PostPost by: saildrive2001 » Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:21 pm

I also used the VHT red on my Twink. Be sure to practice on something else before you try on the cam cover. It is a little sensitive on the amount of paint you apply to get a good crackle finish & not get any runs.
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PostPost by: Andy Hamblin » Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:23 pm

elangtv2000 wrote:
S4Engine.jpg

I used the same VHT paint from the same supplier - came out great. I used paint stripper to remove the coating, which appeared to be powder coating that was also applied to the inside of the cam cover, and was chipping away! Obviously, I left the interior unpainted.


that looks great, thanks. I have ordered up a couple of cans of that same paint.

You have also given me a target for how clean and tidy my engine bay should be!

Anyone recommend a brush-on grey to touch up the engine casing etc.

Thanks
Sept 1970 Plus 2S, KOO38J Glacier Blue, 50/2432 (was Carnival Red)
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PostPost by: elangtv2000 » Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:13 pm

I've found pre-heating the part before painting ensures good wrinkling and reduces runs. It takes a fairly thick application to trigger the best wrinkling. I apply a dusting coat, wait a few minutes, then apply several light coats until I have a nice thick, even coat. Re-coating already wrinkled paint has never worked for me, so I try hard to get it right the first time.
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PostPost by: saildrive2001 » Wed Apr 01, 2020 5:22 pm

Good point about heating the cam cover before painting, I had forgotten I did that. Don't forget to do it when the wife is out! I also agree that you need a fairly thick coat to get good wrinkles. As I said before, practice it before painting the cam cover.
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PostPost by: LaikaTheDog » Wed Apr 01, 2020 6:03 pm

VHT is the stuff... but a word of caution.. it is not normal paint and you really really need to wear a mask and cover all skin.. when you see it hanging in the air just imagine what it does to your lungs!

You need to bake VHT to set it properly, I do it in the oven while family is away... once baked it is like enamel, really strong, I have used it on stumps, cam covers and thermal engine panels, you can knock it and it stays put...

As it says on the tin, tonapply it you need regular long strokes in one direction, then wait (I think 15 mins, but check the can) then do another coat 90 degrees from the first.. then wait and again... then wait and wait and gradually it will wrinkle up beautifully.. the colder the ambient temp the tighter the wrinkle...

Do not be tempted to go back over a missed spot.. if you missed a spot leave it and get it covered in the next coat. If you over apply it, it changes that spot wrinkle from the rest and can even sag...
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PostPost by: david.g.chapman » Wed Apr 01, 2020 6:08 pm

A many of you probably know, the correct red colour for Lotus red cam covers is poppy red, which is slightly lighter then the VHT paint. Just think of the poppy flower and you are there...

However, guess what I used on my red Federal cam cover... that's right, VHT red paint! I think its close enough!

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PostPost by: Esprit2 » Wed Apr 01, 2020 6:32 pm

The Lotus 'red' cam covers were really a red-orange that Lotus called "Poppy". Good luck matching that color with any over-the-counter rattle-can paint (the VHT wrinkle paint is 'red'). Back in the early-mid 1960s, Chrysler in the USA used an engine paint that was red-orange, but smooth, not wrinkle finish.

What some later Lotus Esprit Turbo owners do is spray the part with VHT red wrinkle engine paint first in order to establish the texture. Then over-spray that with the Chrysler red-orange "Race Hemi Orange" paint to 'correct' the color. That second 'over coat' should be kept light/ thin so that you don't excessively 'blunt' the wrinkle finish. Both of those paints are "engine" paints, and intended for use on hot, potentially oily engines.

Note: There's a Chrysler 'red' engine paint that you don't want.
Then there's a Chrysler/ Mopar "Race Hemi Orange" that is red-orange, close to Lotus "Poppy", and that's what you want.

In the USA/ North America, the Chrysler red-orange paint is easily found, but that might not be the case in other parts of the world. So just search online. As an example:

Go to Summit Racing.com (or your favorite online parts source)
https://www.summitracing.com/

And search for:
"Mopar Race Hemi Orange Paint"

Brand: Mopar Performance
Product Line: Mopar Performance Engine Enamel Paints
Mfgr's Part Number: P4120751AB
Summit Racing P/N: DCC-P4120751AB
Mfgr's Paint Color: "Race Hemi Orange"
Paint Finish: Gloss <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< NOTE: It's gloss, not flat matte.

Used on Max Wedge engines (413 & 426 cubic inch) during 1962-64.
Also used on 426 Race Hemis built from 1964-65.

I've not tried this myself, so I can't confirm that it works well. I've just heard later Lotus Esprit owners talking about using it on 910 Turbo engine parts, and being happy with the faux-Poppy wrinkle results. If you try this, I 'HIGHLY' recommend that you test it on something disposable first. Like that beer can you're working on draining.

Regards,
Tim Engel
Last edited by Esprit2 on Wed Apr 01, 2020 8:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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