Lotus Elan

Brake Caliper Restoration - Best Method?

PostPost by: n811 » Wed Nov 05, 2003 12:50 am

Hello. I was wondering if anyone knows the best way to restore the brake calipers on an Elan. I know how to replace the seals, but I'm interested in making the calipers look as original as possible - they're absolutely filthy right now. Should the outside be blasted, wire brushed, or whatever to remove the grime from 40 years of use? Will sandblasting ruin my calipers? I've heard horror stories about cylinder heads that get blasted. Also, are the calipers aluminum or some other metal? Thank you very much!!
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PostPost by: ardee_selby » Wed Nov 05, 2003 11:19 am

Here's one guys' DIY solution. Check it out at:


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PostPost by: gjz30075 » Wed Nov 05, 2003 12:25 pm

If they're still working properly I suppose you want to leave the pistons in and leave the caliper attached to the car. In this case, simply wire brush them down and paint them. The calipers are cast iron. If they're off the car, don't bead blast them with the pistons in. No matter how well you plug the hole for the line, grit will get in there.

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PostPost by: n811 » Wed Nov 05, 2003 1:24 pm

Thank you very much for the info! I've completely disassembled the calipers and want to get them as original-looking as possible. I think I'm going to sandblast them to remove everything. I've got two colors of paint - one for cast aluminum and one for cast iron. I like the look of the cast aluminum, but if they are iron the aluminum paint would be the wrong choice.

I also found a helpful website:

<a href='http://www.buckeyetriumphs.org/technical/Brakes/Front/Front.htm' target='_blank'>http://www.buckeyetriumphs.org/technical/B...Front/Front.htm</a>

This person chose to powdercoat his calipers in a cast aluminum color after sandblasting them. They look very nice!

Thanks again!!
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PostPost by: type36lotus » Fri Nov 07, 2003 5:30 am

I sent mine out to my local redi-strip business. Then I painted them with silver hammerite. They look pretty good and have held up well. Although it has only been 1 year and 500 miles of driving!

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