Lotus Elan

Plus 2 Under Dash Trims

PostPost by: gwiz22 » Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:16 pm

I'm attempting to restore the under dash trims on my Plus2. Each side is made up from three components (see pic). One is a metal component covered in black vinyl. This connects to a plastic part with some two legged pins that are splayed out. This plastic part is fixed to the piece of trim that actually goes under the dash. Attached are pictures, one showing the pins which have been bent together again in order to get the components apart and another showing the pin in place.

The shaped plastic parts are are all broken and cracked, particuarly where the pins mentioned above connect the two components together. My plan is to cover both sides of the plastic parts with fibreglass to strengthen and allow new holes to be drilled to take new pins.

Has anybody undergone a similar restoration? If so, I'm particularly interested to know if you managed to obtain new pins or found a suitable alternative to successfully fix the two components together.
Regards
Graham
Attachments
P1080510.JPG and
Three under Dash Components
P1080505.JPG and
Pin partially splayed
P1080509.JPG and
Pins
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PostPost by: Bud English » Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:11 pm

The "pins" are called split rivets, here, and are easily available. I did a search for "split rivets, UK" and didn't come up with anything. They might be called something else over there. https://www.mcmaster.com/rivets/rivet-t ... erview=new

The plastic, I believe, is ABS or polystyrene and polyester resin melts it. I had good luck making the repairs using glass fiber cloth and Gorilla Glue by saturating the cloth with the glue, applying the patch, and misting the area lightly with water. That fix remains slightly flexible and sticks better that epoxy resin did. I tried both.

Added: ABS sheet material is available in various thicknesses for thermoforming. ABS can be formed by hand by placing it in boiling water. https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from ... t&_sacat=0
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PostPost by: ericbushby » Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:16 pm

Try bifurcated rivet,
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PostPost by: gwiz22 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:12 am

Thanks Eric. I've found bifurcated rivets on the net. So that's one problem solved.

Bud, thanks for the warning regarding stryrene and ABS plastic. I had aleady done a bit of glassing on one of the items as a test to my competance mixing and applying the mat before I posted my questions yesterday. Looking at the item this morning, the fibreglass seems to have adhered to ABS ok without any severe distortion. Maybe I put in a bit too much hardener so the resin set before it could penetrate the ABS. I've attached a picture of this first attempt.
Graham
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P1080511.JPG and
First Attempt
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PostPost by: mbell » Mon Aug 03, 2020 5:28 pm

'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: Donels » Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:01 pm

I have done exactly what you have described. I taped all the bits together then a layer of G/F mat followed by a layer of tissue and it worked brilliantly. Much stronger than the original. Most difficult bit was cleaning all the old glue off the plastic bits.

Ref split rivets. Easily obtainable off eBay.

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PostPost by: gwiz22 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:30 pm

Hi mbell
Thanks for the tip. I checked out the SJ sports cars website. Tempting but 180 quid is a bit rich for 5 bits of plastic. Hopefully my tenners worth of resin and mat will do the trick.
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PostPost by: gwiz22 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:38 pm

Hi Dave
It’s encouraging to know that someone has successfully undertaken this trim refurbishment. Gives me confidence that it can be done. I concur with the difficulty cleaning off the old glue. What did you find most successful? Did you manage to get the impact adhesive off the back side of the vinyl covering?
I found the split rivets and have a pack on order.
Graham
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PostPost by: mbell » Tue Aug 04, 2020 12:49 am

gwiz22 wrote:Tempting but 180 quid is a bit rich for 5 bits of plastic.


Yeah they're not cheap but when you consider the cost to make molds to form them for the volume they're going to sell in it's not a ridiculous price.

If you're paying by the hour for the work is probably cost effective to buy these than have the original patched up. Doing it yourself much cheaper to repair.
'73 +2 130/5 RHD, now on the road and very slowly rolling though a "restoration"
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PostPost by: Donels » Tue Aug 04, 2020 12:13 pm

Yes I successfully cleaned vinyl using cellulose thinners. It also cleaned the plastic.

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PostPost by: gwiz22 » Tue Aug 04, 2020 12:41 pm

Thanks for that. I also meant to ask where you managed to get replacement foam from. All I can find is on the net is a quarter inch and I think that is too thick.
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PostPost by: Donels » Tue Aug 04, 2020 1:22 pm

I had some laminate floor underlay lying around and used that.

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PostPost by: gwiz22 » Tue Aug 04, 2020 1:35 pm

Good idea, thanks. I have some left over from when I refurbished the heater and never thought of that.
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PostPost by: mikealdren » Wed Aug 05, 2020 3:32 pm

Donels wrote:I had some laminate floor underlay lying around and used that.
Dave

Excellent stuff for replacing foam on heater flaps too.
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PostPost by: 10kph » Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:38 pm

Hi, If your units are just broken but you have the leatherette covering then I have a set in fibreglass ready for your covers to be reglued on. Holes have not been cut because each cover can have holes in diffent places.Cost £30 plus post if interested then pm me
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