Lotus Elan

Plus 2 restoration

PostPost by: seniorchristo » Sun Jul 03, 2022 1:04 pm

I've run out of excuses to not start the body work. I thought I would start with the trunk lid.
It looks like there were only two coats of paint applied. The original blue and then later a coat of white paint perhaps painted on with a brush :shock: . There is also a white primer, grey filler and also red primer between the two coats. The paint has also completely worn off in area, down to the gelcoat.

Questions:
1) Is it safe to prepare the surface and apply primer over multiple paint and filler types or must it be all be taken down to the gelcoat?
2) When repairing cracks with fiberglass mat and resin, must everything be kept below the surface or will high spots of fiberglass be sandable once applied?
Attachments
DSC01014.JPG and
DSC01064.JPG and
DSC01061.JPG and
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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Sun Jul 03, 2022 3:23 pm

This is the bible:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Restore-Fibreglass-Bodywork-Osprey-Restoration/dp/0850455561

Out of print, but every now and again a cheap copy surfaces.

As a general rule, the more layers of old paint you have, the more trouble you are asking for. The old paint reacts with the new thinners when the car is sprayed, and blemishes will appear where the old paint was. This can happen weeks or months after the car is sprayed. Were I you, I would remove all the old paint.

You can sand fibres, but ideally you want a coat of something sealing the fibres before the undercoat or the fibres seem to show through.

I believe the high end restorers sheath the car in tissue mat after all the repairs have been done to the body. This gives a solid, sealed surface to work on. Have a look:

https://www.option1sportscars.co.uk/restoration/

Good luck.
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PostPost by: AlistairF » Sun Jul 03, 2022 4:33 pm

On the topic of brakes, I have just bought a +2 and it has the single line braking system with no servo. I think it is fine, it needs a good shove, not as much bite vs my Caterham, but it will need a fluid change and new discs and pads within a year which should sharpen things up.

If I was renovating I would go for a dual m/c, no servo and maybe Mintex m1144 pads.

I have a spare Caterham m/c so that's a possibility when I renew the system but clearance is an issue so with elbow fittings it may be ok.

Your project is looking good!

Cheers
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PostPost by: seniorchristo » Sun Jul 03, 2022 6:25 pm

Thanks for that Andy. I've read the Miles Wilkins book and will probably read it again.
Working within my skill and budget levels I don't think an Option 1 type body restoration is practical. Taking the car back to gelcoat and reshaping without any filler might take me years :D I'll just have to assess the risk of painting over a mishmash of stuff versus removing everything and smoothing with filler.

Like you Allstair I now plan to use a dual MC without servos.
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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Mon Jul 04, 2022 9:26 am

I am a bit surprised about Option 1's comments about not using filler. Lotus used polyester filler themselves to hide body imperfections, so I am not sure what the issue really is. They make reference to GRP behaving differently to filler - which I get, but the resin used for laying up is polyester, and filler is just polyester resin with a bulking agent (french chalk or similar), so I would have thought they would be compatible.

Edit:

I found this picture of bodies outside Hethel. Filler can clearly be seen in the panel in front of the door - I believe this is where parts of the mould joined. I recall reading that over zealous restorations remove this filler, which leaves a characteristic dimple when the car is painted.

196904-22tww-elan-bodies-hethel - Copy.jpg and
Original bodies - filler
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PostPost by: seniorchristo » Mon Jul 04, 2022 7:07 pm

What is the recommended better filler for smoothing out imperfections? Polyester filler or polyester filler with fiberglass strands?
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PostPost by: Andy8421 » Mon Jul 04, 2022 9:21 pm

seniorchristo wrote:What is the recommended better filler for smoothing out imperfections? Polyester filler or polyester filler with fiberglass strands?

Polyester filler without the strands.
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PostPost by: seniorchristo » Wed Jul 06, 2022 12:29 am

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PostPost by: Craven » Wed Jul 06, 2022 10:57 am

Love this stuff
https://u-pol.com/product/fillers/speci ... ced-filler
use with High build primer.
https://u-pol.com/product/aerosols/powe ... ild-primer
Trade happy to spray over this, not all primers suit.
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PostPost by: h20hamelan » Wed Jul 06, 2022 2:01 pm

I like NAPA body gold, thought there are others
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