Elite restoration begins!

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Pete Boole
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Model: Elite
Colour: Monaco White
Year: 1982
Location: Nottingham

Elite restoration begins!

Post by Pete Boole »

Got the engine/box out last week:

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Engine looks tiny compared to the V8!! Sure I can squeeze a turbo/supercharger in there :wink:.

Next step is to to remove everything from the body shell. I'm going to get it soda blasted to remove all the old paint and all the micro-blisters with it hopefully. Does anyone have any advice/experience on how to best avoid micro-blisters in the future?

Pete
Last edited by Pete Boole on Mon Feb 03, 2020 22:04, edited 1 time in total.

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Hawaiis0
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Re: Restoration begins!

Post by Hawaiis0 »

Pete Boole wrote:..... Does anyone have any advice/experience on how to best avoid micro-blisters in the future?
Isnt it moisture that causes blisters? So an oven / heated booth is mandatory
Umm! What to do next?

AndyC
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Re: Restoration begins!

Post by AndyC »

The other things is, if you use a method of baking the paint, it can cause even more moisture to come to the surface then ambient temperature ever would.
It's really about getting the fibreglass as dry as possible before the pant goes on, and stopping more getting in.

richardw
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Model: Elite S2.2 Automatic
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Re: Restoration begins!

Post by richardw »

It's also about ensuring there is a good gelcoat applied to the dried fibreglass. It's quite a tedious and mucky job to get it rubbed down to form a good base coat.

One thing I've found on my Elite is that the paint mustn't be too thick. Mine has blistered across the rear of the roof where there is a raised lip; I think this flexes a bit and if the paint's too thick it can't flex with the fibreglass. I'm taking it to a specialist in the next couple of weeks to get this diagnosis confirmed before getting the roof resprayed.

So you need several very light topcoats rather than fewer heavier coats.

Good luck, Richard
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TAR
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Re: Restoration begins!

Post by TAR »

great to see another Elite being saved. I'm up to my eyes in one as well. :)

Pete Boole
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Re: Restoration begins!

Post by Pete Boole »

Thanks guys. This is the first time I've really paid any attention to the "cosmetics"! I'm going to see if there might be a particularly suitable undercoat that would help prevent moisture ingress in the future. Does the original paint from the factory exhibit this problem or is it just a feature of poorer quality resprays?

Pete

richardw
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Re: Restoration begins!

Post by richardw »

Pete Boole wrote:Thanks guys. This is the first time I've really paid any attention to the "cosmetics"! I'm going to see if there might be a particularly suitable undercoat that would help prevent moisture ingress in the future. Does the original paint from the factory exhibit this problem or is it just a feature of poorer quality resprays?

Pete
That's what the gelcoat is for. It's a type of resin that seals the surface. Factory finishes were good due to the VARI process Lotus used; poor accident repairs and resprays, and neglect together with time are responsible for most of the problems.

Richard
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Lotus-e-Clan
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Re: Restoration begins!

Post by Lotus-e-Clan »

I used to live in notoriously damp Cornwall during the seventies/eighties when I stripped my first Clan shell and repaired various cracks in the gel coat. Then resprayed in two pack base coat and clear...all within a Compton concrete double garage...environmentally a recipe for condensation and mico-blistered repairs/paint later-on. Nothing was baked.

But I did all of this phase of the restoration in summer during hot dry periods. Consequently I had no problems with micro blistering. Mind you if I did it again I'd have left the gel coat repairs for weeks to cure before flatting to stop shrinkage later on (which did happen unfortunately).

The point is choose your repair and spraying days carefully ..don't do it during cold damp periods when the atmosphere is moisture-laden favouring condensation, The moisture is blown and trapped into the repairs/spraying under these conditions ..not after it's dried and in-service. Those bad, micro-blistered resprays just might have been done on such days by cowboys.. and what would they care as long as they get your money. Rainy days won't stop them working. Do it yourself and take control. You don't need to bake IMHO.
Peter K

Pete Boole
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Re: Restoration begins!

Post by Pete Boole »

Thanks again guys. My current plan is to get all the old paint off with soda blasting and to repair all the gel cracks etc.. over the winter and then do exactly what Peter suggests and do the spaying on the driest days next spring/summer. Richard - are you suggesting a second gel coat application over the factory gel coat is a good idea?

Pete

bash
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Re: Restoration begins!

Post by bash »

Use your sandpaper dry.... dont use water on wetndry.

Bash
You are only young once but you can be juvenile all your life !!

Pete Boole
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Re: Restoration begins!

Post by Pete Boole »

bash wrote:Use your sandpaper dry.... dont use water on wetndry.

Bash
Good suggestion Bash! That means buying the expensive non-clogging stuff :roll:

Pete

richardw
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Re: Restoration begins!

Post by richardw »

Pete Boole wrote:Thanks again guys. My current plan is to get all the old paint off with soda blasting and to repair all the gel cracks etc.. over the winter and then do exactly what Peter suggests and do the spaying on the driest days next spring/summer. Richard - are you suggesting a second gel coat application over the factory gel coat is a good idea?

Pete
IMHO, It would depend. If the factory paint finish hasn't suffered microblistering and is still intact, then the factory gelcoat should be OK (I believe they impregnated the fibreglass with resin in the mould rather than coated it.) I'd imagine you'd be OK as long as you only remove the minimum of the old paint to form a good base for the new. If you have microblistering or obvious respray or repair work then I would definitely gelcoat at least the affected panels.

Richard
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Roadrunner
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Re: Restoration begins!

Post by Roadrunner »

The Excel service notes are extensive with regard to body repair and re-finishing. Perhaps worth looking through before you proceed. In particular the recommended background preparation (grit level) to avoid damaging the original gel coat which from my reading is crucial.

Pete Boole
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Re: Restoration begins!

Post by Pete Boole »

Roadrunner wrote:The Excel service notes are extensive with regard to body repair and re-finishing. Perhaps worth looking through before you proceed. In particular the recommended background preparation (grit level) to avoid damaging the original gel coat which from my reading is crucial.
I'd forgotten how comprehensive the workshop notes are for this - thanks Roadrunner!

Pete

Pete Boole
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Model: Elite
Colour: Monaco White
Year: 1982
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Re: Restoration begins!

Post by Pete Boole »

Although I plan on keeping this car fairly original there are limits :wink: - to that end I've decided to use a Series II chassis so that I can use the Getrag gearbox without having to fabricate new brackets etc.. instead of the Lotus chocolate gearbox.

Chassis media blasted and etch primed:

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To make painting the chassis easier I fabricated some attachments so that I can rotate it during the spraying process:

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Got the two-pack epoxy on today:

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Wanted to get that done today as the forecast was so good!

Just noticed you can see my old Kylie calendar in the background!! (Joke Christmas pressie! :lol:)

Pete

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