1 2 3
cyow5
cyow5 New Reader
11/14/19 6:56 p.m.

These last two areas are where I could use some input from those who have been here before. I can (a) cut out all the jumbled crap, fill with some expanding foam, sculpt, and then cover with glass, or (b) create a mold from another car then then stitch a patch into place. The second option would have the best smoothness, but I am extremely hesitant to risk a friend's car. I did a test with a junk panel, and it dulled the finish slightly even with a ton of wax. It made a good part though.

 

 

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise HalfDork
11/14/19 7:06 p.m.

Nice thread 

few of us Lotus owners here. I have had my Elise since new. 
 

locally there are two shops who take damaged clams, repair and sell to insurance company for 10k. Nice business they do 

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 Dork
11/14/19 8:47 p.m.

What resin did you use for the mold you made that dulled the finish on the buck panel? If it was a polyester try again using an epoxy. The slower curing resins are easier on the finish of the buck, it is usually the heat of the cure that damages the finish. Fitting a newly made patch panel would be my preference (by a large margin) over building up on a foam core. Keep experimenting to find a mold building technique that does not harm your buck. I have patched 2 Elise clams, one of which had a big hit. I used MGS epoxy resin mostly because I had it on hand from an Elite chassis rebuild that was concurrent. That said, it worked very well. Also consider finding a salvage part to stitch in, there are quite a few un repairable Elises around.

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
11/14/19 9:13 p.m.

you have more patience than I do. I probably would have said "berkeley it" regarding the paint and wrapped the whole thing in some non-stock color and called it a day :)

I enjoy the fact that my Porsche has basically a $200 paint job on it, so I dont' worry one bit when it gets nicked or scratched by my kids' bikes or whatever lol....

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise HalfDork
11/14/19 9:20 p.m.
irish44j said:

you have more patience than I do. I probably would have said "berkeley it" regarding the paint and wrapped the whole thing in some non-stock color and called it a day :)

I enjoy the fact that my Porsche has basically a $200 paint job on it, so I dont' worry one bit when it gets nicked or scratched by my kids' bikes or whatever lol....

You are a better man than me 

 

if my kids scratched paint on any thing motorized I own, they wouldn't live in my house  anymore 

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
11/14/19 9:56 p.m.
mr2s2000elise said:
irish44j said:

you have more patience than I do. I probably would have said "berkeley it" regarding the paint and wrapped the whole thing in some non-stock color and called it a day :)

I enjoy the fact that my Porsche has basically a $200 paint job on it, so I dont' worry one bit when it gets nicked or scratched by my kids' bikes or whatever lol....

You are a better man than me 

 

if my kids scratched paint on any thing motorized I own, they wouldn't live in my house  anymore 

well, I'm a realist. The Porsche parks outside usually so just as likely to get scratched by squirrels dropping acorns on it or whatever. The price I pay to have both garage bays to myself (my wife parks outside) is to have the kids bikes and stuff in there too, and the garage is the pass-through to get out of the hosue on most occasions. They are reasonably careful but E36 M3 happens...they're little kids.. And I've certainly scratched all of my cars more than once myself in one way or another. 

On the occasions I buy a brand-new car, the first thing I do is put a small nick in the paint, so then I never have to worry about it being "perfect" again. I play too hard in my cars (and hate detailing), so i know damn well my cars are going to look "driven" not like car-show queens ;)

cyow5
cyow5 New Reader
11/15/19 2:33 p.m.

In reply to TurnerX19 :

I used epoxy. According to the interwebs (and now my limited experince) poly is incompatible with the MSC process Lotus used for the Elise. The Exige is handlaid, so I don't know what they used, probably epoxy. The good news is the old repairs were done with poly, and my paint stripper actually dissolves it while leaving the OE parts intact! 

I have not tried buffing the buck yet to see if I can restore the finish, so there's still a chance that the film I am seeing is on top of the clear, not fading of the clear itself. I have figured out a third option - fill and sculpt the damaged part then use THAT for a buck so I don't have to risk any paint. That's starting to look like the route I'll go. 

cyow5
cyow5 New Reader
11/15/19 2:35 p.m.
irish44j said:

you have more patience than I do. I probably would have said "berkeley it" regarding the paint and wrapped the whole thing in some non-stock color and called it a day :)

I enjoy the fact that my Porsche has basically a $200 paint job on it, so I dont' worry one bit when it gets nicked or scratched by my kids' bikes or whatever lol....

I would've if it had only been one or two sketchy spots, but this car was in BAD shape. I was also motivated by the fact that I can now continue to fix it, an important consideration when a simple off from the track can be a five figure claim. 

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia Dork
11/15/19 3:13 p.m.

Is there a good website on patching fiberglass ?

Or making a mirror image of one corner to fix the opposite side ?

I have been looking for a budget fiberglass Porsche Speedster project and  the cheap ones always seem to have cracked fiberglass  or too many holes  drilled etc

BrianC72gt
BrianC72gt New Reader
11/15/19 3:13 p.m.

Most importantly, WOW, your wife is a keeper. 

A little late to offer this tip, but when using paint stripper, apply it to the part, then cover it with plastic wrap or a thin cheap disposable plastic dropcover.  The cheaper, the better.  It prevents the stripper from drying out, so it works longer and you get more paint off with each application.

I admire your patient persistence.

cyow5
cyow5 New Reader
11/16/19 8:37 a.m.

In reply to BrianC72gt :

Good to know! Without wrapping it like that, it takes about 5 or 6 applications to get through all 12 layers. Clearcoat is the worst; it would cut through all the paint down to the next layer of clear then stop. 

cyow5
cyow5 New Reader
11/16/19 8:43 a.m.

In reply to californiamilleghia :

I've not found any tricks on how to mirror a part exactly, but there are tools that can help:

 

https://www.ebay.com/i/143163693532?chn=ps&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-117182-37290-0&mkcid=2&itemid=143163693532&targetid=809743805465&device=c&mktype=pla&googleloc=9009940&poi=&campaignid=6470742422&mkgroupid=80120006760&rlsatarget=pla-809743805465&abcId=1141156&merchantid=118941800&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIjOmK-vru5QIVAZSzCh1B6wndEAQYBSABEgKzYfD_BwE

 

Basically put the left side on the part you want to mirror then flip it. You still have to sculpt a lot, but it'll get you closer than plain eye-balling. You can just make a larger version out of some wood and dowels if you want it for bodywork. 

 

As for sources of information, I have a couple books, but pretty much all the general advice is the same and the details are just specific to the resin/cloth you pick. The best resource is the seller since they are very interested in you being in happy enough to buy products from them again. 

cyow5
cyow5 New Reader
5/1/20 9:25 p.m.

I haven't given up yet! It's been a while since I've made progress, largely due to my epoxy not setting well when the garage is colder than 70F. I finally settled into a rhythm though with some of this repair. I used expanding foam on the back side, then carved it down, laid glass over it, removed any bad sections, and repeated. I used the mirroring tool I linked above and actually am starting to converge on a very good match! I've also been patching over a dozen other cracks and holes, so I am nearly ready for the rest of the body filler then primer. 

cyow5
cyow5 New Reader
7/14/20 2:14 p.m.

Still slowly making progress! I massively underestimated the amount of body filler I'd need to make some of these panels smooth. It isn't thick by any means, but there's a lot more area than I expected. That slowed me down a lot, but now I've started the high-build primer. After I sand that smooth, on to primer, base, and then clear. I did do a test panel with some sample paint, and I am very motivated now to see this thing all one color. 

P3PPY
P3PPY HalfDork
7/14/20 2:42 p.m.

Very cool! Nice to see it coming along, you have some real tenacity, that's for sure!

And that's very good to know about Geico in Michigan. I've been having trouble justifying TNIA with having to spend the extra $100+ on a single night of insurance.

TVR Scott (Forum Supporter)
TVR Scott (Forum Supporter) Dork
7/14/20 2:43 p.m.

Looks very cool!

In regards to the epoxy not wanting to cure right, you can probably get "cold" hardener and "warm" hardener to use during different seasons. 

I used to do a lot of epoxy repair on rowing boats, and would always have different options depending on the season.  I used West Systems, and laid repairs from about 40 deg to 100 deg.

cyow5
cyow5 New Reader
7/14/20 2:52 p.m.
TVR Scott (Forum Supporter) said:

Looks very cool!

In regards to the epoxy not wanting to cure right, you can probably get "cold" hardener and "warm" hardener to use during different seasons. 

I used to do a lot of epoxy repair on rowing boats, and would always have different options depending on the season.  I used West Systems, and laid repairs from about 40 deg to 100 deg.

Yeah, that's all it was. My garage is two two-car garages, and my heater is just too undersized for keeping it 70 in the winter. Once I figured that out, I was able to work a lot quicker in the spring. Now that it's hot out, I just do my painting in the morning after running AC overnight. 

cyow5
cyow5 New Reader
7/14/20 2:56 p.m.
P3PPY said:

Very cool! Nice to see it coming along, you have some real tenacity, that's for sure!

And that's very good to know about Geico in Michigan. I've been having trouble justifying TNIA with having to spend the extra $100+ on a single night of insurance.

It's been a few years (close to a decade), so just get the most recent copy of your insurance and look for the "exclusions" section. At the time, mine excluded "racing" and "stunt driving", so track days were allowed. My policy now says I cannot be "preparing for or participating in a competition". A track day might be argued either way, so I am on the fence about additional coverage. The tipping point will be if the track day coverage will allow me to be my own shop. If not, I won't bother with the additional coverage. 

tremm
tremm New Reader
7/14/20 11:54 p.m.

Is it recommended to use body filler or fiberglass fairing compound like on a boat?

cyow5
cyow5 New Reader
7/15/20 6:36 a.m.
tremm said:

Is it recommended to use body filler or fiberglass fairing compound like on a boat?

I'm not familiar with fairing compound by that name, but a quick google shows semantic differences between it and some types of filler. Basically, filler is not for anything structural - I used fiberglass patches for that. Some fairing compound has glass strands in it, and so does some body filler. I prefer the higher strength of woven fiberglass, and I don't like mixing filler that has strands in it. I found that it is harder to get a nice even mixture, so again strength takes a hit. After patching then filler, I am using a high-build poly primer then a sealant primer. Fairing compound basically does all this from what I read, but there's no way I'm going over the whole with putty like that, haha. 

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
7/15/20 7:49 a.m.

This thing is awesome. This is a dream car for me. 

dherr (Forum Supporter)
dherr (Forum Supporter) Dork
7/15/20 8:04 a.m.

Yes, awesome project, not sure if you have totally scared me off yet on Elise ownership. Definitely a car I want, but your stories and crazy luck with all the accidents and the shoddy repairs under all the paint from the previous shops makes me really question any car that does not have a clean title. Finding an Elise without any "history" is getting harder to do. I may have to jump on one at some point. Great progress and you will know it has been done right when you are done.

cyow5
cyow5 New Reader
7/15/20 8:49 a.m.
dherr (Forum Supporter) said:

Yes, awesome project, not sure if you have totally scared me off yet on Elise ownership. Definitely a car I want, but your stories and crazy luck with all the accidents and the shoddy repairs under all the paint from the previous shops makes me really question any car that does not have a clean title. Finding an Elise without any "history" is getting harder to do. I may have to jump on one at some point. Great progress and you will know it has been done right when you are done.

Haha, if you get a chance to drive one on a twisty road or a track, nothing else will be able to dissuade you!

If you get someone who knows what they are looking for, there was subtle evidence of all this that I just couldn't recognize at first and could've avoided. A few years ago I took it to a shop with a great reputation, they took one look at it and told me they wouldn't touch it. At least not with the insurance company's budget anyways, haha. Having a kid and especially moving states really slowed me down. Plus, months would go by without really touching it. All in, especially after the lessons I've learned, I could easily do this whole project in half the time, so it hasn't been THAT bad... Fingers crossed though I never have to!

mfennell
mfennell Reader
7/15/20 1:30 p.m.

I run into that all the time.  Learn all the tricks for a particular task I'm never going to do again.

Great job.

tremm
tremm New Reader
7/16/20 4:22 p.m.

Mostly I was wondering if a fairing compound would be easier or cheaper to work with. My only experience with automotive filters is standard Bondo & Bondo Gold- standard was pretty hard to work with, I think Gold was easier iirc.

 

I just started working with fiberglass doing some cosmetic stuff & found it nice to have a fairing & adhesive ability using the same products. I'm using a two part epoxy & using micro balloons and other filler products to fair, it seems convenient & easy to redo/fix mistakes (though time consuming).

 

Most of my fiberglass info comes from youtube, which can be a crapshoot https://youtu.be/KkTKQmcXDJg (@5:40). I don't know how this plays into combinations with polyester products either

1 2 3
Our Preferred Partners
DReh5V9ghcIFcj7IUN4iypyzTzCyBkKq93dXSZzXmxMT4gQN0kY1gSeptJG3SfDy