Lotus Elan

HOW TO FIT A HARDTOP THAT DOES NOT DAMAGE THE BODY?

PostPost by: HAIRY » Sat Feb 09, 2019 11:59 am

My 1969 Elan S4 is undergoing an extensive body renovation and a respray.

On completion, I am contemplating fitting an original Lenham hardtop but am concerned that, with time, the hardtop will scratch / chafe the new paint.

At this time there seem to be two options:
1. accept the damage the hardtop will do to the paint
2. apply a layer of transparent chip-guard vinyl that is cut to fit on the body and fit immediately under the hardtop's seal on the understanding it is a temporary fix and will eventually wear through.....end up with damaged paint.

Either way, and expensive paint job get damaged!

Any other thoughts and suggestions would be appreciated.
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PostPost by: tedtaylor » Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:32 pm

it comes with the territory.... nature of the beast....
even my M100 top rubs on the paint and leaves black rubber marks embedded in the paint.

I would think the clear plastic vinyl covering on the paint WITH rubber padding on the hardtop bottom edge will work well.
Good luck!
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PostPost by: The Veg » Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:00 pm

I agree about the vinyl. And it can be renewed when it shows signs of wear.
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PostPost by: HAIRY » Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:41 am

Does anyone with experience of the plastic film industry have any suggestion for a longer lasting chafe resistant solution than chip-guard vinyl? Possibly a Kevlar based product etc etc?
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PostPost by: el-saturn » Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:22 am

...............there's also this protective tape we used to keep rear (and front e.f.) wings chip-free. it's about 0,5mm thick and was (back in the early 80's) pretty expensive!?!? ask your local car racers! sandy
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PostPost by: TomR » Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:02 pm

You can get leading edge tape from Pegasus in the US I think. Not impervious but much better wear characteristics than vinyl. I use it a lot including tight rub spots on my chassis. Also agree with a dense foam strip for compliance / sealing.

I also have a S4 Lenham hardtop but haven't yet put it on the car. Let us know how it goes.

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PostPost by: HAIRY » Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:54 pm

I appreciate the suggestions. Thank you.
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PostPost by: Elanman99 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:16 pm

I think the stuff is known as 'Helicopter Tape'. Its polyurethane, very tough and abrasion resistant. Its not quite water clear so whilst it will protect the paintwork its is going to be easily visible when you run without the hard top.

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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:20 pm

One of our very own members here owns a company that supplies these vinyls. I know there’s a clear and very expensive one that is actually self repairing (mainly aimed at stone and similar type impacts) which over a short time heals for the want of a better expression.

I’ll not name him here in case he gets inundated (and I know he’s incredibly busy without this). So I’ll copy him a link and he’ll reply or PM as he chooses.



Edit:

HAIRY I understand that the person I mentioned has PMd you. I think he’s saying it would be the perfect solution if an expensive option. Hope it helps.
Steve

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PostPost by: HAIRY » Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:19 pm

Ian and Steve, thank you for your interest.

I have been talking to Steve's contact who suggested EXPEL a self healing transparent film that his business uses to wrap cars and protect their paint from damage.

The process he proposes would be: make a self adhesive paper template of hardtop's foot-print (place paper on the car and fit the hardtop, then draw around hardtop and trim the paper so as to be hidden under the hardtop's rubber seal). He would supply the XPEL film cut to shape and fit as necessary.

The material is expensive, and so it was suggested the off-cuts could be used to protect the inside door sills.

A most helpful contact and an offer I will consider when the current respray and rebuild is complete.
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PostPost by: gherlt » Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:55 pm

I would be most interested in knowing how much GBPs make it "expensive".
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1969 S4 FHC (finishing interior, changing wiring loom)

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PostPost by: HAIRY » Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:26 am

I am informed it costs £100 per square meter. I will get a more accurate cost when the current rebuild is complete and the hardtop is fitted.
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