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A short update that covered a huge amount of work, all of Saturday pretty much. Some extra work due to the fact that I use the car to store stripped items inside itself due to space limitations and th

Some pics of the car in question with black front spoiler. Pete  

Far too late here -sorry!   May help in the future.  This is the tool I made to hold the hub while undoing/tightening the nuts on my Elite: It made removing/tightening the nuts pretty easy

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I had a quick look at the various paint I currently have on the car.

This is with a view to very carefully hand sanding down the body to save the eventual painter some trouble and also for me to see what condition the body is actually in to help assess it.

I’ve not started this as I don’t have the expertise, but would do if I knew I wasn’t going to damage anything.

From what I can see, the flesh coloured layer appears to be the true bottom layer, would that correspond with GRP?

If I do decide to tackle this, as I would do it over time by hand (so speed won’t be the driving factor as I daren’t risk going too far), what grit should be my lowest to use?

The PO can’t recall but I think he’s stripped the car, maybe applied some grey guide primer then tested some basic colour paints on the car. The car had been black and brown for certain, the black top coat is gone, some brown exists then other layers of varying colour. The door as you can see has some white (build primer or repair?) product in there also....



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Get yourself some sanding blocks of various shapes and gently work by hand as your car looks pretty stripped already.

Go to the cream colour which is the original topcoat but don’t panic if you go through as see the PO has it several places already.

The body shop should use an epoxy filler coat then guide coat flat from there. 
It is a long boring job so I used to do a panel every now and then while working on the mechanics.

You can use a DA if gentle but just be careful as easy to lose shape with all those sharp edges.

I’m certainly no expert though but never had complaints from the body shops I’ve used over the years.

Make sure you insist on an epoxy filler coat and look at what Changes has been doing in his posts (Proper expert).

I use these with Wet/dry, if going wet give plenty of time for the panels to fully dry out before even considering coatings, I do my prep work in the summer months outside enjoying the weather 😁👍🏻


Dave :) 



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Do or do not, there is no try! 


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I'm just a novice so take this advice accordingly. You may be confident that the pink hued material is the gelcoat, above that a grey base primer then white filler primer next as a workable layer for flatting. By hand it seems one may go as coarse as 60 grit when taking a bulk removal approach for the colour layers plus primers, however be mindful of the resulting scratches requiring further smoothing to a much finer finish ahead of any painting. Agree that Dave L @CHANGES is a master of the arts, and I advise taking note of his directions on seeking out cracks and voids in the GRP structure before refinishing. Agree one should take the greatest care in preserving the profile of the creased edges as these are central to the cars' design. I found wet sanding the headlamp pods up to 240 left a finish smooth as marble, perhaps too smooth whilst not aiding the pace of work. The greater sections of the shell so far attacked by hand with dry yielded results at a respectable rate, with what seems to be a more suitably keyed finish for reliable bonding. Thinking it correct to take away all but the gelcoat then wipe with appropriate stain ( thinner tinted with dark pigment ) in search of the structural flaws for remedy with GRP tissue layer before proceeding with finishing work.

I've moved over onto mechanicals since the arrival of cold seasons, will resume sometime when opening up airflow through the garage becomes halfway agreeable.

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Thank you both for this.

I’ll be doing this (if I do take it on) by hand only to prevent any over zealous incursions into the GRP.

How will I know if I’ve gone too far into the top coat and is the remedy to add resin cure back to the compromised area?

The PO must have spent some decent hours removing several paint layers and I don’t think the GRP is compromised but a couple of panels have been redone in primer which I want to gently remove again.

I tried some 120 gently and this gives a good rate of removal of some of the guide coat and plenty of notice when it goes cream coloured.

Just to check - it’s OK to get to this cream coloured layer all over the car?

I’m not doing damage getting back to this point (I don’t think my work could deliver any other result as the paint is patchy all over anyway).

Paint artisans after myself will get the technical prep work, I was just hoping to save a few hours labour cost by exposing what I could of the bare body.

But not at the cost of me potentially damaging anything!

Appreciate specialists may be hiding behind their hands but would be keen to see what I might be able to do.

I’ll be keeping well clear of any crease lines in the body!

Image below of same area wiped with damp rag.


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I am wary that few, if any, refinishers who are sound in GRP work are to be found nearby. We simply have had too few GRP cars valued sufficiently in order to support the craft, despite the popularity of Corvette over the decades. Too likely, IMO, that filler would be applied willy-nilly yielding no lasting outcome, therefore I expect to endure the removal to gelcoat myself. That will permit my careful remedy of the GRP flaws mentioned before professionals can paper them over with fillers. No fun but, as a supportive mate has observed, it's not a very large car. The pink gelcoat is remarkably thin, as one would rightly expect on a Lotus, so watch with care on approach through the similarly thin grey guide primer. Put away the coarse paper and switch to something as smooth as 220 ( better still, read over Dave L's current threads on this point ) in order to yield decent finish before running out of room for further smoothing. You'll find your way readily enough.


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Thanks for the responses regards paint.

I’ve been investigating chassis treatments this weekend, I’m swaying towards hot dip galvanisation after having the chassis blasted and repaired where required.

What is the process for fixing the jacking dents under the front 2 ply box section? Do you unpick the folded metal sleeves / flaps and then replace them? I’ve seen ones repaired where they look lovely and flat, that’s the finish I’d like to achieve.

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I think you'll need to speak with @CHANGES before "dipping in" to this further as he has worked with an external provider to do this without damage to a Turbo Esprit chassis.

I assume an S2.2 chassis is the same as an S2 and therefore an S1, but I'm guessing. These were not initially made for the galvanisation process and will be damaged by anyone tackling it without sufficient knowledge and care.

Personally I would err against it for this early model variant.

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10 minutes ago, skiing said:

S2.2 is the same as an S2 but came galvanized as far as I am aware - 

It may be same in shape, but I'm not sure if Lotus strengthened it in some way to cope with the galvanisation process.

I've seen some images of shocking twisting and buckling of S1 chassis which have been galvanized.

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Back inside the car today to further disassemble the binnacle with a view to getting the lower dash off for the matrix (otherwise wouldn’t be going this far in!)

The instruments were held in with a metal mask, not sure if original but it wasn’t fixed. Deeper investigation of the loom and it’s really been hacked around, possibly with one wire melting that runs across the central tunnel.

Was glad to see the instrument bezels rotate off to allow access to the plastic or glass screens, I’ll be able to clean them up without needing to send them away.

Based what I discover regards the current mask, I may just spray this matte black as it looks ok.

Think it’s a replacement screen as found some small cubes of glass hidden in the binnacle. 

Think the horn on the stalk push had been replaced with a momentary push button as one of the wires on the stalk is broken. They’d put this where the dimmer switch is for the dash instruments, moving the dimmer under the binnacle.

The small part of the dash under the binnacle was held in with 2X self tappers and is in good condition.











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That framing hammer will make short work of the lot, Jon! It all looks quite familiar here as I've been at mine over the past year. The aluminum instrument panel would perhaps have been a running improvement in production, my fairly early car had something less stout with instrument alignment only marginal as consequence. Press on!

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Forgot my tapping stick was in shot!

Luckily not needed thus far.

A bit of a closer look at the loom.....

Many breaks / taps that are loose.

Ignition butchered for remote start.

Evidence of a couple of cuts for immobilisers.

Multiple junctions added for modifying different switch types.

Window lifter switches and heater fan switches replaced for non original and masks also cut to accommodate them.

Horn button hot wired in to dash.

Fog light circuit added.

Seat belt light circuit missing.

Some additional relays buried deep behind the radio!

A couple of aftermarket switches floating around the binnacle area plus another red indicator to add to the two extra alarm LED’s.

Quite a few dead ends, just loose wires with no terminations floating around!

Wondering wether to replace or to fix.

Was going to leave in situ (and have been reconnecting everything after disassembly of the binnacle) to allow the car to be re wired after assembly but it’s as close now to being able to take it out and remedy it fresh outside the shell.

It will be going off somewhere for the fix or replaced with a new loom based on the advice of the eventual electrician I engage to help get it back together!

Really concerned the rats nest in its current state could be a risk to the car, a lot of cuts and shunts around where the ignition barrel used to live.....

Got the stalks off, O/S is really grinding due to rust on the contacts. 

Added oil / penetrating fluid to it and been cycling it to try and free it off. Works OK with oil but then WD makes it sticky again, may look at finely sanding the contacts.

Feels deep in to this today with not much progress to getting the lower dash out still.....




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Would it be wise to replace dodgy switches for the modest cost entailed for the sake of confident motoring in future? I've not long ago purchased replacements for both column switches, and will go after the ignition piece shortly. If the OEM window lift controls are found amidst it all somewhere you can restore the function readily enough as all copper contacts are accessible. Those Rover type switches were rather soundly designed.  

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As I recall, lower dash fasteners are as follows: 4 small machine screws retaining the dash from below at the forward edge of the scuttle beam. These screws connect to jacknuts concealed by the dash trimming fabric. Also 2 simple wood screws, 1 at each end fixing the lower part of the dash at the vertical door hinge posts.


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Thanks for this.

I intend to buy two new window switches and a fan switch in the original style, ideally for when the loom is ready (but I’ll live with these replacements in the meantime if I can’t find any).

Thanks for the dash info, once that and the heater matrix and fan are out and the sills off, the body is ready to be sent for grp and paint prep.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Happy New Year!

Minimal jobs on the car over Christmas, phone calls to specialists regards carb rebuilds / shell transportation and such though in readiness. 

Few questions if anyone can help!

I’ve procured some scaffold boards to build the body dolly and as mentioned before got some lovely castors off eBay.

I was going to mount via the seat holes but these are quite close together front and rear and I’m concerned regards the stresses, even though I would spread these loads as much as possible.

What is the best solution you’ve found for dolly mount locations? The body will need to be transported so I’m also thinking of keeping the wheels in the same track position as the road wheels to enable it to go on a transporter via the ramps?

The Image replica slot mags have caught my eye again, has anyone gone this route? I’d want wheels to look OEM as possible but if small tweaks can be made to allow better tyre selection, I might go this way.

I’ve been chasing alloy wheel cracks in my daily car for a few years now which is making me think about very old alloys and whether it’s worth the trouble / cost over new ones. A full set of Image wheels though will be more expensive than the Wolfrace equivalents (if I can find any!) 

Phase one will be to refurb and re-tyre the Speedlines but interested in any views.

Finally, chassis questions.

Is there any U.K. firm that specialises in chassis alignment regards this age of Esprit?

I don’t know what I’ll find when I lift the body but if it’s not true, I may explore getting it realigned.

I’m veering away from hot dip galvanising regards potential warping, but would an already warped chassis potentially further warped by hot dipping then be beyond forceful realignment or are there too many variables to call? It’s never going to be a track car but I’d like to get it as good as I can while it’s apart.

Lastly, the double folded steel that forms the lower front box section that is often damaged via jacking. What is the guidance to repair this area I can impart to a welder if I do this locally?

Ideally I’d like the welds unstitching, the metal folding back and that area of metal fully replacing (both sheets) but has anyone done this before?

The cuts will be on the metal folds which I’m not sure is a good thing, but I don’t want to just plate over what’s already there.

Is it worth then adding a further plate for this area (maybe making provision for a removable sheet) to protect it in future / or using a thicker grade for the main repair?

Any advice / musings I will add to the list of considerations, thank you!



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Don't overthink the body to dolly fitting. The cabin is where the body rests on the dolly, and the seat holes are ideally situated. Been there, seen it, done it.

Check to see if your suspension and running gear show signs of damage. Often lower links are bent etc. This is a good indicator as to how well your car has been driven, and thereby the chassis. If in doubt, get it checked. @GTK has done this on his Soup You Tube channel, though I'm not sure the lack of calibration of that tool is worth the effort. Either way he may be able to offer some advice.

Edited by Fridge
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Thank you, re-read that thread after your image above Dr D.

Thanks Giorgio regards PNM, I’ll check with Pete,

Best Regards,


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  • 2 weeks later...

January blues so haven’t got much done recently.

Had around 4 hours today, so picked myself up and went back to the dashboard, finally worked the bolts free. Sod of a job getting the dash off but at least can see how it’s goes back together.

Self tappers in the glove box wouldn’t budge, drilled them and eventually used brute force / chisel to release them.

Worked my forward with the steering column to release the pedal box as well, happy to get this out. The steering knuckle may ruin my eventual body lift party as its loose both inside and out the car but not releasing. Think it will come out with a little more persuasion from the other side.

Freed off the inner sill that covers the handbrake and seatbelt mount. Have previously drilled the sill rivets but if it wasn’t for the seat belt mounts would certainly not be taking these off.

Come to the conclusion I’ve 2 looms worth of cable in the car, huge amount of splices and cuts in it. Started to withdraw it as it’s coming out for either a refurb of replacement. 2X alarm systems spliced in, an immobiliser and lots of dead ends.

Spider looked very settled, going to name him Lucas......









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