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Hemlock

Gelcoat repair on a 1976 Gelcoat S1

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Hey,

following my previous thread and towing my car on the back of this truck 'as per LEF advice'(thanks again guys) I noticed my front spoiler has a crack in the gelcoat

that I hadn't noticed for lack of laying down in front of my car.

dscf3186.jpg

spoilercracks1.jpg

My car is a 1976 gelcoat car with an 'in the mold paint finish' as opposed to actually being painted.

For lack of trust, I was thinking of doing the repair myself using the boat/gelcoat technique, by either getting a professional gelcoat repair kit or just professional gelcoat as well as all the necessary tools, 3M, etc...

Being in France and everything Lotus being quite rare my main concern is where am I going to find the exact correct paint to mix it with the gelcoat before applying?

Is there a place to order the correct paint online?

Will the paint (auto) mix well with the gelcoat?

What's the best technique to avoid air bubbles?

Should I wet sand and dry sand?

Should I dry sand only?

Should I wet sand only?

Is it worth buying a polisher, or (being a small surface), is it feasible by hand only (polishing)?

I can't get all of these questions out of my head.

I'm a perfectionist and also very picky, I don't mind spending countless hours doing and getting the job done right, I'm also thinking of practicing on something else first, but any advice/help would be more than welcomed.

Anybody got some spare SO4 Orange ICI P407 720 paint? :):)

All the best.

Edited by Hemlock

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Hi,

Me personally with a repair that small, would keep the repair very simple,cheap and not time consuming,

1. One the under side of the spoiler I would use a 2 part expoxy glue to bond and seal the crack can be bought from halfords for about 4 or five pounds, its clear and you just squeeze it out and mix in eqal amounts, it bonds well and sticks well.

2. Lighty sand the cosmetic side(upper side) of the spoiler just around the crack and just use the smallest amount of filler p45 or something similar then sand and primer,

3. remove the smallest part of the car that has the colour on it and take it to a local paint factor and they will colour matchit and put it in an aerosol can, test the sray on an inconspicuous place to make sure its a good match, then paint the repaired area!

Regards danny

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I've been through the "trying to repair the gelcoat" thing, and have been urged by a couple of people who were around and into these cars when they were made that it's not the same (chemically/composition) as a boat or surf board.

Lotus recommend a "two-pack polyurethane" for paint repairs on the gelcoat cars. In modern paints, I think the closest thing to that is something like Imron. Characteristically, it fits: very durable, nearly impervious to stone chips, unsuitable for blending, holds color well, deep in color but lacking the crisp and deep gloss of lacquer.

What I would do: Make a careful, minimal spot repair to the crack, and make a precision small airbrush touch-up with Imron or competing polyurethane, covering only the bare minimum, not blowing over or blending more than 1-2mm. For color matching, the fuel cap is the easiest/smallest item to take, and if they try to match by hand the best option. If they use a "Prophet" or other electronic scanning tool, they may need a slightly larger and flatter surface. Consider then the rear valance, just be careful trying to unscrew it, as the bolts are likely siezed to the threaded bobbins in the body. If rear valance is not an option, depending on how early your car is, the heater motor surround may be suitable, although there is a bit of a seal to be broken, and you risk cracking the part in removing it. Next bigger piece is the front bonnet; why not just drive the car to the paint supply place then!

Good luck,

Tony

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Thanks for the tips on colour matching. I'll pay a visit to a few shops and see what they say.

So I assume that the risk with the gelcoat thing would be that the gelcoat wouldn't cure properly on the car?

Once I' d have had the paint I was thinking of doing an alginate mold of the fuel cap, just to practice and to see how the paint reacts with the gelcoat, and create a replica cap that I could have compered to see if the colours matches.

But if gelcoat is not an option... :)

ATB.

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