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Engine Bay Sidewall Panel Repair - Interior/Exterior/Lights/Glass/Alarms/ICE/HVAC - The Lotus Forums Jump to content
Qavion

Engine Bay Sidewall Panel Repair

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http://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/topic/61058-looking-for-se-engine-bay-side-panel-lh-b082b4783k/?p=478494

 

I've almost given up on finding a left hand engine sidewall panel for my SE on eBay, so I guess the next best thing is to repair the old one. It has been badly affected by heat from the turbo/exhaust.

 

http://www.iinet.net.au/[email protected]/Lotus/sidewall111.jpg

 

Closeup:

 

http://www.iinet.net.au/[email protected]/Lotus/sidewall112.jpg

 

Reverse side:

 

http://www.iinet.net.au/[email protected]/Lotus/sidewall113.jpg

 

It appears to be fibreglass with a shiny black surface. Someone had previously attempted to paint over the damage (looks like paintbrush and black paint was used). Is the original surface coating what they call "gel coat". Does this come in various colours? Would the repair process be uniquely Lotus or could any glass fibre repair shop fix these?

 

Thanks

Cheers

Ian.

Edited by Qavion

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Hi Ian,

The link for 111 isnt working at the mo...

Id be surprised if that part is anything other than glass fibre, and the outer gel coat surface is basically shiny from the mould lay up. Any glass repair shop should be able to do it ( try boatbuilders if they're easier to find near you...) , but not sure if black gel coat is easy to get.

BTW, I believe gel coat is just a harder mix of the resin base, which these days tends to be epoxy, so should be more heat resistant than the original polyester.

You could very probably DIY...have a look at the small kits from easy composites, or give them a call, they're really helpful.

You could even do the layup with CF instead of glass, which would get you the basic black colour, it's not that expensive to buy from the above. Have fun

Dave

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What you need to do is grind away all of the damaged and burned fiberglass as well as any other damaged areas and all cracks need to ground down to eliminate them.  

 

Then find some resin and fiberglass matting or cloth and repair the damaged area till they are at least the same thickness as the original was. Gel coat is the top coat like a hard top shell coating to make for a smooth finish one can paint. Gel-coat also eliminate the glass fiber telescoping through the matt fibers when you paint it. I use a product call duraglass which hardens like concrete so no need to apply gel coat. Does the same thing. It is made for fiberglass repair and works very nicely.

 

It can be difficult to work IF you let it fully cure before filing off just like you would do with bondo. You will  need to shape it before it completely cures out which is easy to do with a coarse flat file or 36 grit sand paper.

 

Once you have the glass fiber built up to desired level, then ruff up surface with sand paper for a tooth that the duraglas can adhere to and skin coat the entire area with duraglas and shape smooth with a file and sand paper.

 

Fiber glass matt is stronger but won't give you as smooth of surface as easy as cloth will so that is why I use fiber glass matt with a duraglas skim coat before primer and paint.

 

duraglas

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&rlz=1C1ASUM_enUS513US513&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=duraglas%20body%20filler

 

 

fiber glass matt  http://www.fibreglast.com/category/Fiberglass_Mat

 

Then get an aluminum skinned heat shield to protect the part from heat so this won't happen again. There are a lot of products out there that you can use to keep everything cooler. Aluminum dissipates heat the fastest of any metals so this is usually found on one side of heat shields that faces the heat if you use a blanket type shield.

 

 

I skin coated my entire Elites body after repairing all the damaged stress cracks and other body damage to produce a very smooth and straight body unlike the factory put out back in 1974. I have over 500 hours in my paint. hard to afford if you don't do it yourself. lol

 

ATB

Richard

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Depending on how bad it is, and I can't see the photos, I'd be inclined to make a surface repair, use it as a plug, take a mould off it, and lay up another panel.

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Thanks for all the tips, guys. It might take a few weeks though, to let it all soak in ))) 

 

If I get into trouble, there are quite a few boat builders in the neighbourhood to fall back on :)

 

I actually have some gold stick-on heatshield material, but I'm not sure if it will suit the car.

 

Cheers

Ian.

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If you want a nice carbon repair send the parts to HQ Fibre - they are a small team usually working on hand finished repairs / small production items.

Google "

hq fibre products norfolk

"

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wow, maybe previous owner had a blocked cat or EBPV

I don't think that happens under normal use

 

if you want the repair to look pretty, boat builders will have a spray gun to deposit the resin.  a vacuum bag is best to make everything strong and tidy.

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No boat builder I know sprays resin. It can introduce air bubbles into the laminate, causing problems with osmosis, and allows no real control over resin weight to laminate ratio.

Hand lay-up will be fine for the purpose here, along with some heat deflection of some kind. Vacuum-bagging is way over the top for a non-structural panel like this.

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wow, maybe previous owner had a blocked cat or EBPV

I don't think that happens under normal use

 

 

Hopefully with the EBPV removed and a stainless steel high flow cat fitted, it should last a little longer next time.

 

Thanks

 

Cheers

Ian

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sure, all gelcoats are colored polyester or vinylester resin and are always sprayed onto the molds

 

the impregnated glass is really difficult to form and stick into the bends and radii without a vacuum bag, however results certainly vary depending on skill.  mine is zero.  I cant do it without bagging :(

 

my caution is only that the repair may not turn out how you envision it in your mind without spraying and bagging

since I glass even worse than I paint, I personally would take it to a boat or automotive collision business and have them do it for a reasonable fee....or I would cover my poor work with some sheet insulation!

 

cheers

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ah.. I got cold feet, guys...  I looked at the expense of doing it myself... including the purchase of tools, gloves, masks, etc... far exceeded the estimated costs of taking it to a professional. I was also limited for time (and I don't like subjecting the apartment block neighbours to the sounds of power tools and the smell of chemicals). I actually found a small fibreglass shop 5 minutes away from my place which had even had experience repairing bent race Lotuses. They offered to do it for me for about UKP75 plus additional painting costs (the whole panel would have to be resprayed to make it look professional).

 

Anyway, I'm looking forward to see if they match my expectations. If not, I will most defintely attempt to do it myself (at a later date). -_-

 

Photos coming soon, I hope. Meanwhile, back to fighting with my turbo wastegate and steering rack. :P

 

Cheers

Ian.

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Hmmm..... Panel back, looking new and very, very shiny. Unfortunately, the repair guys just cut it back and bogged it. They said that it was too risky to lay a new layer of fibreglass on an old layer with different properties.

 

 

SidewallNew1a.jpg

 

SidewallNew2a.jpg

 

Currently looking for some thin-ish foil for the back of the panel with adhesive with high temperature properties (which doens't cost UKP400 a roll)

 

Looking at this in 50mm width

 

http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/Adhesives/Tapes/Products/~/3M-Aluminum-Foil-Tape-425?N=5472880+3294276116+4294922613&rt=rud

 

Hopefully 300F/149C should be ok?

 

Thanks for the info, guys.. and sorry it didn't go to good use.

 

Cheers

Ian

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the Thermo-tec 13575 may be what you are looking for

now that it appears to be painted, unless engine paint was used, it might be wise to apply the Thermo-tec over the side facing the engine, to keep the paint from blistering

at least a few inches on the bottom half

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I've been looking at that, Chris, but the area around the arch is very complex. Laying a patterned flat foil on a curved surface would look really messy. I've been thinking about just wrapping the exhaust pipe.

 

There doesn't seem to be any Thermo-tec outlets in Australia and the postage costs are ludicrous. For a small 12"x24" foil sheet, the postage costs from the UK to Australia are £167.00 (U$250). Even from the USA, the prices triple because of postage.

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exhaust pipe wrap on the turbo downpipe will work too.  I wrapped mine where it goes past the rear shock mount as I found the spring rubber buffer cooked even through its heat shield.  I found that with the wrap, the steel zip ties loosen quickly over time and instead used the old time tested method of hose clamps to secure it.

serious romping, like short track day use, will make the stock header glow bright.  not sure about the Alunox manifold.  that radiant heat doesn't usually affect the sidewall, but that fresh paint may blister if its not high temp engine paint.  maybe a thermotec strip along the bottom portion of the sidewall would be advisable. 

let us know how it turns out

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