Red Elan SE viewed - Paint advice required

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Red Elan SE viewed - Paint advice required

Postby JonB111 » Wed 01.07.2015, 17:48

Viewed an SE last night which had been stood for 2 yrs. Generally it seemed mechanically quite sound but because it had been stored uncovered in an open sided car port the red paint on the drivers side seemed a bit faded ('pinkish & misty') compared with the rear of the car (and the drivers wing mirror and sill).

1) does the Elan's red paint generally improve with some serious polishing?
2) what is the best approach for improving the paint to get it to match the rear of the car?
3) or is it a case of knocking money off for a respray?

Also, any tips on what to look for with a car that has sat (after a fairly gentle life - total milegae 89k, 4k in the last 5 yrs) for 2 yrs?
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Re: Red Elan SE viewed - Paint advice required

Postby Artaban » Wed 01.07.2015, 22:37

To answer your questions:
1. Yes. I think the tendency to go pink will be down to the original paint manufacturer which I think changed at some point. Some more knowledgable than I will no doubt clarify. I would go back to view the car again with some T-cut and try a sample area.
2. I used the full Maguiares treatment on mine and it worked wonders. It involves washing, claying, compounding, etc etc. Took all day but what a difference. Look at some youtube clips of Maguiars.
3. Will depend on outcome of 1

Bear in mind the following:
1. Its likely to need a new cambelt/water pump as it needs a new cambelt every 5 years regardless of mileage and you may as well do the water pump while you are there. Knock off £750 if it hasn't been done.
2. Bad rust on the rear wishbones. Take a magnet as there have been instances of people covering the holes with fibreglass and then painting it all up. Very expensive to do properly.
3. Rust on the front wishbones. Same as 2. Look at for prices of parts and you'll see what I mean.
4. Rust on the chassis especially in the suspension turrets which is not easy to see. The chassis is not galvanised as some think, its actually powder coated and the coating is now coming off most cars in awkward places. Everything can be sorted but bear in mind you'll unearth a pile of other work and the car will be off the road when you really want to just drive it.
5. I wouldn't buy a car now unless I could get it up on a ramp and have a real close look under it. They all look good from the outside.
6. The tyres have probably got flat spots on them and need replacing and the brakes are probably seized.

For me 1 and 6 are worth negotiating the price down if everything else is OK. The rest would be deal breakers unless I could get it at an absolute bargain price. Get the owner to put it through an MOT (even if it has one in date) and see what comes up. If you are there when its being done you may be able to get a good look round it and underneath it.

Personally, unless the paint is peeling, I wouldn't really worry about it. Its the hidden thats a greater concern. Hope that doesn't put you off.

My wife's just divorced me because I wouldn't open the car door for her!
To be fair I panicked and swam straight for the surface.
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Re: Red Elan SE viewed - Paint advice required

Postby epipete » Thu 02.07.2015, 00:54

:agree: With much of what Andy says but the likelihood of viewing various aspects of the car as he suggests is perhaps a little impractical. The bodywork of all these cars is fibreglass hence no obvious rust (though fb brings its own issues). The suspension parts are all available, at a price, so the critical areas are the Chassis and the Outriggers, there is no reason to assume that either are any more or less degraded than any other example unless its history or your conversation shoes otherwise.

Insofar as I'm not buying but you might 8) the critical areas are:

Do you feel the seller is a 'good 'un'
What is its history, how comprehensive is it?
Why has it been laid up and now for sale?
What is the price?

If you are planning long term ownership then all things can be sorted, budget allowing :lol:
You know more than you think you know, just as you know less than you want to know. ... Oscar Wilde
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Re: Red Elan SE viewed - Paint advice required

Postby JonB111 » Fri 03.07.2015, 12:43

Many thanks for the advice. Had it confirmed that the wishbones have been recently replaced so they are going to get it in for an MOT and I will go over armed with some T cut!
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