Fixing a cracked lotus Elise seat
So after recently acquiring a lotus seat for superr cheap, I decided to fix the small crack(s) along the side. They weren't deep enough to be structural, just hairline cracks. They were unpleasant to look at and I knew it'd be a fairly simple fix.
What I used:
-Bondo Fiberglass glass with small fibers
-assorted sandpaper 80-130 grit
-semi gloss black paint
-masking tape etc.
The seats weren't terrible, but it needed to be fixed before it got worse.
I started off by sanding the cracks down by hand then using the Dremel I cut into them and cut a hole at the end of the crack to stop it from going further. Then after a coat of acetone to wipe down the dust, take the fiberglass resin with the fibers already mixed in and mix with the hardener. If you have worked with fiberglass before you know how short of a time to work. At 75 degrees you have about 3-5 min to work with. Make small batches.
It only takes around 10 min at 75 degrees for the fiberglass to cure enough to where you can sand it level. Many small coats are better than one big coat. I did 2 total because I was in kind of a rush and didn't have two days to make it perfect. The better you sand it down the better it'll turn out in the end, prep work is everything.
After finished sanding take a rag with some acetone and wipe it down really well one more time before moving to painting. To paint I took blue painters tape and masked off the seat portions. I used plastic painters masking for the headrest part of the seat I didn't want paint on. I used semi gloss because it was the closest from the stock color, when dry it turns out very similar. Follow painting instructions on paint can. I didn't use primer but if you wish to, you can.
Because of the stock seat not being super shiny and glossy, I didn't wetsand and buff, I just made sure for the paint to be sprayed on evenly and well done.
Over all, the seats turned out pretty well. Fiberglass is very harmful stuff, so be careful when working with it. Always use some kind of respirator, gloves, and long sleeves if possible. Your clothes will get dusty and possibly ruined. Advisable to work with everything outside in fresh air. When in doubt, always dive into new projects! It's amazing what you learn from experience alone.
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