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Old 03-17-2012, 06:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Removing Micro-Scratches from Aluminum Trim

Hi,

I've heard other people haven't had this problem, but after six years of battle the aluminum trim in my Elise interior is showing minor scratches in several places.

Is there a way to reduce these? Someone mentioned they used Meguiar's Scratch X on an aluminum MacBook and it did a good job. These aren't very deep scratches, but I get envious when I see brand new Elise interiors that look better than mine, and I'm trying to get close to new again.

Thanks
Adam
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Meguiars FTW!
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Metal Polish should help...Meguiars, Mothers, any of those should do the trick!
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Old 03-17-2012, 10:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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It's just not gonna happen, once the anodized layer gets worn it can only get worse. An abrasive polish will cut through that layer faster yet. If certain areas (such as the floor cross beam) really bug you, you can wrap them in silver adhesive sign vinyl and be basically "new" again.
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Old 03-18-2012, 07:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Double plus on yellow99s statement. If you polish through the anodized coating on the aluminum (a few thousands thick), then the aluminum will form a black oxide to protect itself from further oxidization. You could polish it every week to remove the black oxide, perhaps put a thin layer of oil on it to keep oxygen away from the aluminum, but at the end of the day cutting through the anodized coating is just bad news. If you have deep pockets you could order new parts, or send your old parts out to be re-anodized.
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the advice guys, that's what I was worried about. It appears the aluminum panels with the ridges on the floor only comes with the chassis!?? Going to discuss with lotusgarage. Also getting a quote for 6a (Stowage Shelf) from Lotus Garage - Fascia Structure & Supporting Hardware. Wondering how much effort it's going to be to install. The stowage shelf doesn't look too bad but I'm worried about the floor panel.
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Gah, that diagram looks like it's from an older S2 Elise design. The idea is the same though
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If your gonna go through the trouble of pulling the stowage shelf out, I'd prolly just have a body shop paint it silver, it would hold up better and I'm sure cost less than a whole new piece.
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Old 03-18-2012, 05:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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If the interior was silver, that would make sense. However, the interior is aluminum. :\ Besides, painting it properly would require pulling it anyway.

From the diagram, which I know is a slightly different car, I only see 4 pop rivets holding the thing in.
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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If the interior was silver, that would make sense. However, the interior is aluminum. :\ Besides, painting it properly would require pulling it anyway.

From the diagram, which I know is a slightly different car, I only see 4 pop rivets holding the thing in.
Yes, from the Lotus Bodyfittings guide ('05) section BR:
BR.16 - INSTRUMENT BINNACLE & DASH PANEL (Parts List 14.10, 14.05, 14.05b)
The dash panel comprises interlinking alloy extrusions which join the chassis scuttle beam to the base of the windscreen pillars, and also provide a mounting for the fascia top trip panel. The lowermost extrusion, which incorporates a curved shelf, is keyed into a slot in the scuttle beam and is secured by rivets at each end to the beam.
The accompanying diagram appears to indicate two rivet holes on either side.
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:56 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks. I'm going to give replacing that piece a shot. I wish the ridged piece wasn't bonded to the chassis, that seems like bad judgement :\
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:38 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Thanks. I'm going to give replacing that piece a shot. I wish the ridged piece wasn't bonded to the chassis, that seems like bad judgement :\
Agreed. I'm contemplating what to do about that in my car as well. It's a mess.
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Old 03-19-2012, 01:38 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Alan, lotusgarage says that's only a $140 part. Thought you might like to know that.
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Old 03-19-2012, 06:50 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Alan, lotusgarage says that's only a $140 part. Thought you might like to know that.
Whoa, really? I didn't think it was removable. Thanks for the info - looking it up now.
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Old 03-19-2012, 07:33 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Wait, just to be clear, are we talking about the ridged piece that appears to be bonded to the chassis? Can't find it in the service/parts guide.
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Old 03-19-2012, 07:41 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Sorry no I was referring to the shelf. It's obvious by looking at the ridged part that it's held in place on both ends by bonded pieces of the tub, and physically can't come out without being cut. I misread you above, it's the ridged piece that's a mess in your car.
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Old 03-19-2012, 07:51 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Sorry no I was referring to the shelf. It's obvious by looking at the ridged part that it's held in place on both ends by bonded pieces of the tub, and physically can't come out without being cut. I misread you above, it's the ridged piece that's a mess in your car.
Ah, yes...bummer. But happy for you - that seems very reasonable for the part.
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Old 03-19-2012, 07:55 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I wonder if it's possible to strip down and reanodize the ridged piece while still on the car.
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Old 03-19-2012, 08:01 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I wonder if it's possible to strip down and reanodize the ridged piece while still on the car.
I found this, but obviously the part needs to be immersed. I guess if you built an enclosure it might work...(unless you'd be losing voltage across the chassis, not sure if that's a problem) i'd certainly like to see someone make an attempt.
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Old 03-19-2012, 08:02 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Nevermind that It has to be submerged in an acid bath and I'd have to run 10 amps through it, plus more to account for voltage loss across the chassis. Sounds like it might not be great for the car's electronics. I suppose I could cut it in half down the middle, where it's obscured by the centre console anyway, but I'm starting to get into crazy enough territory that I might as well trade the whole car in.
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