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Hi, guys. First post here. Just got my deposit down at Matheny yesterday... #50 so I'll be waiting for quite awhile.

Q: Does Lotus use water-based enamel (like BMW and MINI), or is their paint more durable? The da*#ed water-based paints are so soft and chip just by looking at 'em.

Also, does anyone know if "clear bra" 3M stuff is yet available pre-cut for Elise?

Thanks!
Craig
 

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BeerBrewer said:
Hi, guys. First post here. Just got my deposit down at Matheny yesterday... #50 so I'll be waiting for quite awhile.

Q: Does Lotus use water-based enamel (like BMW and MINI), or is their paint more durable? The da*#ed water-based paints are so soft and chip just by looking at 'em.

Also, does anyone know if "clear bra" 3M stuff is yet available pre-cut for Elise?

Thanks!
Craig
Welcome! I don't know the answer to the first question. As to the second, Lotus was talking to a couple of 3M vendors and planning on having it as a dealer installed option when the cars get here. I talked to X-pel and they wanted a car first in the Texas area that they could use as a model for their precuts.
 

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From my time on the UK board it seem to chip very easily. Not sure but it's most likely "water" based paint, the fiberglass body doesn't help. I'm planning on a clear bra. Forgot who but have seen a precut kit offered.
 

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When my S1 starting getting chips like crazy almost immediately after I got it I decided to learn something about paint in general and the Elise's paint in particular. This has been a few years so let me see how much I remember.

So I called Dupont over in the UK and they were kind enough to give me a pretty good introduction to the basics.

Apparently there is wide variation in paint between the car manufacturer. Lexas and Mercedes come out on top. They apparently specify paints which far more resistant to damage. Specifically these paints are more flexible (kind of rubber like) and are used in combination with more flexible undercoats. I also seem to remember something about the undercoats being color coordinated rather than a single color so any chipping that does occur is less noticable.

Dupont promised to get back to me with the formulation Lotus was using along with a recommendation for an upgraded formulation that would be compatible with the Lotus factory's process and equipment. Reason I was after this info is that although it isn't publicized the factory had an option where you could order any paint you wanted for an upcharge. Given the problems I was having with my car chipping I thought that might be worthwhile if it turned out that Lotus wasn't using as good as the Lexas folks.

I never heard back and haven't followed up. But as I have an Elise on order this reminds me to give a call and see if I can get an answer on this.

As I mentioned the design of the front is such that chips are just a fact of life. The first few really hurt, but after a while I just took it in stride and decided it was the sign of a car that is being enjoyed. Luckily the car comes apart pretty easily and is reasonable to repaint if it gets really bad.
 

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No idea if Lotus USA will have the program. I suspect they wouldn either not or would discourage it as long as they can sell all the cars they want without it. But give them a call. Worst they can say is no.
 

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Let me know what they say if you don't mind.

I will see if I can dig up the info on the elastic paint and also some with teflon. Plus the name of the guy at Dupont.
 

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BeerBrewer said:
Also, does anyone know if "clear bra" 3M stuff is yet available pre-cut for Elise?
Kits should be available from the dealer as well as others. Sector 111 will have them: 3M Clear Bra

I definately recommend the product. It is very durable. The Elise is a low car that will accumulate plenty of stone chips. The clear bra will provide some additional protection.
 
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