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Thread: Best way to polish / restore the carbon fiber dash?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Posts
    14

    Default Best way to polish / restore the carbon fiber dash?

    The Seven that I recently purchased has some UV damage to the dash. The buttons & switches are going from black to a dull grey and the carbon fiber itself is getting somewhat foggy. Was going to use some armor all on the switches but what about the dash? I found a product by Dr Beasley but have no experience with carbon fiber. Thanks in advance.

    https://www.amazon.com/Dr-Beasleys-P.../dp/B00BWFRDKC

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    NYC
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    5,038

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    The carbon fiber does go cloudy if it gets wet and water gets into the weave. You can put armor all on it but its only temporary in its effect. Mer bumper polish is also suggested by guys on the Lotus 7 Club UK forum - hard to find here but I have a bottle from one of my trips there. I have not used the product you linked to but its an option.

    For switches - they all go faded like that eventually I am sad to say. They came off old 1970s Triumphs. I tried armor all/bumper polish/tire black all on the switches but it was only temporary. Replacement is the only sure fix - which fortunately is easy and fairly inexpensive.

    Caterham parts website has them all for purchase online - lights for example
    https://caterhamparts.co.uk/switches...hes&results=60

    Use the term "switches" and they will all come up along with the toggle type of switch if you need those. Fairly simple replacement too although its awkward hanging underneath the dash upside down - best done with a friend. Slide wires off terminals, push old switch forward out of dash, friend pushes new switch into dash, reconnect terminals....next switch.

    If Caterham are out of stock then Car Builder Solutions will have them - example here
    https://www.carbuilder.com/us/iva-ro...itch-front-fog

    Search term at CBS is best with "switch" - all the correct looking options should then come up. Similar pricing. Both websites send to you pretty quickly despite being UK based.
    Mike
    2010 Caterham CSR with Cosworth 2.3 Duratec
    2018 Caterham 420R with 2L Duratec 210hp at Donington UK
    1975 BMW CSL Group 4 (restoration finished - track set up time)
    1977 Holden Torana "A9X" (awaiting restoration)
    1985 Holden Commodore SS Group A (suspension restoration)
    1985 Holden Commodore Group A (suspension set up)
    1982 Ferrari 400i (radiator replacement)
    1965 Ford Mustang Fastback "Holman Moody"
    1992 Ford Escort RS Cosworth WRC (dyno time)
    1990 Range Rover 2 door Classic
    and another project car coming....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Posts
    14

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    +10 Karma for you Croc. Thanks for the information

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    585

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    Long ago on the Blatchat of old, I learned of a British furniture polish called Aristowax non-silicone Wood Silk being used to good effect on carbon fiber parts. Works for me, though like anything else for this purpose, it has to be re-applied frequently. Not readily available in the U.S. typically, but I found it on eBay as well as the occasional online specialty store.

    Best of luck.
    Sean

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Seattle-ish
    Posts
    1,456

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    Thanks for the tip Sean! Just ordered a can from Amazon and will try it on my seats when it arrives. After 15 years, the Mogs are looking a little tired.

    -John
    '95 Westfield SEiW w/2.0L Duratec
    '68 Lotus Elan FHC
    '91 Miata w/Flyin Miata suspension & brakes
    '95 Porsche 993 C2
    '86 Porsche 944 turbo (neglected project car)
    Throttle Steer

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Posts
    14

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    Thanks a bunch Sean

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Portland Maine
    Posts
    48

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    What you are seeing is either scratching or most likely UV damage to the epoxy that is the surface layer of your carbon part. You can temporarily brighten it with polish and if wax or sealant was regularly applied from the beginning you can prevent it, but once it's there you can't sand/buff it back. The black color just attracts UV heat and thus damage. Some manufacturers put a clear coat on top of the epoxy, especially for exterior parts, and that you might be able to sand and refinish. Most carbon bits on a boat end up being painted and more and more are painted from the beginning, as the deterioration in a carbon part like a mast is very real and can end up structural. I don't think a carbon dash is in any way structural:-)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Seattle-ish
    Posts
    1,456

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    The Aristowax showed up Saturday. It does add a visible shine to the carbon fiber, and although I doubt it will last long, particularly on the seats, it is very easy to apply: spray on, wipe off, have a beer. And I like beer, so I'm fine with repeating that process often.

    -John
    '95 Westfield SEiW w/2.0L Duratec
    '68 Lotus Elan FHC
    '91 Miata w/Flyin Miata suspension & brakes
    '95 Porsche 993 C2
    '86 Porsche 944 turbo (neglected project car)
    Throttle Steer

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Ft Lauderdale
    Posts
    164

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    Sanded mine with 1200 then lacquered it using Spray Max 2K Clear Glamour
    Here are a few before and after shots

    Pre Spray 1

    Name:  Dash Pre Spray Prep 1.jpg
Views: 24
Size:  53.0 KB

    Pre Spray 2

    Name:  Dash Pre Spray 5.jpg
Views: 24
Size:  77.7 KB


    Post Spray 1

    Name:  Dash Post Re Spray 1.jpg
Views: 24
Size:  87.6 KB


    Post Spray 2

    Name:  Dash Post Re Spray 2.jpg
Views: 24
Size:  67.7 KB


    Came out acceptable I could/should have spent more time rubbing down and polishing the finish
    Life Can Be Cruel

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