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Body restoration: how do you get 'em apart?


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#1 LolaGT

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 01:58 AM

Hello all,

 

I've been buying a few slots lately, most recently this Mono Lola GT, also a Cox Ford GT and a Revell Cobra roadster.

 

Body trim parts for these cars are made of unobtainium, so how do you take them apart for restoration without totally trashing the parts?

 

Also, is there some way to save the windshield/rear window of cars like this one?

 

I'm especially worried about clear parts like windshields and headlight covers, since we know Mono will not reissue parts for this car.

 

Thank you,

Ken

 

kenslola.jpg

 

lolass.jpg


Ken Lyons




#2 slotbaker

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 03:46 AM

When they are poorly joined with excess glue, they are a problem.

With parts that are not too messy, I've had some luck with soaking them in plain water, to try and get as much water into the airspace of the joint, then stick them in the freezer over night.

When the water freezes, it expands and can force the joint apart. It might take a couple of times, and still might not completely separate the parts.

A sharp X-acto or scalpel blade might be required to cut the last bits apart.

Worst case would be to grind out the clear parts, and source resin replica bits, or cut outs from a clear vac formed body.


Steve King


#3 Lone Wolf

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Posted 30 December 2016 - 10:18 AM

I've been doing this type of thing with model kits and slot car bodies for more years than I'd like to admit. I have tried the method Steve suggested in the past with mixed results.

 

Here is what I've concluded.

 

1. Remember that clear parts because of their formulation will always be more brittle than parts molded in color. This makes them much more prone to splitting and cracking.

 

2. Because of formulation and age (50+) some colors of plastic ( like Aurora Tan ) can become extremely brittle. Just one drop and they can shatter into pieces. No way to get around this. I don't know every color and brand that are affected, but you will find out when you start to rework some bodies.

 

3. Most glues used back then actually melted the plastic to weld the pieces together. Sometimes you get lucky and they used some kind of glue that did not melt the plastic. These will usually come apart with a warm water soaking. 

 

4. Headlight lenses are the most difficult to remove because they thin at the edges and usually do not come out whole. If you do get them out they are difficult to clean up.

 

5. You can use the back of a brand new #11 X-Acto blade to score the lines between parts. This is like eating a Tootsie pop. The temptation is to do it in 3 bites. It takes much time and patience to get good results. 

 

6. Clear parts can be sanded and polished with a good kit starting at 12000 grit "paper"

 

7. In the end, it is probably best to keep checking Ebay etc. for a clean unassembled body. Only saying this because I tortured myself for years with this stuff. Prices are coming down. Years ago I was selling unbuilt Monogram Lola bodies for up to $140. If you search you may be able to get one under $40 now. Depends on how much time you want to devote to the resto.

 

This is my take, your results may vary.


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Joe Lupo


#4 tlbrace

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 01:08 PM

You might actually be surprised at the availability of resin cast repops of some of these parts.


Todd Brace

#5 LolaGT

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 08:14 PM

I've been staring at my Lola for a couple of days now, and I can't strip it for a repaint. It looks too cool to me to do it.

 

To me, with all its vintage stickers it looks like it just came off a track in 1965 somewhere.

 

I decided to clean it up, remove the 'glass' and polish it up, and clearcoat it to preserve the stickers.

 

Now, I need to do three things...

 

1) Figure out how to clean the body while preserving all the stickers and prep it tor a clearcoat,

 

2) Remove and clean up the windshield without ruining it,

 

3) Find another one to paint up

 

Thank you,

ken


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Ken Lyons

#6 LolaGT

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Posted 03 January 2017 - 03:41 AM

I just wanted to thank Cheater for turning me onto Mr. Piot and his Cox Chaparral restorations. I found this early on but lost it somewhere.
 
The man is a genius... read about it here
 
Ken
Ken Lyons

#7 Jean-Michel Piot

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Posted 31 July 2017 - 11:49 PM

:hi:


(Bud)light is right!





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