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How to repair fibreglass 

 

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 Post subject: How to repair fibreglass
Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 12:25 pm 
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Hi all, i have purchased an ED XR nose cone for my car and as usual the top screw hole has cracked. I want to repair this before fitting it. I have searched the forums for fibreglassing tips and couldnt find anything. If some one can point me in the right direction or tell me what i need and how to do it that would be great. Worked with bog and steel plenty times but never worked with fibreglass.

Thanks guys.

 

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 Post subject: Re: How to repair fibreglass
Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:29 pm 
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its a bit hard to explain without pics but ill try.

im guessing the screw hole has broken away a bit or cracked across it.
get yourself a small fibreglass repair kir, $25 from supercheap or bunnings. kit comes with resin, hardener and fibreglass matting a small measuring cup and instructions.
extras u will need are masking tape, paper and a small 25mm stiff cheapo paint brush, some acetone or general purpose thinners, and a small stiff paper cup or tin can. decent brand sandpaper(freecut not w&d) and a sanding block

get an angle grinder and grind back across the repair and a small area around it, same behind it too.
u will need to make the fibreglass thinner so once the repair is done it will be the same thickness. grinding it will roughen up the area too so the fibreglass sticks better. brush off any fibreglass dust. u may want to use a dust mask too, so u dont breathe too much dust in.

grab your fibreglass matting and trim 4 or 5 pieces slightly larger than the repair area
mix up the resin and hardener as per directions/instructions, usually 50-1, resin to hardener.
the area doesn't sound too big, so mix up 25mls resin with 1/2ml hardener, mix up with a ice cream stick or something handy, will only take 20 seconds or so to mix.
u will have about 10 minutes to complete the job before the resin starts to gel.

dip the brush in and dab it thickly over the area to be repaired.
then put a piece of matting over the area, dip the brush in the mixed resin again and firmly dab the matting down. u will notice it goes clearish when the matting is full of resin, if its still whitish u will need more resin. dab the brush on firmly to expell the air
once u are happy theres no air, add another piece of matting and do the same as before. once again when u are happy it has soaked in, brush some more resin across the repaired area to fill any imperfections.
now put the brush into some acetone and give it a good clean out, and wipe it dry with paper or a rag. and clean out the tin or paper cup u were using.
it will take about 10-20 mins to start going tacky and then about an hour to dry, all depending on the mix of hardner/resin and the temp of the day.
u can also use a hairdryer to speed things up, but dont overheat it, it can bubble and burn the glass.
once its dry u can turn the bumper over and do the back side of it, the same process applies.

leave it to fully dry for a few hours and its ready to sand back, first use c o a r s e paper and a block, 36 grit to cut it back to shape then go over it with some 80grit then 180grit to feather it all out and smoothen it up, redrill the mounting hole and cleanup.

now u are ready to prime/paint

Last edited by XRfairmont67 on Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: How to repair fibreglass
Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:41 pm 
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XRfairmont67 wrote:
its a bit hard to explain without pics but ill try.


im guessing the screw hole has broken away a bit or cracked across it.
get yourself a small fibreglass repair kir, $25 from supercheap or bunnings. kit comes with resin, hardener and fibreglass matting a small measuring cup and instructions.
extras u will need are masking tape, paper and a small 25mm stiff cheapo paint brush, some acetone or general purpose thinners. and a small stiff paper cup or tin can.

get an angle grinder and grind back across the repair and a small area around it, same behind it too.
u will need to make the fibreglass thinner so once the repair is done it will be the same thickness


grab your fibreglass matting and trim 4 or 5 pieces slightly larger than the repair area
mix up the resin and hardener as per directions/instructions, usually 50-1, resin to hardener.
the area doesn't sound too big, so mix up 25mls resin with 1/2ml hardener, mix up with a ice cream stick or something handy, will only take 20 seconds or so to mix.
u will have about 10 minutes to complete the job before the resin starts to gel.

dip the brush in and dab it over the area to be repaired.
then put a piece of matting over the area, dip the brush in the mixed resin again and dab the matting down. u will notice it goes clearish when the matting is full of resin, if its still whitish u will need more resin. dab the brush on firmly to expell the air
once u are happy theres no air, add another piece of matting and do the same as before. once again when u are happy it has soaked in, brush some more resin across the repaired area to fill any imperfections.
now put the brush into some acetone and give it a good clean out, and wipe it dry with paper or a rag. and clean out the tin or paper cup u were using.
it will take about 10-20 mins to start going tacky and then about an hour to dry, all depending on the mix of hardner/resin and the temp of the day. u can also use a hairdryer to speed things up, but dont overheat it, it can bubble and burn the glass.
once its dry u can turn the bumper over and do the back side of it, the same process applies.

leave it to fully dry for a few hours and its ready to sand back, use a*** paper, 36 grit to cut it back to shape then go over it with some 80grit then 180 to feather it all out and smoothen it up, redrill the mounting hole and cleanup.

now u are ready to prime/paint

Top post. As you said a heatgun or hairdryer speeds it up a LOT, especially if you are trying to hold it in place while it sets

 

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 Post subject: Re: How to repair fibreglass
Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:43 pm 
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if u have a bit u want to join that has broken off completely u can use some masking tape on the back to help hold them securely till the fibreglass sets
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 Post subject: Re: How to repair fibreglass
Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:56 pm 
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XRfairmont67 you are a gun thanks mate exactly what i needed. You are exactly right about the screw hole its cracked accross and broken off.

the one question i have is how much do i grind back from the original grill. I have attached a file, the first drawing (front View) is what it looks like now, the second one (side view) is my interpretation of what you mean when you say 'grind back across the repair and a small area around it'. So to create a drop in the area so when the new matting goes on it goes on level with the original surface. considering there is a piece acually missing this process will still work?


Many Thanks again

 

 

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 Post subject: Re: How to repair fibreglass
Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 1:59 pm 
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lol you sort of answered my question as i posted. i dont have the missing part though so can i make a peice up out of some thin plastic and use this underneath while the tip dries then take this off (if possible) and do the bottom?

thanks

 

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 Post subject: Re: How to repair fibreglass
Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:05 pm 
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This site might help you. Has some technical documents.

http://www.solidsolutions.com.au/free_info.php

You can also youtube and see how others do it :). I find it harder to work with smaller sections of fibreglass then a really large one.

 

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 Post subject: Re: How to repair fibreglass
Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:17 pm 
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if the part is the tab bit that the screw goes through to actually hold the part on it is sometimes easier to make a new tab from aluminium plate and glass that onto the part being held on.
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 Post subject: Re: How to repair fibreglass
Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:30 pm 
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to remake that part, id just get 4 or 5 layers of masking tape and stick it underneath heading outwards from the main part., then glass over it, then peel away the tape once dry then glass the underside

the more area u grind back the stronger the join will be, id go about 25-45 mm back onto the good part
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 Post subject: Re: How to repair fibreglass
Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 2:49 pm 
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cool all makes sense, thanks for that link too btw. Sounds like it 'should' be failry straight foward.

i want to get this XR front on the car and be done with it!

cheers.

 

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 Post subject: Re: How to repair fibreglass
Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:56 pm 
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if its the original factory grille, they are made from compression molding fibreglass, basically same but has plastic composites in it to strengthen the finished product. the fibreglass is premixed and has a thermo hardener in it also, it is pumped into a mould and compressed with 100 tonnes of pressure and also heated until dried. the original will be slightly stronger but the repair u are doing wont be put under bulk strain either, so it will be fine.

post up some pics as u go, it may help others too
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