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Old 08-13-2012, 02:43 PM
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Default fiberglass hard coat!?

ok...so, im not sure if this is where to post, and it seems that all my post are desperate crys for help, but i was really curious. i somewhat understand fiberglass but always assumed the hard smooth finish coat was bondo? now that iv looked into the build guid and researched a bit online, it seems to be gel-coating? so if i was to want to build a new side skirt or repair a hole in the body, would i use glass to complete the shape and then gel-coat over that to make it more solid as APPOSED to body filler or bondo? any help on this is welcome, corrections, additions, and step for steps would be awesome!
thanks for your input,
Caleb
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Old 08-13-2012, 03:11 PM
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Nic is going to be your expert here. Fiberglass for vehicles is typically two layers - from the outside in it's comprised of a colored gelcoat, then the fiberglass matrix itself. Gelcoat is just a colored resin (for lack of a better term) that provides some protection to the fiberglass underneath from UV rays and general wear and tear. It does degrade over time, that's why you'll see some old boats, dune buggies and occasionally the Corvette with patches of raw fiberglass peeking through. Gelcoating isn't hard, but it would be difficult to accurately match the existing color without some experimentation. There are several on-line retailers that carry everything you would need, but if you have no experience with bodywork I might defer any major work to a qualified bodyshop.
In most cases owners paint their cars, in which you don't have to worry about a gelcoat finish. An appropriate body filler will take care of any imperfections.
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Old 08-13-2012, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by letterman7 View Post
Nic is going to be your expert here. Fiberglass for vehicles is typically two layers - from the outside in it's comprised of a colored gelcoat, then the fiberglass matrix itself. Gelcoat is just a colored resin (for lack of a better term) that provides some protection to the fiberglass underneath from UV rays and general wear and tear. It does degrade over time, that's why you'll see some old boats, dune buggies and occasionally the Corvette with patches of raw fiberglass peeking through. Gelcoating isn't hard, but it would be difficult to accurately match the existing color without some experimentation. There are several on-line retailers that carry everything you would need, but if you have no experience with bodywork I might defer any major work to a qualified bodyshop.
In most cases owners paint their cars, in which you don't have to worry about a gelcoat finish. An appropriate body filler will take care of any imperfections.

ok sweet! im really a DIY kinda kid, but know when to hand it over(such as a rebuild on my engine) and i also plan on repainting my sterling when this is all finished soo it sounds like body filler wins that discussion i saw Nics forward progress on his dash and center console wrap around and its looking great! i also saw his smaller portion on the rear taillights. ill have to shoot him a PM about fiber glassing then
Thank!
Caleb
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Old 08-13-2012, 08:11 PM
Nic Nic is offline
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Hi Caleb,

Rick pretty much nailed it. The gel coat is only intended to make the fiberglass prettier to look at and to help with sealing and protection to an extent. Body fill works great for small repair patches that you seem to be talking about. Get a good brand (aka not Bondo) and use that sparingly. Too much fuller and it'll end up cracking badly. If you are going to be doing lots of body work with filler, get some pin hole filler too. It comes in a tube and doesn't require any catalyst. But beware, it is ONLY for pin holes. If you get your body filler from an auto shop, get some high build primer too. I think 2k is the name. Supposed to be good stuff. I haven't gotten any yet as most of my projects have been small and I've used the Duplicolor high build primer.

PM me with questions about the tail lights, or you can ask me in my build thread.
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Nic
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