Fiberglass repair Questions - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-30-2008, 04:39 PM   #1
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Name: Kenny
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My 86 Cadet needs some work (both interior and exterior).

The inside I'm gutting and going to redo the floorplan, removing the 2 burner stove.

My question is about the exterior fiberglass (and how to repair the problems.)
1) There are a couple cracks, they don't look too bad. What's the best way to fix them?
2) There are "blisters" (not sure what to call them) on some areas, and a spot on the top where there is a deeper crack and some fiberglass fibres(blue in the pics)are showing through. I'm assuming I need to sand/remove all the loose bits then start filling...but for a guy with no glassing experience is there something else I can use? It doesn't have to be perfect, I just want to get out and camp in it. I'm not sure if I can get the exterior fixed before the snow flies, so I'm planning on buying a portable garage to store it in.
http://i183.photobucket.com/albums/x100/ke...ET/PICT0088.jpg
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Old 08-30-2008, 07:02 PM   #2
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You might be looking at a gel coat repair job, not the fiberglass itself. Marine Tex is easy to use if you aren't trying to restore to the original gel coat (it can be sanded and painted), otherwise you might need to search on gel coat repair.
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Old 08-30-2008, 07:50 PM   #3
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Hi: Kenny... Check out nlsproducts.ca for a plastic/fiberglass epoxy repair called Tech Plastic!!! I used their Tech Steel to reset the door hinges on our former Boler and it really works just as they promised. I bought it at Car Quest Auto Supplies.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 08-30-2008, 07:57 PM   #4
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Ask a boat repair shop as they repair fiberglass boats and should have the answer and the product.

look at the following on the internet.

http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/store...dkey=SiteSearch


www.overtons.com
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Old 08-30-2008, 11:45 PM   #5
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Jamestown Wholesale Marine and Building Supplies

This link takes you to the "how to?" Section of their website and covers different products, problems, and techniques of fiberglass repair playing vids on your computer for free.

Jamestown WEST System Epoxy How-To DVD

I recommend the above link for a DVD produced for West System products for the beginner, it covers fiberglass repairs, blister repairs, and crack repairs...A mention I would like to make here, which is... "There are products like Primecoat from this same outfit that are designed to fill cracks and blisters after sanding and then top coat with a 2 part epoxy gel which is rollable and looks as if it were shot". I recommend the DVD because its simple and being basic, shows good repair techniques and tips while it informs you about West System products...The info alone is worth the 20.00 bucks, the catalogue from Jamestown is free...It shows their other options as well and is a good resource.

Harry
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Old 08-31-2008, 12:44 AM   #6
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That blistering looks like a bad paint job, a mis-match between the type of primer and the topcoat paint or a topcoat applied to a poorly prepared fiberglass surface. You'll probably have to wet-sand the paint off, get or prepare a clean, smooth surface and start over.
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Old 08-31-2008, 09:12 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the replies; I guess I assumed it was the fiberglass that needs repairs, but it's actually the topcoat (gelcoat) [assuming again...]

As for the West Marine DVD, I'm in Canada so that option is out. There is a marine store I've used in the past Binnacle.ca and they have 3M MARINE BLISTER AND REPAIR FILLER which looks like it'll work.

As for prepping, I guess I need to sand the areas (wet sand as has been suggested) is there a special sandpaper I'm looking at? And then fill the blisters, then sand them then prime? And then paint?

Sorry for all the questions, but I want to get it started this year, and hopefully finish it off in the spring so I can camp in it next year.

EDIT found a marine dealer in Canada who had the DVD so I'll order it and then (and only then) if I still have questions I'll ask for help.......
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Old 08-31-2008, 11:07 PM   #8
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I use 3M wet or dry products, and their sanding sponges, 80 to 150 for bad stuff first round sanding, then 200 for the second round sanding and then finishing up to 300...before I begin filling/flaring or pimecoating, its oft over looked to clean lastly with a fiberglass safe solvent, this last step before repairing or prime coat/repair is for me important, I use Interlux 202 solvent, (Methal Isobutyl Ketone)

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I have seen many different styles of application, I tried a few different ones from the old school and a few of the new products...I experimented on an old full sized fiberglass satellite dish until I got the results that were what I wanted.

Next, the product literature is not kidding around when it comes to temperatures and humidity...

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Do not be around open flame, incl pilots, or halogens in an enclosed area...


I had one friend forget about his gas water heater in the garage...he is ok...his garage was not.

When sanding use the best organic nose and mouth positive seal respirator...The sanding dust is very, very, very bad, I use sanding equip which has got vacuum pick ups built in and the vacs are hosed on the exhaust side to the outside of my work area...The paper cheap face masks do not count as safe enough and bluntly I will state that to use them is just asking for it.

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I have fun doing this, for me it is like plastic zen...But I must admit I spent more getting set up to do this than I thought I was going too...I learned that going to a shop for a one time project was in the end cheaper, when compared to purchasing all the stuff one must assemble to do epoxy plastics...Lots of stuff to do this is needed to do it right...Now that I have the stuff, its cheaper, but that first time cost me more than I anticipated.

I hope this helps, if you like me like trying new things in projects I wish you luck and a good time.

Harry

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Old 09-04-2008, 08:56 AM   #9
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http://s183.photobucket.com/albums/x100/ke...y/1986%20CADET/

Just added some more pics, after ripping up some of the interior (from the prevoius owner......Looks like it was just a quick fix (carpet, vinyl flooring, assorted trim, and caulk......lots of caulk) to cover up the fire damage.

It looks worse than it actually is, just lots of black soot, no burn marks, just have a crack on the roof to repair
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Old 09-04-2008, 11:20 AM   #10
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Kenny,

I am thinking Peters prior weigh in is the correct one, even the blister pattern is unique, its as if the top coat product is loosing cohesion, its not the typical water blistering I see more often here which is more of a pimple with a star pattern on top, yours is lifting up to one side, almost like a chipping effect, if it is a gel its chemistry is not compatible with the host plastic or its not like he says a true gel, I have seen some silicone based paints do this in the 80s...they were advertised for plastics and look slick, almost wet when cured, but they did not hold together.

Sanding is best to get to the original plastics and then a friendlier product needs to be decided on...I would prime first...not often thought of when people think gel coat...I like the trailer. The burn is no big deal I aggree, in plastics I have actually seen the same burn mark when catalyst is mixed wrong.

Loved the pics, I am learning allot about how to present projects to the public, I will be re-doing mine this winter and wanted to share the project, your giving good ideas on how to do that.

Thanks
Harry


Quote:
http://s183.photobucket.com/albums/x100/ke...y/1986%20CADET/

Just added some more pics, after ripping up some of the interior (from the prevoius owner......Looks like it was just a quick fix (carpet, vinyl flooring, assorted trim, and caulk......lots of caulk) to cover up the fire damage.

It looks worse than it actually is, just lots of black soot, no burn marks, just have a crack on the roof to repair
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