How to Fix Fiberglass from the Front? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-09-2012, 10:06 AM   #15
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Name: RogerDat
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This link has some good step by step with pictures of different types of fiberglass repair. Has examples of doing the types of repair you have. Aimed at boats which is the major market for westsystem products but FG is FG. Good luck.


http://www.westsystem.com/ss/assets/HowTo-Publications/Fiberglass-Boat-Repair-and-Maintenance.pdf


Have not personally used it but some of the body fillers are fiberglass stranded, have read posts of people using them as a "finish" coat, seems like they might feather in better when sanded then resin and may be a better match for the texture of the outer gel coat. When filler was used over lead body work one used a rougher sandpaper on the lead so the thin filler coat had scratches to bind to. YMMV.

Oh and drilling small hole at end of crack will help terminate it.
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Old 06-10-2012, 05:25 PM   #16
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You didn't show us any scale to indicate how big the damaged areas, but I have frequently just sealed and then covered minor damage areas with 3-4 inch round plastic vent covers. They always look like they belong where ever you put them, damage repairs don't always come out so well.
The first image of damage is about 2" long. The second and larger damage is about 3" long. They are both on curved sections of Scamp so I don't think a vent cover will suffice. But thank you for the suggestion!
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Old 06-10-2012, 06:00 PM   #17
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I don't know of any curves on a SCAMP they can't be fit around. Add an extra screw between each of the three original and you will be set. There are also small vents that can be used as a cover-up.
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:10 PM   #18
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I am in a similar situtation with an RV I am restoring and have been on a big learning curve. The west systems vid was good.I had watched it a few week ago. I also have one spot I cannot get to from the back. I was told to taper it out about 3-4 inches and fill back in. The only things I will add from my research (and I have not used it yet but plan to try it) was that SMC Resin seems to be the strongest and will bond to anything. Also for filler I was going to try Evercoat Vettefill.
Again I am not a pro and this is only what I have read. I am in the process of trying it myself.
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Old 06-22-2012, 05:00 PM   #19
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We are going to start on the fixes tomorrow. Since some of the damage is very shallow, do you think we could skip the step of adding fiberglass strips/cloth and simply using fiberglass filler/bondo? All of the videos we've watched stress using fiberglass cloth to maintain or add strength, but the areas with the damage are not substantial. I don't think they necessarily require "extra" stability like you would need on a boat or car bumper.
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Old 06-22-2012, 05:39 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by morbank View Post
We are going to start on the fixes tomorrow. Since some of the damage is very shallow, do you think we could skip the step of adding fiberglass strips/cloth and simply using fiberglass filler/bondo? All of the videos we've watched stress using fiberglass cloth to maintain or add strength, but the areas with the damage are not substantial. I don't think they necessarily require "extra" stability like you would need on a boat or car bumper.
I would not skip the step of adding cloth or stands to the patch. You will have thermal stresses, if nothing else, and it will crack there. It really isn't that hard to do the cloth and you can finish it off with bondo if you prefer.
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:38 PM   #21
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That would be what we used to call a hard roller. Purges air bubbles, helps wet out the fabmat and believe me you don't want to be sticking cloth or roving to old glass however abraided and cleaned without at least a mat layer underneath. The thing that strikes me about many questions about fiberglass repair is that structural and cosmetic repairs are not differentiated. If you have a foot long tear or gash in a fiberglass object you can't bridge and reconstruct with body filler. For the type of repair in the photo where the area effected is small and there's no real penetration, bondo is perfectly adequate imo. As for spraying, or Heaven protect us!, brushing on gelcoat, I say Good Luck, mate. Yes, you can fill a small scratch with gelcoat and take it down to the surrounding and, maybe, just maybe it will be good enuf but try building gelcoat on an already fair (where you want the gelcoat as a topcoat is not depressed from the level of the surrounding area) surface and then try feathering that into the surrounding without thinning or cutting thru to the point of transparency which reveals? Blue body filler, red body filler, green/blue glass. Yes there are guys that specialize in this sort of cosmetic miracle. A man needs to know his limits. Why I like rattlecan paint which often is a better match colorcastwise than new gelcoat.

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Old 06-22-2012, 08:52 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by morbank View Post
We are going to start on the fixes tomorrow. Since some of the damage is very shallow, do you think we could skip the step of adding fiberglass strips/cloth and simply using fiberglass filler/bondo? All of the videos we've watched stress using fiberglass cloth to maintain or add strength, but the areas with the damage are not substantial. I don't think they necessarily require "extra" stability like you would need on a boat or car bumper.
Unfortunately, it's not extra stability...bondo has no stability...it will crack without the mat and resin, first.
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Old 06-22-2012, 09:47 PM   #23
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I don't mind being argumentative in the least on the last point. Body filler is polyester resin with a thickening agent added. It certainly has a bonding affinity with objects made of glass-reinforced polyester resin. Case in point: our very own Burro has built with shelf cleats in the hanging locker bonded to the inner glass shell with common bondo; Water pump and tank stand bonded to floor (which is sheathered in glass) with common bondo, likewise platform for Dometic 3-way. THe grip of the bondo on the glass surface is tenacious. I replaced both platforms and chiseled enuf off the floor to know. You can buy bondo with reinforcing fibers added; I believe this increases its resistance to cracking under bending moment. Some of those who have occasion to apply polyester resin to a wad of mat in a tiny crack or void on a vertical surface of a trailer will soon wish they had some microballons to make it into body filler. Those who use cloth will wish they'd not been born!

I'd also advise you to be cautious about using that Gougeon Bros. epoxy resin in quantity. It is an oxidizing agent and extremely toxic.


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Old 06-24-2012, 09:31 PM   #24
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The fiberglass is a primary bond. the repair is a secondary bond. IMHO Fillers or Bondo is not a strong enough secondary bond. I would use resin and mat and do it right. It's not hard at all, just very messy.
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Old 06-24-2012, 11:04 PM   #25
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Had a very successful fiberglass-repairing weekend! Added fiberglass layers where possible with resin, then went in with glass bondo (bondo with fiberglass). A couple of layers of that was needed to achieve strength and good coverage. Completed with Bondo glazing putty. Watched dozens of you tube videos and am feeling confident we did a great job. Of course only time will tell! Removed windows, doors, banding, rivets (hate those old rivets!), decals, lights, the list goes on! Over the next few weeks we'll be sanding, cleaning, sanding, cleaning, then priming, sanding, ....then painting!





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