Originally Posted by Kevin Dyck
Hello. Just to clarify, once you removed the belly band you simply fibreglass/bondo over it, sand, prime and paint
? It looks great, certainly better than our 4500 with the original belly band. I'd love to get rid of it.
Here's a summary based what I learned in the process.
* it is very easy to bend the bellyband while removing it. If you plan to reuse it, be very careful.
* You can cut out the backing plates with a dremel multitool (oscillating tool). This is superior to grinding them out. Cutting out is:
-- and leaves a smaller, well defined area to fill which makes the glassing/bondo-ing much easier later.
* Try to keep your cuts "inside" the band. Having the original band well defined makes the repair much easier. This was easy.
* Use bondo GLASS on the first fill pass. try not to fill over the top of your area.
* use Bondo filler on the next pass. Use more than you think you need (exceed the top). Don't try to be pretty as this point. You'll sand out a bunch of the bondo anyway.
* Use a sander (80 grit) with a vacuum attached on the bondo.
* I needed to repeat this step a bunch of times.
* use a long 2x4 with sandpaper stapled to it to sand the band flat, fine and smooth.
* now is good time to do any other body work. New door handle? New electric input? etc.
* I sent out the paint
work. I understand they use a urethane primer that is quite thick which will fill tiny cracks and holes. I understand you can DIY this if desired.
I highly recommend this thread:
Bye bye belly band!
I don't have camping experience with the new paint job. I wonder if not having a "rub strip" will matter?