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Old 01-02-2005, 03:03 PM
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Brittle Interior

I have been unsucessful in finding any NOS parts for my interior.What I have seen at the boneyards are just as bad as what I have.And if they are good,do not quite trust 26 year old plastic interior pieces,that have been beat to death by the sun.No one seems to make these parts for my 79 Malibu.What can I fill these holes with.Stupid question,can I Bondo and sand lightly,regardless of the time it will take to do it.Make it adhere to the plastic and then maybe repaint.I could cover them,but I do not really want to go that route.Interior is something I have never tried short of changing seats.More pics of damage to A,B Pillars and seat in my albulm.I am going to have the bench seat resurfaced,dig bench seats.Thanx.
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Old 01-02-2005, 03:18 PM
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Bondo might work. I'd try West System epoxy, be careful which filler you use, some sand better than others.

www.westsystem.com -- go to product guide. I'd use the 405 or 407 fillers for this.

To fill the gap you could back it up with something light and flexible. I've used cardboard, window screen, and cut up beer cans. Epoxy can be stronger than bondo but you need some structure till it dries.

As for painting trim pieces, we used to do that at the factory for balance out sometimes. Ran out of black, paint the brown trim black. It wasn't authorized but it looked fine and if it didn't get gouged I doubt the owner ever found out.
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Old 01-02-2005, 03:21 PM
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Thanx,I am going to try and start on the teardown soon.I can do that without putting the car out of service while I work on it.There is no telling how many of my sons HotWheels are in there,along with McDonalds fries.
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Old 01-02-2005, 03:23 PM
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I have the exact same problem with the wifes 78 Zepher.........I was thinking of using fiberglass mat and then covering it with vinyl.
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Old 01-02-2005, 03:27 PM
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That is also a possibility.Could glass it and then cover it.
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Old 01-02-2005, 03:30 PM
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If you don't want to cover it, try the same thing. West System works fine as a resin with glass mat or cloth. It works for boat hulls, even.

It doesn't sand quite as easy as the light body filler. The lightweight fillers (407 and 410) sand like bondo, the harder high strength fillers harden up more than that. But it's durable as hell and you can fix almost anything with it.

I don't own any stock. But I've bought enought product that I feel like I do.
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Old 01-02-2005, 03:45 PM
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How much pressure would I need while sanding it?The panel is real brittle,you can break it off with little effort.Not smack it with your palm brittle,but pinch and twist and it will break.I just do not want to bear down on it.I could use a DA on it could'nt I?
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Old 01-02-2005, 04:23 PM
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I would use fiberglass. I have used glass on some plastics panels and it will seperate. My opinion is to drill a bunch of holes in the panel and fiberglass on both sides ( or glass the front and use rivets) a couple of layers should be good. Then use mar-glass (fiber reinforced) then smooth in with filler. This has worked for me before, and turned out good.
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Old 01-03-2005, 03:15 PM
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That is also a possibility.Could glass it and then cover it.
That's what I would do. Even to cover it you need a solid base to do that. Check this HERE He makes it look fairly simple.

Kevin
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Old 01-03-2005, 03:41 PM
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BINGO! That is exactly why I contend that cars made after about '70 will never be classic in the sense that 30s 50s and 60s cars have become. The later the model the less likely they will survive precisely because of all the plastic used in them. Unless it is a popular mode, no one will make replacement plastic so unless you want to do a huge amount of work yourself (much more than is involved in restoring a good old steel car), you are out of luck.

Now that I have that little rant out of my system, I think your only hope it to reproduce those panels in place. Any attempt to remove them will result in their total disintegration. I would restore these panels in place then make fiberglas molds from them. There is nothing that you could use to salvage them for use in the car, their only hope is for use as patterns for new fiberglas replacements. With the molds in hand, you can make the reproduction parts for your car and for anyone else who might be restoring one.

Kevin's site is a good tutorial on fiberglasing. To repair the panels on place for a good pattern to pop a mold from, patch the holes with bondo backed up with screen wire, wads of news-print, anything that will fill the holes. Then use Bondo, plaster or whatever to fill and finish the holes. If you could reproduce the original texture, that would help make 'factory original' reproductions. Once the patten is as perfect as you want it, pull a fiberglas mold to make parts from.

You mentioned you have seen 'good' junk yard pieces. I agree that these would be no good as parts in the car but if they are in tact, they would really help in making good molds for the final 'glas parts rather than trying to resurrect your dead ones.
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Old 01-03-2005, 04:13 PM
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Hit it today.Was able to find NOS A-Pillars in metal on top of that.The A-Pillars are the same as my ElCamino's,and they are metal.Found a place that has them.Would never take parts from the EC to put on my Malibu.The damaged panels I have pics of, what is the correct term for them?They are not on a door,and the sail panels fit by the windows. The vinyl inserts are in great shape.I have found Das pads and completely new dash panels for this car,with and without center speaker.They are quite expensive,but worth it once I start to get the interior going.
Willys,I know what you mean about the plastic parts on all the 70's cars.Thing is Camaros and Firebirds have complete interiors you can buy from Year1. They have a catalog out for G-Bodies,but unless you want a ChooChoo front end and Monte SS Seat covers you are basically SOL. The G-Bodies ohf all years are becoming more and more popular every year.I just can not see why the aftermarket does not open their eyes.
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Old 01-03-2005, 04:39 PM
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Just imagine what a rodder in the future will be facing when half the exterior body panels rot off their vintage 2005!
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Old 01-03-2005, 04:54 PM
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That is strange you mention that.Granted,they are just work mules,but at work we got shipments of new KW's.They are all Hencho En Mexico,the ENTIRE cab is now made of glass.You can not stick a magnet to any part of the exterior cab,roof,doors,nothing.The outer A pillars are metal for the windshield,that is it.The reason for no airbag is it will not do you any good anyway I guess.If I saw a bad one coming in one of them,I would take my chances and bail out.




Remeber BJ and the Bear? That was when KW was a proud name on a truck.
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