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Old 08-16-2010, 06:42 AM
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Fiberglas lessons you never want to experience!

After all these years of working on vettes, I'm on my somewhere between 77-80th one and just shot myself in the foot with stupidity, so hopefully you can learn from my bad actions.

Normally I can do a restro in about six months, this vette was a C-3 never painted, one owner and never saw rain, 27,000 miles lost his license due to age and insisted I buy it and keep it. Sounded good as I never have had a vette, I kept before and never drove one for more then 30 or so miles to make sure everything worked.

In the first two weeks I had the frame done and body back on and within a month had paint all stripped and ready to go, well bought three other vettes in meantime and like any painter your car gets pushed aside.

So 3-4 years later I go to basement yesterday to get the hood that had been stripped and blocked out years ago and I had stored it leaning against the wall, duh, duh and many more duhs.
Put that hood on and my perfect gaps were gone as the hood had a slight twist to it.

Being totally dumbfounded, I called Shine, he confirmed my suspicions about the storage and had his own tale to tell.

All I can do now is let it set flat in sun for a week and hope for best that it has memory or pop for an $800 new one.

You never to old to learn!

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Old 08-16-2010, 07:12 AM
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many years ago i did a 60 for a lawyer ( first mistake ) . absolute perfect car with checked lacquer. he had gotten caught in a blizzard and drove about 100 miles in almost 0 degrees. drove into his warm heated comfy garage and found it destroyed the next morning. anyway like a ******* i stood the hood in the corner while doing the rest. when the hood went on both ends were high. the sun had hit it everyday at high noon knowing he would sue me to the stone age i tried every trick i had. i ended up building a table and strapping the hood down to it . over the next few weeks it sat in the sun. each day or so i would add shims and say a painters prayer. we had no filler worth a damn back then. i was lucky and got it back close enough he never noticed. it may have went south later but i got away with it. this was my first lesson in fiberglass distortion and the fact it is NEVER totally cured. i learned the hard way to hang parts instead of laying them around.

build a table , clamp it down and run a 3 in sheetrock screw through that corner. it may or may not stay down.
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Old 08-16-2010, 09:07 AM
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I just love it when highly experienced guys make simple mistakes like the rest of us.

Before I purchased my glass deuce body I had done a lot of glass work on previous projects, making molds and pulling parts like dashes and interior panels so I knew from the start that glass tends to "move" over time. When I bought my body it was already a couple years old and had been sitting on a frame while the guy built the rest of the car. He never really touched the body at all so it wasn't modifiedl, except for brake and clutch peddle holes in the floor and the steering column hole was not in the correct position to clear my hemi. The guy decided he wanted a 5 window instead so he sold me what was essentially a new 3 window body. That was over 15 years ago.

I knew from the start that I wouldn't be able to get around to this project for several years so the first thing I did was build a body dolly that closely fit the body and bolted it down. Left the doors and trunk lid closed and stored it in a corner away from direct sunlight. 15 years later when I mounted this body to a freshly built (from bare rails) frame it fit perfectly and both doors and trunk opened easily and alignment is pretty good.

I count myself lucky as there was little to no movement of the glass during that 15 year period. Heaven knows things could easily have gone south with long term storage like that. Actually I'm pretty surprised now that I've started the actual bodywork how decent and straight the body actually is, especially for an inexpensive body like this one. New it sold for $3600 with doors and trunk hinged and latched (trunk not latched), and electric window mechanisms installed. The body had literally no wood or steel reinforcement from the factory which is another reason I feel lucky that everything stayed straight. The first thing I did when I bolted the body to its new frame was add steel reinforcement and it is pretty damn solid now.

Anyway, just my ever unfolding story about luck and fiberglass. Actually unlike a lot of people I like working with glass. Maybe its because I've worked with it for so many years. One thing is certain, you sure as he11 can't treat it like metal, that's for damn sure.

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Last edited by Centerline; 08-16-2010 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 08-16-2010, 10:01 AM
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when i've been asked over the years " why do you like corvettes " it's always the same answer. " i don't itch and glass don't rust "
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shine
when i've been asked over the years " why do you like corvettes " it's always the same answer. " i don't itch and glass don't rust "
Anyway, just my ever unfolding story about luck and fiberglass. Actually unlike a lot of people I like working with glass. Maybe its because I've worked with it for so many years. One thing is certain, you sure as he11 can't treat it like metal, that's for damn sure. CL.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm same way, would rather do a fiberglass car any day, but there is no in between here as some shops will not even look at a vette, usually it is because they did one in the past and did not know how things need to be done differently VS metal and the car came back and turned into a nightmare.

Kind of like the factory plus one and then you strip, that is usually where a shop will get burnt as he got the job because everyone else was going to strip and he figured a scuff and shoot, so way cheaper.
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Old 08-17-2010, 06:11 AM
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Your not kidding. I'ver been driving my '33 around with a rattle can paint job becuase the body work isn't done and I'm glad I did. The glass moves a lot when it gets hot and I found some gaps that need more clearence. The trunk lid is also moving on me again after I cut the inner structure apart and reset the curvature. Glad it's not in final paint actually.
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Old 08-17-2010, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Arrowhead
Your not kidding. I've been driving my '33 around with a rattle can paint job because the body work isn't done and I'm glad I did. The glass moves a lot when it gets hot and I found some gaps that need more Clarence. The trunk lid is also moving on me again after I cut the inner structure apart and reset the curvature. Glad it's not in final paint actually.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

I don't really like to post to the world how stupid I am but mistakes are life's best teachers and if someone else can learn from you mistake, then it was at least a 1/2 good mistake//??::"<

Arrow, I have seen very high dollar paint jobs destroyed because the shop or person did not know when they bought that new fiberglass body, that the first thing you do is set the thing outside in sun for seven days, to gas out.

I have seen paint bubble, gaps change, so bad that the job had to be redone.

If its a little fiberglass valance panel, who cares and not worth the sun time for shrinkage anyway , may be for potential of gassing but that is your call.

One of the nicest jobs on a fiberglass body I saw was a 50 model pickup with a new fiberglass body, customer had about $200,000 in the job and the shop proudly showed me the ball bearing they used for every gap and how perfect it was.

Two months later the shop called me and said, some gaps you could fit two ball bearing through it, why?
That is when, I found out they did not UV the body outside, an expensive lesson to learn.
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Old 08-17-2010, 06:55 PM
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I credit Shine, Mikey, and Barry for guidance on my 34 as far as letting the body cure in the sun for several days ( a week to be exact). The fit on my deck lid was so bad I cannot even estimate how many hours of glass work I have in it. Take off on one side, add to the other side, opps took off too much, add it back and so on and so on. Now I can leave my 34 in the hot Texas 100+ degree temps all day long and it maintains all the gaps.

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Old 08-17-2010, 07:13 PM
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we did the easy part..............

hope to see it sometime up close. if i get my truck done we plan to start making runs again. going to the lssra run next year one way or another ,
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:43 AM
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Well ,It makes me itch like crazy..The only glass work I do these days is on semi's ...Its at least a 1/4" thick and even if it does move no one care much about it...My buddy has a trucking outfit and they keep tearing of the fenders.Every time I do one I swear it'll be my last..I itched for three days on the last one.I dont have much trouble with movement on them...heck half of them just get primed (no paint)
back about twenty years ago I was building a 69 camero and spent a month making it super straight.I didnt know about the way the sun warped glass so when he gave me a glass deck I installed it and straightened it to perfection ,it took all day ...the next day I was blocking the primer and it was perfect...I went to lunch and the noon sun was shining right on it when I got back it had warped so bad it looked like a bird bath...

Now if you want to talk about being stupid I redid the deck twice with the same results before I figured out what was happining...the I moved the car away from the door,third time lucky...
That was the last glass part I ever used and if someone brings me one all I do is sand and paint.no straightening...I've never seen a straight vette..
I never even worked on a vette ,not anything to do with the car itself but I usually run the owners out of the shop when they start with the attitude..
What is it about someone that owns a vette anyways ????
I dont know how you do it Shine...I rather build a rusted out hulk than fool around with a glass car.
Every time I try to weld a patch on ,I have trouble with that stuff too ...
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Old 08-18-2010, 07:06 AM
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much of the time the attitude comes from being hosed by some wannabe that charged 3 times his ability. i am talking with one now that the painter had the car for almost a year. sanded the base and reshot because it looked like hell. told the customer it was to make it flat . when the customer pulled it it was piss poor. orange peel so bad it looked like solvent pop . half *** sanded and half *** buffed. and this was spi clear ! easiest clear there is to polish. he was just lazy and wanted it gone since he had drawn most of the money. another mistake , NEVER give a painter money up front ! guy should stick to lot cars and leave high end work alone. every painter thinks they can do it but few ever finish the job. chem strip - wrong , washed with lacquer thinner - wrong , 2k primer -wrong and the list goes on. there is a reason corvette work cost more. more work and higher expectations . myself i am done with rusted up beat all to hell junk. i will stick to the early vettes . i know them well and get pretty good results .pays better , goes faster and far closer to fun than beating on a piece of field art all day.
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Old 08-18-2010, 10:10 AM
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I started working with glass in the early 80's when I was deep into scale RC aircraft. Lot of mold making, scale engine cowls, wheel pants, bombs, scale fuel tanks, and all kinds of other accessories. Learned early on that glass moves until its fully cured and that takes time.

When I was building the 41 in the 90's I decided to do a completely glass dash. Made the buck out of metal and plaster then made the mold out of layers and layers of chopped mat. Also glassed in 3/4" plywood in several areas to help keep the mold from warping before I could pull a part. It was not designed for mass production just one or two parts and as it turned out the first one out of the mold was more than acceptable.

Here's a not very good pic of the dash installed in the 41. Old pic scanned in about 15 years ago. Total time invested in that dash, about a month, including making the mold.



Here's the all metal dash I did in my '53 AD. Total time invested, about three weeks. Either way, fiberglass or steel its a lot of work.



deadbodyman, there are two things you can do to keep from itching after working with glass. First never use compressed air to "blow yourself off" and second, take a cool room temperature shower when you're done. Glass particles are so small they can get into your pours so blowing high pressure air when trying to get the dust off can actually force some particles into your pours which will make you to itch like he11. Also a hot shower will open your pours and allow more glass dust in so don't crank the hot water up till you're sure you have all the "dust" off. These simple rules have always worked for me.

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Old 08-18-2010, 02:03 PM
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I really like those dash boards ,I'll be building one of my own and a consol out of steel for the 48....
I heard baby powder works well at filling your pores and keeping the glass out but I cant seem to keep it on very long ,I sweat it off in 5 min ...but I always try to use air and blow it off that must be where I'm having my problem.I was really dieing this last time ,three days during the repair and three days after the cold shower was about the only relife...Anyway its just easier just to hate something than to understand it ....I wonder if carbon fiber itches???
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:09 PM
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You can also use one of the lightweight Tyvek painter suits. Ditch the clothes and just wear your underwear if you in a hot climate. Also use cotton gloves and a respirator or at least a quality dust mask. Those are the precautions I used most of the time working on my car and they work.

Vince
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Old 08-18-2010, 07:08 PM
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i've emptied shops before. take a skill saw to a vette and bodymen dive out windows. it has never bothered me . one of my old friends use to get really po'd at me cause he would be miserable for days and i just went home and showered.
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