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Old 07-19-2005, 06:20 PM
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Fiberglass Advice?

Hey, how are all you guys doing? Basically, I'm fairly new to the world of restoration but absolutely am a car fanatic and do-it-yourselfer. I've had a 64 el camino for about 2 months and have been working on it as much as I can to fix it up and I've ran into something new that I'm not sure where to start at.

I have an after market fiberglass cowl induction hood(not sure how old it is but is in fairly good shape despite some dings and dents) with a small crack about 4-5 inches developing around the cowl opening area. I believe it is not cracked completely through the hood but it looks like it is considerably deep. I did consider a fiberglass repair kit for about 10 bucks but wasn't sure where to start with it so I tried out some bondo which is something I do have some beginner's experience with but I knew it probably wouldn't work since it's mainly for smoothing out small imperfections in the body so sure enough it didn't work. I do have an idea of how fiberglass repairs work but the bottom line is that I'm pretty much stumped about what to apply first and how to apply it and what will keep my hood from cracking. Suggestions?

Also, where can I find a fiberglass tailgate for my particular year since I want to shave a good deal of weight off? I do know they make fiberglass tailgates for the later model el caminos but have had no luck finding one if it even exists. Thanks in advance~

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Old 07-19-2005, 07:15 PM
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The fiberglass hood must be repaired with glass mat and resin. The entire crack must be ground out to about an inch and a half on either side of the crack. Take the grinding beyond the limits of the crack for a short distance. From the underside grind the crack out also. Rough up the surrounding surface under the crack. Clean it real good with some acetone or lacquer thinner. Cut three pieces of mat to cover the entire crack and then some. Mix up a batch of resin and hardener, soak the mat in the catalyzed resin and apply it to the cleaned area totally covering the crack. If you are fast enough you may get to apply about three layers of mat before the resin kicks, otherwise you will have to do each layer one at a time. On the top side clean the ground area well. Chop up the mat in to small pieces. Mix up another batch of resin and catalyst. Mix the chopped mat into the resin and apply it to the area. Once it has cured sand it as necessary. It may take several applications to bring the surface back to where it needs to be.

Vince
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Old 07-19-2005, 07:37 PM
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Hi Vince, thanks for your advice but I also had another question about that crack. I don't need to apply some sort of putty application inside the actual crack? I knew I'd have to apply the mats just wasn't sure how and I'm probably just worried about whether or not the mats will hold up against the stress being put against the hood whenever I decide to prop it up to do some engine work. Guess I'm just paranoid but I just don't want to crack it again since I'm basically going to redo the entire hood and fix all the dents along with that pesky crack and repaint it.
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Old 07-19-2005, 08:24 PM
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Classix, you want to do exactly as Vince said. The resin is what will be inside the crack along with the matt after you grind the crack out. Dont skip this step.

No "putty" needed in there.

Rich
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Old 07-19-2005, 08:54 PM
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yes, no putty or filler, neither one has strength or is designed to be used by itself for a structural repair. fiberglass mat and resin is where the strength comes from. you build the glass up higher than the surrounding glass then when its hard grind it down flush then it should only need a skim of bondo or glaze.
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Old 07-19-2005, 10:24 PM
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Yea, I learned the hard way about using bondo to fill the crack (stupid, maybe just impatient) , but that's some good advice for applying fiberglass so I have a better idea. When you're dipping the mat in the resin, how long do you leave it in there? I assume just enough to get it fairly wet then you apply it with a brush I guess. Also whenever you grind the crack down to where it's basically a nice nick in the hood, do you lay the fiberglass in the area or lay it over the actual gash, not in it? I know I'm sounding stupid but I just want to make sure I'll keep this pesky thing from cracking again.
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Old 07-20-2005, 07:05 AM
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take a piece of cardboard, place you piece of glass on it. with a brush, brush the resin onto the mat and work it back and forth until the mat becomes transparent. when you grind out the crack you want to "v" it out so make it deep where the crack is than taper the repair out about an inch to 1.5 inches on each side. if your grinded area is 2 inches wide then your piece of mat should be 2 inches wide and you lay the wet mat in the repair. it should span the entire grinded area. work the mat in with a brush or fiberglass roller. work all the air bubbles out. keep doing this until the mat is built up higher than the surrounding area. when hard, grind smooth.
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Old 07-20-2005, 07:33 AM
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Yea, that's what I thought about actually laying it into the area and then building it up. Just one more thing; how many applications of these layers will it take to say... cover about half an inch in heighth and also, do I just do 1 layer at a time before the resin kicks in? I believe you can do 3 at a time if you're good at it but I think I'm gonna take it easy.
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Old 07-20-2005, 09:37 AM
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no you do as many layers as you need before the resin kicks. its only a crack so you should be able to do it in one shot no problem. the more catalyst you add to the resin the faster it will kick. its summer so dont over do it or it will kick real fast and on a thick repair it will get too hot. i cant tell you the number of layers to put on. there are many different types of glass mat in many different weights so just cut up a bunch of pieces and have at it.
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Old 07-20-2005, 11:31 AM
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K, got it. It's gonna be a little tricky though since the crack is along the cowl area so I'm going to have to shape it a little bit around the end but thanks for your help.
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