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Old 11-05-2010, 08:09 AM
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'Glass front fenders

I need to drill a hole in each of my front fenders where they meet the frame since I'm not using the hood latch brackets. The fenders are starting to lift away from the frame a bit and I need to add another bolt. These are finish painted and the car is being driven so it does become a problem with chipping the gel coat as I found out when I first mounted those @#$% fiberglass fenders. It was an easy fix then - but for sure, not now. Where I'm talking about is about 2" ahead of the splash shield-fender joint - see the photo below.

Any ideas??



Dave W

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Old 11-05-2010, 09:53 AM
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Sometimes guys will run a strip of stainless or something like that there where the hood meets the fender. I am thinking you are going to need to do the same. I would make it out of something pretty stiff like polished aluminum that is an eighth inch or so thick. On the holes, drill using the proper drill bit for tapping the bolt size you plan on using (6mm or 1/4" I assume) and after drilling the hole thru everything including the frame, get a larger drill (the 6mm or 1/4") and open up the hole in the fender and welting under it. Then tap the hole in the frame for the bolt. That is how I see doing it.

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Old 11-05-2010, 02:22 PM
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Brian - Thanks. I'm trying not to run a strip of metal along there (like the '28/'29 As) and just pull it down with a 5/16 - 3/8 bolt and back to where it was when I put it together. I don't want to knock a big chip of the gel coat loose/off which I did when I drilled that hood bumper bolt ahead of where I want the next one (and luckily before paint).

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Old 11-05-2010, 09:48 PM
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Can you remove the fender without too much trouble?
If so, I'd mark the bolt placement by drilling a 1/8"
pilot hole, remove the fender, use masking tape on the
top and bottom of the fiberglass and then drill the hole.

No guarantees, but masking tape does seem to help when
drilling, as does a pilot hole and using sharp bits.....

Nice rod.
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Old 11-06-2010, 07:06 AM
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drilling f glass

I would try using a heavy leather pad between a pilot drill fixture and use a wood drill bit with the edge cutters so it would cut like a hole saw. and clean or use a new leather each time. We used to use a 2 flute fish tail drill bits in the factory to do special order modifications', police cars, export , etc. I don't know where they are available. for short runs we make the drill fixtures from hardwood and used metal sleeve drill bushings.

Last edited by timothale; 11-06-2010 at 07:15 AM.
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Old 11-06-2010, 07:30 AM
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Guys - thanks for your suggestions.

Take a quick look at this. I was doing some web surfing and finally Googled the right word combination and came up with some suggestions of ways to drill 'glass:

http://www.streetrodstuff.com/Articl...ng_Fiberglass/

This one is very similar:
http://www.ehow.com/how_4425956_drill-fiberglass.html

There are lots of others relating to boats using these Google terms: "drilling fiberglass"

I had drilled a pretty big hole in my RV for a different electrical outlet and it really turned out ragged. Happily the receptacle covered the chip out. The car, I was lucky and the holes were drilled before paint so I could use body filler - and of course, now that it's painted... .

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Old 11-06-2010, 11:34 AM
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Do you have something you can do some testing on? An old fiberglass piece you decided not to use or something that you can do some experiments on?

Brian
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Old 11-06-2010, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
Do you have something you can do some testing on? An old fiberglass piece you decided not to use or something that you can do some experiments on?

Brian

Brian - I might be able to get a piece of a junk boat at a local marina - the rest of the car is steel - and those fenders would have been as well if I could have found good new repros or repairable OEMs.

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Old 11-06-2010, 12:40 PM
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It isn't the same glass so it may not be the same results. All I know is if I were concerned about drilling a hole thru the glass, I would "grind it" with a pointed burr cutter.

With that you have total control, you can cut the hole as big or as little as you want and in any shape. Without fear of snapping or cracking.

I have one in particular that is so sharp you just go straight into the material like a friggin laser.

Brian

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Old 11-07-2010, 05:31 AM
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fiberglass drill bits

I googled fish tail drill bits and the search came up with of couple of speciality drill manufacturing companies that list bits made for fiberglass. also Ebay had bits listed B & A mfg. michigan drill.
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Old 11-07-2010, 05:57 AM
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What about wood working brad-point bits? (since you are experimenting) They are designed to prevent tearing. Probably scrap after a few holes but who cares.
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Old 11-07-2010, 06:45 AM
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brad point

A brad point drill bit,like the one mentioned, would work great on the painted fiberglass. We use them on enameled doors and wood work, as well as fiberglass panel at work and they cut great. Just make sure you tape the area, use a sharp bit and spin it fast. If you want added insurance clamp a block of poplar wood over the fiberglass and drill through it at the same time.

Don't try to use the brad point to drill any steel though, they are rubbish for that.

Hope this helps
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Old 11-07-2010, 09:12 AM
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I have one of these burr cutting bits similar to the one all the way to the left. Mine is a little smaller, about 3/8" at it's widest. Honestly, you run this baby straight into that glass and the hole is FLAWLESS around the edges, no chipping what so ever let alone something terrible. Get a piece of glass to test it on.

Brian

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Old 11-08-2010, 07:23 AM
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I think there has been many good ideas in this Thread,and I wondered if a Forstner Bit might work-it certainly isn't the answer for Steel, but for fiberglass I think it might be the ticket-go slow (and don't forget the tape)-it might also be a possible solution-
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Old 11-08-2010, 09:24 AM
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Thanks for all kinds of great ideas and potential ways to drill 'glass. Since I have at least 2 and possibly 4 holes to drill, might even have a chance to try more then one way . The one that scares me the most is the carbide burr - those have a habit of getting away from any user and at many thousand RPM, happens real quick. Probably before paint, would have gone that way

Looking at the B&A web site - I had no idea that there were so many different ways to drill a hole.

The Forstner bit is a way that I had considered as I do have a set of them as well as the brad points.

Oh well - wont be for a few days (or even weeks) so I can give it some more thought.

(dang, wish those front fenders were steel, like the rest of the car)

Dave W
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