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Old 03-18-2007, 02:08 PM
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Opel GT race Fibreglass body novice ???s

How does one go about repairing a circa early 80's Opel race fibreglass body that has over the years developed, for want of a better term, small "spider web" cracks? Wire brush?? How deep do I go into the fibreglass? What do you repair the cracks with? After I remove the various decals etc etc with a hair dryer, what will I be left with i.e. indentations in the paint or just the glue from the decals? These questions are from a real novice - take it easy on me.
Thanks in advance!!! Ted
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Old 03-27-2007, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by opelitis5
How does one go about repairing a circa early 80's Opel race fibreglass body that has over the years developed, for want of a better term, small "spider web" cracks? Wire brush?? How deep do I go into the fibreglass? What do you repair the cracks with? After I remove the various decals etc etc with a hair dryer, what will I be left with i.e. indentations in the paint or just the glue from the decals? These questions are from a real novice - take it easy on me.
Thanks in advance!!! Ted
Sounds like an interesting car - are you restoring to race or other?

Does this car have a gelcoat over the fiberglass? Most do - I have never worked on one so have to ask...

Can you provide some digital pictures of the areas and/or the car - that makes it a bit easier to recommend actions to take.
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Old 03-28-2007, 10:00 AM
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Fibreglass Opel body spider cracks

The cracks (small) spider I call them are arround the Dzus fasteners' plates.
There are also small stress cracks arround where the doors and the front end comes off. It was a commercially bought one-piece fibreglass body that was bought I imagine in the 70's or early 80's and was run then as a Gas coupe if I remember what the seller told me. To get into the car the whole body lifted like on a Funny Car and a metal pole for want of a better term was inserted to hold the front up as the driver got into it. Anyways, we decided to make the body into modules with doors - trunk - hood - and front-end all being capable of being lifted off. There is a gel coat under the existing paint. Here are a couple of numbers if you are interested in this stuff. Car weighs 2040 wet with 170lb. driver. 355ci with 394 hp coming off line at 4- 4400 rpms with a "glide and 4:56 Dana ran a 9:74 at 136 or 134 MPH. Has not been raced in 7 years or more. Car has a load of history behind it when it all started in Florida I believe many many eons ago. If I can I will attach a picture with the beast maybe 3 feet off the ground. Thanks for responding and I hope I have given you some inf. re. my small stress cracks and I have run on and on about the L'il Beast. Thanks in advance!! Ted
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Old 03-28-2007, 11:31 AM
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The stress cracks you describe are common and easy to repair...

Basically you grind the area down to the raw fiberglass feathering out just past the edges of the cracks (24 or 36 grit)

Then you want to use polyester resin and fiberglass cloth to lay into the repair areas - you want at least 2 overlaying patches of glass and the buildup should be just slightly thicker to allow sanding to flush finish.

I use Duraglass over the patch to help with any pinholes, voids or general smoothing...then its just prep and block to paint as you would with any other repair...unless you want to re-gelcoat (something I have never done)

You might as well buy a gallon of resin to start it should be around 50-70.00 depending on your area and manufacturer.

Sometimes older fiberglass bodies have areas where resin might soak in or be needed to bolster the original stuff.

The weaved fiberglass cloth (looks like carbon fiber pattern) is likely stronger - but the chopped glass cloth more likely replicates the fiberglass on the body depending on how it was made (hand laid or shot out of a gun)
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