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Old 12-26-2006, 02:14 PM
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PIC OF FIBERGLASS WORK,,,,HOW SHOULD i DO THIS??

I have a guy who wants me to pull the headlights out of this hood and cut out the place where the headlight sits and wrap it down so the front of the fender looks like the rear and is just a round fender with no headlight so he can mount the headlight on the side of the hood where the chrome is. What would be the best way to go about this? I've worked with fiberglass body filler but never fiberglass mat. Should I sand deep into the fender and just build it back up to level with fiberglass mat? Should I drill holes in the fender and fill them back in with fiberglass? It will need to be very strong so it don't crack if the hood flexes. Whats the best fiberglass mat to use? I would probably be stronger if I glassed both sides right
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Last edited by STATUTORY GRAPE; 12-26-2006 at 02:21 PM.
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Old 12-26-2006, 03:13 PM
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Is that a fiberglass hood or smc. I work on semi hoods and most are fiberglass, but some are smc. Smc will have tighter strands and fiberglass will have longer strands. Either way you can use Fiberglass matt and a resin that says for use with smc with either of them. Can you be more specific of what you want to accomplish? You are getting rid of the headlight bucket completely and want to fill it in and smooth the fender? I would cut out the bucket where it raises from the fender. Grind aways around your cut out area. both inside and outside. Then shape a piece of thin wood or sheetmetal, or something that you can curve like the shape of the fender and duct tape it to the outside of the fender. You may want to lay some masking tape over the piece of sheetmetal or use something like a paste floor wax to aid in removing it once you have the inside layed up. Cut some pieces of mat so they will fit the cut out area, can even be a little smaller if your want. Brush some mixed resin over the area you need to fill back in, and saturate some mat. lay it over the area with the hole you have to fill and then put more resin over the matt with the paint brush and work it into the matt so you don't have dry mat and work out any air bubbles. Keep laying up layers of mat and resin until you have a few layers built up and you are aways past the actual hole you are filling in. Then remove the sheetmetal piece and duct tape and grind the new fiberglass (into relative shape you need and so rest sticks) you will be laying more over on the outside once the stuff you put on first has cured. Do the same thing on the outside, lay up several layers past the hole and blend into the existing fiberglass on the hood. Once you have the inside and outside fiberglassed well and cured, you can grind to shape and do finishing work with a little plastic filler. When you cut out the bucket just make sure that by cutting that out the fender didn't move out of shape at all. Don't think it will, but could. If it does you will have to hold it into shape and suport while you glass. Also don't use way too much hardener, or your resin will be brittle. Follow the recommendation on the can of resin if possible, and allow to cure naturally. A little heat or warming it up may help it kick, but you don't want to be cooking it alot with a heat lamp or heat gun, cause that can weeken the layup also.

Last edited by kenseth17; 12-26-2006 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 12-26-2006, 06:24 PM
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Hey Kenseth , I thought I remembered you saying you worked on semi hoods but wasn't sure. It's kind of hard to explain what I need to do with just a picture but I'll try. Basically, what he wants is for the front of the fender to look round just the same as the rear. The rectangular spot that the headlight sits in is cut along the top and bottom (front front to back), removing the triangle piece on the outside and laying the flat top piece down to make a smooth curve.The fender shouldn't get floppy, all I'll be doing is removing the outside triangle shape that makes up the headlight bucket just above the fender and then just making a slice in the headlight bucket next to where the fender meets the hood. Then simply lay the top down for the curve. Did I just explain it twice in one paragraph Anyway, then I have to fiberglass the top to the round part of the fender and to the hood. I have a basic idea of how I want to do it , I just haven't worked with mat and resin before so I don't know how much it will take to make it strong enough. I will be bringing the hood into the shop tomorrow and after I make the cut and take out the pieces, I'll post some more pics for a better idea Stay Tuned.........
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Old 12-26-2006, 06:50 PM
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I work at a big truck dealership body shop. We work these hoods everyday.If I understand what you want to do here is remove the headlight area of hood here is how I would go about it.I would take a saws all or cut off wheel and remove the whole headlight.Then grind back the edges remove paint about 6" or so. Be sure to taper the edge as too sharp of and edge can cause it to crack out when finished.Then use duct tape on front side of fender to from up how you want it to look.Now use smc rosin and fiberglass matt to build up the back side first.Sometimes we use a small sand blaster to clean up the old glass on the backside because they get so dirty from road dirt.Best way too have hood is upside down when doing glass work here.After it has set up turn hood back over remove duct tape grind any high spot down and build up your topside.with glass.Grind to shape and smooth out with a coat of bondo. Then prime and paint like anything else.Do not put in bake oven to help dry paint. We have had trapped fiberglass solvent bubble up when doing this large of area.
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Old 12-26-2006, 06:54 PM
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I am scratching my head at what exactly you are doing cutting and folding down. I thought you just wanted a smooth fender with no headlight bucket and could just cut out the headlight bucket and fiberglass the resulting hole in the fender shut, and then he was going to put a headlight somewhere else. Then you could get the shape of the curve of the fender with some sheetmetal, and just fill in the hole you made cutting out the headlight. It really depends on what you have available to you for fiberglass mat. We use 1.5 oz (I think thats what it is) which is fairly easy to find and also to work with and saturate with resin. I think a 2-3 layers on both top and bottom would be fairly strong. You can always grind a little and add more if you thought you need more thickness or it doesn't seem strong enough to you. You should grind out quite a ways past the actual area you are filling and lay up a layer or two blending that into the existing fiberglass that wasn't cut. If you do a good job of forming the piece to make the curve you need and are neat laying up your glass, it won't be too bad grinding it a little and finishing up with a little bodyfiller, prime block and reprime and should be pretty much good to go.
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Old 12-26-2006, 07:04 PM
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Re reading I think I understand what you are trying to do, use the top of the headlight and axe the sides and lay it down to fill the hole. If the curve is about the same, suppose that would work too. Grind it to shape and v out the slit area with a grinder. get some good surface area where the cuts are to lay some glass thickness (several layers) into those areas and also put a layer or two over the whole square area on both sides. I thing you would probably have to cut the back and the top piece pretty much completely out to get it to lay down right. Just cutting out the bucket and glassing it back shut like falcon said and I was thinking at first might be about as easy though. You'll just need something to fill the whole so you can glass up layers underneath, and then once its cured that will hold it all for laying up more on the outside. Good luck. Ohh yeah those trucks can get nasty under the hood. Sounds like you work in the same shop sv. We've sandblasted for some big fixes before. Sound good to me, saves me from getting so picky. My dang airhose usually finds grease too, and before I know it, its all over the place. Truckers like there grease, silicone and lights, and running a mess of wiring with splices everywhere.
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Old 12-26-2006, 08:45 PM
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You've gotten some pretty good advice, but I have to say, if you are not very familiar with fiberglass, that job is probably not a good way to start.

One thing that makes it tougher is that the headlamp contour runs straight into the side of the hood. that means you will also be fabricating part of the side of the hood also.

I know from experience that these trucks endure a tremendous amount of vibration, which will quickly crack any area that is poorly done or highly stressed. I would pass unless the guy wanted to pay a LOT for the job, like in the area of $1000 or so, just for the bodywork.

If you do the job, make it thick, like 10 layers at least, and add reinforcing where the side of the hood does the 90 into the fender. That's probably where it would crack.
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Old 12-27-2006, 01:42 AM
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Everyone is giving good advice here. If you are not familiar with doing layups then you really might want to pass.
But if you are like a true hotrodder you are going for it

I would not try to use the top of the headlight extension as a filler panel. It would have to be ground down or relief cut to get it flexible enough to contour. You will still have a gap to V grind and fill around the edge, (especially at the front, where I'll bet it will be short) which will make for a bunch more work in the long run. With all those edges coming together it looks like a laminators nightmare. Especially for a novice. Use some urethane foam or poster board or sheetmetal...anything that will fill the hole and get the contour close.

If it was me I would contour the filler panel so it's shape is about 1/4-5/16" of depth below the finished surface of the fender. Feather grind the edges of the original fender back about 1 1/2-2" . I usually let my filler panel sit in the middle of the thickness so when I'm done, the original thickness is maintained and I dont have a huge bump when I layup on the backside.

Layup 2 layer of 1 1/2 oz mat, then 1 layer of 18oz woven roving, then 3 layers more of 1 1/2 oz mat. Try to keep the woven roving about 3/4" inside your feathered area. You don't want the ends of the roving up on the surface. That should make an easy 1/4" if you roll it out tight.

When that cures, peel off the filler panel, grind the backside clean and layup 3-4 layers of 1 1/2 oz mat from the backside, extending at least 2 to 3" beyond the original opening, staggering your edges of mat back about 1/2" each layer so you have a smooth transition into the surface. Layup into the hood side like crashtech said and let the whole mess cure for as long as you can stand it. At least 48 hrs @ 70 F if possible. If you have the room you can put another layer of woven roving between the layers of mat (2 mat/1roving/2mat) as additional reinforcement.
If you use roving always use mat between it and any other surface. It needs the cushy bed that the randomly arranged fibers in the mat provide for intralaminar adhesion.

Follow the rest of those guys suggestions. Get ALL the air out and push as much resin out of that layup as you can without making it dry.

Write in your work order that you do not guarantee against transfer or print through and charge him double of what you think it will take. I would estimate about 5-6 hours or more per side for the laminations and a quick skim of bondo, knocked down to 40 with a bondo hog. (and that is probably a lowball estimate) More if there are cracks that need to be ground out and repaired. That does not include curing time.Winter time is a sucky time to do that kind of work.

Later, mikey
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Old 12-27-2006, 07:45 AM
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Man Mikey, you must work like a scalded ape, it would take me a full day per side minimum for that! I have a 2002 Vette sitting in my stall as we speak that I will be starting when I get there with what looks like less work than that and I have 22 hours written. Fabricating stuff like that is a killer and you need to be paid for it like you were a dumn ars like me. In other words, sometimes you need to be paid for your knowledge. I have often thought that when writting an estimate or supplement, "I know I can do that super fast, it is one of my "things" I do well, so why shouldn't I get paid MORE for it"? I mean, why should I be penalized for my experiance?

Brian
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Old 12-27-2006, 09:49 AM
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I'll admit I was never any good at estimating. I did put some CMA statements in there like "lowball" and "or more"

I'm pretty good at the foam blocking and laminating part, so I estimated accordingly. I figured 2.0 to cut out the headlight extension,(diamond saws are awesome), feather the edges and foam it up, All those contours are flat, so they are easy.
1 hour to layup the top, 1 hour to lay up the bottom, another hour or 2 to grind the top and put 1 skim of bondo and then hit it with 40 grit on the gear drive orbital.

Notice that is where I stopped.

The finish work would take another 1 or 2 skims and a coat of feather fill and duratech primer, depending on the appearance of the rest of the truck. I have done fender repairs on some of those trucks for fleet stuff and some of those guys paint with a roller..

I know grinding can be more time consuming than a guy thinks, on that big stuff I have a milwaukee 9" electric grinder that I put a 24 grit disc on it and make some dust. I would expect to go through 2 or 3 discs per side on that.

I have always thought the same as you about the proficiency level getting more money, I thought if you beat your estimate then in effect you would be making more.

It never seems to work out that way though on custom stuff, does it?
If I were statutorygrape, I'd not expect to get done with this job for probably a week, given his level of experience with this stuff. He won't make any money on it that's for sure , but he will gain experience and for that he will PAY



Later, mikey
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Old 12-27-2006, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
In other words, sometimes you need to be paid for your knowledge. I have often thought that when writting an estimate or supplement, "I know I can do that super fast, it is one of my "things" I do well, so why shouldn't I get paid MORE for it"? I mean, why should I be penalized for my experiance?

Brian
Exactly, as long as the customer is paying for the time it would take a technician with average skills to do the job then all is fair, experienced techs with a higher rate of production definately should make more money on a job that's estimated in average time, new technicians with little experience may take longer to do the repairs and make less money-the customer shouldn't be expected to pay more while a entry level technician learns the repairs.
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Old 12-27-2006, 11:32 AM
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why reinvent the wheel? what he is asking for is available on the market and you could better please him with a quality product finished off by you. you wouldn't machine out a wheel.

http://www.jonesperformance.com/

you got to check out this rig doing a burn out ...crazy

if you want to learn its all good learn and practice on something that is scrap not someones ride. Especially when (s)he earns his(her) living with it.
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Old 12-27-2006, 03:29 PM
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I could probably get that pretty close, if not in primer in a day. But its my job everyday doing semi hoods, and stuff is "good enough" there. Granted it would be many layers of 1/4 inch mat, grinder it into shape and finish with bondo or sometimes even use fiberglass filler first. Fiberglass doesn't have time to sit 49 hrs at work. One I did was terrible, looked like it flew off the truck and went skidding down the road awhile. Stress cracks and scraped on the whole hood, and lots of cracks inside to v and fiberglass. Our estimator at work, dang I should write lowball on most of his estimates. Think that hood complete fixing to paint (two colors) and reassembly was something like only 50 hrs. Its amazing on those fenders with the way they are curved. You will feel a bump somewhere, but danged if you can see it when its painted. Some of the fiberglass on new semis is pretty dang wavy from the factory.
Just a shot, but wonder if you could find fenders that are the same size and don't have the headlight buckets in them. Worth taking a look at some other hoods and take some measurements. I know there are some fenders like what he wants, without the headlights in them. But if you could find a fender that would work and line up to the hood. Are those fenders actually part of the hood, are are they hucked to a lip on the hood side. That would be easy, cutting the hucks, and then hucking on a new fender, if you can get access to the gun and hucks.
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Old 12-27-2006, 07:21 PM
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I got the top piece cut out (I just cut the whole thing out from the top to the front) it's sturdier than I thought it was going to be so no strength will be sacrificed. It has a wall behind the fender that makes up the bottom portion or the hood. What's the best way to make the new glass adhere real well to the old (what grit)? Basically all I have to replace is a rectangle piece from the top to the front of the fender, and the transition from the fender to the hood. It looks easy enough to replace as long as it's strong enough. I'll put as many mats as it takes to get the thickness of the old glass. The parts store has 2 kinds of mat, one looks like chopped glass and the other is like a woven rug, which is stronger? Prepping the surface and laying the mats is the only thing in question for me, I've done tons of body work so that I am familiar with. Still trying to picture in my head how to do the mats.
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Old 12-27-2006, 07:56 PM
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I grind with 36 grit on a small angle grinder, 5" grinder, or on a da (they make 38 grit da paper too. I think 80 would work too, but take longer to get cleaned up. I am sure you used a grinder enough, that a grinding disk shouldn't cause a problem, but using a da is much cleaner, ie don't have as much glass flying in the air. You want to go to the bare glass wherever you will be laying your mat, so take it down to bare glass aways past your repair like mikey said. Ohh yeah, unless you want to be itching like mikey after a trip to tiajuana (lol, just kidden mikey) wear long sleves and rubber gloves and tape your sleeve openings shut by tapeing to your gloves. Wear a dust mask or repirator and saftey glasses and even a spray sock. Button up head to toe if grinding on glass or you might not be enjoying yourself afterwards. I was grinding away one day wearing only a shortsleave t'shirt. Doh, not fun afterwards.
I'd personally just use the chopped strand stuff, it will probably be easiest for you to work with. I am taking the woven stuff is thicker, but will be harder to work with and saturate. I've never used it, and don't know exactly what you have. If the woven stuff is thicker though and will probably build up thickness quicker. Mikey probably knows exactly the stuff you are talking about. At any rate, I'd probably start layup and finish with the chopped strand and if using thicker stuff, use it in the middle of layup. Also if you do a search on boat building, a lot of good information on fiberglass can usually be found. Even seen a calculator at one time to estimate about how much resin you should need for a certain area, depending on the thickness of material.
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