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So, I'm new to the forum and I admit that the vehicle in question is definitely not a hot rod but as I've been researching, this seems to be a great place for getting feedback on bodywork from folks that seem to have a lot of experience.

I have a 1990 Mitsu Montero 2 door that I am trying to turn into a custom 4x4. (given that its a 4x4 I will understand if I should at this point take my question elsewhere, just please let me know where.)

The front quarter panels and the hood have small rust bubbles around the edges. I know this is indicative of deeper problems so rather than try to repair the rust damage I am going to remove them and replace them with custom fiberglass parts.

I want to fabricate a new fiberglass front end that incorporates both quarter panels and the hood with an induction scoop into a single piece that i can hinge at the front of the truck so the whole front end opens forward--think semi-truck.

This is my first project vehicle and I am new to fiberglass fabrication. I am still researching the idea and just wanted to get some feedback from the experts. I have several questions:

1) First is the obvious question: Is it feasible?

2) I am planning on using the existing body panels as a mold and forming the fiberglass front end over them before I remove them from the car. Is that a sound idea or is there a better way to do it?

3) Whats the best way to reinforce it after I separate it from the mold?

4) Whats the best way to attach it to the frame? I was planning on using jeep door hinges or something similar so that once I lift the hood I can take it off simply by sliding it sideways. I figured two hood catches on either side and two flush hoop pin latches on top would hold it down snug. Does that sound like it will work? Is there any thing else I need to consider?

5) Do you have any suggestions, places to look for more info, good references, etc. that could be of help? I just bought "The Glassfibre Handbook" by JH Warring and will go through it in depth when it arrives but would appreciate other suggestions.

If any of you have done anything similar or know of similar work I would love to see/hear about it to expand my way of thinking about this.

Thanks a lot in advance for your input!
 

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Check my photo album.

Yes it is feasible. If you have true determination, learn quickly and lasting power to get you thru the project.

You need to read up on the basics of fiberglass work. Once you "get it" the project will go well.. You are building a "Gasser" type front end and there are thousands out there. Bought or build. Internal bracing can be done with corregated cardboard, thin plywood, MDF, Oak, water hose, paper towel rolls, foam tubes and shapes.

Several videos on youtube will help. For the home builder, PAM and good paste wax work great for mold release. Buy your matte, cloth and resin from boat/marine builders. Very good sources on Ebay.
 

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I have made several parts in glass but never a whole front end. It can be done and I do recommend getting some 1/8" and 1/4" strips of steel and aluminum. You want to use these to strengthen ares that will need it like those where the hinges are going to be attached.
Since you are a novice this is going to be a long process. You want to use fiberglass cloth and resin. The cloth is stronger than the glass mat. But you can use both if need be.
I would see if any of your friends have any experience in this area. Having someone show you how is sometimes easier to learn than reading from a book.
 
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