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Exterior Paint, graphics, fiberglass panels, fender flares, bed covers and other body bolt on's

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Old 03-24-2008, 07:03 PM   #1
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Default Stepside Fender Repairs

I've got a set of stepside bedsides in need of a little repair work. I got them off a truck that had been rolled, but the bed was still decent. Only the passenger side needs repair. it has a few cracks near the front.

Would it be ok to drill out the ends of the cracks, to keep them from growing, and then just use your basic fiberglass repair kit? Or is the fiberglass they're made out of wierd stuff that the resin wont bond to? I've repaired a few snowmobile cowls before, and I know the newer hoods (90's anyways) are made out of a wierd fiberglass/plastic composite stuff that the resin in a fiberglass repair kit doesn't like to bond with. What do you think?
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Old 03-25-2008, 12:50 AM   #2
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dont drill out the cracks.

the gelcoat prolly cracked as well.. i would said ti all down an wet it with some resin an start glassin over an sand untill its smooth.
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Old 03-25-2008, 12:54 AM   #3
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how far is fulton from maine, ny.... i was at the junk yard today... they have a whole fiberglass bed. like brand new, off a 98ish. im sure they sell it cheap... not worth much in scrap metal. the rest of the truck was destroyed. or instead of drilling, use epoxy on the back of the crack, digg the front of the crack out a little, then bondo.
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Old 03-25-2008, 01:45 AM   #4
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Default

It's been a while since I've done a repair on one, but you have two options. Or rather there are two substrates they're made of. The first would be your run of the mill SMC, or fiberglass like material. The second would be the same stuff plastic bumper covers are made of. You will be able to tell just by looking at the cracks which it is, if it has hairs sticking out, or the crack is fuzzy, it's SMC (which I'm pretty sure it should be.) If the crack is solid and smooth, it's plastic.

So, if it is SMC, you can just do a normal fiberglass repair on it, Grind the backside first with a 50 grit grinder disc, dishing out away from the crack about 2 inches to each side. Put some masking tape on the front side, and use your resin and mat, and build up about 3 layers, and let it cure. Once this is done, take the tape off the front side, grind it back like you did the back, and then feather sand back another 3-4 inches with some 80 grit sandpaper. Use the same method, just baste the resin on, mat, more resin, more mat, till you get 3-4 layers thick on there. Let this cure, and knock it down with some 36 grit, then apply filler. At most autobody supply stores, you can get an actual SMC filler, which comes in a yellow and black can, and says SMC right on the front of it real big. This would be your best topcoat over the fiberglass, as well as any cracked gelcoat. Just make sure you feather out all the cracks before filling, or it's just gonna crack again. Sand this with 80 grit, then 180 grit, and you're ready for prime after filling any pinholes or scratches with glaze.

If it's plastic, I would recomend 3Ms Panel Bonding Adhesive, which comes in a 2 part epoxy tube, and you'll need an aplicator gun for it. Just do like you're making a fiberglass repair, sometimes it's helpfull to drill 1/8th inch holes along side the crack, like you're going to stitch the crack closed. This allows the panel bonding adhesive to flow through the holes and create a better bond. On the backside, you can get some mesh screen, even window screen would work, then just spread it on and let it cure. Heat will make it cure faster. When the backside is cured, move on to the frontside, and when it's cured, use a flexible filler like Evercoats Poly-fil. Sand the same as above, and you're ready for prime.

If you just bondo the front of the crack, guaranteed it will crack back out within a week.

If you use resin over the entire thing, guaranteed it will be the waviest bedside you've ever seen.
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Old 03-25-2008, 01:59 AM   #5
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Quote:
how far is fulton from maine, ny
About 100 miles, if Maine is down near Binghamton, I mapquested it.

LoanRanger - They must be the SMC material you speak of, because I would definitely call the cracks "fuzzy". So I'll use just your basic fiberglass repair in the method you described.

Thanks guys.
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