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Fiberglass, resin and bondo

Posted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:07 pm
by Eric3501
I am a bit new to body work, and am in the middle of undoing some work someone else did...I purchased a 7 pierce Baja body kit and removing some molded in tail lights that the individual did a number on. Anyway my question is on a gel coated panel of fiberglass is it normal to not scuff the gel coat and paint resin on then add the Bondi over the resin?

Re: Fiberglass, resin and bondo

Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:42 am
by risk
what are you trying to fill with the bondo? You might be better off with a more flexible filler. Bondo on some thin fiberglass fenders is asking for cracks.

Re: Fiberglass, resin and bondo

Posted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 2:10 am
by Eric3501
I am not try to Bondi anything as I am more removing a mess someone else made. In the process of removing this mess I encountered a lot I had never seen and was asking more if it was common practice or more he really was clueless as I suspect. There were no detectable sand or scuff marks on the fiberglass gel coat, then they applied resin to it then some Bondi over that...no kind of glass cloth at that point at all, just the body filler...after about 1/2 an inch they decided to start with the resin and glass, then top it off with more body filler...took me 2 weeks to get that mess off. The body filler on the resin was like sanding through cement...I have read a couple body working books and quite a few YouTube videos but never heard or seen of this practice...did I miss something along the way? Thanks for the reply...

Re: Fiberglass, resin and bondo

Posted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 8:40 am
by Ol'fogasaurus
There are some new bonding materials (and I am not talking about basic FG resins here) that are far stronger than even a long line of fasteners used for joining parts together. It is extremely possible that one of those little jewels could have been used and it wouldn't surprise me at all. I would scuff up the bare FG before using a Bondo (a brand name but used as a general term for other brands of fillers [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bondo_(putty)]) product and I don't think I would use even a FG repair style of Bondo over gelcoat as the gelcoat is stiff and can come loose/the bond fail from the FG itself. Layering, like you say you have, is done but it isn't a good idea.

If I remember correctly, the gelcoat is first sprayed into the mold then the FG and resin is then added and built up.

If it is as hard as you say you might be stuck using power sanders to break the layers of "stuff" up.

Re: Fiberglass, resin and bondo

Posted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:44 am
by SCOTTRODS
Sounds like someone used JB weld to fill and build with... either way, it is Common for people (who have no clue what they're doing) to improvise using products and materials that are not truly suitable for the job.

Anyone who knows what they're doing would not have applied the fillers that were used on that, I don't think. Fiberglass is a pretty amazing product to begin with, and todays fiberglass resins are very good at making pretty nearly any shape you want... if you know what you're doing.

Re: Fiberglass, resin and bondo

Posted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:15 am
by Eric3501
Thank you all for the info and responding...had a bit of a family crisis here and was away for a while. Back at it again...Finally got all that mess off, but now to fix some minor slips with a grinder....got some other things to get done on here too, like getting the glass back in. Anyone have any advice on getting around the serrated keepers on the top and bottom of the windshield. Possible tools needed to accomplish this task...old rubber so old it was more like plastic than rubber and came out in pieces...

Re: Fiberglass, resin and bondo

Posted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:45 am
by SCOTTRODS
On the Keepers... You don't "have to" have them to replace a windshield. You can just glue it all in place with some clamps prior to windshield replacement and it'll be fine. The adhesives you can buy now are really good and will allow for such an approach.

Re: Fiberglass, resin and bondo

Posted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:10 am
by Eric3501
Keepers are for the rubber, right? At least that was my thinking anyway. Sort of a series of serated tabs on the inside edge pointed to the inside of car...You saying this can be removed and the rubber glued in?

Re: Fiberglass, resin and bondo

Posted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:39 am
by SCOTTRODS
The Keepers are for the headliner and the dash material that folds over the lip the windshield rubbers grip. They keep things in place while you apply the windshield. At least that's how see it.
I've always had to remove at least one of the two when installing new windshields.sometimes both depending on what condition they're in or what my direction was. I usually remove the headliners on my Bugs when they start coming apart or have holes. I don't rightly care if I have one as I won't be doing a lot of long journeys in mine, and I can make a nice looking "slip in" version that goes over the windshield header and inside the roof frame with Cardboard or other material if I just want to knock some noise down. And they look OK too.

The dash part on the other hand... some of my experiences have been to remove the dash pad and make my own covers... some replace the original... I usually haven't done much with that if removed. Except tape over holes and prep to fill permanently.

A lot of my bugs have been minimized to lightest weight possible to give best response and power from a "factory" spec'd engine. I usually remove a lot of dead weight and run with nothing but a driver seat as well... never did restore any bigs to their original glory. I use them for transportation mostly. Of course with a side order of plain ol' Fun too.