Are you interested in fixing a damaged fiberglass car body? If so, then this guide is for you. In this review, we provide a step-by-step guide on how to repair a fiberglass car body.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Repair a Fiberglass Car Body
Although there are no cookie-cutter approaches, and the precise method for repairing your fiberglass car body depends on the specifics of the damage and your goals, there are several steps that may be included. These steps include:
- Survey the damage of your fiberglass car body
- Repair cracks and other minor defects
- Repair holes in the fiberglass car body
- Finish the repairs
Survey the Damage of Your Fiberglass Car Body
The first thing you should do when preparing a fiberglass car body is assess the severity of the damage. Specifically, you should look for signs of damage throughout the car’s body. This notably includes damages such as cracks and holes.
In addition to the type of damage, you should also assess whether the damage can be easily fixed on your own or if a professional is required. It can also help to take pictures of the damage and receive a professional opinion when you are in doubt. A professional can review the damage and evaluate the cost of the repairs to help you make more informed decisions.
Repair Cracks and Other Minor Defects
The next step in the repair process is fixing all minor cracks and defects. First, locate and make note of where all defects are located. When fixing cracks, in particular, clean and sand the area thoroughly. This helps remove loose particles and debris.
Next, the goal is to lock the new fiberglass material to the old. This is accomplished by drilling a series of holes around the perimeter of the repair area. To mix fiberglass resin, a 2-part polyester substrate is used, with a hardener called MEKP added in a specific ratio based on room temperature.
A fiberglass mat is then used. It is important to work as quickly as possible to ensure the best results possible.
Repair Holes in the Fiberglass Car Body
The hole repair process is often more complex than repairing cracks. This is especially the case if there were previously repair (or moderation) jobs performed. For example, you may have already had a hole in your fiberglass car body in addition to the recent one.
In these cases, you will need to remove the existing fiberglass then drill holes surrounding the new hole you are repairing and tape the area.
Next, the process involves the use of a piece of sheet metal to form the crest of the hood before adding a layer of woven fiberglass. The last step is to prepare the area for finishing (see below).
Finish the Repairs
To finish the fiberglass car body repair, you will need to sand and smooth the area that was repaired (or replaced). We also recommend the use of body filler and high-build primer to ensure the quality of the finishing job.
Keep in mind, the primer is applied relatively thick and usually requires block sanding. This helps ensure the repair is undetectable and looks brand new after the paint is applied. In some cases, your car’s body may benefit from the application of a sprayable polyester primer to seal the fiberglass for a factory-perfect finish, although this is an extra step that may not be entirely necessary if you love the results beforehand.
DIY vs. Fiberglass Car Body Restoration: Which is the Better Option?
It can be tempting to attempt a DIY fiberglass car body repair yourself to save money. In some cases, this may, in fact, be a viable option, particularly if you have a high degree of skill and experience with car repairs.
However, in many other instances, attempting a DIY repair leads to unnecessary time spent and frustration, only to come to the realization that a professional who has access to more equipment and parts is necessary.
Therefore, to determine if you should bring your car to a restoration shop or fix it yourself, you should evaluate the extent of the damage, determine the cost of DIY repairs (which is often more expensive than many anticipate), and receive a quote from a professional.
This information, along with a consideration of the car’s current value (including sentimental value) and age, can help you decide the best course of action.
Work With an Experienced Body Shop at Robs Customs and Restorations
Rob’s Customs and Restorations offers fiberglass car body repair services. If your car’s body is dinged up and damaged, then you can trust our technicians to restore its body so it looks and feels new, all for an affordable price. So, why wait? Get started today by calling us or sending us a message.