Using Fiberglass?

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Oct 24, 2005
Cuba, MO
Okay guys here is the deal....I acquired a "new" FJ-60 and it is really rusty.....well i don't want to spend a bunch of money to repair the metal with new metal b/c in the future this truck is going to turn into my beater offroad truck.

Luckily all of the rust that needs taken care of is below that contour line that most people paint up to when using bedliner so that is my plan.

I want to learn to use fiberglass to make my own repairs......

How does the fiberglass bond to the existing metal panels?
How steep is the learning curve for fiberglass?

any other recomendations?

If you clean to bare metal and get it totally grease free, fiberglass will stick. Just slapping it on and it probably won't last long.

Fiberglass is super easy, get the cloth, put resin on cloth, put cloth on desired area, put some resin over it.
If you are going to work with fiberglass make sure you use a good respriatior that stuff is no good for you lungs.

I have used it quite a bit in the past and its pretty easy to use but after going that route I would rather have just welded in new metal.
i would love to have a welder and the ability to do the welding....if i could that is what i would do. I don't have that kind of access and do not want to pay someone to weld on my truck since it might get messed up wheelin any if the fiberglass gets cracked i can repair it with a little fiberglass repair and be ready.

Keep the advice coming

How does the fiberglass bond to the existing metal panels?

Mechanical adhesion via a resin, like paint. The metal should be clean, rust free, and scuffed up. The deeper the scratches in the metal and the more clean area surrounding the holes to bond to, the better the adhesion obviously. Cut out any rusty crap metal. Patch from the back side if possible - smooth out the pretty side using a body filler. Anyway, if you buy one of those kits it'll have instructions.

Use polyester or epoxy resin. I've heard of people using POR-15 as well. You just need enough to wet the cloth.

There used to be some heat activated fiberglass patch stuff you could buy that I always thought would be promising for small holes. Unfortuantely I forgot what it's called. You put it on like tape, and use a heat gun to activate the resin.
lunyou, just go down to lowes-homedepot-walmart and pick up a fiberglass "kit", It'll probably be 20 bucks. Take something, anything a piece of wood or an old toaster, read the directions and fiberglass it. Just like anything else, I would suggest practicing on something before you try it on the truck. Fiberglass and resin is some extremely sticky messy s*** and will permanently adhere to anything you get it on. If you're cheap, go to the library and check out a book on fiber glassing before trying. There are tried and true methods for fiberglass auto repairs. If you do it wrong, you will be sanding for a really fawking long time before you can blend in a fiberglass repair.
thanks beaufort I have browsed a couple articles on the web.....never read all the way through them though.

At the local autozone they have a gallon kit for fiberglassing minus the clothfor 30 bucks. I will definatly check lowes now.

I used fiberglass and find it fairly easy. Same kind of situation as you, my 62 is a beater and the frame is going so did the fiberglass to keep it on the road without sinking money into it that I won't get back.

I had no problem with it sticking, just do the prep as mentioned previously. I coat one side of the fabric, then put that side (very sticky) on a plastic sheet, smooth it out with a plastic spreader most use for bondo, then coat the other side of the fabric(at this point it is the side that is up). This gives you the ability to manage one side of the fiberglass without dealing with all the sticking. Stick it where you want it and again smooth it, with another clean plastic spreader, let it dry then the plastic peels right off, when you get good you don't need to touch it up much and have a smooth finish. Might want to play with another object first to get an idea of how much resin to use.

Get lots of gloves and spreaders.

A little bit of advice if your mixing the resin and hardener and putting it on the cloth (matt or roving) and building it out that way. Measure and pre-cut your matt to the shape you want and test fit it dry first. Once your happy with the section you want to put up, lay down a piece of saran/plastic wrap on your flat working lay down your piece of glass mix up enough resin and hardener to infuse the matt (wear your latex gloves). Next pour your mixed resin/hardener onto your matt and using an el cheapo 1-2" paint brush work the resin into the matt (this part takes a little learning curve as you don't want too much resin and too little resin combined with over vigorous brushing will make a mess...especially on the at first use a little more resin and less brush work until you get the feel for it). Once the fiberglass matt is infused, paint some of the resin mixture onto the area where you will be setting the patch. If your gloves are all gooped up change them out....and now pick up your infused fiberglass patch by picking it up under the saran/plastic wrap. Place it on the patch area and you can manipulate it around some to suit, flattening it and smoothing it, by rubbing the saran wrap. Leave the saran wrap on until it is begun to set up then peel it off. With a little bit of practice this approach will be the least messy. Lastly, plan your work...obviously where you have just laid in a glass patch won't be ready for more glass until after it has set up and been roughed up. So, if you have 4 spots your glassing have them all prepped and ready to go...take it in steps and don't try to get too tricky (multiple compound curves/angles) with one lay up.

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