fiberglass bodywork

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  #1  
Old 05-28-03, 06:31 PM
kidpresentable
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fiberglass bodywork

this is my first post here. awesome place! ok so i've got this front bumper for my car made of fiberglass. not painted, it's an aftermarket bumper that is slightly too large for my car (about an inch on both sides, and the right side sits a bit too high also). how do i go about forming it so that it fits perfectly? i was told by a couple people to use a heat gun to re-heat it, then shape it. that just seemed like a bad idea, but I tried it anyway, and now there are cracks in it also. how do i go about fixing both of these problems? i've searched all over for this information and it seems that nobody want's to let out with the secret.
thanks.
 
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  #2  
Old 05-28-03, 09:53 PM
knuckles
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Would help to know year/make/model.

Also, are you sure the bumper is fiberglass? The only fiberglass bumpers I've ever seen were 'performance' parts intended for street/strip or race cars. These bumpers offer no crash protection whatsoever and are illegal in some states.

Fiberglass can be shaped with a grinder or sander. It can be repaired with fiberglass resin and fiberglass mat or cloth. Hit your local library or bookstore for books on the topic. Any autobody or boat refinishing book should cover the topic in detail.
 
  #3  
Old 05-29-03, 12:15 AM
kidpresentable
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oh yeah. it's one of those acura's (integra, 1994) that all the kids are driving. we wish they were race cars, but they're most of the time just for looks. i'm positive it's fiberglass, almost as positive that it's legal here in california, and pretty aware that if i get into a front end collision, i'm screwed. but it will look cool. anyway, thanks knuckles. i'll hit the books tommorrow, guess i'll have to try the big library as the little one did'nt seem to have anything very helpful. or it could be possible i did'nt know what to look for
 
  #4  
Old 05-29-03, 03:35 AM
Joe_F
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One of "those" cars. LOL.

Fiberglass can be a bear to work with and can be dangerous to your health if you don't use the proper protection and tools when working with it.

As Knuckles said, read up in the library on this one. It takes a lot of time to work with glass successfully.
 
  #5  
Old 05-29-03, 05:53 AM
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 171
Originally posted by Joe_F
One of "those" cars. LOL.
Maybe while he's at the library he can brush up on becoming
an organ donor?


Christopher
 
  #6  
Old 05-31-03, 04:03 AM
stingc
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I have a corvette, so I've had some experience with fiberglass (indirectly through others who have damaged their vettes). First, fiberglass bumpers are usually slightly small, not large, in order to get a good fit. You should have returned the part.

Now that you're keeping it, though, I think the heat gun idea is reasonably correct, but it has to be done very carefully. Small cracks can usually be sanded out. Fiberglass work is very difficult and time consuming to get right. You're going to have fun painting it too. That takes a lot more patience than painting metal. It usually comes out bad even from high end paint shops. Sorry I don't have specifics. These are just things I've heard.
 
  #7  
Old 05-31-03, 06:48 AM
Joe_F
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Agreed. Talk to any body shop that does Corvettes or boats as a specialty/expertise.

They will tell you painting fiberglass is a whole other ballgame.
 
  #8  
Old 06-02-03, 01:02 AM
kidpresentable
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thanks again. i did'nt know that fiberglass was difficult to paint. hmmm... the more i look at this the more i realize this is gonna be quite a nice sized project. that's good. any idea what causes the cracks that devlop on fiberglass? my guess would be that it may be due to stress points, or excessive heat. also, anybody know how a heat gun can be used to shape fiberglass?
 
  #9  
Old 06-02-03, 01:17 AM
stingc
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The cracks are due to stress points like you said. The heat causes the material to expand, but it doesn't do it uniformly. It has to give somehow, so it cracks.
 
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