Repairing fiberglass today

Today was quite a productive day.  I removed all the stickers on the back relating to it’s previous life as a Race Bus.  T-Cut the surrounding area and you can hardly tell.  Well apart from where the previous blue colour pokes through.

The previous owners had not had much experience of large vehicles I think.  The rear right corner was crushed and ripped (fiber glass)  So today I had my first attempt at DIY fiberglass repairs.

I used the ready mixed epoxy/fiberglass which is like a putty with bits of fiberglass in it.  I added the hardner as per the instructions and forced it through from the back of the panel.  I then got two bits of wood and wedged them from the ground to the panel to hold the flappy bits together.    Once this had set I used the coursest grain sandpaper I could find to get rid of the small amount of excess.  At this stage the panel looked rough as hell but was in almost the right shape.  I then applied copious amounts of filler and roughed out the finished curve leaving it about 3-5mm proud of where I wanted it to be.  After an hour this had dried out and the panel looked even worse lol….

I then got to work with the rough sandpaper and shaped it back to the original curved shape.  At this point it started to look reasonable but it was hard to tell what it would look like when painted.  I gave it a quick dusting of white paint using an aerosol.  Once this had dried I could see the dimples and lines from where the filler hadn’t reached or where I had missed.  I then mixed another batch of filler and applied this sparingly and scraping off as much as I could.   20 minutes later and another sand it was looking about as good as I could expect for an amateur rush job.

I then repeated the process on a great big scrape and hole in a flat aluminium side panel on the passenger side.  Due to the lack of complex curves this looks much better although the paint is nowhere near a match it will stop rain getting in and looks ok at first glance (from a distance).

During my outside work today I have realised that all the skirt panels including the corners and bumbers are removable with a couple of bolts and a handful of screws.  What this means is that I can remove all these panels and work inside and make them look pretty good again .  I am quite looking forward to getting the old girl look decent again.  But that will have to wait until I have the inside liveable and better weather so it is a job for next year

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