Making Auto Fiberglass Repairs
As an automotive student you may be familiar with how to repair dings and dents on cars or other similar surfaces. However when it comes to new surfaces such as fiberglass repairs, you may find yourself feeling like a novice again. Trades training is a great way to further specialize your skills. Whether you decided to specialize in the trades in BC or in any other area, specializing your skills is a great way to add value to your career. In the meantime, this glimpse at fiberglass repairs will help you make the leap from student to master in no time.
Before you start off, make sure that the material that you are working with is actually fiberglass. Fiberglass consists of thin fibers of polymer (plastic) woven with strands of glass that can be found on some car bumpers and bodies.
One car model that has a fiberglass body is the Corvette. If as an automotive service technician you would like to specialize in repairing high-end vehicles, then working with fiberglass will be a useful skill for you to have. Even if your car doesn’t have a fiberglass body, many automotive repair shops use fiberglass for repairs because it can bond to metal and offers a durable repair. It is also easy to work with and inexpensive.
How to Make Repairs Using Fiberglass
Although many car parts are created using fiberglass, it will crack over time and need repairs. If you want to do body work on small areas using a patch method for cosmetic reasons, start off by sanding the surface with a heavy grit sandpaper to create a mechanical bond. Next, remove any dirt and grease by wiping the surface with acetone or a similar solvent. Lay your fiberglass piece atop of the area that needs repairing, allowing for overlap. After this, apply the necessary amount of resin with a brush, removing any excess resin and air bubbles with a squeegee. Once the resin has dried, repeat the previous steps as necessary or simply sand and polish the fiberglass to make it smooth. Finally re-wipe using acetone or a similar solvent. Once this has been completed, paint the surface as necessary.
However, if you would like to do fiberglass body work yourself, start off by prepping the surface where the fiberglass will be bonded, similar to the prep method above. To make a repair using filler, mix the filler with hardener and apply it to the area that needs to be repaired. Fill in the area until it is as smooth as possible. Once it has dried, sand the surface with a coarser grits, minimizing the grit as the surface becomes smoother. Use spot putty on blemishes and allow it to cure before continuing to sand. Lastly, wipe down the surface with solvent and paint as necessary.
Making repairs using fiberglass isn’t complicated, however it does take a lot of time and patience. Set aside enough time to make the proper improvements and with enough practice you’ll be working with fiberglass with ease.