Friday, June 19, 2009

How to Repair Fiberglass

All techniques come from Ty T. who spent many many hours learning the process from his father. As I understand it, Ty's father had a significant passion/hobby for working on Corvettes. The quality of the repairs made on our Corvette are wonderful. Follow along and see for yourself.
As you'll recall the rear wheel wells were really ugly. They were flared and consisted of sheet metal, bondo and a few dozen rivets.

The wheel wells were cleaned, wire brushed and ground down to bare fiberglass. The replacement inserts were trimmed in order to preserve as much of the original body fiberglass as possible. Fiberglass tabs were made and riveted to the backside of the wheel wells. The outside of the wheel wells were then feathered back with a grinder and sheets of fiberglass mat were layed down.

The rivets and tabs were then drilled out and removed. The back side of the wheel wells were feathered back at least 6 inches with a grinder for the full length of repair. Long sheets of fiberglass mat were layered in making sure all matting was fully saturated and all air bubbles removed.

The front side received more fiberglass mat and resin making sure enough was installed to fill all low spots.

Liberal amounts of resin and glass filled the rivet holes and low spots created from the feathering process.


Rough sanding with a long block was performed to bring the body contours back.

Viewed from inside the wheel well you can see the final results. The body and the wheel well insert are sandwiched between the new (clear) fiberglass.

After rough sanding the body lines are near perfect.

More sanding is still required but the fiberglass work is complete. Any minor imperfections that still remain will be fixed with small amounts of bondo or finishing glaze. The results are absolutely spectacular. A huge thanks to Ty for doing the majority of this work and teaching me the techniques. I'll post photos of other repairs shortly.

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