Working with Fiberglass
#1
When I decided to install the fiberglass R-valance I couldn't wait to get it on the car. That didn't come without problems which we all know comes with installing aftermarket parts. In my case, the valance was creating a lot of tension on the fenders (partially attributable to poor engineering by Ford) and causing the fender to interfere with opening the passenger side door. The solution was to split the valance and expand it one inch. The end result was a better fitting panel with good door gaps allowing the door to open without hitting the fender.

Below are pictures of the process of splitting the panel, designing a small jig, fiberglassing, body work, paint and fitment:

I hope this post is helpful to others if you come into a similar situation. A lot of people often attribute poor fitment to fiberglass panels (which is true) but don't be afraid to work it and don't let aftermarket pieces take away from your car!


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#2
Thanks for the helpful insight and tips.

Was this your first experience with working with fiberglass?

The result is as expected from you - marvelous!
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#3
Fiberglass is a wonderful material and produces excellent results even for a novice. The only draw back can be the grinding and sanding. as it will make you itch like a dog, with a thousand fleas! I enjoy being one of the few people that are not allergic to fiberglass. I can roll in regular house insulation and it doesn't bother me at all, but if I go grinding on a fiberglass hood or a repair with layered fiberglass it will make me itch quite a bit. I've found coating your exposed skin, with a good heavy barrier creme, will just about eliminate the itch completely. Hope this works for everybody. Cause fiberglass is cool to work with! Thumbup JTS 71 Mach1
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#4
Steven,

Yes, this was my first "real" time working with fiberglass. Like JTS mentioned, fiberglass produces excellent results even for the novice. The most difficult part of the job was making sure the 2 pieces lined up exactly so the panel was straight when the fiberglass was applied. I also sanded down a 6 inch wide groove on the backside of the panel and laid the fiberglass down in it. This allows the backside of the valance that fits over the radiator support to be flush and not have a big hump in it. So there is a little thinking and prep work required. But the fiberglass becomes very strong when it dries and has the same strength structurally that it had before it was cut.




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#5
Thanks Mike.

I have yet to work much with fiberglass. Although I was working on my son's Maverick last week, cleaning up his Grabber spoiler and I have thought about making a form so that I can make my own for the shelf.

Peter Winn does great work with carbon fiber for his Targa Tasmania Mach 1.
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#6
Fibre Itch:
I found it could help to apply packaging tape to the the affected skin and pull it off. Bit like waxing but 1) it does work (or did for me) and 2) at least its not your naughty bits.
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#7
(10-20-2014, 01:59 PM)Steven Harris Wrote: Thanks Mike.

I have yet to work much with fiberglass. Although I was working on my son's Maverick last week, cleaning up his Grabber spoiler and I have thought about making a form so that I can make my own for the shelf.

Peter Winn does great work with carbon fiber for his Targa Tasmania Mach 1.

I have seen some of Peter's work on his postings. He is definitely in a class above the rest when it comes to carbon fiber work. I would love to put a carbon fiber trunk lid on 66 (hint hint)

As far as making your own, give it a shot. I would be curious to see how it comes out. Also, I think it would be kind of a fun project to do and I am sure the making the form would be the hardest part.
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