I'm beginning a fiberglassing project repair on my Lotus Elise body.
Went to a fiberglass specialist store and bought some parts along with gleaming what knowledge I could from them. Other than that, I've been cramming youtube vids and other articles.
Just wanted to talk out what I've narrowed down here as a mental exercise before I start (along with a couple of questions) to get some feedback.
Supplies I have for the job:
1. Chopped mat, Power Mat, Cloth fiberglass.
2. Epoxy resin w/ hardner
3. Acetone for cleaning
4. Cordless random orbital sander, my hands , 80 grit, 120 grit sanpaper.
7. Mixing cups
Supplies I might need to get?
1. filler (which kind, how many, and should one of them be a fiberglass mixed filler?)
I've got some cracks in my body work, front and rear corner on one side that's starting to spiderweb a bit over time:
From what I gather when speaking to the fiberglass shop, they mentioned on the back of the panels I'll use one layer of chopped mat as a base, then add layers of the power mat on top of that as the actual support.
For the cracks, am I cutting my mat pieces from large to small? I.e. I cut the first chopped mat to cover more than just the crack and I cut the powder mat after to be narrower and narrower until it just covers the crack?
How do I know how many layers I need to put down, is it just enough to match the thickness of the existing panel?
The fiberglass shop also mentioned to lay the top of each crack (like the one below), on the panel facing outward, with cloth fiberglass. After that to fill it with a filler and sand it down.
I mentioned that to another paint/body supply shop and the painter there said it was bad info, that the cloth fiber would show up during painting no matter how much I sanded it. They mentioned I should only be using a fiberglass mixed resin for the cracks on top of the body work.
Which one should I follow for fixing the cosmetic cracks on top of the bodywork? Bit confused on this one....
There's a couple of seams where the fiberglass was bonded from factory, different parts bonded together. There's been clean split (like in the image below) and I'm assuming I'll just try to sand in between and get epoxy in there and clamp it to set.
Would that be the way to do it? Is there a special epoxy you'd recommend?
When everything's been fix, I'm not expecting to sand or do anything to the repairs on the underbody. They're out of sight and it's purely cosmetic to address it (right?). For the filler/fiberglass on the outerbody, I'll be sanding it with my random orbital sander and hand sanding, 80 grit to cut it down and some 1XX grit to clean it up?
Once that's done I'll just spray some primer over the repaired areas to protect them till it's time to paint. I won't have a paint booth available to me till a couple of weeks after repairs.
Does this process sound right, am I missing anything?
I was originally going to have a shop do it locally, but it's been such a f$^#fest dealing with most of them that I decided just to do it myself. The pros for me are that I can do it again if I get into an accident on track (where this existing damage is from) where insurance won't cover. Other than that I just like working on cars and developing new skills.