Repair Possible?

Anything goes in the world of fiberglass and plastic

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:28 pm
HI All,

This happened today on my 71 Corvette. Slammed the door and a big chip about 3/4" fell on the ground. Not the best feeling.
I don't know much about fiberglass but could someone tell me if a spot repair is possible? Also, opinions on the what the random cracks surrounding the damaged area are? The paint I think is original on this panel so I'm hoping lacquer checking, however, my more wise side feels it is the gelcoat failing* (or something else) and the chip that fell off confirms. :(

I came back here with this edit after some searching. Apparently Corvettes did not have an gelcoat. What goes over he bare glass strands left after the paint fell off?? The photo is the edge of the drivers door below the door handle on the back edge. The photo isn't oriented correctly.

Chip 2.jpeg

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 1:11 pm
Okay, so you don't quite understand how the molding process was done back then. Here is a small excerpt about how the pre 1973 cars were made....

"Starting with the third generation in 1968, the body parts were manufactured with a press mold process, whereby the fiberglass material and resin were shaped in a die-like tool that produced smoother parts more quickly. It was a significant advancement in forming technology and laid the groundwork for a change in the body panels’ material in 1973. That year, the composition changed from conventional fiberglass to sheet-molded composite, or SMC, which was composed of fiberglass, resin and a catalyst formed under high heat and pressure. The ratio of resin to fiberglass was reduced with SMC, while the fiberglass itself was a bit coarser. The new material helped produce panels that were smoother right out of the mold, resulting in higher-quality paint finishes."

So what has chipped is the resin rich surface. Sure, any good body shop that handles fiberglass work should be able to repair that for you. If they work on Corvettes as a regular thing they should also be able to troubleshoot the paint you need. Now with all that being said I wouldn't exactly call this a "spot repair." Their could be much more extensive fill, blending work needed to make this look right. Kind of looks like the surrounding glass got pretty stressed here.....
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:30 pm
I would glue that chip back in place! Then, using a thin metal rule with sandpaper glued on, sand that leading edge back some to open the gap so it doesn't do that again. Superglue and finesse. Probably the door has sagged or otherwise gotten slightly out of adjustment causing door/fender contact. With the door almost closed pick up slightly on the rear bottom of the door and notice any vertical play in the hinge. These old vettes need more than normal door gaps imho.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:34 am
Yeah, but does he have the chip??? And does it fit well enough to glue? If you do try and glue it remember, all of the super glue has to stay "under" the chip. If any of it remains at the edge line sunlight will kill it in a matter of weeks causing the chip to fall out again. Super glues have NO Uv resistance at all. My company has super glues custom made for us in Japan for various metal, wood , marble and stone applications. They can do some pretty great repair but none have been made so far that are Uv stable.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:01 am
Agreed Darrell,
I'm just thinking if it were mine, and that's original paint I would avoid bodywork and blended paint if possible. I hope he has the chip, looks like it could have had enough resin to keep it in one piece maybe. Maybe glue it with a more suitable glue. It'd be nice if it fit back really close.
I'll bet you have fun with super glues, custom made no less. :goodjob:



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:11 am
Also, I was thinking that was the front edge of the door. Being the rear edge up near the door handle, is where the most movement occurs on these cars when the chassis flexes near the rear torsion boxes. That gap can open/close almost a quarter inch when the car is driven hard over dips. It doesn't look like it bumped anything but really hard to tell. It could have been just de-lamination like Darrell says and time for it to pop off. That sucks.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:50 am
Ha, ha, yeah, :lol: yeah, I've actually glued quite a few of those chips with gel coat kit cars. Cars get a lot of "shake" with flimsy fenders on the cheaper kits. And yes, we do have a lot fun with cyano style glues. My favorite to play with is the black rubber toughened super glue. We use it in applications which are going to get shock loads or extensive vibration. I've even used it to fix black convertible tops. It also forms incredibly resilient bonds between wood and glass as well as glass and metal.
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