Widening door gaps

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:38 pm
Hi

I am building a Speedster and the body is finished in gel coat. The overall finish is pretty good and I'd like to polish it up and maybe look at paint later on.

I need to adjust the gaps, they are mostly OK but I have one area where I need to make it wider. Once I have sanded it back how do i finish the edge?

Do I need to apply gel coat to seal the edges?

If I need to close any gaps how would I do this without having to paint?

Cheers

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:53 am
Hi and welcome.... So you've got a "finished" kit then that is gel coat coat color I assume? do you think you could post a pic. on here so I can see just how much you are trying to build out on that edge?
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:51 am
Hi

Yeah it's gel coat, I'll get some pics tomorrow, but here's a couple of general images

Cheers
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1 Body4.JPG
1 Body5.JPG

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:18 pm
Well, first let me say.... WOW, that is one of the nicest production gel coats that I have ever seen in quite some time. That rivals the Bremen Sport gel coats made here back in the 1970s and 1980s here. Even your existing gaps look pretty good. So, okay......can you "build out" some gel coat on the edges.....my answer to that is "maybe". First, can you get some of the this color gel coat from your body manufacturer? Now keep in mind even if you get it from them there gel coat was designed to cure "in mold" so you may have to get a modifier to make it an air cure gel coat. We use a product here called Duratec which is added 1 to 1 to our gel coat allowing it to air dry properly. The big problem that I see here is that gel coat is more like a "shell" than a strong rigid plastic when cured. Ideally it would be better to use some type of bendable metal strip tack glued on the inside of the door frame, hit it with a mold release, and then build up some regular resin/chip chopped mat, THEN go on to surface it with the gel coat. Blending in that gel coat edge can be done but is quite challenging. Lots of fine sanding, finer sanding, polishing and buffing to make it look decent.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:49 pm
Yeah Chesil in the UK have a good reputation for the quality of the bodies. I have the RAL colour that they use so I should be able to match it. Here’s some more specific images around the front top edges of the doors. The last three show the door I need to widen the gap on. The remaining ones are the other side which is pretty good. I still need to finish all the edges as they are raw glass.
Attachments
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7CD8E58E-2A10-4649-A145-C19BBC6259BA.jpeg
DBA4BC58-140E-48FB-9D54-A45AB1B18C4D.jpeg

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 7:55 am
So, okay, this looks like it can be corrected/done. Looks like you've got decent thickness raw glass for grip. I think you could probably just do this by laying up the gel coat. Those mold "flash" lines may be kind of tough to fill out, level and buff out. Whenever you see a "finished" style gel coat that has been buffed out this well and the manufacturer DIDN'T do those areas it is of concern. They used to have that on some of our old kit cars here and they actually included a free racing stripe or brand sticker that ran right along those seams.
Hey, do you have any boat docks, shipyards near you? Guys working on fiberglass boats repair gel coats all the time (even aged ones). Might be worth showing them these pic.s and getting some more input on how to work these firsthand.....
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 2:36 pm
I've seen a few kits in the UK where they polish the gel coats. Luckily the flashlines aren't that long (12") per side the rest is covered by bumpers and trim.

I'll have a look for a boat builder, shouldn't be to difficult here in NZ they like their boating! Americas cup winners

Thanks

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 3:23 pm
I'll think you'll be fine.... Hey, have you ever owned a gel coat car before? The only reason I bring that up is because sunlight really kills these gel coats within a year or two. Sunlight will make them start "chalking" in as little as 6 months. I had my Bremen Sebring back in the 1980s. I could not garage it for a year or so. Chalking started, and within a few hours i could machine buff it back up and it would be okay for a week or two, then chalking again. By the time I just gave up and decided to paint it the chalking would come back within a few days of polishing. If it is of any help...the quality of gel coat surface you've got there is perfect for painting. You simply scuff/sand and paint.....
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:25 pm
That's good to know as NZ has very bad UV levels! Luckily the car will be garaged. I may look at painting in the future when I have a few more $$$

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:44 pm
If you are garaging that will extend it's life by years. You might also look at some of the newer UV filtering/blocking polishes out there. Modern gel coats themselves are better than they were many years ago so that's a plus. Speedster is an easy paint job when the time does come. Paint job would take a couple of days at most.....
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