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Old 07-05-2004, 06:11 AM   #1
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Fiberglass Belly? What do you think?

Hey Gang.

Long time since I have posted here, although I am reading so many of the threads lately trying to develop an idea of where and how to proceed with work on the '65 Tradewind. Last month, I was compelled to take her on the road from NYC to Indianaoplis, and the '64 Ford towed her there and back with no problems (w/the tow vehicle.)

It was a good trip, and I was faced with a few issues that, had I not taken the Bean, those issues might not have made themselves evident. The loss of the rear cover-plate (not the thin guage belly-pan) because the black-tank had given way from it's supports has me looking at replacements of both (tank is shot beyond repair.)

Some of the thin-guaged belly-pan will need to be removed because it is corroded, aside from the fact that I noticed some of the steel structure it is covering could use some rust-arresting maintenance. Has anyone ever used fiberglass sheeting (see here for details http://www.thomasregister.com/olc/02834000/high.htm) as a replacement for the belly-skin? I have read where some out there are less concerned with the cosmetics of the belly (out of sight-out of mind?) and it seems as if this could be a decent replacement (available in 5x10') Has anyone ever gone this route?

Best regards to all...

Steve
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Old 07-05-2004, 07:37 AM   #2
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I would stick with aluminum. Fiberglass is brittle, it would be hard to pull a small section down for an easy repair or inspection. Thin sheets won't hold rivets or screws as well as aluminum. It is heavy. It's going to be nasty to work with if you have to cut it for access to the belly.

John
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Old 07-05-2004, 11:51 AM   #3
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belly pan aluminum is ofter .025, and does ot need to be ALCLAD. It's available in 4x12ft sheets for around $ 50.00, which is probably cheaper than the fiberglass panels.
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Old 07-05-2004, 01:16 PM   #4
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hmmm...

From the looks of things, I might have to go ahead and remove the entire belly-pan to get to the steel underneath. I feel necessity to arrest whatever rust has been forming over the past 39 years. My concern is in re-using the existing pan-material (I know there are other helpful threads regarding this topic) especially the width is well-over 48". I'll keep digging through the previous posts and come up with a plan of action. Thanks for the comments.
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Old 07-07-2004, 08:10 PM   #5
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Why couldn't you use "flashing" its 16" wide and 100' long. If you need more width you could pop rivet them together to get any width panel you need. The stuff is cheap and readily available at Lowes. The Narrower widths should be easier to work with. Am I missing something?
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Old 07-08-2004, 06:13 AM   #6
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Question

HI All!

Can you tell me where you can get the belly pan aluminum for $50??

Thanks!
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