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Old 06-18-2019, 09:18 AM   #1
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Fiberglass ground effects repair (Interstate vans)

This topic has arisen several times, usually in the context of damaged vehicles for sale by others, but IIRC, we've never had a thread devoted to it until now:

How on earth do we get repairs to the custom (semi-custom?) fiberglass skirt / ground effects / trim pieces on our Interstates, especially the older T1Ns?

I assumed it would be fairly simple, but it's not. The regular body shops see something that looks halfways custom, and they don't want to touch it with a ten-foot pole.

On my Engine thread, I talked about the fact that my tow operator dropped our Interstate off his flatbed. The cabling snapped tight and carved out the bumper cover. Tow operator was totally honest about what happened, told his boss, and when I retrieved the van from Freightliner of Austin and opened the conversation with the tow company, they said, "We have been expecting your call."

So, they have agreed to pay to repair this, and now I just have to find someone who will actually accept the job.

Given my autobody rebuff, I'm now looking at yacht people, among others. I'll post back when I get forward motion.

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Old 06-18-2019, 05:13 PM   #2
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Ya know anyone with a restored vintage Vette? They might point you too a good shop that deals with fiberglass repair as well as automotive painting.
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Old 06-22-2019, 08:49 AM   #3
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I've had sailboats since 1993. When they get blisters or dings in them, most sailboat repairs such as what your photo shows involves an white epoxy putty called "Marine-Tex." You mix it up, apply it, smooth it and let it harden. Then you can fair it down to the surface level and paint it. It's pretty easy to use.

I have some of those kinds of dings in my running boards as well. When I get around to fixing them, that's how I'm going to do it, and I'll probably just prime it, and rattle-can spray those areas to match as closely as I can.

https://www.amazon.com/Marine-Tex-RM.../dp/B0014419V0
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Old 06-22-2019, 08:55 AM   #4
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Ordinarily I might jump at the chance to DIY this job. But the responsible party has agreed to pay for it, and I might learn something new in this process of ferreting out a vendor, so that's my plan right now.
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Old 06-22-2019, 09:02 AM   #5
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Looks like an easy fix with some gelcoat as 85MH325 suggested
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Old 06-22-2019, 03:20 PM   #6
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Fiberglass ground effects repair (Interstate vans)

Modern production body shops are about changing parts.

That's a simple repair, the biggest part is the paint.

Two hour repair plus maybe 3 hrs paint and finish..... 50 bucks worth of SMC repair resin....

Find a smaller shop, and don't beat them up over pricing and you can get it done.

(Almost everything new that's fiberglass uses SMC resin, not the old polyester stuff. )
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