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Old 04-23-2011, 09:12 AM   #1
Kevbz's Avatar
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Location: O'Fallon, MO
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Hard top fiberglass repairs

The Jeep I just got in march came with a hardtop, and I've since put a soft top on. The top is nice with tinted windows, etc. But the previous owner must have left it resting on the corners because they are worn and chipped. Has anyone every done fiberglass repair on their hardtop. There's also a crack by the driver door but that looks like a straight forward repair.

Can you layer the fiber and epoxy and then trim to the same contours? I'd like to fix it up to sell to finance "other" jeep projects

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Old 04-23-2011, 09:21 AM   #2
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have u worked with glass before? fiberglass does not stick to tin foil. line the sides with tin foil(to mold to the shape you want on the outside) work with the glass on the inside, and buy maybe a quart of resin and get the cloth weave not the matt. weave is stronger.

youre going to have to "paint" the resin and neatly(!) lay the mat in. i emphasize neatly or else you will have more body work later. let the 1 coat dry about 2 hours. go back and make sure it is now the shape you wanted(screw the edges, thats why they make sanders) and put a second and 3rd coat. be sure you dont get air bubbles. bubbles turn into air pockets which mean less strength and theyll crack open.

the question of epoxy is no. use fiberglass and just be neat. once it dries and you have messed it up you may have to grind it off. the more patient you are the neater and easier the paint work will be.

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Old 04-23-2011, 09:21 AM   #3
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you want to leave the spots low and then use body filler(bondo) to smooth the outside.
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Old 04-23-2011, 11:37 PM   #4
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I appreciate all the good info...I've never worked with glass before. I guess the main thing is be as neat as possible and what i do "over-indulge" in can be taken care of with a sander?

The top functions perfectly, it's almost all cosmetic at the corners, except for the crack at the driver door. But that one looks like I can do the repair on the inside and just bondo the crack on the outside to make it uniform.

I debated taking it to a fiberglass shop, and as long as the repairs didnt over price the top when I sell it, letting them do it. But I dont know how expensive fiberglass repairs are. That and I like doing things myself for the experience and knowledge.
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Old 04-24-2011, 02:03 PM   #5
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how much is a new top?
fiberglass repairs are expensive because most shops that do fiberglass consider their work "custom" at 120 an hour. most body shops are 60 an hour and your about 5 hours in work bringing the total to about 300 for labor + paint and parts im assuming it would cost 550-700 to get repaired professionally. to do it yourself it would cost 60 bucks before paint. if youre going to paint a quart will be fine and base/clear should be about 60 bucks. you could use bedliner and that would be about 80 but there is far less work.

the resin is going to cost about 20 bucks and the weave should be about 5.00

the bondo should cost less than 15. and probably 20 dollars in sand paper.

then youre going to have to paint. if youve never done body work before, this will be the tedious part, sanding and painting. fiberglass resin works like paint. it just dries rock hard. just be real careful on getting air pockets!!!!. once the glass dries you can cut/grind it back to shape, and use filler to fill it. if the filler is rough a "cheese grader" will smooth the bondo back out and sand it with 60 grit or less. once the shape is in youre simply tring to fill in the dimples and low spots. 120-220 grit should be fine here.

if youre going to use bedliner on the top then this probably all the work you need. sand marks wont show through that thick stuff. if youre going to paint. you need to sand down to at least 400 grit prime, wetsand to 600-800 then paint.

let me know if you need any help/further advice.- good luck
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