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fiberglass problem question..



Ive been putting off posting this problem until I got time to go about fixing it. Im also rea dumb in this area. I dont think I need to post a pic of the problem, but will if anyone needs to see it!

The area is on the back lid that opens and closes my ragtop compartment.
The drivers side area where the open close mechanism mounts was evidently abused at some point and the fiberglas is crushed and mushy. Its getting worse as I continue to put the top up and down(duh). Its getting increasingly harder to get this side to unlatch and also to close up again. I have to do this special little "hold on the mechanism" and pull the latch procedure :( Ive got some small ideas on how to get the fiberglass back to solid around the mechanism mount, but really need full details on the whole procedure. Im hoping this problem is no big deal to many of you guys, but to me its unknown territory and Ill blow it for sure before getting it right :cry ,

Can anyone map me out a good way to go about getting the situation back to normal?

Thanks in advance..:w

PS...Im real reluctant to open the lid? panel?, again until Im all set to fix it right then!
fiberglass repair

You are in deep water here if you have no prior experience with glass. I would advise you let the pros handle this job. Find a good shop that does glass work or you could wind up with something that looks akin to plowed ground. Some boat rebuilders have really good fiberglass people. If you do farm it out be selective where you take it. Good luck. Thats too good a ride to muck up.
Chris is more knowledgable then me on this and I encourage his comments.
First remove the peice to be repaired
There might be two ways to go here;
The "pro" way is to cut out the offending section grind the surrounding fiberglass down and put new fiberglass mat over the area front and back.
There are many types of mat, you may even want to consider carbon fiber for strength. There are several websites which explain the different mats and their recommended applications.
A good body shop can do the same.

The other way you maywant to try first is to "recover" the damaged area by adding shredded mat with strands smaller than the damaged area to the front and back entangling them with the existing strands and then applying the resin backing the area temporarily with a peice of sheet aluminium which can be removed when dry.

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