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    1. #1
      Join Date
      Sep 2004
      Location
      Near Dayton, OH
      Posts
      547

      Bonding fiberglass to steel

      What product out there is the best at bonding fiberglass to steel and NOT developing cracks later on in the paint or having the fiberglass pull away?

      I have as set of fiberglass fender flares that I want to mold into the body sheet metal. Obviously the will be held in place by screws in the wheel well lip but where they meet the fenders and quarter panels I would like to have them molded in.

      Or, would I be better off just making them bolt-on with hidden fasteners?

      Any ideas. procedures or product suggestions would be great.

      Thanks,

      Andrew
      1987 Olds Cutlass Supreme FE3X Clone
      EFI455/T56/9" w/ 4.30 gears
      __________________________________________________ __



    2. #2
      Join Date
      Mar 2008
      Location
      Ramona, Ca. San Diego area
      Posts
      1,308
      Country Flag: United States
      I just spoke with my paint rep about this this week. There is a product by 3M that will make fiberglass bond with steel. I cant remember what the number of the epoxy is but if you want me to I can call again tomorrow and ask.
      67 Camaro convertible (Jinx)

    3. #3
      Join Date
      May 2005
      Location
      IL
      Posts
      586
      Country Flag: United States
      The issue you will have is not the bonding, it is where you mold the part in. What ever you use to mold it (blend it into the metal) will flex, also Fiberglas and metal expand and contract at different rates so it will always crack at some point. Unless someone has come out with a product that I do not know about. The 3m product list above is great and works very well, but it was designed to hold the fiberglass panels on to the metal frames. Think corvette the putter panels are (well were fiberglass) and the structure is metal in most areas of the car, the 3m epoxy bond the two together. Hope some of the long worded answers makes sense!
      Rick

    4. #4
      Join Date
      May 2005
      Location
      IL
      Posts
      586
      Country Flag: United States
      One more thing I think the 442 would look much better it bolted the flairs on rather then mold them in. Think GNX Grand National you see the defined lip and IMO I think it looks much cleaner. If the flairs do not have a inner lip that goes by the upper fender part then you could make a inner lip out of metal the use bolts to hold it to the fender, and this is where you can use the 3m epoxy to hold the new inner lip to the Fiberglas flare.
      Rick

    5. #5
      Join Date
      May 2009
      Posts
      60
      Country Flag: United States
      I agree with Rick . There are alot of great products out there from 3M , SEM , Plio Grip , Etc ..... They will all do a great job holding them together , but at some point down the road they will start to crack just because of the characteristics of the two different materials .

    6. #6
      Join Date
      Sep 2006
      Location
      Chicago
      Posts
      355
      Country Flag: United States
      Fusor makes a product specificly for this. I agree with the above statements you will get a crack line where the glass and metal meet Not because of the adhesive.
      http://www.autobodytoolmart.com/p-15938-19992.aspx
      Tony L

    7. #7
      Join Date
      Dec 2010
      Location
      Windy City, IL
      Posts
      272
      Country Flag: United States
      I've been looking for something like this to mate a fiberglass GS hood to a steel (Skylark) hood frame! Excellent info, guys, Thanks!
      '70 GS Stage 1 https://www.pro-touring.com/showthre...-1-project-car
      Restoration blog: http://1970buickgsstage1.blogspot.com/
      '70 GS 350 convertible
      '70 GS 350 hardtop
      '70 Skylark 4 dr post

    8. #8
      Join Date
      Jan 2012
      Location
      Dallas, Texas
      Posts
      144
      Country Flag: United States
      I had a 240Z with a lot of fiberglass attached (box flares, whale tail, etc...) and used a product from 3M called structural adhesive. The car was damaged in an accident and the adhesive did not fail. We just ground the area to bare metal, applied an adequate amount af adhesive, clamped overnight and then blended the areas with kitty hair. It worked great.

    9. #9
      Join Date
      Aug 2011
      Location
      Clearwater/FL
      Posts
      512
      Country Flag: United States
      sooo the flares arent gonna gain you any room in the wheel opening?? Doin flares that way is pointless IMO, makes your car look like you put fwd wheels on.....
      85 monte, drift project- small block t5 and 8.8
      88 Blazer sbc
      05 300c

    10. #10
      Join Date
      Sep 2010
      Location
      corona,ca.
      Posts
      987
      Country Flag: United States
      andrew,we just repaired a family members carbon fiber/steel rod foot brace with 3m scotch-weld #2216 its a part a b mix very strong .but pricey at around 50.00 for the two tubes.phil

    11. #11
      Join Date
      Aug 2008
      Location
      jacksonville,fl
      Posts
      970
      Country Flag: United States
      I also agree that products like 3-m structual will hold, But the laws of expansion & contraction will always cause a line to show.Black showcars in sun definitely are no exception.It,s when & not if.
      For an item like fender flares, you probably could let them meet the fenders like a bolt on item would WITHOUT a blending & smoothing job & get around the issue all together.
      My thought.

    12. #12
      Join Date
      Jul 2005
      Location
      Den Helder, the Netherlands
      Posts
      1,149
      Country Flag: Netherlands
      Quote Originally Posted by ProTourGSX View Post
      I've been looking for something like this to mate a fiberglass GS hood to a steel (Skylark) hood frame! Excellent info, guys, Thanks!
      I've done that to a couple of cars. It holds up nice but over the years (on my current car 12 years down the road) you will start to see the outlines of where the Fiberglass meets the metal. Mind you; it's not cracked!

    13. #13
      Join Date
      Sep 2004
      Location
      Near Dayton, OH
      Posts
      547
      Quote Originally Posted by SS PUNISHER View Post
      sooo the flares arent gonna gain you any room in the wheel opening?? Doin flares that way is pointless IMO, makes your car look like you put fwd wheels on.....
      Nope. Didn't say that at all.

      We are cutting the sheet metal out behind the flares and remaking the wheel well lip so that the flare can still be screwed/glued into place to give us a little more room but these aren't huge flares. I might get a 1/2" max of more room. These really are more to accentuate the stock wheel well body lines than anything else. They also help to blend the rest of the body kit into the side of the car.

      Thanks for the help guys.
      Andrew
      1987 Olds Cutlass Supreme FE3X Clone
      EFI455/T56/9" w/ 4.30 gears
      __________________________________________________ __


    14. #14
      Join Date
      Aug 2011
      Location
      pa
      Posts
      5
      3m panel bond will hold 2 army tanks together! only down fall is that you need a special application gun since it is a two part epoxy glue. some auto body supply stores have loaners if you ask for one. but imho that is def. the ticket when you want something to hold forever.

    15. #15
      Join Date
      May 2010
      Location
      Ballwin (St. Louis) MO
      Posts
      52
      Quote Originally Posted by motorhead8385 View Post
      3m panel bond will hold 2 army tanks together! only down fall is that you need a special application gun since it is a two part epoxy glue. some auto body supply stores have loaners if you ask for one. but imho that is def. the ticket when you want something to hold forever.
      I was tinking about making a fiberglass firewall and then attaching it to what is left of my current steel firewall. What do you think?
      I think that anyday you wake up sucking air on your own is a great day!

    16. #16
      Join Date
      Mar 2007
      Location
      Florida
      Posts
      2,391
      Country Flag: United States
      Burns too easy for a FIREwall.

    17. #17
      Join Date
      May 2010
      Location
      Ballwin (St. Louis) MO
      Posts
      52
      Thanks for the info. But what about "glass" bodies/firewall? Do they burn also?
      I think that anyday you wake up sucking air on your own is a great day!

    18. #18
      Join Date
      Mar 2007
      Location
      Florida
      Posts
      2,391
      Country Flag: United States
      Dunno about all glass bodied cars but the Factory Five GTM I've been building is sheet metal.


    19. #19
      Join Date
      May 2012
      Posts
      412
      Country Flag: Canada
      Hi guys. I'm about a month away from bonding on and blending in my new glass quarters on my project and the advice I was given was ( having chosen the proper two part epoxy) the goal was to allow the glue to squish out from behind the piece and mat it down like bondo over the two surfaces before it hardens so that they become one. The logic is that if there is any gap at all that even though it won't come apart it can still vibrate at that point. Then sand it ready for filler provided the glue you choose accepts filler on top of it. The glue I will be using apparently does. I will get the name and post it after I've done my own testing.

    20. #20
      Join Date
      Jan 2008
      Location
      Connecticut
      Posts
      23
      Country Flag: United States

      Bonding fiberglass to steel

      I have had some experience with bonding fiberglass to steel. Some of the areas on my car are over 10 years with no cracks. One thing i would avoid is mechanically fastening one part of a panel and bonding another part. Sand everything down to bare metal and bond as much of the flare or body panel as possible to the metal on the car, hand lay fiberglass mat with resin for re enforcement where the re enforced filler wont work. Be sure to keep moisture out. Don't wait long to fill, blend, sand. Then apply an epoxy primer and / or finish coat. The epoxy primer will keep the moisture away from getting to the line where the metal meets the fiberglass. Do not use a lacquer based primer if the area is going to sit a while before it is completed. I use Everglass from Evercoat with great success and i am no Pro. Hope this helped.
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