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Unread 07-21-2013, 07:31 AM   #1
HeathFinnie
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Fiberglass tubs - cutting a tailgate out?

I have a glass tub on my CJ5. I have also come into a nice original tailgate. I imagine someone has cut a tailgate opening and attached one to a fiberglass tub that did not have one originally? Any tips? Is it difficult?

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Unread 07-21-2013, 11:35 AM   #2
thantos858
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Which fiberglass tub? Most of them have a frame inside the glass that helps strengthen the tub. If you cut that frame you'll weaken the tub a lot.
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Unread 07-21-2013, 11:50 AM   #3
HeathFinnie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thantos858
Which fiberglass tub? Most of them have a frame inside the glass that helps strengthen the tub. If you cut that frame you'll weaken the tub a lot.
How do the tubs with the cut out already made get around it?
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Unread 07-21-2013, 12:31 PM   #4
sbcranger
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They have different structural support for the two different tubs. Think of it similar to a hardtop and convertible cars
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Unread 07-21-2013, 12:42 PM   #5
HeathFinnie
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So in other words, I really shouldn't do it...
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Unread 07-21-2013, 12:44 PM   #6
HeathFinnie
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I was thinking of cutting it and then reinforcing the sides that I just cut and re-fiberglassing the sides to make it look professional
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Unread 07-21-2013, 01:41 PM   #7
LumpyGrits
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Hole saw or a 'Sawzall'.
That 'glass' is a blade killer.........
LG
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Unread 07-21-2013, 01:51 PM   #8
Jeeprage
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thantos858 View Post
Which fiberglass tub? Most of them have a frame inside the glass that helps strengthen the tub. If you cut that frame you'll weaken the tub a lot.
What do you mean by frame? My 4wd tub with tailgate cut out has metal plates glassed in for swing out carrier, but that is it. He could glass in additional support inside.

Use a grinder with cutting disk to cut the glass and wear a mask. My rockers trimmed up perfectly.
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Unread 07-21-2013, 02:53 PM   #9
sbcranger
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i don't know what thantos858 was meaning by a "frame", but its actually how they set up the fiberglass and the thickness of the fiberglass in key areas. the tubs with the tailgate cut out is substantially thicker and stiffer in the rear panel than a tub without the cut out.

its entirely possible to take a tub without a cut out and do it yourself, it's just a question of how much of your time and money is worth to put in a tailgate...

just think out the work that will have to be done to achieve putting in a tailgate:
you have to brace the tub so it doesn't get twisted when you cut out the section, then prep and glassing in the new tailgate cutout.setting up the hinge mounts. fit and finish then paint or gelcoat etc. etc.

and cutoff wheels are probably the preferred tool to cut fiberglass but they make a hell of a mess.
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Unread 07-21-2013, 02:59 PM   #10
LumpyGrits
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You do NOT ever want to use an abrasive cut-off wheel on f'glass. It will burn the 'glass'. You want to saw it.
Even with a saw-Wear a dust mask-That 'dust' is a known killer.
Take a shower when done to get the 'dust' off of your skin.
LG
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Unread 07-21-2013, 04:03 PM   #11
HeathFinnie
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How would I find out which brand tub I have? It was done before I got it...
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Unread 07-21-2013, 04:58 PM   #12
thantos858
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbcranger View Post
i don't know what thantos858 was meaning by a "frame", but its actually how they set up the fiberglass and the thickness of the fiberglass in key areas. the tubs with the tailgate cut out is substantially thicker and stiffer in the rear panel than a tub without the cut out.

its entirely possible to take a tub without a cut out and do it yourself, it's just a question of how much of your time and money is worth to put in a tailgate...

just think out the work that will have to be done to achieve putting in a tailgate:
you have to brace the tub so it doesn't get twisted when you cut out the section, then prep and glassing in the new tailgate cutout.setting up the hinge mounts. fit and finish then paint or gelcoat etc. etc.

and cutoff wheels are probably the preferred tool to cut fiberglass but they make a hell of a mess.
Guess technically it is a frame since its normally thicker parts that have been reinforced to support the body.

Use a saw blade to cut fiberglass since you don't want to burn it. After you cut the opening sand it down and the gel coat then reinforce it from there. It will take a lot of time to get it right.
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Unread 07-21-2013, 05:10 PM   #13
BootheelBoy
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I understand this thread is about putting in a tailgate not if you should or shouldn't. Other than making the jeep look more original I don't see much of a benefit. My CJ7 has only had the tailgate dropped about three times in the last 12 years. To me it just wouldn't be worth the hassle and possibly damaging an nice tub. If you decide to do it please take pics. I am an idiot when it comes to fiberglass and would love to see how it's done.
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Unread 07-21-2013, 05:43 PM   #14
HeathFinnie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BootheelBoy View Post
I understand this thread is about putting in a tailgate not if you should or shouldn't.
This thread is a little of both. I have a great original tailgate that I could use and I LOVE the more original look of the Jeep with the tailgate than the fiberglass tub without it which I think looks empty.

That being said, if I can make it work I'd love to do it, but if I can't I will suck it up. It just seems like something that could be done seeing as there are fiberglass tubs with tailgates.

I do see what people are saying though about tubs being made with tailgates being made with a different standard than those without… Just seems like it could be done and might make a fun project.
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Unread 07-21-2013, 06:09 PM   #15
2xCross
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I had a tub that someone cut the tailgate into it. The issue I had was it needed to have all the beveled parts for the tailgate seal to fit against. I agree the jeep tub does look better with a tailgate, but the fit and finish looked like it was tons of work so I just reglassed the tailgate opening in.
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