Fiberglass vs Steel Jeep Bodies - Page 2 - JeepForum.com

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post #16 of 120 Old 08-13-2013, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
chatham
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I was hoping this could be a decent thread based on facts and experience and hopefully some more will jump in with that instead of just hating on something. if you like your steel body great, but you haven't provided any evidence or facts that it is in fact a better choice then glass. your just hating on it.

Other than the cost factor I could rip into steel and tear it apart as well but that's not the point. if you did a recent build and you chose steel over glass tells us why. what were the factors? you got to have something better than glass sucks and it falls apart. what is your experience with both? do you have any? so if all you got to add is bingo, take that down to the local church hall next week and good luck, you might win five bucks. if you have something thoughtful and credible to add i'm sure we would all love to hear it and would benefit the forum.

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post #17 of 120 Old 08-13-2013, 09:47 PM
Skerr
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I think it's important to compare apples to apples, and glass vs. steel is apples to oranges. As Jacques said, each has their benefit. It's much like Ford vs. Chevy. I call myself a Chevy man, but there are two F150s in the yard right now. I have had problems with neither brand. I like them both.

I own both steel and FG Jeeps. I like them both. Glass is so easy to work on. It doesn't transfer the engine heat as readily to my feet. But then, isn't that all about a Jeep? My steel Jeep has a hardtop that fits pretty well. Hard doors are nice, too. It at least FEELS more secure than the glass Jeep.

I have built glass boats and operated both glass and aluminum boats off coastal Florida for years. I have run them over oyster bars, unintentionally (), more than once, and I have never caused one to leak, much less sink.

I have seen metal Jeeps pretty much crushed in a slow roll-over. And the glass hood on my sons 5 cracked significantly when he left it unlatched and it blew up into the WS frame. Easy to fix... but who wants to? Maybe the steel hood would have dented, which I could have popped out. Maybe the steel hood would have busted my WS?

My glass tub was rotten when I got the Jeep. Unknown brand. Over time, glass will rot. I was so green I didn't know it. Had no clue. Had it been a boat I could have made a sensible decision. But it was a Jeep, and my first one. Green. I had to rebuild the glass tub. It is strong NOW! Ida know... It's apples and oranges, Boys. You can't compare the two. Make your choices based on your needs. I would use rust as the primary decision tool, and we don't have it like you guys do in the north.

Just random thoughts...

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post #18 of 120 Old 08-13-2013, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chatham View Post
I was hoping this could be a decent thread based on facts and experience and hopefully some more will jump in with that instead of just hating on something. if you like your steel body great, but you haven't provided any evidence or facts that it is in fact a better choice then glass. your just hating on it.

Other than the cost factor I could rip into steel and tear it apart as well but that's not the point. if you did a recent build and you chose steel over glass tells us why. what were the factors? you got to have something better than glass sucks and it falls apart. what is your experience with both? do you have any? so if all you got to add is bingo, take that down to the local church hall next week and good luck, you might win five bucks. if you have something thoughtful and credible to add i'm sure we would all love to hear it and would benefit the forum.
Nope you're still validating your decision. People have given you very good reasons to go steel, but you don't want to see them. You didn't buy your Jeep for us, you built it for yourself! Enjoy it!

Fiberglass is fine for many of us. For others, it's not our choice. Let it go at that.

I agree with some others have said; if you want to make this thread helpful, a serious discussion over the different glass tubs and their merits would be beneficial.

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post #19 of 120 Old 08-14-2013, 02:19 AM
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Originally Posted by chatham View Post
When I decided to do a jeep build I spent a lot of time looking at steel vs fiberglass bodies.
Before deciding to do a Jeep, what were your ideas for use? Show? DD? Rocks?

Have you done other vehicles before?

To have a fair discussion, you should add some of these particulars.

Are you building your own frame?
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post #20 of 120 Old 08-14-2013, 03:59 AM
Captainak
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I went with aluminum .....

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post #21 of 120 Old 08-14-2013, 05:06 AM
John Strenk
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I went with aluminum .....
That sounded like the best deal of em all.

strong, light weight, easy to pound back into shape.

once you get around that white fluffy corrosion thing, it's awesome.

Were not the original Land Rovers all aluminum?

Anyway, I don't think there is a single steel jeep that can do what I did with my jeep for the past 14 years and have it look like mine.

Mine ain't a beauty queen but the only holes in it are in the steel hood.


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post #22 of 120 Old 08-14-2013, 06:54 AM
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My '5 is a rusty mess but replacing it with new metal panels or an entire body is the only option for me. It have no interest in a fiberglass tub only because I feel it would lose something. As has been said, it is your Jeep and if you like the fiberglass than it was a good choice for you.
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post #23 of 120 Old 08-14-2013, 07:22 AM
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Personally, I'd like to have a Kevlar tub, but that's just me.

As stated, the OP isn't looking for a honest debate, just validation.

IMO, it's not a CJ unless it's got a steel tub, it's a kit car.

Matt


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post #24 of 120 Old 08-14-2013, 08:02 AM
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Unless I was rebuilding to exact original spec (like Keith and others), I wouldn't settle on only steel bodies.

I built mine to look pretty original, but did make discreet upgrades along the way. I intend to keep my Jeep a long time, live in the rust belt where roads are salted, live by the ocean where sea breezes and beach trips will rust a Jeep, and I don't weld (yet). I'm a perfectionist so using a platform that WILL rust out from underneath me would drive me nuts and paranoid to keep an eye out for it.

I DID start with a YJ tub that I had intended to fix up and convert, but was disheartened to be fixing rust, just to have it rust again.

There isn't a wrong choice, just what you want and your intended use.


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post #25 of 120 Old 08-14-2013, 08:13 AM
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I went with fiberglass because that's what came with the pile of parts mine was in when I bought it.

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post #26 of 120 Old 08-14-2013, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chatham View Post
if you like your steel body great, but you haven't provided any evidence or facts that it is in fact a better choice then glass. your just hating on it.
That right there is one reason why many here have taken up the defense. Your already making the assumption that steel is the underdog and it's up to us to prove otherwise. That and your initial statement that "I haven't found any good legitimate reasons to not use fiberglass." illustrates your conclusion has been made already.
Choose your words in a more neutral fashion.

Quote:
if you did a recent build and you chose steel over glass tells us why. what were the factors? you got to have something better than glass sucks and it falls apart. what is your experience with both? do you have any? ......... if you have something thoughtful and credible to add i'm sure we would all love to hear it and would benefit the forum.
Now that I can give my opinion on. Seventeen years ago when I repaired the body of my Jeep with metal and bondo I had said this will last till my son is 16 and can help me put a fiberglass tub on. Well my son is 21 now and almost 2 years ago I started on my frame off rebuild. I nixed the fbgls. plan for several reasons. I could repair my orig. steel tub for way less than I could buy a new fgls. tub, which is in the $3k range, and my tub was pretty dang bad. Sure, it will take a while but I was in no hurry and my time is free. Painting is a wash because both types would need it.
I have read of fitment issues since they are not made year specific. Yes my time is free but I would rather fabricate with metal or wood than with fiberglass, which is foreign to me.
Steel also gives a much safer feeling, especially when fbgls. tubs are reinforced with either balsa wood or plywood or some other composite wood with a fancy name. If it's for reinforcement it should be at least as strong as the steel bolt attaching to it.
I also live where we have cold winters. Fiberglass is most vulnerable to cracking when it's cold and I have witnessed this on friends rigs. I use my Jeep year round. I also don't need a light vehicle when the snow and ice is on the ground. Fiberglass fends off bad weather better yes, but that's why I choose to seal mine up well with multiple products, the final bottom coating being a paint commonly used over gel-coat fbgls. boats.
Then theres the grounding issue and the extra work involved with that, simple as it may be.

So for my situation and needs, a steel tub was the better route. If I lived in a southern state and the Jeep didn't see the mountains much, I might have gone with the fbgls. tub. It's not a black and white question with a one size fits all answer. Fiberglass has it's place, as does steel. For me it was steel. Only you can decide based on your story.

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post #27 of 120 Old 08-14-2013, 03:27 PM
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I'll say this about fiberglass vs steel. I flipped my truck (78 F-150) while towing my boat wile going about 60. Truck was totaled. Boat was back on the water in 2 weeks (had to replace the windshield), only one crack, and it wasn't significant at all (in upper portion of motor well, not structural.)
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post #28 of 120 Old 08-14-2013, 03:28 PM
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For me, it is not possible to change steel to synthetic: in France will be my car with no value!!!
BUT: I do not said "synthetic is bad"
I think also than for windshield frame or lift gate, it is the better solution, because rust and weight for the liftgate (and the original part is very rare in excellent condition), and i want use this parts for my restoration;
now You can made as You want and all is good for only one thing: good jeeping!!!!

PS sory if my english is not perfect, and thank You for the net translator;
the best? You can understand me
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post #29 of 120 Old 08-14-2013, 06:24 PM
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jacques, your on brother! all's good. Your point is clearly understood! Above average translator.
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post #30 of 120 Old 08-14-2013, 06:39 PM
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jacques, your on brother! all's good. Your point is clearly understood! Above average translator.
Sad to say, but he does better than a lot of people that were born, raised, and (gulp) went to school in THIS country.
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