Fiberglass vs Steel Jeep Bodies - Page 4 - JeepForum.com
Search  
Sign Up   Today's Posts
User: Pass: Remember?
Advertise Here
Jeep Home Jeep Forum Jeep Classifieds Jeep Registry JeepSpace Jeep Reviews Jeep Gallery Jeep Clubs Jeep Groups Jeep Videos Jeep Events Jeep Articles
Go Back JeepForum.com > Models > Jeep CJ Forum > Fiberglass vs Steel Jeep Bodies

Introducing MONSTALINER™ UV Permanent DIY Roll On Bed LineEngo winches available at www.rockridge4wd.com! Free shippSwag Off Road BIG-HIT TJ-YJ Rear Bumper

Reply
Unread 08-15-2013, 06:02 PM   #46
skizriz
Web Wheeler
 
skizriz's Avatar
1978 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: , Pa
Posts: 3,295
I haven't found anything not to like about my fiberglass tub, hood, and fenders yet. But I do drive it, in the winter, on the salty roads here in PA. It's on it's second frame since I got it, but still has the same untouched body and paint that was on it when I bought it 20 years ago. Less valuable than it would be with a steel body? Don't care......

Here's how it looks from Monday through Friday. Cleaned up and crawling the mall parking lot.





Saturday and Sunday it usually looks like this.













Whether steel or 'glass, I wouldn't want to take it out and bash it off of trees either way.

__________________
78 CJ7 258 TH400/Dana18 SOA/stock YJ springs 35" General Grabbers.
skizriz is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 08-15-2013, 06:54 PM   #47
contdevelop
Registered User
2003 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: , Republic of Texas
Posts: 513
This has become a completely worthless thread with nothing constructive being said.

Everyone has their own opinion. I prefer metal bodies, but growing up in Michigan where the state paints every car with salt every year and 2 year old cars are rusting, i intentionally looked for a glass body when i bought my CJ7. I am now leaning towards aluminum though because my glass body must have been made in Kathie Lee's sweat shop because the quality sucks.

Hey op...why dont you steer this thread in a better direction.. We all know you love glass.

List the companies that make glass bodies as well as their prices and the quality of the tubs. From what i gather there are tons of fly by night companies that make glass tubs.
contdevelop is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 08-15-2013, 07:39 PM   #48
spottedfrog
Registered User
1979 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Grand Junction, Colorado
Posts: 731
Yup this thread needs to be more constructive. Lets list the fiberglass companies and compare them to each other. Every ones use, and situation is different.

Lets compare:
material
Fitment
accuracy in reproducing the original style (more important to some than others)
Price
quality of Finnish and seal

what other criteria?
spottedfrog is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 08-15-2013, 10:20 PM   #49
handydan
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: pueblo, co
Posts: 4
I agree

Last edited by handydan; 08-15-2013 at 10:44 PM..
handydan is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 08-16-2013, 04:26 AM   #50
John Strenk
Moderator
 
John Strenk's Avatar
1976 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Shalersville Ohio
Posts: 12,653
Quote:
Originally Posted by spottedfrog View Post
Yup this thread needs to be more constructive. Lets list the fiberglass companies and compare them to each other. Every ones use, and situation is different.

Lets compare:
material
Fitment
accuracy in reproducing the original style (more important to some than others)
Price
quality of Finnish and seal

what other criteria?
A list of companies are good but you are just going to get back to opinions on the rest.


And I think the Finnish are wonderful people.
John Strenk is online now   Reply With Quote
Unread 08-16-2013, 04:30 AM   #51
John Strenk
Moderator
 
John Strenk's Avatar
1976 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Shalersville Ohio
Posts: 12,653
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdarg View Post
Why does everyone act like fiberglass will break apart if you look at it funny? Given the choice I prefer clean steel too, but there's really nothing wrong with fiberglass either. Fiberglass is going to survive a little contact offroad with maybe some scratches that would dent a steel body. I'm talking about normal offroad crawling contact here, not driving into a brick wall at high speed of course. Its a little more forgiving than thin gauge sheet metal IMHO.
I've backed into a concrete wall around 15 MPH flattened the the tail light and bent the cross member a bit but didn't hurt the tub.

However driving into a deer at 60 mph did bend FG Fender but also steel hood and grill.

However leaving the plow frame on bettered my odds

Currently:
Deer 1
Jeep 2
John Strenk is online now   Reply With Quote
Unread 08-16-2013, 04:54 AM   #52
jeepin87
Registered User
1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cannon AFB
Posts: 158
So why not make it a body thread instead of just glass thread... Aluminum, steel, glass, from different manufactures. I remember at a show in Indy years ago 4WD took a 10lbs urethane sledge to their glass tub and fenders and it just bounced off. They let us hit it too, pretty impressive. I do that to my steel to bend it back out.
__________________
1978 J10 Honcho Truggy project 401/Tons/???
1983 J10 Honcho Stepside I-6 add a leaf/33"s
1988 Grand Wagoneer 401 4"/34"s
1998 ZJ 5.9 Limited 4.5" LA/33"s
1999 WJ 4.0 Limited
2003 Ram 1500 w/built 12v cummins
2004 Ram 2500 Cummins tow rig
jeepin87 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 08-16-2013, 05:28 AM   #53
Jeeprage
Registered User
1986 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Braintree, MA
Posts: 653
Quote:
Originally Posted by spottedfrog View Post
Yup this thread needs to be more constructive. Lets list the fiberglass companies and compare them to each other. Every ones use, and situation is different.

Lets compare:
material
Fitment
accuracy in reproducing the original style (more important to some than others)
Price
quality of Finnish and seal

what other criteria?
My glass tub is from 4wd, I got the "deluxe" model with tailgate cutout. Double walled, very solid, pretty darn tough.

Fitment: It was great for fenders, tailgate, floor contours. I had to enlarge ONE hole slightly on my metal dash to line up with the nutsert that was installed in the dash mount area. 1 minute job. My only fitment issue was that the rocker height was about 1/2" tall, so I had to take a cutoff disc and trim my rockers to line up with the fender height. It stressed me, but cut came out perfect and took 15 minutes when I got the courage to do it.

Price... It was a lot cheaper than a new metal body, but if prices were equal, I'd still go with the glass tub. I wanted to do this project once. Price wasn't the factor, as I still sprung for the best 4wd brand tub.

It looks pretty original, minus no stamped Jeep lettering on the side. I got over that quickly. If I ever wet sand and buff my paint job, I'll apply the OEM black raised Jeep lettering I got.

What else can I answer? Unless you are building an 100% original CJ, I really don't see an advantage to a new metal tub, especially if you have snow, salt, and ocean.
__________________
2005 WK Limited 5.7 - SRT8 swaybar, Bilsteins, Superchip
1986 CJ7 build thread - Nuttered Holley 258, T5, D300, D30/D44 locked 2.73, 4wd fiberglass tub, 3" BD lift with OME shocks, 33" Duratracs - IT DRIVES!
Jeeprage is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 08-16-2013, 06:49 AM   #54
Renegade82
Web Wheeler
 
Renegade82's Avatar
1982 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Lewistown, PA
Posts: 2,845
That Jeep looks so good Skiz. Is that an AJ's tub out of Jersey Shore?

One thing I think we can all agree on is that when it comes to fiberglass bodies is that the quality can vary and there are good ones and cheaper ones.
__________________
The end of a defining era.... JEEP R.I.P. 1941-1986
My frame off Re-Build: (still in progress....)
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/30...e-off-1280850/
Renegade82 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 08-16-2013, 08:05 AM   #55
skizriz
Web Wheeler
 
skizriz's Avatar
1978 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: , Pa
Posts: 3,295
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renegade82 View Post
That Jeep looks so good Skiz. Is that an AJ's tub out of Jersey Shore?

One thing I think we can all agree on is that when it comes to fiberglass bodies is that the quality can vary and there are good ones and cheaper ones.
Its a 4WD Hardware tub. It seems pretty thick as i learned when i trimmed out the fender wells.

Sent from my HTC One SV using JeepForum
__________________
78 CJ7 258 TH400/Dana18 SOA/stock YJ springs 35" General Grabbers.
skizriz is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 08-16-2013, 08:07 AM   #56
jdarg
Registered User
2006 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 625
"One thing I think we can all agree on is that when it comes to fiberglass bodies is that the quality can vary and there are good ones and cheaper ones."

That's true of steel bodies too, though.

We also have to consider the vintage...72-75 tubs are different than 76+.

Here's my .02...

4WD hardware body of unknown (older) vintage - I'd guess 80's or 90's.

Lets compare:

material - fiberglass/gelcoat "outer" layer, sheet steel in the firewall for "support" (IMHO it doesn't help very much), foam insulation in the double-walled sides, balsa in the double-walled portions of the floor. Chopped glass for the bottom layer. No provision for the front most pair of body mounts - you are left with a tub that flexes when you push the clutch or need to come up w/ your own brackets. Some sort of harder (probably pine or ply) wood under the body mount areas that spreads across ~ 4x4" on the fronts and 8x4" on the rears. No tailgate. No provision for the pass. side under-seat toolbox.

Fitment
accuracy in reproducing the original style (more important to some than others) - 5 on a scale of 10 IMO. You need about a 2-3" body lift to clear the transmission bellhousing unless you really want to cut the floor up (nobody does AFAIK.) See above about front body mounts. I understand the newer intermediate tubs now have the front mounts.

Price - We'll call it "free" with my basketcase 75 CJ5, given the price I paid. They probably retailed for 1-2K at the time though.

quality of Finnish and seal - Just slightly wavy in naked form, much like any fiberglass body I've ever seen. Not sure what seal refers to? I don't have doors, and the windshield seal sucks, but thats because the Omix rubber seal isn't quite deep enough and no fault of the tub. The cracked and dry rotted OEM seal I replaced fit just fine on the glass cowl. Has correct cutout for the defroster. No cutout for the cowl airbox and PO cut it too close to the firewall so the box doesn't actually fit (dumb ***.) I got away with cutting the seal off the back of the box and jb welding it - it was that close.

Another consideration with glass is that they do NOT last forever like people suggest if you don't epoxy every hole you drill (most people don't.)

I have core rot in about 50% of the double-walled front seating area so nothing you bolt to it is really quite tight. There are ways to fix this - either cut the chopped portion of the floor out, replace the core, re-glass the cut section back on, or some companys sell chemicals that are supposed to dry out/treat the rotted core, then you add epoxy and apply weight to the area until it cures so everything rebonds. IMHO I'd rather deal with fixing rusty steel. I hate fixing fiberglass. Its dusty and messy and many people (PO's) don't do it correctly even though its easy to do so.
__________________
'94 YJ - SBC/AX15/231, SOA, 8.8, 34" swampers
'06 LJ Rubicon - 31" ATs, OME 2.5", belly-up skid, other junk
'75 CJ5 - 232/T14/D20, 'glass tub w/ 2" BL, otherwise stock
jdarg is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 08-16-2013, 08:20 AM   #57
Renegade82
Web Wheeler
 
Renegade82's Avatar
1982 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Lewistown, PA
Posts: 2,845
Well kind of. All the steel tubs are the same, from the same place. Only Willy Overland takes them and improves them for fit. So theres really only 2 quality offerings out there but both come from the same manufacturer. That's why I didn't mention the steel tubs.
__________________
The end of a defining era.... JEEP R.I.P. 1941-1986
My frame off Re-Build: (still in progress....)
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/30...e-off-1280850/
Renegade82 is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 08-16-2013, 08:26 AM   #58
jdarg
Registered User
2006 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 625
Quote:
Originally Posted by Renegade82 View Post
Well kind of. All the steel tubs are the same, from the same place. Only Willy Overland takes them and improves them for fit. So theres really only 2 quality offerings out there but both come from the same manufacturer. That's why I didn't mention the steel tubs.
The problem is there's many variations of that company's tubs over the years. Almost to the point of being a constant work in progress. None of them are 100% correct but they are getting MUCH closer now (props to the company's current management, or whoever is responsible for it) vs. 10 years ago. WO might not have much to do anymore in the near future.
__________________
'94 YJ - SBC/AX15/231, SOA, 8.8, 34" swampers
'06 LJ Rubicon - 31" ATs, OME 2.5", belly-up skid, other junk
'75 CJ5 - 232/T14/D20, 'glass tub w/ 2" BL, otherwise stock
jdarg is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 08-16-2013, 09:57 AM   #59
243
Registered User
1983 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,113
Quote:
Originally Posted by holliewood61 View Post
I think what it comes down to is how you plan to use it. A glass tub would never work for me, as I wheel my cj fairly hard and mostly in wooded areas where chances of getting against a tree is good. If I had a glass tub it would be busted to pieces atleast with steel I can beat it back half way straight. Now for a mall crawler or someone that rides dunes or a mud bogger I think glass would be great. It comes down to what suits your needs.
I am not picking on holliewood because this is a common philosophy behind steel vs glass and it simply cracks me up and is funny as hell and the first example of it in this discussion.

If I wheeled any vehicle in the woods or on the rocks and body damage was even remotely possible, I would not not give a rats *** what it looked like including dents, scratches, rust, dents or holes. So the cheapest option would prevail, a rusty steel body would be tub of choice.

I just can't see smacking trees as relevent.
__________________
All I want is a Toyota Tundra with a carburetor, keep it simple....
243 is online now   Reply With Quote
Unread 08-16-2013, 10:09 AM   #60
7CJ5White6
Registered User
1976 CJ5 
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 100
my 1976 CJ 5 has the original body still. its not on it right now but the only rust on it is in the floor and under the roll bar mounts. grated it lived in OK 95% of its life until it moved to NY 2 years ago. For me its the original jsut some patch work. Just easier for me to work with.
__________________
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/1976-cj5-complete-tear-down-rebuild-1476311/
7CJ5White6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools






Jeep, Wrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and other models are copyrighted and trademarked to Jeep/Chrysler Corporation. JeepForum.com is not in any way associated with Jeep or the Chrysler Corp.