Repairing and painting a hardtop (lotsa pics) - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 17 Old 10-02-2004, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
War Eagle
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Repairing and painting a hardtop (lotsa pics)

Last spring I took my hardtop off and stored it in my Dad's garage. He later built a new shop and decided to move the hardtop there for safekeeping. Well, in the move the top was dropped and part of the bottom lip cracked. I need to put the hardtop on for a trip I'm taking so the top had to be fixed. Here's what we did and how we did it.


First, you need a few things:

Fiberglass cloth
Fiberglass resin and hardener
scissors
stir sticks
oil (any kind, I used 30w engine oil)
4 c-clamps
small paint brush
2 Fancy Feast cat food cans (empty and clean)
masking materials

Paint:
PPG Concept paint, [color: camel, mix code:DCC 28589]: 6 parts
PPG DT885 Reducer, 2 parts
PPG DCX61 Hardener, 1 part


What to do:

First, here's a shot of the damaged area. The lip has been cracked off and we sanded it down so everything would be smooth and masked it off.



Next, I took a stir stick and coated it in oil. This will keep the fiberglass resin from sticking to it. Place the stir stick on the backside of the lip and clamp it in place.



Pour about 2oz. of fiberglass resin into one of the Fancy Feast cans and put it aside.



Shred some of the fiberglass cloth into the other Fancy Feast can and add about 1oz of resin. This will be used as filler later.


Measure and cut strips of fiberglass cloth to cover the affected area.



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Last edited by War Eagle; 10-02-2004 at 06:22 PM.
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post #2 of 17 Old 10-02-2004, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
War Eagle
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Now, at this point you want to add about 3 drops of hardener to both Fancy Feast cans and mix them up well. Place a strip of fiberglass cloth on the cracked area (the oiled stick will hold it in place) and paint it in place with the mixed resin. Paint it until the cloth becomes almost transparent. Use the paintbrush to work out any creases and air bubbles from the cloth. Repeat with additional pieces of cloth until you have a good layer of cloth in place.


Use the filler to do just that, fill in any places that are uneven.


When you're finished it will be an ugly, goopy mess.


Oil another stir stick and place it over the filler. Clamp it on place and use filler to finish filling in.



Allow it to dry overnight at least. Check your Fancy Feast cans. When they have set up, you can assume the fiberglass on the top has set up as well. Give it another day or so just to be sure. Remove the clamps, stir sticks and masking. Remask it and sand it until it's even. I used 400 grit to finish it off then primed it.

Quote:
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JF without War Eagle? That's like a beach without broken glass littered about. I shudder at the thought.
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I was under the assumption that you were Keith?

Last edited by War Eagle; 10-02-2004 at 07:25 PM.
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post #3 of 17 Old 10-02-2004, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
War Eagle
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The first color they gave me didn't match so I put the top on and drove down there. The second paint was dead on (and is the correct color they should have given me to begin with). Came home, masked it off, mixed the paint and painted.


Here's the finished product. The paint is off slightly because my top has faded in the sun just a bit. I'm going to give the paint a few days to fully set then I'll use a little rubbing compound to blend it in.

Quote:
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JF without War Eagle? That's like a beach without broken glass littered about. I shudder at the thought.
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post #4 of 17 Old 10-02-2004, 06:17 PM
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Well done, and well written!

The only thing I'd like to add is that - instead of oiled wood, you can wrap the wood in Saran Wrap; fiberglass doesn't stick to it.

Thanks for the EXCELLENT write-up!

Your pal,
Meat.
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post #5 of 17 Old 10-02-2004, 06:42 PM
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Very nice ...great info to have
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post #6 of 17 Old 10-02-2004, 06:46 PM
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Thats 1 very nice Glass repair job too bad the top was damaged butit look like it turned out good

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post #7 of 17 Old 10-02-2004, 07:05 PM
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Very, very NICE, I was impressed! At first, I thought it would end up like a gooped up mess, but not so. I was very surprised that it turned out as nice as it did. besides the minor blending work needed, it doesn't even look like it was ever dropped! Good work.
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post #8 of 17 Old 10-02-2004, 08:48 PM
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The only other thing I would add is not to have an open flame near the resin (or a cigarette in your case, pic 3)! it is very flammable. Other than that, great job, You can also use aluminum foil around the stir stick too so the resin doesn't stick.
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post #9 of 17 Old 10-03-2004, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonmaster
You can also use aluminum foil around the stir stick too so the resin doesn't stick.
I've used wax paper in the past for repairing surfboards, but mold release wax is really the best thing to use for the heavy work. I've never heard of using motor oil, and I'd be concerned that it might contaminate the resin, but it looks like it worked out well. Nice documentation!
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post #10 of 17 Old 10-03-2004, 06:43 PM
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Wow that looks like it was never even dropped! Great job
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post #11 of 17 Old 10-03-2004, 06:54 PM
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Excelent write-up War Eagle, looks great. I look forward to more of your project's.

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post #12 of 17 Old 10-03-2004, 06:56 PM
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Pretty impressive! Thanks for the write up.
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post #13 of 17 Old 10-03-2004, 07:03 PM
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i would recomend that the use of an actually filler be used. 3M offers a filler that can be added to the epoxy. The filelr is a very fine powder and you can just add it to the mix to thicken it as you need.
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post #14 of 17 Old 10-03-2004, 07:16 PM
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Very nice of you to take both the time and effort to put that little "show and tell" together. Here's a couple of tips to add: To aviod the "tape" / color change lines, I'll have an Airbrush ready to go loaded w/pure Reducer. As soon as I'm through gunning the base, I'll grab the airbrush and start blending the pure reducer around the mask line w/the tape quickly BUT carefully removed. This gives you a nice blend from "old" to "new". Then as stated, wait a couple of weeks and rub it w/ compound. I prefer 3M Finesse in lieu of Rubbing Compound as it's a wee bit harsh for newly sprayed acrylic.
Also, if your hardtop damage is a small area, "Marine-Tex" is the ticket to a great repair instead of the "glass"..You finish it out as shown in the pics.

Nice post!..Sorry, I'm a bit of a body and paint geek
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post #15 of 17 Old 10-03-2004, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CreightonRea07
i would recomend that the use of an actually filler be used. 3M offers a filler that can be added to the epoxy. The filelr is a very fine powder and you can just add it to the mix to thicken it as you need.
Filler or fairing additivies like microballoons don't add anything to the strength of the repair. The use of chopped fiberglass is very common in boat construction where strength is an issue. I'd say War Eagle did the right thing with the chopped cloth.
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