Fibreglass panel repairer needed

Hi Folks,
A friend has just had the bonent of his Daimler Dart come off at speed
and break itself neatly in two across the top of the windscreen. New /
repro ones are available, but he'd like to investigate getting the
original one mended. Can anyone suggest a really good professional GRP
repair person from whom he could get a quote? This isn't something he
or I would like to do at home, since if it's not very good it will be
very obvious.
Ian
Reply to
Ian
It won't repair very well and is likely to cost so much to even try to repair that buying a repro. item looks like a bargain.
Reply to
SteveH
On Sat, 29 Jul 2006 21:49:35 UTC, snipped-for-privacy@italiancar.co.uk (SteveH) wrote:
: > A friend has just had the bonent of his Daimler Dart come off at speed : > and break itself neatly in two across the top of the windscreen. New / : > repro ones are available, but he'd like to investigate getting the : > original one mended. Can anyone suggest a really good professional GRP : > repair person from whom he could get a quote? This isn't something he : > or I would like to do at home, since if it's not very good it will be : > very obvious. : : It won't repair very well and is likely to cost so much to even try to : repair that buying a repro. item looks like a bargain.
I'm pretty sure it will repair fine in expert hands - it's a comparitively clean break across the whole width, with a damge band hardly more than a couple of inches across. Having seen what can be done by way of repairs to GRP gliders, it's not a bad candidate for mending ... as long as someone good does it. Which might mean, I suppose, taking it to a GRP glider menders, but yes, that would probably cost a lot more than the 300 quid a new panel costs. On the other hand, we then have to get a new panel to fit ...
Ian
Reply to
Ian Johnston
Which is what's going to make it incredibly difficult to repair and get a flat finish. There's a very good reason Lotus had a rubber joining strip round some of their cars.
Only a glider wouldn't have to be repaired to the same standard of finish as a cherished classic car.
It'll still be much easier and cheaper to do than repairing a broken fibreglass panel. It was my dad's area of expertise (most bus bodies are fibreglass) - they could never get a panel to look as good as new once it had been split or punctured.
Reply to
SteveH
But he's not.
It's not a simple job to repair a fibreglass panel - not if you want a showroom finish, as you have to grind out the damaged area and lay up sheets to get it flat again.
Highly skilled, time consuming and expensive job. Especially when you consider that it would have to be completely stripped and repainted.
If a repro panel is only 300 quid, that's what I'd be doing.
Reply to
SteveH
On Sun, 30 Jul 2006 00:06:08 +0100, snipped-for-privacy@italiancar.co.uk (SteveH) wrote:
Oh well, if your dad says so then that must be it then.
Reply to
Dean Dark
Plenty of room inside for reinforced backing. Trust me, honest, it's not as bad as you think.
In the case of wings, a very, very much higher standard of finish is required to get the aerodynamics right. I've seen a fuselage (Discus, if anyone cares) which was broken into three and repaired so well that there was no way to tell where it happened, even sighting along the nice shiny surface.
Thanks. I expect it'll be a new panel, but it's good to check all the options.
Ian
Reply to
Ian
In article , Ian says...
One of the jobs I did many years ago was as a trimmer/finisher at a GRP company, Beck Engineering.
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If you go along Bridlington Seafront and see some cash booths in an "Alladin" stylee, they're mine. I assume they're still there but as it's 18 years ago since I did them. maybe not.
Reply to
Conor
In article , Ian Johnston says...
There'll be no questioning the strength of the repair but it's the finish. It'll be extremely time consuming to get a completely invisible repair on old fibreglass.
You'd be looking at a good weeks worth of labour costs no matter who you take it to. For example, on splash trays for Bridgeport CNC machines, even when I was doing 200+ per week, if there was one with an air bubble in the gel coat or where the seams were, it'd take a good hour or more to finish to an invisible repair. And that's for a hole a couple of mm wide.
Reply to
Conor
On Sun, 30 Jul 2006 09:20:15 +0100, snipped-for-privacy@italiancar.co.uk (SteveH) wrote:
Like I said. Your dad says so. We have the definitive answer to the question.
Reply to
Dean Dark
In article , Conor says...
You can just see one in the left of this photo:
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Reply to
Conor
My local vehicle repairer does composite planes as well as cars, he's also worked on several specialist vehicles such as land speed record attempts and I've seen a replica GT40 that he built that was as near to flawless as you can get. He also charges reasonable prices. He's close to Lasham gliding club in Hampshire, I don't know if that's too far away from your friend or not.
I've also had excellent work done on my boat by a company in Portsmouth, so far they haven't charged an extortionate price for any GRP layup work.
Reply to
Steve Firth
We were somewhere around Barstow, on the edge of the desert, when the drugs began to take hold. I remember snipped-for-privacy@italiancar.co.uk (SteveH) saying something like:
Because they were moulded in two halves and on a production line the time required for a good finish wasn't justified.
Same for buses as gliders, in that way. Close up inspection is not really part of the customer experience and they want it back in service asap. You certainly can get an excellent finish on a f/g repair - all it takes is lots of time.
To say you can't is bollocks.
Reply to
Grimly Curmudgeon
On Sun, 30 Jul 2006 10:37:17 UTC, Conor wrote:
: In article , Ian Johnston says... : : > I'm pretty sure it will repair fine in expert hands - it's a : > comparitively clean break across the whole width, with a damge band : > hardly more than a couple of inches across.
: There'll be no questioning the strength of the repair but it's the : finish. It'll be extremely time consuming to get a completely invisible : repair on old fibreglass.
Absolutely. I think the we'd like to get a quote before deciding, that's all. Apart from anything else, there's the sentimental desire to keep as many original bits as possible.
Ian
Reply to
Ian Johnston
The local boatyard did an invisible repair on old glassfibre for me and it was a damned mess before they started. Some careless swine had removed the rudder from my boat and left it at the bottom of the marina where it remained for the best part of a week. It was splintered about halfway down. The repair is genuinely invisible.
Reply to
Steve Firth

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