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Discussion Starter #1
Busted up my chin spoiler last weekend on a parking space front block. I had a few chips in it before but his time she was a hard bad. I have a LITTLE fiberglass experience from the early 1970's when I busted up the family canoe so I've decided to try and fix it rather than replacing it. Worst case, I buy a new one.

Those of you that know what your doing should feel free to critique my work. If I screw it up bad, I don't want my attempt to go uncorrected for people using this thread as a guide.

Here goes nothing
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I jacked the front of the car as high as I dare and placed the jack stands under the lower control arms. Its always a very secure spot.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
The chin spoiler is held on by pop rivets. To remove the spoiler, drill off the heads of the pop rivets. Caution should be taken to make sure to do't drill into the spoiler as the hole size will be important when reinstalling it. Note that only 12 rivets were installed where 30 predrilled holes exist. This reduction in rivets allowed the spoiler to be less rigid on its mounts allowing a little contact to be absorbed. I'm thinking I'l put in about the same amount when I reinstall.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
With the underside now available for detailed inspection, I found some fairly dramtic wear on the ends and corners caused by scrapping the road. Its worn through the thickness of the fiberglass. It need to be built up in thickness. This is the place to install the metal skid pads. I will make up a set out of some thin stainless material during the reinstall phase.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Next, mount the chin on a piece of scrap lumber using sheet rock screws. This will help to maintain the dimensions and angles when you re-attach the seperated piece.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Next grind out the affected area or crack. Sand down and feather around the repair for at least 1 inch (3cm) on each side. for the purposes of my repair I have elected to do this in stages to help maintain the required profile and to improve repair strength. I will be applying the fiberglass to one side, allowing it to cure then grinding, sanding, and reapplying fiberglass from the other side. In welding terminology this is defined as a double vee groove and is considered a very strong joint design for the butt loint process.

After sanding and before fiberglass application, thoroughly clean the area with solvent to remove dust, oils, and any other potntial contaminents that could affect strength or adhesion.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I visited the local marine supply stores to find fibergalss repair materials. I found prices to be absolutley ridiculous. the cheapest I found was near $35.00. I then visited Wal-Mart and got a nice little kit from 3M for a measly $11.00. The materials you need are:

Fiberglass cloth or mat
Polyester resin
Hardener (MEK)
tonge depressors (mixing sticks)
a plastic tray

Cut out pieces of fiberglass cloth to span and cover the crack. Additional cloth pieces should be used to establish thickness (if necessary) by lamination. Each successive cloth piece should be of approximately twice the size of the underlaying piece to establish strength.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Mix the resin and Hardener as directed on the containers. Standard mixtures are 14 drops of liquid harderner for each ounce of resin. once this process is started, you are limited by time as the hardening process is initiated while mixing. Apply a thin coat of resin to the repair, apply the first layer of cloth, apply additional resin and work it in to the cloth. the intention here is to completely soak the cloth rendering it nearly invisible. Cloth that remains visible indicates the presence of air which will reduce the strength. (if required) Apply additional cloth and resin until thickness is attained.

Allow the resin to cure

This is stop point number one in my repair process. Any experts out there? How's it looking so far?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've Been busy at work...had to step away for a few days.

OK...Where were we...Oh yeah resin cured.


Now comes the most challeging part of the process, profiing. Do some rough sculpting using what ever is at your disposal. I used an angle grinder, flapper wheel and hand sanding with course paper (80 grit). Like cutting your own hair be careful not to remove to much. I was not careful enough and had to mix up some more resin and cloth to rebuild an area I ground to thin. I was more careful the next time. after you've put away the power tools and moved into the manual sanding, make sure you find a tool to use as a sanding block that more or less conforms to the surface you intend to sand. I used an extension wand from my shop vac. If you use your hand, fingers, or thumb to guide the sand paper you WILL end up with ridges and valleys. the purpose of a sanding block is to average the profile over a longer surface which provides for the removal of ridges and valleys by applying pressure at the high points only. Your thumb can't do that with any accuracy.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Next I cut out some stainless sheet material to create skid plates. I prepared the surface, applied a light coat of resin, applied the plates and encased them. I realize that spolier flex and ground contact will eventually cause these plates to fall off. My plan is to drill them and re-attach the spoiler with rivets passing through these plates. I figure that should be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
At this point the rough work is done. We are now moving on to the finish work. This involves continued and repeated primeing and sanding using increasingly fine paper. Start with a wet dry 220, then 400, then 800. the point here is to fill all the little scratches caused by the sanding process with primer paint. Failure to adequately sand will be obvious in the finished product. Gloss paint shows everything.

I'm still sanding now so no photos yet...hopefully I can finish this up tomorrow. I'm happy I did this my self and somewhat pleased with the outcome so far. I expect to rethink that when the gloss paint goes on. Hopefully it will be close enough. It is after all, just a spoiler.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Sanding, spraying, sanding, spraying....Ta daaa

Drilled out skid plates, countersunk rivet heads (in skid plate area) and riveted in place. Not sure exactly how much I saved but I like it better than new because I did it. Great DIY project for things like spoilers, body panels would be another story. You need a pro if only for the paint.

Lessons learned:

1) Do not used straight resin alone. It has absolutely no strength without fiber cloth imbedded.

2) Make sure you build it up high enough the first time.

3) Be careful not to remove to much material with the initial sculpting.

4) Allow adequate resin cure time before proceeding with the next step.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Bump...Someone was asking me about this the other day.

Boxer...can these photos be resized for easier presentation? (sorry, I realize its a PITA)
 
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