Saturday, December 28, 2013

Fender Work and Support Boxes

Today was definitely a "two steps forward, one steps back" kind of day. I started out pretty strong by putting another layer of glass on the rearmost support mount boxes. These are right at the tail end of the rear fenders. These should help lift up the butt-end of the shell a little bit, and correct about a vertical inch-worth of sag that is in the kit.

My next task for the day was to build some support lips for the two front fender add-ons. The idea is that I would fix the fenders in place, then go up inside the shell and lay down some fiberglass on top of the fender, thus creating a lip that can be used to secure the fenders to the body. The idea seemed simple enough to me.

I spent a lot of time with my disk sander, dremel tool and coping saw, making sure that the fender fit pretty snugly into the shell. My plan was to use a "bondo squish" style method with some cabosil thickened epoxy resin to fill in the gaps and make them perfect. I got the drivers side all figured out, clamped in, and laid in some fiberglass.

Then I switched over to the passenger side, and that's when things kind of fell apart. What I realized is that not only are the two sides of the car asymmetrical when it comes to the front fenders and headlight recesses, but also that the fender extensions are VERY wonky. They are not flat on the top, nor are they flat on the bottom. Flat on the bottom I can deal with, as nobody will ever see that. But not flat on the top is a problem, as that effects the way the fender fits into the shell, and it will also be visible. I quickly pulled out the drivers side fender addition and wiped off as much fiberglass resin as I could find. NOT a fun process.

The next step was to create a flat top surface for the passenger side fender. I did this by again doing a bondo-squish method. I laid some wax paper down on my work bench ( a pretty darn flat surface. Well, flat enough for my purposes) and first put down some epoxy resin with a few strips of matting. The matting was cut to roughly cover the most drastic void on the fender.

I then mixed up a big batch of resin and put LOADS of cabosil in it, turning it into a thick paste. I laid this down on the wax paper, on top of the fiberglass I had already set down, and built it up into roughly what I beleived to be the shape of the void on the fender. Then I pushed the fender down on top of it. SQUISH! The thickened resin filled the void perfectly and completely.

In this picture you can really see how big of a void there was to fill. A bit more than a quarter of an inch in its worst places.

Now I just need to wait until the resin cures, and I can pull the fender off the table, sand it down a bit, then try attaching it to the body again.

Overall a very busy day, and a lot of really good experience. BUT not the amount of progress I was hoping for.

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