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Fibreglass Modification


RosscoZX

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G'Day Everyone,

Ive recent needed to replace my front spoiler on my 280ZX. After a weekends worth of repairing the spoiler, i tried to get the spoiler mounted onto the car. However, ive now ran into a problem. It doesnt fit! The sides seem to "bow" out where the wheel arches are.

Ive attached a few images to help explain the situation. The Left hand side is out a little more than the right.

Anyways, anyone got any ideas? Would heating it work? (i believe that the resin sets when it heats up from the catalyst???). Ive also though of cutting the sides off and reattaching them but i dont think i'll look so smooth. Ive tried putting a little tension on it but it that little bit too far away. There is a lip along the bottom of the spoiler which gives it alot of it rigidity, i've considered cutting out a little bit of the lip so i can bend it a little more. Im just affraid of the sudden snap!

Further, ive got my final exams this tuesday and will have roughly 4.5 weeks to play around with it. It'll be a shame if i have to turf it for another one. I think it looks pretty mean :classic:

Anyone know of anywhere i could get a replacement spoiler? Preferably in Victoria, Australia. I've looked at AllZParts but i don't think it looks that good.

Cheers,

Adam

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Pretty bad fit eh. You may have to almost cut right through the ends so they can be bent to shape and then repaired. Hard to tell exactly what will have to be done but its fixable. Fibreglass repair kits are available, a fair bit of work but not much expense to get it right.

Like the shape of that spoiler. Did you buy it on ebay?

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If it was me I would cut and shut;

Get a diamond disc for an angle grinder and cut it into at least 3 pieces. Mount the pieces up to the car and then using a flap disc grind back the spoiler at the joins until you get down to the fibreglass mat a few inches either side of the cut.

Get some fibreglass matting and polyester resin/catalyst. Chop strand is cheaper and conforms to corners better, woven matting is dearer, more of a pain in the arse but slightly stronger (basically not worth it because the original spoler would have been done with a chopper gun which is one down from chop strand) So now you have it ground back, add several layers of fibreglass just over the joins/ground back bits with just enough resin to wet it out so its sort of transparent. With the catalyst, the more you add the quicker it goes off but is weaker, and also gets too hot in the container and sends toxic smoke everywhere, 2% is recommended, but maybe use 3 in winter.

Build it up at the front a bit too much so you have stuff to grind back to shape. Once its dry/set remove the spoiler from the car and grind down the back of the joints till in the centre you reach the new fibreglass matt that you laid down on the other side, sort of like a V shape type thing. And lay down more fibreglass mat and resin over it.

Now you can grind back the excess fibreglass with the flap disc on the front then skim fill with bog to get right. Also worth noting that after the front glassing up you should leave it on for at least 2-3days to ensure its totally set/stable.

That said I would be very surprised if you couldnt bodge it slightly by just cutting in little pie cuts across the top piece and then glassing over them once its bolted up. Possible even from behind with a wheel off ie whilst its still on the car.

Good Luck, fibreglass is evil $^!#, the spawn of satan, use a mask when grinding and expect to be itchy for days afterwards, and best bet jsut to keep the clothes you were wearing when you did it as purely for fibreglassing, and DONT throw them in with all your other wasing, or you shall become known as itchy.

Chris

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Thanks for your replies.

The spoiler was from Zworx. Im pretty sure i saw the spoiler originally about christmas time and it was on a wreck. However when i picked it up a couple weeks ago and it was off the car. i believe it's been like that for a while.

Anyways, i'll probibly end up cutting little slots out of the top and bottom and bending it. If it snaps, then i'll attempt to resort to the "cut and shut" method. I am imagining this method to be a pain in the backside trying to get the pieces in the right spot. Would you recommend any methods to hold it in place while applying the first fibreglass matting? I was thinking taking the sugar scoops off to get behind it. Sicky tape the front into shape while applying the matting on the back? Also a bit hard to pick where to make the cuts because the gap starts soo far forward.

Just on snapping, does anyone know how fibreglass snaps? Is it a clean cut or does it shear?

Cheers,

Adam

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Take it off the car, cut out the slots, then put a string accross the ends, like a big bow and arrow set. Make sure you measure how wide you want it to end up, or it still won't fit right.

I think if it breaks it is pretty rough.

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When it snaps its more of a rough splintery tear. If you want to hold it together while you are glassing it, a few strips of metal with a heap of tech screws into the spoiler will hold it in shape. However if it WAS on a car, then you should be able to get it back onto one without cutting and shutting. A heap of pressure over a sustained period may be enough to fix it. Dont try and fix it off the car, even if you take measurements perfectly the fibreglass will distort it as it sets it and you will spend all the time fixing it and still be up $^!# creek in a barbed wire canoe with a paddle at the end of it.

Whilst fibreglassing is fiddly and itchy, its really not very hard to do, I have just finished rebuilding a spoiler off an IP car that got tapped into the car infront then driven over by the car it was attached to. With a bit of fiddling it should fit, when flexing it it takes a lot to break fibreglass, and just before it breaks you will hear a heap of fibres crackling, so you know its about to happen.

Chris

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Thanks guy. I'll double check tomorrow that it was on a car before. I'll have a look at rigging up something to put tension on it over time while on the car. I'll rig it up straight after exams.

i have played with fibreglass while fixing it.. It had a few cracks here and there. Very ichy when you start sweating. Luckily had long sleeves on. My watch didnt help either. The weathers been pretty cold lately so i'll try leave playing with the fibreglass as a last resort. I'll have to use some eventually anyways, because i discovered that the indicator holes are too long and narrow. Will be easy to fix though.

Would anyone know if heating it will assist it bending at certain points?

thanks again,

Adam

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