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hidden panel patching


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I've got quite a bit of rust behind my fenders/rockers/quarters, hell its everywhere. For the spots you can't see, like behind the fenders, would it be ok to use fiberglass to fix the panels instead of welding in a patch? (Not the bondo fiberglass, actual fiberglass.) Also, I'm replacing everything with fiberglass. All other panels are bolt on but how would I go about bonding fiberglass quarterpanels to the metal? I guess I'm just trying to get out of spending $500+ for a welder......

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  • 2 weeks later...


Just to let you know, MIG welders can be had for under USD $200.

you don't need a big unit. I just finished restoring an '83 280ZX which required extensive structural parts replacement (i.e. TONS of welding. I used over 200 POUNDS of MIG welding wire alone).

The smaller welders are sometimes better for jobs like this as they are less likely to warp the panels. I'd never welded before and it turned out to be fairly easy. Just start on areas that will not be visible, so looks won't matter.

As to bonding fiberglass to metal (if thats that way you prefer to go), the best/most permanent way is to overlap the fibreglass to the metal and rivet them together.



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As far as using fiberglass instead of metal, I wouldn't do it on a uni-body car as the entire uni-body is the structure of the car. There are really no areas of the uni-body that aren't a structural member of the car in one way or another. Every piece is tied into another to form the chassis as well as the outer body and with one are compromised it will end up putting more stress on the areas that haven't been patched.

If these cars were like a Roadster with a body-on-frame design, there would be no real problem with using fiberglass, but on a Z, I wouldn't use fiberglass unless it's to blend in a set of flares or something like that.

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Yup, anything that can be unbolted from the car is OK in fiberglass or whatever.....

Unless someone comes up with patch panels for the unibody or chassis that are made of carbon fiber with a some way to bond the two together that is.....:ermm: That might be the answer instead of hammering out metal patch panels..be kinda expensive though.......:cross-eye

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