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Building A Fiber Glass Body

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Member - Posts: 4
Member spacespace
Joined: September 06, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: September 10, 2006 at 9:16 PM / IP Logged  
Thanks everybody for your help. Are there any sites or video i can look at on the how to's of building a fiberglass body from design to life and if so could you post the links plz thanks
Silver - Posts: 703
Silver spacespace
Joined: January 14, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: September 11, 2006 at 1:26 AM / IP Logged  

O_O LOL... Very ambitious

Well to start, you will have a LOT of work ahead of you. Depending on complexity and design, be prepared to put in at LEAST 1000-4000 hours (not a typo, one to four thousand) and about $1,500-$2,000 into the project if you want to make your own body from scratch. Now this is just an estimate, but your first 200 or so hours will be planning in detail on how the body will look and come together.

Look for books made by a guy named Clarence Waliki (spelling?) He wrote a couple of books that will help guide you for making the body specifically. Our resident "librarian" is pretty sure he also wrote a book that will tell you how to make a body for less than $1500 but it is for expert level glassers.

We do know that if many of your parts (such as the hood, fenders, etc) are essentially upgrades from vehicle's parts available on the market, you might be able to get away with about $1,000 and about 750 hours for a full body to be made.

One part that you will have to do extra research on will be to ask your state's laws on your plans for the vehicle. If you are building a body for a uni-body vehicle (such as honda, volkswagon, etc) you may not be able to cut into some areas without having to rebuild the frame somehow to stay legal. If your vehicle is chassis rail based, the laws will be a lot easier to work with.

We are not trying to discourage you from doing the project, (off the record, we're rooting you on) but being that this is a project that will be heavily be exposed to the elements, driving conditions, etc., much of what will happen to the kit will all depend on preperation and framing, not in the glassing itself. Applying the glass is the easiest part. The engineering and planning of the body kit will be your determining factor.

It sounds like you have a vehicle already planned for this project. (We're assuming that this is for your Neon) For a custom body, the best technique we find to build a body from scratch would be to build a mold from AB foam. If it is the neon, you'll be able to make the hood, ,cowling, front fenders, side skirts, door skins (not the frame), rear bumper and the deck lid. The rest of the vehicle is all part of the unibody frame. Do NOT modify any of those areas. (Roof, Pillars, Rear Quarter Panels, Clip, The rest of the trunk areas) Most states that inspect unibody vehicles that have modified structure zones without compensations will not liscence/register the vehicle.

On the record, we recommend that you wait until you have much more experience (you claimed to be new to fiberglassing in another thread you made) Off the record, we're rooting you on and hoping that you create a great clean project. Take lots of pictures

Good Luck!

Never send your ducks to eagle school.
The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.
The 3Ls of life: Learn from the Past, Live for the Present, Look to the Future.
Silver - Posts: 322
Silver spacespace
Joined: September 08, 2005
Location: Australia
Posted: September 11, 2006 at 7:44 AM / IP Logged  

it would really be a task and a half, i dont know of any videos or step by setps but chcek out this link to a guys car domain site, and to a thread about it

Clarion DB36MP
Infinity Kappa Perfect 10"
Respone 800w Mono
*Custom fabrications*
Member - Posts: 1
Member spacespace
Joined: July 14, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: September 18, 2006 at 6:52 PM / IP Logged  
Here are two places to get videos.
One place rents the videos, the other sells them.
You might also look at books too, as the real detail will be there; and there are hundreds of them. Go to Powell’s books on-line, and look at their new and used technical books.
You can watch a video, but unless the people doing it are real thorough, and give you lots of information, you may not be able to make much without frantically writing down everything, as you will need it to refer to it as you do your plugs, molds, and finished parts. You might look at West System materials, as they are the best organized, and have lots of technical information.
I worked in composite construction in the aviation industry, from fiberglass to carbon, and "although I can't give you “time and materials" (because that will depend a lot on your abilities) I can say, it had better be a labor of love.
To go a good professional job will take much time and money; but sometimes that is not important if you enjoy the process. There are no shortcuts.
Hope this helps.
Copper - Posts: 144
Copper spacespace
Joined: January 15, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: September 18, 2006 at 10:41 PM / IP Logged  

Hi brbman2002,

This is a link to a related post you may find helpful.  Its full of links and other fabricators ideas that may help you grow your mind, or just see whats involved.

Melted Fabric 
Silver - Posts: 509
Silver spacespace
Joined: October 24, 2003
Location: California, United States
Posted: September 19, 2006 at 10:22 AM / IP Logged  
Heh, I damn near forgot about that post. Some good advice in there
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
When you do not know what you are doing and what you are doing is the best -- that is inspiration.
Copper - Posts: 144
Copper spacespace
Joined: January 15, 2006
Location: United States
Posted: September 19, 2006 at 5:21 PM / IP Logged  
....definately!  That post was heavy, it was good for the amount of people with replies. 

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