Dune buggies can take a pounding on rough tracks. Hitting an obstacle at any speed can punch a hole in the fibreglass shell. But you can repair such damage in a weekend with materials bought at a local hardware store. Doing the job yourself will save you money and perhaps also earn you bragging rights with fellow dune buggy fans.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Palm sander
- Several grades of sandpaper
- Razor blade
- Rubber gloves
- Fibreglass mat
- Fibreglass resin and catalyst
- Disposable bucket
- Paint brushes
- Masking tape
- Auto body filler (optional)
- Fibreglass primer
- Wet/dry sandpaper
- Automotive paint
Prepare the area around the damage by sanding it with coarse sandpaper. Sand through the paint and into the original fibreglass to ensure a good bond with your patch.
Cut out three pieces of fibreglass mat. They should be about half an inch larger than the damage on all sides. Using three pieces of fibreglass will strengthen the patch.
Lay the first piece of fibreglass on a sheet of cardboard.
Mix a batch of fibreglass resin with catalyst in a disposable bucket.
Coat the fibreglass with catalysed resin and tap it with the brush to saturate the fibres. Be sure to work out any trapped air bubbles.
Lay the second piece of fibreglass on the first and tap in more resin. Repeat the process with the third piece of fibreglass.
Use a razor blade to remove the fibreglass patch from the cardboard.
Lay the patch over the damaged area of the dune buggy and make sure it fits snugly over any curves or contours.
Tape the fibreglass in place with masking tape to make sure it does not move as it cures.
Allow the fibreglass to cure until it is hard and no longer sticky.
Fill in any dips in the patch with auto body filler.
Remove the masking tape and sand the patch flush with the body, starting with coarse sandpaper and moving to finer and finer grits.
Apply fibreglass primer to the patch and allow it to dry.
Remove any imperfections or brush strokes from the primer with wet/dry sandpaper.
Paint the patch with automotive paint that matches the colour of the dune buggy.
Tips and warnings
- Always wear rubber gloves and work in a well-ventilated area when using fibreglass.
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