Monday 17 February 2014

Repair Offside Front Wing

The only damage I sustained in the crash was a cracked offside front wing.
Basically there were three cracks, although none of the material was missing.  But there were lots of sharp edges, so it would be a definite MOT failure.  The sensible thing to do was get a new wing, but I decided to have a practice and add GRP repair to my skill set.

So the first step was to put fibreglass over the 3 cracked areas to reinforce the breaks.

 Then another larger piece of fibreglass over the whole area to minimise the edges.  Then lots of sanding down.  


The advice from the Internet was that you cannot directly paint GRP or it just peels off.  
So I masked off the area and applied some Acid Etch Primer.  As you can see, this was generally OK but it highlighted a dent on the top and a ragged front edge. 

So it required more sanding and some filler for the dent.

I used filler to cover the imperfections and once more resorted to the sander and then primed it again.

Have now spent hours trying to get this right and decided it is never going to work.  I'm very happy with the actual repair from a structural point of view, and I am now quite keen to start producing some new fibreglass items, starting with a new steering wheel column cover that will be covered in vinyl.  But the hours I have spent sanding still hasn't produced the perfect finish I hoped for.

Having discussed it with other owners I think I would have been better applying the fibreglass inside the wing to provide the structural strength and then use filler on the top to produce a smooth finish.  Anyway,  probably time to give up and buy a new wing.   

It's been an interesting exercise, glad I went through it and lots of lessons learned.

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