Thoughts on fiberglass replacement panels? - 460 Ford Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-08-2009, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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Thoughts on fiberglass replacement panels?

Alright.. So I was just looking at the fiberglass replacement body parts on Crites for my Fairlane, and I have some questions. Are these ready to bolt on and go out of the box, or is there trimming, etc. that needs to be done to them? And what sort of surface prep is required before you paint them? I've never dealt with fiberglass parts before, so this is all new to me. I'm definitely considering the fiberglass hood from them, because the underside of my stock hood is badly rusted. The rest of the body and frame are perfect. I may consider the fenders at some point as well, since they are actually pretty cheap ($185 per.) A little weight reduction is always nice TIA.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-08-2009, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Anyone?
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-08-2009, 10:27 PM
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Fiberglass parts will almost always require some fitting work. They are basically made from molds of good to perfect parts, and depending on the quality and workmanship, they will require some work to make them right, and some more to make them perfect. The parts shrink with age, and depending on how/where/how long they have been stored/shipped... will let you know what/how much work you will have to put into them. One batch may vary a good deal from another. Not always true, but the saying "you get what you pay for" is somewhat true... my advice is that "you will not get more than you pay for". I would venture to say that most people that have complaints about the parts they have received, were expecting new and perfect parts out of the box, and did not wish to put many hours into "normal body work" as they were thinking they were buying new parts, and expected nos steel panels. It is not that simple... unfortunately.

If your main concern is weight savings, it is a good idea. If you are looking for straight panels... you might be as well off spending extra time looking for some western states rust free stuff with minor dents or work required.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-08-2009, 11:49 PM
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X2 on what mudbogtom said. Fiberglass is finicky, liable to stress and thus crack or "spiderweb" when the rest of your car still looks fine, and even when they are supposed to be "good to go right from the box," they require fitting.

If you are looking for cheaper replacements, keep in mind that weight reduction is the benefit, but fit and finish is the compromise. It really depends on how you are building the car-- racer, or weekend cruiser.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-09-2009, 06:36 AM
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I bought a glass flip-front for my 48, it cracked sitting in the garage before being installed.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-09-2009, 07:00 AM
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the show "KIT" on speed channel they build fiberglass repro's and originals.........i seen a new episode the other morning and they were repainting and fixing front bumper and fender because it was starting to spiderweb.......they had to grind it all the way down to the glass prime, block, paint and clear it again. that was after less than a year of test drives and car shows- also, that is from people that build these cars daily. however, vettes and some others use a lotta factory glass and hold up many years? probably save 100lbs im sure on our cars, and the price is tempting- i thought i might want a hood from them also-

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-09-2009, 11:44 AM
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You have to be careful on weight savings...A strong FG panel will weigh almost as much if not more than a steel one. A buddy with a S-10 pick up bought a hood and compared the weight with his stocker and the FG was more!!

The more bracing and such in the back the better it will last and resist cracking. But it weighs more....

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-10-2009, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah.. Those are some good points.
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