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Thread: Attaching body panels to chassis

  1. #1

    Attaching body panels to chassis

    Hi ,
    i don't have a kitcar/replica (even a car) but i like them and would like in the future to build one .
    I have a question i hope someone could answer for me, what is the correct way to attach fiberglass
    body panels to a chassis? I have seen a lot of builds but this has never been clear for me.
    Are there some kind of standard fasteners or something like that? sorry for my ignorance ???


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    New England

    Re: Attaching body panels to chassis

    There are several ways you can attach a panel to the chassis, it all depends on the panel and the chassis. For most panels, a metal bracket is fiberglassed to the panel and then welded, bolted etc to the chassis. In other cases if the panel is up against the chassis, you can durabond it and then reinforce it with fiberglass. In rare cases the panel will actually just bolt onto the chassis. In my build, I have some of each case.

  3. #3

    Re: Attaching body panels to chassis

    Thanks FB, it all makes sense now
    I remember that i saw that kind of brackets in the pictures of Matthew F40 car


  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Re: Attaching body panels to chassis

    I bought a video from "Jimmy's Automotive and customs" used to be "Fiero Conversions" and it explained allot to me not the best instruction video by no means but there was allot of good information. I'm building an F40, you might get a hold of V8 Archie and ask him if he has any videos for sale, his number is 1(815)282-9226, a great guy and he will answer the phone and give you any information he can.

  5. #5

    Re: Attaching body panels to chassis

    Thanks Bobi and HTXtremes for the informations

    HTX, i'm not based in USA so i can't get one of those videos, but thanks for the information anyway
    I'll continue reading the forum and gathering info from internet...

  6. #6

    Re: Attaching body panels to chassis

    Great info guys. Maybe we should have a section on the forum with just tutorials ? Stuff like this, how stuff is done etc ?

  7. #7

    Re: Attaching body panels to chassis

    There are a couple things to know. Fiberglass is very different than metal. With metal you just bolt down fenders to the chassis. With fiberglass, you do not want to over tighten the bolts. It will crack and brake. The idea is to use large washers and to get things snugged and not cranked down. For the areas that have some distance like the bottom of a bumper to the chassis that could be 18", I used 1/2" electrical conduit tubing from Home Depot. It is really cheep and you just crush both ends in a vice, and drill the holes. I do not like floating fiberglass, so I am one to have a lot of brackets to hold the car together. My AD355 has 60 brackets.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Re: Attaching body panels to chassis

    Yeah, I do pretty much what Brastic does there with different types of tubing. A lot of these cars are lighter weight than original so the fiberglass must be better supported than the body you took off. Some of the kits I've built in the past have also re-used the manufacturer's rubber frame isolators in key areas. Another thing that goes beyond just attaching everything right is making sure you have the wheels/tires properly balanced and a good 4 way alignment on the car. If anything is out of balance you'll get vibration and "waving" of the body in areas, or worst case, from front to back. I've seen kit cars stress crack in some pretty strange places and almost all of it was not from the attachment issue but from an "out of balance" situation somewhere in the frame, drivetrain, wheels/tires, etc.

  9. #9

    Re: Attaching body panels to chassis

    Seems logical to use a lot of brackets to reduce the stress in the mounting points of the panel.
    Can someone show a example photo?

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