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The life of fiberglass

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  • The life of fiberglass

    I am relatively new to this kit car idea. I have a question that some of you might think that I am stupid for not knowing, but I am going to ask anyway. I see some older kits (5-6yrs old) say alot that the car has stress cracks. How long should a kit car last? I do understand there are a lot of variables about how the car is taken care of. I guess what I am asking, is the fiberglass something that needs a lot more extra care? Or is this something that can be because of the company that made the fiberglass? Anyone have any comments? I am not looking for an old one, I would like to buy a new turn key but was wondering if the $25-$35,000 investment was only going to last a few years. One other question I had was, is it it worth the extra money to have a new frame built or is that just kind of a prestige thing? Thanks for your input!! I did ask this question in the technical section but didn't get any response so I am trying it again here.

  • #2
    Re:The life of fiberglass

    hello and welcome to the forum... no question is stupid.. Stress cracks in fiberglass will happen no matter who makes the parts but a fiberglass car should last a lifetime, just look at the early corvettes. Of course stress cracks can be minimize by good body design and good contruction. That being said, you can take the same car, say a lambo or a f355 and have 3 different fiberglass companys build you a replica and what you find is that each one will develope stress cracks differently. This is becasue of several reaasons, material thickness, sharp edges versus radii edges, how the panel is supported and how much flexablility the panel will see. One thing that is a plus, is that fiberglass can be repaired so even if you did buy a car with a stress crack, its not a total loss. I would suggest trying to figure out and eliminate why the crack occured.

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    • #3
      Re:The life of fiberglass

      Thank you for the info! I don't have a stress crack just (yet) cause I don't have a car yet. I was looking at kit cars and was curious to know how long the fiberglass should last on a new mold before stress cracks occur. Thank you again!!

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      • #4
        Re:The life of fiberglass

        I had a 13 year old Lotus Esprit Turbo with about 3 small cracks on the WHOLE car. I imagine that's not unique. Fiberglass can last a long time. Of course, CARE is a factor.

        Look Closely... there's a crack right there in the corner next to the seam of the headlamp bucket...



        And another one right there... at the top edge of the 1/4 glass



        Can't see them... well, you have to look REALLY close because they are about the size of a human hair. At 13 years, that's what I have to show for it.

        That "cracks" me up

        DKOV -

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        • #5
          Re:The life of fiberglass

          I always liked lotis esprit cars. never owned one but thought they are sexy cars.
          Originally posted by DKOV
          I had a 13 year old Lotus Esprit Turbo with about 3 small cracks on the WHOLE car. I imagine that's not unique. Fiberglass can last a long time. Of course, CARE is a factor.

          Look Closely... there's a crack right there in the corner next to the seam of the headlamp bucket...



          And another one right there... at the top edge of the 1/4 glass



          Can't see them... well, you have to look REALLY close because they are about the size of a human hair. At 13 years, that's what I have to show for it.

          That "cracks" me up

          DKOV -

          Comment


          • #6
            Re:The life of fiberglass

            Is there a big difference if you find a good used frame or have one custom made?

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            • #7
              Re:The life of fiberglass

              haha he said lotis instead of lotus lol.
              That would be a good name for replica. ;D

              As for the frame I say by all means have one built if you can afford a good one. That way you know exactly what your getting. You can also have it built the way you want it.With a donor you really don't know what you have until you rip the panels off, and the fiero's are already 15 to 20 years old.Why deal with the hassle of having to do repair work when you can have a brand new custom chassis built to your specifications.

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              • #8
                Re:The life of fiberglass

                I would have to agree with you on that. I don't really like the idea of putting a new kit car on an old chassis and parts. I think maybe the reason for donors is to keep the price down and it may be easier to build. I certainly don't know for sure though, I am new to this kit car idea. I have only been searching for a little over a month. I do have a price put together with a new chassis and all new parts. It is 45K without any labor, that's just for the pieces . Of course that includes 15K for the motor and trans ;D ;D. Maybe you don't need new parts I don't know. Any have idea's

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                • #9
                  Re:The life of fiberglass

                  Ooooooooooooooops Any one have ideas

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                  • #10
                    Re:The life of fiberglass

                    ive said it many times but i'll say it again. fiero is what the
                    kits are designed for, but there are other options. i still think
                    the toyota MR2 is a good donor. the old ones from the 80s are
                    most likely bad, but the 90s MR2s are good fast cars with
                    great quality and economy. it would take some work, but im
                    sure it would be good.

                    heres a beauty:
                    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...category=15289
                    or
                    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...category=15289

                    more at:
                    http://listings.ebaymotors.com/aw/pl...x.html?from=R4
                    Professional 3D, web, graphic, architectural, interior, and CAM design at affoardable prices.<br />Any questions: voicemail/fax (323)281-0583<br />sales @ rt-network.com

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                    • #11
                      Re:The life of fiberglass

                      Thanks for the info AutoMx in your opinion do you think they are better cars than fiero's for donors. Also, what is the advantage of a new chassis if you can find a good donor?
                      Bigger motors maybe?

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