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  • quick easy fiberglass question

    i want to take a mold off of my corvette wheel well. my corvette has a really nice newer paint job... i want to keep my paint job lol what is a good way to do this with out messing up the paint when i pry the mold back off the wheel well?

    figured it would be a simple question for a body guy I'm just not that experienced yet, working with fiberglass yes but not in making molds.

    i do have carnuba wax, pva, gel coat, resin all the stuff I'm just worried about pulling the stuff back off the car and messing up the paint.

    i was thinking ceran wrap or something like that but seems like i will make more work for myself.

    thanks

  • #2
    Go to an auto wreckers and get a good used wheel well and work with that. Will probably be cheaper than re-painting.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by CARBUILDER View Post
      Go to an auto wreckers and get a good used wheel well and work with that. Will probably be cheaper than re-painting.
      Good suggestion and advise.

      What are you wanting to do with what you will end up with?

      There are ways to do what you ask, but all of them involve the risk of screwing up your paint.

      A garbage bag taped in place, or saran wrap like you mentioned, covering the entire area with masking tape, or you might be able to vinyl wrap the area, then glass on top of that. All of these methods are risky as far as not damaging your paint. Just depends on too many factors for there to be any "guarantees".

      Your best bet would be to do like CB suggested and get another guinea pig to play with.

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      • #4
        Help me understand. You want to make a mold of a part that is not only cheap but readily available?

        ebay my friend.

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        • #5
          I have molded several parts off cars and have never ruined the finish. You want to coat it with wax first, then buff as you would regularly. Next is to use a good sprayable water based mold release, either PVA or others that are available in shaker cans. The trick here is to make sure it goes on wet, and do several coats allowing each one to dry before the next. Dont worry about runs, they will shrink to nothing when the release dries. Apply 2 coats of gelcoat with a brush, do not add extra catalyst to speed the cure. Now you're home free. Apply as many layers of matting as you need to make a nice rigid mold. Do not try to pry the mold off until its fully cured. When glassing its best to construct a tab of fiberglass along one edge that can be used to grip with a pliers to lift the edge of the fiberglass for removal. As you lift, run a steady stream of water between the fiberglass and body panel. The water will dilute the mold release and the mold will fall off with no stress to the paint.
          Without talent experience is worthless

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          • #6
            Originally posted by murcie-me View Post
            I have molded several parts off cars and have never ruined the finish. You want to coat it with wax first, then buff as you would regularly. Next is to use a good sprayable water based mold release, either PVA or others that are available in shaker cans. The trick here is to make sure it goes on wet, and do several coats allowing each one to dry before the next. Dont worry about runs, they will shrink to nothing when the release dries. Apply 2 coats of gelcoat with a brush, do not add extra catalyst to speed the cure. Now you're home free. Apply as many layers of matting as you need to make a nice rigid mold. Do not try to pry the mold off until its fully cured. When glassing its best to construct a tab of fiberglass along one edge that can be used to grip with a pliers to lift the edge of the fiberglass for removal. As you lift, run a steady stream of water between the fiberglass and body panel. The water will dilute the mold release and the mold will fall off with no stress to the paint.
            thank you for that ive seen it done on you tube but never explained.
            Corvette panels... Not so cheap. Making my own molds... Free

            what i am trying to do is make the front wheel flares the back. Front looks great but the back is kinda lame. C4 vette.

            Thanks

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            • #7
              Originally posted by murcie-me View Post
              I have molded several parts off cars and have never ruined the finish. You want to coat it with wax first, then buff as you would regularly. Next is to use a good sprayable water based mold release, either PVA or others that are available in shaker cans. The trick here is to make sure it goes on wet, and do several coats allowing each one to dry before the next. Dont worry about runs, they will shrink to nothing when the release dries. Apply 2 coats of gelcoat with a brush, do not add extra catalyst to speed the cure. Now you're home free. Apply as many layers of matting as you need to make a nice rigid mold. Do not try to pry the mold off until its fully cured. When glassing its best to construct a tab of fiberglass along one edge that can be used to grip with a pliers to lift the edge of the fiberglass for removal. As you lift, run a steady stream of water between the fiberglass and body panel. The water will dilute the mold release and the mold will fall off with no stress to the paint.
              Cautionary Note: Apply as many layers of matting as you need to make a nice rigid mold??? Fiberglass while curing can generates huge amounts of heat causing panels to warp, paint to bubble, etc. So I would recommend applying only three layers of matting and use some form of supporting structure IMHO
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              • #8
                Originally posted by CARBUILDER View Post
                Cautionary Note: Apply as many layers of matting as you need to make a nice rigid mold??? Fiberglass while curing can generates huge amounts of heat causing panels to warp, paint to bubble, etc. So I would recommend applying only three layers of matting and use some form of supporting structure IMHO
                Yup, known and understood.

                Thank you

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by CARBUILDER View Post
                  Cautionary Note: Apply as many layers of matting as you need to make a nice rigid mold??? Fiberglass while curing can generates huge amounts of heat causing panels to warp, paint to bubble, etc. So I would recommend applying only three layers of matting and use some form of supporting structure IMHO
                  The amount of heat generated by 3-5 layers of average matting saturated with resin and the correct amount of catalyst would not exceed 95F degrees. Cars sitting out in direct sunlight here in CA during the summer reach surface temperatures of over 160 degrees for duration's well over 6-8 hours with no damage to the paint. Most people ive seen who do fiberglass always put in way to much catalyst, resulting in a quick cure and alot of heat. The problem is the life and strength of the fiberglass is greatly reduced, resulting in a brittle part (or mold) that easily cracks and has minimal structural value.
                  3 layers of matt is more than enough to create a rigid mold, but I guess that depends on what weight matting is being used, right? I said to apply as many layers that are needed to create a rigid mold because I have no idea what weight matting they are using. A rigid mold for a small part with alot of returns and angled surfaces might be rigid enough with one layer (the angles create added rigidity), while a large curved surface may need 8 layers and a frame to hold the shape.
                  Either case, the key is to following the instructions on the resin can and not rushing the job. I pulled a front bumper mold off a showroom quality LP670 a year ago and didn't have any problems.
                  Attached Files
                  Last edited by murcie-me; 06-17-2014, 06:54 PM.
                  Without talent experience is worthless

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by murcie-me View Post
                    The amount of heat generated by 3-5 layers of average matting saturated with resin and the correct amount of catalyst would not exceed 95F degrees. Cars sitting out in direct sunlight here in CA during the summer reach surface temperatures of over 160 degrees for duration's well over 6-8 hours with no damage to the paint. Most people ive seen who do fiberglass always put in way to much catalyst, resulting in a quick cure and alot of heat. The problem is the life and strength of the fiberglass is greatly reduced, resulting in a brittle part (or mold) that easily cracks and has minimal structural value.
                    3 layers of matt is more than enough to create a rigid mold, but I guess that depends on what weight matting is being used, right? I said to apply as many layers that are needed to create a rigid mold because I have no idea what weight matting they are using. A rigid mold for a small part with alot of returns and angled surfaces might be rigid enough with one layer (the angles create added rigidity), while a large curved surface may need 8 layers and a frame to hold the shape.
                    Either case, the key is to following the instructions on the resin can and not rushing the job. I pulled a front bumper mold off a showroom quality LP670 a year ago and didn't have any problems.
                    great info, thank you very much.

                    Ill take all i can get. I actually just started on it. I cleaned the surface, waxed it and aplied quite a few layers of pva. Ill aply the gel coat tomorrow after work.

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                    • #11
                      Cool, I hope it works out for you. Dont let the PVA sit to long before applying the gelcoat though. PVA is water based and subject to humidity. If it sits to long it can dry out and shrink and tear when you brush on the gelcoat. If its to humid out it can be rubbed off by the brush when applying the gelcoat. I always spray more area than where I am pulling the mold from, that way I can test the PVA by peeling a little area away before I start applying the gelcoat. It should come off in a uniform sheet with no residue sticking to the waxed body. If it wants to come off in splinters and thin strips, its applied to thin or possibly dried out.
                      Without talent experience is worthless

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                      • #12
                        I will post up some pics tonight. If making these molds turn out ok, this thread will get long as I will hopefully be picking your brains on how to transport these to the rear wheel well

                        thanks for the in input guys, great bunch of people on this site.
                        Brian

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                        • #13
                          so here is a pic of the front wheel well and one of the rear wheel well... the front looks great in my opinion.. the rear .... not so much. so any advice on glassing these on the back would be appreciated. i want to cut out and replace with the parts i make so i can get z06 tires on there and keep them tucked.
                          the second two pics are after i applied the gelcoat.... oh man I'm nervous lol

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                          • #14
                            ok maybe I'm a little biased since this is my first attempt at fiberglass like this but man that looks sexy !!! lol I love it !!

                            keep in mind this is only the mold and not a part trimmed and fitted. hopefully i can get a pair of parts out before the end of the weekend and start fitting it in.

                            question: how do I glass the part into the body? what I mean is do I lay the part over the existing wheel well and glass onto it OR cut the corvette panel and the part to where it would be flush where they meet and glass the backside and bondo/smooth the top side? I hope that makes sense.

                            any input will be appreciated

                            brian

                            ps, the mold popped off the car with zero issues. gave it a very light tug and popped rigth now leaving no residue thank you for the tips guys

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                            • #15
                              Hey! That looks great. Glad it worked so well for, as I said initially, there are ways to do it. You did good!

                              I guess my curiosity is getting the better of me though, I have to ask, if you knew you were going to be doing body paint work (to add the flares to the back) why the concern over not messing up the paint? I'm guessing you want to only paint that which is absolutely necessary and plan on spot painting and color matching, which can also be a nightmare.

                              My take on your latest question is to grind down to bare glass where you want to add the flare, going out at least an inch or two beyond the edge of your new flare. Then use whatever bonding method you're comfortable with...you will get varied opinions on this I'm sure. Some will say use resin and matte, some will say panel bond (such as 3M8115 or the like) some will say Vette panel adhesive, personally, I would use resin and matte. I guess the main point is, I wouldn't cut out the existing well, but rather add the new flare to what's there. You'll probably also get varied responses on that, I'm just saying what I would do.

                              Finishing the seam is kind of like doing a weld with metal. You will have a "valley" naturally between the edge of the new flare and the body, but it can be made slightly deeper, then like a weld, you fill the valley back up with matte and resin till it's blended. Finish off with your favorite filler, (I like "resin jelly", then a two part polyester glazing putty for final finishing), prime, see where you're at, repeat if required till you're satisfied with how it looks/feels, then paint. This takes for granted there will be lots of sanding.

                              I'm sure you'll get advise from others, so do what you feel will work for you. Post your results with pictures, and for the record, I agree it is a much better look, course you know you're gonna have to get wider rims and tires.....right? I suppose you could run spacers, but why go to all that trouble to remain "stock"?

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