Major hardtop repair - weekend carnage - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-17-2002, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
 
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Major hardtop repair - weekend carnage

I crunched one corner of the hardtop pretty bad this weekend. There just isn't any give in some of these pine trees [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img]. Searching turned up some tips for fixing cracks and stuff, but what about a big fix like this? Is this a two piece top? There is a small crack on the inside, which doesn't really bother me, but the outside is pretty crunched. I want to get that repaired, shoring it up as much as possible; I've never done any fiberglass or body type repairs, so details please [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img]



I was lucky, I guess. I did the hardtop damage, blew an axleshaft ujoint (took the shaft with it I think, haven't torn it down yet) and crumpled the right front fender a little. Got a whole lotta rock rash underneath, too. The only other fool to follow me into the trail came out with two blown tires, a mangled wheel, a bent leaf spring, bent tie rod and draglink, ripped off both mufflers, tore one header tube out of the manifold, and bent the front driveshaft. The trail is by Penrose CO, called Patriot, and it is nasty.

Thankx, Max

82 CJ, some stuff stock, some stuff not
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 02-17-2002, 04:29 PM
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Re: Major hardtop repair - weekend carnage

wow, that does sound pretty nasty. As far as the hard top repair goes, fiberglass isn't all that hard to work on. Sand it down, get some glass, patch it and sand some more. then paint, and you are good as new
I think that working on glass is easier than working with bondo. But harder to sand.


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post #3 of (permalink) Old 02-17-2002, 07:02 PM
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Re: Major hardtop repair - weekend carnage

[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img] I was just noticing your sig , about the coffee drinking in a Jeep , I know what ya mean !! It can be nasty.



<font color=black>Jeff [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/cool.gif[/img] </font color=black>
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 02-17-2002, 07:38 PM
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Re: Major hardtop repair - weekend carnage

zilla, sure can ! Kind of a funny story about how it came to be. Driving with my roommate in his Jeep early one hungover saturday morning on the way to a Paintball range. One of our friends (from Canada) was with us, (riding in the dog seat(the back)) And this kid is great, big heart, funny as hell, kinda dorky but in a good way, like the kid a lot.
We stopped for coffee at a gas station and this kid jumps in the back we head off and it was like a drunk sailer in the back swearing up a storm from spilling coffee on him self. He goes, "How come you guys arn't having any trouble drinking this coffee" My roommate looks back says. "It takes a special type of person to drink coffee in a jeep"

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 02-17-2002, 08:54 PM
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Re: Major hardtop repair - weekend carnage

sanding fiberglass really sucks.. my suggestion is, get a respirator.


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post #6 of (permalink) Old 02-17-2002, 10:59 PM
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Re: Major hardtop repair - weekend carnage

Is it fiberglass? I thought it was formed plastic. It seems too thin to be fiberglass, it's smooth on both sides, it is built in several sections and the pieces fit together to form voids for strengthening.


I've replaced so many parts that my old Jeep has become my new Jeep.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 02-18-2002, 08:05 AM
 
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Re: Major hardtop repair - weekend carnage

I would recommend an epoxy based repair. Take a look at this webpage: http://www.westsystem.com/. I would drill holes at the end of the cracks. Use a router to widen the cracks, giving it a v shape. Then fill it with epoxy to just below the top of the crack. Let that dry, then fill it the rest of the way with a mixture of epoxy mixed with the comounds that allow for easy sanding and fairing. Hover, if the corner was crunched in, not cracked. I would build it up using Epoxy with a filler for stiffness. Then wrap a layer of glassmat across the entire surface area that crunched, overlapping the broken edges a couple of inches.
On the other hand, I know a guy in NC that would sell you a new hardtop, no rear window for @ 150 to 200. You would have to change the color of the top.

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 02-18-2002, 09:05 AM
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Re: Major hardtop repair - weekend carnage

Getting a hard Top with no rear glass is always a good deal, but if it is missing the Frame for the glass and the glass... It will be very hard to find the frame. I drove a hard Top with no rear Glass for about 6 month looking for the Frame, finally just ended up brining it to a glass shop and having them put a pice of Plexi in the back, it doesn't open, but it keeps my a$$ warmer. (I got the hard Top for $75 because it was missing side glass, rear glass, and the side and front were crunched in from a roll) Even after all the fixing I was only out a lot of hours, a cold butt for 6 months and less than $400 Not bad for a Hard Top.

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 02-18-2002, 09:10 AM
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Re: Major hardtop repair - weekend carnage

Money Pit - here is what the factory workshop manual says:

"Use a grinder to remove the paint and to outline the damaged area. Use a grade 24 disc for the initial grinding. Follow up with a grade 50 disc to prevent coarse scratches from showing up in the final finish. NOTE: If there are any cracks extending from the hole it will be necessary to stop-drill the cracks(s) using a 3.18-mm (1/8-in) drill bit. Position a fiberglass mat or cloth on the repair area, cut out a piece, allowing a 2.54-cm (1-in) extension beyond the damaged area. Clean the damaged area. Place the fiberglass cloth patch on a piece of aluminum foil. Pour the fiberglass resin into a clean container. Mix the appropriate amount of hardener with the resin, according to the manufacturer's instructions. Apply the resin mixture to both sides of the fiberglass cloth. Lay the fiberglass cloth patch and aluminium foil over the repair area, on the outside. With a plastic spreader, use firm pressure to remove the air bubbles. Allow the resin to cure. Remove the aluminum foil from the cured resin. Smooth the area to contour using a 50 Grit Disc. Apply plastic filler to complete the repair, and finish the area with 80 Grit Paper. Repeat the previous step on the inside at the top. Featheredge the repaired area. Prime the area with Ditlers Epoxy Chromate Primer (DP-40/401). Apply primer surfacer. Sand the area for paint preparation; reprime if necessary. Prepare the area for color coat. Color coat.



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post #10 of (permalink) Old 02-18-2002, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Major hardtop repair - weekend carnage

Thanks for the info. So you would grind down the edges a ittle, I assume so that the new matting wouldn't bulge out too much? And you would essentially leave all the crunched up stuff where it is, under the new matting?

I probably won't buy a new top; if it comes to that I think I would rather have a soft top anyways, a little easier to put up and down. And aesthetics aren't real important to me; I want it too look decent but by no means expect it to come out looking like it did.

And it is crunched, not cracked. I did her up pretty good [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/frown.gif[/img]

Max

82 CJ, some stuff stock, some stuff not
Have you hugged your Jeep today?
http://www.alpine14rs.org
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