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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
kevlar vs \'glass

anyone have any experiance with this issue
? will glass hold up to 'wheeling or is kevlar overrated?

Thanks

Scott,
76304150202030
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Re: kevlar vs \'glass

Scott,
I know nothing about the kevlar bodies, but i do know that the fiberglass is a big pain in the keyster. I helped a buddy switch from steel to glass, and I'll never do that again...all the drilling, cutting, and since there is no metal body ground, everything has to have a ground wire attached to it. Also, he got hit by a drunk driver and the whole tub split at the firewall. It is also easy to strip out holes and crack and splinter it. I would seriously recommend against the glass bodies. Since I know nothing about the kevlar, I'd go with the steel....look at it this way, if the original body lasted 20 something years with mediocre care, think how long a new one would last if you kept it painted!!

-Mike

1998 Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab 4x4 Laramie SLT Sport Plus--5.9L 360, auto, 3.92s, antispin, BFG A/Ts.
 

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Official Curmudgeon
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5,207 Posts
Re: kevlar vs \'glass

I don't know which of the many fiberglass bodies your buddy bought but (putting a different spin on your
statement), he got hit by a drunk driver and all it did was split the tub at the firewall, sound like an
endorsement to me.

I've had an AJ's fiberglass body and one piece front end on my CJ for almost seven years now and I
wouldn't have it any other way. It's a lot quieter and warmer and the one piece front end made every hole
I drilled and every ground wire I ran more than worth while. I have one crack where I over tightened a
hood hinge and another where I got the steel reinforcement too hot when I cut out for the tailgate. And
no, you cannot screw anything into it.

Fiberglass is much stronger than steel, much lighter, and won't rust even in the corners when I wash out
the inside. Maybe your problem with drilling, cutting and running all of the grounds was because it was
on somebody else's Jeep.

As to the Kevlar, the epoxy doesn't wick through and it acts as a divider sheet.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: kevlar vs \'glass

I can tell you this -
The Humvee tilt front end is Kevlar. When you look very carefully at one you will see that the designer has asked the materials to do some heavy duty things and the Kevlar performs in this example. Properly done it is an excellent composite. Fiberglass was used in some earlier prototypes of the Humvee and it didn't work out. Kevlar is not as frangible in a composite setting as glass.
By the way and FYI - Kevlar is a high order polyamide which means it is a super nylon. No, it ain't bombproof or bulletproof or punctureproof but it is a very good and highly engineered material. I would be very interested in a Kevlar body versus a fiberglass if I had a need for a replacement for my YJ metal body. Another point: Kevlar mat doesn't cost much more than high quality glass mat. If you are comparing prices you need to know just what kind of mat the manufacturer is using. Cheap fiberglass mat isn't worth taking home. In any product or form.
Just my $.02 worth.
sln
 

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Re: kevlar vs \'glass

Scott,
Dont listen to Mike! That's my Jeep he's talking about and he's stuck on one those Willey's Overland Steel tubs left over from
Jeep era! Since my pocket doesn't stretch to that expense, I put on a 4wd hardware glass body. I dont have any grounding
problems at all, and I dont' have ground wires running every where either. I still have my steel grill and dash, so I ran a ground wire
from the grill to the starter solenoid, from the solenoid to battery and to the block. On the inside I grounded the dash to the battery.
The rear light will also need a ground but that's easy too.

As Mike said, I was hit by a drunk driver. My left front fender was demolished and on the inside where the floor meets the firewall
there is sometype of caulking and that is what shifted. When I was hit the body shifted but none of the mounts even cracked, it bent
the mounting bolts instead!

check out my web page at
http://members.aol.com/fastflyn31/page1.html
I have a great write up and about dozen or so pictures.

Alec
 

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Re: kevlar vs \'glass

it is all relative... how hard is it to put the tub on? one weekend... to me, that is a small job.. use the headlight front piece made of steel..ground that whole thing and then ground everything to it(everything is like that from the factory anyway)also make a template of the firewall when you get the old tub off and use that to cut all the new holes..thats it..easy
as for durability.. i have one crack in a fender.. i got a little too throttle happy when i was high centered and when the jeep fell forward, i broke the axle, and seeparated both ball joints on the driver side..the entire weight of the jeep fell on the one fiberglass fender(2 months after i painted it pearl white).. it actualy held for a bit, but you could see the tire still upright, tearing the fender out as the tire fell to the side with all the weight on it.. i could hear the fiberglass start to crack, so i tossed my winch cable over a tree branch and leveled the jeep off until i could fix the axle... i have a 1 inch crack on the top of my fender from that, and i had to fiberglass the inside seam back together, but it stil looks great..a steel one would be gone.
i have also tossed the high-lift under a part of the tub and jacked up the whole side of the jeep with ne damage... but only in a pinch...
my tub is heavier that steel... i think it from 4wd hardware
~~Elusive~~
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: kevlar vs \'glass

Alec is a tool. Dont listen to him. Yes I am an original parts kind of guy and love the Willy's bodies.
I still dont like the fiberglass. Whack a fender on a rock and watch it spider and shatter. Do it to a
steel fender, then get out your hammer and do some bodywork. That is true of the HumVees...
their armor is Kevlar too....must be good stuff!

-Mike

P.S.> Alec cant admit when he's wrong....but thats what makes him funny....:)

1998 Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab 4x4 Laramie SLT Sport Plus--5.9L 360, auto, 3.92s, antispin, BFG A/Ts.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: kevlar vs \'glass

thanks all. im pretty sold on fiberglass, but its a little way off. im a little aprehensive about kevlar because shell valley is the only company that makes it...so ill probably go with 4wdHW or AJ's

thanks again,

Scott,
76304150202030
 

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Re: kevlar vs \'glass

If I was building another Jeep I would use a steel body but I love my fiberglass body. Yeah it breaks instead of bending but it won't
rust! And it's a lot easier repaired then steel too!

Alec

Don't mind Mike he has Jeep Envy!
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: kevlar vs \'glass

I have 10 years of hard crawling on my AJ's CJ5 and I don'g have a crack anywhere in the body. I have bounced off of some pretty big rocks and it just bounces back. Sometime I am amazed at how resilient the body is. Installation does require a little more work, but with good planning it's worth it. I am now preping an M38 for a glass body. By the way AJ's offered Kevlar when I bought mine in 1989.

Ellis

80 CJ5, 52M38
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: kevlar vs \'glass

Speaking of bodies, ya think I could put a 76 tub on my 75 frame? I've found there are plenty more accessories that say "76 and up" and I'll need a tub anyway (dying for a steel OEM from willys), and if I can make a 76 work, then why not..
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: kevlar vs \'glass

Whats this grounding issue? If you run 1 ground wire to your dash, it is steel and then your whole dash and everything on it is automatically grounded. The only other thing left to ground is your rear tail lights....2 wires. After its all done, you have a lightweighht, trustfree forever body and 3 more wires...whats the big grounding debate?

I'm not afraid of dying...I'm scared of not living

chevy-Cj-7
 
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