Todd Nelson.net! DeLo Animation

The fiberglass surrounding the engine compartment and pontoons has suffered from sun damage over the years and has caused the gelcoat finish to become faded and chalky. The first approach was to use a 3M fiberglass/gelcoat restorer. This process did provide desireable results, but was a very time consuming process. However the restorer/wax will not be sufficient for the engine compartment as there was never a gelcoat applied to this area at the factory, if there was one it was VERY thin as the fiberglass fibers are visible. The new approach, provided by Steve Stankiewicz, was to thoroughly clean the fiberglass using acetone then soap and water. Then lightly sand the fiberglass to promote adhesion, then apply a primer/filler, this was then sanded to a smooth finish. To rid of the thousands of small pinhole imperfections in the fiberglass, a glazing putty was applied then sanded smooth. Once again a final primer coat was applied, allowed to dry, and once again sanded. Finally, two coats of semi-gloss black paint were applied.

It was also found when the quarter panels were removed that I had the two holes in the fiberglass body that are common in early cars. The general consensus is that these large holes were used to positively ventiate the cabin. Apparently engineers thought without this ventilation the doors would not close due to too much air pressure being exerted on them when closed. However, everything seemed to function fine without the holes so later cars were not manufactured with them. For our early cars that still do have the holes they really only serve for major water leaks and noise makers. So to prevent this I covered the holes with clear plexiglass, glued in with a polyurethane adhesive.


Part Description Purchase Source Price
Duplicolor Filler/Primer Spray (3) Advance Auto 13.32
Duplicolor Semi-Gloss Black Spray (3) Advance Auto 13.32
Bondo Glazing Putty Advance Auto 3.33
3M Fiberglass Protective Wax (#9026) American Backyard 10.56
3M Fiberglass Restorer & Wax (#9005) American Backyard 11.51

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Right Quarter Panel Removed