I have seen some $5K paint jobs with shrunken seams. Who knows what the painter used in the prep but it was not West Systems. Possibly window putty or flour and water. On the first one it was quite a riot when we first ran the Makita along the fenders to begin the repair. Both have been fixed and one is Silver w/o stripes and was at Knotts.
[ May 16, 2002, 11:21 PM: Message edited by: Roger ]
I have nott seen major problems with west systems, however, I did have a seam crack on one that was delivered to me with the seams already done with west systems. I personally use 3m's vinylester blister repair filler. it matches the body resin perfectly. cheers, SRP
Can the West Systems stuff be top coated with the 3M stuff? I ground out my seams and did two coats of strait West Systems epoxy. I then did a coat of West Systems epoxy with 410 mixed in. Can I fill the remaining low spots with the 3M blister repair? Or should I continue with the West epoxy and 410? Thanks.
Been following this West system topic and think it is confusing a lot of people. First, West is a very good product, I have used it for over 25 years in aircraft construction. It works well with carbon fiber also. Vinylester is much better than polyester for Cobra type layups. Most gel coats are polyester type base, same as most body shop plastic fillers. I was in the body shop business before retiring last year. Fixed many Corvettes, boats and other fiberglass things. Am also building a Cobra but not a FFR. This is what I would do with the seams.
1 clean the wax off
2 using a hog sander with 80 grit, flatten out the seams, going well past the area to be filled.
3 using the hog sander with 40 grit, feather out the seams about 1-2" wide, going through the gelcoat only deep enough to sand into the fiberglass slightly.
4 blow out sanding dust and fill using a fiberglass reinforced filler, polyester based, bought at bodyshop supply store. Many brands, most work well. Usually come in long strand or short, I would use the short. Sqeegie the first coat on firmly.
5 using the hog with 40, sand off high spots and repeat step 4.
6 cleanout any trace of pinholes and use a good grade of Bondo type filler to finish off.
Again, I'm not saying the West method isn't ok, but this is much faster and has worked for me witout problems for more years than I like to admit. We use vinylester on our airplane cowls and wheelpants and are a much lighter layup than the Cobra bodies. More vibration and have had no problem with cracks or sunken seams.
Also, a hog is body shop slang for a 7" sander, similar to a DA but bigger, used mostly for roughing out or stripping paint.
Confusing? You bet it is. The correct way to do the seams depends on what week you ask the question. I was told by one person that I could use West systems and the 3M Blister Repair (vinylester) together without problems. I've had people say you can use Evercoat products (polyester), even heard of guys using Bondo.
We definitely need a FFQ on doing the seam work. Preferably writen by guys who have done several FFR bodies with success. It would be nice to be able to read how each person does it, then pick one and stick with that one method.
I'm going to stick with the West Systems since that's what I started with and alot of FFRs have been done with it. I'll save the 3M stuff for something else or sell it.
Each one of these FFR bodies offer a different challenge. There are examples that are completely sound, others that are not and each panel has its own story to tell. I have had to use mat, cloth and lots of grinding to repair voids and overcuts by the trimmer around the edges. The person doing the job needs to carefully inspect every inch to determine how to proceed.
To imply only one method of repair or product may be an oversimplification. For example, areas of seams may require fiberglass reinforcement. If the reinforcement is not done a hairline crack may occur. To infer a hairline crack is because of one product or another and not an oversight by the builder does not fly in my business. Either you did the job right or you didn't.
I agree with Greg, I think if someone opts to use the West System way, which is the way I am doing mine,that it would be helpful to know what products would work in conjunction with it and the vinylester that the body is made of. Like the next step after filling seams with epoxy is vague to me. What type of primer is being used that works well, and what type or brand of paint? I know we need to apply the products a certain way for good results,but some clear guidence would be great to see in the FAQ's section. Maybe some of you out there who have done your own paint jobs can tell us what works in your selected group of products and take some more guess work out of it, for us that are new to this?
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