Fibreglass

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Bodywork Preparation

It would be easy to think that the Rebel Saloon was loosing out with the current efforts being put into the van but we’ve still found time to do some work on it.

These are a few photos last year when we were sanding, filling and faring the bodywork and repairing stress cracks before paint.

More recently we trial fitted the original doors. One had a major chunk removed where the scrapyard had broken into it. The other was cracked around the mounting holes for the hinges and on both the joins between inner and outer moldings was weak. Repairing the original doors was preferable to keeping the regal ones as they have different door card styles and would always have looked a bit wrong, the regal ones were also not that good a fit and required lots of shimming to get them to sit right.

The door frames have also been repaired. Dave spent long hours welding up good ones from sections cut out of several rusty spare sets. The ones that came with the Rebel were very rotten and were preventing free movement of the window glass.

We have removed the opening quaterlight windows, this a compromise as the seals are no longer available and leaving them would have meant that the car would leak ruining the new carpets (still to be fitted.) As its a car that will be used regularly practicality is over-ruling originality here!

Repaired frames

Coparison between old and new style quaterlights:

The new quarter lights will now use larger panes bedded in on silicone, We’ve used this in the past on the Scimitar rear hatch and it works very well.

The frame section at the bottom unbolts to allow the Quaterlight pane to be fitted from below, before the frame is dropped onto the door moulding

Trial fitting:

We are hoping that the top frames should be a decent fit and when painted up should be at least as good as the standard that reliant managed, if not hopefully a bit better.

The plan now is to move the Red Rebel back to the Isle of Wight for painting when the weather has improved…  :|

Fabricating a Fibreglass Rollbar Cover

With the car on the Island we made moulds for the B-Pillar trims,

First attempt at moulding our own trim panels,

We also made moulds for new heater blowers,

Random shot of Dave driving the Rebel,

Trial fitting,

Happy with the side sections we moved on to making the difficult curved piece.

The female mould was made out of Ply and timber.

Imperfections was faired in filler, so that the fibreglass would not stick to the mould special release wax and PVA was used.

Applying Gel Coat,

Finished moulding awaiting trimming,

Trimmed down and trial fitted,

Random cat photo…

Off to The Island

With the Rebel up and running we have been working towards fitting the Interior and getting the outside ready for paint.

Before fitting a new headlining etc, we needed to make a fibreglass moulding to cover the new rollover bar. We decided it would be best to bring it over to the Isle of wight (its future Home,) as the workshop facilities were better than they were in my garage! This meant I had to drive the relatively unproven Rebel from Littlehampton to Portsmouth to catch a ferry!

The journey to Portsmouth went well and I pulled over just off the A27 to check everything was ok, grabbing a few photos at the same time.

The boot was full and back of the car were quite heavily laden down  :?

Waiting for the ferry.

Onboard.

Arrival in Newport IOW.

More on mould making to follow…

Replacing the Side panels – Now Fitted

The van now has side panels!  :)

We spent the last 2 days putting the panels in and giving a rough coat of paint generally very pleased with the result, the fine fettling on the paintwork will be done in the future when the whole van will be repainted.

In other news the van is now tax exempt which took a while to sort the paperwork out with the dvla.

Mouldmaking – Replacing the Side Pannels

While on the Isle of wight we took advantage of the use of Dave’s bosses’ workshop to create some moulds for some new side panels. Creation of moulds is much easier with access to a decent workshop with space to work and the use of bench saws etc!

I’ve not got many photos of the woodwork. Essentially they were made from pine strips screwed to a sheet of hardboard. The wood underneath gives the hardboard a slight curve to matches the slight curve in the body of the van. The corners are made of body filler as it was quicker than making them out of wood. If you were making a mould to be reused many times it would pay to do these in wood too.

The moulds were fared in filler, creating a radius and also filling in screw holes and imperfections in the wood.

Corner section closeup

Filled sections were then sanded down and the moulds were clamped to the bench to prevent distortion.

The moulds were then coated with 5 coats of release wax this is the minimum needed, ten coats is a good target to get the best results.

The wax was then buffed with a fresh cloth.

The moulds were ready for Gelcoat, given the cold temperature in the workshop we were using a 2% mix of hardener. Resin was weighed to calculate hardener mixes accurately.

Gelcoat was then applied to the moulds

These were then left under the heat lamp for a few hours to until touch dry

the lay up could then begin, each mould used 2 sheets of medium density csm. any additional thickness will be added when the panels are fitted.

resin was applied by brush and laminating rollers were used to ensure there were no air pockets.

Rolling out

With 2 Layers applied to each mould they were left under the heat lamp until the resin had properly gone off.

Waiting for release:

Panels out:

In a couple of places the mould filler is stuck to the gel but will sand off nicely.

A trial fitting,

Hoping to be in a position to fit them later this month,  :D