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Newbie needs advice

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  • Newbie needs advice

    I have always been an audio guy and always a computer guy as well but I was recently turned on the idea of a "carputer" if you will, and I think its great. I have been reading for a couple of weeks now and all the wiring does not scare as much as the modifications I will have to do to my dash. I want to attempt fiberglass but I have never used it before. So I am going to need help(etc. Prep, Supplies, Steps....) Can a fiberglass novice successfully recreate his dash with fiberglass??

  • #2
    Definitely, just dont expect a perfect outcome on your first try. Off the top of the my head you will need the following.

    a fiberglass body filler (try to avoid bondo brand)
    a strong two pack adhesive (e.g. araldite)
    hotglue or some tape
    a cutting tool (dremals are good)
    latex gloves
    respirator or particle masks
    mixing containers and stirring sticks
    plastic bog applicators (little pieces of sheet plastic)
    60 120 240 400 and 800 sand paper
    An acrylic high build primer
    Acrylic top coat
    I would also get a small amount of acetone for any mistakes

    You will have to remove the front bezel of the screen, there are guides to do that depending on what screen you have. You must also remove the dash section you want the screen in.

    Cut a clearance hole in the dash so that the bezel can sit flush, use hotglue to hold it in place temporarily then use the adhesive and completely fill the seam at the back only. Wait for it to dry then pull the hot glue off. Sand the front area just to get the shine off for better filler adhesion. Both the filler and adhesive will be two pack, make sure you mix the correct amounts told on the labels and mix them well. Mix small amount of filler at a time and apply layers of the stuff instead of all at once, about 15-30 minutes apart until you get the right thickness. Sand back using only the 60grit until you have the shape you want, you may need to apply another coat if you sand to much off. When your happy with the shape start going up the grit till 400, then give the whole piece 2-3 coats of high build. This will show the small rises and falls you could not have seen before, sand back to the right contour, its ok to sand back to the filler in some places, that’s the point. Lay another primer coat and sand back with 400 again, then to a wet 800grit(get a small tub of soapy water). This should be ready for a top coat, any pin holes can be removed by another layer of primer. About 2-3 layers for the top coat, make sure top coat is also acrylic.

    Hope that helps, ive prolly missed some thing because I wrote it in a rush, any questions I will answer. Typically, check out the worklog area you will find someone doing the same thing with description on what they did (mine for instance).
    Continued Worklog... Upgrades in progress:
    *15.4" WXGA LED backlight touchscreen upgrade
    *Custom fiberglass dash bezel