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First time fabrication

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  • First time fabrication

    Hello everyone!

    Today I will be doing my first fabrication work. I'm going to be putting the 7" lilliput in to my 99 Oldsmobile Alero dash. I've got the monitor,I've got the dash, I've got a Dremel and I've got bondo. My question is, what other tools am I forgetting?

    Also, is there anything else I may want to consider before I actually start cutting?

  • #2
    Latex Gloves 100pk. Sandpaper. sanding block. if you need anymore feedback message.

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    • #3
      If you have access to air tools for sanding, that will make life MUCH easier. But that does about sum it up. Good luck, and you'll have to show it off when done (my G/F has a 2000 Alero )
      2003 Toyota Camry V6
      Kenwood Excelon 790 HU, VIA C7 + M2-ATX, Xenarc 700TSV, and 5 discreetly installed amps.

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      • #4
        I think perhaps I may be missing the process of using the bondo. I mixed it up properly and started to apply it, and it sticks, but should it take so many layers to fill in the area that I want to? I asked the guy at Autozone how many cans of bondo I may need to do work behind the dash and he assured me I'd only need one. Now it seems like maybe I'll need more?

        I guess my problem is that I don't have any direction when it comes to doing this bondo work. All I know is what I've seen in "in progress" shots posted on this board. Has anyone seen resources online for doing bondo work in dashes specifically? I haven't been able to find anything, but maybe someone else on this board has some words of advice?

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        • #5
          I'm considering this for my Alero also, please keep us updated on exactly how things go.!

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          • #6
            I do not recomend using Bondo. I used Bondo with my dash piece that is ABS plastic, and the Bondo is starting to shift slightly, it gets even worse when the sun comes out. Bondo does not expand and contract the same way plastic does, and that causes problems when the climates change. I am getting ready to redo my dash piece with Duramax 4040, or a similar plastic filler. While I have no personal experience with Duramax or other plastic fillers, I've heard they stick to plastic much better than Bondo. Do some searching and see if you can find more explanations on why plastic filler is better than Bondo (assuming your dash piece is plastic).

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            • #7
              Well, I did a good amount of work on it over the weekend. I used Bondo with Fiberglass in it for the initial mount, and then regular Bondo to even everything out. I need a few more coats and to do a bit more sanding (they weren't kidding when they said it took a long time) but it looks great and the screen mounts nicely inside.

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              • #8
                got any pics ???? i would love to see this..
                or at least describe how you mounted it in there. is it nehind the plastic trim, or on the outside of it

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                • #9
                  with bondo i would INSIST on a layer of fiberglass ressin and sanding before the first coat of primer

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BoraXP
                    with bondo i would INSIST on a layer of fiberglass ressin and sanding before the first coat of primer
                    I used the Bondo Fiberglass stuff. You know, the goop with the fiberglass strands. It semeed to support everything pretty well. I had it set up for a few hours with everything attached and I didn't notice it moving or anything.

                    Originally posted by Wildman
                    got any pics ???? i would love to see this..
                    or at least describe how you mounted it in there. is it nehind the plastic trim, or on the outside of it
                    No pics, I'm one of the rare individuals who doesn't have a digital camera. I can describe the process to you, however before I do, just understand that a lot of it is trial and error.

                    First I went to my local GM dealership and ordered the center console bevel. It cost about $60.

                    Then I picked up a can of regular bondo and a can of bondo with fiberglass.

                    I used a Dremel to cut out the plastic trim right below where the radio would go. I found that was the only way that I could get the Lilliput frame to fit.

                    I sanded for quite a while to get the edges perfectly smooth, then took the Lilliput frame and VERY CAREFULLY dremeled off the buttons, leaving only the screen area. I decided to get rid of the buttons mainly because the remote can do the same thing the buttons can do and there's really no space to put them. I thought about extending the button cable and mounting it lower, but the HVAC controls get in the way.

                    At that point I taped in the frame, making sure to leave enough vertical clearance off the pressure clips at the top and the HVAC controls on the bottom. If I can find one fault in putting the screen in this dash, it's that the Alero dash has a lot of space on the left and right for the screen, but not much space above or below.

                    My goal in mounting was to make sure that the monitor was pushed back slightly, both to make it look more factory, and also to cut down on glare.

                    So, I taped the frame in behind the bezel. Picture it this way. I put it in so that if you positioned the monitor behind the bezel without securing it, the monitor case would basically be where the head unit sits in it's mount.

                    After taping it up I did about 5 layers of fiberglass bondo to secure it on all sides. For the empty space on the botom, I put a piece of tape across it then filled behind it with fiberglass. After it had dried, I pulled the tape off, and voila, the fiberglass filled the area perfectly.

                    I used a good 10 to 15 coats of bondo (the regular stuff) as spot filler to even out the look and to make sure that it looked like a professional install.

                    At this point, it looks like it could still use a few more coats and some evening out. Then I'm going to prime it, and paint it the same black color that it was originally.

                    When bondoing, I HIGHLY RECOMEND that you wear a mask and keep the area you're working VERY well vented. I did the work in my basement, and even with a number of doors and windows open and with fans blowing, I still got very light-headed from the fumes.

                    If you have any more questions about the process, feel free to ask and I'll try to describe it as best I can. Basically once you have the parts, the only thing you can do is just jump right in and try it.

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                    • #11
                      Theres some bondo thats in an orange tube...I think its called spot filler actually. Use it for the last coats. So you have Fiberglass Bondo in a can. Then you apply regular bondo in a can (I think its in a red can). Then you apply the bondo in the orange tube. This stuff will dry very quickly, in less than 5 mins, and you can sand it down very very easily. Use 400-600 grit sandpaper and get a extra smooth finish. Be careful to not use the orange stuff very thick as the last coat, just use it to fill in pinholes and things like that. You can however use it to fill in small cracks and things. Hope that helps. Oh also I hope you're using a sanding block cause otherwise your fabricated piece won't be straight most likely.
                      CarPC install is starting to come along again...

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Grayscale
                        Theres some bondo thats in an orange tube...I think its called spot filler actually. Use it for the last coats. So you have Fiberglass Bondo in a can. Then you apply regular bondo in a can (I think its in a red can). Then you apply the bondo in the orange tube. This stuff will dry very quickly, in less than 5 mins, and you can sand it down very very easily. Use 400-600 grit sandpaper and get a extra smooth finish. Be careful to not use the orange stuff very thick as the last coat, just use it to fill in pinholes and things like that. You can however use it to fill in small cracks and things. Hope that helps. Oh also I hope you're using a sanding block cause otherwise your fabricated piece won't be straight most likely.
                        I didn't know about the Bondo spot filler. That stuff sounds like exactly what I'm looking for to use as a final coat. I am using a sanding block, but it's tough to use to get in to corners, so I've been using the sanding bit that came with the Dremel to get in to the corners and even them out. It's a little tougher than using a block, and does require a steady hand, but I think it gives a bit more of a professional look to it.

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                        • #13
                          Any updates to the project? Beware that bondo expands in heat at a different time than paint and can cause cracks. Use as much fiber strand embedded bondo as you can until you get to that final finish. I need to redo my bondo work i think =\
                          CarPC install is starting to come along again...

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                          • #14
                            It may be called 'Bondo-Glass', and yes, it's great.
                            Chrysler 300 - Fabricating
                            http://hallert.net/

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                            • #15
                              Dude... barrow a digital camera and post the finished result. I would love to see your finished product
                              -Jesus- King of Kings Lord of Lords

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