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Fiberglass floorboards…


DATSUNgeo

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I know, I know, not ideal! Perhaps considered a sin by some.  Well, having spent years in the fiberglass industry making race car tubs, and high pressure diving helmets, and not knowing how to weld.  I did what I knew, I made some floorboards out of fiberglass. I bonded them on with structural 2 part epoxy along with structural stainless rivets.  

 

I laminated some fiberglass on the rusted floorboard before cutting out the rust and pitting.

 

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All trimmed up.

 

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Test fitting the new floor after cutting the rust out.

 

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Bonded and riveted in place.

 

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While you have your head down there, take a peek up under the dash to the seam where the firewall meets the cowl and side panel. 620's have a tendancy to rust through at the edge of the cowl and becomes the source of water leaking inside the cab to pool on the floor.

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Sediment pools at the edge of the cowl to fender drain and stays wet promoting rust-through.

 

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On 12/24/2021 at 12:25 PM, Stoffregen Motorsports said:

Those floorboards are cool. I'd be curious as to how they stand the test of time. Where they bond to the metal is one area I would worry about. The bond will eventually release over time and let water into the joint.

 

We have been using "PanelBond" to adhere our fiberglass C Production rear flares on our vintage race 240Z's for 6++ years, massive vibration abuse on track & have NOT had any cracking.  Also, I remember my body guy using "PanelBond" to bond a metal patch a 1989 Honda Civic rear wheel arch around 15++ years ago & last time I saw that car (2019??) there was no sign of anything popping thru (my buddy keeps it garage kept!).  Stuff is brutal! 😎

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1 minute ago, yenpit said:

 

We have been using "PanelBond" to adhere our fiberglass C Production rear flares on our vintage race 240Z's for 6++ years, massive vibration abuse on track & have NOT had any cracking.  Also, I remember my body guy using "PanelBond" to bond a metal patch a 1989 Honda Civic rear wheel arch around 15++ years ago & last time I saw that car (2019??) there was no sign of anything popping thru (my buddy keeps it garage kept!).  Stuff is brutal! 😎

 

As a body guy I can tell you that using panel bond to glue on metal body skin panels is pretty standard these days.

Lots of places you cant weld, dissimilar materials, or in place of spot welds.

 

Good panel bond applied correctly.... the sheet metal will tear before the bond ever fails.

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On 12/26/2021 at 8:36 AM, DATSUNgeo said:

I guess time will tell if they hold up. If they don’t hold up I’ll go the traditional route welding steel floorboards in.  I put a guide coat of epoxy on all the bare steel so all exposed steel would have some protection.  

 

FYI Gerson at kfvintagejdm.com can hand make 620 pans!  We have used a number of his hand made pre-production panels & they are quite good!  He wants to produce the 620 pans, but when he hand made a set & posted on Facebook, the trolls came out & bitched about the price.  The more people that inquire with him, the sooner he will step up & invest in his tooling to stamp them (no longer hand made).  If you want a great product (all of his panels are!!), you WILL pay...............(personally, I know the cost of proper patch panels & proper installation costs & think his panels are simply the way to go, to do it right!) 😎

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1 minute ago, Skib said:

 

As a body guy I can tell you that using panel bond to glue on metal body skin panels is pretty standard these days.

Lots of places you cant weld, dissimilar materials, or in place of spot welds.

 

Good panel bond applied correctly.... the sheet metal will tear before the bond ever fails.

 

YES!  One of our drivers spun & backed into the wall at Road America a few years ago.  The PanelBond held up perfectly & the fiberglass tore off.  Yes, all fixed now! 😁

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Thank guys for the replies, my confidence has been lifted.  I used a proprietary/custom made epoxy which has high elastomeric properties. I also made sure I had a good overlap of substrates for better adhesion and that would help with stress dispersion.  I have anywhere from 1.75" to 3.5" of over lap.  Hopefully it will hold.  I will completing the passenger side this New Year's weekend, I'll post better pictures of that side.  The passenger side is a larger repair.   

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Good job.I use to make racing car parts from Fiber glass.We made molds.We had molds.One guy would make the patterns,We had 2 inch and 4 inch strips.We would put the patterns over say a door and spray it and roll it out with our little rollers,then spray the 4 inch strips and put in around the outside of the door and roll it out,had to be fast cause it will harden fast,then get a box cutter and trim the ends around the mold,then get a plastic piece and hit with a hammer and pop it away from the mold.Before we started,someone would wax the mold.then paint it white.The part would be white.We'd make sure no air bubbles were in it as it is drying.The company was called Stock Car fiberglass of Columbus.We also had go cart molds,4 of us would do that.The fiberglass we used is different that you bought from a part store,you could tear ours with your hand,easy to work with.Our spray gun was hooked up to a 55 gallon drum of fiberglass stuff and harder.We had saw horses that we would sit the molds on.Lay pattern over mold,then spray over mold,then roll out with rollers,Then lay the precut 4 inch wide strips on the spray table and spray them,then put around the edges of the door to re enforce it.Then look over for air.Then take to another area to dry,then someone would trim the ends with a box cutter and pop it out of the mold.It would be perfect.Another guy would repair dump trucks fiberglass front ends.Then the mold would be waxed and painted again.Most of our parts were white.We had real big rolls of the fiber glass.We had patterns you would put over the fiber glass and trim out.The hard parts to do was the bumpers.We use to do Oldsmobile's back then.When we did the big mold like the go-carts,they would hook up the cord to the sprayer and it would spray and chop up the cord,I think it was called a chop gun.Someone would spray the go-cart mold,3 of us would roll it out with our rollers and it would get sprayed again and we rolled again.

Edited by Thomas Perkins
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I have almost zero experience laying out fiberglass. I do plan on making molds to form up some fender flares for my racing Sprite. I hear it's a smelly mess.

 

Glad to hear about the panel bond. I don't know why I didn't think of that. I use it from time to time.

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1 hour ago, Stoffregen Motorsports said:

I have almost zero experience laying out fiberglass. I do plan on making molds to form up some fender flares for my racing Sprite. I hear it's a smelly mess.

 

Glad to hear about the panel bond. I don't know why I didn't think of that. I use it from time to time.


Too bad you aren’t near by, I would love to help! I worked with fiberglass/composites for 17 years back when I was a younger man. I did everything form design work to mold making and parts assembly. When you are ready hit me up if you have any questions.

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18 hours ago, Stoffregen Motorsports said:

I have almost zero experience laying out fiberglass. I do plan on making molds to form up some fender flares for my racing Sprite. I hear it's a smelly mess.

 

Glad to hear about the panel bond. I don't know why I didn't think of that. I use it from time to time.

 

Just buy them from Winners Circle!!!! 😁

 

I crewed for Terry's Jaguar Parts back in the 90's, Trent ran one of the fastest Midget's in the country!  I remember one race at Road America, he miss shifted during practice, sheared the flywheel bolts!  We yanked the engine, found new bolts, I was bolting down the passenger side engine mount while Trent warmed the car back up, my boss was holding the fiberglass hood behind me, I dive out of the way, hood dropped on, Trent was backing out of the paddock spot while we were stuffing the hood pins in place!!  Ahhhhhh the good ol' days of mostly British stuff..............now it's mostly Datsun stuff!! 😎

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48 minutes ago, yenpit said:

 

Just buy them from Winners Circle!!!! 😁

 

I crewed for Terry's Jaguar Parts back in the 90's, Trent ran one of the fastest Midget's in the country!  I remember one race at Road America, he miss shifted during practice, sheared the flywheel bolts!  We yanked the engine, found new bolts, I was bolting down the passenger side engine mount while Trent warmed the car back up, my boss was holding the fiberglass hood behind me, I dive out of the way, hood dropped on, Trent was backing out of the paddock spot while we were stuffing the hood pins in place!!  Ahhhhhh the good ol' days of mostly British stuff..............now it's mostly Datsun stuff!! 😎That was when I worked at the Fiberglass company in 1990.They are no longer in business.

 

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23 hours ago, yenpit said:

 

Just buy them from Winners Circle!!!! 😁

 

I crewed for Terry's Jaguar Parts back in the 90's, Trent ran one of the fastest Midget's in the country!  I remember one race at Road America, he miss shifted during practice, sheared the flywheel bolts!  We yanked the engine, found new bolts, I was bolting down the passenger side engine mount while Trent warmed the car back up, my boss was holding the fiberglass hood behind me, I dive out of the way, hood dropped on, Trent was backing out of the paddock spot while we were stuffing the hood pins in place!!  Ahhhhhh the good ol' days of mostly British stuff..............now it's mostly Datsun stuff!! 😎

I don't really like any of the fiberglass parts that anyone makes. Also, my '62 is a square arch car and needs to maintain the original shape and size wheel opening. I came up with a brilliant idea of using the stock inner fender as a flare, and then took that idea one step further and decided to use the stock inner fender as a mold to make fiberglass flares. They will retain the size and shape of the opening, but have a nice contoured bubble. I think they will look good enough to sell!

 

Seeing Datsuns at the vintage events now is kinda weird. It's the same crownd that runs them as when they were SCCA GT2/3/4, but now they're just older. Last spring I was at SPIR, driving through the pits in my truck and someone yelled "hey Stoffregen". I turned to see Troy Ermish with grey hair. Haven't seen him in a while. He forgot to bring an oil filter wrench and wanted me to try with my big arms to remove the filter by hand. Being older now too, and with bad shoulders, I still got it done. Good times and can't wait to get the Sprite on the track.

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3 hours ago, Stoffregen Motorsports said:

I don't really like any of the fiberglass parts that anyone makes. Also, my '62 is a square arch car and needs to maintain the original shape and size wheel opening. I came up with a brilliant idea of using the stock inner fender as a flare, and then took that idea one step further and decided to use the stock inner fender as a mold to make fiberglass flares. They will retain the size and shape of the opening, but have a nice contoured bubble. I think they will look good enough to sell!

 

Seeing Datsuns at the vintage events now is kinda weird. It's the same crownd that runs them as when they were SCCA GT2/3/4, but now they're just older. Last spring I was at SPIR, driving through the pits in my truck and someone yelled "hey Stoffregen". I turned to see Troy Ermish with grey hair. Haven't seen him in a while. He forgot to bring an oil filter wrench and wanted me to try with my big arms to remove the filter by hand. Being older now too, and with bad shoulders, I still got it done. Good times and can't wait to get the Sprite on the track.

 

We had a couple other Spridgets in the group, but Trent was by far the fastest!

 

Flare idea sounds cool! 😎

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Here is the roller that we used to use...If you do fiberglass work,this is a must have,never touch the fiberglass with your hand.Never a mess.We were pro's.We also wore fiberglass gloves...We supplied body parts to the stock car racers.We also had a press to make plastic parts.If you ever have a air pocket and it has dried,get your box cutter,lightly pop the air bubble and get a piece of fiber glass with resin on it and apply their.The resin will fill the little spotYou can never tell it had a air bubble.

image__99385.1639591722.png

Edited by Thomas Perkins
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19 hours ago, yenpit said:

 

We had a couple other Spridgets in the group, but Trent was by far the fastest!

 

Flare idea sounds cool! 😎

Our local fast guy in a Spridget is Joe Huffaker. His car is a work of art, but sadly, they do not sell that bodywork. Probably want an arm and a leg if they did.

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On 12/31/2021 at 10:50 AM, Stoffregen Motorsports said:

Our local fast guy in a Spridget is Joe Huffaker. His car is a work of art, but sadly, they do not sell that bodywork. Probably want an arm and a leg if they did.

 

The black Jensen Healey Huffacker is still running in vintage & has given us a battle or two in our Z cars!  That 1964 Midget I had, had a Huffacker 1098cc 😎

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