Repair to crack in the luton

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by DBSilverfox, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. DBSilverfox

    DBSilverfox Read Only Funster

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    OK, so it is now official - a 2.95 high motorhome will not go under a 2.6 high barrier!

    Fortunately it was one of those dangly ones just before a more solid roof entrance, and I braked but still hit the barrier.

    The result is a crack in the top front corner of the overhead luton on my Autoquest. i have been up on a ladder and it is only the gel (is that right?) covering the fibreglass. the fibreglass looks good underneath and the toal crack is no more than a couple of centimetres.

    But how do I repair it? Can I get some sort of paint or paste to pint over it to seal it, or how do you do it?

    Thanks for any advice - last time i drive through the centre of Dieppe to avoid a toll charge :Doh:

    David
     
  2. 1948

    1948 Read Only Funster

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    upload a picture and tape up crack in case moisture gets in I am sure someone will come along to give repair advice
     
  3. acting_strange

    acting_strange

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    You can buy gel coat.....my idea would be to "paint" it in, overfilling the crack...wait for it to fully set then lightly sand it back with some fine wet and dry??
     
  4. DBSilverfox

    DBSilverfox Read Only Funster

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    That was what I was hoping for - thanks. I have taped over the crack (same tape as i used to put the aerial back on after the accident ...) but it might be a shutting the stable door a bit late as it rained a couple of times in France before i could get to it. Is it worth running a hair dryer over it first? It is only a small crack...

    David
     
  5. acting_strange

    acting_strange

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    Yes to the hair dryer....certainly don't use it to sped up the set...
     
  6. 1948

    1948 Read Only Funster

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    If moisture did get in it will not be around the crack area so where do you direct the dryer against I would wait for a sunny day park facing sun remove tape and retape before sundown hopefully moistire would excape via the creck before repair
    I did a silly thing when first acquired my van backed too far with bike mounted and punctured backwall size of handle bar
    Spent a large sum having it filled in by ? professional repairer
    With hindsight, I could have done a better job myself by sealing the hole with caravan sealent and buy myself a nice decal placing over the repaired spot Job done. So if your crack is small , this could be a way of disguising the reapir at very little cost
     
  7. Dodgey

    Dodgey Funster

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    Pianting over a gel coat crack wont work I'm afraid.

    Be brave! You need to 'cut' the crack out, cut, my method (loads of fiberglass cars in the past) cutting disk in grinder and VERY carefully run along the crack. Initially you will creat a score with what looks like a hair in the bottom, the idea is to gently depen the score until the hair disapears. At that point you have removed the crack and can now successfully deal with the repair.

    Now, if the crack is very shallow all well and good, but, how thick is the fiberglass beneath? If thin fiberglass or deap crack you will need to reinforce the area from behind:Eeek:

    There is also the possibility you could cut through either, to much pressure OR the crack is actually all the way through, unlikely at this stage but....


    Once the crack is out then two options, or possible three? Gel coat, yes you can paint gel coat in BUT proper gel coat doesn't cure in air, you need to seal it. I have had some success putting cling file over a repair and taping it down but it will take a day or so to go off and chances are you will have blemish once cured. Second option, filler, not you usual rubbish from car shops but proper pro stuff. If the crack is small you can fill the depresion you've created and the sand down easily followed by paint, either this of a gel coat repair is going to be visable, unless you have the whole luton at least resprayed. Which leads to sort of option three, do one of the later carefully and put a sticker over it:thumb:

    Filler is you easier option frankley, as long as it's a surface crack BUT (another one) if you leave it eventually water will get into the crack and when it freezes begin to delaminate the fiberglass basicaly makeing the damage much worse and also if left the crack will grow not only in length but also depth.

    Sorry, and best of luck:thumb:
     
  8. DBSilverfox

    DBSilverfox Read Only Funster

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    Time for a picture - just to make sure I explain it right. don't want to do too little or too much...

    the attachment shows the damage. The total size of the "open" would is around a quarter inch. It looks like an egg shell cracked. As far as I can see there is no damage to the underlying fibreglass, but the hole is really small as you can imagine. total length top to bottom is less than an inch
     

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  9. Dodgey

    Dodgey Funster

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    :Eeek: That's no crack.

    That is a definate you need to get behind to repair, basically cut out the broken area and reglass from behind using proper fiberglass not the Davids etc rubbish, but, on the upside you should get a reasonable result, though blemish will be the word again.

    Tip here, fiberglass doesn't like to stick to aluminium so, once area cut out, shamfer the edges and lay thin ali across the hole followinf as best you can the line of the van. Paint on some gel coat colour matched again best you can onto the ali only, not the existing fiberglass and leave it a few hours then lay up the fiberglass, initially in the hole area then expanding onto the origional and leave for approx 24 hours. Remove ali, gentle sand, very very fine wet and dry 800+ grit and, put a sticker over it:thumb:

    Or paint, but with a little luck and care the gel coat may not shout to much, but as I said earlier, it's very hard to match gel perfictly.

    What about your insurance?
     
  10. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi Dave, sorry to say that looks deep enough to have cracked the inside fibreglass :cry: cut / grind away any loose flaky bits and fill with fibro fill then sand and paint :thumb:You may well have to take the inner panel off and reinforce the inner bit
    terry
     
  11. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi again the finish on the pic looks like it is dimpled so some modification on the filling and painting side may well be required :Eeek::thumb: to make the dimpled pattern
    terry
     
  12. DBSilverfox

    DBSilverfox Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for all the advice guys, it is much appreciated. I will leave the tape over it while I look at the options. It is going into Fullers for a couple of small things soon, so I might also ask them what they would charge

    you see it is definitely worth the 12 quid.. :thumb:
     
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