Nov 14, 2014

Project 180SX: Front Wide Fenders pt. 6 FINAL

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Project 180SX:

Front Wide Fenders pt. 6

by Dustin Mankin

The 4 pictures above are pretty much where we left off, last time. And Last time I talked a little about gel coating these fenders. Gel coat will do a few things. It will keep all of the bodywork underneath together a little better, but most importantly it will fill in the gouge marks and smooth out any unever lines from filling the vents and damages.

Seriously, it comes out about the thickness of that old Elmer's gel glue that was huge in 90s when I was in elementary school, but it dries hard as hell. I love this stuff. A lot of people spray it with what's called a "cup gun," but we just use a regular old beater HVLP with a really big tip. Worked fine for us.

The gel sets up pretty quick in the gun, so we would have to clean after every coat, and I did one fender at a time. Here, we have a finished one baking under the light.

After that, I sprayed the next one. Here you can still see it in it's wet stage. gel coat is a great name. Shit looks like Jello, without all the rape that Bill Cosby would bring to it.



After letting everything cure for a ful 24 hours, we used some glazing putty to fill in the spots that we couldn't get rid of without sanding.

Then sanding started again. By the end of this fenders project I REALLY LOATHED sanding. I feel sorry for anyone that works in a body shop for a living. Sanding sucks so bad!


But, as you can see in the last two pictures above, the sanding really is necessary. Because of the way that gel-coat sprays, there will always be orange peel in the final project. Besides, everyone knows that you can't just spray over gel-coated FRP as is.

With every last bit of the orange peel sanded out, it was finally time to primer the fenders. It was such a relieve to get to this stae, because it meant I was done with sanding these damn fenders! I won't have to sand them again until next spring, when I paint the car... did I give something away, just now? 



Just a quick look at the before and after can really show you a lot about the amount of work that went into these. They still aren't perfect, but most of that has to do with the factt that they came to me pre-wrecked, and to be honest, this is the first time I have EVER done anything this extensive with FRP.

Totally honest... other than the ton of sanding, this was a total blast, and I want to do something with FRP again. I may even try to get into molding. I'd love to start making some parts, or copying some super rare JDM stuff that we can't get anymore. Would that be cool?

Hit me up in the comments below... next week I'll be moving on to something fresh, near the bumper area. Stay tuned!

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