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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First and foremost, I am not a body man. Now, the issue. 1980 Camaro, 1 piece glass doghouse (less hood) that is approx 30 years old. Installed new glass doors (mfg forgotten) and bought a Harwood hood. I've had a lot of difficulty getting the hood lined up decently with the front end. Finally got acceptable results. Now, the passenger side fender has about an 1 1/2 inch gap at the bottom that tapers up to good at the top.
What can I do to fill the gap and make it look decent? Strictly a drag car, not streetable. Could I 1. make a mold and pour plastic to make a gap filler, 2. use wood to do the same thing, or 3. ? Not sure fiberglass is in my skill set
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Use sheet aluminum attached to the inside of the front end and add glass then sand down to fit
Good idea, thanks! I can do the aluminum work, but working with fiberglass has never turned out well for me. I'l see if i can find a cousin of a friends half sister's boyfriends husband that claims to know how to work fiberglass. LOL. J/K My friend that's going to paint the car can do the glass work.
 

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1968 Camaro Z28, 1933 Chevy Coupe, 2004 Silverado Z71, 1946 Chevy PU, 2000 Custom Harley Davidson
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Another method is this....If I am correct, you are talking about the gap between the rear of your right side fender and your right front edge of the door.

Remove the fender, grind the inside rear jamb of the fender to remove the gel coat and roughen up the glass. Also grind a little of the outside of the rear of the fender while you're at it.

Use 2 inch tape, duct tape will be fine but not necessary, masking tape is fine, and lay it on the outside of the rear edge of the fender, at least 5 or 6 layers thick, and let it extend an inch or so past the rear edge of your fender. Now place the nose with the outside of that fender facing down on the floor so you are looking at the inside rear fender jamb facing up....and you're looking at the sticky side of the tape mold you made with the masking tape. Mix your resin, brush it onto the tape and inside, grinded fender jamb, and soak your strips of fiberglass mat with resin and lay them onto the tape and jamb. A few layers, one at a time. Make sure there's no air bubbles, and let it cure.

Once it does, flip the nose over and peel the tape off the outside of the fender. Some will stay stuck to the fender and new fiberglass, but that's fine, because you are going to grind the surface, and the edge, to the shape you want, and finish with plastic filler.

I know it sounds confusing but, placing the tape on it will take about 5 minutes, cutting the strips of mat, mixing the resin, and applying both to the inside of the fender is about 45 minutes. Let it cure overnight, and start measuring for gap space and grind a little at a time.
 

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Another method is this....If I am correct, you are talking about the gap between the rear of your right side fender and your right front edge of the door.

Remove the fender, grind the inside rear jamb of the fender to remove the gel coat and roughen up the glass. Also grind a little of the outside of the rear of the fender while you're at it.

Use 2 inch tape, duct tape will be fine but not necessary, masking tape is fine, and lay it on the outside of the rear edge of the fender, at least 5 or 6 layers thick, and let it extend an inch or so past the rear edge of your fender. Now place the nose with the outside of that fender facing down on the floor so you are looking at the inside rear fender jamb facing up....and you're looking at the sticky side of the tape mold you made with the masking tape. Mix your resin, brush it onto the tape and inside, grinded fender jamb, and soak your strips of fiberglass mat with resin and lay them onto the tape and jamb. A few layers, one at a time. Make sure there's no air bubbles, and let it cure.

Once it does, flip the nose over and peel the tape off the outside of the fender. Some will stay stuck to the fender and new fiberglass, but that's fine, because you are going to grind the surface, and the edge, to the shape you want, and finish with plastic filler.

I know it sounds confusing but, placing the tape on it will take about 5 minutes, cutting the strips of mat, mixing the resin, and applying both to the inside of the fender is about 45 minutes. Let it cure overnight, and start measuring for gap space and grind a little at a time.
Frank, I can tell you've had the pleasure of fiberglass work!......Tons of fun, isn't it?, but you've forgotten first rule, Long Sleeve Shirt and nitrile gloves are a must , followed by a shower, a real long one.
Finally, do this outside your garage, preferably in the shade, and have cold beer ready, a good bit of it.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Frank, I can tell you've had the pleasure of fiberglass work!......Tons of fun, isn't it?, but you've forgotten first rule, Long Sleeve Shirt and nitrile gloves are a must , followed by a shower, a real long one.
Finally, do this outside your garage, preferably in the shade, and have cold beer ready, a good bit of it.....
Believe it or not, I worked in a fiberglass production facility for 42 years, LOL. But we produced fiberglass insulation, I doubt that the resin binder would work well with auto body resin. But, thank you for the procedure description! I think I could pull that one off.
 

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I dont know how to do "your" repair, but have done a few boat rehabs. My thought is it fiberglass, and the beauty of it is its ease of use. If you have too much sand it off. If you need more, add some. You really can't find a nicer media to work with.
People have said baby powder on any exposed skin helps with the itchiness, and cold showers. Fiberglass doesnt bother me, think I killed that section of brain in my youth?
Wear a mask!

be safe, schick
 

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Believe it or not, I worked in a fiberglass production facility for 42 years, LOL. But we produced fiberglass insulation, I doubt that the resin binder would work well with auto body resin. But, thank you for the procedure description! I think I could pull that one off.
You can do it! Just be patient, don't give up, and like schick said, too much grind some off, not enough, add more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
First and foremost, I am not a body man. Now, the issue. 1980 Camaro, 1 piece glass doghouse (less hood) that is approx 30 years old. Installed new glass doors (mfg forgotten) and bought a Harwood hood. I've had a lot of difficulty getting the hood lined up decently with the front end. Finally got acceptable results. Now, the passenger side fender has about an 1 1/2 inch gap at the bottom that tapers up to good at the top.
What can I do to fill the gap and make it look decent? Strictly a drag car, not streetable. Could I 1. make a mold and pour plastic to make a gap filler, 2. use wood to do the same thing, or 3. ? Not sure fiberglass is in my skill set
Well, the plot thickens. 2 points to make. 1. This is strictly a drag car, and 2. the glass doghouse is about 30 years old. Now, I decided to take a ton of measurements because the only change I have made was to purchase a new cowl induction hood. Seeing as nothing would line up properly, I decided to make new mounts, Well, it only got worse. As it turns out, the glass doghouse seems to have been made by blind, intoxicated, one armed gentlemen. The driver side fender is about 1/2 inch longer than it';s copart and is also, at the very front, 1 inch taller. I can compensate for the additional height by raising the passenger side, but that throws even more wrenches in the mix.
So, I'm going to start at the windshield edge of the passenger side and add dzus brackets to the hood and fender, working my way around, hoping I'll just end up having to trim the driver side. Either of the hood of fender to make it acceptable. The cost of a new doghouse is around $1200 plus shipping with no guarantee of a better fit.
Thanks for all of your help! I must trudge on!
 

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There was some REAL garbage fiberglass parts being produced 30 years ago (Unlimited comes to mind). I bought a '79 Camaro years ago with glass doors that could NEVER have fit any Camaro...they were "puffed out in the center" no lie an 1 1/2" at the base of the windows!
Im trying to wrap my head around several things that you mentioned & leaves me with more questions than answers.
(1) Was this car a correctly looking (for the most part) with the glass doors, front, then you changed the hood & started having these problems or was this a half-built car that has sat around for 25 years & now you added glass doors & the new hood?
A hood should not "dictate" the height of the fenders or the nose. The hood being basicly flat & large should simply be angled side to side the amount this front is off (at least close enough to get pins in ect.) even with the whole front end laying on the garage floor.
My advice is to work with the doors best you can to make them fit the quarters & rockers...again if you are not willing/able to add material (maybe large amounts) or cut to relieve stress or cut some off, you are not going to have very nice fitting, gaps, ect with most glass parts...especially older stuff. Dont cut or add yet just note the areas that dont seem to "play well with others". Note differences in rocker to the floor, bodyline differences side to side ect. Is the car truly sitting level?
Next, set the front up there & make things like the cowl to the top of the fender, center of the wheelwell & say the center of the headlamps level & the same side to side best you can noting what really matters (level to the rest of the car & headlamps level looking). "X" measure from the cowl to the inside front point of the fender/nose on the opposite side, then straight ahead. the bad stuff will start to show up! If you have to make brackets from the frame to hold it up there two different heights so be it, isnt ideal but building the car crooked using bad edges of glass parts isnt the way to go. If the bottom of the fender/nose is longer on one side, hanging down will be less noticeable than a headlight an inch lower than the other one, understand what Im thinking?
Shove the front end back & plan to trim the back of the fenders until they look correct. From there either the hood fits the hole or it doesnt & you have to decide where to cut, add, ect. At least its not an early car where you have to add the cowl/wiper panel in the mix. My Two Cents, Lorne
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
There was some REAL garbage fiberglass parts being produced 30 years ago (Unlimited comes to mind). I bought a '79 Camaro years ago with glass doors that could NEVER have fit any Camaro...they were "puffed out in the center" no lie an 1 1/2" at the base of the windows!
Im trying to wrap my head around several things that you mentioned & leaves me with more questions than answers.
(1) Was this car a correctly looking (for the most part) with the glass doors, front, then you changed the hood & started having these problems or was this a half-built car that has sat around for 25 years & now you added glass doors & the new hood?
A hood should not "dictate" the height of the fenders or the nose. The hood being basicly flat & large should simply be angled side to side the amount this front is off (at least close enough to get pins in ect.) even with the whole front end laying on the garage floor.
My advice is to work with the doors best you can to make them fit the quarters & rockers...again if you are not willing/able to add material (maybe large amounts) or cut to relieve stress or cut some off, you are not going to have very nice fitting, gaps, ect with most glass parts...especially older stuff. Dont cut or add yet just note the areas that dont seem to "play well with others". Note differences in rocker to the floor, bodyline differences side to side ect. Is the car truly sitting level?
Next, set the front up there & make things like the cowl to the top of the fender, center of the wheelwell & say the center of the headlamps level & the same side to side best you can noting what really matters (level to the rest of the car & headlamps level looking). "X" measure from the cowl to the inside front point of the fender/nose on the opposite side, then straight ahead. the bad stuff will start to show up! If you have to make brackets from the frame to hold it up there two different heights so be it, isnt ideal but building the car crooked using bad edges of glass parts isnt the way to go. If the bottom of the fender/nose is longer on one side, hanging down will be less noticeable than a headlight an inch lower than the other one, understand what Im thinking?
Shove the front end back & plan to trim the back of the fenders until they look correct. From there either the hood fits the hole or it doesnt & you have to decide where to cut, add, ect. At least its not an early car where you have to add the cowl/wiper panel in the mix. My Two Cents, Lorne
The car had steel doors and a glass hood with a hideous scoop set up. I installed glass doors, got them to gap halfway decent at the quarters. Yes, unlimited products....never again. Got rid of the old hood and purchased a Harwood hood with a 6 in cowl to clear the carb. Aftermarket front clip and the engine sits higher than before, therefore the 6 in cowl.
Yes, the car is sitting level. When the fenders are attached to their original mounting points, the gap is acceptable on both sides, but the opening for the hood is so out of whack. Placing the hood in position at this time leaves a huge gap between the front of the hood and the front of the nose. It is a diminishing gap from driver side to passenger side. I found that if I raise the nose up, the gap clears itself, but puts the fender attaching points at the door under a great deal of stress.
The front piece is so out of square, yes, I do believe it was an unlimited products piece from years ago, I think it is nearly impossible to get this car to look like anything other than a Frankenstien.
I'm going to add mounting tabs to the passenger side of the hood ( which can be reused should I change to a
Harwood front clip), and see if I can make any acceptable progress. If not, well, perhaps Santa will bring me a new Harwood piece.
I've got a lot of health issues and I wanted to get the car looking decent and ta least make one pass in it this year, just in case. I can run it without the hood, no problem and I may have to do that. I think it would be tough to sell as is needing, what seems to be lots of work. I know I'll take a beating even if I replace the clip and get it painted, but as is, I'd practically have to give it away and I cant do that.
 
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