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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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3,349 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Fixed! – my cracked nose damage - received when attempting to dock at a Tim Horton’s coffee shop in Springfield, Ohio. This occurred as I was enroute to BOE in Kansas for modifications to my car.
I had decided not to file an insurance claim for lots of reasons, I had just spent a ton of cash in Kansas, and was not in the mood for an insurance rate increase. Plus I don’t want to ever give my car to some third party to work on if it can be helped….sooooo….
I got the B95 Bordeaux Red Pearl paint, some maroon colored hi-build primer, cleartech sealer for on top of the hi-build, clearcoat & fadeout spray ( for blending the clearcoat) from my body shop (they sold me 4oz. of each liquid and required hardener for a total of $60, and lent me the can of fade out.).
My old high school pal/fiberglass guru , came up from Rhode Island to prevent me from destroying my car.. We immediately masked the heck out of the thing.
First I cut out the Starshield that was in the repair area, after warming it up with the halogen lamps. Then we had to clamp the cracked/split section together, as evenly as possible. We ended up using a thin section of plastic cut from a cd jewel case, placed that across the crack on the top exposed side, and attached it to the nose with double sided tape. We masked over this, it worked really well to hold the pieces evenly while we built up the back. It's a curved section, and the cd case piece flexed as was needed. You can see it bulging out through the masking tape, just to the left of the plinth.

For some reason , there is tons of room on my car to get all this done with the clam on. My crash structure stops “short”of the fiberglass, at the plane that is even with the rear/center inside portion of the mouth, bottom “lip” of the “smile”.. We had an inch or more of depth, of access to build up the back, and were able to get our fingers & glass easily to the front/inside of the “bumper fascia”, and plinth.

So we decided it would be smart to laterally reinforce the entire inside lip of the grill mount area, the lower half of the mouth. (once I had removed the grill, we found another grill mount hole with a crack out the back.) The fiberglass is very thin in this area, along this entire inside edge of the mouth.. We used 2 layers of overlapping 2 inch wide by 14 inch long sections of unidirectional 200 gram S-glass & uni 200 gram E-glass w/ SP resin. That reinforcement travelled along the inside back edge passing through all the holes used for the mounting of the stock grill. We re-drilled those holes afterwards.
Then we added three more layers of woven E-glass cut at a 45 degree angle, 1 on the back out to the plinth, 2 on the top, placed longitudinally, along the axis of the crack which extended from the back inside edge – to the front edge of the “bumper”. The damaged area traveled through one of the center grill’s mounting holes and now has a total of 5 layers of glass reinforcement, 3 layers on the back side, two on the top. 2 hours to dry. Sand, sand, sand.

Finally into paint , we used a wide flat tapered paint brush (artist’s set from Ocean State Job Lots ($6) ) to apply the maroon hi-build primer in 4 coats, at 10 minute intervals. We did it this way as the area was so small, and would prevent additional stink inside the house from spraying.
After 2 hours for drying, we sand some more to get it perfectly flush with its surrounding areas, a little Clear Tech to sit between the primer & topcoats, then 4 coats of B95, Bordeaux Red Pearl at 10 minute intervals– and finally one of clearcoat. The paint and clearcoat we applied using Harbor Freight’s auto detailing spray gun, and my little Husky twin tank compressor. All in all, 12 hours start to finish, including a couple of 2 hour kayaking breaks while the fiberglass & primer were curing. Some of the pics...
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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3,349 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
more..
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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3,349 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
more again...
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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Discussion Starter #4
and again...
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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3,349 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
yup - i was a little paranoid of working the surface of the clear coat - not sure how long everything takes to completely cure, so that part is yet to come.
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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3,349 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
thanks - i learned alot. Now to replace my clutch/brake fluid. Phil said there were icebergs floating in there. Big enough to sink the Titanic.
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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3,349 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks - turns out that it's very satisfying learning to work on your own car. I'm liking it.
 

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5,176 Posts
Once again I must compliment you on your positive and just jump right in there attitude! You have had quite an education the last couple months. There is nothing quite as rewarding as knowing that you can fix almost any issue that comes up on your Elise. Fantastic job on the bodywork repair!
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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3,349 Posts
Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I think he is around Portsmouth. But he builds custom sailboats for a living. He took a day off making money to come help me out, and go kayaking. The fact that I told him he could drive my car with the new supercharger installed, in no way influenced his decision to help.
 

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I think he is around Portsmouth. But he builds custom sailboats for a living. He took a day off making money to come help me out, and go kayaking. The fact that I told him he could drive my car with the new supercharger installed in no way influenced his decision to help.
He's not too far from me. Maybe I can bribe him with driving my k20a2 rotrex c38 powered exige :)


Sent from my Autoguide iPhone app
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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3,349 Posts
Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
You mean your Honda? :)
Sorry , couldn't resist....it's possible, but I'm not sure he'd be comfortable. I bribed him with alot of stuff, just barely got him to come up here to New Hampshire, and he's my best friend. How much fixin' does your car need?
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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3,349 Posts
Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
my impression of the f/g the Elise has when we were working it is that it roughs up really well - lots of little pits and grooves when sanded. I went in and checked the bond to the oem glass, and it's not going anywhere. Certainly not going to pull off. The nose is So much stiffer and stonger now due to the reinforcement of the bottom lip.
I definitely see why you might want to go with the chopped strand though. I'm pretty sure we put the woven glass down first to allow full migration of the resin into the first layer, effectively giving the same result?
 
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