Gibbon Fiberglass Cars        
Building Tips

Constructing a car with a fiberglass body instead of a metal body may be a new experience for you. We would like to pass along some information gathered over the years to help answer some questions you may have. It has been our experience that in working with glass bodies, one needs to be aware of a few special areas:

A sunlight cure is recommended
Because fiberglass is a chemical, it does some moving around. We have found that age cure and heat cure are two different things. We suggest, that after installation, parts be set in the hot direct sun for a couple of days. Since weather and time may not always offer us sunshine, we recommend heat curing in a bake-oven. Most body shops have a bake-oven in their painting facilities. They will typically "bake" your fiberglass for you, for a reasonable fee, even if they are not contracted to paint it. The body should be bolted on the frame with doors closed while in the bake oven. After proper curing, your glass is ready for body and paint work. Heat is fiberglass' worst enemy. The darker the color you choose for your paint, the more heat absorption you will have. We strongly discourage the color black.

Start with a rigid frame
The strength in a car is in the chassis, not in the body. If you mount a body on an improperly reinforced frame, the frame rails will move causing a flexing or scissor effect. This in turn causes the cowl to move back and forth, chipping paint on the doors and cowl. You cannot strengthen a frame by making a glass body rigid, the frame must be rigid and properly reinforced. Of particular concern are roadsters or opened top cars, where they have no structural strength over the doors. It is not unusual to need some shimming to reestablish proper door fit to open cars, if the body has not been built on your frame.

Use proper fasteners to avoid stars
We recommend nylock nuts on your bolts when mounting your fender. Starring is an enemy of glass and many times this starring happens when bolts are tightened too tight to make a lock washer work. If you use the nylock nut, you don't have to tighten it as tight and worry about the nut backing off. Always use as large a washer as you can.

When picking an upholsterer, try to find one who has done fiberglass work before and is very careful in his work. A lot of stars in fiberglass cars come from the upholsterer not being careful with his drill bits and not checking the length of his screws. A lot of perfect door fits are turned into bad door fits because of an upholsterer putting too much carpeting or padding in door sills or seats. They touch before the door is totally closed, forcing it out.

True up door lines
Any flash on the door edged and jam areas should be removed before priming. After a few generous coats of primer, check door edges for consistent roundness and that all gaps are consistent.

These are some areas you may want to watch while building your glass car. If you have any questions or comments while working with one of our bodies, please call us and let us help if we can. Calls and/or visits are welcome because we both will learn more about our product. A product is only as good as the company that stands behind it. Remember that we guarantee our products, so you buy the company as well as our products.

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