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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I'm about ready to start doing the bodywork on my '69 coupe. I have about half of the paint stripped off (used the razor blade method) with the front fenders, hood and drivers side door jambs left to go. I have a few areas where I need to make some repairs, like around the rear bumper mount areas and a crack in the rear quarter (dr side) where some previous body work was done. There are a few other areas. Bodywork doesn't scare me, in fact I kind of enjoy doing it. However I want to ensure that I am following the best known methods/processes in order to get the best results. I have minimal fiberglass experience.

I had heard numerous times that the "Eckler's Complete Guide to Corvette Fiberglass Repair" book was the best manual out there. Since it's out of print I searched on the internet and found a book store with a copy and had it shipped to me. They recommend finishing the car with a spray gel coat (similar to what motorhomes and boats use). I have also read that this technology is outdated in some threads on another forum.

So my question is, should I use gel coat to finish my car?

If so do I block the car first, then spray the gel coat, then block the gel coat?

Can you spray gel coat over primer?

How does gel coat lay down when you spray it, like orange peel or does it lay down smooth and flat?

I have painted several cars and plan to paint this one myself in the garage, or at a minimum have it paint booth ready and just spray it elsewhere. I plan to use a base/clear coat and I am not fanatical about a perfectly stock looking color or finish. I do want it to look nice and stay that way. BTW - I will not likely use the original "Fathom Green" and am leaning towards blue.

Thanks in advance for all the great guidance/suggestions I know I will receive - Tom
:thumbsup:
 

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Some people prefer to use a gel coat some don't.
But the census of oppinion is to just use an epoxy primer.
:cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Some people prefer to use a gel coat some don't.
But the census of oppinion is to just use an epoxy primer.
:cheers:
Will that keep the "rogue strands" from showing through the paint in the future and adequately seal everything underneath?

Does it repair hairline stress cracks like gel coat does?

If so it sounds like an easier way to go :thumbsup: Thanks.
 

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I have used this method loads of times,and have had no problem with fiber threads showing through.
But i prme and block at least three times,sometimes even more,
if the topcoat is a dark colour which highlights defects a lot more,
but with a light colour i have found i can get away with block and prime x3, and get a very good finish.
:cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have used this method loads of times,and have had no problem with fiber threads showing through.
But i prme and block at least three times,sometimes even more,
if the topcoat is a dark colour which highlights defects a lot more,
but with a light colour i have found i can get away with block and prime x3, and get a very good finish.
:cheers:
Thanks Mike!!! :cheers:
 

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There was no gelcoat on factory panels. Eckler makes gelcoat. Gelcoat will seal fiberglass, but so will any good quality primer/surfacer. I've done the bodywork and painted both my cars, did not use gelcoat, and have not had any problems.

The choice is yours.

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There was no gelcoat on factory panels. Eckler makes gelcoat. Gelcoat will seal fiberglass, but so will any good quality primer/surfacer. I've done the bodywork and painted both my cars, did not use gelcoat, and have not had any problems.

The choice is yours.

:thumbsup:
I'm now leaning the epoxy primer direction. I have never dealt with gelcoat, and quite frankly I was hoping that there was an alternative.

What primer and paint system did you use on your cars? :cheers:
 

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Is Gel Coat necessary???? NO IMOP.

Good primer coat and top coats is all that I used in restoring several corvettes. All came out excellent. Now there is base coat clear coat.Great advice in previous responses. Good luck you are asking all the right questions.WJC....:agree: :agree:
 

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A high quality epoxy primer did the trick for me. I've seen others done with the epoxy primer... 10 years road trips and lots of driving around and still going strong (no cracks). It also helps (makes a huge difference) to have someone who has experience painting plastic cars/corvettes do you paint.
 
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