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Teaching Fiberglass (part one and two)

195772 Views 877 Replies 120 Participants Last post by  xtucking22s
I had to make this a two part How-To cause of the number of picks. See part two after reading this section.



This How-To is for those with minimal to above average experience with fiber glassing and or composite or two part chemical mixes and materials. Performing this mod will remove the center ac vents, the oem headunit position moving it to the ac controls position, and the ac controls going into the glove box.

The following How-To was generated by the buzz and interest in doing something of this nature but didn’t know where to begin. You take full responsibility of your own project and factory parts in performing this How-To and hold me not responsible. There are many way to perform this. This is how I did it.

Take good note of the photos, as they will reveal what the step explanation is. You’ll also begin to realize that the mod is an adaptation to other How-To’s found in the Sound forum with regards to fiberglass enclosure design. If you can do those mods, you can do this one.

If after reviewing this you want this done but feel its outside your capabilities or time, PM me and we’ll discuss me doing it for you for a minimal fee or parts trade to cover the material cost and some of the labor involved as it is a time consuming endeavor.

Step One: Where to begin? Purchase the screen you desire and take good measurements of the actual screen itself and not the screen and housing. You are only concentrating on the part of the unit that is visible.

Step Two: Sand the surface of the dash bezel as smooth as possible using 180 grit at first, and then transitioning to 220 and 400 grit. Grits lower than 180 are too rough and gouge the crap out of the plastic creating a greater headache. Scuff the area of the bezel around the center ac vents, controls and original head unit position with 40 grit paper. These areas need to be rough to make a porous surface for the adhesives to be used. Note, if you are doing this mod the ac controls will be mounted into the glove box. The second picture of this step shows the ac controls mounted in the glove box. After sanding as specified, use a dremel tool with router bit to cut the areas out as shown in the picture. Use a dremel tool drum sander to smooth up the edges of the cuts you make. Rough sand the backside of the bezel in this area as well using 40 grit paper.

Step 3: Go to a local Hobby Shop for RC airplanes. There, get the following items:

1/8” x 12” x 12” plywood

2 part 5 minutes epoxy

Micro-balloons (epoxy addative to make it pasty for filling or gusseting)

30” long half round stock (for framing the screen, picture will be further in the How-To)

Small saw blade and plenty of throwaway brushes

½, ¾ & 2oz fiberglass weave (NOT MAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Never use mat unless you have a super flat piece you are fiber glassing or you have a boat hull.

Foam Electronic Wrap

1/8” x 1/8” x 20” balsa wood stock

Step 4: Make a template of the holes to be filled in the dash bezel and cut them out on the 1/8” plywood using a band saw or equivalent. Do not use a jigsaw as the blade of this tool will shred the piss out of the wood. Remember the wood is only for filling the hole with minimal structure properties. The fiber glassing will add the strength to the structure.

Step 5: Because there is a slight curve to the dash that a flat piece of plywood will have to conform to, epoxy the edges of the plywood to the plastic starting at the top left and working your way around it in three-inch segments. The plywood will curve to this and this is why a thin plywood is used.

Step 6: From behind the plywood, use a ½ oz fiberglass. ½ oz fiberglass is very thin like silk and will conform to curves extremely well. It can be found at the Hobby Shop. Lay down epoxy and the fiberglass using a stabbing motion to tuck the fiberglass into the nooks and crannies of the junction between the wood and the plastic. Do this all the way around like when gluing the wood in in the first place.

Step 7: Do the same to the front using 2” wide fiberglass tape found at the hobby shop. This now makes the wood very secure to the plastic by having made a fiberglass gusset on both sides of the wood.

Step 8: Epoxy in the cd player’s mounting bracket into the ac controls oem position. If it doesn’t fit, you might need to use a dremel tool drum sander to begin shaving away portions of the plastic cross piece of the dash that separates the oem ac position from the oem radio position.

Step 9: Like before when taping and gusseting the wood to the plastic, do the same with the head unit mount with stabbing motions, tucking the glass into the nooks and crannies of the junction from the front and back. Using micro-balloons to the epoxy mix, mix up a second batch after laying the fiberglass to partially fill in this junction. This will allow the gusset to properly support the weight of the cd player.

Step 10: Using the ½ round stock, make an exact picture frame of just the screen itself. Use the epoxy to join the parts together and micro-balloon mix to fill in gussets.

Step 11: Make an aluminum frame with the opening the exact size of the screen. Fold the flanges to a 90 degree angle. This will perfectly frame the screen and provide clearance on the other side for any buttons or adjusting knobs of the front of the screen that you want hidden. A picture later will demonstrate the clearance provided by this frame. Glue the frame to a hole cut in the plywood that’s the exact size of the frame. Then glue the wood frame made in the last step over the aluminum bracket. The next series of pics will show this. Note, use epoxy for all of this. Resin won’t be touched for a while. The flanges of the aluminum will be ¼” wide which will make roughly a 1/8” protrusion through the plywood.

Using a micro balloon epoxy mix, fill in any portions of the frame not meeting the slightly curved plywood base. This is obviously caused by the slight curve.

This picture demonstrates the aluminum flanges coming through the plywood base making a 1/8” protrusion to provide clearance for the screen’s adjusting knobs.

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noob question alert..... whats "MDF" stand for?

you could use any kinda wood really for a starter project, just whatever you have around...
thanks man. i wnat to try this shit really bad. i think i will go shopping either this weekend or the weekend after next.
Hey man, not sure how many people actually say it......but i wanted to say thanks for putting up this thread and teaching us all a new "trade" to incorporate into our projects. I'm going to read through it once i get more time. Hell, ive waited 5 years to start this truck build, so an extra week learning to do some very clean, custom, fiberglass work will be well worth it.

Thanks again for sharing your knowledge, and taking the time to post up pics. Im sure there are more of us out there that agree that you dont get the credit you deserve for your posts, and help!!

Whn it comes to the dash are you fiberglasing over it or making a new compleate mold for it
Whn it comes to the dash are you fiberglasing over it or making a new compleate mold for it
I'm fiberglassing the bezel only in the area that it was modified. Not the whole thing. The rest of it is sanded plastic and the fiberglass area and the plastic area are blended together.

first things first.... THANK YOU for the amazing information... i am a noob at all of this and it has helped me understand a bit more about that all goes into doing this stuff... there is alot of pride in when someone asks who did this in/to your ride and you can say "I DID"... i will be trying somestuff on mine soon, so you can expect to be getting alot of questions from me in the near future.
great work. i might have to get with you to see if i can get you to do some for me? looks great though
Question... because im pretty sure no one else has asked. If I wanted to put a design into my console that im going to be building and glassing, how would I go about doing that? Would you fiber glass the cloth that has the design on to the console? or what... sorry if thats a stupid question, im pretty new at working with fiberglass. any way, thanks!
explain "design".
Like a fabric with a design in it. I want to put that on my console but i want it glassed. sorry if this is confusing...
Erm.. If for example you mean fabric with flames stitched into it or whatever you won't be able to do that. The glass will cover the fabric up. I suppose you could cut the design into wood or foam (that's if the resin won't eat it) and then use a light oz glass over that.

You could maybe finish glassing, and then resin that cloth onto the finished glassed piece and wet sand it to shine.. But I dunno.
Ok... well I think I'll try a small sample peice thats not on the console and see how it goes with putting the resin over the fabric after glassing. If anyone has tips or anything please let me (or us depending on who cares) know. Thanks Quake Splash!
Nick, once again I will say it, YOU'RE A GENIUS! Your work is amazing and thanks a lot for this thread and any help you have given out over the years. I wish I could get my shit straight so I can get back to doing my fiberglass work. Thanks again man. Hopefully I can get back on the grind and get a new project. I just need to get my mind right.
I was watching some show called "Street Tuner Challenge" on Speed Channel earlier and they glassed a sub box. They stretched their fabric over their frame...applied resin...applied bondo and then painted.

Is there anyway in hell that box will hold together with only cloth and resin(no fiberglass).
thats the same thing as fiberglassin
thats the same thing as fiberglassin
no its not....that isn't fiberglassing, thats hack.
thats the same thing as fiberglassin
Let me ask you friend, if thats fiberglassing, then explain to me where the glass is at from the described situation?

There is none, which is exactly why I have explained that same show and the example they produce as exactly what not to do. Unfortunately their f-u-c-king asses are on tv and any retard watching is gonna believe that method is acceptable. Well, .....it is if your also willing to accept cracking, lol.
Let me ask you friend, if thats fiberglassing, then explain to me where the glass is at from the described situation?

There is none, which is exactly why I have explained that same show and the example they produce as exactly what not to do. Unfortunately their f-u-c-king asses are on tv and any retard watching is gonna believe that method is acceptable. Well, .....it is if your also willing to accept cracking, lol.
i c it as glassin and i c it as the wrong way to glass. i use the fiberglass cloth and shit not fabric.
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