Now that I deemed the proof of concept repair to be enough of a success I decided it was time to start on the main event.
I therefore worked to tape up the location of the crack and then sand it back.
I then used the paint from the paint repair kit and the result came up as you can see above. I was pretty impressed with how clean it looked. However, there was a problem. As you might be able to tell from the above picture the crack is still plainly evident (you should be able to click on the picture to enlarge for more detail).
What I really should have done immediately after sanding it back was to fill it, but I got impatient and rushed into painting it.
Another lesson learn then, so I went off to Bunnings Hardware to buy something to fill the crack.
In the end I settled on some Loctite 5 minute rapid repair epoxy resin (figuring it was a better option for fibreglass and the car than ‘bog’). I was going to go with the 60 second version but I thought I’d need to do some podding and poking of the adhesive so having 5 minutes instead of 60 seconds to do this was a good idea (which it turned out to be). Also, the 5 minute product has a higher strength rating. So that sealed the deal on which product to use.
I return to the car after about 7 hours and attempted to start sanding back again. Unfortunately, I discovered that the paint had not dried completely (probably because of the cold weather). If I touched it it left finger marks. Damm, didn’t figure on that now did I? What I should have done is leave well enough alone and let it dry further but no, impatience got the better of me and I started sanding again. Bad move. The sandpaper kept catching and the not so dry paint just clogged the paper. Again, I should have taken that as a hint but I continued (when will I learn?). It also probably didn’t help that I was using 1200 grit rather than 600.
I managed to sand back the left hand side of the crack (the larger gap) but gave up trying to the hairline crack to the right. I thought I’d give it at least another 24 hours to dry.
So I come back 24 hours later and commenced sanding again. The paint was still grippy but I persisted. It would have probably have been better to use the 600 grit rather then 1200 like I was since it would cut more but I was by now a little gun shy so I persisted with the 1200 grit until the crack had been sanded back along its length.
The whole area doesn’t look at good as when I sanded it before painting it so again, I should have filled it then rather than rushing to paint. Just need to chalk that up to another learning lesson and be more patient.
With the area now sanded as much as I could take using the 1200 grit (sanding is no good for my lack of patience), I activated the repair epoxy.
One repair item that I did discover when visiting someone during this period was a set of wood food skewers. They are much better than toothpicks. They are longer and have a pointed and blunt end. I swiped half a dozen of these to use in my repairs and I’m glad I did.
I put the nozzle on the epoxy and pushed the plunger. The idea was to use the end of the nozzle which is was fairly fine, directly onto the crack. Problem was, the nozzle was not fine enough and I would have ended up dripping the epoxy everywhere. Plan B. I therefore reverted pack to the cooking skewer which proved very successful. I scooped the epoxy from the nozzle onto the pointy end of the skewer and ‘painted’ it across the crack.
I touched up a few locations with some more epoxy and checked that I had covered everything. With the mixture on and around the nozzle hardening I decided it was time to walk away for the day (see I am learning ever so slowly as I REALLY did want to add more epoxy).
The end result is the picture you see above with the adhesive covering all parts of the crack. I waited another 5 or so minutes for it to set and I packed up.
The question now is how long do I wait? The adhesive is supposed to take 24 hours to set completely but the temperature is much cooler than average so that means I’ll have to wait longer. That I can do. So let’s say I wait 48 hours and the adhesive is set. Do I sand it back and repaint immediately given that I will be taking the car out for weekend?
Sure I’d like to get a first coat on it before I head out BUT given that it didn’t feel 100% dry after 48 hours, am I better off waiting until the car is parked after the weekend and then apply a first coat? That way I have a whole week to wait for it to dry? Or do I take something like a hairdryer to the paint?
Of course if I don’t apply the first coat and take the car out the untreated area will get dirty and need to be cleaned before the first coat.
Decisions, decisions. However, I can’t proceed forward until I see the state of the adhesive after say 48 hours. I’ll wait till then before deciding what course of action to take.