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I just went up to look at the van, to my horror I noticed a star shaped mark, what looks like a stone hit on the front fibreglass panel. .. This has discoloured and looks like the top white glossy coat is flaking off. ... Is there a fix for this? I am in France so travelling to UK to a repairer is not on the cards. Any advice or tips?

2004 landcruiser LC5 1997 ABI Marauder

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You need to purchase a fibreglass kit, try a boat yard supplier, You need to mix up some resin and hardener, use fibre glass mat behind the damage first, cut to size. Let it set, then you have to open up the cracks with a thin blade or similar. Mix up some colured gel coat to match your caravan colour and use a spatula to fill the opened up cracks. Let it set, then use wet and dry sand paper to smooth down, to get a good finish you may use some stopper (filler) and spray paint using correct colour. In in doubt the supplier of the materials can advise .

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As above, but to expand a little:

 

IF you can get to the rear of the repair, clean it thoroughly with Acetone. Lay up some mat with a quality resin. As above, a boatyard or marine mail order supplier is a good bet.

 

Using a disc cutter or similar implement, grind out all of the damaged area down to the repair patch you laid up behind it. Make the edges feather into a crater shape.

 

Now you can start laying up from the front. Use random size pieces of mat and overlap them to form a strong laminate.

 

Once it has all gone hard, use a fine polyester filler (I like Plastic Padding) with a spatula to finish the repair and sand flat using a block. You can use 100 grit for rough shaping, progressing through 240 and 400 grit before priming and painting to match. Many body shop suppliers will be able to provide you with colour matched aerosols if you take the van to them.

 

Let the paint go off for 7 days, then you can use 1200 - 2000 grit (wet) to make perfect, followed by a fine rubbing compound such as G3.

 

 

 

 

 

If you can't get to the back of it, you will need to inflict some surgery to make a lasting repair: Cut away all of the damaged area. This damage WILL extend much further than you are able to see from the front. A bright light behind the panel will often show you where it is.

 

Once cut away, feather the edges of the hole to make a shallow, oval "crater" shape.

 

Using professional resin, (not DIY store kits) lay up a piece of mat, larger than the repair area onto a flat surface with a release agent on it. Cardboard covered with parcel tape will work.

 

Once it has gone off, cut it down to a size that will just go through the hole and be able to cover it.

 

Make a couple of small holes in this patch and thread some wire or string through them.

 

Apply resin to the back of the repair area and to the patch, then insert the patch and pull against the hole, securing the string in that position to a fixed object.

 

When the patch has gone off, remove the string and refinish from the front as normal.

 

 

 

The other option is to stick something over the top of it, or just fill the cracks. The drawback of that is that the damage will travel and expand with each flexing of the panel.

 

So, do it right, or do it twice!

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There is another option that works well if access to the back is easy, especially for a hole. ..

 

Grind away all the damage once again, but this time, feather it on the back of the panel. Clean well with Acetone.

 

Noy you need a piece of material that will sit flat against the face side of the repair. Cover this in a release agent of some sort, Waxes and PVA etc.

 

Hold the material hard against the panel and secure it there without deforming the panel.

 

Now you can lay up from the rear, starting with a couple of plain resin coats, then laying up with mat,

 

When it is all hard, remove the material from the face of the repair and you have a surface that requires little finishing.

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I agree with the above posts as far as repair technique is concerned, but if you do not want to do a DIY job you will have plenty of people who have the skill and experience to do the job in your locality. I am talking about GRP workers (the marine leisure industry) Any car body shop will also do the job. If the damaged part is the removable gas locker cover, you could take the cover to them and leave it for a couple of days. They will repair it properly and repaint it.

Ern

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