Working With Fiberglass SUCK!

We’re midway through March and that literally means only another month and a half left before the team and myself load up the trailers and head to the great tracks of the north. OK it’s just Loudon but hey that’s all we got! After our last meeting we decided on team yellow for sure so this meant that any and ALL bodywork that wasn’t prepped needed to be prepped. This basically meant just me, fun I know.

Everyone had gotten a new set of Armour Bodies bodywork for the season but I chose to keep mine from last season because of a budget crunch. These things hold up fantastically well as is their claim to fame. I have seen some people get anywhere from three-five crashes out of these before any REAL repairs need to be made, and that is saying something! Fortunately when I crashed last year into the gravels of the bowl it was merely only cracked in a few spots. Nothing a couple layers of fiberglass and bondo didn’t fix for the rest of the season.

Unfortunately now I have to saddle down and prep my bodywork, something I never really did before. One of my teammates was lucky enough to snag an air sander and a couple pads of sand paper for me to ‘practice’ on. I pretty much went to town on my bodywork. He told me to start off with a 220 grit piece first, but to not go really deep … what does that mean?

If bodywork laid in a tanning bed for too long this could be the outcome.

If bodywork laid in a tanning bed for too long this could be the outcome.

I have to admit I was standoffish when it came to bodywork because I honestly had no idea what I was doing. After a couple of passes with the air sander it was obvious, go slow, make even passes and before to not go deeper than what the bodywork was initially. I COMPLETELY missed the mark on the last step once or twice, but hey that’s all part of the learning process am I right?

After initial layering of fiberglass after my last crash and the sanding from the prep work I notice a lot of crack lines in the exterior. For this part I used bondo to create a new layer on top so that it can fill in the cracks left behind from the layering of fiberglass below it. Sort of like a glue sandwich where the bodywork is the meat and the other two is the bread, right?

Please note that when working with fiberglass it is a great idea to 1) wear clothes you don’t mind throwing away and 2) make sure you’re covered head to toe or else you’ll be itching for a couple of days!

Not amused by my own selection of work attire.

Not amused by my own selection of work attire.

Now I wait for the bondo to cure and then sand that down to be rough enough for the primer and paint to stick to it. Did I mention I also have to do my tank?! Yea, a new set of Armour Bodies is looking real good right about now!

A las it wasn’t only I that took glory on Sunday, the whole team came out to work on the fleet of bikes. Flushing coolant, test fitting bodywork, oil changes, drilling bolts for safety wiring and getting quick shifters to work, or not work, again, in Chris’s case.

I love it when I see the whole gang get together and get stuff done, it’s a very accomplishing feeling, especially for a Sunday when you’re supposed to be lazy!

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