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Fiberglass Replacement Panels and Structural Integrity/Rigidity

Discussion in '1969-1972 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Southron, Apr 16, 2003.

  1. Southron

    Southron Newbie

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    First of all, as a longtime silent browser of this forum I would like to thank everyone who has ever contributed their knowledge on first generation Blazers. This forum is an invaluable resource!

    Due to the fact that I live in a humid and salty area of the country, I have been considering replacing my sheet metal panels with fiberglass (not to mention the weight savings).

    In the "Cancer Support Group" sticky post 71RestoRod made an excellent point regarding the maintenance of a Blazer's structural integrity in restoration. He also highlighted the front, rear, door, and hood panel’s contribution to a Blazer’s structure.

    I am not an engineer, but I assume that there are some negative repercussions to replacing semi-structural sheet metal with fiberglass, such as rigidity, lack of internal structural supports, and the lightweight of the paneling.

    I would be very grateful if anyone could post his or her thoughts on this subject. Also, any thoughts on fiberglass panels versus steel replacement panels are very welcome.
     
  2. bouncytruck

    bouncytruck 1/2 ton status

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    If you take your truck off road, the fiberglass panels are more likely to be ruined by a rock or tree branch. As far as structure, you could always build a tube frame under the fiberglass.
     
  3. Roostr84

    Roostr84 1/2 ton status

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    Its also worth noting that if you are replacing the sheetmetal with Reinforced fiberglass, which is probably what you would need to maintain rigidity the weight savings will be minimal. Generally the light weight glass would be much flimsier. A friend of mine put a light weight cowl induction hood on his car and after a half a year or so it developed a significant sag in the middle of the cowl area so he ended up taking it off and glassing in his own reinforcements pieces.
    If you are worried about rust you may want to look into one of those low voltage corrosion inhibitors. I am going to put one on mine since I have to deal with A LOT of salt and moisture. Basically the come with two contacts you mount at either end of you vehicle and it runs a low voltage current through it to prevent rust from forming.
     
  4. naranja72

    naranja72 1/2 ton status

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    not trying to hijack this thread /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif, however rooster is this the product you're going to use? www.counteractrust.com
    just wondering if this is the only company doing this sort of thing or if there are others?
    Marc
     
  5. Roostr84

    Roostr84 1/2 ton status

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    Yes that is the product. I believe there are some other ones out their that do the same thing but the prinicples are the same.
     

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