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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi
Bought my 3 window in September and really the only fault it a crack right through the drivers door door frame (see pics)
There is movement so I have to do something, question is what to do?
I don't mind the repair being visible so long as it does the job and looks "OK".

I have zero experience ..........

My origonal thoughts were to drill hole at end of crack to stop it getting longer then get hold of small polished stainless steel plate (matching door fittings) and bolt through the door frame "stitching" the door back together and then if there was access add some "fibreglass inside for added strength.

Problem is there is no access / space to bolt through.

So ideas on a postcard please - thanks



 

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^^ that would work..I would grind the area down lay some strips of fibreglass mat(not the p40 type tinned stuff) over the crack and then rivet or screw a plate over it..after its hardened finish with fibreglass(tinned stuff) an filler smooth..Half measures will see the crack re-appearing.
 

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the correct way to do it but more difficult/time consuming is to split the outer skin from inner, repair fibre glass then stick back together.
 

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the correct way to do it but more difficult/time consuming is to split the outer skin from inner, repair fibre glass then stick back together.
Yeah i was gonna say pretty much the same, but if that were me doing the repair....i would very carefully cut the broken section out in the straightest way i can. then repair the broken piece using layers of fine mat. then sand the outer gel coat a tad to allow for more fine mat over it when refitted.

so to just clarify that
first you need to cut the broken section out. id take an angle grinder or a dremel type tool (or air cut off tool) and try to get the piece out as together as possible by using just straight line cuts if poss.

Then with the mangled piece on the bench, start by making sure you remove any edges which will later make it a nightmare to refit.

With this now done, rough the back of it up by either production paper or touching it with the grinder to make it a good key for the mat you will apply.

do the same with the door frame but also remove some of the area around the repair (by sanding) to show the mat strands if poss....even half an inch will do. And then test fit the broken piece again to make sure it will go back nice and easy, when happy with it put it to one side and lets concentrate on the frame first.

As long as there are no moving parts behind...E.G the window, all you need to do is get some fine fibreglass mat and an old bit of wood to use as a bench for the mat. now for the trick part......i can see the gogs going around....how do i get the mat up behind it?????.

OK well you get a piece of fairly stiff card (cornflakes box etc) and make a little repair piece to more or less the same shape as the hole....but slightly longer at the top and bottom. You want to be able to slip it in the hole and then bring it forwards to hold the mat against the inside of the frame. Now you have you little cardboard piece all you need to do is fit it .

and this is how.....first cut some strips of mat so you dont have to do it once you get going. they want to be some for the rear of the frame and some to fit the broken bit you removed. then mix up some fibreglass resin (just a small amount....to do the whole repair id mix no more than about a quarter of a cup.) with a small paint brush (1 inch) paint some of the resin on an area of the wood you are gonna use as the bench....again dont go mad, just a bit more than the mat. now lay a piece of fine mat, (which you have already cut to slightly more than the hole) on to the resin... Remember its going behind so it dont wanna just fit the hole.
then paint some more resin onto the front of the mat so that you have soaked it both sides. dabbing it as you go to get bubbles out, you dont need to do a perfect job at this point. just get it covered. and then put a thin coat on the facing out side of the carboard template

Now using you fingers (gloves are a good idea by the way) pick up the piece of mat from the resin, you will be able to get it up all in one piece if you are carefull. Now lay it on the side of the card which will face outwards so that its ready to insert through the hole. then get a couple of screws to screw into the card to use as handles to allow you to get it in place. manouver it into place and gently pull it onto the frame using the screws...dont worry about the holes it will leave in the card etc. This is the most difficult part. once it is in the right place fix it there until its set using some masking tape etc....this will peel off later with ease. you practically only have to touch the fibreglass mat with masking tape and its gonna stick so dont push so hard that you push it back off the frame.

ok its gonna take a while for that to go off so you can now see what needs doing on the other piece. now you have two choices here....one is repair the old piece if its all shapes and sizes or the other is just simply cut about 5 layers of mat and trim them to fit the hole exactly and the another two which are just larger all round. (this is what id do).

Now when the frame is set remove the masking tape, dont worry if it leave any tape etc behind, just make sure there are no spiky bits sticking out. then mix up a small amount of resin and using the same method as before start filling in the hole.
paint some resin on the frame area and then paint some on the wood bench, then lay on the mat and paint some on that, now pick it up and using the paint brush just dab it into position on the frame. Paint a little more resin over the top. repeat this on another piece of mat, one piece at a time until you get to the two larger ones and then do the same, but make sure you now cover the whole repair with the mat and resin.

when finished just keep dabbing it in to remove as many bubbles that appear for the first few mins and then leave it to set.

when it have gone off like concrete simply sand it down and fill over the top. trust me it will be solid as a rock

Thanks for reading

Simon
 

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That's a relatively simple repair to do & just needs a bit of time & care. There's no need to cut the damaged area out as suggested above as this ends up making a whole lot of extra work for you.

Get either a dremel or 4" angle grinder & cut right through the crack opening it up to an 1/8" or so. Grind the surrounding area approximately 2" either side of the crack, until it's almost through the fibreglass of the frame, ie thin the 'glass out as much as possible. Make sure the door frame is in the position required & mask up anything you don't want to get resin/'glass on. Then cut out some fibreglass matt to the shape required & lay up a few layers with resin until it's proud of the surface of the door. Allow this to fully cure & then carefully grind the new 'glass flush with the door. Finish off with a light skim of filler & hey presto, job done.

By grinding right through the crack & opening the crack wider, the fibreglass/resin can get into the crack & help to stiffen the whole thing up. The important thing is to feather the 'glass on the door frame & get it as thin as possible prior to building it back up with fresh matt. You'll end up with a much stronger repair & it'll be spread over approx 4". hth

cheers...Nige
 

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My first question would be WHY did it crack in the first place ? My guess wouldlbe that the top of the door frame is contacting an inner shut or stop before the rest of the door and so loading it up.

Check it out so you don't have to do the repair twice :tup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the great advice........

In terms of the cause, I notice that the door seal on that side has been changed to a thinner one so guess that was to pressure of the door, but I will check it out, as you say I only want to do it once.
Sam
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok

Had a go at the repair - but like the fool I am I managed to delete the pics of the work in pregress ....... and way I have the before and after picture:

There was no obvious reason for the crack ie: the door was not miss aligned ..... so I went ahead and using the dremil I cut out a slot inthe door frame and excavated right through , what seemed to be filler with no fibre to give it strength ..... I then set about filling the slot with P40 (yes I know you told me not to) but I added fibre glass rods that I bonded into it and it seemed easier than trying to lay in little bits of matt. When that was all hard I went about trying to break it, even shutting the door with a jumper stuck in the frame and it seems as strong as ever.

Bit of rubbing down and fine filler - prime and paint and it all seems to look much better than I expected, even the paint (rattle can) form Halfords "guessing the colour".....

Now I have a little confidence I will need to rub it all down and spray the whole door frame to get a better match but for now I am happy.........



 

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Looks great Sam, easy if you take your time isnt it?.

well done for having a go....:tup:

Sid.
 
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