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Fiberglass Body Parts from Mexico


ICPete

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A few months ago I damaged the lower right front fairing as shown here:

2015-02-19%2013.36.44.jpg

 

Here is a more detailed view:

2015-02-19%2013.37.07.jpg

 

I'm finally getting time to think about fixing this damage. I looked online for a source of replacement Volvo body parts, and came across this firm:

 

http://www.fleettruckparts.com/Fairings-Side-Fuel-Tank/Volvo-VNL-Side-Tank-Fairings/VOLVO-VN-SIDE-FAIRING-LOWER-RH

 

Has anyone bought from this company before? Any suggestions for an alternative source for this piece?

I realize I'll have to get it painted and probably fitted to some extent, and perhaps drilled for the screws. Since my truck is white, I may be able to find this part at a junkyard; I haven't searched there yet.

The price shown is about $233; shipping and handling adds another $155.

Pete

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Do you live in an area or travel to any areas where there are boats, jetski's, anything fiberglass that floats. If you do, find a fiberglass guy to do the repairs for you.

Most body shops have a guy that does fiberglass work as well. Its not hard, just time-consuming to properly reinforce the back side, grind and fill the front side, fair the surfaces, prime and paint. On mine, cracked in the same areas, I figure about 16-20 hours per side to be ready to paint, but I did this type of work for 25 years too. Little company named Fountain PowerBoats, then Brooks Boatworks. Brooks was just about total custom work on every project...

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  • 3 weeks later...

I ended up taking a chance on the Titan Hoods fiberglass parts (http://www.titanhoods.com). I bought them from Fleet Truck parts, same as the link in my original post above. Andrew at Fleet was helpful in describing the fairing and bumper, and how much fitting might be required. I bought not only the long bottom right fairing (112" long), but also the standard front bumper (fiberglass, looks like original, not steel).

 

I installed them this past weekend. The bumper fit quite well; my first complaint with it was that the preparation for shipment left the pointed ends exposed, and predictably, they got scuffed up, to the point some of the gelcoat and fiberglass was chipped away. This would be the top & bottom rear corners of the bumper, the most critical area to protect from damage.

 

Here are photos showing the bumper, inside and out, and the damaged corners:

Titan%20Hood%20FG%20Bumper,%20exterior.j

 

Titan%20Hood%20FG%20Bumper,%20interior.j

 

Driver%20side%20btm%20corner.jpg

 

Driver%20side%20top%20corner.jpg

 

Passenger%20side%20top%20corner.jpg

 

Also one of the eight mounting studs was at least 1/8" too low, relative to the other three studs in that pattern, requiring me to file nearly 1/8" off the mating slot, widening that one slot to clear the stud:

 

One%20stud%20misaligned.jpg

 

This shows the filing just started, establishing how far to go:

 

Filing%20slot,%20started.jpg

 

And this shows the filing completed (I know, not a very accurate slot!):

 

Filing%20slot,%20finished.jpg

 

Sorry I don't have any photos of the long bottom fairing. It was very good quality, but also had some issues.

 

First, the material thickness along the top edge, where it is supposed to slide into the slot in the aluminum extrusion, was much too great. I used an angle grinder with a very coarse "flap" wheel to take material off the back side along the entire length, near that top edge. It still fits too tightly, so I will need to go back and grind down some more. The original Volvo part is about 1/8" thick.

 

Second, the length of the bottom lip, which wraps under the lower metal rail, was about 1/4" shy of what the original part's lip was, so it didn't really leave enough material to comfortably drill holes for the 6mm screws that secure it to the rail. I managed to clamp the fairing tightly to the rail with several clamps, and by drilling at a slight angle, the screw holes are back from the edge of the fairing just enough that I think (hope) they won't break through. Backing up the fiberglass with a metal trim strip, the entire length, as Mark Bruss has shown, would undoubtedly help prevent the screws from eventually breaking out. The lip on the original fairing was about 1 inch, while the Titan Hood part is perhaps 3/4 inch wide.

 

Third, the aft vertical edge of the fairing wasn't perfectly straight (kind of curvy), and for some reason the way I installed it, it appeared to be about 1/2" too long. So I drew a straight, plumb, pencil line and cut off the half-inch using a cutoff blade in the angle grinder (a new toy for my toolbox!).

 

After I got both bumper and fairing installed, I removed them again and took them to the local Line-X dealer, along with the opposite side long bottom fairing, the two short fairing pieces just aft of these long ones, and the two double-step fairing pieces that are aft of the tanks (for climbing onto the bed). These seven pieces are all below a "belt line" that is roughly a constant height off the pavement, so I'm getting them all coated with the Line-X Xtra, in a dark blue color (with UV-resistant matching urethane paint top coat). I have browsed all the members' photos in the HHR gallery, and have seen that most of the "two-tone" color schemes tend to carry the dividing boundary up over the fender portions of the hood. I hope I'm going to like the looks of this "flat" dividing line better, but in any case I didn't want to remove the hood to get it Line-X'ed (the Line-X dealer overhead door is only 10 feet high).

 

I'll be at the ECR next month in case anyone wants to look at the fiberglass parts up close. BTW, note that my Volvo is Gen 1, a 770.

 

Pete

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I think you're right. At first I thought the white stuff that was flaking off was gelcoat, but especially in the close-up photo, it is clearly a filler, probably added, as you said, to try to fix a poor lay-up job.

This doesn't speak too well of the quality control; more or less a "band-aid" applied in an effort to hide incomplete fabrication of the part. It may have looked OK when it left the factory, but the slightest impact would chip off the weak filler, whereas well-impregnated fiberglass and the gelcoat layer could survive more of an impact than filler can.

 

Once again, you get what you pay for! The bumper was $405 plus $170 shipping; the OEM part from Volvo, nearly $1100. And both would need painting of course.

 

The long lower fairing was $233, with no additional shipping cost (piggybacked on the bumper). This part is unavailable from Volvo, is what I was told by my local dealer.

 

I've asked the Line-X dealer to "wrap" the material around the edges of the bumper, to minimize the risk of it peeling at the edges. Their lining spray is very tough stuff, and over 1/16-inch thick, so if it indeed encapsulates the edges and corners of the bumper, that should help keep the chips from propagating.

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