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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Repair stripped screw holes in fiberglass

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bkenobi

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Posted: 08/11/17 07:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A couple of the mounting screws for the ingress handle on my NL are stripped. If this were wood, I'd glue a toothpick in there and move on. What is the best approach for stripped fiberglass?

mobilefleet

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Posted: 08/11/17 08:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A golf tee is better, with wood glue. Fiberglas is only a super thin layer and is bonded to plywood anyway. Fill hole with glue, Insert the golf tee, cut it off with hacksaw or multi tool flush with the outside.

bb_94401

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Posted: 08/11/17 08:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd wax the area around the hole to prevent epoxy outside the hole from bonding and make it easier to remove. Then fill the hole with chopped strand reinforced, epoxy based paste / putty. Cover the hole with blue masking tape to keep it in place. After it sets, remove the tape, wet sand the area to remove unwanted material outside the repaired hole. Drill a hole for the screw, tap it and then reinstall the screw.

Easiest way to get what you need is to go to your local marine store:

Fisheries Supply
1900 N Northlake Way
Seattle, WA 98103

and talk to someone in the resin / fillers / fiberglass section. Explain what you are trying to do and they will point you in the right direction and explain how to do it.


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Posted: 08/11/17 09:14pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As mentioned the fiberglass is really thin and has no strength in itself. You want to get to the wood behind it and secure to that.

Filling the hole as mentioned above with the wood and glue, put he screw in and you are done. No need to fill the fiberglass hole unless you have a crack that is running as all you are going to do is put another hole in it.


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bkenobi

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Posted: 08/11/17 09:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I was pretty sure there was only plywood in the basement area of NL TC's. The outer fiberglass may be thin, but what's behind it? I thought it was a rigid foam of some kind. I missed talking to the dealer this evening but if they confirm wood backing, I'll just glue wood in there. If it's fiberglass, I guess the marine store is a good choice. Heck, I've talked to the NL tech guy a few times, so he's another option (next week).

JoeChiOhki

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Posted: 08/11/17 11:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bb_94401 wrote:



Easiest way to get what you need is to go to your local marine store:

Fisheries Supply
1900 N Northlake Way
Seattle, WA 98103

and talk to someone in the resin / fillers / fiberglass section. Explain what you are trying to do and they will point you in the right direction and explain how to do it.


Wish they were closer, I'd love some of their help for my up coming fiberglass work.


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bb_94401

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Posted: 08/12/17 01:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fiberglass construction usually makes use of backing plates when they want to attach something with screws or bolts that will have a lot of pull out force on it. Foam core construction uses epoxy plugs between the two fiberglass layers for attaching things where the force is more in shear.

If there is no access behind where the screws goes just through fiberglass and there is no backing material, then the most common approach is to use the screws to hold and locate the part until a high strength polyurethane adhesive cures (SikaFlex or 3M). Tensile strengths are in the range of 170 to 500 psi. It is what attaches the access ladder to the roof on my TC, the screws aren't really doing anything.

jesseannie

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Posted: 08/12/17 08:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Are you going to reattach the handle in the same place? It seems like making a structural repair or an aesthetic one would be different.
Jesseannie

bkenobi

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Posted: 08/12/17 08:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I temporarily used a could toothpicks and reinstalled in the same spot. I want to put it in the same location with a permanent fix.

jesseannie

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Posted: 08/12/17 09:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think finding out what is behind the glas is the first step. Then perhaps a nice looking stainless steel sheet bigger than needed glued and screwed to the glas then screw the handle through that into a fresh spot an inch or so away from the original. Reinforced with the stainless and in a new location I think you would golden.
Jesseannie

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