Austin A7 Restoration
Instead of replacing expensive plastic components due to cracking or splitting, in many cases a strong repair can be carried out using plastic welding techniques on thermoplastics including bumpers, plastic trims, motorcycle fairings and other spoilers. It can be possible to refit chunks or large pieces that have broken away from the main section (provided the missing pieces have been kept) which is often the case with motorcycle fairing damage.
The only requirement is that a piece of donor plastic exactly matching the original is available during repair, this could come from a spare damaged fairing in the case of a motorcycle repair, or a section cut from an old car bumper or spoiler in the case of a vehicle repair. Sometimes strips of donor plastic can be shaved from hidden areas avoiding the need to source separate donor pieces.
Many samples of plastic are kept from other plastic components that were beyond economical repair, however, it cannot be guaranteed that an exact match will be available so it is worth hanging on to damaged bike fairings to act as donor for other parts needing repair.
Different types of plastic can NOT be fused together hence the need for a donor sample for bridging cracks and splits, ideally taken from the original item or from a similar make/model. Only thermoplastics are repairable in this way. Thermosetting plastics cannot be welded - the application of heat burns the plastic rather than melting it, making fusion impossible. Luckily the majority of plastics used on cars and bikes are thermoplastic and therefore repairable.
Once properly repaired, a plastic welded panel is very strong compared to other repair methods such as glue, adhesive, or bonding.
Repairs of this kind aren't just limited to automotive components. Plastic welding can often be successfully carried out on many items. Some of the more diverse items enquiried about have included plastic toys, agricultural items, plastic pipework, water tanks, caravan fittings, garden furniture and also a childrens playgym which required large sections re-joining together - some examples of which are shown below.
Plastic welding and repair methods are becoming the environmentally preferred option instead of replacement and avoids any associated waste disposal costs.
Paintwork & Cosmetic Damage
As well as accident damage, cosmetic repair work can range from small areas of superficial paintwork to larger areas of bodywork including restorative work on older vehicles which may involve panel replacement as well as cutting away corroded areas and welding repairs.
AK Cobra Bare Shell Respray
Previous fibreglass work has mainly involved TVRs and includes the above Cerbera for work on a headlight conversion, as well as Griffith, Chimaera, and 'S' Series models for work ranging from front-end stonechip rectification, to accident repairs, panel replacement, and renovation on older examples such as the S3 2.9V6 pictured below.
As well as sports and kit cars, fibreglass parts that need repair can range from caravan sections, canoes/boats and marine parts, to leisure equipment and have even included an on-site repair carried out on a childrens playground slide. Enquiries for fibreglass repairs are always welcome regardless of whether or not they are automotive based.
Other fibreglass projects include the building of TVR hardtops as seen in the 'TVR Hardtops' section, as well as faired-in headlamp conversion kits.
A few things worth noting with fibreglass damage is to keep the damaged area completely dry prior to coming in for repair to avoid water getting into the laminate. Also, the full extent of any related stress cracking following an impact may take several days to a week or more to become visible. To allow for laminating and curing, fibreglass repairs often require extra time to complete compared to metal-bodied cars.
Bodykit & Spoiler Fitting
Previous custom projects include the full fitting and blending of a Nissan Skyline fibreglass bodykit which involved securely fixing and bonding the various sections to the bodyshell and blending the sections into the original rear wings with filler to create a completely seamless join. After extensive blocking down, shaping and preparation, the car was finished in Aston Martin 3-stage pearl white.
As can be seen from the pictures below, projects like this can be very labour intensive to get the best results and it's not uncommon for the work to be spread over several months. In this particular case the fibreglass sections were test fitted to the car and temporarilly held in place whilst any misalignment or alterations were made to the fibreglass pieces to get them mating up to the bodyshell as neatly as possible and without being under any undue stress which may have caused hairline cracks over time.
The majority of the time spent on this car was during the filling and priming stages and its important to note that with most aftermarket bodykits the fibreglass sections are never perfect mouldings and only represent around 90-95% of the finished shape and profile, the remainder of the shaping is done on the car to get all panels fitting flush together. The front fibreglass wings on the Skyline were particularly challenging to get fitting flush with the bonnet and doors without being stressed.
Extra fixing brackets are fabricated to support the underside of the sills, and also the lower lip of the deep front bumper to improve rigidity and prevent flexing. Certain parts of the bodykit are secured using high strength bonding sealer, and the same sealer is used in the seams and joins to create a weatherproof joint that absorbs vibration/shock and resists cracking which may otherwise occur if bodyfiller was used.
The end result is a very special car indeed with a nicely shaped and jointed bodykit and a individual unique paint job to finish it off.
Below are shots taken during the preparation, fitting and painting of a body kit for an Audi TT.
From individual private motorists, bikers, company fleets, to insurance claim work if necessary, many types of minor accident repair work is carried out to all makes of car and motorcycles and this may involve using new dealer supplied parts, to non-genuine and Thatcham approved parts, to good 2nd-hand items.
Private motorists often look to get minor accident damage repaired without having to claim on insurance or lose any no claims bonus. With insurance premiums soaring and high excess charges, it makes more sense than ever to avoid claiming where possible, although insurance work can be undertaken at the request of individual customers this doesn't form the bulk of my business and there is absolutely no dependency on insurance contracts.
All materials used are quality well proven products from suppliers such as 3M, Indasa, Upol, Mipa, Standox, Glasurit, and Farecla.
Please note, workshop height restrictions prevent work on long wheelbase or high roof vehicles.
Jaguar XK8 Accident Repair