XJ6 & XJ12 Series I, II & III 1968-1992

To fibreglass or not to fibreglass

 
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Old 08-20-2014, 10:24 AM
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Default To fibreglass or not to fibreglass

Hello fellow classic Jaguar enthusiasts.

Since having a couple of XJ40s a few years ago, I always had the dream car in mind of the series 3, which luckily I will be taking possession of very shortly.

The car seems structurally sound, and mechanically also, but the cosmetic work is a fairly big job I admit.

I was wondering if anyone has gone down the path of fibreglass wings? There is a company in Warwickshire who manufacture front wings and rear quarters for the series 3 (although they say they're series 2 which will fit), and to me the idea is pretty tempting due to the ongoing rust worries of steel, and the weight advantage could also be a good thing.

Any views would be greatly welcome. Also, if there are any member who work on, on know good people who work on older Jaguars in the Surrey (UK) area then please feel free to mention them, as I can see myself struggling to do this on my own!

Many thanks.
Robbie.
 
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Old 08-20-2014, 12:07 PM
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As long as the fitment looks good (and it *might not*) when they're on, fiber has a lot of advantages as you've noted. What's your strategy for handling the cracking that might occur during driving around the bolts?
 
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Old 08-20-2014, 12:19 PM
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having assembled a ton of Cobra replicas, and building hundreds of sailboats in Florida - the number 1 cause of angst is caused by the cracking of the gelcoat around bolts & fittings.

I wish I had a nice answer for this Warwichshire product, but I have never seen it. Well worth calling some past customers.

Sometimes its a simple fix of chamfering the holes, and re-gelcoating before paint - to give it some flex room, sometimes its just poor engineering, as in flimsy backing plates embedded ( or worse, just a captive nut ) into the part during layup.

Other than that - No effing rust ever!
 
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Old 08-20-2014, 02:34 PM
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Thank you for your replies. Yes indeed, the prospect of no rust, at least on SOME of the car is pretty enticing! My dad replaced a couple of the wings on his Morris Minor with fibreglass ones, and they've stood the test of time well, but obviously the fitting of them is a big consideration in terms of errors that may occur.

Thanks again though. I shall update if I go ahead with them, and will post some overall bits on the car including photos as the restoration gets underway.

Even in the state she's currently in, it's a beautiful car which I feel truly lucky to own. They're magical things, the jags.
 
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Old 08-20-2014, 03:05 PM
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The other difference is that when you hit something, even lightly, the fibre glass breaks or shatters as opposed to bending.
 
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Old 08-20-2014, 03:58 PM
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Absolutely the case (as the bottom valence on my MG will attest) -- I've been fortunate in that I can rebuild fiber that isn't badly harked up, but a real hit will need an straight up replacement/repainting.
 
 
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