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Old 08-18-2011, 01:08 PM   #1
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Rx on delaminating exterior wall panel

i have a 84 pathfinder exterior wall that is beginning to delaminate("large bubble") from the inner wall/styrafoam .

here's my idea:
Bore a small slit (s) or hole(s)in the bubble,insert adhesive,apply extended pressure to whole glued area and it should stick . Thats assuming the styrafoam backing is still in nice shape to give the exterior wall the original flat look.


Any replacement of wall panels may be too expensive
or not match
it would probably have to remain a DIYer project to keep cost down.

Has anyone done this as a DIY project.... sucessfully?
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Old 08-18-2011, 01:39 PM   #2
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I think you have the right idea about small holes to inject adhesive into. I have 40plus yrs in the fiberglass industry, manufacture and repair. I would use an epoxy resin system to do this, as it won't attack the styrofoam and will adhere to both substrates. West Systems Epoxy is a name I'm very familiar with, there are others as well. Follow the instructions on mixing and application, you should have good results. Good Luck
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Old 08-18-2011, 01:46 PM   #3
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What do you think of slits as opposed to holes?
Holes need to be plugged and the exterior walls have a "pressed" design that covers every sqare centimeter. i was thinking the slits wouuld not be as noticible since there would be no pattern interruption from using a "plug" as with the hole

It might dpend on how big or how many plugs there were as to how noticible it might be?

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Originally Posted by sparkydog View Post
I think you have the right idea about small holes to inject adhesive into. I have 40plus yrs in the fiberglass industry, manufacture and repair. I would use an epoxy resin system to do this, as it won't attack the styrofoam and will adhere to both substrates. West Systems Epoxy is a name I'm very familiar with, there are others as well. Follow the instructions on mixing and application, you should have good results. Good Luck
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Old 08-18-2011, 01:53 PM   #4
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Either way seems to be suitable, the goal is to get epoxy to fill void and squeeze as necessary. Whichever is less invasive
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Old 08-18-2011, 04:39 PM   #5
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. . Good luck on this one. We tried for years to fix delam. With no luck. The problem on all the motorhomes we worked on was the fiberglass was backed by luan. The glue stuck to the luan and it just kept pulling the luan apart. The only fix that ever worked for us, was to cut the section out and replace it.
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Old 08-19-2011, 10:17 PM   #6
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Have you considered covering the delam with something? On the outside. You know, silk purse, sow's ear stuff. Depending on where and how big the delam is, you might be able to put a map, board with decal, state outline, something like that. Did that on a previous Class C and it looked better than the delam...........of course I covered mine with outline of state on a board, but that worked for me because of the state I am from..................ronspradley
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Old 08-19-2011, 11:19 PM   #7
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Before my Mh I had a 5th wheel with a de-lamination problem. I tried to repair it using West Epoxy by drilling holes at selct points. I worked for several weeks and my results were no improvement. The West epoxy is a good product and expensive.

It appears the de-lamination occurred due to moisture on the backing plate to the point that the filon just let loose. The backing plate was ruined where the bubble was. So there was simply nothing to glue too except for insulation. That does not work.

I recommend cutting a bad panel out and repairing that way.

Or if you dare, rivit the filon to the struts and cover with a strip. Don't know if this will work either.

Traded the trailer. Good luck with your attempt.
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Old 08-21-2011, 07:03 AM   #8
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unless you can push in the bubble by hand or clampthe glue will just leave a permenent bubble. what i did was to use a sharp piece of steel.(a sharpened framing square) to remove the inner paneling and then cut out the stryofoam exposing the lauan.( the lauan was delamanted ) i left it to dry and then cut several slits. using the west epoxy system ( it comes with syringes to inject the epoxy into the slits ) and coated the lauan with epoxy and fiberglass and covered with new stryofoam and clamped it with several c clamps(had to make them because of the deep throat).after that dried i epoxied the inner paneling back on and nobody can tell that anything was ever wrong. factory wanted $3000 to $4000 to fix it and they were going to cut the outside and not garantee it. cost me $80 for the west epoxy and a 3x3 piece of fiberglass.
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Old 08-21-2011, 10:17 AM   #9
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Much better approach than what I did.
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Old 08-24-2011, 01:53 PM   #10
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I just sold my MH with de-lam. Fixed a large portion once but was not going to do it again when I spotted new de-lam :(
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Old 08-24-2011, 02:15 PM   #11
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Welcome to the forum Navychaps.

Know what you mean. I bought this old rig with gelcoat type siding that is rivited to the frame. Not much chance of de-lamination with this model unless the rivits come out. Also has a good aluminum roof instead of rubber. Less chance of water coming in like my 5er. This unit will outlast me for my remaining years.
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