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Old 12-15-2021, 12:57 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2020
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Fiberglass Body Adhesive

The louvered panel for access to the rear of the engine compartment has come loose. The motor home is a 2003 Winnebago Journey so the adhesive that holds the fiberglass louvers to the metal frame failed after 20 years. I need to reattach the louvers to the metal frame.

I would like suggestions regarding the adhesive material I should use. I am thinking that JB Weld epoxy is a good candidate but I am not sure. Also, since the original adhesive material still has a good bond to the fiberglass I would prefer not to remove it as this would require grinding the material away.

I have attached pics to help explain the problem.
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Old 12-15-2021, 01:13 PM   #2
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3M 5200 Marine Adhesive Sealant would be my 1st choice.
It permanently bonds extremely well to fiberglass and metal.
No mixing, slow cure, makes for easy work of getting things lined up before clamping parts together. I would spend the extra effort of removing the old "glue", or at least rough it up with a peanut grinder. There's no "do overs" with 5200.
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Old 12-15-2021, 06:59 PM   #3
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Which adhesive

My 2007 Itasca Meridian has a loose panel. Following this thread.
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Old 12-15-2021, 07:12 PM   #4
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There are a lot of threads on this topic on IRV2's sister site I don't know how many reference specifically mention the louvered panel but the same problem occurs with a lot of other fixtures, typically hood latches on gassers. Here are some links:
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Old 12-15-2021, 07:22 PM   #5
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Avoid the entire mess of epoxy and just drill a couple holes for stainless steel screws. I used 6-32 flatheads and plastic insert SS lock nuts and 5 years later still holding fine with no extenuating issues either.

Only used 2 screws for the louvered section and still holding fine after many thousands of miles. I just didn't feel comfortable using a method of epoxy that had proven to fail already.

My rig is a '02 Journey.

Ad free articles of how I did the rear and front when pieces started to get loose and in danger of falling off the RV while on the freeway: Body Work...
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Old 12-15-2021, 08:03 PM   #6
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This was a really common issue for that era Winnebago. Both the front hood and the engine cover adhesive failed.

My sister had a 2004 Meridian and both failed a few years after they bought it new. If you go to the Winnebago Forum on here and do a search, you should see the repair that everyone did to solve the issue for both.
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Old 12-17-2021, 05:33 AM   #7
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Methacrylate adhesive would bond to both metal and fiberglass. It sets up quickly, does not need a lot of clamping pressure, and tolerates gaps quite well. Two brand names are Plexus and Click Bond.
3M 5200 would work but you would need to hold the object in place for a couple days. It is normally used between things that are bolted or screwed together to stop water ingress.
Epoxy would also work, but you would probably need to thicken it up for your application.
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Old 12-17-2021, 06:06 AM   #8
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Jamestown Distributors, Thixo

These folks cater to boat builders and offer a ton of products useful to the RV world.

The thixo is a thickened epoxy that comes in a caulk tube. The mixing is done in a special tip that comes with the tube. It is the easiest epoxy to apply that I have ever used.

If you use epoxy, cut small pieces of double sided tape to hold the piece in place while the epoxy is curing. The small pieces also act a a spacer. Some of us that have done a bit of woodworking have the tighter is better for a glue joint. Nope, not true in this case, Putting the big squeeze on two rigid pieces simply forces the epoxy out of the bond line. Metal doesn’t absorb epoxy like wood absorbs wood glue.
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Old 12-18-2021, 02:44 PM   #9
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Thanks for all of the reply's.

I have completed the repair. I roughen the surface of the existing epoxy that was firmly held to the fiber glass and power wire brushed the mating metal surfaces. Then I cleaned and rinsed both surfaces with acetone. I then applied a thick layer of JB Weld to both surfaces and lightly clamped them together. It took 2 ea. 10 oz JB Weld kits to do the job.

I gave it 24 hours to cure and then installed this afternoon. Seems to be very solid.
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Old 12-18-2021, 09:10 PM   #10
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JB weld also acts like earlier described. Best to have a bead around outside ,like a weld of anything that's tight against the other.
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Old 12-20-2021, 09:12 PM   #11
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Go to any pro auto body supply place (lots of NAPAs have body supplies). Get 3M structural body adhesive epoxy. This is what you want. There are different part numbers that dry faster or slower. Use a flap wheel on a right angle grinder to clean up the two pieces to resecure. Double check alignment and do a dry fitment to ensure you can get the two parts together where they belong without fail. once the adhesive cures, its done.
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Old 12-20-2021, 09:39 PM   #12
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My favorite product is called Marine-Tex.
What I love about this product is that it's water proof.

Used it on my classic car to attach fiberglass to the bare metal. When the car was involved in a collision, the fiberglass chipped off, but no rust was found after 20 years of service.

Used it when the wiper bracket and dash board brackets failed on our front cap. That repair is now two years ago.

This stuff is not cheep but it is very strong.
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adhesive, fiberglass

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