Fiberglass advice for John Deere

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S Clark

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Fiberglass advice for John Deere
« on: 12 Jul 2018, 01:48 am »
I picked up an old John Deere 140 garden tractor for not much cash and I'm sprucing it up a bit.  Sanded and repainted the frame, a few parts on the way, but I got ambitious and decided to repair some missing and broken sections at the front of the fiberglass hood.  After patching and reinforcing the front of the hood, I'm having a devil of a time getting this stuff smooth enough to paint.  I suspect that trying to wrap this stuff around the top to the bottom of the hood was an error, as there are air spaces in the wrap around. 
It's a heavy built old mower and worth the trouble.  But like most of these kind of projects, they turn into more work than I was anticipating.
Any of you guys worked with fiberglass before and have any tips?

MIne looks like a more beat up version of this one. 

Scott F.

Re: Fiberglass advice for John Deere
« Reply #1 on: 12 Jul 2018, 03:21 am »
You'll want to get your fiberglass finish in the area of the repair, just a smidge lower then the 'good' finish that surrounds the patch. Then you come in with Bondo, sand and level it then hit it with a smoothing coat of of glazing putty. Sand, prime then paint it JD green. Good as new. :thumb:

JerryM

Re: Fiberglass advice for John Deere
« Reply #2 on: 12 Jul 2018, 03:56 am »
I wasn't sure where this thread should go until I read Scott F.'s great advice, posted above.

I'm going to move this over to Cars and Bikes. There's bound to be more experienced folks there than the PT circle.  :thumb:

S Clark

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Re: Fiberglass advice for John Deere
« Reply #3 on: 12 Jul 2018, 04:01 am »
Super!  I didn't know you could put Bondo on top of fiberglass (but it makes perfect sense, both epoxies).  I've got hundreds of hours working with Bondo, so I've got a very good feel for using it.  I"ll sand all the excess fg and lay down a thinned coat of Bondo.  My students built an entire dinosaur out of the stuff.   
Easy peasey.
Thanks, Scott.

And thanks, Jerry.  I'd forgotten we had a Cars and Bikes circle.

gregfisk

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Re: Fiberglass advice for John Deere
« Reply #4 on: 12 Jul 2018, 05:53 am »
I used to have that exact mower, it was a wonderful machine. I did end up having problems with the transmission a few time and that finally did it in. It is built so much heavier than the new homeowner models, I hated to let it go. 

You received good advice regarding the bondo. Patch and sand  until it smooths out enough to paint.

Bob2

Re: Fiberglass advice for John Deere
« Reply #5 on: 12 Jul 2018, 11:03 am »
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S Clark

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Re: Fiberglass advice for John Deere
« Reply #6 on: 12 Jul 2018, 12:58 pm »
... Then you come in with Bondo, sand and level it then hit it with a smoothing coat of of glazing putty. Sand, prime then paint it JD green. Good as new. :thumb:
Is glazing putty a thinner version of Bondo?  Never used it.  Could you use Bondo thinned with a bit of fiberglass resin?  That's what we used, thinned to honey consistency, to flow inside a mold for the dinosaur project. 

S Clark

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Re: Fiberglass advice for John Deere
« Reply #7 on: 13 Jul 2018, 01:38 am »
I hate it when easy projects turn bad!!  My Bondo isn't setting up.  Apparently this stuff has a shelf life, and the catalyst isn't fully activating the bondo.
I'll find out tomorrow whether I have to strip it all off and start the bond process over.  Oh well, at least it will be stronger than new since I'm adding a bit of thickness to the edge of the hood where it tends to bump stuff. 

 :slap: :slap: :slap: :slap: :slap: :slap: :slap: :slap: :slap:

Bob in St. Louis

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Re: Fiberglass advice for John Deere
« Reply #8 on: 13 Jul 2018, 03:20 am »
"Following".....
I've got more bondo, resin, and sanding aperatis than I can count.....
Basically.... any form of epoxy is your friend on this project.
That is, until a man that works with boats or Corvettes chimes in, you're stuck with us laymens. 

Bob2

Re: Fiberglass advice for John Deere
« Reply #9 on: 13 Jul 2018, 09:30 am »
.

Scott F.

Re: Fiberglass advice for John Deere
« Reply #10 on: 13 Jul 2018, 02:18 pm »
Is glazing putty a thinner version of Bondo?  Never used it.  Could you use Bondo thinned with a bit of fiberglass resin?  That's what we used, thinned to honey consistency, to flow inside a mold for the dinosaur project.
Pretty much just a thinned version of Bondo. I've not used resin in Bondo before but if it worked for you before, I don't see why it won't work here. After all, it's a garden tractor, not a show car. You just want to spruce it up a bit and make it look nice.
I say go for it!

Scott F.

Re: Fiberglass advice for John Deere
« Reply #11 on: 13 Jul 2018, 02:23 pm »
...oh, and fiberglass sucks to work with. Itchy, gummy, nasty stuff. I try to avoid it, but as BISL said, sometimes you can't.
I've not heard that bondo has a shelf life. Just give it a good mixing before use. Same goes for the hardener. The hardener, just keep the cap on the tube and squish the ends of the tube forcing the catalyst back and forth in the tube for a minute or two. That should mix it back up again. If that doesn't work, a new tube of hardener should be all you need. That is the likely culprit.

S Clark

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Re: Fiberglass advice for John Deere
« Reply #12 on: 13 Jul 2018, 03:17 pm »
The bondo is firm but tacky.  It certainly needs to be harder to sand properly.  I've left it out in the Texas sun to cook for the day.  If that doesn't work, I'll scrape it off and start with a new batch. 
As far as Bondo having a shelf life, the solids will eventually settle and it's a bear to remix.  I've got tubes of catalyst where the tubes have cracked from age and the catalyst has hardened.  This is stuff left over from a dinosaur show my students helped build with a local museum back in 2002.

Scott F.

Re: Fiberglass advice for John Deere
« Reply #13 on: 13 Jul 2018, 03:28 pm »
2002, that's probably dead at this point. I doubt the coat you put on will harden. I'd scrape it an apply a fresh coat.


S Clark

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Re: Fiberglass advice for John Deere
« Reply #15 on: 13 Jul 2018, 08:40 pm »
Here's another option in case you don't want to fart around with fiberglass, bondo and paint: https://www.ebay.com/itm/John-Deere-110-112-120-140-hood/273332988698?hash=item3fa3ea6b1a%3Ag%3Auc0AAOSwL%7EhbOWeq&_sacat=0&_nkw=john+deere+140+hood&_from=R40&rt=nc&_trksid=p2380057.m570.l1313.TR2.TRC1.A0.H0.Xjohn+deere+140+hood.TRS0

Or here: https://www.ebay.com/itm/John-Deere-140-lawn-mower-hood/282386780627?hash=item41bf9051d3%3Ag%3A2rMAAOSwp91anqjd&_sacat=0&_nkw=john+deere+140+hood&_from=R40&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.m570.l1313.TR2.TRC1.A0.H0.Xjohn+deere+140+hood.TRS0

Bolt it on and go, saves a lot of bullshit.

Yep, an ebay part would have been a lot easier.   
Regardless, the new fiberglass is in and cured, new bondo has been applied and cured, and it's sanded as much as it's going to be. Paint is for tomorrow morning when it's cooler. 

JLM

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Re: Fiberglass advice for John Deere
« Reply #16 on: 13 Jul 2018, 09:22 pm »
Can't help but to be reminded of Uncle Pete, who was a bachelor farmer and an intellectual/emotional weakling.  His idea of tractor maintenance was to paint it more than needed (which is almost never).  In his earlier days he'd buy a new car, drive it 300 miles over the next 4 years, then trade it in for another.  Don't believe he ever left the rural county he was born in.

JerryM

Re: Fiberglass advice for John Deere
« Reply #17 on: 13 Jul 2018, 11:04 pm »
…   
Regardless, the new fiberglass is in and cured, new bondo has been applied and cured, and it's sanded as much as it's going to be. Paint is for tomorrow morning when it's cooler.

Sweet. :thumb:

gregfisk

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Re: Fiberglass advice for John Deere
« Reply #18 on: 14 Jul 2018, 01:02 am »
Scott,

I just thought of something. I had forgotten that my friend still has my john deere 140, not sure it is the same year but I think all the parts would fit. If you want me to take a picture of the piece that's broken we can figure out if it will fit. If it will then just pay me for the shipping from Seattle and it's yours.

S Clark

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Re: Fiberglass advice for John Deere
« Reply #19 on: 14 Jul 2018, 02:08 am »
Scott,

I just thought of something. I had forgotten that my friend still has my john deere 140, not sure it is the same year but I think all the parts would fit. If you want me to take a picture of the piece that's broken we can figure out if it will fit. If it will then just pay me for the shipping from Seattle and it's yours.
Wow, that's a generous offer, but mine is repaired at this point.  All the missing fiberglass has been replaced, gouges filled, and primed.  But you can be certain that I'll keep you in mind if/when I need something.