Fiberglass Filler – What is it and Why Use it on Auto Body Repairs?

What Is Fiberglass?

Raw fiberglass come in a soft fabric like material. When saturated with liquid resin and harder, it becomes hard and very strong. There are not too many fiberglass auto parts on modern day cars, as they have all started using other composites like SMC and Carbon Fiber. However, fiberglass was on early model corvettes, truck hoods, and many other parts. There are still aftermarket parts that are manufactured from fiberglass and it still used for boats and jet skis.

The Difference Between Fiberglass and Fiberglass Filler

Fiberglass filler comes in a can and is mixed with a cream hardener. It mixes a lot like regular body filler, but it is thicker and a little harder to mix. The filler actually has fiberglass mixed in it. It comes short hair and long hair. This is the length of the fiberglass that is mixed in the filler. Both provide excellent waterproof properties as they do not absorb water. Both fiberglass fillers are stronger than regular body filler. The long hair filler provides the most strength out of the two. However, these fillers are very difficult to sand. The filler is also thick, which makes it hard to level and smooth like regular body filler.

Why Use Fiberglass Filler If It's So Difficult To Sand

The reason we use fiberglass filler in auto body repair is not really the added strength, but for the waterproof properties. It is recommended to apply a thin layer of fiberglass filler over any welding that is performed. Body filler absorbs moister, which will leads to corrosion and rust. By using the fiberglass, we eliminate the moister absorption problem. Since our main purpose is to seal the welded area, the short hair fiberglass is sufficient for the application.

What Can Fiberglass Filler Be Used On

This filler can be used over bare metal or fiberglass.

Finishing The Repair

As I mentioned, fiberglass does not sand well. That is why I recommend only applying a small amount to the welded areas and rough sanding it. After this is done, you can apply body filler on the top of the fiberglass filler and finish the repair as you normally would using body filler.

Warning

You should always wear proper protective equipment when sanding any filler. However, extreme caution should be taken when sanding fiberglass products. It not only itches and irritate your skin, but it is extremely unhealthy to breathed the fiberglass. Be certain to wear an approved dust respiration, gloves, eye protection, and you may even want to wear a disposable paint suit. If some of the fiberglass does get on your skin, take a cold shower. This will help keep your pores small and allow the fiberglass to wash off.



Source by Donnie A Smith

Top 5 Reasons Why Your Car Overheats

Are you having trouble with your car overheating? It can be a frustrating problem to deal with and diagnose. This article will go over some of the most common reasons why cars and trucks overheat.

One of the most common reasons for a vehicle overheating is a stuck thermostat. It can stick or freeze in the closed position blocking the flow of coolant to your engine. The easiest way to check if your thermostat is not open is to feel the upper radiator hose. Once the engine warms up it should become warm. If it does not get hot the thermostat is probably not opening.

A second common cause of overheating is a leak in your vehicle's cooling system. If your vehicle is losing coolant there will not be enough left in the vehicle to keep it cool. This is easy to diagnose as the radiator will be low on fluid and there will probably be a pool of coolant on the floor of your garage. Look for leaks in the most common places like around hoses and around the welds of your radiator. If you can not find the leak you might need to take it to a shop to have the cooling system pressure tested.

The third cause is a faulty water pump. The water pump is a vital part of your cooling system since it is responsible for circulating coolant through your engine. With a faulty water pump your vehicle will not run for more than a few minutes without overheating.

The fourth cause of overheating is a bad cooling fan. There are two types of fans, electric and mechanical. The electric fan should come on automatically once the vehicle reaches operating temperature or when the A / C is turned on. If it does not you should have it replaced. The mechanical fan will run all of the time but has a clutch which makes it turn faster when the engine heats up. With the car turned off the fan should not turn too easily especially when the vehicle is warm. You can also check for signs of leakage from the fan clutch. If you see any problems have it replaced.

The fifth cause of overheating I will talk about is a clogged radiator. Over time the radiator can accumulate deposits of rust and debris. This is especially true if radiator fluid has not been flushed on a regular basis. If you suspect a clogged radiator you should take it to a shop to have it professionally cleaned.

Those are some of the most common cause for vehicle overheating. Vehicle overheating can cause a great deal of damage to your vehicle. If you are experiencing trouble be sure to fix your vehicle or take it to a quality mechanic as soon as possible.



Source by James C

Do I Have a Blown Head Gasket? – Critical Blown Engine Symptoms

You're sitting in traffic, minding your own business, when suddenly you see it: a cloud of white smoke drifting out from underneath your car hood.

Does this mean that you've got a blown head gasket on your hands?

Or how about this scenario: you open up the car hood to take a look at your engine, and you notice that the head gasket appears to be slightly warped. Does this mean that you have a blown head gasket? Or should it be considered normal wear-and-tear on a car, especially if it's an older model?

You do not need a mechanic to properly diagnose this problem; in fact, if you spot any of these symptoms while you're driving, then there is a high possibility that you've got a blown engine:

Early Symptoms

In order to prevent major motor problems – and saving yourself a surprise bill from your mechanic! – Then watch out for some key preliminary symptoms, which arise when the head gasket is about to fail. Your car will occasionally overheat, white smoke will appear from the exhaust and there will be a slight rumbling sensation when your car's idling.

Blown Engine

If you have not caught these preliminary symptoms, then watch out for the big-time signs: your car overheats, your air conditioning blows out hot air or your heater blows out cold air, there are clouds of smoke coming from underneath your hood, your car will roughly shake while idling, or it will not start at all. In either case, take a look underneath your hood at your engine. A warped or slightly bent surface can easily be fixed by a mechanic for a nominal fee; however, a crack in the block surface will indicate that the head gasket needs to be replaced altogether.

Another major symptom of a blown motor is oil running into your coolant. If your vehicle has been running it is very important to allow your car to cool before you remove the cap of your radiator. This may take 20-30 minutes. Then use a rag to remove the cap. If your fluid looks like chocolate milk, then you definitely have a blown head gasket.

If you engine repair, be sure to take your vehicle to an experienced mechanic with a stellar reputation and customer service.



Source by Chris M. Williams

How to Maintain Your Car Alternator

Virtually all cars built in recent years have AC generators, commonly called alternators.

The alternator electrical system represents a high achievement in obtaining the most electrical power from a minimum draw on engine output. It has been termed the ultimate electrical power source for automotive use.

The alternator offers the potential for longer battery life in addition to its primary advantage – higher output. The higher output is due to the comparatively low weight of the rotor and coil assembly allowing greater pulley ratios for higher rpm. The result, of course, is higher output – even at engine idle. Maintaining the advantage an alternate gives your electrical system is just a matter of knowing the alternator and keeping it in top tune.

The alternator is no harder to tune than the generator. If trouble is apparent, you do not usually have to replace the entire unit. The unit breaks into two parts – the stator and rotor – allowing you to replace the one that is giving the trouble.

In many cases, you do not even have to replace one of those major components. A common problem, low output, is normally traced to either of two things: a slipping fan belt or defective diodes (rectifiers).

Fan belt tension is critical with the alternator. Always make sure the belt is in good condition and adjusted to specification.

The one precaution you must keep in mind when working with the alternator is guarding against reserve polarity. Reserve polarity of the alternator or the battery for even an instant and you stand a chance of burning out the rectifiers. To prevent accidental grounding, furthermore, you should always use insulated tools when working in the area of ​​the alternator.

Following adjustment of the fan belt, turn your attention to the regulator. Make sure all connections at this unit are tight. Follow this by checking the condition of the regulator points. If you find they're burned or pitted, you'll have to replace the regulator. Now, check and tighten all connections including those to the ignition switch, the ballast resistor, the regulator and the conducting surfaces of the fuse and holder.

Unscrew the brushes from the alternator and inspect them for wear. If worn, replace them.

In some cars, the brushes can be removed from the alternator with the unit in the car. Unscrewing the external cap screws, to which the brushes are attached, does this. In other cars, the unit must be removed from the car to reach the brushes, which can then be unscrewed.

If it becomes necessary to take the unit apart, remove it from the car and split it open, separating the stator from the rotor. Test the rectifiers first. This can be done with a commercial diode tester, although you can also use any continuity tester, such as an ohmmeter or a test lamp that plug into household current.

If a diode is defective, it must be replaced. This requires special tools and should be left to professional shop.

Next inspect the stator wiring carefully for breaks. To be absolutely sure there are none, you should test from the stator leads to the stator core with a 110-volt test lamp or other suitable tester. If the lamp lights, the stator is grounded and should be replaced.

Finally, test the field windings in the rotor part of the alternator. This is done with an ammeter hooked to the alternator battery output terminal while turning the rotor shaft by hand. The correct field current draw should be recorded on the meter. This reading differs from car to car, so check your service manual.

The above description tells you what to do if you are not getting output from the alternator. However, there are things a faultily adjusted or malfunctioning alternator can cause – most can be checked on the car.



Source by Erwin Anantabudhi

Mercedes 126 Repair – The High Idle Saga

One of the most common Mercedes 126 repair challenges is a high idle. Generally, the culprit is electronic, but sometimes a simple mechanical adjustment of the throttle linkage will solve the problem. Of course, older engines are likely to suffer from intake vacuum leaks of varying severity, and these also can cause idle problems. We shall look at vacuum leaks in another article.

ELECTRONIC CAUSES OF HIGH IDLE

  1. The idle control module, located behind the false bulkhead next to the ABS control unit, is the most common cause of problems. The module processes a variety of inputs and controls the voltage sent to the idle control valve, which physically regulates the amount of air supplied to the intake ports whenever the throttle valve is closed. It is definitely useful to have a known working unit available for diagnostic purposes. While there is no one area of ​​the circuit board that we can point to as a frequent location of cracked solder joints, there are four capacitors which tend to die with age. New units cost well over $ 200 and even rebuilt units are pretty expensive. I strongly suspect that, in most cases, all the rebuilders do is replace the capacitors.
  2. The idle control valve can suffer from two problems. The electrical solenoid can fail or, more commonly, the valve simply becomes gummed up with oily deposits. (Some of the crankcase ventilation fumes are routed through the valve.) A good soak in carb cleaner will usually cure this ailment. Be careful not to expose the electrical part of the valve to the solvent.
  3. Very rarely, there is an issue with the lambda control unit, the closest thing these cars have to an ECU. The idle control unit is connected to the lambda controller and "looks for" signals therefrom. Usually, if there is an issue with lambda control the engine will be running poorly anyway (due to incorrect fuel mixtures). If the lambda controller is not functioning at all, the most common reason is a failure of the over-voltage protection relay (OVP) located in the fuse box. There may also be a poor ground connection. The unit itself appears to be extremely reliable, possibly because it lives in a cooler climate – next to the front passenger's feet.
  4. If the idle problem occurs only when in one particular gear, the starter-lockout switch on the side of the transmission may be faulty.
  5. If the problem occurs only when the A / C is used, there may be trouble with the delay relay in the fuse box, which is intended to boost engine revs when the compressor engages, thereby stabilizing idle speed under heavier accessory loads.
  6. Finally, the throttle position switch (TPS) on the side of the throttle body may be defective. This is very unusual and we should be grateful for that, since replacement of the TPS requires removal of the whole intake manifold. Sometimes the switch is simply out of adjustment and can be tapped back into the right position with a long punch.

The TPS informs the idle control unit when the throttle valve is closed, partially open, or wide open. Electrical continuity exists across one pair of three pins, across another pair, or not at all. If the correct signals are not being sent, the switch itself might be perfectly fine; the problem may simply be that the throttle linkage is out of adjustment. The switch is extremely sensitive; even the slightest opening of the throttle is enough to break continuity across the pertinent pins. So it does not take much excess pressure from the linkage to disrupt the system. Ensure that the throttle valve is in fact closing against its stop.

One other basic factor to consider – and one which tends to be neglected in this context – is your ignition timing. Too much ignition advance will most definitely have an effect on idle speed. On the Gen I cars, there is a lot of scope for adjustment, and the engines can handle quite a bit of advance before they start to detonate (ping). Around ten degrees of initial advance is optimal. Bear in mind that the vacuum advance unit adds about 16 degrees of advance at idle (when manifold vacuum is high). Occasionally, the advance unit can cause problems, the main one being a rupture of the internal diaphragm and creation of a vacuum leak at that point.



Source by Richard M Foster