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Old 03-21-2008, 01:49 PM   #1
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I have a 2004 Journey and a number of metal supports are epoxyed to the fiberglass. Some of them have come loose and I have tried to fix them by regluing with the same epoxy as the original.

Now they have come loose again. Mainly, the grill over the engine that has a metal frame glued to the fiberglass cover.

Now, a mounting hinge on the front service cover mounting is loosening on one side from the fiberglass front cap. Eventually, it's going to come off and it appears that satisfactory regluing will be very difficult.

In the 'real world', has anyone found a better solution other than drilling holes and using some sort of pan head or flat round head bolts to make a permanent fix?

Thanks for your ideas.

Carle McFarland, 2004 Journey 36G
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Old 03-21-2008, 01:49 PM   #2
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I have a 2004 Journey and a number of metal supports are epoxyed to the fiberglass. Some of them have come loose and I have tried to fix them by regluing with the same epoxy as the original.

Now they have come loose again. Mainly, the grill over the engine that has a metal frame glued to the fiberglass cover.

Now, a mounting hinge on the front service cover mounting is loosening on one side from the fiberglass front cap. Eventually, it's going to come off and it appears that satisfactory regluing will be very difficult.

In the 'real world', has anyone found a better solution other than drilling holes and using some sort of pan head or flat round head bolts to make a permanent fix?

Thanks for your ideas.

Carle McFarland, 2004 Journey 36G
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Old 03-21-2008, 02:03 PM   #3
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Carle, on the few of these Ive seen, and experienced on my Adventurer, the prblem was that their attempt to glue the parts together, was attempted either on a shiny metal surface, or a painted surface. Both are recipes to failure. The repairs I've made were done with JB Weld, after the mating surfaces were "ground rough", all traces of paint removed. Idealy, after the new epoxy is applied, some sort of pressure should be applied, either by bracing, or clamping. I dont know if thats possible in your application, but the "joints" Ive re glued have held for several years. If it helps, I made some simple 1"x1" sticks of a length to brace, ( force) the pieces to be glued together.Your experience may vary...rgr...
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Old 03-21-2008, 02:09 PM   #4
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by rgrstndgby:
Carle, on the few of these Ive seen, and experienced on my Adventurer, the problem was that "they" attempted to glue to either a shiny metal surface, or a painted one. Both are recipes to failure. The repairs I've made were done with JB Weld, after the mating surfaces were "ground rough", all traces of paint removed. Idealy, after the new epoxy is applied, some sort of pressure should be applied, either by bracing, or clamping. I dont know if thats possible in your application, innovation is good here, but the "joints" I've re glued have held for several years. If it helps, I made some simple 1"x1" sticks of a length to brace, ( force) the pieces to be glued together.Your experience may vary...rgr...
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Old 03-21-2008, 02:50 PM   #5
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This is a fairly common problem. The original adhesive is not epoxy but I don't remember the chemical name (but it is a two-part system.)

My engine 'grill' became separated from its fiberglass mate a year ago and Winnie sent me some original adhesive which I used to refasten the grill.

So far, so good.
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Old 03-21-2008, 02:54 PM   #6
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I used a PL400 Polyurethane on my rear cap and grill (and clamps). This seemed to work very well and held without any failure. I did ask Winne about this when we got our new coach and was told that 3M came up with a new glue that has solved the problem. You might want to check with them and see if you can get the new formula.
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Old 03-22-2008, 02:52 AM   #7
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The J-B Weld worked really worked good for me also. After many years in the composite aircraft parts industry, I don't see why this should ever be a problem. A lot of airplane parts are "glued" together also. Imagine a failure there.
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Old 03-22-2008, 03:58 AM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> A lot of airplane parts are "glued" together also. Imagine a failure there.
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Naw, don't want to imagine that AT ALL!!!
You guys are right however. This technique is used in most of the RV industry. The entire front cap of the coach we just sold was 'glued'. Metal attachment brackets were attached to the fiberglass shell and these bolted to the frame with slotted holes for adjustment. Pretty good way of attaching FG to metal.
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Old 03-22-2008, 05:47 AM   #9
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WIZARD said

]I don't see why this should ever be a problem.[/quote]

It sure shouldn't be, just poor prep. and supervision. Like the window blind grommet deal, seems like sometimes Winnebago (tho they are certainly not alone)..has trouble getting workers to understand "the whats and whys" behind their job...sure burns up alot of $$$, and customer good faith...rgr..
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Old 03-22-2008, 10:53 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the good ideas. I just spent the morning taking the front service cover off and inspecting the mount really well. It seems that the metal bracket was painted before being stuck onto the fiberglass and the adhesive used was a massive amount that squeezed around the edges and through holes in the bracket so that when it dried and cured, it could have a mechanical hold as well as a chemical hold.

It appears the mechanical part broke and the chemical adhesion couldn't take it.

So.... I'm going to let it remain partly loose and when it breaks completely, I will take the whole thing off, clean both surfaces well and use J-B Weld as some of you have suggested. Then I will paint the exposed metal surfaces for weather protection and hope for the best.

I will probably need to grind the remaining adhesive on the fiberglass to clean it and seat the bracket correctly.

Carle McFarland,2004 Journey 36G
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Old 03-22-2008, 11:35 AM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I will probably need to grind the remaining adhesive on the fiberglass to clean it and seat the bracket correctly. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


I'll bet you find some paint in there as well..rgr...
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Old 03-22-2008, 12:06 PM   #12
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I found a metal bracket lying in the driveway under the front end of the motorhome. I found the same thing you guy found, bracket glued to the fiberglass cap. When I talked to Winnebago they said they are using a new adhesive, called "Plexus" Methacrylate Metal Bonding Adhesive.

Found an article about it here:
http://www.rv-news.com/oct2001/oems_suppliers.cfm

Found the company at:
http://www.itwplexus.com/home.html

Found its very expensive!! Haven't tried it as yet. Winne said to clean off all the old adhesive. If that is done, then it's going to take a LOT of expensive Plexus to redo!
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Old 03-22-2008, 03:33 PM   #13
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In addition to cleaning the bonding surfaces before trying to reglue, many have found that drilling some decent sized holes in the metal surface greatly helps. When you push the two surfaces together, the glue oozes through the hole and when dried therefore holds much tighter than to a solid surface.
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Old 12-27-2008, 05:15 PM   #14
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Same deal just happened to me: 2007 Winne Tour, grill just came off in the drive. There's more to it than just glueing it back; the 2 struts will have to be replaced, as you can't collapse them in order to reattach the grill. Anybody bought any of those? I think this is my last (high end) Winnie.
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Old 12-27-2008, 06:57 PM   #15
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HAd same problem about 3yrs ago used jb weld to fix has held so far would use it again just my two cents
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Old 12-28-2008, 07:44 AM   #16
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On A Tour, Before you buy new struts try taking them off of the mounting brackets and then re-attaching the grill. After the grill is finished curing, re-attach the struts. everything should work properly then. Indiana Journey
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Old 12-28-2008, 12:56 PM   #17
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Try JB Weld. My front engine housing door came loose from the metal and I reglued it using JB Weld and after a trip on the roads of New England, Canada, and Nova Scotia last summer, it still holds. The product is not that expensive either. Be sure to clean and scuff up the fiberglass and metal before applying the glue. I used a dremel tool with a small wire brush to clean and scuff with. Good Luck, Al
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Old 12-29-2008, 03:13 AM   #18
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thanks to all for your excellent suggestions; i am going to give it a try myself with JB weld. Last question any suggestions on collapsing the "struts"? they're really tight and very hard to move. Only idea so far is to use a cargo strap and try to ratchet them closed before remounting?
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