The fiberglass body of a hot rod makes it impervious to rust. On the downside, it cannot withstand an agitated cat’s claws. Learning how to remove fiberglass scratches yourself saves money, does not require a new paint job and can be done in as little as 30 minutes.
* 3M scratch removal system
* Spray bottle with soap and water solution
* Spray bottle with clear water
* Wet paper towel
* Dry paper towels
Prep the Hot Rod
Wash the affected area and dry it with some lint-free paper towels. A spray bottle filled with soap and water is all you really need to get rid of any oily residues or bug guts that accumulated since you first noticed the scratch. As a purist, I prefer to use bottled drinking water for the process. The water in L.A. is hard enough to wreak havoc with a hot rod’s fiberglass body on a good day, much less if there is repair work to be done.
These instructions successfully remove surface scratches that only mar the clear coat. They will not fix gashes or widespread damage to a surface area. If you face these more involved hot rod body problems, bite the bullet and hire a professional to get the job done.
Fix Surface Fiberglass Scratches
1. Spray clear water — from the second bottle — onto the scratch. Open the 3M scratch remover kit and take out the square of 3,000 grit abrasive material. Spray a bit of water onto the square’s surface. You don’t want it dripping wet, just moist.
2. Lightly rub the scratch for five seconds. Wipe the area with the wet paper towel and check the scratch. Is it still there? Repeat the process. Has it disappeared? Stop!
3. Attach the kit’s disc pad holder to the drill. Insert the purple buffing pad and empty some of the rubbing compound onto its surface. Turn on the drill and buff the area. Do not press down hard. Look at the purple pad, if it is only slightly compressing, you are doing it right. If it looks flat against the car’s body or the drill catches, you are doing it too hard.
4. Spray the area with mist from the clean water bottle and pat it dry with lint-free paper towels.
5. Switch out drill pads. Take off the purple buffing pad and replace it with the black polishing pad. Empty a bit of the kit’s scratch remover onto the black pad. Polish the area using the same method you relied on for buffing it.
6. Wipe the area clean with a lint-free paper towel.
This is an excellent Saturday morning or Sunday-after-church project. Do it while the temperatures are mild and the natural light is plentiful. Cold weather and stifling hot temperatures make it difficult to work with the chemicals. In addition, artificial light masks imperfections.