A new day on the build and a new skill to acquire. Drilling fibreglass through a gel coat. I’ve done a fair bit of research on the best approach to making a nice, clean hole without cracking the lovely shiny surface. I learned a couple of things:
- There are a lot of YouTube videos of guys drilling large holes in fibreglass boats.
- Tape, pilot holes and making the initial mark by running the drill in reverse ensures a well-positioned and clean hole.
Another piece of prep I did for this job was to pinch the idea of a fellow CTG member, Martin, and screw the stone guards onto the rear wings. I chose this approach as the stone guards on my car are a lovely stainless steel, and by the book should be held on with rivets. I felt these were likely to rust over time and so used the same company as Martin – Accu Group – to source some lovely button-head M3 10mm bolts, washers and nuts made from marine-grade A4 stainless steel.
Fitting the stone guards was fiddly but straightforward. The stainless guards come as a flat sheet, with a protective plastic layer protecting the finish. The sheets have the holes for the rivets drilled in them already. I used a handy bucket to approximate a curve in the sheet, then tweaked the curve by hand until the guard sat nicely against the fibreglass.
I then taped it into position, taped the fibreglass under the guard holes and drilled 1.5 mm pilot holes, followed by 3mm holes which were large enough for the bolts. I invested in a new drill for this, my old drill not being up to the spec all those guys drilling holes in boats insisted I needed: a slow speed and the ability to run the drill in reverse at first. Drills have changed a lot since I last bought one. Driverless chucks; who knew?
Following getting acquainted with my new drill, I started to fit the piping between the two surfaces, and drilled though that again, once in position, before inserting the bolts. It seemed simplest to bolt as I went.
With the stone guards on the fibreglass I presented the now much heavier wings to the body to scope out whether I would chop a slot in the wing for the radius arm, or remove the arm and fit the wing around it. I chose the former, it turned out to be a minor job with the Dremel.
I fitted the LHS wing first, and it bolted straight on. The RHS wing needed a bit of fettling, but a few choice words and rotations of the Dremel and it was on. More piping then required between body and wings and, as per the manual, there is a need to cut it for clearance for the bolts and for the curvature of the wings. There’s no two ways about it, this is a pain, but a necessary one.
The car is now much wider, but suddenly starting to look more complete. I’m loving the bling of the stainless, too.