Volcano bus camper remodeling diary ~ Challenge FRP repair! ~ |MOBY [モビー]

MOBY introduces an article written by a writer who actually enjoys staying in the car and camping car from the web magazine DRIMO, which distributes outdoor and car travel information such as camping, staying in the car, van life, etc. To do. *The contents of the following article are quotes and references from DRIMO


This is Yuichiro, who lives a van life in a camper van.

I’m currently driving a 1978 Volkswagen bus, and since it’s a 42-year-old car, there are rags everywhere.

Therefore, I am currently trying to repair this Wagen Bus with DIY.

This time, I will try to repair the rusted and tattered rear part!

Current status of the rear part

First of all, I would like to introduce what the rear part of the Wagen Bus looks like before the repair.

This is the right rear rear part, but since the previous owner of this car repaired it with aluminum tape, I haven’t touched it at all.

I was afraid to know what would happen if I peeled off this aluminum tape, so I kept pretending I didn’t see it (laughs).

Now that I have decided to repair it, after many years of time, the door that has not been opened is finally opened.

Never mind, I will peel off the aluminum tape vigorously.

And what appeared was…

A huge amount of rust!

I was prepared, but it seems that the disease has progressed considerably…

I’m going to peel off the aluminum tape of the next part too.

It also has a very dangerous atmosphere.

After removing the aluminum tape, it looks like this!

The part that I thought was the body had completely collapsed into a large hole.

When you let go of your hand, it sways and shakes, and it looks like it could fall at any time.

The above is the current situation of the rear part to be repaired this time.

Look at this, can this be cured? I decided to try to recover somehow by inspiring my heart that was about to give up.

Repair process flow

For this repair, we chose the method of FRP repair.

FRP is a mixture of plastic resin and glass fibers.Low cost and easy to processThere is a feature.

We could have closed the hole by welding, but this time we chose FRP repair because of cost and ease of processing.

The general flow of the repair process consists of four steps: (1) rust removal, (2) rust conversion, (3) primer application, and (4) FRP resin application.

Challenge FRP repair!

Let’s challenge FRP repair!

We will now discuss each of the above four steps in more detail.

① Remove rust

If the rust is not properly removed in this process, the rust will continue to progress, so here the rust is thoroughly scraped off.

We use all kinds of tools, such as electric files and sanders, to shave, but this is the most time-consuming process.

Basically, most of the classic car repair work is this rust removal work.

② Rust conversion

Once most of the rust has been scraped off, the next step is the rust conversion process.

Apply a rust conversion agent to the part that was scraped earlier to convert the red rust to black rust.

Red rust has the characteristic of corroding and crumbling iron, but by converting it to black rust with a rust converting agent, an oxide film is formed on the surface and prevents the progress of rust.

24 hours after applying the rust converter, the rusted area will turn black as shown in the photo.

Next, scrape the surface further with a file to remove the excess rust conversion agent on the surface.

While envisioning where the FRP will be pasted later, sand a wide area with a file.

At this time, a rough file is used to make scratches so that the primer that will be applied in the next step will adhere easily.

After polishing, the repaired part looks like the photo above.

Compared to before polishing, the rust has also been removed and the surviving iron substrate has appeared. (Actually, some rust remained, so I removed the rust and converted it again after this.)

When I saw the rust that had been progressing for many years, I wondered what would happen, but around this time I began to see the light of hope for repairs.

(3) Primer application

After thoroughly removing the rust, we move on to the primer application process.

The primer acts like an adhesive that makes it easier for the FPR resin to adhere to the body.

Apply the primer agent to the entire surface with a brush.

After drying for 24 hours, it looks like the picture above.

The surface is sticky when you touch it with your hand, and this is what keeps the FRP from peeling off.

After finishing the application of the primer, we move on to the final process of attaching the FRP resin.

④ Paste FRP resin

Before pasting the FRP resin, fix it with a clip etc. and decide the general design.

This process is very important because it greatly affects the finished design.

Experience and high skill are required to decide what kind of design to repair the part with a large hole.

This time, I created a design with the help of my master.

Fill the large holes with putty to create a base for pasting the FRP.

This white Japanese paper-like thing is glass fiber.

By impregnating this with resin and hardening it, the shape of the body is created.

Then, the glass fiber is cut to fit the shape of the repaired part.

The cut glass fibers are impregnated with resin using a roller.

The key to a beautiful finish is to let the resin soak in evenly and thoroughly.

FRP resin impregnated with resin is pasted on the repaired part to create a shape.

Use a roller to paste it neatly according to the shape of the body.

Since the glass fiber was cut to an appropriate size in advance, it was possible to stick it to the repaired part exactly.

Finally, the defoaming roller removes the air from the FRP resin.

If there is air left inside, it will cause it to come off, so remove the air carefully.

After that, leave it to harden the resin and scrape off the excess to complete.

After doing this repair, it looks like the picture below.

Please look! The body, which had rusted and had large holes, was repaired with FRP!

Even if you hit it with your hand, it is solidified so that it does not budge.

When I first saw the rusty state, I wondered what would happen, but now I was able to repair it properly.

Impressions of trying FRP repair

This time, we introduced the state of FRP repair of the rear part.

What is FRP repair? It was my first experience starting from the state of , but I was able to repair it somehow with the guidance of the technician.

The most difficult part of the repair was the process of creating the foundation for the repaired part and deciding on the design.

With a hole this big, it was very difficult to imagine what it would have been like originally.

I was keenly aware of the need for a lot of experience and skill to create the foundation while imagining the original design.

This time it was a big hole, so it was difficult, but if it’s a small hole, I don’t have a hard time making a design, so I think it’s relatively easy for beginners to try.

Repair kits are also sold at car supply stores, so even if you thought “FRP repair is impossible…”, please try this article as an opportunity.

Once you acquire the skills to repair your own car, not only will you become more attached to your car, but you will be able to continue riding it for a long time.

I also want to keep riding this beloved car for a long time while coping well with the progression of rust.

I hope that this article will lead you to the challenge of repair even a little.

Plans for future repairs

In the future, we plan to apply the FRP repair introduced this time to various parts.

After all the repairs are finished, I’m thinking of trying to paint the entire body by myself.

Next time, I would like to introduce the state of all painting of the body.

Please look forward to what color the cute cream-colored body will be reborn!

Writer: Yuichiro

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