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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Topper restoration

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#1 maestro


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Posted 01 April 2013 - 12:32 PM

So I have a topper in need of lots of love, as most are nowadays. The gel coat on mine had yellowed and someone got some, what appeared to be, roofing tar on it and let it sit. I got the tar off but it left a stain. I tried everything to get the stain off when finally using a scotch brite pad and bar keepers friend I scrubbed through the get coat an into the fiberglass.




From there I decide an entire re-application of gel coat is in order. I took it to a local place called C&S Fiberglass. I went in and asked, "Hey I have a fiberglass camper top, can you do a new gel coat on it." "Is it fiberglass?" "Uh, yes." Wait a minute I will ask." While the dummy who met me inside, after I was in the front for a bout 5 minutes, went in the back to "ask if they do gel coat on fiberglass" I looked around the front and wasn't impressed with some of the work I saw up there which included 2 fiberglass pieces and lots of muscle car fenders and what not. After a few more minutes the guy came back out and says, "Well he says we can do it but we can only do white, and it may take a while. We don't do that very often." "Okay thanks." And I left the shop, probably to never return. Keep in mind the place is named C&S Fiberglass and they are not sure nor do they often deal with gel coat. My confidence is low with these dudes. So I decided it is up to me. Crap!


I located some chips and cracks on the gel coat,

I filled them in with some gel coat and sanded. Of course I removed the windows in prep of coating the entire topper with a new layer of gel coat after a prep sanding occured.

Windows out;

Now cleaned and sanded;

This is my first attempt at putting a new coat of gel on. It went bad. I used foam rollers. It has lots of "orange peel". I got dried gel coat in the new gel coat due to the stuff hardens in about 5-10 minutes and came off the roller pan and onto the new roller with my second coat. After that I learned to wait a bit longer between coats and peel the dried stuff out of the roller pan, it comes out easy once you let it dry good. Then pour and mx and roll.

Yeah it was pretty ugly. Since then I have sanded, sanded and after sanding I sanded more. This stuff requires lots of sanding. If you didn't get that already. However so much sanding was required to get all of the orange peel and the trash out I actually went through again in some spots. So a new coat will need to be applied. Anyone know of a type of foam roller that won't break down and the gel coat won't cling to so bad. Most of the orange peel seemed to be from it sticking to the roller. But I feel it is ready for a new layer and am waiting for warmer weather. This stuff stinks to high heaven. I need the garage door open for application an curing time. So for now I've been polishing on the windo frames.

This was a start.

This is finished polishing but before I painted the centre strip. More to come.

Anyone have a good idea for a new seal that fits between the topper and the truck bed? Mine is dead.

Edited by maestro, 01 April 2013 - 01:03 PM.

#2 doughildreth


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Posted 01 April 2013 - 09:14 PM

If you find a gasket material I would like to know what works.

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