Following the repair of the inside of the fiberglass hood from the Arctic Cat snowmobile, it is time to tackle the outside portion of the repair.

The outside of the hood had gelcoat that had been damaged, and is in need of a cosmetic repair.  The hood had been prepped with a grinder to remove loose pieces and provide an abraded surface that will have good bond strength.

The first step is to remove the tape that had been limiting resin intrusion.  The resin was well on the way to curing prior to the tape being removed.

Tape removed. The backside had just been repaired and the tape held the resin from coming through.

Tape had been applied at the other corner to keep resin from coming through.

Next was to begin the actual repair.  The area was taped off to limit the resin and filler getting onto the neighboring gelcoat.  The tape was used more as a dam than as a flat edge.

These areas had been ground out. Then they were taped off to limit the mess of the filler.

The repair material was a filled epoxy resin.  The first step is to apply the pure mixed epoxy to the the substrate.  This is done prior to the application of the filler.  It helps with the bonding process to have some pure epoxy between the filler and the fiberglass.

Then a batch of epoxy filler was mixed into a thick paste to be applied to the repair areas.  Part of the challenge is to fill the voids to be level with the existing gelcoat.  If they are too high, they will need to be sanded off.  Too low and a bunch more filler will be required.

This shows the brownish-red filler applied to the repair areas.

The filler paste takes a while to cure.  Once it does, the tape can be removed.

The filler had cured and the tape was removed.

Then the sanding can begin.  Beginning with a coarse grit helps the work go faster, but there is greater risk of creating damage to the surrounding gelcoat.  The first pass here was at 80 grit.

The first sanding is completed. You can see some of the sanding went over to the neighboring gelcoat, but it was limited with careful work.

These areas were sanded by hand.  Power tools are available, but the overlap onto the gelcoat would have been greater.  Depending on your project, that may not be as important to you.  Going after an area with power tools runs the risk of flattening out the entire area and removing a bunch of gelcoat.  The whole profile of the are could end up being sunken down from the original profile.

One of the other areas after being sanded.

There were still a few very minor low spots that required filler.  This was more of a “skin coat” so there was not the need for all of the tape.

A followup application of filler was not as extensive, so there was not a requirement for tape. The was applied with a gloved fingertip.

All of the areas were skimmed with a thin layer of filler.  Following cure, they were sanded again, but this time only a few high spots were sanded with 80 grit.  The next stage was some 180 grit, finishing with some 320 grit sandpaper.

The final sanding was to ensure a smooth transition from the repair areas to the gelcoat areas.  Making sure that there were not any dips or lines in the repair transitions will help to ensure that the repair will not be spotted.  Sometimes the hard edges can be seen with a visible eye, but an experienced touch is the best way to check out a transition.  Running your entire hand (not just your fingers) over the repair will help you gauge the smoothness and straightness of the repair.

The second filler application had been sanded smooth. Now everything is at one smooth layer.

The last thing to do is to paint the repair areas of the hood.