Prior to adding resin and reinforcement to the Arctic Cat Snowmobile Hood, we need to grind the areas in need of repair.  Grinding will remove the damaged resin and glass, including problems from the past failed repair.  This allows us to bond new resin and fiberglass to the existing good material.  For repairs to be successful, proper bonding is extremely important.  Removing contaminants and loose/damaged glass, resin, and gelcoat is one of the most critical steps in assuring a successful repair.

The repair will include both the inside and outside of the hood.  The inside is a structural repair and the outside is mostly a cosmetic repair.

On the inside, I used a flat-disk right angle air grinder to remove the necessary material so that the repair could bond onto clean, original fiberglass.

Proper safety precautions must be observed.  Gloves, glasses, and ear protection are all necessary.  Skin protection  is advised, as the dust can cause itching and irritation.  It is also very important to not breathe the dust.

Flat disk air powered angle grinder.

This is a messy job.  Lots of fiberglass dust is generated during the process of removing material to get down to a good bonding surface.

Inside of the fiberglass snowmobile hood ground down to bondable fiberglass.

These two corners of the snowmobile hood were cracked, repaired, and cracked again.  The grinding had to remove most of the failed repair and get down the bondable fiberglass.  It is important to remove shiny areas to allow for a good bond to form between the existing materials and the new repair materials.

This area was ground out so that new fiberglass material could be added to repair the crack. Heavy abrasion will improve the bonding ability of the new material.

The outside of the hood had cosmetic damage.  While doing the dirty and messy grinding job on the inside of the hood, it is just as easy to keep going and doing the outside of the hood too.

I switched to an air-powered rotary file (grinder) to remove the cracked gelcoat and contamination.

Air operated rotary file working away to remove the cracked gelcoat and loose fiberglass on the outside front of the Arctic Cat Snowmobile hood.

It is important to grind out any cracks and loose material. Contaminants need to be removed as well.  The abrasion will greatly improve the bonding of the new resin with the old subsurface.

Bad gelcoat is removed and crack is ground back to allow for addition of new repair resin.

Once the grinding is complete, it is important to remove all of the accumulated dust while keeping the surface free of contamination.  Compressed air works well, but it must not contain water vapor or oil.

Now we are ready to move on to the fiberglass and resin. Click here for the next step.