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Mitchelkitman 7th August 2020 16:40

'Carbon' filler
 
I saw a repeat of Wheeler Dealers on Quest last week during which the 'renovators' used electric (or air?) sanders to rub down the bodywork of a Corvette Stingray and then filled huge areas with filler paste which contained carbon fibre. Firstly I wonder if they damaged the body by not taking things easy and using hand tools - that aside, has anyone here used this substance and GRP paste to give a comparison? I can't imagine it's any better than GRP Paste (ie resin and 6mm copped strands), is it just hype? "Carbon MUST be better than glassfibre" doesn't convince me any! Maybe I'm getting cynical in my old age :icon_confused:

Mister Towed 7th August 2020 18:38

My best guess is that chopped horse hair in ordinary polyester filler would do the same job as either carbon or csm strands. It's just something to hold the filler together and stop it cracking when you bridge gaps.

I'm sure in a lot of these car restoration shows, the star mechanic probably could do a good job given enough time, but instead picks up a sander, reads off the auto-cue "I'm just going to flat down the bodywork with this random orbital sander and some 800 grit wet and dry discs." does a couple of shots to camera wielding the sander while wearing a dust mask, then buggers off back to their trailer while some flunkies spend a week doing it properly.

There are too many occasions in those shows where they make it look like fabricating and welding in new panels is a five minute job.

Oh, sorry to go off on a tangent, to answer your actual question I haven't tried carbon fibre filler but the csm stuff does the job even if it is a bit of a pain to use as it doesn't spread as smoothly as standard filler (that's a massive understatement).

molleur 7th August 2020 21:41

agree with the massive understatement.
Carbon fibers must be a bear to sand as well.

Lucky@LeMans 7th August 2020 23:40

You've got it one Mister Towed ! Its not just the car shows but others such as Salvage Hunters " The Restorers" etc etc. Some of the things they do make you cringe. The first instalment of Vintage Voltage showed one of the expert team drilling a hole with a hole saw. You can't really mess that up but he did and the crew spent several minutes filming the bodging and they didn't edit it out ! It looked like he had never used a hole saw or done much practical work to be honest ! Not sure about carbon filler, probably no better than P40, however I just googled it and it isn't much more money.

Mister Towed 8th August 2020 08:43

Don't get me started on Vintage Voltage. I'm watching every episode as I'm really keen on the idea of Classic Electric powered vehicles, but WTF!

The show starts by saying that owners want:

More power! - fine, it's comforting to be able to keep up with modern traffic;

Less damage to the environment! - okay, so it's likely that mankind is affecting the climate with industrial and vehicle emissions which can't be a good thing;

And cheaper running costs! - great, I'm all for saving some money if I can and EV's are likely to remain exempt from inner City emissions/congestion taxes, at least until everyone's been forced to have one.

To take those in order, More Power! isn't always necessary for the cars they're converting. Okay, the 1960's Fiat 500 struggles anywhere outside of the city gates, but it's a city car and its job is to move you around town cheaply while looking incredibly cool.

There are other cars in their workshop that just don't need the extra power - there's a Lancia Fulvia coupe in the background. Unless you're involved in competitive racing, 90bhp is plenty in a lightweight, agile coupe on skinny tyres, whether it's a weekend toy or your daily driver.

And less damage to the environment? Well, most classics are driven very few miles in a year so use little fuel, which equals low emissions. The resources needed to make the car in the first place were also mined at least forty years ago, so most of the environmental damage was already done long ago.

Once converted to EV, it's true that there are no longer any tail pipe emissions from the car. Great. But, harmful particulates are still pumped into the atmosphere from the tyres wearing on the road surface. Also, the electricity still has to be generated somewhere, so until our mains supply is 100% renewable you're just moving the pollution somewhere else.

The batteries also require huge quantities of rare metals and minerals that are being dug out of the ground somewhere on the planet on an industrial scale using diesel powered machines. Don't tell me that's harmless to the planet.

Now the bit that really gets my goat. Cheaper running costs. Okay, your average classic probably returns 30mpg and DVLA records show that it travels, on average, about 2,000 miles a year, while the Road Tax (zero for both at the moment) and insurance are likely to be the same.

Ongoing maintenance is going to be a little more for the classic with oil changes and replacement engine parts, but the EV has a hell of a service bill looming one day when the batteries fail, so we'll call that even.

So, that really just leaves the fuel costs. With petrol at 1.20 a litre (5.45 per imperial gallon), your annual fuel cost would be 363.00 or about 30 per month for the average classic user.

Use it as your main car and do, say, 10,000 miles per year and that rises to about 1,800 per year or 150 per month. Whatever mileage you do, it's about 18p per mile (my Midget returns just over 40mpg so fuel cost is actually 13p per mile).

EV's, it seems, use about 5p's worth of electricity per mile, saving you typically 13p per mile, or 8p per mile in my case.

Wow, that would save a higher mileage owner 1,300 per year in fuel costs while also saving a little of their bit of the planet!

I typically do about 3,000 miles per year of classic motoring so it could save me 240 a year, that's a whopping 20 per month! Just think of what I could spend that on!

But hang on a minute. How much does the Electric conversion cost?

Got a rather nice 1960's Karmann Ghia Coupe worth around 15K?

Want it to go at least 120 miles before rolling to an embarrassing stop?

Conversion cost is Thirty Grand to you Chief...

Thirty Grand?

So, given that the purchase price of the car is irrelevant, once you've paid for your conversion, how long is it before you start saving yourself some money?

Well, if I converted my Midget to the same spec as that Karmann Ghia, I would break even in just one hundred and twenty five years. That's the year 2145 and I'll be looking forward to celebrating my 200th birthday around twenty years later.

But what if it's your only car I hear you say. Doesn't it make more sense then? Well, at 10,000 miles per year and 30mpg, our driver would break even and start saving money after only 23 years.

I wonder how long the batteries last?

I think I'll be sticking to fossil fuels at least until the end of this century.

Lucky@LeMans 8th August 2020 10:15

It doesn't ad up to do a conversion, financially or environmentally. There might be performance gains but like you say it isn't always needed. Your conversion might have 150 mile range but that isn't much if you want to go outside your area, to a show for example. I suppose you could trailer it !
Maybe in the future there will be plenty of used Tesla motors in the scrap yards for a few hundred quid and batteries will be cheap and readily available. That might come in 25 years time at which point I'll be in the local nursing home !

Mitchelkitman 8th August 2020 14:39

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mister Towed (Post 104898)
My best guess is that chopped horse hair in ordinary polyester filler would do the same job as either carbon or csm strands. It's just something to hold the filler together and stop it cracking when you bridge gaps.

I'm sure in a lot of these car restoration shows, the star mechanic probably could do a good job given enough time, but instead picks up a sander, reads off the auto-cue "I'm just going to flat down the bodywork with this random orbital sander and some 800 grit wet and dry discs." does a couple of shots to camera wielding the sander while wearing a dust mask, then buggers off back to their trailer while some flunkies spend a week doing it properly.

There are too many occasions in those shows where they make it look like fabricating and welding in new panels is a five minute job.

Oh, sorry to go off on a tangent, to answer your actual question I haven't tried carbon fibre filler but the csm stuff does the job even if it is a bit of a pain to use as it doesn't spread as smoothly as standard filler (that's a massive understatement).

Agree with you about the presentations on TV. They always make a 'profit' on Wheeler Dealers, until you realise there MUST be some additional repairs we don't see on the show, and the mechanic(s) must be working for about 5 an hour :badgrin:
I did wonder if my hair cuttings gathered from the post-lockdown cut could be used in resin to make a strong filler ?
The csm+resin is stronger than 'filler' and of course it doesn't shrink like some filler tends to do over time - I guess the choice depends on how much imperfection we are trying to rectify?

Lucky@LeMans 8th August 2020 15:30

In the whole of the Wheeler Dealer episodes there have only been one or two occasions where they made a profit. They don't factor in going to look at the car, going to collect the car, the hours spent / charged restoring the car etc. They never ask enough, even for the often oily rag make over, then Mike is grinning that he made a profit ! Its not even his money ! He's just the presenter ( an over paid one at that ! )
The only program that comes across as close to being genuine is Fast n Loud. They have gone through lots of employees, they do show the whole build and they do make a profit even though Richard appears to rip people off ! At least his numbers add up from a business point of view ! Probably a **** to work for if there is any reality in it !

Mister Towed 9th August 2020 12:36

Will have to look up fast and loud, hadn't heard of that one before.

I rather like Phantom Works - there's a running tally of how many days the restoration has taken and they often exceed a year. The owner also gives the customer a complete breakdown of where the money was spent and occasionally comes in well under budget.

As for Mike B, I live in hope that he restores a 250GT SWB and I'm the first to view it when he sells. The conversation would go something like this.

Mike B - 'I can tell you like the mo'er an I'm asking five millyon pahnd. Wanna make me an offer?'

Me - 'Erm, I do like the car, Mike, but I was thinking of offering you a tenner.'

Mike B - 'Ten quid? Cash? And you'd take it away now?'

Me - 'Erm, yes.'

Mike B, after some chin rubbing - 'Old aht yer 'and, son, you've got yerself a crackin' deal!'

Lucky@LeMans 9th August 2020 20:14

Edit - " Cockney Spelling " Lol ! You didn't mention the his old "China Plate" China !

There are plenty of old "Fast n Loud" episodes on youtube as well as DMAX channel 37, at 8pm throughout the week.

Mister Towed 10th August 2020 07:27

Thanks Lucky, I'll take a look.

thecarbuilder246 6th September 2020 23:22

Wheeler Dealers
Do you remember the cobra replica? Edd took it for an IVA? Well on another forum a guy there worked at the IVA testing station and it failed about 8 times before it scraped through. Didn't show that either. But filler question. I'd guess another advertiser gimmick-and I wouldn't want to sand it down. But then again you don't really want to be sanding down the fibreglass stuff. If I use it it's left low and a thin skim of filler is used on top to finish off.
ian


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