M20 Dreaming

Ester resin is what 90+% of boats and car bodies would be molded from, epoxy is more hi tech and is used more so in the marine industry. Cost is a big factor as you have seen, big thing is that you can put epoxies onto polyester ( as in glue or joining, filling and fairing) but you can not put polyester onto epoxy.
Most boat / runabout construction was a layer of gelcoat first then using a chopper gun, you sprayed yourself a boat or a car body. Epoxy would be too expensive. Hi tech race boats use hi tech epoxies that are often cured / activated in an oven.
Both the boats I built were from polyester resin. (probably stinks more than epoxy too)
Yeah I was reading the applications for the 2 resin's and it is clear that the Ester is probably the better one to use for this job. The price difference is $250 Ester and $400 for the epoxy. Funny you mention boats, my first job when I left school while waiting to start my Panelbeating trade was with "Fiberglass Molders" in East Tamaki building the Haines Hunters and Fleetline boats, I was only there a couple of months.
I'm really looking forward to getting the Glass on this Mold.

Cheers Leon.
Leon, the good thing about using epoxy is that there is vast range of filling , faring and glueing products that you just add to your resin. Micro balloons are just magic to sand. Big thing to watch for is getting an allergy to epoxy, so plenty of good barrier creme and gloves.
Hi Russell, Just bought all my Fiberglass products, I got the same as you with a few extras that I need such as scissors, rollers, spreaders and 20mtrs of woven cloth which was $155, total is $730 delivered to my door. I had no tools so they are a one time cost as long as I look after them.
I'm at work for 3 weeks now so it will all be there when I get home. Don't know how quickly I'll get to it as the T/A is a priority again, so much to do and so little time. I just keep ticking off each job as it happens but I know I need to get some order to the kaos, lots of parts not quite finished.

Cheers Leon.
Hi Leon

Still enjoying watching the progress on your M20 !

I came across a photo showing the front of the M20 chassis in an old magazine. Drop me an email ( mail AT autotuneuk DOT com) and I will forward it on to you, I am not up to speed with posting photos here yet !


Very good choice made if you can go to epoxy versus ester resins solutions ; in addition to the previously given advantages, you will experience 2 attractive points:

*Epoxy retract ( dimensionnal variations) is very low after polymerisation, compared to XXester resins .

*From my point of view, the smelling during operations is much more acceptable than XXester resins!
A huge advantage if you are working at home, with eventually family near-by !

One more interesting point with epoxy resin onto wood ; it sticks so well !!! versus polyester or any vynilester resin that sticks only the day you laminate and then after some weeks of hot weather and bad weather it delaminate so quickly !!! and waste of time to redo all the stuff
the only resin to apply in your case is Epoxy !!! And remember if you do not want to spend hundred of hours in sanding and bogging you need to use "Peelply" on every surfaces ; this (once cured and take off) will give you a quite perfect final aspect ,if done properly you could just spray thick primer and start sanding finishing
Another trick to be sure that your lamination will stick onto all wood you used to built your bodywork is the day before you want to laminate just paint roughtly with some little roll or brush a mix of 85 100/100 acetaone and 20/100 epoxy resin ( part A and part B) This will prepare and secure very niceley the bonding into wood fibers
Hope this helps
I'm confused-
Why would he want to have all that wood stucture bonded to the underside of the body? Seems to me it would make the finished product very heavy.
HI Guys, I will Send you an email Rick most appreciated.
I will be pulling the timber structure out after the glass has cured, I did toy with the idea of leaving it in as a core but flagged that for 2 reasons, weight and moisture affecting the timber under the glass.
Getting a good finish to save the sanding is why I'm using the woven cloth on the top layer or 2 and the chopped strand underneath for strength and volume where it is not seen.
Your car is looking good Rob. Cheers Leon
No updates Terry, the T/A and the uprights have pretty much taken over for the past year but now the T/A has gone and the uprights soon I hope to get back to it. My wife and I are flying to Las Vegas on Tuesday for a week then to Long beach for a Cruise down to Mexico so I'm going to get some parts for the engine while I'm over there.
I will be back into the car very soon.

Hi Russell, I am around this weekend and I will give you a call today and hopefully catch up.

Cheers Leon
but now the T/A has gone
hi mate dose that mean its on its way, yeh ha now to wait for the ph call from customs for the usual donation to the xmass fund.
if i dont talk again before hand have a great trip lucky bugger.
cheers john
Hello Guys,
Thought I would bring you up to date with the MK3 trans axle, I am just doing the selector shafts this weekend and hope to have it all but finished by the end of the Easter break. I have attached some photos and will do some of the selector system when its finished. I have changed to a 4.1 C&P as this is now driven trough the Lay shaft which gives it a .78 overdrive. This is a Jerico so you can change the ratios to what ever you want. I'm pretty happy with this version but I will still have the Q/C option available. I'm currently doing some more Uprights and once I'm on top of these jobs I will be back to working on the car, Hoping to get some F/glass work done next. Cheers Leon


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Hi Leon
Transaxle is looking fantastic, looks just like an LG, excellent work ! Really looking forward to seeing how it performs when you get one finished off. Is this something you are planning to market once its all finalised ?? Would be interested to hear proper specs and any prices if you do. I found another M20 body off shot that I put to one side for you to, will see if I can find it again !
Hi Rick
There are plans to build to order the same as I'm doing with my uprights of which I'm now doing a set for a chap in the US. They are easy the longest part is getting them cast and waiting for bearings to come from Australia. Pricing the Trans is harder because it totally depends on what gear set is used, the diff, shafts and case are the same so those costs are relatively set. As for the M20 Body that sounds interesting keep me posted, it would save me a heap of work and give me real dimensions to compare and adjust the chassis to.
Cheers Leon
I may have missed it but. Are you going to make a mold from the body plug? Or are you going to use it for a one off reverse mold?
As yet I'm undecided, I think I will just make the one off first and if it comes out good I will take a mold off that if I build more cars, I have to find people who want then.
As yet I'm undecided, I think I will just make the one off first and if it comes out good I will take a mold off that if I build more cars, I have to find people who want then.
I would be inclined to take moulds from what you have, that way you can repeat/remake bodies for others (they will find you!!) and also you will be able to make parts exactly how you want them, i.e. thicker/thinner, bit of strengthening here or there. Where as if you just glass over what you have you will be stuck with that one lay up for life. There maybe areas of the body that you think are too thick/too thin but I guess you can grind overly thick areas back and add more cloth to thin areas from underneath.
I used wooden formers on my buck and like you they moved depending on moisture present at the time, I ended up moulding the main parts when there was a spell of high pressure forecast, it worked out ok in the end.
But I will add that it is a darn sight easier getting a good finish on a "buck" than it is by taking a rough mould and trying to polish up the mould.