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Dodge Viper Hood

I have a customer that wants his hood redone on his dodge viper. The car has been painted in the past and the work looks great, however the hood is fiberglass and almost looks like the fiberglass has shrank up over time. I am not sure if that is even possible, but that is what it looks like. He said that it was a new aftermarket hood and it was slick at first but took almost a year to change. This car has an extreme amount of heat coming from the engine and he thinks this is the main cause of the issues. The heat is also starting to cause blisters in the paint. I was wondering if some of you with more experience with fiberglass could let me know what your steps would be to repair to ensure this doesn't happen again down the road. I attached a picture. Another issue is the hinge areas. the hood is so long and heavy that the hinge areas need repairing. I also attached a picture of the hinge area. Only one side has a small crack but both hinge areas you can see the outline of the reinforcement under the top layer of fiberglass. What would be the best way to repair these areas too? Thanks in advance.



Paint Fanatic
Staff member
I answered this in a text but this is very important for the rest of the people to know.
Standard procedure for most shops, because they have been burnt by this, is the past is anytime they get a new fiberglass piece is set it in the sun for at least 3 days to finish curing, even if it were in a warehouse for 10 years.
Bottom line is it takes UV to final cure these parts, I have seen the contraction of paint, bubbling and worse gaps changing, if not UV cured.


evil painter
Yep, it shrinks it's most when new, but still shrinks some continually. Not the toughest or a forever perfect product. Us familiar with it know this well.
But the good news is it's reasonably easy to work on. For a crack you need to at least v-groove & feather back 1 side & fill back with matt & resin. Usually the crack runs through & you want to feather in the other side after the first side is dry enough.
High quality fresh polyester resin will work, but an epoxy resin is really best for repairs. Messier, but stronger & shrinks less.
You can thicken some on underside in needed areas with matt & resin for added strength, but something with a little shape in it, such as laying over a small 1/2 round foam strip will give much more reinforcement strength rather than mostly just adding weight. I have also added reinforcements such as handformed aluminum flanged bracing to the underside with panel adhesive.
With bubbling you at least need to sand/grind down to gelcoat in bad spots or even deeper if there are any underlying air pockets. If needed may even want to deep sand down entire hood. If any spot hints at surface movement when touching , it will come back to haunt if not dealt with.
In the past I've started out with evercoat g-2 as a base primer on raw fiberglass work. Ok but spi epoxy would be a better base. Any quality filler can be used for final surfacing.
Again , several sun days will help before final sanding & paint.
The best repairs can still later have at least some ghosting effects with heat changes as it ages, but best work will keep it minimum.
This was just a short crash course for you but other than some modern product improvement fiberglass basics haven't changed much over the years & even a 40 year old boat repair book will still have useful basics.


Paint Fanatic
Staff member
I will never forget but about 10 years ago was with a jobber and he said I have a shop that wants to show you a job he just finished with.
$125,000 build on a 50 truck but bought a fiberglass cab for it.
He took a ball bearing and rolled it down every gap, proud as a Peacock and it was just a perfect job inside and outside of the truck.
The customer picked up the truck next day and about a month later the shop called me and said truck just come back and the hood and door gap are all out of wack and two bubbles on the roof.
First thing I asked was how many days in the sun did you give the cab before you prepped it and the answer was none.
He really had no experience with major fiberglass work, just flares, and small items.