Bronco Forum - Full Size Ford Bronco Forum banner

1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Premium Member
If it is not a Bronco, it's just not worth driving.....
Joined
·
1,851 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Updated: My topper repair and repainting

I have had a topper in the back yard for a while waiting for me to clean it up and paint it so I could replace the topper that is on my truck now.

I thought I would tackle this chore before it got cold and painting would be out of the question. I started cleaning up the new topper and found this …..

Topper picture 1, 2 & 3

The double reinforcement bars on the front bottom edge was cracked. So, I decided I would ditch the new topper and just repaint my old one that was on the truck. So, I climbed inside just to check the topper on my truck now and it was also cracked in the same place.

I decided to use the topper that I bought to be the replacement and fix the crack before painting it and putting it on my truck.

I started by grinding out the casting channels and the middle dividers.


.
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
If it is not a Bronco, it's just not worth driving.....
Joined
·
1,851 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Topper picture 4 & 5

Test fitting the oak board going in as a new backboard.

Topper picture 6

Test fitting fiberglass cloth going in between the oak board and the factory cast ribs for reinforcement.

Topper picture 7

I drilled holes in the sides of the ribs to add areas for extra grip for the polyester resin going in with the fiberglass cloth.

Topper picture 8

Close up of prepped and cleaned ribs. I sand blasted the inside of the channel to clean out the paint so the polyester resin would stick to the fiberglass ribs better.
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
If it is not a Bronco, it's just not worth driving.....
Joined
·
1,851 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Topper picture 9

I had a very short window of time to work with the polyester resin and cloth so I didn’t not take time to take and photos during the layup of the cloth and resin. It was also very sticky and my hands were covered with resin and fiberglass fragments so I wasn’t about to touch my cell phone.

The picture below is the completed fiberglass cloth and resin with the backbone board in place. After the resin was set, I trimmed all of the excess cloth and cleaned up the area. It isn’t too pretty, but it is definitely stronger than the old crack was, and I would bet it is stronger than it was from the factory.

Make sure you pack as much wetted fiberglass cloth into the voids around the backbone.
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
If it is not a Bronco, it's just not worth driving.....
Joined
·
1,851 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Topper picture 10

Close up of finished backbone.

Topper picture 11

I decided to clean up the top with my sandblaster. I wanted to make sure any oxidized paint and anything else was cleaned off so I figured my sandblaster would work best. The most important thing to remember if you are using a sandblaster on fiberglass is you MUST keep the sandblaster moving. If you sit in one spot too long, you will eat a hole through your top. Below is a picture of my topper while sandblasting and I am about to finish it. Can you spot the areas I have already cleaned off???

Topper picture 12

After getting it all cleaned off I prepped the topper with automotive spray can primer. Bare fiberglass will soak up A LOT of paint. I figured it would be better to soak up primer instead of my expensive paint.
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
If it is not a Bronco, it's just not worth driving.....
Joined
·
1,851 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Topper picture 13, 14, 15 & 16

The finished painted topper.

I searched the forums about repainting toppers to help me decide what the best paint to use would be. I did not come up with a definitive answer on what paint to use.

I went to Car Quest for some paint for my dash and while I was there I asked them about paint for my topper. I asked them for a flat paint that would be going on fiberglass and exposed to the elements and UV rays. They suggested Emron 3.5 Reduced gloss polyurethane topcoat. It is paint that uses an activator and it is tintable to any color desired. It is commonly used on heavy equipment and is very durable. Sound just like what we would need for Bronco toppers. It is on the expensive side, but if I can paint my top and it last for a good ten years I figure it would be worth the extra cost.

I bought 5 pints of paint just to make sure I had enough to do the job. I didn’t want to mix batches of paint. After putting on two coats of paint I ended up with enough left to do another complete topper. 3 pints would be more than enough. I used a paint roller instead of my sprayer. I was afraid the paint would set up in my sprayer and ruin it.

I think it turned out pretty good.
 

Attachments

·
Premium 4 Lyfe - Way Back Staff
'95 XLT: 5.8, MAF, E4OD, 4.56's, 6" on 33's
Joined
·
37,806 Posts
damn man. a super solid fill repair and it looks like new. excellent work man. thanks for sharing the details. :thumbup
 

·
Joisey don't smell funny
Joined
·
1,322 Posts
Very nice work! The color is perfect! :thumbup
 
  • Like
Reactions: klh95bronco

·
Premium Member
If it is not a Bronco, it's just not worth driving.....
Joined
·
1,851 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Awesome, klh! I need to do this to my '87- looks like hammered crap. Would it make sense to do this in bedliner?

I could see you doing this kind of repair in bed liner. I wouldn't use spray can bed liner though. The spray can bed liner stuff I have tried hasn't been very good on the quality. Linex and Rhino lining come in different colors now so that would definitely be doable, but it is very expensive. Last time I checked, it was about $450 to do a truck bed. That is about the same square feet as a bronco topper.

I spent about $100 on this Emron paint that I used, but as I stated in the thread above, I bought enough to do two tops so you could spend half what I did and save a lot of money.

I guess I could put the other half of my paint on the for sale section and see if anyone bites...:popc1:




Thanks for all of the kind words guys ...:thumbup


.
 

·
Registered
1996 Eddie Bauer 5.8L,Trailer Tow Package, Tilt Steering Wheel, Rear Torsion Bar
Joined
·
92 Posts
Very nice job klh. you prove the point that the "prep" work is the key to a great job.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
very well done.....the results are amazing!
 

·
Premium Member
If it is not a Bronco, it's just not worth driving.....
Joined
·
1,851 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Update on the Topper

After getting everything put back together, I discovered I had some leaks. I tested for leaks by spraying the back glass are with a water hose and found a couple of leaks.

I wanted to post an update and share what I found. I will post the topper leaks on this thread but I also found some tailgate leaks that I will share in another thread.

The video posted is the leak test I performed. My wife made me dub over the audio because she didn’t like the way she sounded on the video clip. Sorry about the portrait orientation of the video, wife filmed the clip....



Topper picture 18
This picture shows where the back glass runs up into the rubber seal and the cavity molded into the topper side rubber seal.
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
If it is not a Bronco, it's just not worth driving.....
Joined
·
1,851 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Topper picture 19 & 20
This picture shows the rubber seal pushed back exposing a second cavity between the fiberglass topper and the end of the rubber side seal.

What was happening is any water that gets into the rubber back glass seal that goes around the sides and top of the glass was being directed to this area of the rubber side seals. Once the water got to the bottom, it would come into the cargo area past the side seals.

Topper Picture 21
This picture shows the back glass seal pulled out so I can get to the cavity area without having to deal with the seal.

I pushed silicone into the cavity sealing it off and this diverts any water away from the cargo area. I also put some silicone into the fiberglass channel to “glue” the rubber seal back into the channel and help seal it also.

I did not try to take and photos after completing the sealing job because I did not want to disturb the silicone by pushing the rubber back glass seal open for the photos.

After everything dried, I tested it again and I had no leaks from this area!
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
You can order the "Tintable" Raptor Liner kit with spay gun included (Get the 4 bottle kit if its just your Top). You can get this off of amizon. Then take the matching color paint code to an automotive paint store. You will only need 1 pint if your doing your cab (You only need 3 oz of paint to mix with each bottle and It took me 2 bottles to do my shell). Let the paint paint store know that youre using it as a tint, so they give you the proper paint set up. I just did mine this past weekend and it came out amazing.
Edit or delete this

157668
157671
 

Attachments

·
Registered
1982 Bronco XLT Lariat, 351W, C6; 1989 Bronco XLT, 302, AOD
Joined
·
229 Posts
@klh95bronco and @TimmyD - y'all did a great job on refinishing the toppers on your Broncos!
I'm not confident enough in my abilities to try something like that. My '89 XLT (had) has a black topper. It was faded out almost white when I took it to a local new car dealer's shop. They removed the top and prepared it for refinishing similar to what you show in your pictures. They painted it black as was the original, and cost me $300.00. It looked very good and I was proud of it for about four months, then it started to bubble and then the bubbles ruptured, exposing the white fiberglass. Returned it to the shop to ask questions about what happened. They couldn't answer the questions but contacted the supplier of the paint. They wound up refinishing the top again at no cost. About four months later did the same thing. They did some work on my F150 at no cost to cover the ill-fated work on the Bronco. Still leaves me with a topper that needs to be repainted.
I like what I see and read about your toppers.
I am going to print your comments about the Emron paint and give it to the repair shop. Maybe they can get things to work out right the third time!
TB
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top