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Old 11-04-2011, 03:53 AM   #1
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Default Vintage Chassis restoration, removing super glue from Carbon fiber. Ideas?

I've got a chassis I'm trying to restore. There were some fiberglass strips that were superglued to the chassis over the battery slots. There are lots of edges underneath the fiberglass piece, I can't just yank it off there without delaminating the graphite it's glued to, or risk cracking it. I'm afraid to try something like acetone for fear of delaminating the chassis.

Any ideas appreciated.

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Old 11-04-2011, 04:40 AM   #2
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Try heating the fiber glass piece until it cooks the glue and lets go.

I know it works on timber boats with a heat gun and fiber glass taping
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Old 11-04-2011, 05:28 AM   #3
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Commercial superglue debonder contains nitromethane. It's useful for unsticking fingers, so it might not harm the chassis.
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Old 11-04-2011, 05:30 AM   #4
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soak it in acetone (note usual H&S stuff!)
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Old 11-04-2011, 07:37 AM   #5
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I'd be a little worried to use acetone directly on chassis, if you can put your chassis into a sealed box with a little cup of acetone under it (without touching) and leave over night you might be able to take it appart in the morning, I am not too sure then about what this might do to carbon, if you have a little piece of carbon it could be well worth it to try first.

Otherwise, I remove CA from wheel by boiling them in water, this makes CA to crack and is easier to remove.
Again not sure what boiling water can do to carbon.

Third solution is CA remover, have tried it, did not think much of it, you soak the parts glued and leave overnight to move in to break down the CA, an expensive solution without the expected results in my opinion.

hope this help.
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Old 11-04-2011, 10:00 AM   #6
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CA debonder is usually some form of acetone... overpriced in a little bottle.

Hot water has made some of my CF go cloudy in its clearcoat
& couldn't be polished clear again.



CF also loses strength & gets brittle when its really cold... could be safest
to put the part in your deepfreeze for a few days then the glue joint
a sharp swift shock whilst its still cold.

CA is weakest at a shear so try a small chisel type tool to tap with
eg paint scraper or a plastic putty knife
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Old 11-04-2011, 02:47 PM   #7
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I don't think you're going to be able to remove the fiberglass from the carbon in one piece.

Since the goal is minimal to zero damage on the carbon chassis, I'd suggest a steady hand, firm clamp on the chassis, and a grinding burr to remove most of the fiberglass, without getting into the carbon. Finish off with a palm sander, finer and finer grit the closer you get to the carbon. Probably going to need to sand the entire chassis to get an even look also.



Let us know what you end up doing.
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Old 11-04-2011, 03:20 PM   #8
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Guys, seriously. I appreciate all the ideas. I REALLY don't want to damage the original chassis, and I'm not willing to risk it.

I think, based on what I read here, is that I'm going to try a combination of things.

I'm going to slot the fiberglass piece into 3 little pieces with a dremel cutoff wheel. Then I'm gonna hit the fiberglass with some dry ice, get it cold and give it a wack.

If I chicken out half way through that proces, I like the idea of grinding it off, ever so slowly until im right there, and finishing it off with a palm sander. might even be possible to get it ground really close and finish up with acetone on a q-tip swab, unless it eats those like CA does.

Although, that said. It just occurred to me I could bolt the chassis firm and chuck it up in our mini mill and get that fiberglass off of there with a few 1/1000ths to spare and clean it up from there. Gotta be dam careful with the mill.

Sounds like no easy solution and about 4 hours of work no matter what I do. It'll be worth it though. It's a car I like.
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Old 11-04-2011, 03:30 PM   #9
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I think heat is the solution, maybe you should use a small flame on the epoxy piece so the glue will loosen. Don't heat it too long othewise the chassis will be damaged since carbon is like epoxy build in layers of carbon twill. If it has heated for a while try to flip it off with a X-acto knife Good luck!
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Old 11-04-2011, 04:02 PM   #10
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Bob,

If you have a mill, that's the route I would take, with plenty of clamping through the battery slots to minimize distortion. I'd also use a carbide ball end mill to minimize the "ripping" effect an end mill would give on the fiberglass. A mill [properly set up, of course] will take out a lot of the risk compared to using a die grinder with a burr bit.

I don't like the idea of using heat, as a lot of the epoxies used in CF are broken down with heat. I think light application of acetone on a q-tip or something similar should be relatively safe once you get down as close as you dare, but on older CF parts, any kind of solvent that will de-bond CA can be risky.

So yeah, I think mechanical material removal is going to be the least risky route you can take.
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Old 11-04-2011, 05:12 PM   #11
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points duly noted...

Man, I need to do this, but I'm nervous as all get out. It's the chassis of the very first Predator 1/10 pan car, that used Bolink pan tires. I can't ruin this chassis in the process of attempting to make it better.

In a pinch, I could permanently tape a pack in the car. But that's not my favorite way to display a car.
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Old 11-04-2011, 05:23 PM   #12
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Put a spare/useless piece of fibreglass in acetone overnight and check the results in the morning. If it's good then you'll probably be okay. Otherwise milling it off is probably the safest solutions.
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