• Hi Guest! Being a Paying Supporter is NOT a requirement to participate at BCF. However, subscribing will help ensure we can continue to serve the LBC community for years to come. If you enjoy BCF and find our forum a useful resource...Please consider supporting us by **Upgrading**
    (PS: Subscribers don't see this banner)
Tips
Tips

Best fibreglass/GRP Bugeye bonnet

AlFresco

Member
Country flag
Offline
OK, I've searched the forum a bit but haven't found the answer to that question:
Which is the most convincing fibreglass/GRP Frogeye bonnet?

My current one has not at all convincing beading bumps. If I'm not prepared to fork out $$$ for alum or steel, is there a true option to match the original appearance? Seriously?

I might go for no seams at all if not.

Interested in your worldwide thoughts!
 

Gerard

Luke Skywalker
Offline
OP
A

AlFresco

Member
Country flag
Offline
Look at the ones from Speedwell. They are most likely the best.

https://www.speedwellengineering.com/fiberglass/

Thanks Gerard,

Its hard to tell from their images just how good it is. I will attempt to get more detailed images from them.

I guess my question ultimately is, has anyone who knows these cars been truly fooled into thinking a fibreglass bonnet was a metal one from the outside even under close inspection, notwithstanding forward hinging which can be fitted to steel anyway?
 

Gerard

Luke Skywalker
Offline
Tom Colby, proprietor of Speedwell is known for making high quality products, and he is know for high quality restorations. I have seen his work and it is indeed very high quality. I've always heard good things about his fiberglass products, and he goes into detail on the web page as to how his are different than the average. I can't answer your question specifically, but if you want to know more, call and talk to him. I think how close it looks to steel will depend on how much you are willing to put into fit, finish, and paint.



Thanks Gerard,

Its hard to tell from their images just how good it is. I will attempt to get more detailed images from them.

I guess my question ultimately is, has anyone who knows these cars been truly fooled into thinking a fibreglass bonnet was a metal one from the outside even under close inspection, notwithstanding forward hinging which can be fitted to steel anyway?
 
OP
A

AlFresco

Member
Country flag
Offline
Thanks for the further comments, Speedwell sounds like a top notch operation.

As far as the comment re. the finish goes, I'm not sure how much or little would need to be done to these to get them looking as good as they can - perhaps I naively thought with a bit of prep and paint all would be wonderful, rather than requiring craft beyond that!
Is it normal to have to fiddle with them to get them right?
 

apbos

Jedi Knight
Country flag
Offline
I have a Speedwell monza bonnet on my sprite. I found it used, but unfinished. It took very little to prep it for paint and is very solid. The inner bonnet is finished to an acceptable level and after cleaning was ready for primer and paint. Some hot rodders here will shoot the inner bonnet with truck bed linner to hide the fiberglass matting.
Regards
Paul
image.jpg
 

sswarin

Senior Member
Country flag
Offline
I have a Dave Craddock bonnet on my Spridget, and I have been very satisfied with it. Perhaps it is not of the same quality as the Speedwell bonnet, but it is more reasonable in price also. In either case, how does one get a fiberglass bonnet to Tasmania?
 
OP
A

AlFresco

Member
Country flag
Offline
:D Yes, Tassie is a long way from anywhere that produces these things and just as importantly people who have used them. That's why I have to research everything to the max!
Serious outlets will hopefully have an international freight into Melbourne option. I can sort from there. Inevitably costs climb with all of that.
Great to have impressions of the options out there (including yours Paul). Any chance of a reasonably close up shot of your moulded beading sswarin, maybe including the indicator light area?

I heard back from Tom Colby at Speedwell. He sent some photos - they do look good, but he suggested it would still not be too hard for the trained eye to pick that it is fibreglass. Have asked for pricing into Oz.
 
OP
A

AlFresco

Member
Country flag
Offline
Thanks to Dave Craddock (Preform Resources, US) for sending hi-res photos and some indicative costs - does look good (will post once I figure it out).
Thanks too to sswarin for close ups of his Preform bonnet and offline discussion

Anybody used the Spridgetech (Michigan, US) stock Mk1 stock bonnet?
 

nomad

Yoda
Offline
It may be possible to make up a mold off of a steel bonnet and just attach a fiberglass bead to an existing smooth fiberglass bonnet. Quite a bit of work but not impossible.

Kurt.
 

HealeyRick

Yoda
Silver
Country flag
Offline
If your biggest issue with your present bonnet is just the beading, how about grinding off the present beads, cutting a slight channel where the beading goes and epoxying on some original steel beading: https://www.ahspares.co.uk/austin-healey/sprite/Outer-Body-Panels/WING-BEAD-512-ft.aspx It would seem more cost effective than importing a whole new bonnet and although I haven't seen all the fiberglass offerings, I'm guessing none of them will be an exact reproduction. I think you'd want to trim the bottom of the beading so the bottom of the "T" was just long enough to locate it in the groove you cut out.
 

CLEAH

Jedi Warrior
Country flag
Offline
AlFresco, when you say you don't want to fork out for steel or aluminum, I presume you are speaking of a new bonnet. If you are going to ship a GRP item from God knows where on the globe, what about a good used steel one? There have got to be plenty lying around somewhere, and your old Sprite will be back in business with the real thing!
 
OP
A

AlFresco

Member
Country flag
Offline
It may be possible to make up a mold off of a steel bonnet and just attach a fiberglass bead to an existing smooth fiberglass bonnet. Quite a bit of work but not impossible.

Kurt.

Yeh, and I do have access to a friend's half decent steel one but I have zip fibreglass knowledge and skills.
So I reckon I'd struggle to get something together that was good enough, especially with stiffening lip around the edges, etc.
I guess I could get a local fibreglassing shop to have a go, or go with those who have refined their product to high quality level but at a cost. Looks like cost of shipping into Oz might be in the order of $800-1000 US.
 

HealeyRick

Yoda
Silver
Country flag
Offline
AlFresco, when you say you don't want to fork out for steel or aluminum, I presume you are speaking of a new bonnet. If you are going to ship a GRP item from God knows where on the globe, what about a good used steel one? There have got to be plenty lying around somewhere, and your old Sprite will be back in business with the real thing!

Might try Tony at https://www.bugeyebarn.com/html/s01_home/home.asp?dsb=18 or Colin at https://www.spriteparts.com.au/ Closer to home and they may have a line on a used one.
 

JPSmit

Moderator
Staff member
Silver
Country flag
Online
Yeh, and I do have access to a friend's half decent steel one but I have zip fibreglass knowledge and skills.
So I reckon I'd struggle to get something together that was good enough, especially with stiffening lip around the edges, etc.
I guess I could get a local fibreglassing shop to have a go, or go with those who have refined their product to high quality level but at a cost. Looks like cost of shipping into Oz might be in the order of $800-1000 US.

Do you want fibreglass for any special reason? 800-1000 USD will buy you a lot of bodywork if you can find a used one - and then it is all steel.
 
OP
A

AlFresco

Member
Country flag
Offline
If your biggest issue with your present bonnet is just the beading, how about grinding off the present beads, cutting a slight channel where the beading goes and epoxying on some original steel beading: https://www.ahspares.co.uk/austin-healey/sprite/Outer-Body-Panels/WING-BEAD-512-ft.aspx It would seem more cost effective than importing a whole new bonnet and although I haven't seen all the fiberglass offerings, I'm guessing none of them will be an exact reproduction. I think you'd want to trim the bottom of the beading so the bottom of the "T" was just long enough to locate it in the groove you cut out.

Thanks Rick, thought hard about doing this.
A) was concerned that grinding off would severely weaken the bonnet along those lines, as I can see the curve of the 'beading' on the inside of the bonnet. Would need to add 'glass here I guess (see earlier re lack of 'glass skills!)
B) current bonnet has no stiffening lip around the edges at all. The flared arches would be stronger due to the way they've been done but they are to come off. It really just suits a racer or something where looks aren't key and stress-cracking of paintwork isn't a concern
 
OP
A

AlFresco

Member
Country flag
Offline
Might try Tony at https://www.bugeyebarn.com/html/s01_home/home.asp?dsb=18 or Colin at https://www.spriteparts.com.au/ Closer to home and they may have a line on a used one.

Would love a new steel one really but it still has to come from 'God knows where' and they are a lot dearer up front. Tony at Bugeye Barn tries to source decent used ones from the US (the good ones have been exhausted in the UK pretty much) but has struggled lately to find ones worth grabbing.
If I got a very good GRP one on my door step for ca. $2500 AUD I'd be happy enough as it would probably be half of a new steel I reckon. A good idea to chat to Colin also - I'm not in a rush so having he and Tony with their ears to the ground (and maybe you guys too!!) might turn something up.
 
OP
A

AlFresco

Member
Country flag
Offline
Really appreciate the comments to date guys.

I had it in my head that I would have to go fibreglass just because of cost for new steel and rarity of good used in Oz and even US it seems. Was hoping for good 'glass options in Australia but it seems those have dried up at this stage, so distance related costs appear a given unless I get very handy with GRP.

Your suggestions are all helping me to decide if this is the best way - keep 'em coming!

Cheers
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
G 1960 TR3A for sale $9,999 or best offer! Triumph Classifieds 3
J For Sale For Sale - 2x TR6 seats in red vinyl - Best Offer! Triumph Classifieds 1
Bob Claffie Best cruise in of the year Spotted 8
longbridgehealey Best way in Austin Healey 2
B TR4/4A What really is the best clutch/bearing combo Triumph 4
I Best glue for rubber door panels? Spridgets 3
N Best cam choice??? Spridgets 5
R TR2/3/3A Best day ever [so far] Triumph 1
C How best to restore red script on valve cover? Austin Healey 7
F Best $25 I've ever spent on my Healey - 2019 Austin Healey Concours Guidelines Austin Healey 0
FlyingCat Spitfire Which carburetor is the best? Triumph 9
T TR2/3/3A Where is best spot to check temp with infrared thermometer? Triumph 17
D Best little tube bender Restoration & Tools 8
N Best lube for a Datsun gearbox?? Spridgets 6
Kleykamp For Sale 1978 MG Midget Best Offer Spridgets Classified 0
DornTRoriginal TR2/3/3A Electrical Wiring Best Practices Triumph 13
I General TR Best car cover Triumph 8
M Best Interiors Austin Healey 20
Jer Confirming the best choice for clutch / release bearing for my 67 Midget Spridgets 2
N Best carpet glue???? Spridgets 5
S Best Ethylene Glycol/Water Ratio to avoid overheating? Why? Informal Survey. Austin Healey 27
B best diff British Motor Corp 5
Boink Pre-War MG-TB wins best in class at Forest Grove Concours MG 7
T TR2/3/3A What is best way to flush engine after antifreeze got in oil?? Triumph 2
GTP1960 Not the "best car ever made" by a long shot Other Cars 14
glemon Mercedes 450SL Best Car Ever Made? Other Cars 7
cpbol Best alternative option to sleeved thermostat? Austin Healey 9
MisterB Spitfire Best year for a Spitfire? Triumph 12
D TR4/4A Best SU overhaul service to use? Triumph 10
K TR2/3/3A What is best way to remove old nylon/rubber bush 525-020 from steering box shaft? Triumph 5
Gerald_Gordon TR4/4A Best carpet for TR4 Triumph 2
C Best Replacement BN1 Leaf Springs Austin Healey 5
Jim_Gruber Headlight Trim Rings on my BE - Removal - Best Methods Spridgets 5
D TR2/3/3A Best TR3B seats - repair or replacement? Triumph 11
Popeye TR4/4A Best way to transport a bare tub? U-haul utility trailer? Triumph 11
L Best Polish to remove surface scratches Austin Healey 12
T TR4/4A Best head gasket for a 4A? Triumph 12
C Best source for Lemans Kit, including bonnet Austin Healey 5
steveg Best Fire Extinguisher Location Austin Healey 38
T 'best' fan blade configuration? Spridgets 2
S Best Top Down Tune Spridgets 36
fpstude TR2/3/3A British Car Owners are the BEST! Triumph 4
C TR4/4A Best way to remove transmission fill port? Triumph 8
N Best Carpets? Spridgets 5
T Best Shop Manual for BE Spridgets 9
H 1953 Pebble Beach Best of Show Austin Healey 6
AngliaGT '74 Midget - Best way to Replace Brake Line? Spridgets 1
Rut Best interior supplier Spridgets 28
bighealeysource Best way to adjust doors Austin Healey 9
Steve P. Best way to improve handling? Spridgets 10

Similar threads

Top