Part 3 of 4 – Fiberglass vs Steel Bodies
How you choose between fiberglass and steel bodies is a matter of which reasoning best suits your taste and budget. Below is the second installment of our 4 part series comparing these two options.
Fiberglass and steel are extremely different materials with extremely different characteristics. To the experts, these characteristics can help determine which is better for you. Moisture is the enemy of steel, and rust is a problem for anybody living in the snow-belt or near the ocean. On the other hand, fiberglass is impervious to corrosion. Heat is the worst enemy of fiberglass. Steel is ductile, meaning that it moves and stays without breaking. Steel will bend and stay bent. Fiberglass is not ductile, but is flexible. It will bend without cracking or breaking up to a point.
Working with the Material
If you’re not going to be doing the bodywork on your rod, working with the material will not be an issue for you. Working on a steel car is a lot less messy than working on a fiberglass car. The average guy can weld and file on steel. Not everyone can mix and lay fiberglass to patch a fiberglass car. For some it may be easier to fit fiberglass, because you can build it up or cut it down easily. However if you are not experienced with fiberglass work, it may be easier to repair a mistake in metal. You just cut a new piece, weld it in, grind it down, use a little finish material, and you’re done. Fiberglass is no fun to grind, it’s itchy, and the smell is not the best, however fiberglass is a little easier to work with. If the lines are off, it requires as much bodywork to fix a steel car as it would if you had a poor-quality fiberglass body. Steel and body fillers are not two of a kind, whereas with fiberglass, the characteristics and raw materials are very similar to body fillers. If properly done, it adheres to the fiberglass and will not come off like it will on a steel car.