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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got a hard hit by an alligator in front of the wheel well on my dually. It knocked a hole about 12" X 12" in the panel. The hole has some jagged edges. The sides are plastic with the fender all molded in. The repair shops are nothing but parts replacers these days and they all want to replace the panel.

My question is: has anyone repaired are seen the panel repaired?

I thought that a wire mesh could be layed in on the backside and pre-impregnated fiberglass layers could be used to fill the holes and use bondo to smooth it out. The shops say the panel will crack and the fiberglass won't bond, etc.

I want to hear from some body folks. Can it be repaired or is it replace the panel?
 

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OMG alligators in Hurst??:eek:

I bought a New take off bed and replaced the side, I know its not what you want to hear, but in the long run I think it will be cheaper.

Found mine on ebay, and picked it up in Tom Bean, he usually only has white ones, but who knows.

It only took about an hour + to swap both panels on both beds.
 

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With a hole that size, you should replace the panel.

Someone with a lot of experience working with plastic and fiberglass might be able to fix it, but the panel does flex and you would eventually have problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What did you pay for the takeoff bed? I had not thought of that approach. One shop had check with junk yards and they wanted $2500.00 for a bed and panels.

I have a quote to replace the panel for $1100.00.
 

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The constant flexing may be a problem, check around somone experienced in fiberglass might be able to do it.
 

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Tom Cobb;1630084; said:
What did you pay for the takeoff bed? I had not thought of that approach. One shop had check with junk yards and they wanted $2500.00 for a bed and panels.

I have a quote to replace the panel for $1100.00.

I bought a whole bed, with bolt on hitch(not gooseneck), bumper, tailights, mudflaps for $1200..

Then you have an extra if you need it too...;)
 

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If it's a crack, an experienced bodyman (oldtimer) can fix it (and not with fiberglass). If it has a hole, I'd replace it.

Just my 2 cents
 

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STPETEBLUE;1630934; said:
If it's a crack, an experienced bodyman (oldtimer) can fix it (and not with fiberglass). If it has a hole, I'd replace it.

Just my 2 cents
He did say it's a hole - about 12" x 12". :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
rolloffhill;1629210; said:
OMG alligators in Hurst??:eek:
I case you don't know what alligators are...they are tire treads laying on the highway.:) :D :eek:
 

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Tom Cobb;1638002; said:
I case you don't know what alligators are...they are tire treads laying on the highway.:) :D :eek:
i was goin to say you could sell it boots or lugage and pay for your bed
 

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I don't look to "old timers" to fix the plastic parts on today's trucks ;)

I speak from experience..from Saturns to snowmobiles with plastic cowlings...nothing sticks to that stuff reliably. There is not much you can do with a hole that size other than get a new bed side. Why don't you want one?
 

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e-bay's got a few of them on there right now. pretty cheap too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I will have to think on that. Maybe I could start a new business and save the states money by picking up the alligators and selling them. What an idea!!! You may have hit on something. HA!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It is not a matter of wanting one it is looking at the options. I also want to fix it for as little as possible since I am going to sell the truck soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I had it patched and they did an excellent job. Can't tell it ever had a hole in it. There are materials for patching plastic. Finding a real body man that knows how to do it is the problem. They are all parts replacers these days. I saved almost $600.00 on the job.
 

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If you can get ahold of a patch to reinfoce it, it can be repaired with no worries of future problems. Trouble would be finding that patch. My bro has a dually 'stroke so when I replaced a plastic fender on another f-350 at work, I grabbed up the old one in case i need to fix the bro's truck in the future(he's a farrier, Im sure I will...) But trying to patch a hole that size without a solid reinforcement can get sketchy....Hell a lot of body shops will tell you to replace the side because of a crack, but thats just cause they can bill more book hours to replace a panel than to repair it....Theres hope for you yet....Maybe find a used panel thats damaged in a different area for a patch??
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Costs was $586.00.

They cut a piece of plastic from some damage parts they had. It was overcut and put behind the hole and bonded in place with a plastic patch material that was somewhat like an epoxy bond o. It is made for patching plastic. They then bonded around the hole and then ground it off to a taper. They then filled the hole level with the patch material and sanded it down. I saw it while it was primered and it had no evidence on the surface of being patched. After painting it looks just like the rest of it. including the lip at the fender edge. Excellent work.

They have a older mexican working there that had done the same thing with his brother in laws dually on the backside of the wheel well. The material is not like bond o that will tend to shrink and crack.
 
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