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Old 10-14-2002, 07:00 AM   #1
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Default Stripped screws in fiberglass repair

Alright guys, I need some advice. The legs for my t-top are just screwed into the floor of my boat. There are a few screws that are stripped out and have no bite what so ever. My plan is to fill the holes with some sort of epoxy and drill new holes for screws. Wondering how good an idea is that. Also, any recommendations on what product to use. There is no access for thru bolting which I would much rather do. Much appreciate any advice.

Barry

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Old 10-14-2002, 07:11 AM   #2
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Default Stripped screws in fiberglass repair

Don't they make a SS toggle bolt?
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Old 10-14-2002, 07:15 AM   #3
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Default Stripped screws in fiberglass repair

The West system user guide (think it's free) has instructions on filling holes and replacing screws. I think the screw should be waxed before putting it into the thickened wet epoxy if you ever want to get it out again.

Rich
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Old 10-14-2002, 09:24 AM   #4
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Default Stripped screws in fiberglass repair

It would be best if you put a metal plate behind the mounting location and screwed into that. You have to fiberglass the metal plate in, drill and tap holes and then bolt up to it. Then put a locknut behind that and you have the best mount you can get!...takes a little time but it will be very sturdy!
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Old 10-14-2002, 11:33 AM   #5
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Default Stripped screws in fiberglass repair

I can't get to the under side of the deck to install a backing plate. That would be my first choice if it was possible. Gonna look for that West System info later today

Barry

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Old 10-14-2002, 02:10 PM   #6
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Default Stripped screws in fiberglass repair

I found it on-line

http://www.westsystem.com/

Click on using West System epoxy, you should be on the user guide.

If you do a find on "Basic fastener bonding" you'll find what I was thinking about.

Hope it helps.

Rich
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Old 10-14-2002, 03:36 PM   #7
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Default Stripped screws in fiberglass repair

I presume that your T-top legs have flanges with maybe 3 screws in each flange and that the screws go into the main stringers and not just through the thin fiberglass deck. Anyway, without knowing your situation, here are a couple of things to consider.

1-- If the screws go into the stringers, just use longer screws.

2-- If the screws go into the deck with no backing, use a screw that is much larger (thicker).

3-- How about drilling new holes in the flanges and using the new holes with the original screws.
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Old 10-14-2002, 04:59 PM   #8
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Default Stripped screws in fiberglass repair

The screws just go into glass, not into the stringers. The screws are the largest that will fit in the holes in the flanges. I thought about doing that but didn't want to turn the flanges or deck into swiss cheese. I'm planning to use epoxy with some glass bead mixed in for strength. Just wondering if others have needed to fill and re-drill and how it turned out. My flanges have 4 holes and one has 2 stripped.

Barry

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Old 10-14-2002, 05:21 PM   #9
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Default Stripped screws in fiberglass repair

I have spent considerable time over the years with various boats putting in access covers (deck plates) along with bolts, nuts and backing plates to replace screws - we somehow gotta get the message to the manufacturers on this!!!!!

I would think the TTop and Hardtop supports especially. Makes me wonder what I've got in the HS?

Sounds like good advice above - if you can't get in there - add a deck plate nearby.


Good Luck!!
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Old 10-14-2002, 05:46 PM   #10
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Default Stripped screws in fiberglass repair

Seriously, I don't understand the drawbacks to toggle bolts -- or some other hollow-wall type fastner -- in these situations.

If you can't get behind the bolt/screw to mount a plate and nut...wouldn't a toggle bolt be just as good as epoxy, and easier to install?

In either case, isn't the bond only as strong as the surrounding fiberglass.

D
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Old 10-14-2002, 07:06 PM   #11
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Default Stripped screws in fiberglass repair

You could also bond the flange(s) to the floor using 3M 5200. Cure time on 5200 is very long (a week ?), but there is a fast cure 5200 and a not quite a strong alternative 4200.
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Old 10-14-2002, 07:08 PM   #12
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Default Stripped screws in fiberglass repair

Another possibility, functional, but not, perfect as you cannot put on a backing plate.

Consider using a 6" by 6", round, beveled, marine glassed ply, maybe 1/2 inch thick.

Use some 5200 compound and NUMEROUS screws to distribute the load.

Screw down the T top to that!

Marine grade 1/4 inch thick aluminum plate would work nicely too.

I had to do this with an antenna mount,that kept stripping and cracking fiberglass, as I couldn't get to the back side, ie a backing plate, I just distributed the load over a larger area, it's working so far! ( I used 3/16 aluminum )

This will work for you!
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Old 10-14-2002, 08:10 PM   #13
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Default Stripped screws in fiberglass repair

This is easier than it sounds. Cut a flange out of 1/4" aluminum the same size as the flange on the bottom of the t-top leg using inexpensive hole saws from the Home Depot. Now drill and tap holes in it to match the holes in the t-top mount.

Use the smaller diameter hole saw to cut a hole in the deck centered between the screw holes. Cut the new backing ring in half, slip the halves into the hole and epoxy them to the underside of the deck making sure the holes line up. Use a screw in each to secure till the glue sets, coat the exposed core material while you are at it.

Now use oval head ss machine screws with a little loc-tite and its fixed.
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Old 10-16-2002, 04:50 AM   #14
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Default Stripped screws in fiberglass repair

Wow, that is amazing. Sounds like it would really work. I am just nearvous about putting more holes in the deck of the boat though I am seriously thinking abut it to end this problem once and for all.

Barry

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Old 10-16-2002, 09:29 AM   #15
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Default Stripped screws in fiberglass repair

I have always had the same question, but never really found an answer. When screws strip, how do you repair. Sometimes using a larger screw is not an option, like when you are attaching a running light (you cant enlarge it's hole). Also, through bolting and toggles are often not an option either.

I am not neccessarily looking for something "structurally" sound. Just to reattatche hardware and mountings where the screww stripped. I have tried filling the holes with marine-tex and redrilling, but the marine-tex is brittle and usually cracks when puttin the new screw in.

Any suggestions??

RALPH
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Old 10-16-2002, 08:19 PM   #16
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Default Stripped screws in fiberglass repair

It will work barryrod.You may have to notch the hole in the deck just a tad to get the ring halves in, and tie a small piece of wire on to the parts in case you drop into bilge. You will end up with a very strong mount for the t-top, quick and easy.
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Old 10-16-2002, 08:59 PM   #17
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Default Stripped screws in fiberglass repair

Barryrod,

While reading this thread I remembered another one on the same subject that was posted in the past. Tom from AccurateWeld gave a solution the made the most sense. He does this kind of thing for a living and his advise has always seemed right on the money. Anyways, below is a link to the thread with his response.

And by the way, in addition to what he said, I would definitely epoxy in the holes and redrill them. That has always seemed like the consensus on how to repair stripped screw holes. Hope this helps you out bubba.

http://thehulltruth.com/6/ubb.x?a=tp...4041#320604041

seabass

[This message was edited by seabass on 10-16-02 at 11:08 PM.]
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Old 10-17-2002, 12:48 AM   #18
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Default Stripped screws in fiberglass repair

LI Sound:

Funny how you mention that manufacturers need to get a hint that mounts need backing plates, and that deck access hatches would be a great. Sea Hunt, as of either 2001 or 2002, now puts backing plates under the T-Top legs for mounting. The screws stripping was apparently a common problem, and not a surprising one at that.
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