It is nice to have a driver door step again! Total cost of fixing the step was under $200, and Arny ended up with a few left over supplies, but also provided some of the supplies in return that he had on hand. Time put in on the fix, well, that is only a guess on my part…20-25 hours. Time is hard to estimate because there was so much starting and stopping due to taking care of Arny’s mom, and friends coming by to talk to Arny and drink a beer or two. We could only do so much on any given day. If you missed part one, just click this link.
It was time to glue the board into the fiberglass body, but first Arny put in a piece of metal into the end (closest end in picture). This was the weakest point of the step, and where it broke off at. When finished, the mounting bolts will go through the fiberglass and the metal and more fiberglass before the nut is attached. This will provide a lot of strength.
After the board dried (left picture) the fiberglass bottom was glued into place (right picture). The bonding agent used was 3M’s Adhesive 08115. It took one bottle for each side of the board, and it is a fast setting adhesive.
The next step was to re-fiberglass the step. In the upper left the first coat has been added and we are ready to put on the next layer. In the upper right Arny is getting ready to apply the second coat on top of new fiber. This piece goes across the back where the step is attached to the motorhome (bottom picture). He only had about 10-12 minutes to work with the liquid agent before it starts to harden. A third coat finished it up the next morning.
Next he added Bondo (left), sanded, and then covered the Bondo with a primer coat of paint (right). Bondo is a similar material, only solid, as the liquid poured over and worked into the fiber. It is just a finishing touch that he wanted to add even though it will all be covered by the non-slick tape or by the attachment to the motorhome.
Finally we added the Anti Slip Tape over the step. This material covers up all of the primer paint. He put the primer on because the tape will stick better to the step than it would directly to the fiberglass and/or the Bondo.
We attached the step, adding new bolts and two new screws in the end where you can see Arny working above left. He applied an undercoating, and the step is finished…and it is firmer then ever (see the foot print?) I also removed the non-stick tape from Marcia’s side, and we are going to attach the tape on that side tomorrow. A good look of that step showed that they had cut and covered with the hole shown in the previous post, and there are no signs of warping or fractures, so the tape will make both steps look the same.
Is this a repair “anyone” could do themselves? If one has done body repair before, then perhaps. The step was not too hard to remove, although we had to cut two bolts which had rusted real bad. The fiberglass was easy for Arny to do…he has worked with fiberglass for over 50 years…that is something most of us have never done, but I am sure one could learn through YouTube videos. All of the areas which were fiberglassed are hidden under or behind the attachments…so it does not have to be a pretty job, just a thorough and strong job to hold the step. Take this “fix” to a RV Repair Shop, and you are looking at a $1,500-$2,000 job. Had it not been for Arny, I would have had to shell out the big bucks…nice to have a auto body man in the family, that’s for sure.