To start off this was my first fiberglass and body filler project. Prior to starting I watched a few youtube videos for tips and suggestions. Overall the project took ~6 hours of labor, but now that I know how to do it I'm sure I could do it in much less.
- Hot Glue Gun
- Tin Snips or Dremel
- Latex Gloves
- 50-65 Grit Sand Paper
- 100 Grit Sand Paper
- 320 Grit Sand Paper
- 1000 Grit Sand Paper
- 1" Paddle bit
- Paint Brush
Remove A Piller from vehicle. Detailed instructions can be found here
You should be able to put pull it away from the window seal, at the very top near the roof you should see a metal clip. Stick a pair of long needle nose pliers in there and squeeze the clip, it should pop right out. Alternatively you can use a big flat head screwdriver.
Remove fabric from pillar. Once you get it started from a corner it should start pealing right off. Also remove (and save) foam and insulation.
Choose your favorite grit sand paper below 150 and sand off the residual glue. Most likely the dust is highly toxic so I'd suggest wearing a max.
Using tin snips, cut out the extra plastic on the sides and bottom of the pod until you can get it to roughly fit on the pillar. No need to get it perfect yet, that'll be needed in a couple more steps.
Hop in your car, place your A pillar in position (No need to snap it back in), then place your pod in a position where it will give you the best visibility of the pods without impacting visibility. Once you find a position trace it with a permanent marker. I did not have a picture of this step but the one I took a few steps later should work as a solid reference.
Using tin snips or a dremel slowly cut away more plastic until the pod fits nicely on the pillar.
Heat up your hot glue gun and glue the pod to the pillar using your outlines as a guide. Make sure you add plenty of glue to the center as this will be the primary support point before the fiberglass is laid.
Do a final test fit in the car, again no need to snap in the pillar, just lay it in position.
Flip the pillar over and drill 2 holes underneath the pods. I used a 1" bit to give me plenty of room flexibility for wires.
Find your self a nice clean working area outside of your living space and begin to cut out pieces of fiber glass cloth. I cut 2 long pieces for each side and 2 smaller for the top and bottom. Once cloth is cut mix up your epoxy according to the instructions on the box lay down the first sheet of dry cloth and brush on the epoxy over the dry cloth using a paint brush. Once it is wet enough you should have no problem removing any air bubbles. Rinse and repeat this process until all sides have a nice smooth transition from the pod to the pillar.
After allowing the fiberglass to dry overnight (check box for drying times), begin sanding rough edges using 50-60 grit (or less) sand paper.
Mix up a small amount of the body filler according to the package instructions. Use the filler to cover over all imperfections. Note: I think I went a bit overboard on this step as you can see from the pictures below!
Once the filler is no longer tacky use your lowest grit sandpaper to begin shaping. Once all is semi smooth continue to move up to your next highest grit sand paper until you have a smooth finish. Don't worry if during this process you sand too low and create additional imperfections or find additional areas requiring more filler. We will be doing a much lighter coat of filler next.
Using a wet lint free cloth, wipe the pillar down and remove all dust. Take a permanent marker and circle any defects that require additional filler.
Mix up very small amount of filler and place it over all of the circled defects. Once dry sand smooth using 250+ grit sand paper.
Again, using a wet lint free cloth, wipe the pillar down and remove all dust. Using the soft sanding sponge, feather the edges of the filler in with the pillar to ensure a smooth unnoticeable transition. Continue to sand the remainder of the pillar to remove any scratches left from the harsher sandpaper used in prior steps.
Once sanding is all complete and no defects can be seen, prepare the pillar for paint by washing with a mild soap. Dry with lint free cloth, and use a hair dryer or let sit for some time to ensure no additional moisture is on the pillar.
Using primer, paint the pillar and re-coat according to instructions listed on can. Note: The primer will cause previously unnoticeable defect to stand out. You may need to re-sand some parts back down to filler or even use additional filler to fill air pockets.
If needed re-primer. Sand primer using 1,000 grit sand paper to get nice smooth finish.
If all looks well and no additional imperfections can be found, you're ready for plasti dip. Start by getting a small bucket, fill it with 6" or so of hot tap water.
Place your can of plasti dip in the water for a few minutes which will help it lay a nicer more controllable coat when spraying. Start with a light coat of plasti dip and allow it to dry for 15 minutes. Then move onto heavier coats allowing the plasti dip to fully dry between coats (~30 minutes for me in cooler temps).
Between each coat refill the bucket with hot water and let the can warm up.
For your last two coats, hold the can 15-20" away from the pod to add a texture which looks nearly identical to the existing interior. Allow to dry overnight before handling.
You now have a finished product that you can either coat with a flat color to match interior or leave as is. I'd recommend allowing the pod to sit for several days before installing in your car to allow the plasti dip to fully cure.