Default Fiberglass Body Tub? 

Old 01-10-2020, 05:24 PM   #1
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What are the advantages and disadvantages of a fiberglass tub compared to steel? Looking online, fiberglass is half the price, so it seems like the best option. Especially never having to deal with rust again.

There must be some negatives I'm not seeing here, so any feedback would be great.

Thanks!

 

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Default Re: Fiberglass Body Tub? 

Old 01-10-2020, 10:25 PM   #2
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I'm looking to do this too.

One of the gang said that you can't hang the spare tire off the back, so that's a drawback..... but there are bumpers that have the tire holder on them so there's a work-around for it, or put it in the bed (and lose the back seat).

It appears that you have to drill the holes you need to mount stuff so they don't come "plug-n-play" like a steel body is. Havn't looked completely into this one but it does sound like something a bit major.
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Default Re: Fiberglass Body Tub? 

Old 01-11-2020, 07:03 PM   #3
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Hey Chris!

Thanks for the input. It definitely seems like the way to go. I've even heard feedback from people who installed a new steel tub and within 5 years, they started noticing new rust bubbling up.

I've got a spare tire carrier on the bumper, so I'm alright there.

One downside for me is i can't find a manufacturer who includes a cutout for a tailgate for a cj5. For some crazy reason they make the tailgate verson for the CJ7/8, but not for the CJ5, and to cut it out yourself is a real pain in the A**.

It's not something I'm planning on doing tomorrow. Especially, since a job like this is going to lead to more jobs. With the tub off, I would want to repaint the frame, update the fuel system, and install a Painless wiring kit. Big Bucks i dont have

 

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Default Re: Fiberglass Body Tub? 

Old 01-11-2020, 08:08 PM   #4
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I've had experience with two fiberglass tubs. One was a cheap one that after a few years started to fold down around the frame. The other was a good quality tub but it was heavy. It took four stout men to put it on the frame. You will also need to run a dedicated ground to all the electrical parts.

 

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Default Re: Fiberglass Body Tub? 

Old 01-12-2020, 04:43 PM   #5
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Shell Valley Jeep Parts is the site I was looking at. One of the guys mentioned them during a discussion and I really liked the stuff they have, but their tub for the CJ5 does not have the tailgate either.
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Default Re: Fiberglass Body Tub? 

Old 01-12-2020, 05:35 PM   #6
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I don't have any experience with using a fiberglass tub but everything I've read over the years point to Shell Valley having the highest quality tubs. Most don't have tailgates for better structural integrity. I don't remember seeing any for a Cj-5 that had the tailgate cut out. The more common issue is having dedicated grounds. You can't have enough of them.

Other problems I've seen come across the forum are where people want to add things like hard doors and tops. People run across fitment problems alot. I'd recommend if your using a fiberglass tub you stick with a soft top and soft doors since their not as rigid and have more adjustability. You also want to look for good quality anchor points for the body months and nutserts where the fenders will mount.

In my opinion if I was going to a fiberglass tub I'd go fiberglass front fenders as well. A steel hood and grill would be fine but anything hanging off the tub itself I'd like to keep the weight down on. Depending on how many stock components your going to be using you want to look for good clean cut outs on the firewall with some type of reinforced areas around any mounting spots. Other areas to look at is where the windshield frame mounts and also seat and seat belt mounts.
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Default Re: Fiberglass Body Tub? 

Old 01-18-2020, 06:18 PM   #7
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Thanks for the feedback guys. Based on your input, I think I'm going to pass on the fiberglass. The first reason is I can't give up my tailgate. Its how my dog gets in the jeep, and I've got a Tuffy storage drawer, that I don't want to throw out. Another reason is the grounding. Not being able to use the tub as a ground sounds like an electrical nightmare.

Last edited by jzak; 01-18-2020 at 06:25 PM..

 

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Default Re: Fiberglass Body Tub? 

Old 01-18-2020, 07:15 PM   #8
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I have a fiberglass tub right now. It is an older shell valley one. The only thing annoying thing for me has been making sure all bolt holes are well sealed to prevent the wood from rotting. However, the new tubs are completely synthetic, no more wood!! I have also placed a hard top and full hard doors on mine. It was more work than for a steel tub, but everything fits nicely.
My tub is pretty old and has no structural problems at all. I personally find no issue with the grounding. I just run a large ground wire to each of the main metal components (dash, grill, frame, steering column) and have had no issues. The real annoyance is having no holes drilled or cutouts. Cutouts are easy, just a piece of cardboard and measuring tape to get the pattern from the old tub and mark it on the new one.

One big recommendation, put a nice heavy steel plate behind the upper lip behind the dash. This makes the windshield far more stable.

 

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Default Re: Fiberglass Body Tub? 

Old 01-19-2020, 04:40 PM   #9
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All these years of owning Cjs and never had a fiberglass tub. This thread pops up and that may all change. Going to check this out after work for my daughter though not me


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Default Re: Fiberglass Body Tub? 

Old 01-19-2020, 06:10 PM   #10
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I would guess one of the biggest issues with fiberglass would be the difficulty repairing any damage that could happen. It would be nice not to have to deal with rust.

 

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