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View Full Version : Custom CF exterior/ interior bits, anyone? For cheap?



Ghosty
06-17-2007, 12:21 AM
As of late, I've been intrigued by fiberglass components and stuff.

Specifically, I've been interested in making custom fenders and hoods.

It seems like an interesting concept, and even easy. Find a hood, or fender. Make a mold. Build up fiberglass in the mold to make a part.

Of course, these things aren't that simple or clean. So, I dropped by a local Barnes and Noble and picked up Fiberglass and Other Composite Materials, by Forbes Arid, HP Books. Just flipping through the book, I've already learned a lot. More than flipping through the free writeups from the Fiberglast corporate website.

Perhaps the most intriguing part of the book the section that discusses carbon fiber composites. Which, of course, is more expensive than fiberglass, but is not out of the reach of anyone that already knows a thing or two about making fiberglass components.

Started thinking... carbon fiber interior bits... juicy.

Then I thought, well, if this is something I want, why wouldn't others on Celicatech want in on the action?

I'm sure that the components out there could be made for MUCH CHEAPER.

Not sure on the absolute price, but who would like a carbon fiber dash for $100? A pair of fiberglass fenders for $150? Custom hoods fit to your specs?

Can't do it at this point, obviously. But if there's enough interest, I wouldn't mind helping out the community and making a little money on the side.

ScottGT-S
06-17-2007, 12:26 AM
$100 for a CF dash...then sign me up!

Ghosty
06-17-2007, 12:37 AM
$100 for a CF dash...then sign me up!


As I said, I don't know the exact cost that it would be.

But, as I have seen with similar custom bits, the retail price of the piece most likely well exceeds the cost of materials and employee paychecks.

Granted, they may have mass-production on their side, but I have a hard time believing the overhead of a large shop with many employees doesn't contribute to a high retail price.

jason
06-17-2007, 12:38 AM
Always interested when carbon fiber comes up...interior or exterior. Even fiberglass parts if the cost isn't too bad after shipping.

Ghosty
06-17-2007, 12:41 AM
Always interested when carbon fiber comes up...interior or exterior. Even fiberglass parts if the cost isn't too bad after shipping.


... or even worse, if it BREAKS while shipping!

That's a big risk when sending this shit out, from what I hear.

Ghosty
06-17-2007, 12:46 AM
Here's a thought... you know the carbon-fiber-esque trim on the front? The black pieces?

What if drop-in replacements were available, that were made of real carbon fiber?

PhillyDRFT
06-17-2007, 01:07 AM
You're highly underestimating the price of CF. It comes in the roll like fabric. It's measured by thread count and graded by strength. The prices of it are VERY high ATM. We had a girl offering CF wrapping services here about a year ago. She was asking 1,000$ for a CF dash. You couldn't even get the materials for 100$.

Just saying that theres a lot more involved to making these pieces than a book and some garage space. Everything starts somewhere but you're already talking about a lot of tight tolerences and matching factory measurments for the hoods and fenders.

Start VERRY small and work your way up. IE: door handles or sil plates. I woulden't expect to profit much from the venture if you don't have a vacu-form machine. It can be a time consuming process.

celicatrd93
06-17-2007, 01:12 AM
+2 on phillydrift, cf is expensive, specially the good stuff, topshop does a great job on wrapping carbon fiber products, last i see they did a carbonfiber dash for new celica's it ran about a 1 grand, there are few memebers there that did there interior it cost them a arm and a leg, always get insurance on products like that. i wish they made a black dash for our vehicles.

Ghosty
06-17-2007, 01:32 AM
You're highly underestimating the price of CF. It comes in the roll like fabric. It's measured by thread count and graded by strength. The prices of it are VERY high ATM. We had a girl offering CF wrapping services here about a year ago. She was asking 1,000$ for a CF dash. You couldn't even get the materials for 100$.

Just saying that theres a lot more involved to making these pieces than a book and some garage space. Everything starts somewhere but you're already talking about a lot of tight tolerences and matching factory measurments for the hoods and fenders.

Start VERRY small and work your way up. IE: door handles or sil plates. I woulden't expect to profit much from the venture if you don't have a vacu-form machine. It can be a time consuming process.

Perhaps I'm letting my enthusiasm get ahead of me. :D

... it happens quite often, unfortunately.

As for the measurements, I was planning on getting some actual body parts to mold from, and see how that works.

I'm actually quite displeased with the fit and finish of the stock exterior pieces. I think the gaps are too much. My goal, if only for a personal use and not for sale, is to get a better than stock fit.

PhillyDRFT
06-18-2007, 07:42 AM
Perhaps I'm letting my enthusiasm get ahead of me. :D

... it happens quite often, unfortunately.

As for the measurements, I was planning on getting some actual body parts to mold from, and see how that works.

I'm actually quite displeased with the fit and finish of the stock exterior pieces. I think the gaps are too much. My goal, if only for a personal use and not for sale, is to get a better than stock fit.

Don't let me discourage you at all. learning to make positive/negative casts and turn them into molds to be used with fiberglass is an excellent learning project and if you have the time to do it I do urge you to try it.

The main fitment issues will come from the flanges and mounting points. Fiberglass (cf works close to the same way of laying f-glass but it's a lot to get into rite now) has a natural give to it and will change shape due to humidity and temperature. so unlike metal your mounting tabs, flanges ect can change just from sitting in the mold. Also molds become worne in after a wile. Thats why veilside kits cost so much in comparason to other fiberglass kits because each one is put under a 3D laser map and an Auto cad machine to make sure every mounting point is lined up perfectly. I've used Genuine veliside parts and a lot of other companys and I will admitt they are 99% OEM fitment.

It wouldn't be worth your time or effort to make parts for other people or to try and sell for profit. unless you have the experience and tools. Really though don't let me discourage you. It's a great learning experience if you haven't tryed casting before.

I'm in the process of reading and learning about casting metals with the lost wax method. I'm fascinated with the way things are made. Just trying to give you a heads up so you don't end up miserable trying to get fiberglass fenders to match right (lol they never will)

Ghosty
06-19-2007, 04:08 AM
Don't let me discourage you at all. learning to make positive/negative casts and turn them into molds to be used with fiberglass is an excellent learning project and if you have the time to do it I do urge you to try it.

The main fitment issues will come from the flanges and mounting points. Fiberglass (cf works close to the same way of laying f-glass but it's a lot to get into rite now) has a natural give to it and will change shape due to humidity and temperature. so unlike metal your mounting tabs, flanges ect can change just from sitting in the mold. Also molds become worne in after a wile. Thats why veilside kits cost so much in comparason to other fiberglass kits because each one is put under a 3D laser map and an Auto cad machine to make sure every mounting point is lined up perfectly. I've used Genuine veliside parts and a lot of other companys and I will admitt they are 99% OEM fitment.

It wouldn't be worth your time or effort to make parts for other people or to try and sell for profit. unless you have the experience and tools. Really though don't let me discourage you. It's a great learning experience if you haven't tryed casting before.

I'm in the process of reading and learning about casting metals with the lost wax method. I'm fascinated with the way things are made. Just trying to give you a heads up so you don't end up miserable trying to get fiberglass fenders to match right (lol they never will)

Hah thanks :)

This interest in FRP (fiber reinforced plastics for those just tuning in, also known as composites) started from my want to design a hood with an effective venting feature. I was thinking something looking like either a Ford GT / GT40 hood, how they are vented. I was also looking into a vented hood like the JGTC Supras (and up until recently, similar models in the newest incarnation of SuperGT). Gorgeous and effective louvers. All at a touch lighter than stock.

Perhaps even going to the front fenders, installing louvers up top to vent the turbulent air trapped in the wheel well.

Another project, side skirts. And another, a basic venturi system for the rear. And another, an air splitter that I can just replace after it gets damaged (because you know it will).

Can you tell I love GT cars?

Any rate, your thoughts into casting metals- are you hoping to make any bits and pieces, specifically? Or, is it just for the fun of it?