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View Full Version : To carbon fiber wrap, or not to carbon fiber wrap (headlight doors)



temperacerguy
07-22-2011, 11:11 PM
OK, so if you've read any of my posts on here, you probably think I am a know it all... Well I have built high end cars since I was 12, and can do anything with cars, including building one up from raw materials.... There are only two things that I am horrible with.... Transmissions (I really think they are designed and built by wizards), and aesthetics.....

I know what's clean, I know what looks factory (and I can replicate it), but I come to something like this, and I bang my head against a wall trying to make a decision... and it drives me bonkers!!! So I need your HELP!

It's a 5th Gen all trac with Carbon fiber CS hood and CS front bumper... The Color of the car is a near graphite metalic base with pearl clear, the Carbon fiber hood will be sprayed with a graphite Candy clear, so that the weave will be subdued and you will only be able to tell if it's carbon fiber, by looking directly at it. The leading edge will only be clear coated so it matches the Carbon fiber on the leading edge of the headlight covers.

I am in the process of wrapping the fake carbon fiber front trim with REAL carbon fiber. This will be left clearcoated so the weave is fully exposed...


Now here's the question... The headlight covers Should I.....

-1 Wrap them in carbon fiber and put the graphite candy over it to match the hood?

-2 Paint them the body color?


Yeah, I know to all of you this is minor and petty, but for the past two days I have beat myself up over this little detail. Help me!!!

Maruki-kun
07-22-2011, 11:14 PM
#1

grimmythereaper
07-22-2011, 11:31 PM
i vote paint em body color :)

pintoBC_3sgte
07-22-2011, 11:32 PM
#1

yuuuup!

temperacerguy
07-22-2011, 11:38 PM
ok, so I have so far:

two votes for hood color....
one vote for body color...

grimmythereaper
07-23-2011, 12:11 AM
maybe this will help u decide here are some examples of what u are thinking about doing :)
1) an ae86 with all black top from intial d
http://img120.imageshack.us/img120/1966/img6076by6.jpg
2)and a 5th gen celica with the hood a different color and the head light covers the same as the body color
http://a.domaindlx.com/denanuh/front.jpg

temperacerguy
07-23-2011, 12:29 AM
Yeah, always thought the "panda" was a hugely disgusting look. It just screams LOOK AT ME!!!! I even built a 7A-GTE powered one for a guy who was obsessed with the platform and painted it this color. I like more "factory" look. In fact the reason I am going with a Graphite paint job is so that the carbon blends in more.

I was originally going to go with a Black paint job with a black candy over the carbon fiber... but figured black is way too common.

grimmythereaper
07-23-2011, 12:34 AM
I was originally going to go with a Black paint job with a black candy over the carbon fiber... but figured black is way too common.

you could always sleeper the cf hood and paint it the same as the body :) but im sticking with #2

Galcobar
07-23-2011, 12:42 AM
The one complication you might find is that to get the look right, you'll want to ensure the carbon fibre wrap on the headlight covers is oriented the same way as the carbon fibre weave of the hood. The aim, I presume, is to get a clean look with the entire front designed at the same time -- off-angle weaves will detract from that uniformity.

Depending upon how dark the graphite is, painting the covers could work just fine -- the CF hood will be noticeable but shouldn't scream panda.

187flatliner
07-23-2011, 02:05 AM
im wrapping the whole hood until i can afford the real deal carbon. gonna do the headlight covers at the same time.

temperacerguy
07-23-2011, 02:29 AM
It's a standard 2x2 twill 2k tow carbon fiber for both. It's simple to get the orientation right. Glacobar gets me and my style. So you are saying to paint the headlight covers body color?

temperacerguy
07-23-2011, 02:30 AM
im wrapping the whole hood until i can afford the real deal carbon. gonna do the headlight covers at the same time.

Just an FYI... To wrap a hood correctly, you are looking in at least $250 in materials... I would put that $250 towards a good $600 hood.

Galcobar
07-23-2011, 03:05 AM
It's a standard 2x2 twill 2k tow carbon fiber for both. It's simple to get the orientation right. Glacobar gets me and my style. So you are saying to paint the headlight covers body color?

As I said, depends upon how dark the graphite is -- or to put it another way, how well the CF hood with the paint overlay matches the body colour. If it's a bright graphite (should be a contradiction in terms but colour labelling is often unreliable) you could find the contrast is too great. Perhaps a pic of the car as it stands now would help. I know you're going to overlay the hood, but knowing what the contrast is now against the body would allow for more informed commentary.

temperacerguy
07-23-2011, 03:25 AM
The car is not painted yet. I am custom mixing the paint. Right now the car is faded black, so that's not going to help. The hood is not an overlay, it's a full carbon fiber hood.

I am still debating a little bit... what I think I am going to do as far as the paint is, is take a picture of the carbon fiber weave as it stands... then do a color analysis of it, and blend it all together... that way I get a true median of what Hue the carbon fiber is... Then use that for the base color of the paint (with metallic) Then paint everything with the same black candy as a mid coat, then bury everything in clear... That way it should be the same color hue throughout, without having to mix a separate graphite candy for the hood. I can then use different mixtures of black candy in the mid coat to darken the overall paint to a dark hue I want.

The effect I am going with, is for the paint to be bright when viewed straight on, then for it to fade darker at more acute angles... (thus the candy mid coats). Thus in a straight on side shot, the side of the car will look this dark grey/graphite color, but as the body line bends over the roof or the fender, it will darken to near black. This effect should also highlight the contours of the bumper/fender lines and so on. it should completely hide the weave of the carbon fiber in those acute angles. only when viewed at near 90 degree angles should the brightness of the paint, and the weave of the carbon fiber be visable.

But.... should I go with the headlight covers as carbon fiber, or body color? LOL

temperacerguy
07-23-2011, 03:41 AM
As I said, depends upon how dark the graphite is

Here was my first test spray out: http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/ff73/temperacerguy/mineralgrey.jpg

but it had WAY too much metallic in it, so I am going to reduce that BIG TIME: Holy Lowrider batman:
http://i236.photobucket.com/albums/ff73/temperacerguy/mineralgreysun.jpg

temperacerguy
07-23-2011, 03:52 AM
you could always sleeper the cf hood and paint it the same as the body :) but im sticking with #2

I think the effect i am going for is for someone to only notice it when they take a close look at my car. I don't think this car is going to be a sleeper no matter what I do with the paint...

pintoBC_3sgte
07-23-2011, 04:34 AM
oo i like that color :) ... lol i want it now :)

grimmythereaper
07-23-2011, 05:45 AM
I think the effect i am going for is for someone to only notice it when they take a close look at my car. I don't think this car is going to be a sleeper no matter what I do with the paint...

yeah ur post above the pics gave me a better understanding of what it is u r going for. my main problem with pop up head lights is what this tread is about bc if you dont paint the light covers then the car does not look uniform but if u only paint the hood then it doesn't look uniform either so it becomes a lesser of 2 evils kinda thing and i have always felt that the lesser of the evils is to paint the lights the color of the body, bc the headlights are not part of the hood. IMO

temperacerguy
07-23-2011, 05:57 AM
oo i like that color :) ... lol i want it now :)

That color is "Mineral Grey Metallic" It's a standard duplicolor paintshop lacquer. The problem is that the metallic is so damn thick... I'm probably going to buy a gallon of this grey, then white, and black, then spend a weekend getting high on paint fumes playing mad scientist mixing different combinations of white and black to make a grey, then blending that into the "mineral grey" to tone down the metallic. Once I have a good base, then I will play with candy concentrates over both the base, and the carbon fiber, to see what I need to get the effect I am looking for ....

I'm thinking the headlights will be body color.... (next hour I will think they are hood color)

Galcobar
07-23-2011, 06:47 AM
Okay, that explanation makes more sense.

I was using the term overlay to refer to the paint being laid down over the carbon fibre. However, if you're going for something close to that shade or slightly darker -- minus the metallic, I agree it's too much particularly in gray -- I would match the headlight covers to the body. The presence of seams except on very dark cars where the shadow is camouflaged by the colour makes for a somewhat broken-up visual. I'm not sure how best to explain it, but the eye wants to follow lines and it detects a black line running through a uniform colour as a disruption, particularly when it's such a relatively small part. Change the paint along the seams and you get a natural border.

Where we get screwed up is the hood ending even with the headlights and having that lip across the entire thing -- the point of that thick black detail is to make the front of the car look monolithic despite having seams for pop-ups. S13s can get away with the contrasting colour because the hood extends past the headlight covers, separating them from the hood. A Mk. III Supra can easily have the headlight covers match the body because there's no contrasting lip at the end of the hood.

Try looking up a few other cars with pop-up headlights and carbon fibre hoods, see how you like the appearance. You won't be the first person to have this debate. Miatas would probably be your best bet for finding a lot of examples.

I.e.
http://img216.imageshack.us/img216/2851/rim000496dl.jpg


But please don't do this:
http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h244/alantjw/Celica/IMG_0081.jpg
Either change the entire CF lip, or none of it.

Of course, there is one other option -- custom-made integrated headlights. You could line them with CF...

http://www.advancedautomotiveconcepts.com/flashblocks/images/miata1.jpg

Galcobar
07-23-2011, 07:10 AM
I stumbled across this particular Miata, rather like the work done on the headlights. Reminds me of the Neeltec conversions.
http://www.cardomain.com/ride/3078291/1995-mazda-miata-mx-5

Doowstados
07-23-2011, 08:36 AM
Obviously it won't be a sleeper with custom paint, but you can make it look like it was just painted and that's it. I don't personally like the way the headlights look when they are a different color from the hood. I vote paint it. Also, the small, raised sections from CF wrap aren't exactly aesthetically pleasing.

That paint color looks awesome though. I'm with you on that 100%! A little less metallic and that will make for a SWEET car.

temperacerguy
07-23-2011, 08:48 AM
OK, I was a child in the 80s, and as such pop up headlights just scream "I AM COOL!" to me... so I am keeping the pop ups. I am however modifying them, and they will be quad 4" beams (2 4" bulbs per side") with a 3.5" lift of the headlights. similar to brainstorm's mid rise kit (as you are familiar with miatas) but with a trim bezel just like factory.

I see what you are saying about the way the eye follows the lines, as such, I am following your logic regarding painting the headlight covers body color and now leaning in the direction...

I will be leaving the leading edge of the hood, and the leading edge of the headlight covers are unmolested, clearcoated carbon fiber. I feel the identity of the front of the car is defined by this little detail, as such I don't want to molest it like that yellow monstrosity did.

temperacerguy
07-23-2011, 09:02 AM
Obviously it won't be a sleeper with custom paint, but you can make it look like it was just painted and that's it. I don't personally like the way the headlights look when they are a different color from the hood. I vote paint it. Also, the small, raised sections from CF wrap aren't exactly aesthetically pleasing.

That paint color looks awesome though. I'm with you on that 100%! A little less metallic and that will make for a SWEET car.

with the way I am going to lay-up the carbon fiber, the overlay will have less than 1/32nd thickness if someone can see that visually, they are a better man than I. Also, the carbon fiber's cloth edges will be hidden on the back side of the parts, and then sanded flush. I'm also going to be using a water clear UV resistant epoxy resin, so the color will not yellow or fade with exposure to sun.

Thanks for the complement on the color... That is just the base color with no candy over it. Just a few layers of rattle can clear. It will probably be next weekend when I start spraying out different varieties of the same color "taste" I am also going to lay up some quick carbon fiber pannels on a glass mold and a "wave" mold so that I can test black candies over it as well...

DudeMan
07-23-2011, 05:35 PM
#1!

I just saw a picture on alltrac.net the other day of exactly what your talking about, let me see if I can find it.

187flatliner
07-23-2011, 10:57 PM
Just an FYI... To wrap a hood correctly, you are looking in at least $250 in materials... I would put that $250 towards a good $600 hood.

yeah...i know but it wasnt that much...200 bucks was all.......plus they dont make a cf hood for the 4th gen easy to get....if i get 10 people then im looking at 850 for the hood and eyelids.....but thats with 10 people....by myself it would be around 3300 just to get one made.


ill stick with the fake shyt for this moment. and i feel good about using the cash.

Masani
07-25-2011, 09:09 AM
wrapping a hood or other flat part is a breeze. a sheet that will fit your hood is about 175 usd. if you've got any vinyl experience you could do it yourself. see my project in the My Project threads. the headlights turn out pretty nice.

temperacerguy
07-25-2011, 09:13 AM
wrapping a hood or other flat part is a breeze. a sheet that will fit your hood is about 175 usd. if you've got any vinyl experience you could do it yourself. see my project in the My Project threads. the headlights turn out pretty nice.

That appears to be DI-NOC not Carbon fiber, correct?

187flatliner
07-26-2011, 07:24 AM
just got done doing it today....was a breeze.....


not good pictures yet tho.

http://i787.photobucket.com/albums/yy155/187flatliner/IMG_2404.jpg

http://i787.photobucket.com/albums/yy155/187flatliner/IMG_2405.jpg

doesnt show the carbon very well......looks more flat black in the pics.....but in the sun in person it shines and screams carbon fiber.

temperacerguy
07-26-2011, 08:31 AM
Again... DI-NOC right? you do know that's not carbon fiber, right? It's just a vinyl that kinda sorta looks like carbon fiber....

What I am talking about doing is actually wrapping and overlaying real carbon fiber (graphite cloth), then encapsulating it in true epoxy resin.

Murgatroy
07-26-2011, 04:31 PM
I think it looks pretty good.

Galcobar
07-26-2011, 08:33 PM
The flat black does a nice job of hiding the headlight seams, keeps it looking monolithic. Though would have to see it out in the sun if it's as different as you say.

187flatliner
07-27-2011, 04:04 AM
ill get the shots up asap....have to wait till its nice and sunny and i have time to take a good shot....give me a bit.

celica9303
07-29-2011, 06:01 AM
??


ill get the shots up asap....have to wait till its nice and sunny and i have time to take a good shot....give me a bit.

187flatliner
07-30-2011, 05:20 AM
sry...been pretty busy at the shop and shyt.....i promise ill get some shots up by tomorrow night.

187flatliner
07-31-2011, 04:28 AM
http://i787.photobucket.com/albums/yy155/187flatliner/1987%20celica%20gt/2011-07-30181757.jpg

http://i787.photobucket.com/albums/yy155/187flatliner/1987%20celica%20gt/2011-07-30181815.jpg

http://i787.photobucket.com/albums/yy155/187flatliner/1987%20celica%20gt/2011-07-30181846.jpg

http://i787.photobucket.com/albums/yy155/187flatliner/1987%20celica%20gt/2011-07-30184848.jpg

http://i787.photobucket.com/albums/yy155/187flatliner/1987%20celica%20gt/2011-07-30184920.jpg

http://i787.photobucket.com/albums/yy155/187flatliner/1987%20celica%20gt/2011-07-30185102.jpg

taken today with my phone camera!

temperacerguy
07-31-2011, 06:21 AM
Has anyone ever resined over the Di-Noc to make it look like real carbon fiber? (not what I'm going to do, just curious)

187flatliner
07-31-2011, 06:35 AM
i wouldnt recommend it....no i havent tried either...... if your gonna wrap......its meant to be temporary not last forever....resin over it might make it last for alot of years tho.......but also just keeping up with cleaning and making sure it gets protected is more than likely a better choice.

temperacerguy
07-31-2011, 07:06 AM
Well, after some research, it seems that people have clear coated over this Di-Noc, and it doesn't look half bad. I couldn't find anyone who's actually used an Automotive Urethane, just cheap home-depot rattle can clear enamel with rattle can results. But you might get it to look real by spraying with a UV protective automotive clearcoat. It seems that Di-Noc is not designed for use in direct sunlight, and is listed as having a shelf life of 7 years in indoor enviornments. So clearcoating it will probably be your best bet for keeping this up.

temperacerguy
07-31-2011, 07:12 AM
Well, when I started this thread, it wasn't about vinyl wrapping. It was about actual carbon fiber cloth. Your pictures have helped me however. It showed me that I should be wrapping the headlight covers in carbon fiber and tinting it to match the hood.

To do a true wrap of carbon fiber is not expensive, but it is labor intensive. And if done right, and with the right materials, it should last for the life of the car.

Galcobar
07-31-2011, 09:08 AM
After viewing those photos, I agree -- the directionality of the carbon-fibre weave combined with how dark it is beats out the disruption of the seams around the covers. The monolithic look is retained better than I expected.

temperacerguy
07-31-2011, 09:11 AM
After viewing those photos, I agree -- the directionality of the carbon-fibre weave combined with how dark it is beats out the disruption of the seams around the covers. The monolithic look is retained better than I expected.

Every time you type "monolithic" the theme from 2001:a space oddyssy plays in my head....

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2273/2072975741_4fc36ee2a3.jpg

Doowstados
07-31-2011, 09:54 AM
Every time you type "monolithic" the theme from 2001:a space oddyssy plays in my head....

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2273/2072975741_4fc36ee2a3.jpg


I was thinking the same exact thing.