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FRP and Carbon Fiber Parts

Fiberglass Carbon Fiber Custom

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#1 mjtnismo

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Posted 07 August 2016 - 11:27 AM

Wondering if anyone on this site would be interested in FRP (fiberglass) or Carbon Fiber parts.  I have been working with composites while building my car, and realized since I have the time I could easily produce stuff for the SSS.  I am not a business or a vendor, I just do this as a hobby for personal reasons, but i have very high standards so I would not sell something unless it was near perfect. With that being said there are some conditions that have to be met:

 

There must be sufficient interest in specific parts before I build a mold.  Mold materials are not cheap and can be very time consuming to build, therefore i would need enough interest that i could expect a return for the cost. Basic economics, sorry.

 

Complexity.  Some things are incredibly simple, some are impossible.  I can't make everything, I don't build Koenigseggs for a living.

 

Reproduction vs Custom.  Reproduction is simple, but I'm still trying to work out the legalities of selling such things.  If anyone has any actual input on this please let me know.  Also I have to have the part.  I have an 06 SSS so if its anything else I'd need a donor part. Custom can be done but it's very time consuming since I'd have to build the plug first possibly from scratch.

 

Material choices.  There are a few different methods/materials.  Everything will be vacuum bagged if possible for strength and quality. If you don't know, this results in less excess resin resulting in lighter parts with a much stronger construction.  Ever seen those shoddy carbon fiber plates you order online that are super brittle, have super thick resin coats, and are backed with fiberglass? Yeah I'm not doing that.  This is what I'll do:

     Fiberglass & Resin with Gel coat

     Carbon Fiber & Epoxy Resin either polished or clear coated

 

I don't have the means to bake yet, but if i can make enough money I'll purchase an oven so i can do Pre-preg Carbon fiber parts (aka dry carbon).  This is the lightest and strongest method of Carbon Fiber production available.  I have a set of intake ducts on my CBR 1000RR made of this.  Seriously weighs like a sheet of paper.

 

Also if you want something painted, I can do that for extra.  I'd only need your color code. Just be aware I can't color match your paint, only paint what it looked like from the factory minus years of uv damage.  I do a standard base coat / clear coat that you'd get from any paint shop.  If you want to see my paint job, look at my truck. I completely repainted it Victory Red.

 

I realize not many people are interested in the weight savings when we have 5000+ lb trucks, but I can think of a few places I'd like to improve on my truck with this stuff.  Basically what I'd like to hear from you all is what you'd be interested in if I were to start doing this.  Some examples I can think of off the top of my head:

 

SS Cladding - I'd do this in fiberglass, just because lets be honest, it'd probably look stupid with carbon fiber cladding.  This stuff is expensive and impossible to find from the factory.  Something to understand though, if you have ever pulled your cladding off you'd see the wear that the factory plastic cladding does to your paint.  Fiberglass would be worse.  I'm trying to think of a solution for this.

 

Intake Piping - I'm currently working on a ram air for the volant airbox.  Trying to build one redirected to the center lower grill instead of the brake duct so as to maintain airflow to the passenger brake disc.  Haven't quite worked out how to run it in front of the radiator yet.  I could probably build one for the actual intake pipe, because carbon fiber has a much lower heat conductivity than say aluminum and possibly plastic, but i'd want to test it to make sure the epoxy would resist fade/degradation before i put my name on something like that.

 

As for pricing, I will make it as economical as possible, but it is almost entirely dependent on the materials used and such. If I make a mold I can use it for pretty much any materials. Plus of course I would need to make some money to cover overheads, like obviously the labor, or equipment replacement and such.  

 

Let me know what you guys think, or want, and we'll go from there.


Edited by marodda, 07 August 2016 - 11:33 AM.

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#2 03SSBoy

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Posted 07 August 2016 - 11:53 AM

I know a lot of people have been asking for radiator covers, brake ducts, and badges


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#3 Downeast Johnny

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Posted 07 August 2016 - 11:59 AM

Cool idea for a "cottage industry"  Good luck with your project.

 

The brake ducts are not needed for disc cooling and so I am not sure how much you will gain by relocating your ram intake.

 

Post up some pictures of your work.

 

There was a guy on here about a year back, molding CF bowtie's for the grill insert


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#4 mjtnismo

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Posted 07 August 2016 - 01:27 PM

I have the Z06 brake setup on mine and even with good pads i had noticeable brake fade.  After I lost my ram air adapter i have had a lot less instances of brake fade, more specifically uneven braking.  I live in NC, so it's typically around 100 degrees during the summer so I'm constantly fighting heat with all of my vehicles.  I do tow a lot so good braking has been a big thing for me, hence why i did the Z06 retrofit. Best mod for these trucks in my opinion (factory brakes are utter crap). Ideally I'd like to get the intake up off the ground a bit, just to avoid sudden surprise water injection.

 

With the badges, that's definitely an idea.  Anyone try to buy these before?  About 100$ a piece.  I painstakingly removed and reapplied adhesive to mine when i repainted my truck, hence why there are no badges in my after pictures.  I just put them on a couple days ago.  I'd have to play around with making these though, because they are so small.  Unless you specifically wanted the CF look, it would be more economical to make these out of plastic, or maybe a urethane.  CF and FRP takes time to prep and overnight to cure so trying to make these in any quantity would be a massive pain and probably not worth it.

 

As for the guy doing the CF bowties, I thought he still does them, so if that's the case I'll leave that up to him.  I'd rather not take away his business. I'm not looking to compete with anyone, just provide where I can.


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#5 that1dood

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Posted 08 August 2016 - 01:25 PM

Carbon fiber brake ducts and ss emblems. Had my truck repainted and am patiently waiting for some real cf badges to be available before I she'll out 100 a set for lame Grey ones :)
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#6 mjtnismo

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Posted 16 August 2016 - 11:02 AM

Thought I'd give you guys an update.  Halfway through building the foam mold for the first intake pipe and my foam cutter crapped out.  Waiting on a replacement which should be coming in a couple days.  Also I am trying out a new carbon fiber distributor.  One that actually weaves the carbon fiber themselves, which means less middlemen and cheaper prices.  I receive my initial batch today to try out.  I am pretty excited.  Also a new epoxy, which is reported to have excellent UV resistance.  Still trying to find a better fiberglass distributor, but that is taking time.  In the meantime I have been rearranging my shop, getting more equipment in, and ordering more supplies. 

 

Now for the bad news.  I am leaving in a week to travel to see family for about a month.  I will be taking all of my equipment with me though and using my fathers shop, so I will keep working on the plugs and molds.  All this means is that you will have to be a little patient and bear with me.  

 

An update on my first piece.  I'm completely remaking the brake duct intake from scratch.  The original had problems.  Between the ruining of my fender liner because of the way it pushed it out to the horrible 2 piece design, I was not a fan.  I'm redesigning it to route a little more economically so it doesn't interfere with the liner as well as making it one piece. This will cut down on weight and make it a little more ergonomic.  Also I'm probably going to incorporate a mounting tab so it bolts to the RH bumper mount, instead of just hanging off the clamp and sitting on the duct. Obviously I'm going to make it economical so it doesn't push more than the $100-$115 that the plastic piece costs (for the fiberglass version).  I will post pictures of the plug when i'm finished.

 

Another interesting thing I found. Running the ram air to the lower grille is impossible due to clearance, but i can easily run one to the center grille.  It will have a 180 degree bend though, which i'm not especially a fan of, but it will be a vertical inlet on the far right side behind the grille.  I want to build and test this before i offer it.

 

With both pieces, once completed, i will actually hook them up to my truck and using my HPTuner I can actually see what the improvements to MAF, MAP, and Air Temp would be at specific speeds/throttle and compare them to my data without. It'll be interesting to see. I will also be working out a prototype test program as well which i will only offer to members of this site. More on that later.

 

I also am not seeing much in the way of things people want.  Not enough to merit building molds. The reason vendors do group buys is the reason I explained earlier.  Initial production and development of items is not free. Group buys help ease the fear of losing money over producing custom products that no one wants and to cover the development cost.  I'm not asking for money up front or that people buy before products are built, only that i have adequate interest in specific parts.  Everything I build will be well documented and tested before I ever offer sale. The intakes are something i'm building for myself, which is why i'm doing them first.  Also, SS emblems are not a huge priority for me until i get a few other items out, sorry...but I do have a couple ideas for how to make them, i just can't make any promises. Most importantly I ask for your patience. This will all take a little time.  I intentionally started this post early so i could feel out the market before I get into production.  I look forward to presenting the first prototype. Stick around.

 

 

Edit:  Just got my carbon supplies in.  While I unfortunately didn't get everything in, I did at least get some of the samples.  So to give you guys an idea of some of what I'll be able to do:  

 

I have the standard 2x2 Twill 3K carbon fiber. 

Top Left:  Carbon Fiber and Red Fiberglass

Top Right:  Carbon Fiber and Blue Fiberglass 

Bottom:  Carbon Fiber and Aramid Fiber (Kevlar)

 

20160816_144000_zpsurbtsgiq.jpg

 

There are more as well, to include silver/carbon fiber. I will post them when I get them.


Edited by mjtnismo, 16 August 2016 - 01:51 PM.

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#7 Ipaintgrt

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Posted 09 September 2016 - 04:59 PM

Roll pans, and wings. Maybe a front spoiler
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#8 03SSBoy

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Posted 12 September 2016 - 08:06 AM

carbon fiber iss wing or tailgate cap would be pretty sweet


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#9 mjtnismo

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Posted 11 October 2016 - 06:57 PM

Well guys, I have to apologize, I haven't been on in a while.  I just got back recently from a place that had no internet (hard to believe right) and spent my entire time building a bathroom in a basement so I had zero time to build anything else. 

20160925_005606_zpsh2i18xoz.jpg

 

Well they say that when it rains it pours...pun intended since we just had a hurricane blow through.  Aside from having to deal with my dog attempting suicide out the back of my truck at 40mph (and the subsequent surgeries), my computer crapping out on me conveniently while I'm in the middle of tuning my truck, and well actually working, this happened in WV last week.  70mph + Deer on highway = Decapitation.

 

20160926_010307_zps29lzplcd.jpg

 

If anyone has followed any of my posts, then you'll know why this frustrates me so much.  I just got done with a complete rebuild of this truck, mainly that front right corner.  So yeah, I'll be a little tied up fixing that.  Because I no longer have Brake Ducts I have to put the intake on hold, but it just means I'm readjusting a little.  Since I'm going to be repairing my front end I decided I might as well knock out some of the parts people have been asking for.  Big priorities right now are building the Brake Ducts, since mine did survive enough to be reproduced, as well as doing the radiator cover.  I'm also toying with finally trying to make my grill.  I have an 06 SS with an 04 hood, so i'm going to try and make an 06 style grill that will fit.  That one may be more difficult than I'm willing to mass produce so don't hold your breath.

 

Again I ask for patience as this is not a quick process.  I will hopefully have something to show you soon.


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#10 03SSBoy

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 08:20 AM

Wow that sucks to hear!! hope you get her back looking as good as new.


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#11 mjtnismo

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Posted 15 November 2016 - 07:04 PM

So first off the best news.  My truck is back together.  Well minus the brake ducts, since i'm using them to make the carbon fiber versions.

 

20161104_104041_zpsj4qyumdz.jpg

 

Next, I'm almost done with the radiator cover.  I've been working the last couple days getting it ready for mold making.

 

20161113_124152_zpsitd7ffjk.jpg

 

Here it is being smoothed out.  Getting rid of the texture is priority or it'll print into the epoxy.  Also I'm making it completely flat since there won't be any labels.  Plus its less for the carbon fiber to conform to.

 

20161115_133251_zps4bkvqevp.jpg

 

And here is the primer top coat with all the imperfections sanded out.  It's sitting in the booth with the high gloss top coat curing now, so with luck by tomorrow i'll be able to make the mold.

 

Also in the picture you can see the brake ducts (the left is pre-finished, the right is ready for mold).  Those are so complex I am taking my absolute time on them.  The molds will have to be 3 or 4 piece just so i can release the parts from them.  Now i can see why no one has ever made them in carbon fiber before.  I'd definitely like to get them done sooner than later though so i can stop driving around without brake ducts.  Not that it makes a huge difference since i have an 03 grille with an 06 truck (bumper and grille have different pattern).  


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#12 Red454SS

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 12:56 AM

Progress looks good, any clue what the cost of the radiator cover will be?


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GMPP LSX 454 with lots of upgraded internals~FAST LSXR 102mm Intake~FAST 65# Fuel Injectors~Nick Williams 102mm Throttle Body~WCCH Stage 2 L92 Heads~Saikou Michi Catch Can powdercoated red~300amp Ohio Generator Alternator~ARH 1 7/8" Long Tube Headers, Custom 3" Dual Exhaust, High Flow Cats. Magnaflow Mufflers, Doug’s Dual Electric Cutouts~Abear Valve Covers, Custom Engraved~Volant Cold Air Intake~Oscar Aluminum Radiator~Trucool 40K Transmission Cooler~Walbro 450 Fuel Pump~Belltech Shocks~Flexalite 282 Electric Fans with harness~Jake's Performance Stage 4 4L80E Conversion~PTC 3000 Stall Billet Torque Converter~Baer 15.6" 3 Piston Front Brakes, 14.4" 2 Piston Rear Brakes~Hotchkis Swaybars and Shocks~Blackbear Performance Autocal Tune

 

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#13 mjtnismo

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Posted 18 November 2016 - 06:58 PM

At this point its hard to say the cost.  I have made a very intricate and detailed excel spreadsheet that computes the exact cost of materials, so as soon as i pump out the first one and am happy with it i will put out the price.

 

I did not get lucky the other night though.  Two more times redoing the top coat before i was 100% happy with it. Currently it is here:

 

20161118_180119_zps5y8dktnl.jpg

 

Basically have the piece completely finished and buffed smooth.  It looks matte because I was having trouble with my high gloss top coat, and ended up using the grey instead. Already attached the barriers and am in the process of packing the gaps with plastaline clay.  After that tomorrow i can wax it up and cast the mold.  If the temperature is as good tomorrow as it was today then i may be able to knock out the first piece tomorrow afternoon.  


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#14 wild2003ss

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Posted 19 November 2016 - 07:14 PM

I might have missed it but what about a engine cover with supercharger like the Joe Gibbs racing one?
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112 Maggie, Magnaflow custom exhaust, Bullet cats, Pacesetter Lt's, Nology wires, NGK plugs, Rossler transmission, Bser Rollpan, extang bed cover, Tv and Ps2, Zippy tune, Aem air filter, Zippy 2600 stall converter, Boost gauge, air/fuel mixture gauge and exhaust with cutouts.

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Cam , e-fans,160*stat & PI converter 2800 10.5 triple disc


#15 mjtnismo

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Posted 26 November 2016 - 04:46 PM

I can't make what I don't have, so unless you are going to let me borrow your supercharger, you are S-O-L. 

 

Also, an update I'm out of town for a little while, but the radiator cover mold is sitting on my work bench ready to be separated.  Left so fast I didn't even have time to crack it open. Sorry guys, it's just one delay after another.


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