Go Back  RX7Club.com - Mazda RX7 Forum > Tech and Performance > Race Car Tech
Reload this Page >

FD Headlight Delete Panels (Carbon Fiber)

Race Car Tech Discuss anything related to road racing and auto X.

FD Headlight Delete Panels (Carbon Fiber)

Old 04-04-13, 02:39 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
10 Year Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (1)
 
Kevin Doe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 327
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
FD Headlight Delete Panels (Carbon Fiber)

That about wraps up the front end project, and I had another separate project going on this winter too. A composites project.


I'm making a headlight delete panel for my 93 Mazda RX-7. I am removing the pop-up headlights and replacing them with these covers. I expect the weight savings to be ~14 lbs, based on the the weight of the parts removed and the estimated weight of the delete panel. This will be my first all epoxy project. Last year I did a project where I made a mold from polyester gel and resin using chopped strand mat. I had help making that mold, and learned a lot from the process (a lot of what not to do).

For this project I'll be using a epoxy surface coat, with epoxy laminating resin, and various woven fabric reinforcements. I'm using Adtech ES-201-PC surface coat, Adtech EL-301 laminating resin, and some 1 oz fabric followed by 8.8 oz fabric for the mold. For the part I'll be infusing with Adtech 820 resin.

First step, make a platform that mimics the surface which I will bolt my part to. For the RX-7, it is a simple angled surface to which the parts will bolt, so that was easy enough to make from plywood. Then I took some measurements from the factory cover panel to the mounting flanges/locations which I'll bolt my cover delete panel to. I too many measurements to ensure my plug would be constructed perfectly. I transferred those measurements from the car to the plug and mocked up the factory covers in that position.

IMG_7419.jpg | Flickr - Photo Sharing! IMG_7419.jpg | Flickr - Photo Sharing! by Kevin_Doe, on Flickr

I then transferred a scribe line from the edge of the cover down to the base, and cut and glued some 1/4" square dowel to the base using hot melt adhesive. That was to provide a good surface to glue the "walls" against. Following that, I cut some wood to fill in the walls. Again, I used hot glue for that. Then it was body filler time. If you look closely at this photo, you can see the RX-7 in the background. You can pick out the angled surfaces I'll be bolting these down to.

Untitled | Flickr - Photo Sharing! Untitled | Flickr - Photo Sharing! by Kevin_Doe, on Flickr

Then after body filler and glazing, and 220 grit, it was time for a high build primer.
Untitled | Flickr - Photo Sharing! Untitled | Flickr - Photo Sharing! by Kevin_Doe, on Flickr

This is where I'm currently at, I need to get this sanded to 600-800 grit. Then I'll hit it with a base coat, then a 2k clear coat. Wet sand and buff to a mirror finish.
Kevin Doe is offline  
Old 04-04-13, 02:40 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
10 Year Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (1)
 
Kevin Doe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 327
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I sprayed the base and 3 coats of clear. Turned out pretty much awesome for my first time every using an HVLP spray gun. I did get one sag in the clear on my 1st coat, but I shouldn't have any issue wet sanding it out and buffing it up to a nice shine. The finished surface when installed looks nearly perfect w/o even wet sanding and buffing yet.

Wet sanded to 3000 grit and buffed out.
IMG_7431.jpg | Flickr - Photo Sharing! IMG_7431.jpg | Flickr - Photo Sharing! by Kevin_Doe, on Flickr

IMG_7434.jpg | Flickr - Photo Sharing! IMG_7434.jpg | Flickr - Photo Sharing! by Kevin_Doe, on Flickr
Kevin Doe is offline  
Old 04-04-13, 02:40 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
10 Year Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (1)
 
Kevin Doe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 327
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Made the mold yesterday. It was a marathon of work, ~9 hours straight with my Dad helping. All made with type 7725 E-glass. 8.8 oz, 2x2 twill. Has a minimum of 8 layers everywhere, with many areas (darker green) having significantly more. Went through roughly 1 gallon of resin and 15 yards of fabric. From the outside it looks like it turned out nice, but I'm pretty nervous about the finished side. This is the first time I've made an epoxy mold, so the brushing on surface coat was new to me.

Untitled | Flickr - Photo Sharing! Untitled | Flickr - Photo Sharing! by Kevin_Doe, on Flickr

Untitled | Flickr - Photo Sharing! Untitled | Flickr - Photo Sharing! by Kevin_Doe, on Flickr
Kevin Doe is offline  
Old 04-04-13, 02:41 PM
  #4  
Senior Member
10 Year Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (1)
 
Kevin Doe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 327
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I popped off the mold today. It was on there for ~72 hours. Popped off pretty easily. The surface looks great.
IMG_7446.jpg | Flickr - Photo Sharing! IMG_7446.jpg | Flickr - Photo Sharing! by Kevin_Doe, on Flickr

IMG_7445.jpg | Flickr - Photo Sharing! IMG_7445.jpg | Flickr - Photo Sharing! by Kevin_Doe, on Flickr

Small update:


Pulled the parts from the mold. They're a bit dry, and the weave isn't very straight and nice, but they parts will be functional. I'm not happy with how they turned out, so they're definitely getting painted to match the car. Weight of each is 7.3 oz. Savings of 14 lbs.

IMG_7705.jpg | Flickr - Photo Sharing! IMG_7705.jpg | Flickr - Photo Sharing! by Kevin_Doe, on Flickr

IMG_7707.jpg | Flickr - Photo Sharing! IMG_7707.jpg | Flickr - Photo Sharing! by Kevin_Doe, on Flickr

IMG_7708.jpg | Flickr - Photo Sharing! IMG_7708.jpg | Flickr - Photo Sharing! by Kevin_Doe, on Flickr
Kevin Doe is offline  
Old 04-04-13, 02:41 PM
  #5  
Senior Member
10 Year Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (1)
 
Kevin Doe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 327
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
IMG_7714.jpg | Flickr - Photo Sharing! IMG_7714.jpg | Flickr - Photo Sharing! by Kevin_Doe, on Flickr

Closeup of dryness. You can see the resin wicked out of the weave intersections.
IMG_7713.jpg | Flickr - Photo Sharing! IMG_7713.jpg | Flickr - Photo Sharing! by Kevin_Doe, on Flickr
Kevin Doe is offline  
Old 04-05-13, 05:53 PM
  #6  
Trackstar motorsport
10 Year Member
iTrader: (8)
 
97SupraTwinTurbo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: glendale, ca
Posts: 242
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
That's actually very innovative that you produced the mold and made it out of CF. Weight savings of 14lbs is not bad at all.
97SupraTwinTurbo is offline  
Old 04-05-13, 06:00 PM
  #7  
Mazda Racing
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 9
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
hi
WAM'90FC3S is offline  
Old 04-05-13, 08:54 PM
  #8  
Full Member
iTrader: (10)
 
bigpaparotor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: FL
Posts: 103
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Awesome job. Make me a pair haha.
bigpaparotor is offline  
Old 04-05-13, 11:55 PM
  #9  
needs more track time
iTrader: (14)
 
gracer7-rx7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Bay Area CA
Posts: 7,836
Received 15 Likes on 14 Posts
Awesome indeed
gracer7-rx7 is offline  
Old 04-08-13, 11:54 PM
  #10  
IRS 4 Life
iTrader: (12)
 
Bacon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Sicklerville, South Jersey!!
Posts: 2,634
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
With a fancy mold like that would you ever consider making another set? So want to get rid of my frogeyey lights on my drag car. Great job btw
Bacon is offline  
Old 04-10-13, 01:45 PM
  #11  
Senior Member
10 Year Member
Thread Starter
iTrader: (1)
 
Kevin Doe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 327
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm thinking of making a few more sets (or maybe just selling the mold to someone who has time do make more sets. I'll figure it out in some time, and let everyone know my intentions.
Kevin Doe is offline  
Old 04-14-13, 08:06 AM
  #12  
Lives on the Forum
iTrader: (8)
 
ptrhahn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 8,492
Received 20 Likes on 19 Posts
Nice work, but pretty crazy that you can DELETE the headlights, and only save 14 lbs.
ptrhahn is offline  
Old 08-30-13, 04:34 AM
  #13  
Carbon Freak
iTrader: (7)
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 344
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Hey,

Really nice work! And I know how troublesome it is to make!

If people are interested, I could make a mould from your sample!

Cheers,

Marc
CarbonRXX is offline  
Old 08-30-13, 04:36 AM
  #14  
Junior Member
 
Realr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Trinidad
Posts: 21
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Nice work, great upgrade...
Realr is offline  
Old 08-30-13, 01:04 PM
  #15  
Rare for a Reason
iTrader: (13)
 
Narfle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Dagobah
Posts: 5,635
Received 136 Likes on 96 Posts
You make these projects look easy. Nuts.
Makes me want to delete my headlights, lol.
Narfle is offline  
Old 08-30-13, 01:25 PM
  #16  
brap brap brap
iTrader: (2)
 
evo_koa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Huntsville, Al
Posts: 1,195
Received 14 Likes on 14 Posts
very cool!
evo_koa is offline  
Old 09-03-13, 07:48 AM
  #17  
All out Track Freak!
iTrader: (261)
 
Fritz Flynn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Charlottesville VA 22901
Posts: 10,324
Received 113 Likes on 96 Posts
Originally Posted by CarbonRXX View Post
Hey,

Really nice work! And I know how troublesome it is to make!

If people are interested, I could make a mould from your sample!

Cheers,

Marc
I'm interested
Fritz Flynn is offline  
Old 09-04-13, 12:58 AM
  #18  
Fast + Reliable = $$$$$
iTrader: (18)
 
PandazRx-7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,221
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
^Interested too!!!
PandazRx-7 is offline  
Old 09-08-13, 07:14 PM
  #19  
Let's get silly...
iTrader: (7)
 
RockLobster's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Rosemount, MN
Posts: 1,703
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
Would buy a set.
RockLobster is offline  
Old 09-08-13, 10:15 PM
  #20  
Carbon Freak
iTrader: (7)
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 344
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Ok now try to convince Kevin Doe to send a sample!
CarbonRXX is offline  
Old 09-09-13, 03:11 PM
  #21  
Let's get silly...
iTrader: (7)
 
RockLobster's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Rosemount, MN
Posts: 1,703
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
If i were him i'd sell it to you. Don't know about just giving it away..
RockLobster is offline  
Old 09-09-13, 04:00 PM
  #22  
Fast + Reliable = $$$$$
iTrader: (18)
 
PandazRx-7's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,221
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by CarbonRXX View Post
Ok now try to convince Kevin Doe to send a sample!
I've been in contact with Kevin a couple times since May trying to buy a set(or at least the molds)... he's said he's going to sell the molds only after he makes another set for himself that he's happy with BUT he's too busy and will most likely not make another set this season.

CarbonRXX, why don't you just make new molds from scratch?
PandazRx-7 is offline  
Old 09-09-13, 09:48 PM
  #23  
IRS 4 Life
iTrader: (12)
 
Bacon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Sicklerville, South Jersey!!
Posts: 2,634
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yea, think there's atleast 5 of us who asked him the same thing. He did a awesome job, whoever makes a set, lmk I'm a real buyer
Bacon is offline  
Old 09-10-13, 02:59 AM
  #24  
Carbon Freak
iTrader: (7)
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 344
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally Posted by PandazRx-7 View Post
I've been in contact with Kevin a couple times since May trying to buy a set(or at least the molds)... he's said he's going to sell the molds only after he makes another set for himself that he's happy with BUT he's too busy and will most likely not make another set this season.

CarbonRXX, why don't you just make new molds from scratch?
Because I don't have the car with me! I do have the carbon fiber headlights covers moulds but for this, it should go deeper and I have no idea how much!

Maybe you can tell Kevin that if he sends me the parts, I can make a copy for him free of charge!
CarbonRXX is offline  
Old 09-11-13, 06:05 PM
  #25  
Full Member
iTrader: (10)
 
bigpaparotor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: FL
Posts: 103
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would be interested.
bigpaparotor is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: