Fiberglass enclosures?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Shawn Solar, Mar 2, 2003.

  1. Shawn Solar

    Shawn Solar Supporting Actor

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    I just been planning on a new car. Nothing extravagant, maybe one of them dvd screen/stereo head units and replace them factory speakers with higher quality co-axial's or if I could seperates. Since this is the DIY place to be(even though all my projects are snowed in) I have always wondered about fiberglass encolsures. anyone know how or attempt one?

    I would like to know the process on how to make one. I thought you would start with a wood template or form, them mold the fiber-shell to it to get the shape. or make the shape in sand, pour the form with cement then just 'coat' the form with the fiberglass. I want a proffessional install look but want to do it myself. Can't have someone else touch my stereo, that's too personal [​IMG]
     
  2. DarrellC

    DarrellC Stunt Coordinator

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    Probably the wrong place for car audio, but since I am a former car audio competitor I will help you out. I have made about 20 enclosures for different things including subs, amps, eq's and fuse blocks. It is really pretty simple but hard to explain. Check out the forum at www.carsound.com. It has a lot of competitors that can point you to some links on step by step construction. If you have any questions for me, send me a PM.
     
  3. Shawn Solar

    Shawn Solar Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Darrell,

    I figured this to be the wrong place but at the same time I felt that there are a lot of professionals here that I know and trust and I want to DIY. Not to say that prof's don't frequent other boards. But scince most projects here are subwoofers I was wondering if anyone tried it. I will Pm you as well.
     
  4. Jeff_Krueger

    Jeff_Krueger Stunt Coordinator

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    In theory building a Fiberglass enclosure it not very complicated, however in pratice it is quite tedious. I will hopefully finish the project I started last summer soon. I'm building fiberglass kickpanels and a fiberglass sub box.

    What I did for the sub box was to pick an area in the trunk that I wanted for the box, in this case I chose to put in on the passenger side behind the wheel well. Then I masked off the entire area using masking tape and aluminum foil to make sure the resin could not get on to the actual body panels. I lightly coated the area with car wax as a mold release and then painted resin onto the desired area and putting fiberglass mat down and soaking it with resin. Repeat until there are a few layers of mat down and it is strong enough to be removed from the car. This panel will form the back side of the enclosure put more layers of fiberglass down until it is about a 1/4 inch thick or more if you choose. (this is as far as I've gotten on the sub box) Next you would make a baffle piece for your sub and afix it to the panel so that it is standing off of it. It should seem like the baffle is hanging suspended in mid air in front/above the fiberglass panel. Next take something like cotton fleece and glue/staple it to the baffle and fiberglass this will form the sides of the box. Soak the fleece with resin and lay up layers of mat/cloth until it is thick and strong. Then you can paint then enclosure or cover with your choice of materials for the finish.

    Remember that curved sections of fiberglass will be more rigid than flat sections, so if you are going to end up with many flat sections use mdf for those parts instead. Also when making the back mold take into acount that you will have to be able to remove your molded piece from the car so don't mold around shapes that will physically prevent removal.

    For a better explanation with pics search on the car audio forums.
     
  5. Shawn Solar

    Shawn Solar Supporting Actor

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    Where can you find this resin? How much and how does it differ from the fiberglass bondo? thanks[​IMG]
     
  6. Jeff_Krueger

    Jeff_Krueger Stunt Coordinator

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    It's just polyeter resin, it is different than autobody filler, you can find some from Bondo (make sure it is fiberglass resin and not autobody filler) just about everywhere (hardware stores, K-mart, Wallmart ,Home depot etc.) Can't remember how much it was last time I bought it but probably about $10 for about 1 quart.

    Fiberglass resin requires a hardner that usually comes with it, but sometimes it helps to have extra on hand, about a couple bucks for a small tube.

    You can try www.shopmaninc.com for online purchase they have tons of stuff including the normal polyester resin as well as two part epoxies and specialty fabrics like kevlar and carbon fiber. As well as various tools.

    Although I've gotten by so far with the stuff from wallmart, when I resume my project when the weather warms up I might order stuff from shopman or go to a boating supply store. The regular stores only have the plain old mat and cloth, where as some stuff like knytex would come in handy.
     
  7. Shawn Solar

    Shawn Solar Supporting Actor

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    Thanks again[​IMG]

    It seems like a fun project. A lot of fussing and playing around to get a nice fit though. Probably take me several days to make one.
     
  8. Rob Formica

    Rob Formica Stunt Coordinator

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    It should be a simple trip to your local canadian tire... polyester resin (sometimes incorrectly refer to as fiberglass resin) is sold for making auto body patches together with the fiberglass fabrics and meshes.

    If you want to have some local suppliers, you can try the canadian car audio board... at www.canadiancaraudio.com lots of regulars on their forums many of whom are pro installers.

    later...
    Rob
     
  9. Shawn Solar

    Shawn Solar Supporting Actor

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    Been researching lst couple of days. About 1-2hrs each night. Found out how to do it. Also looked up some power related Q's. Thanks.
     
  10. DerrickW

    DerrickW Stunt Coordinator

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  11. DerrickW

    DerrickW Stunt Coordinator

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    sorry, was just wondering what the spoiler tag did [​IMG]
     
  12. Shawn Solar

    Shawn Solar Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Derrick,

    I like what you did to your stereo. I have to wait until spring before I can do anything. Actually wait. I have to buy I new car before I do anything. I was also actually planning to add some fiberglass panels for some DIY speakers as well[​IMG]
     
  13. DerrickW

    DerrickW Stunt Coordinator

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    Fiberglass is hard to work with at first, but you can get some crazy looking stuff if you know what you're doing. That was my first try, so I think I could get much more advanced now. I just can't think of any home designs where fiberglass would look better than plain old wood that fits in with decor.
     
  14. Jeff_Krueger

    Jeff_Krueger Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Derrick your car is pretty much like what I am doing with mine. Started the sub box a long time ago but still haven't finished it. I will probably finish the kick panels first that way I can put my 6.5" subs in the doors. I started my sub box the exact same way as you did yours. How has your box worked out? do you have any buzzing or vibrations? what was the final thickness of the fiberglass? thats the only thing still concerning me is exactly how thick I should make it. I think I am going to try to cover the box in vinyl since the lines of it will flow into an amp rack on the floor of the trunk.

    There is definately a learning curve to working with fiberglass, I could tell you that if had to do another project it would move much quicker.
     
  15. Shawn Solar

    Shawn Solar Supporting Actor

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    Well I have a pair av1+'s and a pair of subwoofers and a left over 2-channel amp. Did not take me long to put the two together. The subs will serve as stands. But will be 16"wide. The speakers are 8" wide. I want to make a very smooth transition between the two down the length. If I curve some panels to go on the side it will tie the two nicely. I just got to keep away from the front baffle as to not screw up the baffle step compensation. I figure if I stay 1-2" away from the front. Purely asthetics[​IMG] The subs will be tuned to 22hz with a single 4" flared port.
     
  16. DerrickW

    DerrickW Stunt Coordinator

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    No buzzing or vibrations, but my car was completely soundproofed. I don't even know how thick the fiberglass was in the end, but I can tell you it was beyond overkill. I did over 20 layers if I remember correctly. I sold the boxes shortly after the car was totalled from an attempted theft, so I only had them finished a few weeks. But you could easily jump on them- they were ridiculously solid. They looked and weighed like boulders.

    Now the kicks were a shorter adventure. Properly aligned they can make a great improvement in sound stage. I was very pleased with them, and sold those as well afterwards. I would do kicks again, but now believe in a stealth install that looks completely factory- don't need another theft.
     

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