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Work Log: Audi A4 1997 A/C relocation

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  • Work Log: Audi A4 1997 A/C relocation

    So, as ive ordered my 8inch Lilliput, I somehow need to relocate my A/C control unit to the ashtray area.


    A/C removed, out of the box (Idea from brrman) and placed in the ash tray compartment.

    I now need to source something that I can make a panel to keep the A/C panel there. Any ideas?
    I have come up with two ideas, one make the center console a mold, cover the ash tray compartment up with tape, and put some expanding foam, or fiberglass, or bondo? (What it bondo?). OR, I can source some ABS plastic sheets, and try and cut it to fit (I reckon that this will be the harder one..)

    What do you guys think?
    1997 Audi A4 Quattro Car-PC Worklog

  • #2
    Bondo doesn't stand up to thermal cycling very well.

    If it was me, I'd glass it or cut abs plastic sheets. Either method would be good imo.
    Pico-ITX / XP Home with EWF-HORM / RR v12/02/2009 / Winamp v5.13 / RRMedia v1.2.2


    • #3
      iv looked at this thread a few times now and after thinking about it, if it were me, i would probably try and make a frame that fits the ac controls out of abs or even some thin wood. That way you could trim out enough space to glue it in place of the ash tray and secure it with glue and use some bondoglass or epoxy putty or something strong to fill in around the edges, then youll have a nice flush fitting bezel to fit your ac controls into.

      The only thing left would be figuring out a way to mount the actual controls behind the panel.

      I hope that makes sense, i dont always transition my thoughts into words that well lol.


      • #4
        Right, Well, I decided to make a mold out of expanding foam. It came out pretty well:

        Now I just need to cut it flat (At the front) and cover with fiber glass and sand multiple times. Depending on how well this goes, I may try what you said edge2k, either make a frame out of a few wooden lolipop sticks then cover it in epoxy putty (We dont have bondo in New Zealand)..
        1997 Audi A4 Quattro Car-PC Worklog


        • #5
          Ah, well keep us posted on the progress id like to see it how it comes out, and bondo is just a common name that most people give to any body filler, the brand i prefer is from Rage, the gold body filler works great and duraglass is the fiberglass enforced filler i prefer to use, maybe you could have some luck finding those or an equivalent product.

          On a side note, did you use a 2 part urethane foam or one of those aresol expanding foam like "great stuff", most likely the aresol type cans will be eaten by most resin types, the urethane foam should be able to glass over with no problem though, so you might want to try a small sample before you mix up a batch and end up with a pile of goo.

          Keep us updated =).


          • #6
            Ahhhhhh! That would be why people look at me funny when I ask if they stock bondo! Duh.
            Thanks for that lol, So the fiberglass enforced bondo stands up well to the heat cycle in a car well?

            I used the spray can stuff :/ lol. Well, Ill test it, and if it does eat it, I can cover the foam in tape, then coat in fiberglass, and see what happens.
            Ill do that later tonight, after work.

            Heres a pic of the cut mold:

            1997 Audi A4 Quattro Car-PC Worklog


            • #7
              The mold looks promising, but the fiberglass enforced bondo alone would probably not be a great idea though i have seen a successful bezel made from it in the forums, its purpose it really ment to fill gaps larger then standard body filler can fill while adding a some strength, i believe it will expand and shrink slightly after curing, your best bet would be to get a layer or to of fiberglass mat down, resin wait for it to cure and then a layer of the fiber filler if you think its necessary, in my opinion if you are able to lay the fiberglass down and roll out any bubbles during before hardening you probably wouldn't need the fg filler, just a regular body filler to smooth out the surface imperfections and pinholes and give it a final sand.

              After laying down your fiberglass and hardening, i would put a top coat of just resin over it just to add a little to keep you from sanding down to bare fiberglass, apply body filler, smooth and primer =)


              • #8
                Cool, Thankyou for your help!
                Ill get the fiber glass on my way home from work (Leaving now) and try and get the first layer on to leave overnight.
                1997 Audi A4 Quattro Car-PC Worklog


                • #9
                  Sounds good, i usually use about 8-10ccs of MEKP hardener per 12 ounces of resin, that little packet is never enough for me lol, it usually hardens in about 15 or so minnutes around 70-85 degree temperature outside.


                  • #10
                    So I started to fiber glass the edges of the mold. I realised that because ive done the outside of the mold, it shouldnt fit inside the gap lol. Oh well, ill remove all the foam, and fiberglass the inside.

                    1997 Audi A4 Quattro Car-PC Worklog


                    • #11
                      Sorry for not updating sooner. I have progressed a fair bit I think. That layer has finished, I cut off the excess and test fitted. It fit fine, no problems due to the fiber glass on the exterior of the mold. I fiberglassed the front of the thing, which came out badley, It wasent straight. At all.

                      So I decided to redo that, after sanding down, leaving it on a plastic box to get a perfectly strait edge.

                      This came out well, and I am happy with it.
                      So I did another layer on the sides. Which again, came out alright.
                      Second layer on side + second layer on the front:

                      Test fit after a little sanding and cutting:

                      Theres about 4mm clearance each side of where the A/C controls will be:

                      Cutting it out:

                      Plenty of sanding and filing later, I managed to get the A/C controls to fit in.

                      I know its not perfect, but as its my first go with anything like this, I dont think its too bad.. Even if its not 100% what I wanted..

                      Now I ask for some advice:
                      What paint/sprimer should I use?
                      Should I get some body filler to fill in any imperfections? If so, What sort!?
                      1997 Audi A4 Quattro Car-PC Worklog


                      • #12
                        Nice work i man i think it turned out really well considering it was your first time and all.


                        • #13
                          For being your first time, even though it may not have been exactly what you wanted i think it looks great!

                          Just out of curiosity what type of resin were you using, was it epoxy resin im just surprised it didnt eat away at the foam.

                          As for filling in any of the imperfections, i would think what ever automotive body filler that you have in your region would do just fine, if you are planning on matching the color and factory texture next to your local autobody paint supplies shop employee, nexson is probably the best guy to ask for that.


                          • #14
                            First time or not it turned out good.
                            2004 Chevy 2500HD Diesel
                            12" Touch Screen
                            ASUS P4GV-LA
                            and some other odds and ends


                            • #15
                              So, I did quite a bit today.
                              I borrowed my friends dremal thing and made the A/C Control panel fit inside, as it should (Y). Its now FLUSH
                              I painted the fiberglass (After sanding), although I never filled in the holes, which you can now see (Oh well).
                              I cut holes for the connections in the back.



                              Test Fit:

                              Cut Holes for wires:

                              Flush Again:

                              After a bit of a wipe down:

                              1997 Audi A4 Quattro Car-PC Worklog