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***jojor512's fiberglass fab guide***

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  • ***jojor512's fiberglass fab guide***

    wrote these up a long time ago on my sounddomain page, dont have this car anymore, but you can never have too many fiberglass examples...


    Here are the materials you will need:
    1. 1 Gallon fiberglass Resin
    2. 1 Quart body filler
    3. 4 square yards fleece fabric
    4. 1 package of fiberglass mat
    5. Glazing putty
    6. Disposable brushes
    7. Latex Gloves
    8. Bondo Spreaders
    9. Sanding blocks (60,100,150, 220)
    10. Safetey goggles
    11. Primer
    12. Spray bed-liner
    13. Respirator

    Tools you will need:
    1. Router or Jigsaw (to cut out speaker rings, hole in door panel)
    2. Random Orbit Sander
    3. Hot glue gun w/ heavy duty hot glue

    The first thing you need to do is plan. Make sketches, and if possible, mock designs on the door panels themselves. Try different positions with your speakers to get the best angle/location for the tweeters & mids.

    Here is the basic layout I used. I cut the speaker rings out of plywood with a router, and the door panel with a jigsaw. The rings were angled and held in place with wood dowels & hot glue:

    Next, you need to cover your door panel & newly added speaker rings in fleece. This is the type of fleece your grandma uses to make blankets, so you will need to muster up courage to go into a fabric store. Usually they have some fleece on clearance because of ugly patterns, which is exactly what you want.

    Side-Profile shot.

    This is the step in the process in which you have the most control in how the final panel will turn out. Take your time, and it may take more than one attempt to get the fleece placed perfectly. I found that glueing the fleece down by a thin strip of glue going diagonaly from the speaker ring up to the opposite corner of the panel to be the most effective starting position, because it provides two disting directions for you to pull the fleece tight. Glue often, and make sure there are no creases or any bunched-up areas. You want the fleece to be as tight as possible. Wrap the extras around the backside of the panel, trimming and gluing as you go.

    One thing I highly recommend (which I did not do because my panel had previous damage) is to NOT wrap fleece around the upper part of the panel, where there are mounting holes. Try to stop the fleece right after the non-exposed part of the panel begins (i.e. where the upper armrest attaches and covers up part of the panel). This will make remounting much easier.

    Finally, the step most people are apprehensive about: FIBERGLASSING. It really isn't hard. If you ever did paper mache as a kid, then you will have no trouble. You must use latex gloves and a respirator. First, mix up the recommended amount of hardener to about 16oz of resin. Stir for about a minute or two using a disposable brush, and then brush the resin onto the fleece. You want to completly saturate the fabric, although you do not want any pools to form. Work fast, because the glass will start to cure in about 5 minutes. A spreader is useful, although not necessary. Throw away the brush when you are done, and after the remaining resin cures in the bucket, you will be able to pop it out to reuse the bucket.

    Next, flip the panel over and find all of the places that need to be reinforced (sides of the speaker rings, the pocket opening...). Next, mix up some more resin & hardener and cut the fiberglass matt into fairly small pieces, although no smaller than 3x3 inches. Next, dip the pieces into the resin, and thin off the extra resin by pulling the mat through two fingers, much like in paper mache. Stick these pieces into any area that looks like it needs reinforcement. Try to get two layers, it is not necessary to let them dry inbetween. Make sure everything is sufficiently covered in resin, and then let the panels dry.
    02 LEXUS IS300 // MANUAL // HKS // PLP // AAC

    itunes carputer in the works

  • #2
    Here is the part I dread the most: Sanding. Make sure to wear a respirator, safety glasses, and very old clothers. Work outside if possible. Use 60 grit sand paper with your power sander, and then 100 grit to get the fleece as smooth as possible. Worry only about imperfections that rise up, do not mess around with trying to get gouges or pits. Wash off the residue with a wet paper towel, and then mix up some body filler with hardener to being the finishing process. Using a spreader, push the body filler into all of the pits and imperfections. Some people cover their whole projects in body filler, although I concentrated on the problem areas (much less sanding). Make sure to get the filler as smooth as possible before it dries. After the filler dries, sand it down wit 100 grit, and then inspect. Chances are you will have to repeat the body filler phase several times. When everything looks good, fix any final imperfections with glazing putty. It works great when you wear latex gloves & spread it on with your fingers. Wash everything off with a wet paper towel. Note the beige patches in the picture are the areas where body filler was used.

    Getting close to the end... Sand everything with 150 grit sandpaper, and finally 220. If you are going to paint your panels, then you will want to wetsand even higher, but that will not be covered in this How-To. When you are done sanding, wipe the panels off with another paper towel. Coat everything in a primer, and inspect for any final problems. If everything looks good, then you are set for the final finish.

    Time to finish the panels. You have a variety of options, including paint, texure spray, vinyl, and carbon fiber. I first attempted a silver paint finish. It looked great, but it would not be very durable in a high traffic area like the door panels. Vinyl is a technique in which a material is streched over the panels and held in place (generally with staples or glue), and has a variety of OEM textures & colors. Carbon fiber could be applied much in the way you added fiberglass mat, only with one piece instead of many. Carbon fiber is expensive, and you have to be experienced with it to get a desirable finish.

    I decided to go with a texture-spray finish. I used Duplicolor truck bed liner, and am very happy with the results. It has a rubbery finish, and is very durable. SEM also makes a texture spray that can be dyed to match your interior color, although if black or white works best for you, then a bed liner spray is probably the way to go. It is cheap and easy to use.


    I always planned to go back and cover the panels in vinyl, but ended up buying the IS300 right around the time I would have done so. After around 72K on the car, I only resprayed the panels once, so the finish is very durable.
    02 LEXUS IS300 // MANUAL // HKS // PLP // AAC

    itunes carputer in the works


    • #3

      I had to take my subs out because of a long cross-country drive to college so I needed a set of speakers that would put out good rear fill and bass but not take up any room, so I decided to make a new rear deck. I believe this mod, at least in this form, is unique to my car. There was no cutting of any metal, as some people have done.

      Here's the overall design- There are holes in the metal that allow speaker baskets to fit in , but a huge spacer was needed. If I remember right I had to raise the speakers up about 1 3/4", which puts them about 1/2" away from the rear glass. No ideal for the soundstage, but everyone whos been in my car agrees they sounded amazing.

      I stretched the crazy fleece fabric with the shark pattern over the MDF frame to form the basic shape I wanted. It's hard to notice, but you can see that in the middle of the rear deck the fleecec slopes down- I went back and decided to make it flat all the way across (makes sanding a lot easier, as I had little time for this project).

      I didn't origonally plan for there to be such a big contour, but the small holes in the sheet metal changed that. As you can see, I flushed the grilles down about 3/8" with a router so that they wouldn't hit the rear glass.

      Test fitting:

      The shark fleece ended up getting covered in router dust so I had to use my extra black fleece. Here you can see the fiberglass resin curing. I didn't take any pictures of the whole sanding process, but if you go back to the door panels, you'll get a good idea of what goes on.

      Check out how tightly the polks fit in- they couldn't be mounted any further back because they would hit the rear glass. I stuck some foam and electrical tap in between the metal and magnets, and haven't had any problems so far:

      ALL DONE:

      if you need a reason to tint your windows, do it for the sake of your interior. had my seats not faded so much (check out seat belt line) it would have been a near perfect match, but close enough for me. I got tint while I still had all the trim off the car, just a couple years too late :tongue:
      02 LEXUS IS300 // MANUAL // HKS // PLP // AAC

      itunes carputer in the works


      • #4
        hahaha, love the shark fleece. Admins maybe set this up as a sticky?