Sunroof delete

Fiberglass, body panels, valences. Also interior pieces like seats, dashes, etc
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Rick
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Sunroof delete

Postby Rick » Sat Dec 17, 2011 1:17 am

Seeing as my cars new aim is towards Autox (and track someday) I'm getting the car as light as possible. The sunroof and its "cartrige" ( a big steel enclosure the sunroof slides into) are good for about 40# of weight, and weight up high to boot, which is really the bad kind. It also allows you to make your roll bar higher up for more headroom.

On a side note my first step towards weight reduction was to gut the trunk and remove the lead-like sound deadening. To my amazement I was pretty sure I felt the car pull a little harder after it lost all that crap. Then gutted the interior from the seats back. Once again it felt a little stronger. Costs nothing and makes everything better (well except maybe comfort, but thats not the aim here)

picts coming up tomorrow.
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Sunroof delete

Postby ten2doyle102 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:14 am

I did something similar too this as well! Interested to see how you do yours
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Re: Sunroof delete

Postby M20_fever » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:37 am

I don't know much about SCCA points assessments, but I would recommend you read the SOLO rules over and over several times before tearing into your car. You could easily end up in a situation where you either need to go up to a class you won't be competitive in, or have to de-mod your car to be within the restrictions of the class you will be competitive in. I had to swap my built head off for a stock rebuilt head to stay in the class I felt I was most competitive in, and I was lucky it was that easy.
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Re: Sunroof delete

Postby Rick » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:58 am

Thats a point, but I'm already bastardized class wise as the car was anyway.
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Re: Sunroof delete

Postby Nsquared97 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:46 am

I'm not too sure what the rules say regarding sunroof removal, and to be honest I am too lazy to look it up right now lol. But I do remember reading somebody who removed the cartridge for a rallycar build, and he said it was quite the PITA.
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Re: Sunroof delete

Postby Rick » Sat Dec 17, 2011 6:38 pm

Yes it was a pita. Im in there with a grinder and sparks flying in my face and hair stinging my scalp wondering WTF exactly am I dong?.. Then this big heavy and bulky plate drops down on my head and I remember.

They are OK to delete.
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Re: Sunroof delete

Postby Rick » Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:29 pm

Some picts.

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Everything removed

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Casette in my mini junkyard

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Thats the only rust I have found on my car lol

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Still thinking on the filler...Much care has to be taken when removing the casette not to pry on the roof. i cut one side with a grinder and that allowed me to work the bonding loose. Was a royal PITA but got it out cleanly and with no roof distortion.

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Could be a useful stringer for the filler panel. It needs to be lenghtened but its the perfect roof curve.

I was just going to bond and rivet a sheetmetal cover on, but I have second thoughts. Kinda hokey looking. So my current thoughts are to
make a mold of the sunroof and make a GRP insert. I liked the idea of the structuralness nature of the bonded and riveted sheetmetal but not to sure on the looks.
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Re: Sunroof delete

Postby Rick » Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:40 pm

Some cutting detail.

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Re: Sunroof delete

Postby M20_fever » Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:45 pm

Nice pics, did you weigh everything you took out?
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Re: Sunroof delete

Postby Rick » Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:52 pm

Yeah just did:

Casette: 15#
Sunroof: 12#
all other junk (I had a Manula crank roof): 6#

And then the headliner and liner for sunroof, so it's about 35# all up. Im guessing my composite replacement piece will be 2.5#
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Re: Sunroof delete

Postby M20_fever » Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:58 pm

Thats a nice savings. I'll have to remember that when I go into an unlimited class.
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Re: Sunroof delete

Postby Rick » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:38 pm

I started molding it now. I will be able to make a few more if anyone wants one. Picts coming.
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Re: Sunroof delete

Postby Rick » Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:01 pm

This will be a "quick" type mold job. Meaning the part I pull from it will need a little work. Thats OK because its not worth making a nice production mold if you only want a few parts from it.

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Starting with the stock sunroof, I just laid down some aluminum tape over the rubber molding on the edges. Obviously you cant mold it with the rubber removed cause then it will be too small to fit the car. This mold will be split in the middle of the sunroof to make a two piece mold that bolt together. It would be too hard to get a laid up part out if I dont split it somewhere. To make a parting line I just put down some masking tape, and then glued a piece on to make a "wall"

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I put a coat of paste mold wax down, then sprayed a nice coat of PVA. PVA sprays on like paint but is water soluable and doesent really stick, and makes a thin skin that peels off to allow the mold to release from the part (sunroof).

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Whan the PVA dries its time to make the molds gellcoat. This is my special mix of epoxy resin, graphite powder and colloidial silica mixed up and painted on with a brush. The graphite makes parts release eaiser, and also gives a nice black color to the tool so when you lay up the parts you can easily spot air bubbles.

Im maing these tools from epoxy for as few reasons; epoxy tools are much tougher than polyester and the epoxy I use for tooling is kinda flexable so its easier to pop parts out. Also polyester release very nice from epoxy, as it inherently doesent bond to it. Polyester tools like to chip easily, so I almost always make molds from epoxy.
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Re: Sunroof delete

Postby M20_fever » Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:04 pm

Looking good so far! Are you doing fiberglass or carbon fiber?
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Re: Sunroof delete

Postby Yoshi » Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:11 pm

I just tack welded mine in and bonded the rest. Prob added some weight but meh.
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