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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 08-01-2010, 12:23 PM   #1
Nachos23
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Cool Carbon Fibre Wrapping Project v2.0

Some 11,000 of you (well maybe a few of you visited more than once ) took the time to visit my previous Carbon Fibre Wrapping Project thread: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...002&highlight=

Well, today I'm starting more challenging parts to wrap:

1. Centre Console
2. ECU Cover
3. Centre trim for e30 (for a friend)

Couldn't done the Centre Console and ECU cover (trust me, the CPU cover is version 2; version 1 was a disaster IMO ) without some changes to the materials I had used previously and some tricks learned along the way.

Materials:

- West System 105 Epoxy Resin & 206 Slow Hardener FTW!!!
- Dupont SelectClear 2K Clearcoat and Dupont SelectActivator 2K

I've watched a ton of videos to expand my knowledge and improve my techniques (I WANT PERFECTION!!). Here are two recent videos that have had a significant impact to the way I'm preparing and applying resins and (will be finishing) clearcoats

West Systems Training Videos:

Dispensing & Mixing: (just to ensure I'm working their products properly)
http://www.westsystem.com/ss/dispensing-and-mixing/

Applying Fabrics: Valuable Lesson here..... They use a plastic applicator to smooth out excess resin and it has made a HUGE improvement in the application (virtually no sanding its sooo level after it dries)

One major difference you need to do is apply the resin (using a small brush is fine) to the part to be wrapped BEFORE applying carbon fibre cloth!! The CF cloth MUST be "tacked" into place using the base resin before attempting to apply an initial top coat, or your weave will wander more than your bimmer with ****ed FCABs I've taken the West System training video; combined with this video I initally used from Carbon Mods in the UK:


Add some experience and experimenting (there's a couple of pieces that died a horrible death; used and abused for scientific purposes )

The 206 slow hardner several advantages over previous resins I've used:
- Longer pot time (the pot time is the amount of time it remains usable while in the mixing container; before being applied to part/cloth). This mixture has a pot time of 20 - 25 (my previous had a pot life of less than 5 min)
- Slow Hardening as the name implies. 90 - 110 min depending on temp

http://www.westsystem.com/ss/applying-fabrics/

This allowed me time to carefully apply the cloth and work it into the corners, over edges, and secure it in place in those "trouble areas"... Think the results speak for themselves

Finishing Techniquea for Clearcoat:


Going to be applying this lesson to these parts and see how BEAUTIFUL they will be when done.

I've gotten to applying final coats of resin to the ECU cover and e30 trim. Going to me applying the final coat of resin to the centre console after posting this...

West sanding tonight....

Here are some the pics so far:



After base coat ONLY (no top coat yet)


Second coat; not trimmed yet:


Second coat; trimmed but NOT sanded yet (notice the resin is virtually flat and has very few imperfections):


Sanded and ready for final resin coat:


Now for the e30 Trim:



Base Coat and CF cloth; not trimmed:


2nd coat; NOT trimmed:


Test Fitting (trimmed; rough sanded):


Final Resin:


ECU Pics next posting:
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Old 08-01-2010, 12:44 PM   #2
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Carbon Fibre Wrapping Project v2.0 (cont'd).

Now some ECU pics.... If some of you saw my first post, the ECU cover was cleverly photo'd to miss several horrific (in my opinion) flaws and once this piece is done, the first is destined to become a test lab piece (no animals will be harmed during testing)

The previous resin cured WAY TOO fast to be useful for anything but simple pieces (interior trim) because it's pot life was about 5 min and it's working life was around 10min. Reducing hardner helped only marginally as you could easily get to the point it would never completely harden. PITA!!!!

Love the West System products!!!

Here's the pictures as it progresses from stock to very cool....

BTW: The swirl of the weave next to the Lock and EMERG light is intensional. Wanted add a little weave (experimenting) and I like it..... Using one piece to cover console was the only way but created unique challenges: How to create dip for Emegency brake and where to place seam. One piece means there has to be a seam somewhere...... I put it back left corner....Tried to line-up weaves best I could.... In need of a little refining, but who gives a ****; I won't be looking @ it anyway.... and usually passangers in the rear seats are hanging on staring @ speedometer....

About to apply final resin after posting (as I mentioned earlier), so that's where we're @ on it!!











Wet sanding tonight!! and then Clear coat.....

Final buffing of Clearcoat tonight as per posted video in previous post...

Enjoy!!

Gonna be wrapping a complete set when the red fabric arrives next week. Think my interior CF set has just become 9 pieces!!!!
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Old 08-01-2010, 12:51 PM   #3
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Wow, awesome work man! I will definitely be talking to you sometime soon about doing a few pieces for me! Keep up the good work
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Old 08-01-2010, 01:02 PM   #4
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cool
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Old 08-01-2010, 01:04 PM   #5
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i need to learn how to do this...
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Old 08-01-2010, 01:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikeman607 View Post
Wow, awesome work man! I will definitely be talking to you sometime soon about doing a few pieces for me! Keep up the good work
Thx. It would be my pleasure...

Another pic....

The Arsenol:

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Old 08-01-2010, 02:00 PM   #7
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the top coat its really even? just with wetsanding? im about to get the cloth to start doing some small things but my major concern is how to get a perfect top coat.
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Old 08-01-2010, 02:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lllSupra View Post
i need to learn how to do this...
How many spare parts you have around, because you'll be going through a few on your way to getting competant.....

Anything I can do to assist let me know...

Done alot of the research, but personal preference also comes into the picture....

Learned a real cool trick to align cloth while on roll. Take piece and lay on SMOOTH, non-porous surface. Take the leading edge and "square piece" as best as you can by eye.

Once you do that, take an exacto and cut a thread just inside the binding thread on one side. Get someone to hold other side and cut a couple of threads on what appears to be the same line as the cut on the other side. While your "assistant" is holding the opposing side, pull the single thread. It pull across the whole piece creating a blank where the missing thread is. Attach some painters tape to that straight edge and it will keep it straight and allow for even dispensing of the cloth from the roller. If you're starting with crooked threads, it makes it tough to make a good piece... This ensures the cloth is "straight" when dispensing..... Use a similar method around intended piece to keep cloth intact and it also allows you to correct bad threads (that trick you're gonna have to learn with practice)...
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Old 08-01-2010, 02:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xaviman View Post
the top coat its really even? just with wetsanding? im about to get the cloth to start doing some small things but my major concern is how to get a perfect top coat.
First sand is very light with 220. Should be able to get entire part "cloudy" and eliminate high points (low points will be filled with the clear). If there is a really uneven part, then I'll have to add another coat of resin after sanding. It's all visual. Looking @ the parts now that they're drying (resin flows will drying; longer drying time means better flow and less uneven sections or bubbles) they look like a quick very light sand @ 220 will reveal they are ready for clear coat.. Gonna try on ECU cover first, then e30 part and centre console.
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Old 08-01-2010, 03:09 PM   #10
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is carbon fiber wrapping anything like working with fiberglass matts?
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Old 08-01-2010, 03:25 PM   #11
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yes and no

Yes; use the same resins and same basic principles

No; finreglass is a random weave that is not seen, so you can apply the dry cloth to your part and then press resin through cloth. With CF Cloth, its usually left visible (vs. fibreglass which is painted), so prep of the cloth and making sure you have a good very tacky base coat down before laying cloth is critical!! Once the cloth is being "held" by the base coat, you can apply the 1st top coat to secure the cloth and then use the squeegie to press out excess resin and force cloth to part being wrapped.
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Old 08-01-2010, 04:29 PM   #12
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Hey buddy,
This looks good.
Does the WEST SYSTEM resin leave an odor?
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Old 08-01-2010, 05:10 PM   #13
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where i can get the cloth at a good price?
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Old 08-01-2010, 07:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarco View Post
Hey buddy,
This looks good.
Does the WEST SYSTEM resin leave an odor?
That's one of the amazing things about it; not really, very minor. The old stuff stank BAD and the smell got into everything. This product has virtually no smell; quite pleasant to work with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xaviman View Post
where i can get the cloth at a good price?
eBay I guess. remember when buying cloth, it's rated in weight (much like a carpet) in threads per inch. You can buy cheaper, but usually that means you're getting a lower weight fabric (most don't realise this). Lower weight fabric translates into lower thread count and looser fabric. More difficult to wrap and likely more issues with thread alignment.

I use eBay till I find a good local supplier. Have found an excellent supplier in CJCOMPOSITETECHNOLOGIES. Look them up.
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Old 08-02-2010, 12:36 AM   #15
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Sanded parts (220 only so far) and test fitted cup holders, etc into centre console..... A little sanding and everything fits nicely. Wet sanding and clear coat tomorrow. Back in car before end of long weekend.....

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Old 08-02-2010, 02:37 PM   #16
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Quick Update. Parts clear coated and waiting to dry. My clear coat recommends 2 wet coats with 5-10 min between for flashing.

Here are a couple of pics.








I know the weave on the inside of the emergency brake is messed, but I know what I've got to do differently when I redo with the new red CF cloth next weekend hopefully, but it sounds like I'm going to have plenty to do next weekend, so we'll see. Rest of part has decent even weaves unless I deliverately pulled them together like top left where I wanted the sweeping look for that section. Next time going to have help when applying cloth to hold parts off part and to assist with placement... That'll fix the weave issue!!


Final Sanding with 1500 + 2000 and polishing compound tomorrow; then DONE!
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Old 08-02-2010, 02:39 PM   #17
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very nice work...
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Old 08-02-2010, 02:42 PM   #18
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Old 08-02-2010, 02:55 PM   #19
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really fantastic!
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Old 08-02-2010, 06:30 PM   #20
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WOW! I am amazed. It really makes me want to take up a hobby like that. I'm sure you will get many more compliments too. Bravo my friend, bravo!
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