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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-27-2014, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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Default Fiberglass in hatch

Over the past few months, I've tried about 6 times to build myself some fiberglass enclosures to sit on both sides of the cubbies in the hatch. Needless to say I failed each time, and the serious lack of information on the subject coupled with frustration has led me to almost give up all hope of ever getting the huge box out of my hatch while keeping my bass. So what I need from y'all is one of three things:

1. A dumbed down walk trough to working with fiberglass
2. Somebody to build the molds themselves for me
3. Approval to use the existing plastic panel as the base of the mold itself

Any info or help would be greatly appreciated, this is the home stretch to finishing my interior once and for all.
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-27-2014, 02:23 PM
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Garry, have a look in this photobucket album of mine.
Hatch Enclosure Photos by gstoddard | Photobucket

It is a pictorial documentation that covers when I built a sub enclosure into the rear hatch door. Different spot but similar process.

Do not use the plastic as part of the enclosure. Fiberglass does not bond to plastic worth a **** and it is not strong enough to hold up to the pressures a sub enclosure produces. You can use it as a mold to build the base off of, like I did using tape in the hatch door.

What problems are you having specifically. I've done this for years(10+) so I've got a little knowledge on it.

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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-27-2014, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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The molds I'm making are not hard enough. 4 were no better than laminated tape and the other 2 either bent out of shape or plain out cracked too much by time I got it out the car. Am I supposed to be using fiberglass mat? Because I'm only using the resin. How many coats do I put on before I pull the mold out?
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-27-2014, 05:22 PM
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Yes, you MUST use fiberglass mat. I haven't done any fiberglass either, but I plan to (attempt to) build an enclosure for the side of my cargo area.

Here are several online tutorials that I've been studying. Of course each is basically showing the same process, but some things are shown/explained better in different tutorials.

Step By Step Fiberglass

Building a Fiberglass Speaker Box

Building my own custom sub enclosure for cubby-holes - Scionlife.com

Fiberglass subwoofer box - a tutorial

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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-27-2014, 05:46 PM
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As said above, you have to use mat. The resin is just to bond the mat fiber to each other. Resin by itself will just crack and shatter as you have discovered. The tutorials that zinger posted are good ones to read. One thing to keep in mind when making the base mold is that it needs to be able to come out. You don't want sections that will get stuck as you are trying to pull it out of the car. If needed block those sections off so that the mold will release easily.

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Last edited by Greg S; 05-27-2014 at 05:48 PM.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-27-2014, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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Alright now I finally getting the info I've been needing. 1 final question though, how do I apply the mat? Do I apply the wet resin onto the masking tape and throw the mat on it, then resin mat resin mat til it's thick enough?
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-27-2014, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by GarryGraves View Post
Alright now I finally getting the info I've been needing. 1 final question though, how do I apply the mat? Do I apply the wet resin onto the masking tape and throw the mat on it, then resin mat resin mat til it's thick enough?
Exactly! For any large flat areas just use 3/4" MDF, it's quicker and stronger than fiberglass and you can bond the fiberglass to it easily.

Keep in mind is you want as little resin as possible, just enough to wet out the mat. The strength in fiber glassing is all in the mat, the more resin you have the weaker and more brittle it becomes. Also if it is hot when you do it, mix small batches of resin and use less catalyst than recommended so that the resin doesn't harden up too quickly on you. I generally use 8 oz. of resin at a time.

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Last edited by Greg S; 05-27-2014 at 07:48 PM.
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-29-2014, 04:34 PM
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Follow question for you Greg (since you seem to know what you're talking about):

I am trying to figure out the best way to fasten an enclosure to the car. I've seen a few places recommend industrial strength velcro. I'm worried that may not be strong enough. I don't want it to become a deadly projectile in an accident. I know the factory (Bazooka) sub installation calls for cutting a hole in the plastic to gain access to a nut welded to the inside of the quarter panel. Do you think it would work to put a piece of mdf on the back where the nut is and glass it in, then drill a hole in the mdf to bolt it down? I'm guessing I should use a rubber washer on the bolt head to seal it since I want a sealed enclosure.

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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-29-2014, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
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Follow question for you Greg (since you seem to know what you're talking about):

I am trying to figure out the best way to fasten an enclosure to the car. I've seen a few places recommend industrial strength velcro. I'm worried that may not be strong enough. I don't want it to become a deadly projectile in an accident. I know the factory (Bazooka) sub installation calls for cutting a hole in the plastic to gain access to a nut welded to the inside of the quarter panel. Do you think it would work to put a piece of mdf on the back where the nut is and glass it in, then drill a hole in the mdf to bolt it down? I'm guessing I should use a rubber washer on the bolt head to seal it since I want a sealed enclosure.
That should work fine. I'm a big fan of bolting enclosures to the car, you'd be amazed at what can come flying loose in an accident. I'm not clear on where you are wanting to glass the mdf to though. That would be my only concern as fiberglass doesn't bold to metal or plastic well at all. And definitely yes on the rubber washer.

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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-30-2014, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
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I'm not clear on where you are wanting to glass the mdf to though.
When I find exactly where the nut is I have to cut/drill a hole in the plastic panel for the bolt to go through. Then I put the tape and/or foil in the cubby. After I put on the first layer or two of mat I'll put a piece of mdf (maybe 4"x4") over the bolt access hole, then as I add more layers of mat I will go up and over the edges of the mdf so it is incorporated into the enclosure. I'm hoping that will be strong enough to hold the enclosure in place after I run the bolt through the mdf and into the nut on the quarter panel.

The only other places I can see to possibly bolt it down would be to extend the fiberglass to where the 2 D-rings are (like 2 small fiberglass wings). I could unbolt the D-rings and refasten them over/through the fiberglass. I don't think that would be as strong though.

Thanks for all of your advice

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