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*** DIY OF THE MONTH *** Fiberglass kickpanels

Old 02-23-2003
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*** DIY OF THE MONTH *** Fiberglass kickpanels

Well, when I bought my DD speakers and Vifa tweeters, I knew that no door install would have the sound I was looking for, I knew that the tweeters would not fit in the sails, I knew the DD's woudlnt let me roll down my windows. So custom kickpanels it was, these are the second 100% glass boxes I have ever built. I tried making a mdbass box a couple months earlier from making these, a miserable failure. This makes these whiterabbit's first successful fiberglass project ever! Knowing where I went wrong and what i had to do, I started work on my first set of kickpanels.


I waited patiently for my speakers to arrive, was so excited when the largest 1" tweeters and 6.5 inch speaekrs id ever seen showed up at my door...









Before I started actual work, I had to see what kind of space I needed. Lots. so out came the stock kickpanels, out came the deadpedal, My plan was to rebuild those panels, and not use stock anymore. It gave me much more space to work with and save ability to operate my clutch and have passengers.


Of course protecting the car is the most important step, as well as the first real work. I didnt want to grossly waste tape by using it alone. So aluminum foil it was, with a border of tape, and along every seam. You want no resin to get through!





Now the cloth goes on, no resin, no nothing. I like to use 4 ounce weave as my first layer, its easier to get to mold, but to be honest, it makes no difference, its just my own ideal way of doing it.





4 ounce weave is great at doing compound corners, so I took the time to smooth it out dry and get every part covered. I couldnt give up alot of space sideways, i have a clutch. so to get the HUGE HUGE space i needed, making them uber-long it was, trying to get just enough thickness to fit that massive magnet in there. The name of the game is that this is the BACKPLATE...... i can always trim it smaller later!





wet with resin from my last "pic intensive" fiberglass and console DIY. I will go through less of the normal fiberglass usage ideals because i have now 2 DIY's floating around that cover the subject quite completely. This DIY is more to cover the usage of fleece and doing non-flat structural work:





And then reinforced with 2ish inch strips of 18 ounce roving, for thickness. the less resin the better, your strength comes from glass, not from resin! Can't stress that enough!





Now that those are drying, ill need to make some baffles to mount the speakers to. I have some 1/2 inch baltic birch ply from an ultralight box I built earlier, i think ill use that! I decided not to worry about flush mounting them, that if i can get a structure together, thats pretty good as is.


itll make sense later, if not now





used a papercuttout to give a general idea where the baffle is gonna go, i can take this time now too to trim and sand the baffle. Once its in the right shape, I need to make sure the entire outside is smooth, or else stretching the fleece will never turn out perfectly smooth, there will be these ugly ugly ripples in it.





I used chopsticks and hotglue to hold the baffle in place, stuffing (had no towels at the time) anything i could find in the gaps, to minimize effects of the backwave. Each minute change in position required yanking 2 or 3 supports and regluing. Imaging took the better part of 2 weeks. Couple hours every other day, playing imaging tracks I can send to anyone who wants them. it was also important to compare with music I already had, to ensure it would play everything in general, and not just a couple specialized tracks!





Here you can see the supports that I had to change dozens of times trying to image perfectly. I'll be honest with everyone here, I got tired of it. When I got the stage to sit at eyelevel, the left/right phase was off, when i got the phase right, the stage would sit by my feet. After 2 weeks I realized that im no SQ competitor, that it was an engineering experiemnt more than anything, a fun system, a FUN system! I had the phase perfect and I had the stage sitting at steering wheel height. I was totally satisfied at the time. If only I had known!





So now I have my backplates and baffles fully in position





Now its time to cover it all. you can see even after the cover, the speaker will just be installed on top of the kick. Many put another ring on top of this one, bigger than the speaker, so after the vinyl or carpet, the speaker is flushmounted. This was another experiemnt (like the dash piece) and the tweeter I planned to surface mount anyways, so i didnt worry about these too much. Maybe if i had grills, Id have taken the time. But since I didnt, i didnt stress too much. considering a paid a whopping $0 for these kicks, had everything lying around, i made out like a bandit anyways.





So now I need to seal them. I didnt buy fleece, i used a t-shirt, nice and stretchy. Stretchy is key! I started by using spray adhesive on the baffle and fixing it down. On the driver kick, the baffle sat below the backplate, this kept it affixed.





its not stretched, i wish i had a good pic of that, but here it is before i tacked the t-shirt on, stretching it around the kick and using spray adhesive to hold it in place behind the backplate.





So after tacking it down, I wet it with resin.










theres gonna be a bit of a time discrepancy in the pictures now, i just realised my picset is incomplete. What I did at this time, was cut out the holes. Mixed a rather large amount of resin, and swished it around the cloth/backplate boundary. I wanted to make sure it was totally sealed. I also swished it atround the baffle, better safe than sorry.


Now its time to reinforce. All reinfocing glass (18 ounce roving for me) was applied on the INSIDE, not the outside. If i ever had extra resin after a layup, I applied it to the outside, didnt help, but didnt hurt. If i were gonna paint, it would be way neccesary, since i dont really work with bondo, resin is easier for me.

it may take one layer of strenghtening, may take 3, may take 6, you want these to be DEAD solid. Keep adding till its as solid as you need.

Trim all the excess cloth would be a good idea, you can do this anytime, dunno why i waited till after reinforcing, but so be it. I little bit of sanding, all round any place theres a non-flat surface, teh shirt/backplate boundary comes to mind.... also a good idea to make sure that wont flake up, just some resin in there will work just fine.

Ive also gone though many carpeting diy's hre, so i wont go into how stretchy it is and how you can get it to do basically any shape you want. you add carpet and spray adhesive, your kick now looks like this:








and we should load them up....





and install them in the car. sweet!










Clutch clearance:


experimentation with bass up front (it didnt work):



Please check page 5 for updated commentary on the long term opinions of the kicks plus drawbacks of the design including what I woul dhave done differently if I had known at the time.

Last edited by MegaHurtz; 06-02-2005 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 02-23-2003
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well done.... too bad i paid money for my kicks
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Old 02-24-2003
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Nice job but I don't think I'd ever put something that big in my kick. Those look like they take up quite a bit of room.
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Old 02-24-2003
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looks good. prolly sounds awesome. that must be a b-tch keepin your feet off of there.
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Old 02-24-2003
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heh if I had those in my car my foot would end up raping the midbass.....
those are some massive kicks, but I bet those DD's sound rockin [IMG]i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif[/IMG]
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Old 02-24-2003
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after 4 years of no deadpedal, you get used to that! [IMG]i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif[/IMG]

and 116 dB of midrange with no tuning? yeah, they got pretty insane [IMG]i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif[/IMG]

anyone here with a 3 way set, like the XR 3 ways, could totally fit the tweet and 4" in a far smaller pod, sunk father back, tucked out of the way, and well out of the way of teh clutch even.

whos got an automatic? try making 8" midbass kicks [IMG]i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif[/IMG] can you say bass up front?
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Old 02-25-2003
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Nice work! Great job on the DIY!
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Old 06-17-2004
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Why do I only see Red X's? Damn!!
Did the pictures get deleted?
Are there any other good DIY on this topic?

Last edited by harvichi; 06-17-2004 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 06-17-2004
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Originally Posted by harvichi
Why do I only see Red X's? Damn!!
Did the pictures get deleted?
Are there any other good DIY on this topic?

uuuhhh, maybe because this topic is over a year and a half old!!!!!
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Old 06-17-2004
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Originally Posted by fonto
uuuhhh, maybe because this topic is over a year and a half old!!!!!

But some people may still be interested in making their own Kicka's
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Old 06-17-2004
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Woohoo, another revived thread!

(ibtl)
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Old 06-17-2004
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Originally Posted by lewal
Woohoo, another revived thread!

(ibtl)
Why would it get locked? Cause someone used the search button, then asked a question. I applaud them for using search.
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Old 06-17-2004
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http://www.caraudioforum.com/vbb3/sh...d.php?t=135835

very good sources for kickpanel step by steps
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Old 06-17-2004
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Thanks a lot Rabbit that is a KEY thread
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Old 06-17-2004
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Originally Posted by harvichi
But some people may still be interested in making their own Kicka's
true
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Old 06-18-2004
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if there are any questions after reading those threads, id post in here, and all the kids here who have made their own kicks can clarify minute details.

i remember when i made my first kicks, I was like "what the heck is backstrapping? every kick site talkes about it, but noone says what it IS!"

took me so long to figure that out....
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Old 06-18-2004
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so what is it...
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Old 06-18-2004
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Originally Posted by fonto
so what is it...

plumbers backstrapping

find it at any hardware store. looks like a roll of tape, only the tape is 1/8" or so thick aluminum with a hole in it every inch or so. the most useful stuff ever
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Old 06-19-2004
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most definitely most usefull stuff ever. I use it for everything, gauge mounting rings, radio brackets, straps to hold bass *****, securing cd changers, theres nothing it cant do!
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Old 06-19-2004
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I know what you guys are talkin about...it what I used to extend my battery tie-down to make my "ghetto extended" battery tie down

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Old 06-19-2004
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Originally Posted by PopcornPlaya
Why would it get locked? Cause someone used the search button, then asked a question. I applaud them for using search.

Because the pictures don't load anymore and the information is already posted
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Old 04-26-2005
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i'm late, i'm late, for a very important date....
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Old 04-26-2005
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no time to say hello, GOODBYE I'm late! I'm late! I'm late!
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Old 04-26-2005
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Opps.
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Old 04-27-2005
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Rabbit, you still have the pics to this thread? You should repost them. I bet there's a ton of people here who haven't seen who would love to see.
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Old 04-27-2005
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I do still have the pics, but people dont wnat to see these. they were like my third fiberglass project ever. they spilled out over the door sills, and were carpeted with the carpet facing backwards. the stage was too narrow, sat a touch low (I later found out that was more a factor of my height than actual low stage) and was unfocused.

better pics can be found on audionutz tutorial over on www.elitecaraudio.com
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Old 04-27-2005
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rabbit send the pics to me and I can host them for you
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Old 04-27-2005
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yeah, do it, megasquirtz has loadsa bandwidth.
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Link to AudioNutz on kick panels article

http://www.elitecaraudio.com/article.php?sid=20
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Old 04-27-2005
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ill send the pics along if you wanna meet me in chat, mega, but really, its not anything fancy. we are talking a caveman's tutorial on how to make a kickpanel.
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