F430 Challenge Stradale / Scuderia Speaker Pods Project by Scuderia Audio - Ferrari Life
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post #1 of 29 Old 04-11-2015, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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Challenge Stradale / Scuderia Speaker Pods Project by Scuderia Audio

Now that I have my hands on a CS, I was able to start cutting the initial patterns for the speaker pods that hold the midrange and tweeters in the kick panel. I ran out of time but managed to get most of the rough pieces shaped. Next is some wire frame fabrication, followed by some stiff polyurethane foam shaping (basically the same kind of foam used in surfboards).
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post #2 of 29 Old 04-30-2015, 11:42 PM Thread Starter
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The last image shows something like what I'm trying to do.
Tonight I had time to work on the speaker pods. I'll make 5 1/4" versions, 6 1/2" versions, etc. for different brands and sizes of midranges and tweeters. The outside shape will always be the same so I can just insert the appropriate pod into the center of the kick panel.
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post #3 of 29 Old 05-02-2015, 01:08 AM Thread Starter
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I tried to test fit the pods in a 16M but they were a bit too large. I took off 3/4" out of the diameter of the bottom and moved the tweeter 1/2" closer to the midrange.
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post #4 of 29 Old 05-07-2015, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Working in the foot wells of CS's, Scuds and 16Ms over the last few days made me realize that my own (2000 360) foot well is basically the same shape, so I was able to start making the actual wood mold that will be used to vacuum form the kick panels out of 3/16" ABS plastic at my house. The first (painstaking) step was to make sure that the inside curve of each piece of the mold was an exact fit to the car. It doesn't matter what the outside shape looks like, as long as it's larger than the finished shape. Once all these pieces are fastened together, we sand, sand, sand away all of the excess material until the finished outside shape appears. Piece #7 is intentionally smaller than the other pieces to provide some sort of a reference at that level.
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post #5 of 29 Old 05-07-2015, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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Now one solid piece, as soon as the sanding is complete and the final outer shape takes place, additional material will be added to the back of the mold for structural rigidity.
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post #6 of 29 Old 05-08-2015, 05:58 AM
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post #7 of 29 Old 05-09-2015, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave rocks View Post
Nice work, Mike
Thanks!
I ran into some setbacks today while grinding on the mold. I purchased a 4.5" angle grinder but tried to use a 7" sanding wheel. Twenty minutes into it, the grinder burned up, so I had to purchase a larger, more powerful grinder. Since they were out of 7" wheels, I had to go somewhere else to purchase the wheel, then ended up at one of my customer's house (360 spider), we ended up having dinner, etc. and now it's too dark to continue. I hope to resume the work after my vacuum forming class tomorrow at the Tech Shop.
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post #8 of 29 Old 05-10-2015, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, so I passed the vacuum forming class (very informative!) and resumed the shaping of the mold. The basic shape is complete. Now I have to finish all of the edges, finish sand, coat the top surface with a special material called "magic smooth", then I can vacuum form a test piece out of thin polystyrene, acrylic, anything really. From here I can tweak the mold until the vacuum formed pieces fit perfectly, then I can start cranking them out from 3/16" ABS plastic. At this thickness, the pods will be basically bulletproof.
They will be finished with Alcantara with a Carbon Fiber option for additional cost.
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post #9 of 29 Old 05-13-2015, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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The basic plug shape is completed. I test fit this in a 430 and realized that there are too many variations for one plug to work for both cars. I stopped by Tap Plastics and picked up some polystyrene and ABS plastic sheets, some Magic Smooth in addition to the Magic Sculpt, and form release spray and some expanding foam. I will create a mold from the original plug, then create another plug with the expanding foam, then modify that plug to fit the 430.
I am also considering making each kick panel one piece (as opposed to a separate piece for that hold the midrange and tweeters). Knowing what I know now, it would be so easy to modify each plug with an insert for the appropriate drivers before molding the ABS sheet around it.
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post #10 of 29 Old 05-17-2015, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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I tried the "Magic Sculpt", it is way too difficult to work with. It has the consistency of Griot's paint clay. I scrapped that and tried some "Magic Smooth". This is softer but extremely "gooey" and sticky. I coated the entire surface with this and have to wait overnight for it to dry. Some finish sanding and I'll be able to start producing some molds.
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post #11 of 29 Old 05-20-2015, 01:14 AM Thread Starter
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Okay so I finish sanded, then tried to make a kick panel using the mold, a thin piece of polystyrene and the vacuum forming machine. Unfortunately, the vacuum was so strong that it snapped my mold in half. I glued it back together, but need to make a "mount" or a stand for it. The expanding foam should do the trick. Also, I test fit it in the car because I wanted to see how thick the inner piece needed to be to accommodate the midrange without the magnet hitting the inside surface. I found that a 3/4" piece should do the trick. I have four 1/2" pieces right now, just need to cut some 3/4" pieces using the same drawing.
Sorry about the crappy photo. It's past midnight and I just wanted to snap a quick picture of the first vacuum formed piece in place. It fits pretty good, just needs some slight tweaks.
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post #12 of 29 Old 05-21-2015, 08:37 AM Thread Starter
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Okay, so I glued the plug back together, sanded, wrapped it in aluminum foil (poor man's mold release) then covered with a layer of expanding foam. This will make much more sense when you see the plug with the foam sanded down (which hopefully will occur tonight).
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post #13 of 29 Old 05-22-2015, 06:33 AM Thread Starter
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Although the picture quality is crappy, you can see that I basically sanded the bottom surface until flat, then sanded from the edges down at an outward angle so that the molded plastic will come off of the plug easily. Now I need to apply a thin coat of Magic Smooth onto the outside surfaces of the foam part, then vacuum form another piece of thin polystyrene. If this works, I'll try a thicker piece of ABS. If this works, I am stuck again until I can get my hands on another CS, Scud or 16M.
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post #14 of 29 Old 05-23-2015, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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So I made another attempt to vacuum form ("Pull" as they say) a piece of plastic over the new, improved plug with the reinforced stand. The thin polystyrene worked perfect. However, the thicker ABS plastic didn't do so well. The instructor told me that I didn't set the heat hot enough for the thicker plastic. Makes total sense. I wish I would have asked him before I made the second pull. No worries, I have plenty of test pieces. Once I found out that I had cleared that hurdle, I CNC'd some new 3/4" speaker pods, mounted one on top of the plug, then used high quality body filler to complete the final shape.
I'm going to do some more experimentation with the vacuum forming machine now that I have the final shape. Unfortunately, after this I am at a standstill until I can find someone who is willing to let me take some measurements and some test fittings of the plug to see if I need to make any modifications.
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post #15 of 29 Old 05-24-2015, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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Since the wood route (plug formed from several pieces of custom cut wood) was much too difficult, I decided to try another approach. I purchased two cans of expanding polyurethane foam, covered the area, then systematically built up layers of foam from the spray cans. When these dry, it will be ten times easier to shape the outer surface (using the other plug as a guide), then apply a light coat of body filler over the surface.
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post #16 of 29 Old 05-26-2015, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
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Well, the foam idea was a bust.
The problem is that although the foam is expanding, it expands in the direction of least resistance. Therefore, it expands outward and not inward towards the interior surfaces. When the foam dried and I took the mold off, there were large gaps on the inside (which was the entire purpose of using the foam). Additionally, when the foam expanded, its own weight pulled it from the inside wall (exacerbating the problem). The idea was great in theory but not so good in the practical sense.
Since I had nothing to do yesterday (Memorial Day) I spent all day carefully cutting pieces out of wood to form the mold for the drivers side. Since I had already been through this for the passenger side, it was a bit easier.
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post #17 of 29 Old 05-27-2015, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
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With the passenger side, I would drill two countersunk pilot holes per piece so I could use wood screws to hold them in place while the adhesive cured. This turned out to be a real pain when it came time to sand because the screws kept being exposed, inhibiting my ability to sand a smooth surface. I basically had to dig out each screw as it surfaced. With the drivers side, I glued two pieces at a time, then backed the screws out after the adhesive cured. It took longer, but now I have a single piece with no screws, ready to sand.
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post #18 of 29 Old 05-31-2015, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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So the initial "cut" is complete. I need to add a bit of material here, remove a bit of material there, then create a "base" out of rigid polyurethane foam like I did for the passenger side plug.
Once the base is complete, I can vacuum form a test piece to see if the depth is okay for the midrange speaker magnet. If okay, I can fasten the speaker pod unit to the top, then fill in with body filler.
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post #19 of 29 Old 06-03-2015, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
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After completing the finish work on the drivers side plug, I was able to pour the expanding foam mixture around it, then sand into a base. Once this was complete, I was able to vacuum form a very thin test piece to ensure that it is deep enough for the midrange magnet to clear the enclosure once the speaker pod is installed. Meanwhile, I finally got the settings correct on the vacuum forming machine to successfully pull a 3/16" piece of ABS around the finished plug. At this thickness, you could drop this thing off the Empire State building and it wouldn't break. I will trim the thin enclosure and mark it up once test fit in a Scuderia, then transfer the markings to the thicker piece for the final prototype.
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post #20 of 29 Old 06-06-2015, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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So I was able to trim the drivers side test piece, cut out a circle near the bottom, place the midrange and the speaker pod in place to ensure that the magnet was going to clear, then once I knew the dimensions were okay, I fastened the speaker pod to the drivers side plug and filled in with body filler.
Once I can get my hands on a Scuderia, I can test fit the white test pieces, mark them up (hopefully not by much), then transfer the new shape to the thicker ABS mold and test fit that into the car. Once these fit, I just cover in Alcantara, fasten the speakers and voila!
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