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Old 02-19-2008, 11:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Materials for Ecomodding

Hi All!

I was wondering about getting a list of suggested cheap and practical sources for materials used for aero and other types of modifications on vehicles.

Any suggestions on what materials to use for certain things and HOW to use them would be great

I was also wondering if anyone has ever used window shrink plastic insulation as a material for eco-modifications. Seems like it could work great, VERY lightweight, and not too expensive. Also, being clear, would help keep a stock look to a car.

Maybe comments about materials here could be put together into a Wiki?

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Old 02-20-2008, 12:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Cloroplast (Political sign material) Cheap!- Under tray, grill block, wheel skirts, boat tails.

Duct tape- All purpose, partcial front skirts, cover mirror delete holes and good cover for door handles.

Scotch tape-seems around hood, trunk, gas cap

aluminum- VG's, under tray.

Cardboard-molds and testing

Bailing wire-all purpose.
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Old 02-20-2008, 07:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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OK, I've posted this here before, but since you asked:
Thin plywood.
My current preference is lauan plywood in 2.7 mm or 5.4 mm. About $7.xx per sheet in 2.7 mm., and $15/sheet in 5.4 mm at Home Depot etc. Very lightweight in those thicknesses.

I've had no problems with even bare wood deteriorating in weather. However finish paint will likely peel off so I now prime it with house paint oil base primer, this makes it highly weather resistant. If you plan to topcoat it a medium or dark color, have them pigment the white primer to as dark a gray as they will go.

I've used Duplicolor paints on top of the primer. On my grill panel the finish paint didn't stand up very well; it needs some kind of protective finish.

Duplicolor pickup bed liner black is my favorite. Very tough, dries in a textured finish. Bonds well to the oil base primer. Of course it bonds well to most other finishes also. Dries very fast, maybe 10 seconds?? so you can do a quick touchup or whatever very quickly.
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Old 02-20-2008, 08:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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For a clear material I'd suggest plexiglass or lexan. They're both pretty cheap and easy to work with.
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Old 02-20-2008, 05:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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bennelson -

In addition to Coroplast, there is also white plastic 4'*8' sheets that you should be able to get at Home Depot :

Wheel Skirt Problems
http://www.gassavers.org/showpost.ph...9&postcount=22
Quote:
Home Depot 4X8 ft. sheet, white only. Don't have a name for it but probably is intended for bath and kitchen use. I found it in a rack with other wall panel 4X8 sheets. It will roll up and when taped fit inside a car.

They had another plastic covered masonite panel, too stiff to do much with and 1/4 in. thick. This is the only solid 1/16 plastic panel they have. Great stuff, works for everything.

I even put a scrap in my fireplace to see how flammable it would be. It never did flame, just melted out of shape. A bonus if used for underpanning. I pop-riveted aluminum flashing to the plastic next to exhaust parts with no signs of melting yet
But I also think, anything goes. Go into hardware stores and Big Lot/dollar stores and look at stuff. You may find a plastic "shape" that you can cut and use for a different purpose.

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Old 02-20-2008, 08:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I stoped to return a book to an industral design teacher today, and asked if he had any scraps of ABS plastic (citicar is ABS), so we took a walk around the building poking in cabints and boxes, they had every kind of plastic you could imagine, he then said that they had more a month ago but it got tossed in the trash... I'll be sure to go back at the end of the school year and fill a few boxes.
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Old 02-20-2008, 09:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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You're lucky, Ben. You have the Duct Tape option open. In my area the adhesive melts off during the summer if it's used on a car (+120F summer highs).
for dirt cheap, follow what CFG says.
for example -
-plastic plates can be cut for wheel disks.
-2Ltr soda bottles can be cut for headlight covers.
-Home Depot PVC piping can be cooked and melted in the oven to form a new shape when it cools. (and it's dirt cheap.)
( preheat oven to about 200. insert PVC cuts into the oven [in a deep pot] Slowly turn up the oven to around 400 - oven temps vary depending on the amount of convection. The PVC will gradually melt into a thick liquid. Go outside while it's melting and dig a mold shape in the dirt. When you take out the pot with the PVC liquid, go out side and pour it GENTLY onto the dirt mold you made. Allow it to cool on it's own for a couple of hours. Ta-Da! instant cheap molded plastic.)

-rubber door mats can have their edges heated and melted together into larger single pieces to make flexible under skirts.
-Caulk can be used for filling holes and grooves (toothpaste works GREAT too, it dries rock hard and bonds well to glass and metal after left in hot sun after a couple of days. It won't stay white, you'll have to paint it.)

Do they have a "Big Trash Pickup" day where you live? Here it's about once every 3 months. Everyone tosses out the big stuff that won't fit in trash cans (old sofas, refrigerators, etc...) and the city comes around and picks it up with a front loader.
If your county does something like this in your area then spend a couple of days before pickup just driving around and seeing what's out there.
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hey Waxy,

I LOVE the idea of of using soda bottles and other recycled materials.

Why recycle when you can RE-PURPOSE!?!?! Plus you get the joy of saying "see those really cool headlight aero-mods? That's right, they're leftover soda bottles".

There isn't a large garbage pickup day in my community. Every once in a while I would happen to be going through some other town when they are doing that. Most people look at it as one giant free rummage sale!

I was able to use quite a bit of scrap and recycled material on my motorcycle. It's as much fun to say that it was recycled as it is to say that it was free..
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Old 02-27-2008, 08:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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WaxyChicken -

Quote:
Originally Posted by WaxyChicken View Post
You're lucky, Ben. You have the Duct Tape option open. In my area the adhesive melts off during the summer if it's used on a car (+120F summer highs).
for dirt cheap, follow what CFG says.
for example -
-plastic plates can be cut for wheel disks.
-2Ltr soda bottles can be cut for headlight covers.
-Home Depot PVC piping can be cooked and melted in the oven to form a new shape when it cools. (and it's dirt cheap.)
( preheat oven to about 200. insert PVC cuts into the oven [in a deep pot] Slowly turn up the oven to around 400 - oven temps vary depending on the amount of convection. The PVC will gradually melt into a thick liquid. Go outside while it's melting and dig a mold shape in the dirt. When you take out the pot with the PVC liquid, go out side and pour it GENTLY onto the dirt mold you made. Allow it to cool on it's own for a couple of hours. Ta-Da! instant cheap molded plastic.)

-rubber door mats can have their edges heated and melted together into larger single pieces to make flexible under skirts.
-Caulk can be used for filling holes and grooves (toothpaste works GREAT too, it dries rock hard and bonds well to glass and metal after left in hot sun after a couple of days. It won't stay white, you'll have to paint it.)

Do they have a "Big Trash Pickup" day where you live? Here it's about once every 3 months. Everyone tosses out the big stuff that won't fit in trash cans (old sofas, refrigerators, etc...) and the city comes around and picks it up with a front loader.
If your county does something like this in your area then spend a couple of days before pickup just driving around and seeing what's out there.
I really like this idea but I have a question. Would the PVC be outgassing toxic stuff when it is being liquified? I think you would have to take precautions if you do this. Am I right or am I thinking of a different plastic? I just don't know.

CarloSW2
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Old 02-28-2008, 12:09 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfg83 View Post
WaxyChicken -



I really like this idea but I have a question. Would the PVC be outgassing toxic stuff when it is being liquified? I think you would have to take precautions if you do this. Am I right or am I thinking of a different plastic? I just don't know.

CarloSW2
No, it will gas off some nasty bits - even before melting. Stay upwind and outdoors...

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