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Old 03-31-2010, 11:19 PM   #121 (permalink)
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Yep, the green parts - hood, bumper, and one fender - are all from the same junkyard donor. So is the battery pack that I'm running. I've thought about paining the whole thing green. It's an eye-catching color, which ought to reduce my odds of being rear-ended again. However, I think it would be too eye-catching. Sometimes, you just want to blend in (as well as a boat-tailed Insight can).



I've learned a lot about fiberglass already. For one, I speculate that one layer of glass cloth is not enough. (Right?) Two layers would be required to give it enough thickness to resist bending. I wonder if I can make "corrugated fiberglass", with three layers laid out just like the paper layers in corrugated cardboard. Corrugation seems especially appropriate for large panels like hoods and boat-tails.

Another thing I learned: my resin says it "sets in 3-4hr, dries in 8-10hr". So I figured I would lay it up in the evening and drive to work the next day. Well, maybe that would work in the summer, but it went below freezing that night and my fiberglass was not cured in time. The upper grille block wasn't bothered by this, but the lower grille block was made a bit concave by the force of the wind on it.

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Originally Posted by RobertSmalls
What happens when you hang fiberglass cloth over a bumper opening or fog light well and epoxy it in place?
I think I like this technique. I think the right method is: cut two layers of glass cloth to size, wet them out with resin, then slap them on the bumper and allow it to cure. I'll grind off my last attempt and do better this time.

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Old 04-17-2010, 08:52 AM   #122 (permalink)
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Now that the paint has dried, here's a picture of the fiberglass grille block.

The upper block is lumpy, which I can fix with Bondo or a do-over. But I'm very happy with the looks of the lower grille block. It just needs to be feathered in, because it's raised a few mm from the rest of the bumper.



Btw, I painted the front of my car "almost-silver". It's not perfect, but I'm happy with it, especially since this is my first attempt at painting a car.

I've tested the grille block at 60F @ 74mph, and 75F @ 60mph. The coolant temp stays put at 195F, which means I should block more of the grille. I think I should block everything to the driver's side of the license plate, including that odd, large radius scoop whose original purpose appears to be to make the apparent size of the grille larger than the radiator.
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Old 04-19-2010, 08:08 AM   #123 (permalink)
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No offense intended, but that looks like cellulite - but it is probably a better job than I could do on my first time. Close up the lower grill, it looks unfinished. Other than that, great job! Keep it up!
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Old 05-04-2010, 05:27 PM   #124 (permalink)
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I built a DC/DC converter toggle switch, which pretty much works the same way as an alternator kill switch. Hit the switch to disable the Insight's charging system and deep-cycle the 12V battery. My 12V battery is an Optima yellow top with half the energy content of my traction battery, so I may as well take advantage of it when grid charging is convenient.

Building the switch was easy. Short DC/DC converter pin 6 to ground to disable the converter. I extended that wire through the dash, to a toggle switch, and then to ground.

I could run my 12V battery down to 20% SoC and grid charge it with my 62% efficient charger, allowing me to use the traction battery for propulsion instead of electrical accessories. That would save about 0.02 gal of gas, and use .26KWh of electricity instead. Using the 13.4KWh/gal conversion factor that I favor, that's ... 0.02 gal of gasoline equivalent. Huh.

I probably won't be using the toggle switch much, eh?

The math works out only slightly better for grid charing the traction battery pack.
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Old 05-04-2010, 06:07 PM   #125 (permalink)
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Having to deal with difficult people at work today (the worst being me,) I enjoyed your posting. Only in the hybrid community do you find engineering talent capable of contemplating such small savings and having a good time doing it!

Made my day!

Bob Wilson
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Old 05-06-2010, 02:49 PM   #126 (permalink)
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In accordance with the latest fashion trend, I have prepared body-coloured hubcaps for my alloy wheels:





They're fiberglass.



My wheels have removable center caps that cover the lug nuts. I applied mold release wax (which is awesome, by the way) to the wheel but not the center cap. Then I laid down two oversized pieces of glass cloth, and saturated them with epoxy resin. Once the epoxy was tacky, I applied fairing compound to hide the weave somewhat.

Let it cure, part the hubcap from the mold, and trim the excess cloth with tinsnips. The center cap is epoxied to the hub cap. Then I applied a few coats of base coat. I haven't bothered with clear coat, because it's probably not smooth enough to merit a gloss finish.

Here's a picture that NeilBlanchard took that shows how they attach.

They add about 165g of weight to each wheel (I didn't try for lightness) and you could make a set of four for around $40 in materials.
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Old 05-06-2010, 05:24 PM   #127 (permalink)
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Nice work, how much FE do you think it will pick up? And can you get an air nozzle onto the valve stem ok? I don't think the 12V compressor I use would fit.

I wonder how this would look on my car...
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Old 05-07-2010, 01:48 AM   #128 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertSmalls View Post
. . . The center cap is epoxied to the hub cap. Then I applied a few coats of base coat. . . .
Had you considered alternatives to epoxy, say a single bolt in the center?

Bob Wilson
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Old 05-07-2010, 12:23 PM   #129 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Had you considered alternatives to epoxy, say a single bolt in the center?

Bob Wilson
I think you may be confused, He hasn't epoxied the center cover to the to the wheel, he has epoxied a fiberglass cover OVER the center cover.

Great job on the covers, I think it's a great idea. Awesome alternative to pizza pans. Are you going to gloss over them so they stay in relatively decent condition, or leave them as is and replace the glass when necessary?
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Old 05-07-2010, 04:36 PM   #130 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I think you may be confused, He hasn't epoxied the center cover to the to the wheel, he has epoxied a fiberglass cover OVER the center cover.
. . .
Near as I can tell, he laid up the fiberglass over mold-release coated, wheel covers. Then he went back and epoxied the fiberglass part back to the center of the wheel covers?

I'm wondering if it makes sense to just layup the glass-epoxy and let the epoxy bond the whole part to the wheel covers. Then trim the excess and be done.

Epoxy to the center of the wheel covers versus using a nut and bold is what I'm trying to understand.

Bob Wilson

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