ME_opt
With many sports and compact cars today the task of creating high quality aftermarket sound can be difficult. One of the biggest problems is trying to capture high quality low frequencies without losing the already limited space in these type of cars. Who says you can’t have both “room and boom.” This article will provide instruction on how to create and integrate a custom fiberglass enclosure for a subwoofer in a popular compact car (2006 Scion tC in this project). The skills shown here were learned through Mobile Technical Training. This type of project is intended for someone with basic wrapping/fiberglass knowledge. Enjoy! 



Materials & Hardware:

Kicker 10-inch CompVR Subwoofer
3M Fiberglass/All Purpose • Resin
Fiberglass Matte
MEKP( hardener)
3M Painters Tape
3/4-inch MDF Wood
Black Speaker Box Carpet
Lightweight Filler (BONDO)
3M Adhesive Spray
Jigsaw
Respirator/ mask
Gloves


1A_opt 1D_opt

Step 1

Prep the entire area (interior/exterior) of the trunk where you want to fiberglass. Using painter’s tape, tape past area you wish to fiberglass. Using plastic in conjunction, can add extra protection for the interior of your car. Using ¾-inch MDF and a jigsaw, carefully cut out a base for the custom enclosure.


2A_opt 2E_opt
Step 2

Mix the resin and MEKP with a ratio of 100 to 2 (resin to MEKP). If mixed correctly, working time should be 25 minutes. Break up fiber matte into pieces of approx. 5x5 inches with varying thickness. One coat of just resin is to be applied to tape and MDF followed by 3-4 layers of fiber matte. Allow curing between each layer of fiber matte applied. Be sure to use proper eye, hand and breathing protection in this step.



3B_opt
Step 3

Allow a final curing over night. If needed, a heat gun may be used to speed up curing time. Remember to use extra caution when using a heat gun!


4A_opt 4B_opt

Step 4

Remove base and back of the enclosure. Due to fiberglass curing, it may take excessive force to remove it, so feel free to really pull on it. If you followed the proper prepping (taping) instructions in step one correctly, no damage should occur to the vehicle interior. Simply remove excess tape off the backing of the fiberglass.


5A_opt

Step 5

Trim off any excess fiberglass that is outside of your desired shape with a jigsaw. Be sure to use proper eye and breathing protection.


6B_opt

Step 6

Using the jigsaw and ¾-inch MDF, create a mounting ring according to your hardware specifications (for us, it was a 9 ¼-inch diameter for th 10-inch Kicker woofer) and use a 4x2-inch piece of wood to create the desired angle and height for the hardware.



7B_opt
Step 7

Spray adhesive on the edges of the fiberglass backing and base areas. Using black carpet as forming material, stretch it for the desired shape. To maintain shape, simply staple the carpet to the MDF base as well as mounting the ring on the inner ring side (see picture).



8B_opt 8A_opt

Step 8

Apply 2-3 coats of resin to the forming material. Use the same guidelines as in step 2. Allow it all to fully cure.


9A_opt

Step 9

Apply 1 layer of fiber matte to the forming material. Using the same guidelines as Step 2 and 8. Allow it to fully cure.




10A_opt

Step 10

Cut out a hole for the speaker/subwoofer and remove all the wood used to hold its shape during curing. Only the mounting ring should be left.



11A_opt
Step 11

Apply one layer of fiber matte INSIDE enclosure. This is most important in areas where resin may not have penetrated through to other side of forming material.


12A_opt
Step 12

Sand the enclosure down to a nice smooth and dull finish. We plan to wrap it in black carpet, so 40-80 grit sanding is sufficient. If your final wrapping is less forgiving, 200-400 grit should be used.



13A_opt 13B_opt

Step 13

Apply a layer of lightweight filler (aka Bondo) to smooth out any light imperfections. The apply and sand the lightweight filler in sections. The filler is much easier to work with when semi-dry.



14A_opt 14B_opt

14C_opt 14D_opt

Step 14

Using 3M adhesive (highest strength recommended, medium strength pictured) spray entire enclosure and back of carpet with 2 coats. Allow becoming tacky. Using wrapping techniques stretch carpet over enclosure. Cut out hole for speaker, wire and mount speaker.



AFTER_opt

Source:
Mobile Technical Training

460 US Highway 46 West South
Hackensack, NJ
201-329-9000

www.mobiletechtraining.com

 



 

Related Features

Civic Pride: 2003 Honda Civic

Randy St-Cyr of Chilliwack, BC owns this 2003 Honda Civic, and has chosen to make it a showpiece for the car audio team at the Future Shop store where he works. Future Shop is well known for their car audio…
Read More

Project Forte: KIA Forte Koup - Konig Rim and Sailun Tire Install

Step 1: Place rim on tire mounting machine Step 2: Insert valve stems in rim(s) Step 3: Apply lubricant to the bead of the tire Step 4: Place tire onto rim and use tire mounting machine according to specifications Step…
Read More

Final Fantasy: Carlos Molina's 2011 BMW 335i

What other explanation can there be for a man who took BMWs elegant 3-Series coupe and converted it to a full show car for the 2008 SEMA show, then promptly tore it apart and began working on a complete revision…
Read More

Do it Euro-Self: Gabriel Laroche's 1998 Volkswagen Jetta

Those who live on the outskirts of urban Montreal in the L’Assomption area of Quebec and are vehicularly-inclined in any way know of Gabriel Laroche, or “Gab.” Some know him as the owner and operator of the ever-busy GAB Eurosport…
Read More

Beyond Limits: Mike Essa's Formula Drift BMW Z4

At the end of the 2010 drift season, Mike Essa had a tough decision to face. On the verge of a 30th place performance and facing a new tire-to-weight rule going into effect, Essa knew he had to find a…
Read More