View Full Version : The newbie guide to custom sail tweeter pods TUTORIAL
03-24-2005, 01:19 PM
First off, let me say that I am beginning this thread as a tutorial that I want to become a sticky. If it doesn't, I guess that's okay, but I'd be really happy if it did.
Fiberglassing Tweeter Pods Into Sails, Final Edition
Let me tell you, once I had my tweeters moved from their previous location in my doors, I went crazy with how much different it sounded. So I decided to glass them into my sails.
This doubles as a tutorial, which is why I made a thread pointing to it. Perhaps there are others that want to continue this route.
Keep in mind this is my first fiberglassing work, EVER, so... yeah.
-MDF rings for your tweets
-Some sort of spray adhesive or adhesive promoter
-Fiberglass reinforced body filler (aka Kitty Hair)
-Sandpapers (60, 220, 400 grits)
-Wood dowels/popsicle sticks/your imagination
-Glue sticks for gun
-(most importantly) NOT YOUR SAILS, but sails that you pick up from a junker, just in case you mess up.
-WD-40 or equivalent
-Some posterboard or equivalent
-Plate of plastic, or anything that won't absorb the kitty hair (not wood, etc)
-Spatula of the same qualities^
-Drill with large bit
- Remove sail panels. Grab some 60 grit and your sanding block and go to town on every side that you'd normally see.
Here's a pic of my sails drying:
Now that you have that done, go back to your car and put the sail back on. You don't need a tweeter, and you don't need the MDF ring. All you need is the hot glue gun, an installed sail, and one single popsicle stick.
I took my popsicle stick, put a large bead of hot glue on the end, and placed it on the bottom of my sail panel, pointing in the direction i wanted my tweeter to point, which was just in front of the opposite listener's chin. So I took it back out and got this:
Take the sail back inside, and affix another popsicle stick to the other sail, like so:
This is if you want symmetrical imaging. Mine are very near symmetrical, but hey, I was trying.
The next thing I did was affix the tweeter (INSIDE the MDF ring) to the popsicle stick. It's important to include the tweeter because if you have a deep mount tweeter like mine, you might bottom out. Hot glue it in as vertically as you can and also as close to the sail as you can, like so:
[QUOTE=GCAdidas13]When you get that finished on both sides, try to get as many other popsicle sticks in there as possible. The more sticks you have now, the easier things will be later, and i'll tell you why in a few minutes.
Should look pretty symmetrical, eh?
03-24-2005, 01:20 PM
If you're like me, your work area now looks like mine :)
Now cut some posterboard/equivalent out, and cut it into a ring just small enough to fit down inside. This will be coated with WD-40 later so the kitty hair doesn't get in the way when you go to install the tweeter.
Now do a nice coat on everything with your spray-on adhesive (promoter).
Don't forget to WD-40 your posterboard rings and put them in there too:
I have a nice blue bucket lid to mess up with my fiberglass and hardener. On the right is the kitty hair, the left is the hardener, and just below that is a very small test batch (that has way too much hardener).
Now this is where you gotta get hella pumped up, and go to town with the kitty hair. Lay down a golf-ball sized amount of kitty hair, and on top of that put one inch of hardener from the bottle. Take your spatula/equivalent and stir like crazy until it's all the same color. Then, with your gloves, grab a handful and smack it on there. This is where having LOTS of popsicle sticks comes in handy. If you don't have enough popsicle sticks, you're gonna have problems filling the big gaps that are between them.
Please work in small areas to begin with. To tell you the truth, the first sail I did, which you'll see in a second, ****** hardcore. The second one was much better because I learned some spreading techniques. Then I found that if you work with larger quantities and have good spreading techniques(!!!!!) you will do very well.
Here's some post-glassing pictures. There isn't any idle time during the spreading because I was working indoors and it had a 5-minute gelling time... it was just barely enough time.
03-24-2005, 01:20 PM
My first sail:
My second sail:
^Not so bad!
Both of them next to eachother:
03-24-2005, 01:21 PM
Now is when you do more messing around with the fiberglass reinforced body filler, and continue smoothing until you have something like this (the one on top): Sand with 60 grit, then something 200-400 grit.
Then you mix up some body filler and spread it like icing. Remember it sands off easily. Sand with 400 grit.
Look at how symmetrical mine came out:
After thatís completely dry, apply primer, wait for it to dry, and sand with 1000 grit. Repeat this process two more times, and use 2000 grit. Dip the sandpaper in water before you sand - it lubricates the surface as it sands.
After my first layer:
After my third layer both sails looked like this:
03-24-2005, 01:22 PM
A thin layer of spray paint followed by a slightly thicker layer of spray paint left me with this:
And after everything dried, hereís four pictures of them installed:
I hope you enjoyed this project and consider doing it for yourself!
Thanks to: req, my friend phil, and my girlfriend for helping me sand/primer/paint J
03-24-2005, 02:06 PM
Very nice work
03-24-2005, 02:42 PM
looks very good man
03-24-2005, 07:55 PM
Hope mine goes that smooth, this deserves a sticky without a doubt :)
04-21-2005, 11:54 AM
alright i'm going to bump this. hopefully a couple of the mods want to make this a sticky...
lets help car audio noobs out with imaging!!! :D
it can be added into the sticky as a link.
04-21-2005, 01:34 PM
sand the paint off, and bondo again, and make it smoother. awesome work man, just complete it. :D
02-03-2006, 11:11 AM
i know i know bringing it back from the dead, but....first of all, not trying to be a prick or anything, just giving you some constructive critisism, but i'd have to disagree with almost everything that was done here, first, when you affixed the ring with popsicle sticks you should have wrapped the entire project in a thin "fleece" like material and apply a coat of fiberglass 'resin' to the cloth.
then use body filler from there to smooth out, and any type of body filler should not be used on plastics as it doesn't properly adheare, instead a proper plastic filler should have been used (ie. 3M's duramix 4058 paste)
also i dont recoemnd, just globbing a ton of filler onto the project like that and pretty much building your peice out of body filler. also, high end high quality body fillers do sand off easily but no where near 400 grit, if you put a full layer of filler on you'll be at it for days with 400, spot putty can be sanded fine with 400 but not body fillers.
now onto the painting, you should never sand primer up to 1000 and especially not with 2000, that is leaving the surface way too smooth for anything coming to adheare to, those grit sandpapers are used for cutting into and polishing clear coats.
a nice wet sand with 400 grit would have been fine, even 320 before paint, and when wet sanding water and dish soap should be used, the water continues to rinse off the project keeping the part and paper clean where the soap acts as the lubricant
should have wrapped the entire project in a thin "fleece" like material and apply a coat of fiberglass 'resin' to the cloth.
i disagree. thats adding way too much thickness to the back\sides where the panel has to fit back snug. i do agree that he added way to much filler, but this is way eaiser and way less complicated than wraping it. because if you wrapped it in fleece or any kind of material, the only area of connection to the plastic would be the edges of the wrap, and the only thing holding it on would be epoxy - wich does not enjoy plastics. and the bottom edge wich slips under the door panel would be thicker and may not fit correctly anymore. this way is much more stable as far as being a small project like this.
i did it this way, on that same year camry, but i used some of the tweeter cups to hold it in place - and i did use www.hzemall.com 's plastic filler wich i highly recommend. i only got a chance to paint it with texturecoating and not a final coat of paint because the kid had to leave for college the next day. and the white dust thats on the window trim is just from my fingers when i test fitted it. it really showed up alot when the flash went off. IMO - this is way eaiser than wrapping. took me 20 minutes per side and then dry\sand time. maybe an hour or two max.
02-03-2006, 01:30 PM
if plastic filler is used in place of bondo then that would be ok but when you wrap it, your suppose to go around and sand down all the edges where the fleece meets the plastic trim so no additional thickness builds up preventing a proper fit.
wrapping it or using solely plastic filler is still the proper way to go about it
02-03-2006, 05:11 PM
i know i know bringing it back from the dead, but....first of all, not trying to be a prick or anything, just giving you some constructive critisism, but i'd have to disagree with almost everything that was done here, first, when you affixed the ring with popsicle sticks you should have wrapped the entire project in a thin "fleece" like material and apply a coat of fiberglass 'resin' to the cloth.i didnt have any fiberglassing experience at the time so i didnt.
then use body filler from there to smooth out, and any type of body filler should not be used on plastics as it doesn't properly adheare, instead a proper plastic filler should have been used (ie. 3M's duramix 4058 paste)and i used fiberglass-reinforced body filler. it allows usage of any thickness. and what if i put a screw into the back? sounds like it would work to me.
also i dont recoemnd, just globbing a ton of filler onto the project like that and pretty much building your peice out of body filler.but what of fiberglass reinforced body filler? completely different ballpark.
also, high end high quality body fillers do sand off easily but no where near 400 grit, if you put a full layer of filler on you'll be at it for days with 400, spot putty can be sanded fine with 400 but not body fillers.i sanded the fg body filler with 60. i sanded the body filler with 60, then 200-400.
now onto the painting, you should never sand primer up to 1000 and especially not with 2000, that is leaving the surface way too smooth for anything coming to adheare to, those grit sandpapers are used for cutting into and polishing clear coats.which i found out the hard way a few weeks thereafter, where i sanded the whole thing down with 60 grit and then applied a truck bed liner (because at the time i had no experience with painting)
a nice wet sand with 400 grit would have been fine, even 320 before paint, and when wet sanding water and dish soap should be used, the water continues to rinse off the project keeping the part and paper clean where the soap acts as the lubricantyup.
02-04-2006, 12:00 AM
although fiberglass re-inforced fillers cure much harder and stronger, they should still not be used on plastics, sure you can use it, and you might not have any problems with it, its just not the "proper" way of doing it
03-20-2006, 12:38 AM
I know this is an old but it is exactly what i awas looking for and very informative. this will be my first project fo the type as well but will hopefulyy be able to have the finished prduct look a bit more like req"s.
thanks GCAdidas13 and Req!
03-20-2006, 12:55 AM
well no problem but I wanna make a few things clear before you start, if you havent bought anything yet.
USE a plastic filler. www.hzemall.com sells a plastic body filler that bonds perfectly to ABS plastic (the plastic that sail panels are made out of). Use that instead of kitty hair. Basically what happened with mine is the kitty hair became completely dislodged from the sail over time. Also, make sure that you do not build your pods too far out into the A-pillar (where the sail meets the car frame) or else every time you close your door it will hit and slowly get knocked off and paint will chip.
Any more questions please ask :D
03-20-2006, 01:29 AM
thanks alot for the info, i wasdplanning on using some type of plastic filler, and i will most deiffinately shoot you a PM if i have any questions.
03-20-2006, 07:59 AM