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Building my own fiberglass body ...over my steel cab

#1
Decided to take on this project before the night race. If you have seen my truck its quite wide, I built my own kit when I was 19. Since it was my first one ever I didnt really take my new hubs, brakes, ect. into the equation and now my trackwidth sits at 88 inches. The only two front clips available for my tacoma(besides the link one which im not really a fan of) only cover half my tire so I decided to make my own. because the clip has to be so wide I cant really run a regular quarter pannel so I would have to draw it back onto the cab like the ranger clip from perrys. When I was coming up with the design in my head I thought why just end it at the door? Why not flow it all the way back into the bedsides? Ive never really done fiberglass before but I tend to learn by just diving head first into the deep end. After all my race truck was the first ever truck I built, and If i can build an entire race truck I can probably make something out of fiberglass right? I did skip through a book about building fiberglass hotrod bodies I got from the library, watched a couple vids on youtube, and picked my bosses brain who is a mechanical engineer and built his senior project sae formula car out of carbon fiber, he also took the composites course at ceritos college. So after a night of brainstorming I started the project.

Here we go...

I started by determining that I need the clip to be 6" wider than my perrys one, So I Used 1" thick polystyrene to hold the shape of the wheel well and also to create a box against my cab to hold the 2lb. density self expanding polyurethane foam.




the foam wont stick to foil or other slick surfaces


Here is the channel I am building into the body, mainly so I still have access to my door handle. I will also cut the front and rear open to draw in air, which I will make a duct that flows into my transmission and oil coolers.




here is the final piece of polystyrene which creates the box in which i will pour the liquid self expanding foam into
 
#2
Time to pour foam!

I got my foam from aeromarine products in san diego. I highly recommend going though them. I recieved it next day where other companies said 5-7 business days, plus they were really cool to talk to and were stoked on my project. Their website is: AeroMarine Products - Epoxy Resin, Urethane Foam, Silicone Mold Making Rubber

1(877)342-8860
AeroMarine Products, Inc.
4128 Napier St.
San Diego, CA 92110

I used what everyone uses for this type of project, 2lb. density polyurethane self expanding foam. It comes in two parts, just mix part A and part B in a 50-50 ratio, stir, and your ready to rock.




They werent kidding when they said it can expand up to 30 times its size!




After I removed the polystyrene and did round one of shaping, mostly just trimming off the excess
 

rich1

Well-Known Member
#6
I am curious, I like your attitude of jumping in. I am the same way, learn by doing (after research, of coarse.) How do you plan on opening the door? Am I missing something? Seems like the door will bind at the hinges.
 

mcheck

STEEEKERS!!
#8
I am curious, I like your attitude of jumping in. I am the same way, learn by doing (after research, of coarse.) How do you plan on opening the door? Am I missing something? Seems like the door will bind at the hinges.
thats what i was thinking...unless hes going to keep the doors shut?
This truck is my DD of course im planning on having functional doors! They will still be able be able to open, just like how the perrys ranger clip works:

looks good so far!
 

philofab

Powered by Optima
#11
Good luck, and props for taking it on rather than listening to the nay sayers. I assume the front clip will be one piece? You may be able to leave the quarter attached to the door and let the whole thing rotate into the wheel well.
 
#13
Good luck, and props for taking it on rather than listening to the nay sayers. I assume the front clip will be one piece? You may be able to leave the quarter attached to the door and let the whole thing rotate into the wheel well.
I was thinking about doing that because it would make the functional door much easier, but then I wouldnt be able to have a latch or mount there since the quarter pannel will be moving... Well see...

Round three of shaping! Its now close to where i want it to be, just a little more detail work getting lines straight and the front fender shaped









 
#14
I also started the other side

This time i used 1" thick polystyrene instead of 3/4" and made more ribs in the channel in hopes of preventing the force of the expanding foam from warping everything.




Well it was 3am when I poured the foam and about 50 degrees out, when I poured the foam the first time it was about 80 degrees, I figured it wouldnt expand as much because of the temp difference so I made a larger batch. Yep it expanded just as much, FML...
 
#15
Here it is after a first trim

This side is going MUCH faster since the design phase is already complete, im just taking measurements from the drivers side, transferring them over to the passenger side then cutting away

This is basically how im doing it
 

nic 1660

Well-Known Member
#16
great thread, are you using a velco sanding block with 36 or 40 grid paper to shape it than going finer as you get it closer to it final shape. looks like it sand pretty easy. looks great
 
#17
great thread, are you using a velco sanding block with 36 or 40 grid paper to shape it than going finer as you get it closer to it final shape. looks like it sand pretty easy. looks great
Im using a rasper which looks like a big cheese grader for the initial shape then a sanding block with 60 grit for the final shape. Im sure the pros probably have better tools but so far this is working just fine... For some reason always end up doing things the hard way lol, plus im trying not to use power tools or air tools because im doin most of this project late at night. Although my neighbors are troopers and have never complained to me personally I try to be curtious...
 

CHASETHISTOO

Well-Known Member
#18
Keep up the good work. I give alot of respect to people who take on projects and jump in head first. You always feel good when you say "I built that". It's looking great.
 

baja619

Well-Known Member
#19
great thread, are you using a velco sanding block with 36 or 40 grid paper to shape it than going finer as you get it closer to it final shape. looks like it sand pretty easy. looks great
The foam is so much harder than it looks. At the beginning when going after the initial shape we are using short saws and than get into the more precise tooling.
 

rich1

Well-Known Member
#20
Don't forget to get in the driver seat and make sure the rise does not obscure your view out. Looks a little high, but hard to tell in pictures. I like to see the do it yourself attitude. Feels good when your done and it turns out perfect. Keep the pics comin'. God bless America.... Home of the inventor!
 
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