HOW TO MAKE A CARBON FIBER '69 CHARGER BODY KIT - SEMA 2018

October 31, 2018 3 min read

HOW TO MAKE A CARBON FIBER '69 CHARGER BODY KIT - SEMA 2018

Platform: 2018 Dodge Hellcat

Design: Lou Durasmo – Six Twelve Autowerks

Media Coverage:

Road and Track 

What happens when you get DJ Funkmaster Flex to commission a SEMA build: a ’69 Charger body on a ’18 Dodge Hellcat platform.  This piece of American muscle was widened by four inches and lowered by two inches to get the perfect combination of modern amenities with classic style. 

We partnered with Six Twelve Autowerks to bring this steely Hellcat into this millennium with some carbon fiber.  For SEMA 2018 Common Fibers fabricated the trunk lid, the trunk filler panel, along with the front and rear bumpers.  For 2019 we have much more planned, but more about that later.  

From Steel to Carbon

Lou Durasmo from Six Twelve Autowerks brought the ’69 Charger body to life prior to deciding upon making it from carbon.  After hundreds of hours of body work the steel body was ready to be painted and/or converted to carbon fiber.  With the timeline in mind a few parts were sent our way and a couple were sent to Speedkore. 

 Original Dodge Charger 

Plug Creation

Once we received the original parts, we quickly got to work on making flanges and prepping the parts for molding. In order to pull molds from these parts six inches of flanges were added using melamine and clay.  These flanges are critical for future steps.  Once the parts are all clayed in and flanged, they get waxed several times for releasing the molds. 

For more information on building a plug, check out our process blogs on splash plug fabricationmachining a foam plug, and plug finishing.

Carbon Fiber '69 Charger Gelcoat Fiberglass Mold

Mold Creation

With plugs polished and waxed, fiberglass female molds were made.   To start, each plug was sprayed with a layer of tooling gelcoat to exactly replicate the plug surface.  One hour later, a first layer of veil fiberglass is applied to the surfaced and resined in place.  This first layer is critical in solidifying the mold surface and capturing all the details of the part.  Any air pockets will result in chips in the mold surface.  The fiberglassing process is always a mess but necessary in creating a durable mold. The picture below is a mold pulled fresh from it’s plug.  Additional photos of molds follow:

Carbon Fiber '69 Charger Gelcoat Fiberglass Mold

Carbon Fiber '69 Charger Gelcoat Fiberglass Mold

You can learn more about these steps in our posts on spraying gelcoat, the mold lamination process, and how to finish your mold. 

Layup Process

With molds pulled, trimmed and waxed again, the parts are ready to be made. Using our primary manufacturing method of vacuum resin infusion we are able to pull parts efficiently.  In vacuum resin infusion, the carbon fiber is laid dry into the mold with a small amount of spray adhesive to ensure a straight weave and then we pull it under vacuum.  Once a perfect vacuum is achieved, resin is infused into the part and allowed to cure for 4-8 hours (depending on temperature).  The following picture demonstrates the vacuum resin infusion process:

 Carbon Fiber '69 Charger VARTM Infusion

Check out our blog post on the VARTM infusion process for more information.

Part Finishing

With parts infused, the final cured part can be trimmed, sanded, and finished.  The trunk lid was made with a top for cosmetics and bottom for structure.  These two parts were bonded together, and threaded inserts were attached for latches. Photos of this step follow:

Carbon Fiber '69 Charger Untrimmed Trunk 

Carbon Fiber '69 Charger Untrimmed Trunk Bottom

Carbon Fiber '69 Charger Trunk Bottom and Mold

Carbon Fiber '69 Charger Trunk Insert

You can learn more about the intricacies of the finishing process in our posts on trimming carbon fiber, how to spray clear coat and buffing and polishing best practices.  

Final Build

The final build was released at SEMA 2018 in the Magnaflow booth. Below are a few pictures from SEMA in case you missed it!  Follow us on Instagram @commonfibers for more info on this build!

Carbon Fiber '69 Charger Final Build SEMA 2018

Carbon Fiber '69 Charger Final Build SEMA 2018

Carbon Fiber '69 Charger Final Build SEMA 2018


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Continued Learning

x
x