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Discussion Starter #1
I'm not sure if anyone will remember (because it has been so long) but I got the idea in my head while staring at my sail panels that they would look a lot better if they had the inset "early style" fastback louvers and I set out to make them happen...here is a work in process shot I took tonight of the in situ mock. The final louver shell will be carbon fiber and the vent grilles will be cast aluminum.
 

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Just some guy
67 coupe, 69 Sportsroof, 86 hatchback
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Well, obviously you have completely lost your mind.



I didn't say stop. :)

This should be interesting. You know you have to keep this thread updated now, right?
 
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Yeah. Tomorrow night, I plan on piecing out the remaining louver slats for the driver's side to get a good look at what I have wrought.

I started this post specifically so I had some built in accountability because it's been way too easy to get tied up in other things and have a season pass me by without finding any time to work on the things I'm really wanting to work on.

...the foam mock is pieced together like a 3d jigsaw puzzle. What you see in the photo above is currently 11 pieces.

I'm probably going to make several slightly different mocks before I fully commit and lock in my design. I already expect that I'm going to thin the frame significantly, but I wanted to see what the first mock would look like with shorter slats and a thicker frame. I also didn't want to increase the risk of snapping the long spans if I tried to whittle them down before reinforcing the opposite sides of the pieces.

I have a project plan for the panels that will reduce the amount of labor significantly and get me into a spot where I can quickly produce blank mocks for hand tuning, but some of the equipment has to be built as I go (my 3d scanner and my cnc router)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Will these be functional as air extractors like the originals?
That is the current plan.
So, if I'm able to do it right, yes.
 

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At 1st glance it looks like you took the square dryer vents made for vinyl siding and tapered them to fit. Cheesy at best- until You said they'd be remade in CF and Alum! Like Gypsy- I look forward to seeing the end result!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
@gt350sr Thanks...I think lol. What you're seeing in the pictures is my first polystyrene mock.
 
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Just some guy
67 coupe, 69 Sportsroof, 86 hatchback
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For some reason I keep picturing the fiber as a thin bowl so that the visible edges would be like 1/4" thick at most with the inserts set in however. Versus how it's currently laid out to where the fiber would be more like a 1/2" wide more decorative trim. It's purely taste in cosmetics either way. I'd have to play with the number and width of the inserts too I think.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
For some reason I keep picturing the fiber as a thin bowl so that the visible edges would be like 1/4" thick at most with the inserts set in however. Versus how it's currently laid out to where the fiber would be more like a 1/2" wide more decorative trim. It's purely taste in cosmetics either way. I'd have to play with the number and width of the inserts too I think.
Ah, ok! Yes. The frame is comically thick at the moment so that I can work it a bit easier because this is my only copy and the foam is just low density expanded polystyrene. The foam I was working from is 1/2" thick so I tried to maintain the 1/2" thickness as I worked all the way around so I didn't take away too much material too early. There are a couple spots where I had to overwork some areas of the foam to get it to seat well but the mismatch is well within my waste margin.

I definitely plan to thin that frame down significantly after I get the completed rough idea in physical form. I just pieced together some simple louver slats last night to fit in to where I currently am because I wanted to see it for myself on the car and I liked it enough that I decided to snap a couple of progress photos.

If everything works out according to my current plan, the whole cosmetic panel will be produced as a single piece composite with no visible "frame." I'm ideally wanting it to look molded out of the sail panel rather than placed into it.
 

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Just some guy
67 coupe, 69 Sportsroof, 86 hatchback
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That's different than what I was visualizing from your pictures. To mock something like that up I think I'd get a hunk of high density urethane. Hack the back to fit the opening and then carve vents into it. Kind of a lot of work for nothing though.
Unless you were going to make a mold from it.
 

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Do you have the louvers pointed the right way? Hard to tell in the picture, but it looks like the leading edge of each vane it pointing to the front and not the rear.

Found this shot that shows how they should look.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
That's different than what I was visualizing from your pictures. To mock something like that up I think I'd get a hunk of high density urethane. Hack the back to fit the opening and then carve vents into it. Kind of a lot of work for nothing though.
Unless you were going to make a mold from it.
Ultimately, yes. I'm going to make a mold from the final, finished mock. But first, I'm going to copy the whole thing into higher density, polyethylene foam. I'm using EPS right now because it is dirt cheap. I'm keeping the individual components separate from each other so that I can fasten them together into whatever subassemblies make the most sense as I go along. I had originally envisioned that I would "just" make a one-piece louver profile from front-to-back and then cut out the openings for the louver vents. That wasn't working so I decided to aim a bit smaller and eventually I got something that started to look promising so I kept running with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Do you have the louvers pointed the right way? Hard to tell in the picture, but it looks like the leading edge of each vane it pointing to the front and not the rear.

Found this shot that shows how they should look.
It's a bit hard to tell from the pictures because I haven't done any marking on the vanes to indicate which parts would be wasted but they're pointing the right way....maybe...I think so...I'll have to check now when I get home... you're making me nervous.

(I'm just kidding. The leading edges are pointing towards the rear. I'll try to get some better lighting for my next photos)
 

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I like the concept for sure. Having a little trouble visualizing based on the pics, but I'm familiar with the in-progress custom thing. It can be hard to see it until it's there. Keep us posted.
 

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You might try producing your piece in clay. www.fiberglast.com has a whole section of their catalog devoted to clay modeling for fiberglass projects.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Not a ton of progress since the last update, but I did find time to go out to the shop and finish out the first set of EPS louver blanks for the mock. The gap created by the 5th louver breaks up the visual and leaves the forward and aftward louvers disconnected. I'll have to create another set of blocks to get better spacing so that 5th louver doesn't hit the post. I cut the block apart for the 5th louver so that only the vane is represented because I could make it fit. Hopefully, that 5th vane gives some idea of what I'm going for with the rest of the blocks. Each of the "louver blocks" is intended to represent the vane plus the depth of the vent.

There were a few pieces of valuable information that I got from this cheap, easy, quick test:
  • I will be able to try several different styles relatively cheaply and easily before I decide which I will ultimately go with. I'm going to try 5, 7, and 3 louver designs in EPS foam.
  • I will not be able to use 7 uniformly thick louvers and have them all be functional (the 5th aftward louver vent would hit the "splitter post" that vertically divides the main span of the sail panel and serves as the normal mounting point for the OE louvers. I'd have to have a fake vent for the 5th one if I want to go with this exact size)
  • As I start on the second iteration of the mock, I will have to take time to more carefully prep the top edge of the louver vanes. When I was putting this together, I was just trying to sand the blocks down to press them in flush with the open space, then I was twisting them to try to get the proper layback of the louver vane with the proper position of where the vane will terminate and form the body line through the panel. When I lay them back, the top external corner of the vane will gap when I am wanting it to mate as perfectly as possible with the 'frame'
If you look at the top edge of the frame, you'll see that the vanes taper away from the frame rather than mating up to it. (I already knew I was going to need to adjust them a bit)
[Custom 7][Mock]Side shot.jpg
[Custom 7][Mock]First fitting.jpg

...I also took some photos of some defects in the mock as I tried to finish out the aftward louvers. I cut a couple of them a bit short so you can accidentally see daylight through a couple of them. I also tried to sand a saddle into the last piece pressed in behind the 7th louver and when I did, I damaged the rear post of the frame a little bit. I also didn't get the saddle. It was a bad idea; I'll do something else for round 2.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
So...1, 2 skip a few, 99: progress.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Here is a shot from the rear driver's side quarter panel extension straight down the sail panel body line.
The entire louver panel fits inside the sail panel recess and the vanes track with the body line, which is exactly what I was wanting.
 

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